The world of technology has changed the way we use so many devices that how we carry them has had to evolve to keep up. Smart backpacks can be a great resource to get all of your things charged when you’re without any place to plug in. They can feature a built-in power brick, but most have a USB charging port for accessing one purchased separately.
The benefit of this is that the power bank is the most common point of failure on these. Using your own, you can swap out the battery quickly and continue using the backpack as normal.
5 Best Smart Backpacks
1. Ghostek NRGbag 2 Series
The Ghosttek NRGbag 2 Series smart backpack has a 16,000 mAh battery and comes with an intelligent LCD indicator on the strap.
Being truly for multi-device owners, with USB ports for simultaneous charging. The Ghosttek backpack can charge two devices inside, and an additional external device that you are using.
The laptop compartment is pretty generous and can accommodate a laptop 15.6 inches wide. The outer shell is made of durable water-resistant polyester so everything is safe from the elements. The inside capacity for the pack is 40L, with padded shoulder straps to always stay comfortable.
Because this does feature a built-in supply, it weighs 4lbs. Some users have complained that the inside is all red and no leather was used in its construction. Despite the complaints, the Ghosttek company makes the most affordable well made backpack you will find on the market with a power supply included.
2. Korin ClickPack Pro – Anti-Theft
Anti-theft backpacks are an unfortunate necessity on today’s college campus. Unfortunately, although they help with theft, the majority are tiny or look terrible. The Korin ClickPack Pro gives you plenty of space to store your valuables while looking stylish, too.
One of the features to secure the anti-theft backpack is a retractable metal coil that can be secured to you or anything else. The splash resistant fabric has a double layer of rain protection, and an special explosion-proof zipper by YKK that is engineered to prevent pens from puncturing the chain.
The bag also has an external USB port, and the inside capacity is generous with a compartment for a laptop up to 15.6″. There is also a dedicated compartment available for 10″ tablets.
There is a zippered compartment on one shoulder strap with a fold out drink holder. When the back is completely unzipped, it opens flat to provide access to all the compartments inside. Even with a laptop in its slot, there will be enough room for books and more.
Most of the products we’ve talked about so far can only accommodate up to a 15.6″ laptop. What if you have a 17″ behemoth you need to take with you? This backpack has been designed for travel life with extra TSA approved compartments, including one for that laptop.
The interior consists of over 20 independent areas for storing a few extra devices like your phone, tablet, game console, and smaller accessories. Separate areas prevent cords and other charging accessories from easily becoming tangled while traveling. There are also two elastic side pouches for an umbrella or thermos, and a small hole for 3.5mm headphones.
The other important feature is external USB for charging, but you will need to go out and buy your own powerpack.
The Yorepek Travel Laptop Backpack is one of the top budget backpacks available. The mixture of size and weatherproof construction makes it an excellent all around option.
As the largest backpack here, at 45L, the Yorepek backpack opens in a U-shaped design to make loading and unloading all of your tech as easy as possible. The upper pockets are for tablets and a laptop, and a mesh secured on the other side holds charging cables and accessories you’ll need.
4. The Hustle
Several of the options here try to remain classy and stylish, but none succeed as well as The Hustle. The bag has an integrated and retractable cable lock for keeping the bag on your person. The Lifepack Hustle also includes secret hidden pockets for your passport and credit cards.
Lifepack designed it to be perfect for people who do require a backpack in a professional setting. It sits upright by itself and there are two slits on the flap for storing pens, pencils, and charging cables. An external-facing USB provides instant access to charge your stuff.
The shoulder strap is padded and adjustable, though the size of this one is only 18L. That is quite small compared to some of the other option here, especially for the price. If style is essential to you, then The Hustle is the more business appropriate backpack on this list.
5. Voltaic Systems Solar Backpacks
Hardcore outdoor types like hikers and cyclists know the value of having a sun powered charging. Now you can apply the same concept to stay powered while outside.
This is the most spacious and heaviest smart backpack here, but that’s because it sports integrated batteries and photovoltaic arrays. The 19,800mAh will store plenty of charge while the arrays get more energy from the sun exposure. For anyone in the sun for extended periods, this backpack can be a great addition to the kit.
The Voltaic Systems backpack opens fully, providing plenty of room for all of your electronics. The laptop pouch can handle 15.6″ laptops, while the inner pouch is big enough for DSLR cameras and lens set. Outside pouches are intended for a water bottle or tripod.
The power supply supports 12V/16V/19V output. A small selector allows you to switch between the three, so it can then be used for your smartphone and gear.
The high-performance panels the Voltaic System backpack uses are made of monocrystalline cells that are 19% efficient. They are as lightweight as possible, but it is still a five pound backpack. The backpack itself is made of durable PET plastic from recycled plastic bottles.
The Benefits of a Smart Backpack
If you carry your laptop, phone, tablet, or game console around with you all day, a backpack with lots of storage is probably a good choice for you. These products feature a sleek, modern, security oriented design which can be great if part of your daily commute takes place on a crowded bus or subway.
This smart gear can also be useful if you are the rugged outdoorsy type. Since these have an internal powerpack, you no longer have to worry about running out of charge on extended trips. Hikers and outdoor photographers may want to get one with solar panels for long treks.
What To Look For When Buying a Smart Backpack
- Built-in power with Bluetooth or external USB port to charge your tech
- Anti-theft features with TSA approved lock to keep the backpack in place and inaccessible
- Clamshell backpack for accessing your laptop
- Compartments for laptop accessories like mouse, keyboard, cables
- Durable bags, with a waterproof or water resistant design
- Large internal storage capacity for books & electronics
- Adjustable shoulder straps that are padded for long-term travel comfort
- Smart backpacks with solar charging capabilities
Frequently Asked Questions
Are smart backpacks good anti-theft bags?
Some smart backpacks are very good anti-theft bags. The Korin ClickPack Pro, #2 on our list above, is the best anti-theft smart backpack that we have seen.
What are the sizes of the backpacks?
Much like regular backpacks, they come in small and fashionable sizes as well as quite large outdoor models.
Are smart backpacks lightweight and water-resistant?
Most are lightweight and made with water-resistant materials.
Is there a room for a laptop?
The products listed above all have room for a full size laptop.
There are a wide variety of great options available, but the type of backpack you decide on will depend on your specific uses. Nearly all smart backpacks include a USB-port, but check to see if a power bank is included or not.
We tried to choose a variety of price ranges and use case considerations when choosing which products would make our list this year. Think you have a better recommendation to make for the best smart backpack of 2021? Don’t hesitate to let us know your opinion in the comments below.