Crosskase Solar 15: Take the power back (pack)

By Naomi Mackay,

We sometimes have a little snigger to ourselves when we read about solar gadgets – usually because we look outside the window and see that it’s raining again – but as the sun is shining as I write this, let me introduce you to the Crosskase Solar 15 Backpack.

Crosskase-Solar-

If you’re planning on doing a bit of travelling this summer – or indeed take your gadgets with you when commuting – the backpack might be worth a look.

Imagine if you’re lost 10,000 feet high on a snow-capped mountain and need help but your phone has no battery and your GPS has died. Plug either of them into the Solar 15 and you’ll have the power to make that emergency call or find directions and be safe and sound in no time.

Or for the slightly less-adventurous, how about you’ve mislaid your mates at a festival and the battery’s died on your phone. Plug it into the backpack and you can call them while still enjoying your favourite band.

Looks-wise, the Solar 15 looks like your average laptop-carrying backpack, but on the front of the bag is a 3-Watt solar panel that soaks up natural light and then stores the energy it has grabbed on an internal battery. That battery is capable of charging most handheld devices, such as music players, phones and pocket games consoles.

It takes eight hours to fully charge the battery from solar power, three hours from mains power and four hours from a USB connection. The battery holds enough power to charge most devices twice over.

The makers claim it takes two hours to fully charge devices such as the iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy, iPod nano 6G, BlackBerry Curve and Nokia N95.

In case you’re thinking that a solar backpack is no use in rainy old Blighty, the makers tell us it doesn’t need strong sunlight to work because it also trickle charges in standard daylight or artificial light and, they have thoughtfully added splashproof material and paneling, so it even works in the rain!

Nine adapter fittings include micro USB, mini uSB, Apple, Samsung, Nokia and TomTom – other devices can be connected using the USB 2.0 lead.

The backpack itself is made from 1680D Ballistic Nylon, has a 25-litre capacity, and pockets for holding laptops and iPad/iPod. A rain cover can be pulled out for extra protection.

The backpack costs £139.99 from www.crosskase.com, amazon.co.uk and store.apple.com/uk