Lets face it, we’re hooked on electronics. In this day and age, who wants to leave the house without their beloved cell phone, iPod, e-reader or Tablet? It’s worse then having a battery die on you. That is where the Capsoul Solar Powered Back Pack by Neon Green comes into play. As long as you’re outside in the sun, you don’t need to worry about your electronics dying on you. The Capsoul Backpack has a detachable solar panel that can be used as a carrying bag itself; it even has pockets for all of your go-to gadgets.
The Neon Green Capsoul is a relatively large backpack with one large pocket. This pocket includes a padded laptop compartment. There are two expandable side pockets great for drinks and anything you want to stuff in the side on the go. There are two easy-to-access top pockets great for sunglasses and pocket-sized items. On the back of the backpack is a security pocket for hiding your valuables. As long as you’re wearing the backpack you can be sure your items are safe in this pocket. The front of the backpack has four clips that integrate the solar panel to the backpack. When the solar panel is detached, one more pocket is exposed and two sets of grips and straps, ideal for attaching a snowboard, skis, etc.
The solar panel is capable of becoming a backpack or bag of its own. It comes with two straps, which attach to the clips that would otherwise be used to attach the panel to the backpack. There are two pockets on the back of the solar panel, one large iPad sized pocket and a smaller pocket. The larger pocket has an inner pocket and organizer ideal for electronics. It’s just large enough to fit an iPad with a case on. The top (smaller) pocket of the solar panel has a mini-USB cable that runs into the “piggy bank” battery. The piggy bank battery has one input and one output. The input is mini-USB (for charging the battery), and the output is regular USB (for charging any USB device). There are four LEDs on the battery which alert you to charging status and battery capacity. Should you choose, you can remove the piggy bank from the Capsoul and pocket it as a backup battery for any USB devices. It’s only the size of a few stacked credit cards.
The piggy bank battery is a lithium ion battery with a 1200 mAh capacity. A fully charged piggy bank will charge an iPhone 4 from 0% to about 60%. It will only charge the iPad about 10%, even though a message pops up on iPad stating the battery is not a sufficient power source. The piggy bank battery is capable of being charged while it charges a device. You can also charge the piggy bank by plugging it into a USB power adapter via the mini-USB charger. Depending on sunlight conditions, it will likely take over 8 hours to fully charge the piggy bank battery. With a completely dead iPhone and a completely dead piggy bank it could take up to two hours of direct sunlight to get iPhone to turn on.
The Neon Green Capsoul back pack is good for camping, though experienced campers may not find it ideal. The backpack uses gaudy signature zippers rather than using more functional zippers. The material is also on the thin side and doesn’t feel extremely durable. The straps are quite comfortable, but for a camping backpack that will be full and heavy, the straps could be larger.
All-in-all Neon Green’s Capsoul backpack is a great backpack for everyday use and urban style camping. It’s convenient that the solar panel can be removed, and even used as a standalone carrying bag. While the solar charger takes longer to fill the piggy bank power pack then we had hoped, it still is a handy feature to have. The included piggy bank power pack can be charged from any computer and can be used as a portable charger. Unfortunately, at $189, the Capsoul backpack is quite expensive, even for everything it offers.
The Good: Nice looking, Good Pockets, Detachable Solar Panel Bag, Included Portable Battery, Available in Different Colors and Designs, Comfortable, Can Charge Piggy Bank with Computer or USB Adapter
The Bad: Can Take 8+ Hours in Direct Sunlight to Fill Power Bank, Zippers Aren’t Practical for Camping, Backpack Material is Thin, Fully Charged Piggy Bank Will Not Completely Charge iPhone