Jan 19, 2009

Voltaic Solar Bags

When it comes to clean, renewable, readily available energy, what power source amasses all of these features better than the sun? That's why Voltaic has been harnessing the sun's potential with solar bags that generate power and double as stylish accessories since 2004. Their latest generation of bags are even more eco-friendly than models past because they're manufactured from PET, or recycled plastic bottles. PET is durable, lightweight and water-resistant and there's no discernible difference between the recycled material on the new bags as previous ones made from virgin plastic.

These backpacks and messenger bags are fitted with solar panels so you can recharge your gadgets on-the go. Unlike other solar bags that deliver power solely in real time, they have a lithium-ion battery with three voltage settings that stows surplus energy so you can continue to power devices during the nighttime or when you're indoors. You can even detach the charged battery and use it on its own. In the unlikely case that you break anything, the panels and battery are easily replaceable and can be bought separately from their site.

Their standard line comes in a variety of sizes and ranges in price from $199-$249 - not exactly cheap but cheaper than some of their competitors. These bags generate four watts of power, enough to juice your cell phone, MP3 player, digital camera or other small gadget. They come with 11 adapters so you can plug in any one of your devices, but they also have a car adapter so you can use your car charger to hook them up as well. 4-6 hours of direct sunlight is enough to fully charge almost all of your small electronics while 8-10 hours will fill the battery to capacity.

The latest star to their collection was unveiled at this year's CES in January. The new Generator has high-efficiency solar panels that are capable of generating 14.7 watts, enough to fully charge a laptop from one day of direct sunlight. This briefcase-like bag can carry a 17" Powerbook and its battery pack can hold the equivalent of a full laptop charge. It'll be available this Spring for the juiced-up price of $599.

Bag Pictured In Top Left - Voltaic Solar Laptop Mobile Power Messenger Bag

Bag Pictured In Bottom Right - Voltaic Solar Backpack Mobile Power Generator

Courtesy of UGO

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