It amazes me how people carry thousands worth of tech in backpacks that aren’t able to protect that tech whether from thieves or drops. Especially considering that the best backpack for your tech when traveling is more than likely more affordable than your current backpack.
If you have been a long-term user here, then you most likely read our review of the original Solgaard Lifepack. It was Solgaard’s first product, which we loved a lot, but it wasn’t perfect and came with some major flaws. Lifepack Lite? Even though it’s a “lite” is a major improvement over the first Lifepack (which has since also been updated) and a backpack really worth considering if looking for the best backpack for your tech when traveling.
Spoiler Alert: This lining of this backpack is made from recycled plastic, Solgaard removes 5lbs of plastic from the ocean every time you buy a product from them, and most of their products are now fully made from recycled plastic with their Shore-Tex™ fabric.
It Doesn’t Come with a Power Bank, and That’s a Great Thing
The significant difference between the Lite and the standard backpack? The Lite doesn’t come with a power bank just like just about all power banks, while still being designed with power banks in mind. And that’s a great thing…if you are looking for the best backpack for your tech when traveling.
If you are just looking for a great backpack overall, the standard Lifepack comes with a Solarbank which consists of a power bank, a solar panel, and a speaker with the speaker being optional. It’s great. It really is, and they’ve recently updated it, so it also comes with USB-C support. Incredible value for money, and well, most pricier backpacks don’t have anything like this.
But this is a review tailored towards someone looking for the best backpack for tech when traveling, and for that, the Solarbank isn’t the most practical option.
You are here because you are looking for the best backpack for your tech when traveling. If you love tech, you for sure have a laptop, and it’s very likely that you have a camera and perhaps even a drone. Not to mention the likes of your phone or tablet along with other smaller cameras such as a GoPro or a DJI Osmo. Standard power banks? They’ll charge your phone or tablet, and even your basic cameras, but they won’t charge most laptops, nor most drones. The Solgaard power bank? It’s great, but it just doesn’t offer enough for a power user that breathes tech or perhaps doesn’t even breath tech but is a travel nomad and needs to have tech. And neither will just about all other power banks.
For me, the sizing of the original Solarbank was a massive issue. Not only could you pack less due to its thickness, but organization by itself was difficult due to the power bank being on top.
And this is where the TYLT AWALL that we recently reviewed comes in if you are a creator. It delivers 20,600 mAh at 100 watt in a sturdy package that most importantly comes with a socket. Yes, you get a socket. And that unlocks possibilities like no other. It means that you can charge anything with it, whether your razor, laptop, drone, or camera. And yes, you can power a hairdryer and a hoover with it too. Yep, with it, you can make your hoover pretty much wireless. It is actually more expensive than the Lifepack Lite itself, but trust us, it’s worth it.
And it just so happens that the Lifepack is able to fit two of them in the front pocket, with the design of the Lite allowing for easy charging of a phone from there, as there’s an extension cable that leads to the side, allowing you to connect your phone to the side when charging on the go.
Maybe you don’t need something like the TYLT AWALL. But you are here because you are looking for the best backpack for your tech when traveling, and if you need juice while on the go, there’s nothing better than TYLT for that.
One of the most missed features in backpacks is protection, and I’m not just talking about padding for your laptop which surprisingly a lot of backpacks don’t come with, I’m talking about proper protection. It’s incredibly easy to take something out of a backpack. It’s not even suspicious. Just like it’s not suspicious for someone to just grab a backpack and leave.
Lifepack Lite just like the original comes with 4 hidden pockets. 2 of them are fully unaccessible for thieves unless you take off your backpack off your back, and can fit your passport as well as a wallet.
We love that feature for many reasons. For one, it means you don’t need to carry your essentials in your pockets. And for two, it eliminates the stress of having to check your pockets once in a while to make sure that your valuables are still there.
The 2 other hidden pockets? They on the strap. They are much smaller and designed for your cards, whether it’s a metro card or a debit card. Those allow for incredible convenience that no wallet offers, while also offering safety, as unless someone is aware of Solgaard, they will never notice these pockets.
Lifepack Lite? Just like all the other backpacks from Solgaard, it comes with a special pouch for your laptop. It’s crazy how I even need to mention it as a feature, but some backpack companies fail miserably at that aspect. The pouch? It comes with a piece of plush fabric to prevent scratches and whatnot, and frankly, I’d love a blanket like it. There’s also a section for documents which I do end up using more than I ever thought I would, and there’s a very important piece of thick padding at the very bottom which is essential if you are looking for the best backpack for tech when traveling. I’ve not had a trip where my backpack didn’t take a fall whether due to me or someone else. That padding, you won’t really ever acknowledge it, but it’s one of the most important features any backpack can come with.
This Lifepack Lite also comes with a lock. And for me, that’s a huge selling point. We have locks on our carry-ons, yet we never think about putting a pair on our backpacks, even though most of our tech is in our backpacks. It just doesn’t make sense to me. If you are in Sweden and leave your backpack and tech out in the open when going to the bathroom, it will be safe. That’s not the case in places like the US.
Most backpacks don’t have any, and that puts your tech at risk at all times. It’s incredibly easy to open a backpack. If you left it at a table to go to a bathroom, somebody could come up, open it up, and most people wouldn’t even notice as opening a backpack is a normal thing to do. The original Lifepack? It also came with one. And it seemed promising. But it wasn’t great and broke. That backpack was released around 3 years ago though, and Solgaard learned. The lock on this one has been improved tremendously from every single angle, matter of fact, everything on this Lifepack feels far more premium and durable than on the first one which was overall already great.
Oh, and the zippers are also stab proof which wasn’t the case with the first Lifepack.
Speaking of Zippers…
One of the most common issues that people face, whether it’s backpacks, luggage, or even jackets such as the Ministry of Supply Dry Days Mac, is the issues of a zipper breaking.
This especially applies when overloading a backpack or a carry-on.
My life? It consists of me bringing products I truly do not need when traveling for review purposes. I don’t need 3 pairs of different swimming shorts on my trips, yet I recently had to take a bunch for review purposes. I also didn’t need the 4 pairs of shorts I also brought.
The original Lifepack while overall survived 2 years of travel, wasn’t perfect when it comes to durability in many ways, especially with the locker, but if there’s one thing I really loved about it was the durability the zippers offered. They survived more than they should have, over and over again.
I’m not sure where Solggard gets their zippers, but they are the most durable zippers I ever tried in any product that came with a zipper.
However, with that said, I did notice right away that with the Lite, the zippers were made significantly smaller than on the original Lifepack, and I do not like that as it’s far harder to zip the backpack now when it’s still on your back, or overall when trying just to pull the zip.
The Best Backpack for Your Tech When Traveling Must Offer Great Organization
Forget about us reviewing this backpack from the perspective of tech. One of the things I do when creating blog posts for my clients? I create fictional profiles of my client’s target audience and tailor that work towards them. Solgaard? “Premium, sustainable travel gear.” When somebody mentions “travel,” I automatically picture a camera. Perhaps not a drone because not everyone is a creator, but I for sure picture a camera. And that’s where the Lifepack Lite falls a bit short.
You won’t find a space for lenses on it or a nice way to put your camera inside. Of course, this is not a camera backpack so you can’t expect it to be ready for that, but nevertheless, I feel like travel and cameras go together, and I for sure bring some of my gear along with my other tools in this backpack. And it just isn’t as convenient as it could be. There are no suitable pockets for lenses, and you can’t really attach a tripod to the side of the backpack. Something that Solgaard could do with their cleverness.
With that said, the backpack does offer space for memory cards in the main compartment as well as a significantly bigger pocket in the front compartment that now fits portable hard drives really well, as well as two new pockets on the front part of the front compartment which was something I was looking for considering that while the original Lifepack came with more than a few pockets, the front compartment lacked a lot on the organizational standpoint.
There are two elements of space. How a backpack looks, and how much it can actually fit.
My girlfriend and I often wear backpacks of the same size when traveling, which tends to be oversized for “secondary items” on some airlines. I? I always get away with it because my backpack never looks like it’s overpacked. Her? It looks completely out of shape, giving the illusion that it’s too big, resulting in it being checked.
Out of the critical reviews that Lifepack got, space issues were something that was mentioned frequently. I don’t understand why. Sure, the Lifepack isn’t a 40l Osprey, and if you are going on a trip, you should probably bring a carry-on too, but it’s not a backpack designed for that kind of adventures where you are backpacking. It is a backpack that can fit a lot though, for its size.
I often carried 15kg/33lbs worth of items in it, and they fit perfectly. To give more perspective, I fit a drone, a laptop, 2 power banks, a camera along with 2 lenses, a pair of shoes, 5 pieces of underwear, 4 pieces of socks, 3 pairs of swimming shorts, and a shirt at the same time. Take away the drone, and I can fit enough clothes to survive for 2 months. Seriously.
Of course, it all depends on your packing skills which you may or may not have right now.
It’s All About the Little Things That Solgaard Do
Solgaard? They listen. Pfft, Adrian, the founder, he called me after I made a review of the first backpack asking for feedback. We’ve worked with a ton of incredibly talented companies here, but nobody ever personally called us wanting to hear about what they can do even better. Solgaard did. And they went ahead and did it with their updated version.
One of the main issues with the original Lifepack was that I could not put it on a carry-on. A tiny detail that makes a major difference. Especially when you tend to carry 15kg/33lbs. Lifepack Lite has that fixed.
The strap does look a bit like copy and paste of a seat belt through. And that’s not a joke. But then again, seat belts are durable, so maybe that’s a good thing.
Need to open a beer? There’s a beer opener in the front compartment.
Are you looking to charge your phone? Like we already mentioned, Solgaard backpacks are optimized for charging. You’ll find a USB extension inside that leads to a side pocket making it super convenient to charge without having to have a cable going into the main pocket and risking opening the entire backpack while making yourself super accessible to thieves.
Want to carry a bottle? Well, any backpack allows for that, but what about bigger bottles? That’s where it generally gets more complicated. Solgaard added extra support for your bottle.
It’s small things like that Solgaard does that make a big difference, and when they aren’t great at something? They listen. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of company that I want to deal with.
Is This the Best Backpack for Your Tech When Traveling? To Sum up This Lifepack Lite Review
Lifepack Lite? You are helping the environment. You are getting the best backpack for your tech when traveling. You are investing in convenience, safety, and comfort.
To sum up Solgaard as a company? It’s a company that cares. They are the first company to make backpacks made fully from recycled plastics even though they have significantly smaller resources than that of the competition. They care and listen. And that is why I love their products.
And they don’t just make backpacks. They also made watches (that we’ll probably never review) and some awesome carry-on & daypacks that we for sure would love to review in the future. (Solgaard if you are reading this firstname.lastname@example.org)