Last week we first got wind of the upcoming Powerbag lineup, and though we’ve seen plenty of gadget-charging bags in the past, these looked to be of a higher quality. Naturally, we wanted to try out one of the bags for ourselves—and we came away fairly impressed.
Here’s a quick recap of the official features:
- Powerbag comes charged and ready to go!
- Connect up to four (4) mobile devices at a time using the included pre-routed connectors (1 micro, 1 mini, 1 Apple) and one USB port inside every Powerbag; keep devices connected or plug-in when you need more power.
- The exclusive Powerbag Charging System will automatically detect the connected devices in the bag and send the right amount of power to optimally charge each one.
- To recharge Powerbag, plug into any standard wall outlet with the included AC Adapter. Powerbag comes with a built-in, lightweight, rechargeable and removable battery to get you through your day (available with a 3000 mAh or 6000 mAh battery based on model).
- When plugged in, Powerbag will charge all connected devices first and then charge its own battery.
We tested the standard Powerbag backpack and noticed right off the bat that the bag looked great and was put together well. It’s durable, water-resistant (unless you go swimming with it or something) and fairly comfortable to wear—with the exception of the handle located between the straps. As a broad-shouldered guy, the handle dug into my back a little.
Our Powerbag has a removable 3000 mAh battery with Apple, Micro-USB and Mini-USB connectors and a USB port—so it can charge pretty much any mobile gadget. You can even plug in four devices at once using these connectors if necessary.
The power level of the bag can be determined by pressing a button on the front of the backpack and an LED indicator helps you visualize how much juice you have left. Holding the button down initiates charging to your devices, which we found to be very convenient.
Overall, the Powerbag did an admirable job of charging our gadgets. A charge from 20% on an iPhone 4 was fairly quick using the Apple connector located in the side pouch, but you also have the benefit of USB 2.1A output compatibility in the USB port—so you can charge devices like the iPad and the iPhone even faster.
The 3000 mAh battery in our bag reportedly has enough juice to power up an average smartphone two times over, which seemed pretty accurate in our tests. Higher-end Powerbags step-up your charging power with 6000 mAh battery.
In our opinion, the standard Powerbag backpack had enough pockets to handle most light transport duties. There’s a rear compartment for a 14-inch laptop, a main compartment for books and other extras, and front compartment with loads of pockets for a tablet, cellphone, wallet and more. There’s also a smaller side compartment with the afformentioned Apple, Micro-USB and Mini-USB connectors.
Keep in mind that the tablet compartment appears to be designed for an iPad, so it may not fit your Android tablet as snugly. There might also be an issue fitting an iPad in there with certain cases. Furthermore, padding for your gadgets is acceptable, but I wouldn’t expect it to hold up to a serious blow.
The bottom line is that the Powerbag is a convenient way to charge your gadgets on the go. It isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly better than carrying around mini chargers, hunting for outlets or using your car battery. Plus, Powerbag makes a damn fine looking product (additional colors are available). Just be prepared to spend a little extra cash as Powerbags run from $139.99 to $169.99 (or $249.99 if you get the briefcase version).
Check out more at MyPowerBag.com.