CES 2011: Solar-Powered Coolers and Totes From Traveler's Choice
Walking through the Sustainable Planet zone, a display of solar powered bags caught my eye. In particular, I was drawn to the cooler with the solar cell on the lid, pictured above. While I've seen a fair share of bags, this was the first good looking cooler I've noticed. The cooler, along with all the bags in the line, have a 5 watt cell attached to them. According to the booth's spokesman, they're capable of charging a cell phone battery to full capacity in 2-3 hours, and one bar's worth of charge in about 15 minutes. I'm skeptical of that, but the solar cell on display did show that it was gathering about 3.2 watts while in partial light indoors. So a few solid hours of direct sunlight could put quite a bit of electricity into a dead battery.
It's a fairly stylish line of bags -- including messenger, laptop, and backpacks. They each come with a rechargeable battery and adapters for several types of devices. They might not be the most powerful solar bags out there, but they're certainly functional.
While I was assured that these were online and ready for purchase by consumers, I didn't find the line on the Traveler's Choice website -- perhaps they'll be added soon. The backpack retails for $187, the laptop bag for $193, and the messenger bag and cooler both retail for $190.
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