Is A Solar Powered Backpack Viable For Traveling?

Solar Energy is a technology with a lot of promise, but currently sports only a few practical applications. Houses and solar farms are engines for change, but are decidedly immobile. In addition, most mobile solar panels are not actually powerful enough to charge cell phones, and aren’t easily transported. As we get closer to technology, it becomes more important to find ways to charge our tools. The Solofy Envy backpack promises to do just that. The solar powered backpack is weather resistant, and outputs electricity faster than the standard iPhone charger.

Picture this scenario: you’re traveling without a car, and the most functional map you own has dropped below the dreaded twenty percent mark. The standard reaction when this occurs is to search for the nearest diner where you can order something cheap and get a dirty look, while charging your phone.

On the Kickstarter, designer, Mark Boda, includes a map of the locations where solar energy is the most viable. In equatorial regions, he claims that this backpack will allow you to go fully off the grid. He also says that the solar panels are powerful enough to charge a smartphone even on a cloudy day. Boda says that the most expensive part of making the backpack is the carbon frame, which requires a bulk order to produce. This is the second attempt to Kickstart this project. The backpack comes as a reward at the $269 pricepoint. The project has also been active for a week, and is well along the way towards completion.

However, when traveling, there are a few things that are needed from a backpack, which the Solofy Envy may not be able to provide. The first is flexibility. A bag has to be able to change its shape for its contents, especially if it ends up being filled to the brim. The second is durability. During the pitch video, Boda puts the solar powered backpack at the ocean’s edge as if to demonstrate the durable nature of the Solofy Envy. However, an unpowered backpack would be able to endure much more than little water without any damage, other than the smell of salt water. Boda, on the other hand, gently leaves the solar powered backpack right on the edge, where it gets gently splashed. He seems concerned. Without a product to test, perhaps the sun will set once again on the Solofy.