Solar power, and solar power backpacks, have become a large part of the sustainability discussion in today’s modern world. Many people are still unsure about them because they do not understand how they work or if they are effective. Based on the statistics, more and more people are beginning to utilize backpacks with built-in solar panels.
How often is your phone dying (or dead) when you are out on an outdoor adventure? It’s frustrating, right? If you have experienced this problem, let us break down what a backpack with built in solar panels is and how it can benefit you.
What is a Solar Panel Backpack?
A solar backpack is a basic backpack or bag, with a build in or modular solar panel charger. A solar panel charger is a small device (about the size of an iPhone) and it collects sunlight that gets turned into energy for charging our personal electronic devices.
Most people hear this and instantly think solar panel backpacks are extremely expensive, but that is not the case. This solar panel charger is only $24.99 and can be Velcro-ed onto your backpack. Other solar chargers may run you more, but with that higher prices comes more features.
First, sunlight must strike the surface. That photons from the sunlight then excited the electrons inside the silicon part of the battery. These charged electrons essentially create an electric force that is pushed into the battery. This energy is then stored inside and can be used whenever you please by plugging a device into the USB port.
Why you need a backpack with built in solar panels:
Solar energy is inexhaustible. There will never be a time that we run out of it. So why not charge our devices from it whenever we can? There’s never a bad time to reduce our carbon footprint. Solar cells do not put out any toxic gas or waste into our environment, making them an ideal source of energy. Finally, you won’t have to deal with any bad smell from gasoline or the annoying noise that comes along with it.
Build Your Own RaveRunner®
RaveRunner: Holographic, Underglow: None, Solar Panel Charger: Blue, EL Wire: None
2.) Solar Panel Backpacks are Easy to Use.
Backpacks with built-in solar panel chargers are not only energy-efficient, but they save you time when operating them. In fact, there is not much operating to do. Most solar panel backpacks have the charger affixed to the top of the bag (right below your neck). This faces the charger up, facing the sun all day long. To access this energy stored in the battery, you simply plug your device into the USB port, and voilà your device is charging. The RaveRunner Hydration Pack’s Solar Panel Charger is affixed with Velcro. This allows you to fully remove the solar battery to charge it via wire or charge your device somewhere other than right on your bag.
Most Solar chargers are water-resistant. The USB port commonly has a rubber flange that goes into the hole to prevent liquid from entering. The actual panel that absorbs sunlight is completely water-resistant. This makes it a perfect addition to your weekend at a music festival or day at the theme park where all weather elements are possible. Especially when you are riding Splash Mountain at Disney over-and-over again.
Backpacks with built in solar panels can charge many more things than just your phone. I was able to charge my Garmin Spot Tracking device so that my parents could track me while out in the wilderness on a run. Additionally, I was able to detach the battery and let a stranger borrow it so that they could call an Uber home after a festival. Another time I used my solar panel backpack was before a run when my headphones were dead and I needed to charge them fast. These are just some of my personal examples, if you leave your solar panel backpack in the car or around the house it will undoubtedly come in handy.
Solar panel backpacks have a wide array of usage. There is no reason not to take advantage of these benefits just because you don’t understand how it works. We hope after reading this you too will enjoy the benefits of having a charger on all of your outdoor adventures.
Founder | Lead Creative at GenZ Outdoor
Ryan Lange is an ultramarathon runner, music festival enthusiast, and theme park obsessed oudoor gear head and loves sharing all of his knowledge and experiences to the world.