I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of schlepping chargers everywhere I go. I need one for my iPhone, another for my tablet, a third for my camera, and on and on. Hassle city.
That’s why I’m head-over-heels in love with my Powerbag–which not only carries all my gear, but also recharges it. It’s pricey, but worth it. The Powerbag collection includes briefcases, backpacks, and messenger bags that can power your mobile gadgets so they’re always juiced up and ready when you get where you’re going. Ingenious, no?
Each Powerbag comes with a lightweight, discretely hidden rechargeable battery and an AC adapter (which plugs into a conveniently located, water-resistant power inlet on the side of the bag). Once the battery is charged, it can power up to four mobile devices at a time. Different bags have different batteries; some promise enough gas for “two full smartphone charges,” while others are good for four.
I tested the $169.99 Powerbag Deluxe Backpack, which includes the larger battery. Tucked neatly away in a side pocket, I found miniUSB, microUSB, and iDevice connectors, meaning the bag can charge the most common gizmos: Apple products, most Android phones and tablets, and so on. There’s also a powered USB port that lets you connect just about anything else.
The backpack looks and feels as rugged as any I’ve ever carried, and it has a quick-access side pocket for laptops (up to 15 inches) plus a dedicated padded interior pocket for tablets.
I especially like the embedded LED power gauge, which, with the press of a button, shows you how much juice the battery has left.
In an ideal world, the Powerbag would be able to recharge my laptop as well, but that would require a much bigger battery. My only other complaint with the backpack is that it lacks a side pocket for a water bottle.
Powerbag prices start at $139.99, with the wheeled briefcase topping out at $249.99. I didn’t find any particularly fantastic deals online, but Amazon has the Powerbag Backpack (the one with the smaller, 3,000mAh battery) in blue for $120.37 shipped. (The black and red versions are $129.99.)
What do you think? Would you pay that much for a bag that doubles as a mobile device charger? Or is the added cost not worth the convenience? Hit the comments and tell me what you think!
Self-proclaimed cheapskate Rick Broida has been a technology writer for over 20 years. He has authored over a dozen books, including, most recently, “How to Do Everything: Palm Pre.” Currently he writes the Cheapskate blog.