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If you’re a ‘green’ geek and fancy eco-friendly, solar charger gadgets like me, you’ll want to check out the Infinit solar charger backpack. Have been sent one of these for a review recently, it was perfect timing as the UK had finally began to show some signs of sunny, hot weather. Keep reading and see whether we managed to generate any energy for our gadgets during this time!
First impressions of the Infinit solar charger backpack is that it has lots and lots of compartments (small or large). It may not be the largest backpack you’ve ever had but it would certainly be the one with the most compartments and this isn’t a bad thing at all. When you look at the bag, it looks sporty, but you’re also quickly identified as an environment-cautious geek (or just a nerd) because of the very obvious large solar panel.
However, when you open it up, you’ll find that it should be more regarded as a 15″ laptop bag or a gadgets bag. Its got room for your laptop, your tablet, your portable media player / mp3 player, your cables and all the nitty gritty – making it extremely practical.
While it may be a pretty geeky product, Infinit’s choice of material for the solar bag has been excellent, we would not hesitate to say that the bag itself feels as strong and sturdy as one from Karrimor or Mountain Hardwear. The claimed capacity for the solar bag is 25 litres and weight is approximately three pounds.
As you can see in the images above, there are allocated compartments and pockets for the solar bag’s battery and also USB cable for connecting the solar panel to the battery. In reply to a reader’s question, the solar panel is not meant to be removable, though this is obviously possible if necessary.
Overall, the design of the solar bag from Infinit impressed us all, very practical and well thought out, we felt every bit of its design could come to good use and highly suited for those who often carries a few gadgets with them when going out, the solar charger bag makes everything easily accessible.
The one and most attractive feature of the Infinit solar charger bag is the ability for it to use that 2.4w photovoltaic solar panel to generate endless power for other gadgets. Before telling you more about how well the charger and battery performs, lets show you what you’ll get from the bag.
You’ll get a wall charger, cables for connecting the rechargeable battery and also plenty of adapters for mobile phones and devices, etc… For obvious reasons, there isn’t an adapter for the iPhone or the iPod Touch, but all you need to do is plug in your white cable.
We were sent two batteries, the one above is a 2000 mAh lithium ion battery while the newer one below is the 2200 mAh version (retailing at £14.99 when bought on its own) and will be the one likely to come with your solar charger bag should you choose to purchase from Infinit.
The big question everyone will want an answer to is, does it actually work? And we must say, it does, though regretedly there are limitations. When it came to charging the battery, we hung our bag by the window non-stop for four days so that it could have all the opportunity it needed to charge up fully. However, the red light (indicating active charging) never switched off. The claimed charging time for the bag in sunny conditions is up to six hours while that of natural light is up to ten hours. Unfortunately, we never managed to achieve a complete charge. Here is also where a debate between our reviewers come in, some of us thought that in fact it had fully charged but just that the red light didn’t go off (due to poor design or malfunction?). This is partly supported by the fact that the battery had indeed indicated a full charge when plugged into an iPhone after charging for four days. Or did we simply need even better weather?
Luckily, a good way to guarantee that you’ll have power for your gadgets with the Infinit battery even when the weather is poor is to charge the battery via USB or the mains wall charger. When we tried this, it took approximately two hours and this time, the charging light on the battery does switch off when complete. Its worth pointing out also that the charging light on the battery does not switch on when charging via the solar panel. To charge an iPhone from 0% to 100% consumed approximately 50% of the battery and took place over 90 minutes.
The Infinit solar charger bag was certainly a very exciting gadget to test out, maybe we’re just greedy but we always felt solar panels were an excellent opportunistic method of harvesting widely available free energy for charging devices. We felt that the Infinit solar charger bag partly achieved what it was made to do, however it was let down by minor faults to its detail making it less user friendly. We have highlighted that even if you don’t get enough solar power, you can always use USB / mains to fully charge the battery as a way of emergency power backup – though this method is against everything you desired to do in the first place! The bottom line is, the Infinit solar charger bag does work, while it may still come across as abit ‘premature’ in its technology, it is relatively affordable compared to similar products.
Well designed compartments making it both sporty and geeky
High quality material, comparable to many top brands
Offers the prospect of charging gadgets, devices absolutely free and in an eco-friendly manner
Comes with the entire ‘kit’, you’ll definitely find the adapter you need included in the package
Not as user friendly as one might expect (ie confusing charging indicator)
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