Picking a backpack used to be easy, just find one that looked ok and had enough space to through all your books in. Well now that’s all changed, backpacks aren’t just for throwing your books and lunch in they can now not only hold your electronic devices but charge them at the same time while you are on the move. I have been looking for a backpack just like this to take on all of our trips to events and such like and TYLT have came to the rescue and hooked me up with the TYLT Energi+ Backpack.
The TYLT Energi+ Backpack may not be the only backpack out there with a battery but from the beginning TYLT’s Kickstarter campaign had me wanting one. When I got the word from TYLT that they were sending one over I was pretty excited so let’s see if it lives up to the hype. First impressions are a huge deal to me, if I don’t like something straight away I rarely revisit it. The TYLT backpack not only looks great but every part of it including down to the zippers just feel sturdy. The only downside first impression wise is the price tag of $199 so le’s see if it’s worth that.
- Input Voltage: 5V 2Amp (Micro USB)
- Output Charging Current: 4.75V – 5.25V – 4.1Amp
- Lithium Ion Battery:10,400 mAh
- Battery Charge Time:7-8 Hours
- Two 1Amp USB ports for charging phones
- One 2.1Amp USB port for charging tablets
- 10,400mAh rechargeable Lithium Ion
- 1680D Poly Material Front Panel
- 900D Poly Material Sides & Bottom
- Fly-through Friendly
- Brushed Metal Zippers
- Laptop compartment will accommodate laptops up to 15.5in x 10.5in x 1.5in
- NFC Tag in Shoulder Strap
- Recharges via any USB Port
- 110 Cubic in. See-through Accessory Bag included
The Energi+ backpack features a massive 10,400mAh battery which TYLT say can recharge a smartphone 4 times or a tablet once. I have been testing the backpack for several weeks now and it has travelled quite a distance to events and I have managed to get a little bit more out of the battery than what TYLT say is possible so let’s see how it held up.
The battery itself has 3 USB ports that consit of two 1-Amp ports for phone’s and a 2.1 Amp port for tablets. So as you have probably guessed you can charge up to three devices at once with this backpack. The battery itself has an on and off switch but if like me you can’t be bothered to open the bag to switch it on all the time you can leave it on. When left on the battery will automatically switch off when not charging a device meaning you won’t be wasting juice, but when you connect a device it will switch back on automatically.
Charging speeds seems to be a hot topic these days so I would say that the backpack will charge a device just as fast as a laptop would. The battery itself is recharged via it’s micro-USB port and does not even have to be removed from its sturdy little elastic holder to do so. This is possible as the TYLT Energi+ Backpack features routing channels all over the bag to every compartment with super tidy cable management and even one hole that leads straight out of the backpack to allow you to charge the battery via any USB power source.
TYLT has included two cables with the bag, one micro-USB and one 30-pin iPhone connector which can also be converted to another micro-USB cable. This may be a downside for a lot of people as there is no lightning cables supplied for the newer iOS devices and they certainly are not cheap to buy which was what I had to do.
Setting up the backpack is pretty straight forward and will take you only a few minutes to run all the cables exactly where you want them. The bag is full of pockets suited for all devices so let’s start from the very top were you will find the travel friendly compartment. I say travel friendly as this is where you can house your laptop/notebook while travelling and when at the airport checkpoint there is no need to remove it as there are two large zippers at each side that extend all the way to the bottom of the bag allowing you to open the bag fully as you see in the picture above. The laptop compartment is also lined with microfiber ensuring your expensive device stays safe while travelling. It is worth noting I actually had two laptops in this compartment with no trouble. Also in this compartment as you can see is the battery which is held in place by elastic material. As you can see the cable management is very tidy and easy to setup, simply run a cable to the desired compartment marked by the blue material and the loops help keep everything in place.
The next zipper down presents another decent sized compartment perfect for housing your tablet and this is exactly what I used it for. Infact I placed both my iPad and Nexus 7 in here and had them both charging with no trouble at all on my travels. This pocket again is lined in microfiber so you can be sure that any tablet will be protected while in this pocked even when it doesn’t have a case.
Up next we have the hard sunglasses pocket also known as the protect pocket which can also be removed as you can see in the picture above. This pocket is perfect for your smartphone as it is not only hard but lined in microfiber again (see a trend emerging?). The protective part is removable as you can see in the picture above. This pocket also has an exit hole for your earphone cable allowing you to leave your device in the backpack while listening to music. In this pocket I kept my Nexus 5 and iPhone 5s both of which are uncased and had no trouble at all.
Up next we have the main compartment which is pretty deep and filled with loads of storage possibilities. As you can see from the pictures above the there are 5 black mesh pockets that are elasticated so plenty can be put in them. Four of these pockets are on the back wall and one on the left hand side of the bag while looking in. There is also the large white mesh pocket that extends down behind the bottom two black mesh ones. This pocket is made from a tougher mesh and also has a zipper to close it over.
Also on the left hand wall is a button loop perfect for hanging your keys, I loved this as it meant I didn’t have to hunt for my keys at the bottom of my bag and also didn’t have to worry about them damaging anything else. There is also another material loop next to the keys loop that can be used to hold various items in place but this one has no button. On the right hand wall there are two little pockets perfect for keeping pens and pencils in place.
We are not finished there tho as on the pocket flap there is yet another two zipped pockets, one made from the tough white mesh and the other from the bag liner. The black zipped pocket has a routing channel in it as well as you can see from the picture above so you can charge a device up in here. Both are about the same size and perfect for keeping business cards or spare cables in.
Tylt has also included the triangle shaped accessory bag that you can see above perfect for toiletries or pretty much anything else you can cram in.
The next pocket down is again lined in blue mircrofiber and a lot shallower than the tablet pocket as you can see above. It is a great pocket to store your powerbank’s or mp3 player, I personally kept some sweets in this pocket for easy access as I always like a snack while on the go but I’m sure you could come up with something better. It is also worth noting this pocket unlike the rest has no routing channel so you cannot charge a device in here it is meant purely for storage.
Onto the front of the bag you will see a rubberized zipper. This pouch is waterproof and of good size so you can keep anything in here you want to make sure doesn’t get wet. I kept my notepad in here as it allowed for easy access and kept it safe.
Now that we have covered the front of the bag from top to bottom lets have a look at the sides. On each side of the bag at the bottom you will find two zipped pockets. They both have thick padding on the outside for protection and the one on the right hand side contains a hydration pouch perfect for carrying your fluid of choice around.
Moving on to the back of the bag and straps you can see that they are heavily padded, there is also a nice little earbud pocket at the bottom of the left strap. Another nice little feature is the inclusion of the built in NFC tag marked by the TYLT logo, this comes in super handy for quick launching an app or task of your choice. As you can see there are also many loops on the shoulder straps allowing you to hook things on if you somehow couldn’t find the space in the bag. The last feature on the rear is the awesome travel friendly trolley pass through you can see on the picture below.
In conclusion the TYLT Energi+ backpack has to be one of the best device and travel friendly bags in existence. Using this bag the past 7 weeks has been a pleasure as the bag is not only super comfortable but super functions as well and everything I need is just a zip away. At $199 people may say it’s overpriced well I would say this you only get what you pay for and you certainly get your money’s worth here. If I could add one thing to the bag it would be a chest strap like I have on my skate bag to help relieve some of the strain on back when fully loaded but the shoulder pads are that thick you really have to put heavy objects in the bag to notice any strain. You can pick the backpack up by clicking the image below.