By Patrick Tuttle
on 9.26.08

Charged Up, Eco-Style

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You can’t exactly plug your iPod into the nearest tree.

Ahhh, the great outdoors. There’s nothing like the fresh air and open spaces that Mother Nature provides. The GP crew spend a lot of time outside, but as you can tell, we’re also gadget freaks and that poses a dilemma. Where do you charge your handheld devices? How about with your backpack? Voltaic Systems has designed a line of solar panel bags capable of charging your phone, MP3 player even a portable GPS unit.

I know, your skepticism is at full-clip now, but allow me to make my case.

The Voltaic Backpack produces 4 watts of solar power, charging an internal Lithium-Ion battery for use whenever you need it. Throw in 11 adaptors and a Voltage Converter and you can hook-up just about any handheld device you can think off. The new 3G iPhone included. The battery unit itself even has a built-in LED torch light (55 hours) in a pinch. No Sun…no problem. The battery is capable of being charged with both wall and car adaptors so you can start your next hike at full capacity.

Voltaic-Backpack-accessories.jpgBeyond the nifty solar panels, the bag itself is top notch and really well designed. I’d buy it even without the solar panels or battery. It includes:

  • Fully padded sleeve for up to a 17″ laptop
  • Wire channels throughout the bag for headphones, bladder tubes etc.
  • Adjustable phone / MP3 shoulder pouch
  • Removable waist strap
  • High density padding in the shoulder straps and back
  • Mesh backing material for better air flow
  • Shell uses 600D fabric made from recycled PET (soda bottles), which is tough, water resistant and light weight

Take your music and phone with you on your next adventure. The Voltaic Backpack ensures that you always have a few creature comforts. Voltaic also has a computer bag capable of charging your laptop. If you spend a lot of time on the road this may be more your style.

Cost: $250 @ Voltaic

Also See: Klinaklini River Heli-Rafting