A backpack that has solar panels is not all that novel an idea. After all, it’s been done before. Almost everyone carries a bag, but you won’t see many of them deliberately going into the sun as they head from place to place. Air-conditioning, underground link ways and sheltered bridges are all being installed at rapid rates to please the community.

What’s the use of a solar powered bag then, if you’re going to stay sweat-free and keep your Chanel or Dior Eau de Parfum on you to impress your clients? Well Lumos’ solar backpack for the cyclist makes a whole lot more sense. Even if you’re not a cyclist, I think you’ll quickly see why.

Obviously cyclists can’t try to avoid the sun when they ride. The sun’s going to be a cyclist’s best friend most of the time anyway, as riding through the rain is probably somewhat suicidal. This in turn means that backpack is always being sunned, and that’s where the solar panel comes in quite ingeniously.

The bag’s solar panel charges a battery or power bank of sorts as you ride along, absorbing the sun’s rays to power your electronic devices whilst preventing your back from heating up (well, it is a bit hot to carry a bag under the blazing sun, but more on that later) under the infrared radiation from that big orange ball. And that’s basically it.

You ride in the sun, and in turn your bag charges your phone. So no worries about your dead battery or forgetting to charge your phone at night before the morning commute. This kind of novelty sort of makes the inventors of car cigarette port chargers pause for a moment I reckon.

The bags come in various sizes, and include a waterproof cover in case it rains heavily. Although that does sound a bit self-defeating, let’s not forget we’re in Singapore, where rain and sunshine aren’t always mutually exclusive. The bag itself is water resistant, which should make for pretty dry bag contents if you encounter light rain.

In terms of comfort, the bags sit pretty well on the back, and include chest and waist straps to distribute load if you decide to carry really heavy stuff. The fit is fairly snug and doesn’t ever feel imbalanced or shifts when you’re riding along. The space is also decent enough to fit average items like books and other personal effects, and come with a large variety of pouches, small zippered compartments and segmented main compartments.

Ventilation is probably not the best, as the bag sits directly on your back snugly; but as a side effect, also warmly. It isn’t uncomfortable by any means, but you’ll feel it if you ride for extended hours like I did. That’s over 3 hours in the sun. I doubt anyone commutes 3 hours, so it’s probably fine for the most part.

These bags are the only ones in Singapore that make use of a Solar Fabric (the solar cells are on the fabric substrate) which means they are light (some of the lightest in their categories), resistant to crashes and scratches, and also don’t pose a safety hazard during crashes.

In all pretty decent bags as far as usability goes, and the novel idea really sells it for the technically connected people of today’s world who prefer a more un-digital form of transport. Two models are available, namely the Unplug and Thrillseeker. They vary in size and fit slightly differently on the back, but are nonetheless equally competent and comfortable.

Lumos bags can be purchased at:

Togoparts E-Store is also having a limited time introductory offer. Check it out here!