Nobody ever goes around without at least one gadget in hand anymore. Whether it's a mobile phone, an tablet, a laptop or all of the above, the digital era means staying connected and powered up at all times. Unfortunately, manufacturers still haven't figured out how to make gadgets last for days on end while being used almost 24/7. This is why in today's modern tech world, everyone has turned to the smart charging backpack.
Charging backpacks are fitted with cool features that get power from the sun to charge your gadgets. They're also capable of charging through a power outlet if there's one conveniently around. Smart charging backpacks are popular with business folks nowadays, ditching the traditionally boring briefcase and opting a super sleek smart backpack.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Picks for The Best Charging Backpacks
Of course, travelers will make the most out of smart charging backpacks. While powerbanks can be useful, they also have a limited life. It's also inconvenient to carry around if you already have a lot of stuff with you.
To help you travel better, here are some of the best charging backpacks.
OUR TOP PICKS
ECEEN Hiking Daypack Backpack
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HP Powerup Backpack
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Ambor Travel Laptop Backpack
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Lifepack Solar Powered Backpack
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Kopack Laptop Backpack
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The ECEEN Hiking Daypack Backpack is the perfect smart backpack for outdoor activities. It has an attachment with 7-watt solar panel that charges any battery pack you choose to add.. The solar cells are encased in a protective anti-scratch hardened coating sewn into high-wear PVC fabric for weather-resistance.
The panel attachment is detachable which is great if you don't need it for a specific hike, or the weather just doesn't cooperate.
The design is simple and stylish and will totally work well as a regular everyday bag. The solar panels are detachable. It's light and just the right size for a day bag, ideal for simply walking around the city with a portable charger.
The shoulder straps are wide and thick and relatively comfortable, but it doesn't come with much other support such as sternum straps or waist straps. At the same time, if you're expecting the battery pack to keep every gadget charged, this may not be the backpack for you. The battery capacity is only good for one full charge on a mobile phone, and you'll need to wait for the solar panels to charge it up again.
The HP Powerup Backpack is a charging backpack with a few extra smarts. It has an impressive 24,000mAh battery - the biggest capacity by far from all the great options on this list. It's compatible with most HP laptops for a full charge, but will be able to charge your smartphone up to 10 times and your tablet 3 times. All this charging power is expertly managed and organized through cable loops, compartments, and slots designed into the bag. It also comes with a built-in heat sensor
This smart backpack has the ability to sense the temperature within the backpack and adjusts accordingly through built-in side vents. It's made with heavy-duty canvas with interior padding and durable straps to provide long-lasting protection for all the gadgets you have inside. It has water-resistant coating and, in the event of heavier rain, comes with its own rain cover.
All this functionality is encased in a stylish design fit for work and play. The muted colors are suitable for an office setting, but its modern design and sturdy build can take you to city tours and outdoor activities.
It comes with 2 USB cables to charge your Android devices and a laptop cable for charging your laptop.
The Ambor Smart Backpack is absolutely packed full of features and a bargain for the price. It comes with an external USB port to which you can connect your own battery inside. It also has a headphone jack easily accessed in the same side position.
Space and organization are not a problem either. There is a dedicated organisation pocket on the front with slots for all your small stuff like phone, headphones, papers etc. Inside is the main packing compartment with space for up to a 17.3 inch laptop, not something you will find in every bag (many are limited to 15.6 inch). This smart pack also has two handy side pockets for a water bottle or umbrella.
Ambor have also given us lots of anti-theft features like a lockable zipper with a 3 number code. There is also a hidden pocket on the back to hide your valuables and reduce the chance of slashing.
Padded shoulder straps make carrying the bag comfortable for longer travels. It even has a trolley sleeve for when you're strolling down the airport. It's also equipped with anti-theft RFID fraud protection.
The Lifepack Solar Powered Smart Backpack was built with the digital nomad in mind. It is designed to maximize productivity, which of course includes staying connected and charged.
The solar power system powers up their proprietary Solar Bank: a 3-in-1 Powerbank, Bluetooth Speaker, and Solar Charger. The solar bank stores 6 smartphone charges and regenerates 1 extra charge for every 4 hours of sun. It comes with an external USB charging port so you can charge your devices on the go.
Organization is also quite smart and discreet. Aside from dedicated laptop and tablet compartments, it has four hidden compartments for you to hide valuable items. It also comes with a retractable, 3-number combination lock with cable. You can simply keep the bag locked, or attach it to an unmoving item so you can be free to go to the restroom.
Unfortunately, the safety features a little faulty. You cannot remove the solar panel unless you don't mind a gaping hole in the front of your bag where a hand easily fits in. A bit of force will cause the zippers to break, so make sure your toilet breaks are quick.
The Kopack Laptop Backpack is ideal for the everyday commuter. The thick and tear-resistant nylon is also water repellent and durable. It can take a beating without looking too worn out. For a smart backpack under $40, you also get a lot of functionality for a fraction of the cost.
It doesn't come with a built-in or removable battery pack. Chances are you already have a powerbank anyway, so you can use your own and slip it into an inner pocket that connects to the external USB port. You can charge your device without opening your bag or having to take anything out.
It's also designed pretty well for organization. It has 12 slots and 2 side pockets, and other internal pockets for you to place everything in. There's also access to the laptop compartment at the back so you don't have to expose all your stuff when taking your laptop out.
This back access has anti-theft features with a lockable zipper closure for extra safety. The dual-layer zipper enclosure also helps keep thieves out of your bag, making for a great laptop backpack if you ask me.
The Best Smart Backpack for You
Daily commuters who don't need too much powerups ought to get the Kopack Laptop Backpack. While it doesn't come with its own battery pack, it's very sturdy and has excellent safety features. Avoid the wear and tear and just plug in the battery pack that has enough charge for your needs.
If you'll be walking around for the most part of the day will do best with the Lifepack Solar Powered Backpack. It's pretty to look at and has enough juice to power you through the day. If you're under the sun all the time, you'll virtually be connected the whole time. It's a great day pack for day tours and city strolling.
The HP Powerup Backpack is best for busy bees, or businessmen and women. Its style can take you from the office to the pub, and its massive battery capacity will last you throughout the day. Maybe even two days. No need for a solar pack, just plug the battery pack when you're at work and you're good.
Smart backpacks are convenient innovations to the standard backpack, that's for sure. But, bear in mind that it's designed specifically for heavy gadget users and is not necessarily for you. If you're not too "techie", it might be best to find something that would suit your travel style instead like some of these daypacks for travelers, or more hiking style North Face backpack .
What to look for in a pack
Backpacks come in different materials. Some are water-resistant, some are not. Some are more capable of managing overheating gadgets as well. Look for sturdy materials that will help protect your gadgets even with a lot of movement.
It's easy to assume that every smart backpack comes with everything you need to keep your gadgets charged. They don't. Make sure you know what's included with the bag, and more importantly, what is not (like the powerbank itself).
Is it solar-powered? Do you have to plug it in? If you're not spending too much time outdoors, there's little need for a solar panel backpack. Also make sure the battery pack has enough juice to power your gadgets for as long as you will be away from a power source. Running out of juice on the go is a horrible situation to be in!