Product Review: Sun-Plugged Solar Bicycle Messenger Bag

Photo: Courtesy of Sun-Plugged

Company: Sun-Plugged

Item(s) tested: Solar Bicycle Messenger Bag ($129)-1 solar panel that charges a 5V battery.
Dimensions: 13.5” x 18” x 5.5”, 35 x 47 x 13mm

Where item(s) can be purchased: Online from Sun-Plugged

The claim of the product: Sun-Plugged bags double as mobile renewable energy stations designed to charge virtually any portable computer or hand-held electronic device. Lightweight, water proof solar panels are built into the side of the bags, so all you need to do is plug your mobile device into your bag and it will begin to charge.

How the product works:

  1. Fully charge the battery (that tucks into a pocket on the inside of the bag), using a wall plug.
  2. Insert battery into bag’s pocket and attach the mini-USB In plug wire form the solar panel into the battery.
  3. Walk around as normal and watch battery get charged by the sun.
  4. To charge you cell phone, Blackberry, iPod, PDA, MP3 Player or 5V camera, plug in the USB out cable to the battery and connect to your device.

What is great about the product:

  1. All bags are made of PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) using Recycled Plastic Beverage containers.
  2. The solar panels use a new solar material that utilizes a natural chemical reaction to collect energy and is naturally biodegradable.
  3. The battery holds a charge for months, so if you are inside all day, but your iPhone dies, the battery from the bag can charge it.
  4. Lots of adapters come with the bag and cover all the devices we tried.
  5. We were able to charge a completely dead iPod to full capacity while walking around.
  6. Perfect for long days away from the office or out at meetings, when you need to re-charge your devices.
  7. Easy to use.

What is not so great about the product:

  1. Price - it is expensive.
  2. Shoulder Strap - it needed to be wider and stronger to hold our laptops, that are a bit on the heavy side.

Grade from Green Living: A (Great product and easy to use and understand!) We love that there is a bag that can charge your laptop as well!

Battery Specifications:

  • Capacity: 5000mAh
  • Input: 5~10V/1A via Mini USB
  • Output Voltage/Current: 5.5V/500mA
  • Dimensions: 4" x 2" x 1/2", 99 x 70 x 15mm
  • Weight: 5.64 oz, 160 g
  • Compatible Devices: most mobile phones, iPod/iPhone 3G, PSP, MP3/MP4,NDS, GPS, PDA, Etc.
  • Input: Mini USB
  • Output: Standard USB
  • Indicator: On/OFF PWR LED Charge Light

Solar Panel Specifications:

  • Power: 2.1 Watts
  • Type: Polycrystalline (6.25” x 4.25”, 16 x 11mm)
  • Weight: 6.7 g (3mm Alum/Plastic Substrate)
  • Cell Efficiency: 16%
  • Open Circuit Voltage (VoC): 6V
  • Peak Voltage (Vpm): 5V
  • Peak Current (Ipm): 415mA

Charging Times (Results vary depending on weather conditions and device brand):

  • 6-8 hrs direct sunlight for full battery pack charge
  • 4-6 hrs direct sunlight for full cell phone charge
  • 4-6 hrs direct sunlight for iPod & iPhone
  • 4-6 hrs direct sunlight for small digital camera