Best Solar Backpacks for Hiking and Backpacking - 2018 Buyer's Guide

  • Sep 12th 2018

A good backpack is essential if you are going backpacking or hiking. You are going to carry it with you everywhere so it has to be comfortable and lightweight. It also needs to be durable and weatherproof so it can withstand the strain of being exposed to the elements for an extended period. Another thing that can be very important to have in your backpacking or hiking gear is a solar charger. More and more have discovered the benefits of being able to charge your devices, such as mobile phone, camera, tablet, GPS, flashlight, solar lantern etc and the portable solar charger is now a pretty common piece of every hiker and backpacker's equipment.

The selection of solar backpacks has, as a result, become very large and it can be hard to know which one to buy. The solar backpacks on the market vary a lot in terms of quality and capacity. In this buyer's guide, we have looked at the best solar backpacks you can get in 2018 and we have focused on finding backpacks with features and qualities best suited for your backpacking and hiking adventures.

If you already have a good backpack you might want to invest in an external foldable solar charger and hang that on the outside of your backpack. We recommend reading this article that covers portable folding solar chargers suited for backpacking and hiking.

Quick Navigation

  1. The best solar charger backpacks in 2018
  2. Things to consider when buying a solar charger backpack
  3. Comparison table
  4. Gao Li Solar Powered Backpack
  5. Ghostek NRGcamper Hiking Backpack
  6. ECEEN Hiking Backpack
  7. XTPower Hiking Solar Backpack
  8. Conclusion

Things to consider when buying a solar charger backpack

Weight - the solar pack should be as lightweight as possible so it should be made of high-quality lightweight materials.

Appropriate Size - it is important to have a backpack that is suited to your needs, do not get one that is too large or too small. List what you want to be able to carry with you to get a feel for how many gallons you will need.

Durability and overall quality - You want the rucksack to be made of durable and weatherproof materials, you should not compromise on this point.

Solar cell capacity and output - the solar panels should be powerful enough for your needs and this is where most solar backpacks fail to deliver. Do not spend a lot of money only to be disappointed that the solar panels are too weak to charge your devices.

Built-in battery power bank - we recommend adding a power bank to your gear. This is a great way to extend the power of the sun to the nighttime or rainy days by storing it in a portable battery during the sunny hours of the day. Some solar backpack has a built-in power bank but if you already have a good power bank or battery pack this feature is of course unnecessary

Comparison Table

Gao Li Solar Powered Backpack


This solar charging backpack uses the power of the sun to keep electronic devices such as smartphones, GPS units, tablets, E-readers, Bluetooth speakers, cameras, and more powered up and ready for use. It comes with plenty of pockets & compartments for maps, documents, and essential gear. Perfect for backpacking, trekking, mountaineering, fishing or biking, it is made of high quality, rugged waterproof nylon fabric. 12 Watt made-in-the-USA solar cells, with high transfer efficiency, are built into a protective anti-scratch hardened coating & sewn into high-wear PVC fabric for weather-resistant outdoor durability. And it is a very thin film solar cells, which is just about 1mm thick; The film solar cell is very flexible, waterproof, wear-resistant, ultra-Light and ultra-Durable. Charge your device directly through a 5V USB port, equipped with the protection of a Voltage Stability Controller.

Specification

Material: 1680D, Waterproof Chinlon
Capacity: 17 gallons (65L)
Type: Softback
Power Class (W): 12W
Solar cell: Miasole
Maximum voltage: 17.8V
Maximum current: 5.6A
Dimension: 650*350*280mm
Net Weight: 4.0KG
Interface: USB ports

Pros

  • All in one solution
  • Large enough size of 17 gallons (65L)
  • Ultra light

Cons

  • No power bank built in
  • Only one USB port

Check out Gao Li Solar Powered Backpack on Amazon

Ghostek NRGcamper Hiking Backpack


This backpack truly is the all in one solution. It has 5 USB ports, a built-in power pack included and an 11 Watt removable solar panel. You can charge your devices directly from the solar panels (2 USB ports) or from the power bank (2 USB port). The Ghostek pack is sturdy and lightweight, built with premium water-resistant nylon. The design is ergonomic and has a BES system for back ventilation. You can change the straps to make it fit both short and tall alike.

This is our favorite solar charger backpack to buy in 2018 even though it is a bit pricey. If you have to buy a backpack, solar charger, and power bank separately it will quickly add up and probably be even more expensive.

Specification

Premium Water-Resistant Nylon
Built-In 16,000mAh Battery
11W Solar Panel
Intelligent Power LED Indicator
5 USB Ports Total
Dimension: 24.5 x 11 x 8 in (622 x 279 x 203 mm)
Weight: 5.9 lbs (2680 g)

Pros

  • Best all in one solution
  • Lightweight
  • Large enough size of 15.85 gallons (60L)
  • Built-in power bank
  • 5 USB ports

Cons

  • Pricey

Check out Ghostek NRGcamper Hiking Backpack on Amazon

ECEEN Hiking Backpack


ECEEN's hiking solar backpack is their largest solar pack, they offer several smaller packs more suited for things like laptops, travel or carry-on. The rucksack is still only 11 gallons or 42 Litres, which might be too small for backpacking but is an excellent size for hiking or day trips.

The smaller size might be a deal breaker for you but if it is not, we can really recommend the ECEEN Hiking Backpack since it is affordable and comes with all the features you would want. We love that it comes with both a built-in power bank and a built-in water bladder. The 10 Watt solar panel can output 1.5A which will not give you super-fast charging but in most cases, it will be enough to keep your devices topped up.

The backpack itself is lightweight and have an ergonomic fit and a ventilated back which you would expect from a modern backpack. It also has several nice extra features such as rain cover, adjustable suspension that conforms to a range of torso lengths, many hanging hooks and an integrated tube for the water bladder.

Specification

Material: 55% Nylon and 45% Poly
Capacity: 11 gallons (42L)
Type: Softback
Power Class (W): 10W
Solar cell: Monocrystalline
Maximum voltage: 5V
Maximum current: 1.5A
Dimension: 26.4*13.8*9.9 inches (65x60x30cm)
Net Weight: 4.41 pounds (2kg)
Interface: 2 x USB ports
Extra: 10 000 mAh built-in powerbank and 4.23 Pint (2L) water bladder

Pros

  • All in one solution
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Built-in battery pack
  • Built-in water bladder
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Smaller size only suited for day trips

Check out ECEEN Hiking Backpack on Amazon

XTPower Hiking Solar Backpack


This is our budget pick for best solar backpack suited for backpacking and hiking. This pack is of high quality and a great backpack, but it is too small for backpacking and is more suited for day trips or short hikes. It does also not have a built-in power bank and its solar panels are weaker than it's competitors.

That said, considering it is 3 to 4 times cheaper we think it deserves a spot on our list. This solar backpack can be ideal for you if you already have a portable power bank to take on your trips or if carrying capacity is not important to you. This pack can also be optimal for children considering its size and that it is truly ultralightweight.

Specification

Material: Nylon
Capacity: 10 gallons (38L)
Type: Softback
Power Class (W): 7W
Solar cell: Monocrystalline
Maximum voltage: 6V
Maximum current: 1.1A
Dimension: 21.3 x 8.7 x 15.4 inches
Net Weight: 1.8 pounds (0.9kg)
Interface: 1 x USB ports

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Ultralightweight

Cons

  • Smaller size
  • Less powerful
  • No built-in power bank

Check out XTPower Hiking Solar Backpack on Amazon

Conclusion

If you need both a solar charged backpack and a power bank we recommend the Ghostek NRGcamper Hiking Backpack as long as it is within your budget. The NRGcamper is the best all-in-one solution and our premium pick. You might already have a good portable battery pack? In this case we recommend the Gao Li Solar Powered Backpack which does not come with a built-in power bank but has the largest size and the best capacity solar panels. If large carrying size is not that important to you the ECEEN Hiking Backpack is perfect for hiking and day trips.