When it comes to traveling or being constantly on the go, one problem we constantly face is keeping our gadgets charged. When I attend a conference, I often have a few devices on me, including an iPad, my mobile phone (often 2 or 3) and even an iPod. Since I’m constantly using the phone to call, take photos, shoot video and the iPad to do every-day computing, these devices’ batteries drain early and often.
I’ve carried around battery packs before such as the Zagg Sparq 2.0, which has a monster battery and two USB ports for charging more than one device at a time. However a new product popped on the market that got me very interested: a nice looking backpack that will not only carry everything, but charge multiple devices simultaneously with an integrated battery system.
The Powerbag Deluxe Packpack looks like a mainstream backpack. The black bag has numerous pockets and a nice padded strap with suspension for added comfort. What sets this backpack a part is this nice slide-in pocket for up to a 16″ laptop and lots of small pockets for pens, notebooks and other accessories you need while traveling about.
However, the star of this show is the removable and surprisingly lightweight recharable 6,000 mAh battery on board. This honking battery can charge a smartphone such an iPhone up to 4 times. Also, Powerbag has included 4 connectors to the battery, including one specifically for Apple devices such as an iPhone, iPod Touch a mini-USB connector and a micro-USB connector. It’s possible to charge multiple devices at one time, including an iPhone and an Android device. There’s a USB port custom designed for high-capacity devices such as an iPad or other tablet.
There’s a one-touch battery level indicator and a weather-resistant AC adapter charging port on the side, meaning you actually plug the backpack into the wall to recharge.
Use and Capabilities
To give this bag a real-world trial, i used it over the last week. I am constantly on the go and with me I routinely carry a bunch of devices including my 15″ MacBookPro, an iPod Touch, an iPad, my mobile phone and sometimes a BlackBerry Playbook.
The Powerbag Deluxe Backpack, by itself, is stylish and surprisingly light. I had a premonition that the battery pack would make this a heavy bag, but the company has managed to avoid this completely. When I loaded the bag with my gear, it was comfortable to wear and looked good too. I like that this bag is an unassuming black backpack, which is perfect for travel as to not call attention to itself and prospective thieves.
The power connectors on the bag are located in a nice little side pocket where you’d expect them to be. There are three connectors in that side pocket, one for an Apple device and one micro-USB and one mini-USB. Tablets (such as an iPad) go in a separate pocket in the front, which is a very nice touch.
To test out charging capability, I first hooked up my mobile phone and found it’s charging rate to be very similar to having it plugged into the wall, based on the battery level indicator on the phone. Even when I simultaneously plugged in my iPod Touch, both devices charged at a very acceptible rate.
When I then added to the stress test by plugging in an iPad, the charge ratees descresed and chages took considerably longer, which is to be expected. I would say it’s best to charge just two devices such as a phone and iPod or two phones. Adding an iPad or other tablet is just too much on the PowerVine system on the backpack.
The backpack itself is very easy to use. I love the LED-indicator on the front of the pack that shows current battery level. With one look, I can see how much juice I have left throughout the day. The power connector for the backpack is weather-resistant and withstood some Oregon Autumn rain this weekend, which goes along way in my climate.
The battery, at 6000 mAh, is plenty strong to power your device array throughout an entire day. There’s another model, called the Messenger, from Powerbag that only has a 3,000 mAh capability, which I don’t think would be good for heavy all-day use.
The Powerbag Deluxe Backpack is an amazing functional backpack that gives me a much-needed advantage when traveling: constant power for my power-hungry devices. It’s nice to not have to think about finding an outlet while I’m traveling about.
The Powerbag Deluxe Backpack is available for about $120 on Amazon.com. If you travel with devices in tow, this high-quality bag is worth the price and should be at the top of your list if you’re on the hunt for a bag. Powerbag offers a variety of bags including a larger backpack (for business travelers), messenger bags and more. See their site for more details.