Crosskase Solar Backpack Review

Crosskase Solar backpack review

I’m a big fan of solar panels and solar energy in general so when the guys at Crosskase came knocking to see if I’d like to try their solar backpack out I was curious enough to take the bait.

But just because I’ve been given something for free, it doesn’t mean I’m definitely going to give it a positive write-up. Instead I will try and be wholly objective – indeed I am fairly torn over the product.

Don’t Buy This Backpack If…

I’m actually going to start with a reason not to buy the Crosskase Solar and it’s something that I am very passionately against – consumption for the sake of consumption.

What do I mean by this?

Well what I am saying is that you should not buy this backpack just for the novelty of having a solar panel. Ask yourself whether you’ve ever actually needed to have power and not had access to it – I asked myself this and to be quite honest, it rarely comes up.

I’m not a heavy phone user so my handset will usually hold charge for a couple of days and it’s rare that I go anywhere without my plug adapter. I’m not a festival-goer and I’ve never backpacked through foreign countries where access to electricity isn’t guaranteed. I don’t hike so am unlikely to find myself stranded on a mountain top with a dead phone.

In essence then, I don’t need a solar panel in my backpack.

Don’t get me wrong, it does work as a charger – I tried it with my phone and my kindle and it powered them up – but neither time was it actually necessary for me to use the bag, I could have just used a plug.

Unless you think you are going to be in a situation where access to electricity is limited, or you think it makes sense for safety reasons (e.g. for hikers) then the emissions associated with the manufacture of the bag are going to be hard to recoup unless you are constantly using it to charge things (unlikely).

Do Buy This Backpack If…

You may be wondering why you’d want to buy a Crosskase Solar after my comments above but I’m not anti the bag at all – I’m anti buying it when you don’t actually need it.

As mentioned above, this bag and its solar charging capabilities really make sense for some people – hikers, travellers and festival goers are prime examples.

And as backpacks go this one is actually very good. Not only is it extremely well built with ballistic nylon (it feels like it could last decades of regular use), it has a really great selection of different compartments for all your different bits and bobs and it is extremely comfortable to wear.

The capacity of this bag is great too (officially stated as 25 litres) – I packed it out with absolutely loads of stuff when I had to travel to a wedding in Scotland recently and was pleasantly surprised when everything I needed for the weekend fit with room to spare.

So as a vessel for carrying things goes, this backpack comes highly recommended and I’m confident that the other options from Crosskase would provide equally as good care for your belongings.

If you are in the market for a backpack then it’s definitely worth exploring the Crosskase range but I would only buy this solar panelled bag if you think you genuinely need it to charge things on a regular basis.

Otherwise, I’d be tempted to go with their ‘Ultra’ design which has only a slightly smaller capacity (20l) but won’t have the extra emissions associated with the manufacture of a solar panel.

My Thoughts In Conclusion

Solar panels on any sort of gadget are very likely to cause more emissions than they will ever prevent so I don’t really promote them for their environmental credentials. This backpack is no different.

I get that the functionality is useful for small groups of people who need power where no mains electricity exists so for those people (and those people only) this backpack makes sense.

For everyone else who is in genuine need of a new backpack, do not buy this one – buy the Crosskase Ultra instead.

As with most purchases, I’d always go for a high quality item that has the potential to last a very long time. Buying a cheaper option that falls apart after a couple of years is far worse for the environment than buying something that lasts.

I would say that Crosskase make a pretty good quality product so they’d get my vote for that reason and the functionality is good too – they are definitely worth taking a look at.

Here’s a link to their range of backpacks:

Steve (156 Posts)

I am chief writer and editor on Green Steve. Blogging since 2011, I like to delve into a wide number of topics to help people reduce their carbon footprint. You should follow me on Twitter here. And add me to your Google+ circles here.

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