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Ultimateaddons Solar Backpack 50 Litre 2200mAh 25th August 2007

Reviewed by Darren Griffin

 

Solar Panel Close-UpIntroduction

Although we have had precious little sunshine so far this summer, this Solar Backpack from GPSForLess is still a useful thing to have. Put simply it is a 50 litre rucksack/backpack (is there a difference?) with a built-in solar panel.

 

The solar panel connects via an internal mini-USB lead to the supplied 200mAh Li-Ion battery pack which is stowed in its own pocket. The battery pack has a standard USB output socket into which you can connect any manner of USB leads to charge your device, such as mobile phones, PDA's, handheld games consoles, BT GPS units, PND's etc. If you can charge a device from USB then you can charge it from this rucksack.

 

The supplied battery pack can be removed for use elsewhere and can also be recharged using the supplied UK 3-PIN USB charger or 12v Cigarette lighter charger. Both of these have USB sockets so if you could also charge a device direct from the car or mains supply without having to lug around separate chargers for every device.

 

A nice little touch is an LED flashlight built-into the battery pack, always useful when camping. The backpack is suitable for everyone from hill walkers, bikers, campers, marine use etc etc the list is never ending.

 

I succeeded in charging the battery from flat using the solar panel in a little under 7 hours and this was on an overcast day. I took it along to Corfu on our summer break earlier this month and in the blistering sunshine there it would charge in 5 hours. It's also useful to know that you can connect a device to the battery and have it charge whilst the battery pack is being topped up by the sun.

 

Backpack LeftBackpack centreBackpack right

 

Features

  • The solar panels are waterproof, scratch resistant, and UV resistant and use a high efficiency monocrystalline cell.
  • 2200mAh battery to store your solar power
  • USB output (use your own cable or connectors supplied)
  • Side expansion pockets for extra room when necessary
  • Air mesh body contact points to keep you cool and dry
  • Waist and chest strap for extra support
  • One main compartment with extra pockets
  • Access to main compartment from top and bottom
  • Extra straps for sleeping bag
  • Multiple pockets for ease of access
  • 600 D Polyester
  • 50 Litre
  • Dimensions 32 x 55 x 23cm

 

Battery SpecificationBackpack main


Output Voltage: DC 5V
Battery Capacity: 3.7V 2200m
Output Current: 750 mA
Charge Time: Solar 5-6 hrs AC/DC 3-3.5 hrs
Charge Display: Charging=Red, Charged=Green
Battery Type: Li-Ion
Weight: 70g
Dimensions: 83 x 35 x 22mm


Solar Panel Specification

The one panels operate independently to generate up to 2.70 watts of power. This is enough to charge most portable consumer electronics (other than laptop computers). See typical charging times listed below.

 

The substrate is an aluminium / plastic composite, specifically designed to be strong and lightweight.

Panel Dimensions 140mm x 95mm
Weight 4 ounces 120grams
Substrate Type 1.2mm Hard PCD
Substrate Colour Green
Cell Type Monocrystalline / Polycrystalline
Cell Efficiency 15.50%
Open Circuit Voltage 7.20 V
Peak Voltage * 6.00 V
Peak Current * 450 mAh
Peak Watt 2.0 W

Approximate Charging Times

In Direct Sunlight a Mobile Phone would take 1.5hrs to charge


Adapters/Chargers
The backpack includes a set of Standard Adaptors and Chargers. This includes a car charger and a lightweight AC travel charger (110/240V 850mA) which means you have the option of charging your devices directly from the car cigarette socket or mains.

 

If you don't have a car or USB charger for your device, or don't want to carry the extra wires then also supplied are a selection of adaptor plugs for popular mobile phones from Motorola, Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson and Samsung:

 

Motorola EricssonNokiaSamsungSiemens

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

I like it! I use a lot of technology and am forever having to search for the adapters I need for a trip. With the backpack I keep all the USB leads I need for my phone, PSP, BT GPS etc in the pocket with the mains adapter and 12v cigarette lighter plug. I also keep the battery pack charged ready for use. At £a shade under £60.00 (excuse the pun - shade, no shortage of that at the moment!) it's good value for money, the battery charger and cables alone would be worth £20.00, add on the cost of the solar cell and the back pack itself and it's a bargain.

 

When I'm on the road and need a top up I have all I need in the backpack. All we need now is for Summer to arrive!

 

GPSFORLESS

References

Suppliers Web site http://www.gpsforless.co.uk
Pocket GPS Contributor Darren Griffin

 

 

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