Portable charging just got a major upgrade in the form of solar-equipped bags.
Keeping our smartphones, tablets and other gadgets charged can feel like a full-time job. There is nothing worse than being out and suddenly realizing your phone is on its last leg. The solution that most people have turned to is a handy portable charger that offers some extra juice in emergency situations, but there’s one big issue with portable chargers: they need to be charged as well. So if you’re prone to forgetting to charge your phone, chances are you might forget to charge your charger too, which defeats the purpose.
Now, there’s a better solution: solar charging bags. These lifesavers utilize a large solar panel on the outside of the bag that directly charges your phone, or stores solar power in an internal power bank as you go about your day. This way, you have access to energy when you need it, and you don’t have to worry about charging anything. This makes solar bags great for commuters, but they’re also perfect for hikers and travelers who don’t have regular access to outlets.
Although these bags might sound like something out of a spy movie, they’re actually reasonably priced and available on Amazon. Here are some of the best, starting at just $26.
1. FARAZ Solar Backpack
This solar backpack from FARAZ has everything we look for in a solar backpack: style, waterproofing, good reviews, a versatile size and a decent price. Some solar backpacks get caught up with the tech and forget that everyday bags should be stylish too. This bag, on the other hand, has a sleek, modern look that will look good with everyday clothes on the street. It also delivers utility-wise, with a smart pocket layout for books, gadgets, clothes and other essentials. Plus, the $70 price tag is very reasonable, as most solar backpacks hover around $100.
2. Qoolife Solar Dry Bag
BEST DRY BAG
If you’re taking your bag anywhere near water – whether on a boat, a dock or the beach – this solar dry bag is a good idea. It provides some juice for your phone when you’re out in nature while protecting it from the water (you can even swim with it), and also features a Bluetooth speaker and a small LED light. The bag has shoulder straps too, so you can hike down to the beach or take it camping with ease.
3. Eceen Solar Messenger Bag
BEST MESSENGER BAG
If you’re using your solar charging bag for commuting to work or traveling, this messenger bag from Eceen is your best bet. The messenger bag setup is much more city-friendly, meaning it looks professional with office attire and everyday clothes. The bag is made of a durable, stylish canvas, and inside you’ll find two pockets as well as a spot to organize your gadgets.
4. Eceen Solar Hiking Backpack
BEST FOR HIKING
One of the best uses for solar charging bags is hiking. Even if you’re disconnecting from your phone to enjoy nature, it’s still important to keep that thing charged in case of emergency. Our favorite solar backpack for hiking is this one (also from Eceen). It features a handy built-in hydration pack and an ergonomic build that stays secure on your back even while running or climbing.
5. CHOETECH Solar Charger Backpack
This CHOETECH solar backpack sacrifices a small, discreet solar panel for an impressive 24 watts of power. The other bags on this list have between 6 and 7 watts of power, making this backpack the most powerful by far. When you’re in need of charging, unfold the 4 solar panels from the backpack and let them hang freely. While they may get in the way during more intense activities, you can still have the panels out while strolling to work or going on a light hike.
6. XTPower Hiking Solar Backpack
BEST FOR CAMPING
For camping or hiking with lots of gear, we suggest this XTPower solar backpack. Without any outlets in the woods (or even at campsites), this backpack will be a lifesaver. You’ll still be able to cruise Instagram or send texts, and you can charge your phone at any point in your adventure. Unlike the compact Eceen hiking backpack above, this bag boasts 46L of storage, so you can fit all your camping or hiking essentials.
7. Sunnybag Explorer+ Solar Backpack
With 15L of space, a durable polyester build and a modern look, this Sunnybag is the most versatile solar bag around. The size works great for daily use when you just need a laptop, chargers and maybe a book, but it can also step up and carry more for traveling or overnight trips. Style-wise, it’s also ready for anything with a subtle look that works on the street, as well as a durable fabric that makes it reliable on the trail.
8. Sunnybag ICONIC solar backpack
Backpacks aren’t just about utility – they’re a style statement as well. Sadly, Louis Vuitton hasn’t slapped a solar panel on their famous leather backpack, so in the meantime, this sleek backpack (also from Sunnybag) will suffice. It earns extra style points because unlike many of the backpacks above, this one integrates the solar panel into the bag instead of sitting on it. This makes the whole thing much more sophisticated and, well, normal. It’s a great solar bag for taking to the office or cruising around the city.