I’ve seen plenty of online reviews of the Infinit Solar bag, but almost all of them are reviewing a brand new bag without using it or carrying it around for a considerable amount of time. At the retail price of 89.99 GBP you want a bag that will last you at least a good couple of years, so i took this bag on a trip through Southeast Asia for three months.
When I first saw this backpack in the Etihad online store where I was spending some Air Miles (they have a great frequent flyer program), I was quite excited, I saw some reviews online and heard about how great this bag was, so I ordered it.
Whilst waiting for the bag to arrive, it never crossed my mind about the list of things that would, tear, break, rust and wear out on this bag so quickly, I had yet to discover how poorly made this backpack was.
When the bag arrived I was pleased with the material, all the different sections and pockets, the solar panel seemed like a really cool idea, I was pretty exited to take this somewhere and make use of it. Sometimes I had found myself out of power for my iPhone and iPod so this bag could have been a really useful piece of kit for me.
I took the bag to Italy, during the trip we needed desperately to charge an iPhone to contact our bed and breakfast owner in Rome who had the door locked. The solar backpack failed us and would not charge the phone, I had been wearing the bag on my back almost all day for five or six days in sunny Milan, Naples, Pompeii and all down the Amalfi coast. How much charge was in the bag? – Nothing.
So the solar power portion of the bag was rendered useless somehow. I contacted Infinit and they sent me a new bag for free, trusting my word from my email that the bag was broken. The great customer service from Infinit put my mind at rest, this must be the best bag ever and that broken bag must have been a one-off.
I got the new one, and the solar panel did actually work somewhat – it does take a LOT of constant rays and a very long time in the sun to charge the inner power cell at all – You can’t leave it in the sun constantly charging, you have to let it charge the battery for hours first before you use it.
Knowing the new bag they sent me worked, I was confident enough to take it on my latest three-month trip to Southeast Asia, what a mistake that was. After less then three months the bag was falling apart whilst I was in Vietnam, you can see the photos to see the damage from normal use backpacking around Southeast Asia.
I’m not overly rough with my bags – The Infinit Solar Backpack is just a poorly made bag, I know this because I can compare it to my Berghaus daypack which I have had since 2005, used it on a fifteen month trip to Southeast Asia and Australia, used it for work in Autralia, even kicked it around, it’s still perfectly in one piece.
I’m now stuck with two almost useless Solar Backpacks, the solar charger either doesen’t work at all, works too slowly to be effective or the bag just falls apart. I won’t be going for a third time lucky with these bags, the only thing Infinit could do for me now is refund 90 GBP (around $150) worth of Air Miles that I wasted. I don’t want another Infinit bag.
The only benefit that I have come out with from using these bags, is that I now have two power cells that I can charge by plugging them into the wall. They power cells are handy, but I certaily won’t be carrying them around in the heavy dead weight of an Infinit solar bag.
If you’ve found this review and are thinking of buying a new bag, stick to the trusted brands when purchasing a backpack, go for a Barghaus, Karrimor or you favourite trusted brand with a long track record. Try to keep away from gimmicky products. If you want extra charge, just buy a power cell, if you need a portable solar charger, buy one from a specialist solar charger company.