We brought the Soldius Solar Backpack to NYC for a week. It turned out to be a good decision because we had a wide range of weather during the week. A few of us carried it around and had a chance to both tried out the pack as well as a few devices.
The first couple of days were really sunny. We had no problems keep the MPX220 cell phone charged. However, by Thursday, the weather had changed and the clouds moved in. For the amount of time the Soldius backpack was out in the sun, its output was not sufficient to keep the phone charged. The phone finally ran out of juice on Friday afternoon.
The MPX220 needed an adapter, but the new Motorola RAZR phone has a mini USB socket built-in. It can be directly hooked to the Soldius pack.
The Soldius Solar backpack is a prototype. We found a lot of things we liked about this pack. There are definitely a few improvement which would make this pack much more useful. We will continue to use this pack for the next several months and update our comments.
- The backpack was able to maintain the MPX220 phone charged for 2 days, but did not work when it became cloudy on Thurs and ran out by Friday.
- VERY comfortable pack, even when fully loaded (15-20 lbs) with press material and a laptop.
- A LOT of people asked about the pack at the show. Most asked what kind of devices it could charge...cell phones and iPod were the top of the list. Some asked if multiple devices could be charged at the same time.
- Would be better if the solar panels were up higher on the pack. It didn’t seem to work as well while being worn. It worked much better when laid on a table and positioned toward the sun.
- Would also be better if the solar charger panels were removable (velcro?) for use without the pack. It would make the unit more flexible and more cost effective.
- Needs a storage battery of some kind so that charging a device is not so dependent on the sun at that moment. The phone was fully charged when we were walking around on Tuesday, but when it got cloudy on Thurs, it would have been nice if we could have tapped into a battery reserve to charge the phone.