Over the past month, I’ve been carrying around a Powerbag backpack from ful. The idea is pretty straight-forward. They put a 3000 mA battery inside a backpack complete with adapters for just about any device you’d ever want to charge. On heavy usage days, I have a mobile charge with me at all times. Instead of taking out all of my devices when I get home, I just plug in the bag.
Read on for the full review…
Sure you could just buy a $42 5000mA USB Battery and pop it in your regular backpack and you’d get some of the same functionality (guilty!) as the Powerbag. But in this Powerbag, it is all integrated. Nothing to lose and everything is organized.
The battery sits in the front pocket and can be removed and charged externally, though I’m not sure why you’d want to (it is light enough not to notice when carrying around). Then, adapters run into a side pocket where you can fit small stuff like an iPhone or camera. In the main compartment, there is a 2.1A USB port for quick charging tablets or bigger devices like an iPad or Kindle.
“Powerbag sources the highest quality cells and parts for the batteries,” a ful spokesman told us “Our batteries are all rigorously and thoroughly tested, enduring the most abusive of treatment, still upholding Powerbag’s high standard of safety.”
The backpack comes with a 3000 mAh battery, with additional batteries (6000 mAh, 9000 mAh) available for purchase separately. I found the standard battery was able to charge up an iPhone 4 about twice or adds 5 hours of use to an iPad (about half a charge). It also has a powerful 2.1A internal USB adapter for quick charging the iPad vs. the slow charge you get from most USB batteries. What’s probably the best part of this bag is that you can just leave your devices (up to 4) in your bag when you get home and just plug in the bag. That saves some hassles.
Also, it can charge up to 4 devices at a time. So, you can charge an iPhone and an iPad at the same time and still have two ports for a camera, bluetooth headphones, an iPod, a Bluetooth keyboard or anything else that can charge via USB.
It isn’t just a power plant, either. The Powerbag is also a well built, incredibly well designed backpack with lots of internal pockets (more external would have been helpful) which rides on your back very comfortably. The bottom is ruggedized, there is a front external pocket on the strap and there is lots of cargo space to go around. The material is strong, the sticking is industrial and the zippers are high quality.
This thing is great all around but there are some things that could be added/improved upon. Here’are some suggestions for v 2.0:
- Solar! Obviously you aren’t going to fill up a 3000mA battery in a day but it would be nice while camping (or in a pinch) to have an extra source of energy. Bonus for a crank charger.
- It doesn’t exist yet, but a version that could charge a MacBook Air would be awesome. The 9000mA battery could certainly help – otherwise check out hypershop.
- The system isn’t as user friendly as I’d like. It would be nice to get auto-charging without having to hold down the button for 2 seconds on the front. There have been a few times that I forgot to push the button and my devices lost charge. It hasn’t happened yet but I could see the button being pushed by mistake and draining the battery as well/
- Car/Plane lighter type adapter would be nice in the base package.
Ful has provided us with a 15% off discount code POWERBAG95 good on their site: http://www.mypowerbag.com/
- Review: A laptop bag that can charge gadgets (cnn.com)
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- PowerBags to the Rescue (geardiary.com)
- Win a PowerBag Backpack from GadgetReview (contest) (gadgetreview.com)
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