This simple modification to a backpack with the addition of a couple of solar panels will enable you to charge your devices in the sun. You really don’t need much for this, and it should work to charge anything that is powered by a USB Hub. Of course, it won’t charge as quickly as with a wall unit, however it is useful for those times when you need to charge something on the go.

So what do you need? Not too much surprisingly.


1 x Backpack, ideally you would want one with a flat back, it will make it much easier to attach the solar panels to the backpack.

You will need three small solar panels. You can pick these up fairly cheap. Check whether the diode comes with it or not.

Some Wire

Trent Battery, get a new one and not a second hand one!

IN5819 Battery, this should come with the panels, if it doesn’t, purchase it separately.

USB Female Connector.


Soldering Iron + Solder
High Temperature Epoxy Glue
Heat Shrink Tubing

How to make it

It really is a case of connecting everything together, there is nothing much to it apart from that. You will need to connect the wires in parallel on the solar panel, which in turn will power your battery. The battery then needs to be connected to your USB port, which is where the charge will come from. Protect your wires using the heat shrink tubing.

You will be gluing the solar panels to your backpack using your Epoxy Glue. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long this takes to dry, it shouldn’t be too long! Once that is done, you are good to go!