97 of 103 people found the following review helpful
Summary: A very heavy duty backpack / book bag targeted to students, with much left to be desired in integration of the battery pack - the sum of parts is less than the whole.
I went on a week long vacation in Jamaica recently and after returning was going to be a lot more critical of this backpack / battery combo, but then after some thinking, concluded that I'm probably not the target customer. The person who would benefit most from this combination is using the backpack to lug their books and stuff to class or work on a daily basis.
The hook is that they've built in a 3000 mAH battery with cables to charge any portable devices to give you some extra life for phone calls when riding home on the train or sitting in a Starbucks flipping through your iPad. If you're getting on a long flight, this isn't going to do much at all for you. The external charge port means you plug in your backpack, rather than having to plug in a device and remember to put it in your backpack.
So what's my beef?
1) Far more of a cool looking consumer backpack than something functional. Adjustable sternum strap is nice, but they prioritized this over a hip strap? Mesh shoulder straps nice but the back part does NOT have mesh - which means it really isn't going to be very comfortable for carrying for long at all. As a student daypack for books, that's fine, but I'd also want to be able to take it on a short hike now and then. Lots of padding and stiching which does nothing but make the bag heavier and bulkier.
2) Padded laptop compartment...isn't padded on the sides. They designed a really cool pocket for a laptop but the padding is ONLY on the large flat sides of the laptop, not on the sides and bottom where you really need it. FAIL.
3) Proprietary battery - replacement / upgrade battery inserts cost several times more than compete external battery packs from other makers. Did Sony make this backpack?
4) There's a really nice slot for a tablet, but forget about charging it with the supplied cords - they're too short and tied to the charging slot on the side - you'll have to bring your own cord.
5) 3000 mAH is good for phones, MP3 players and the like, useless for tablets. (Also see complaint #4.)
6) Charger doesn't deliver. Plugging in my HP Touchpad I went from only 12% to 23% charge. Had it been able to deliver it's full 3000 mAH of electron goodness, it should have gone to 62%. BTW, this is less than the charge I was able to get from the 1000 mAH Belkin Portable Power Pack 1000 - for Tablet, Smartphone, and more
7) Charging lights barely very visible. In the video you can very clearly see the blue status lights, however on mine, the white status lights shining through the heavy black nylon are *just* visible in side, and basically invisible outdoors.
To recap - the backpack itself has some cool features but overall lacks the capability of offerings from companies like Case Logic, Jansport, Deuter,, etc. The battery pack performance is lacking and integration has limitations. I'd recommend getting a good backpack and separate battery pack.
Here are a few battery packs - if you're just charging a phone, 2000-3000 mAH is fine, for a tablet, 5000-7000 is better.
Lenmar PPW66 PowerPort Wave 6600 - Portable Battery and Charger for iPad/Tablets, Smartphones, and Other Devices
New Trent ifuel IMP500 5000mAh External Battery pack and Charger for Apple iPhone 4S 4 3Gs 3G (AT&T and verizon), iPod Touch (1G 2G 3G 4G 5G), Motorola Droid, HTC Android EVO, Blackberry, Samsung EPIC, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Samsung Galaxy S and much more
PowerGen External Battery Pack 5200mAh High Capacity Power Bank Charger 1A output for Apple iPad 2, iPhone 4 4s 3Gs 3G, iPod Touch / Samsung Galaxy S S2 S II, Galaxy Nexus, Epic 4G / Blackberry Torch Bold Curve / HTC Sensation 4G, XE, XL, Thunderbolt, E...
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
When this arrived I was immediately impressed with how solidly constructed it is, with thick stitching and generous use of materials. Arm pads are well padded and a one hand carry handle is also present.
The bag has 2 main pockets, one of which should accommodate any laptop (my 15 inch Macbook Pro fits easily) The other compartment has a zippered pouch which includes the removable rechargeable battery and pockets to hold an iPhone or iPod as well as a larger pocket for an iPad with a velcro closure with a hole in it to allow hookup for charging in the pocket. An iPad fits very snugly in the pocket - any case on the iPad must be removed first. Also included are a couple pockets for pens and some small pockets which could accommodate credit cards. Any devices charged within the pack need to be hooked up to the USB port on the battery assembly with cables which you supply. There is also an outer pocket with the charging cables already run to it which can be used to charge an iPhone or other cell phone in the outer pocket. Included are Apple 30 pin, micro USB, and mini USB cables.
The battery itself is marked 7.4 V / 11.1 Wh (which I had assumed meant 11.1 watt-hours but I may be wrong on that) and can be removed and charged via the included charger or charged in place via the covered port on the back of the pack. That included charger is well designed with a flip out wall plug and case design to allow the cable to be wound around the unit. This is a very Apple-like touch which avoids messy loose cables.
The button on the back of the pack can be pressed momentarily to check charge state of the battery and must be pressed for 2 full seconds to start charging a device. Battery state is indicated by a series of LEDs which illuminate through the backpack material and when they are off are invisible.
Overall, I am very impressed with this backpack and would recommend it.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
With so many portable devices that we have needing to be re-charged, FUL came up with the idea of the Powerbag Back Pack, which combines a computer back pack with a removable/swappable built-in battery.
There is a regular USB 2.0 socket on the charger, located inside the front compartment, as well as three kinds of cables (micro USB, mini USB, and Apple 30-pin) that are pre-wired inside a zippered, small side pocket. The cables are not very long, probably designed that way to minimize entanglement. They are for charging small USB devices like cellphones, iPods, and MP3 players. The pocket is designed to hold them while they are being charged.
For larger devices like the Apple iPad or Amazon Kindle Fire, you should use the USB port and the appropriate, self-provided cable to charge them.
A proprietary 3000 mAh capacity rechargeable battery is provided with the Powerbag Back Pack. You can order additional batteries (@$40) at the maker's website (wwwdotpowerbagdotcom). There are also 6000 mAh ($50) and 9000 mAh ($60) batteries available. The battery can output a maximum current of 2.8 Amps, so you can charge an iPad which requires 2.1 Amps and another USB device at the same time. Theoretically, you can charge up to four devices at the same time, but charging time will be longer, because the charging current is shared by the devices.
What makes this bag special is the LED charging and battery state indicator embedded inside the fabric of the bag, and the battery power inlet on the bag that allows you to charge the built-in battery without taking the battery out of the bag. You can see what these look like by clicking customer pictures.
To begin charging a device, you first connect the devices to the appropriate cable, then press the power button on the front of the Powerbag for 2 seconds, until the LED's light up to indicate both the battery state and to commence charging. Pressing the power button again would turn off the charging process.
Of course you can also buy a USB battery charger and put it in a back pack to achieve the same function. What Powerbag does is giving you a more integrated and MUCH more convenient package. I also like the availability of additional and higher capacity battery packs that can extend the time I am away from AC power.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is mostly cool because of the battery pack in this backpack, but it's also a high quality backpack. I liked that you can't tell from the outside that it's a "Powerbag"
I wish that I had something like this in high school, because I would have been the coolest geeky kid around. It has a micro USB, mini USB, and iPhone jack. It also has a USB port, so you can bring your own cable, so it can charge practically anything. It delivered for me of being able to do two full device charges.
This is a must for camping, or any other activity where you might be without power, or stuck with a bunch of electronic devices that you forgot your power cables for. For me, I always forget to bring a mini USB connector, so my older devices lose power after the first day. But, bringing this bag along is a great insurance policy.
You have to press a power button to start charging, and you have to long press it for about three seconds. And, there are no lights to remind you that the device is on, so getting used to it can be a little confusing. For a simple device like this, I didn't think I needed to read the instructions, but I did.
It comes with the 3000mAh Battery, which is very light, and charges two devices, and is easily replaceable, and Powerbag sells replacement batteries that are up to 9000mAh, or 6 device charges, so you really could get a bag full of these batteries, so that you could live without power for a month.
+Very high quality backpack, looks very nice
+Does two complete device charges (at least for my smaller devices)
+Power cables are completely hidden
+There's a little pocket that exposes the power cables
+The battery is easily replaceable
-It would be very difficult to remove the battery from the backpack, and it would be even more difficult to get the battery back in
-The charging lights are confusing, until you get the hang of them
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This is a great backpack, in its own right. It's quality construction and looks great. Maybe it could do with a little extra padding here or there, but for the most part, even without the battery integration, this would be a great backpack. It fits a laptop, but I think it's more suited to a tablet (since there is that battery).
The battery integration is done very well. It's easy to charge, and has been a great help with my battery eating HTC DROID INCREDIBLE 2 Android Phone (Verizon Wireless). I'm reminded of Ghostbusters where they had to carry their power packs around on their back... who would of think I needed to do that just for a little mobile phone? But that is indeed the case.
Personally, I felt the price to be high until I looked into the price of a normal backpack like Targus Drifter II Backpack for 16-Inch Laptop TSB238US (Black/Gray) and an external battery pack like PowerGen Black Mobile Juice Pack / External Battery Pack 2900mAh UltraSlim Power Bank Charger (with Built in Micro USB) for HTC Sensation 4G XE XL, EVO 3D, ThunderBolt, Inspire 4G, Sprint EVO, EVO Shift, Rezound / Motorola Arix, Triumph, Droid Razr X 3 .... It's actually quite fair, especially considering the convenience of the tight integration.
All in all, this really does stand out as a unique offering, and they did a great job!
[Update 2/6/2013] A new discovery about the bag: it also has a spot for you to plug in a USB cord if you have something exotic for which they don't have a standard connector. That's been REALLY helpful recently; a great feature! [End Update]
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2012
The idea of the Powerbags is very neat, and I will agree with every positive review here on the great features of the bag, especially the integrated battery.
However, as a "rodwarrior" travelling in and out of airports all the time, I expect my backpacks to withstand "lots of torture".
All the benefits aside, this Powerbag has one very important weakness: the sides of the compartment on the back/spine of the backpack (where the laptop slides in), are just one layer of nylon providing no protection to the long-side-edges of the laptop whatsoever...Furthermore the seams between this nylon and the more robust "ballistic" nylon that cover the whole front and back facias of the backpack ripped in 2 months of use! My colleague mentioned that my laptop was protruding out the side of the bag in an airport as I was holding the backpack on one shoulder...little more and the laptop would have ripped through this tear and fallen/crashed on the terminal floor.
Until this issue is fixed, I don't even want the replacement backpack that Powerbag may be sending me. I cannot risk my equipment ripping & falling out of these bags.
Hope this helps.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2013
I LOVE this backpack. I love the look, all the little pockets, the laptop pocket in the back (which I didn't know was there until AFTER my travel). My one complaint (and it could be a biggie depending), unless you are traveling with only one electronic device, the battery cannot charge any one device all the way. I had a Kindle and an iPhone, and about the best it could do was 30%. That being said, I was traveling for about 20%. I tried looking for other batteries, but haven't had much luck. I am contemplating taking this bag with me to Disney next week, so I'll test it out there.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I purchased this bag because of the built-in charger, figuring that this would work well for business travel. The bag has four built-in ways to charge devices: a previous-generation Apple connector, a Micro-USB connector, a Mini-USB connector, and a USB port. The three built-in connector cables are all quite short and are only suitable for charging the device while it's inside the bag. There is no USB cable for the USB port but any standard USB cable should work. The disadvantage is that the USB port is at the bottom of the bag and isn't readily accessible if the bag is full.
The backpack has pockets galore and I had no problem fitting a 17" laptop into the main compartment with plenty of room in the other compartments for my Kindle Fire tablet, my phone, assorted charging cables and plugs, and the like. The backpack isn't super deep or super roomy, as some are, so if you're a student who is taking along, e.g., your workout clothes, a few schoolbooks, your lunch, your laptop, and so on, this backpack probably isn't going to cut it. I use it for business travel and it's adequate for that.
The charger is just okay. 3000mAh may sound like a lot but it's half the capacity or less of most of the external battery packs you'll find these days. And the trickle charge it is capable of emitting isn't really suitable for tablets and is just barely adequate for a typical phone. If you're fine with leaving your phone in the bag for several hours while it recharges or if you just want that little bit of extra insurance while traveling, then this bag may be fine. Otherwise, I'd recommend buying a conventional laptop bag along with a standalone battery pack that has a higher capacity and higher output.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2012
I just returned to the US from using this bag on two international flights to London and Sydney. The trip I used this on was a 20/80 % mix of pleasure and business.
The bag has a well thought out set of compartments to organize your stuff and you can connect/charge your Apple devices.
I agree with one of the other reviewers that I read before I bought this bag: "why didnt I think of this?". With this bag you don't really need a separate charger for every portable device...just plug this bag in and charge a back up battery (6000 mA) and you can charge stuff in the bag by connecting them to the supplied USB and iPhone/iMac connectors.
Fits nicely into the really small 747-400 overhead bins in the upper deck business class on United. This bag also fits easily under a small plane seat on connector airplanes and is also great while doing city and country exploring and looks good for business meetings.
This bag was easy to pack and carry with the typical things you might need for international business travel. It keeps your battery operated phone and headset related items charged for when you need them. It is nice to be walking around and able to charge your USB (mini and micro) devices, such as bluetooth headsets AND your iPhones and/or iPads. It has a nice separate easy access sleeve/compartment that fits and holds my 13" iMac Air
I consider myself a high mileage traveler, tough on bags and a critical bag/luggage buyer (and I have bought a lot over years of travel)...I rate this bag with a high 4 + number of stars. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you are looking for a travel backpack and have Apple etc stuff to carry/charge.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2013
Okay, I've been using this bag for a year now, so this review is based on about 15 airport trips, weekly meetings hoofing it or taking the trains in Manhattan, and personal use on vacations and such.
When I first got the bag, I was looking for something that could take the place of having car-like storage and power. When I moved to Manhattan, it was only right to rid myself of that 2K lb. reason for these sneaky New Yorkers to squeeze more money out of me. Still, I'm in sales/biz dev and need to be out and about a lot, and keep power going to all my devices. Power Bag to the rescue!
When I first received it, like everyone else, I was very pleased with the solid construction. A padded back for your laptop, inside padding for the tablet pocket, top handle padding and solid stitching have all held up and kept my devices safe. The two issues I've had are the small nylon space between the laptop pocket in back and the main bag compartment -- this ripped after about 5 months of use, maybe less, but that's when I noticed it. Stitching on one of the shoulder straps started unraveling after about 3 months of use and got progressively worse until finally stopping. However, I've abused this bag and other than those two issues it's holding up great.
The battery is extremely easy to remove and charge separately from the bag, or charge from the external port while in the bag. The battery integration is seamless and I think this is probably the best feature about the bag, because I rarely think about it. It's like a good umpire in a baseball game.
The storage capacity is really good, not great. I can fit my workout clothes in the main compartment, a small notebook with my tablet, some sundry items (passport glasses, pens) in the small pockets provided outside and my 13" laptop in the laptop compartment. It's stuffed to the max with that lineup, even with careful planning and Tetris level shape mastery. If the bag had a tad more depth, this would be alleviated. The height is fine, though.
The chords work pretty well. I find that I use the USB direct plugin to the battery so I can use my own longer chords most often. The supplied chords are quite short and can make for difficult maneuvering with larger devices in the smallish side pockets where the supplied chords are found. No worries because that USB plugin works great, except when the chord is inadvertently pulled out. There could be a snap or latch so this happens less.
Overall, I'm very happy with this bag and have found it to be functional and even able to save me a couple of times.
One funny story:
Some friends and I went to a Giants football game last September, that seemed to go forever. Around the end of the 3rd quarter, people's smartphones started dying from all the social media use. I had the power bag with me, so I was good. However, NFL stadiums stop selling beer after the 3rd quarter. So, being the enterprising young man that I am, I began to trade power for pours of beer to the people around me. I was able to drink through the 4th quarter and power the masses. So, get a powerbag and get free beer!