BACKPACKERS are often perceived to be a certain type of person, someone who has been on the road for a long time, wandering and drifting from town to town. But this archaic stereotype is being thrown to the wayside, as many travelers opt for backpacking as a vacation style.
However, whether they are career person looking for a little adventure, or a high school graduate taking some time out before embarking on a journey of higher education, it is particularly rare in the 21st century for backpackers to go entirely off the grid. The need to stay digitally connected is a common desire among travelers, with many hotels, hostels and even airlines offering complimentary Wi-Fi.
The need to stay digitally connected is not so much a choice as it is a necessity now, but what do you do if you are between destinations or on a long bus ride and your devices are running low on battery? Thankfully, tech innovators have come up with a variety of handy backpacks featuring built-in tools to keep you connected.
Here are our top picks, just in time for buying that extra special Christmas present.
This tech-focused bag is more about keeping you in touch with the online world than it is for keeping stuff inside. Visvo is a new company on the market and can be found building their brand on Kickstarter. For 15 years they have been working on creating backpacks for the diverse needs of cyclists, urban nomads and intrepid travelers.
The features of the backpack include a built-in 3.0 charge pack, front and back LED lights, internal lighting, GPS tracking and magnetic straps to catch your Apple AirPods if they fall out of your ears.
The high-tech backpack is setting a precedent for future traveling bag manufacturers. It has also vicariously become an ideal photographer’s bag as it is highly water-resistant, protective and temperature resistant to keep the film from spoiling.
Price: ranges from US$294 to US$507
This ultra-light backpack has solar panels built onto it to generate electricity for charging your devices. The power drawn from the sunlight goes into a large-capacity 10,000mAh emergency power bank, which safely stores all of this natural energy so you can charge your device while you watch films, update your loyal fans with Instagram pictures and look at maps to ensure you stay on the right track.
This is the perfect backpack for hikers and travelers who plan to go off grid, but still, want to stay connected.
Price: ranges from US$49.99 to US$139.99
The Sosoon smart backpack is brilliant for the urban jungle and trekking into the far-out forests. The spacious bag has plenty of easily-accessible compartments and an external USB charging point as well as a built-in cable. While you have to put your own power bank in the bag, it isn’t necessarily a negative, as you can research which ones are allowed on planes and which is best for your device.
There is also a dedicated laptop compartment with soft padding just waiting for your laptop to be nestled inside. The backpack makes every attempt to conceal the fact you are carrying around some of your most expensive items and provides anti-theft features such as hidden zippers and invisible pockets.