Crosskase Solar 15: Take the power back (pack)

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.


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, and

Three ‘must have’ back to school gadgets

Dare we say it? The summer is drawing to an end and no sooner are we worrying about how to keep the kids entertained for six weeks, we are rushing around buying everything our little darlings may need to prepare them for the new academic year. Whilst the only thing our parents and their parents before them needed to fork out for in the run-up to September was a school uniform, satchel and a pencil case, parents of today are increasingly pressured into buying the latest and coolest back to school gadgets. LG checks out three gadgets to help our kids beat the back to school blues.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Liz Henry

Nike Core Medium and other high-tech school bags  

Long gone are the days when a school satchel was made from vintage leather and resembled an old donkey pannier rather than a bag for school. Modern school bags, like the Nike Core Medium, are super lightweight, super snazzy and comprise of secret compartments for all those gadgetry essentials, such as a laptop sleeve and pocket for an iPhone or iPod.

Altaz Internet Clock Radio

Trying to prize your child from their bed and get them ready for school is particularly difficult after the six week break. Why not let the Altaz Internet Clock Radio help you out? Waking up to the sound of their own music collections and checking to see if there has been any developments on Facebook since they have been asleep, is a lot more enticing than grumpily switching off a conventional alarm clock before turning round a going back to sleep.

The Smash Pad

With all that homework, revision, exams and dreadful teachers to contend with, school can be a stressful time to say the least, and it’s no wonder kids can have a tendency to get a little wound up every now and again. Why not let them channel their anger in a more manageable manner with the RageCage Smash Pad? These customizable smash pads contain a pressure sensor embedded in silicone gel that is capable of withstanding the angriest of abuse. The cheeky RageCage will even attempt to pacify its aggressor by coming out with words such as “Why are you hurting me?” – Sounds more like an anger aggravator rather than a pacifier.