We carry around a lot of technology with us these days – a cell phone, a laptop or a tablet PC, a digital music player, a digital camera and/or a camcorder, maybe even a portable video game. But there's been a literal disconnect between the electronics and the bags – backpacks, over-the shoulder soft-shoulder attaché, messenger, tote – in which we carry all these continually power draining gadgets.
Yes, there are bags with built-in solar power panels, but these require sun and time to do its recharging. If you're lost on a desert island, these solar bags would come in handy. But here in the found urban world, we have something called AC power.
Enter the Powerbag from a new company called RFA Brands, which also makes a host of iPod/iPhone/iPad cases and portable power devices. Built into each Powerbag is a 3000 milliamp (mAh) rechargeable battery, enough to give an iPhone four full charges (there'll be an optional 6000 mAh battery available). Attached to the battery are four cables: one with a 30-pin Apple connector, along with cables terminated with full size, micro and mini USB jacks.
Which means, you can attach and keep all your varying rechargeable toys fully charged.
This arrangement all by itself is a "Why didn't I think of that!" idea – but there's more.
And, inside an exterior flap is another jack to connect the whole bag to an AC jack. That's right, the backpack gets plugged into a wall socket. But this connection does more than simply recharge the internal bag battery. Leave all your toys connected inside the bag and the smart AC connector fully charges all the connected devices first, and only then does the battery get recharged.
Backpacks, messenger bags and soft-sided executive-type attaché cases, available in a variety of colors and storage options, all are priced at $150. A ladies' tote will retail for $99.99, and all will be available in May.
What I'd like to do is combine Powerbag with another extraordinarily functional bag, the Walkin' Bag. Developed by a polio survivor, each Walkin' Bag, priced between $125 and $180, has four wheels, an extra-strong pull-up handle you can lean on and, most importantly, a collapsible seat able to hold up to 300 pounds. Lighter than you think yet still sturdy, Walkin' Bag will come in handy in a crowded airport or for convention goers like me where sitting options are scarce. Check 'em out here.