Voltaic Solar Bags Power Up For Laptops

The solar bag company Voltaic – whose gadget-powering bags we detailed last year – has stepped up its game, and is now offering a couple of new products the deliver enough juice to charge laptops. The Array Solar Backpack and the Fuse Solar Laptop Charger are identical as far as their solar power components go, but the Array comes with a backpack, for which you pay an extra $50, bringing the price to $389, while the Fuse is outfitted to attach to a wide range of stuff.

The power source for these devices consists of three 3.4-watt solar panels, said to be waterproof, lightweight and “built to withstand abuse.” Peak output is 10 watts at 6 or 18 volts, depending on charging application. Voltaic says that one hour of direct sunlight will keep your laptop running for a half hour. The system can be used to charge smaller devices, too, of course, and it’s spec’d to fully charge a cell phone with an hour and a half of sunlight.

solar backpack laptop charger, Voltaic

image via Voltaic

The backpack that comes with the Array (above) includes 1,500 cubic inches of storage space, with a padded laptop sleeve, integrated phone pouch and “plenty of other pockets.” The solar pocket is also removable, so you can be attach it to other bags if you’d like. It also comes with a universal laptop battery with 60 watt-hours of capacity.

Fuse Solar Charger, Voltaic

image via Voltaic

The $339 Fuse (immediately above), meanwhile, is  designed to attach onto technical backpacks, panniers and almost anything else using what Voltaic calls a “flexible buckle and strap attachment system.” Its power specs are identical to those of the Array, and it also comes with the battery.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.