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PowerBag Business Class Pack is a bookbag with a battery

Lex Friedman | Jan. 28, 2013
The PowerBag Business Class Pack would otherwise be merely an average backpack, but its built-in battery and cables for charging your devices impress us.

PowerBag's $180 Business Class Pack is a backpack with a built-in battery so that road warriors can recharge their electronics without finding an outlet.

We'll get to the bag's storage compartments in a moment, but first let's discuss that built-in, rechargeable, 6000mAh battery. The removable battery locks into place in one section of the backpack. You can remove the battery and charge it outside the bag, or you can keep the battery inside and charge it through a plug port on the bag's exterior. The included 12-Volt power adapter sports an impressive design: Its shape makes the plug its own cable-storage unit, and the plugs fold in for compact packing; the adapter is water resistant, too.

Unzip the frontmost pocket on the Business Class Pack, and you'll discover three permanently- attached cables: a 30-pin dock-connector cable, a Micro-USB cable, and a Mini-USB cable. The battery's two USB outputs offer up to 5 volts, 800 milliamps combined. The dock-connector output offers 5 volts, 1 amp, giving it enough juice to charge an iPhone or iPod, but not an iPad. If you want to charge an iPad or fast-charge an iPhone 5, you'll need to instead turn to the standard USB-power port built into the battery itself. (For such charging, you'll need to provide your own USB-to-30-pin-connector or USB-to-Lightning-connector cable.) PowerBag says the USB port offers up to 5 volts and 1 to 2.1 amps. The company says the battery can charge a smartphone four times over; I charged my iPad and my iPhone overnight with a full charge of the bag's battery.

The all-black Business Class Pack measures 18 inches tall, 12 inches wide, and 8 inches deep. I found it to be plenty spacious during my own recent international travel. The battery and assorted circuitry unsurprisingly add a bit of heft--the otherwise empty bag weighs 3.11 pounds.

The rear section of the bag hosts a cozily protective laptop compartment, measuring 15 by 11.5 by 1.5 inches, for 15-inch and smaller notebooks. The roomy middle section offers an assortment of pockets and pouches. Then there's a small, zippered pouch that offers room for your iPhone, sunglasses, or other similarly sized stuff. The penultimate section where the battery resides also includes a tablet pouch, measuring 10 by 9.8 by 0.5 inches, that holds an iPad just fine. Finally, the frontmost pouch hosts the aforementioned cables.

On the front face of the bag, near the bottom, sits the PowerBag logo, which doubles as a button. Press it, and some or all of the four LEDs below it light up to indicate the battery's current charge level. Press and hold the button to turn the bag on for charging attached devices.


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