Powerkeep Wanderer Backpack by Energizier REVIEW Harness Solar Power For Your Adventures

Wanderer Backpack

The Wanderer Backpack is a three-part kit, composed of a 30L backpack, an Ascent Solar Panel and a PK10K battery (10,000 mAh LiPo). When combined, the product weighed 3.5 lb (1569 g) and measured 19 5/16 inches tall by 13 7/16 inches wide by 7 1/8 inches thick. Removing the 6.2-ounce solar panel and sleeve and the 8.6-ounce PK10K battery, you will be left with a nearly 2.5-pound backpack. I was excited to find that the features of the backpack were able to stand toe-to-toe with the technology. The generous shoulder straps start at 3 inches wide, at the upper attachment point, measure 2 3/4 inches at the middle and 2 1/2 inches at the lower strap insertion point. The right shoulder strap assumes a slight “S” shape, and the left an inverse “S” shape. The curve extends inward towards your chest and then outward again near the base. Along the bottom of each shoulder pad, you will find a 1 inches wide by 5 inches tall strip of fabric with an included sternum strap buckle. The buckle is attached to a 3/4 inch wide semi-elastic chest strap and removed a large portion of the weight from the shoulders.

Backpack Solar Panel

Whereas many solar panels are made of glass, the Energizer PowerKeep portable panels use a very flexible, lightweight material (copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS)). The technology allows for increased flexibility, portability and what I will refer to as takeability. The 13 11/16 inches tall by 6 1/2 inches wide solar panel is divided into two sections of 45 squares tall by 16 squares wide cells. The panel was incredibly flexible and felt like a laminated piece of cardstock. If you look towards the top of the device, you will find the power panel/output port labeled with the “Energizer” logo. The back of the panel has a USB-A input along one side of the panel that is covered with a rubberized cover. The solar panel was designed to slide into a nylon 7 3/4 inches wide by 14 3/8 inches tall pocket. You cannot insert this incorrectly as there was a cutout on the back of the case to accommodate the output power box. Along either side of the solar panel, PowerKeep included a 3/8 inches extension of clear plastic. Conveniently, the strips allowed the solar panel to easily slide into the outer nylon carrier. On the reverse side of the carrier, you will find a 7 11/16-inch tall by 6-inch wide dual zippered mesh pocket. The zippers open all but the lower edge of the pocket and allow for the storage of the Energizer PK10K power bank.

Energizer PK10K Powerbank

To harness the energy of the sun, PowerKeep utilized the solar cells of their panel to absorb the energy and then the PK10K rechargeable LiPo battery to store it. The 10,000 mAh battery can be charged via two methods, 5V/1–2A input from a wall outlet (7–13 hours) and from the sun (20–30 hours). Assuming 80% efficiency, you can expect 1–1.5 charges on tablets and 3+ charges on modern smartphones. I typically do not carry less than a single 10,000 mAh battery with me when I travel. I like 10,000 mAh batteries as they are typically the lowest size that will fully charge my iPad Pro 10.5″ 8134 mAh battery (again assuming 80% efficiency).

Summary

If you are looking for an ultra-lightweight backpack, this may not be the device for you. That group of people is a subset of a subset and this gear was not designed for the ultralightweight world. Rather, this is designed for the tech lover and the Average-Joe. At around 2.5 pounds and 30L, the bag is a tad on the heavy side when there are similar bags on the market for weighing roughly 8–12 ounces less and with about 10L more space. I truly enjoyed the testing/reviewing experience and the discussion I was able to have with the team while attending CES 2018 (Las Vegas, Nevada). So far, most of my reviews have lasted days to weeks. I wanted to give this review my full attention and more time/effort. Thus I have used/tested this kit since early January. The Wanderer backpack is designed for the weekend warrior, the Scout Leader, for those who like camping/hiking/bicycling and other outdoor sports. I loved that I could charge my phone, recharge the battery and charge my USB powered flashlights without having to take so many power banks and without the need to return to power.

Related

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
MacSources

MacSources

Mac Sources is an Information and Technology Company. We review all things technology-related. Our team also reports on tech news happening in the world. 