Review: Powerbag Business Class Pack - We have 3 to give away!

PowerBag Business Class Pack
By Adam Zeis on 16 Feb 2012 03:02 pm EST
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"The Powerbag Business Class Pack is an awesome backpack with built-in battery power. You can keep up to four devices charging on the go which is a tech geek's dream!"

In Short:
"Awesome bag that will keep you charged."

Should I Buy?
"I love it, but it's not right for everyone."
BUY NOW

Right after the hectic days of Christmas die down and the New Year comes, tech bloggers, journalists, press and any other interested geeks start gathering their toys and packing a bag to head off to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). I have a stash of travel gear tucked away, so when I start packing for any conference it's never too much of a chore. My cables are tucked away in my Skooba Cable Stable, all my devices (phones, tablets, iPod) are in one drawer for easy access and my "conference bag" is pre-stocked with my Moleskine, some pens, business cards, power cords and my retractable USB cables so I never have to worry about forgetting them. Now typically I just toss my gear in my bag and I'm ready to roll -- but this year I had a slight change of plans before heading off to Sin City.

Not two days before leaving for CES I had a visit from UPS who dropped off a larger than normal box for me. Upon opening I saw a backpack inside. I immediately checked my Amazon history (I order a lot of stuff and sometimes forget what's coming) and noticed nothing unusual. As I pulled the contents, a quick note let me know that I was now the proud owner of a Powerbag and was welcome to stop by the booth at CES to pick up my battery. Intrigued and excited (and somewhat disappointed that I had no battery) I hopped over to mypowerbag.com to check out the details on my new toy bag. Keep reading for my expierence and real life use of the Powerbag Business Class Pack.

The Review

The Powerbag Business Class Pack looks pretty much like your standard backpack. Black all around, a few straps here and some pockets there. Once you pop a zipper open however, you'll notice that it's far from your average backpack. The specs/features on the Powerbag Business Class Pack are pretty sweet off the bat: a removable 6000mAh battery (which I would have to pick up), one-touch battery level indicator and power button, water-resistant AC adapter charging port and "checkpoint friendly" design. The bag itself measures 12"x8"x18" which is a pretty good size for carting around your goods. You can fit up to a 15" laptop in the dedicated compartment and there are various pockets throughout for fitting in tablets, phones, notebooks or whatever you need. 

PowerBag Business Class Pack

Inside you'll find a battery/power pack nestled in the bottom of the bag. It sits away in its own little space, so it's easy to ignore once you have your battery in. The battery itself gets charged via the included AC adapter. Plug it in to the nicely covered port on the bottom of the bag, and the front LEDs illuminate to let you know you've got some juice. I'm not totally sure on the actual time to fully charge the battery, but if you're like me you'll leave it plugged in overnight before you need it. 

PowerBag Business Class Pack

 

PowerBag Business Class Pack

Now the fun part. In the front pocket of the PowerBag you'll find what I like to call "tech central". Here is where all of your devices will sit and you'll have access to the cables from your bag's battery. There is a standard iPhone 30-pin cable, microUSB cable and miniUSB cable. You also have the option to plug in an additional USB cable straight to the battery box, giving you the ability to charge up to four devices at once. Awesome sauce. 

PowerBag Business Class Pack

Simply plug in your device(s), hit the power button on the bag and you're up and running. The front LED will tell you how much power you have so you never have to worry. Tech central has two lined pockets that nicely fit pretty much any small portable electronic device that you will be carting around.

The next pocket in the bag is what the power supply calls home and it also sports a zippered mesh pocket as well as a lined pocket for your tablet(s) or books/magazines. Here is where I ran an additional microUSB cable just because I wanted to. I don't have a use for it at the moment, but I like knowing it's there in case I need it. 

Next in line is a very cool pouch/pocket that the folks at PowerBag call a sunglass pocket, but I call a super awesome schwag pocket. Here is where I keep all my retractable USB cables, thumb drives and other little stuff I need quick access to.

The main compartment of the bag is your typical laptop bag fare - pen holders, a small pocket for business cards and two larger pockets for notebooks or other items. This compartment also houses the power cables for my Mac and any other items I don't have a better place for.

PowerBag Business Class Pack

Last but not least is the lay-flat laptop compartment. Lined for your protection, it fits up to a 15" laptop. The fun part of this compartment is that it lays totally flat from the rest of the bag so you don't have to remove your computer for airport security. Like a dummy I still take mine out, but if you're not as weird as I am you'll be fine just laying the entire bag on the belt. 

I never had an issue with killing the battery in my Powerbag, but depending on your needs you may want to opt for the larger 9000mAh battery. I used the bag to charge my spare batteries during the days on the show floor at CES and juice up my iPhone a time or two. If you have more devices you'll obviously kill the battery faster, but if you're selective about what you charge when, you should be able to manage with the 6000mAh battery.

The bag itself looks sweet too. Its plain black design matches nearly every other bag I've ever owned, and the padded shoulder straps never gave me an issue. There is also a nifty water bottle pocket on the side that came in more handy than I would have expected (yes, just for water). 

PowerBag Business Class Pack

Would I recommend a Powerbag? Of course. I think it's a great combo for any tech geek. You have cables and a battery nicely tucked away and ready when you need them. There are pockets galore for stashing all your devices while they charge. The bag itself is great - it's roomy enough for everyday gear, doesn't scream "I'm a Powerbag" and it's totally comfy to wear.  The lay-flat design is a great feature, but in most cases you can probably get by without it. 

Should you run out and buy one? Well that's up to you. I personally would have no problem spending the money on one of these bags (the retail price of the Powerbag Business Class Pack is $179.99) but that's certainly a lot of money for a backpack. You can most definitely get by with a standard bag (my old Targus bag was $49.99) and an inexpensive external battery like this one from New Trent, and you're still saving yourself $80. While it won't be as pretty or easy to charge multiple devices as a PowerBag, it still gets the job done.

So overall I say yes to the PowerBag. If you're on the go constantly (or even semi-constantly) and need to keep more than once device charged, this bag is awesome. Just remember to charge it at night (I've worked it into my routine) and you'll never have to worry about dead devices on the go.

Business Class Pack
by Powerbag

The Good

If you're on the go constantly and need to keep more than one device charged, there is none better than Powerbag. Its built in battery will let you charge nearly any device while you're out and about.

The Bad

The Powerbag is a laptop bag and external battery in a nice package. In most cases you can achieve the same while spending less if you just get creative.

Conclusion

I personally love my Powerbag, but it's not right for everyone. If you have the means and will put it to good use, then I say go for it. If you're more of a "weekender" or will only use it occasionally, I think you can definitely get by without it. 

PowerBag
More information and Purchase
of the Powerbag Business Class Pack

Contest: We have 3 Powerbag Backpacks to give away. To enter to win, just leave a single comment on this post. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST. The bag comes in red and please note it's a different model than the one reviewed here.

Reader comments

Review: Powerbag Business Class Pack - We have 3 to give away!

1034 Comments

I NEED a power bag - My office is mobile, my life is mobile - staying fully charged is an absolute necessity for my life. This would really make a huge impact for my life and business.

This would be and awesome gift for me as I am ALWAYS plugging in my 9930 throughout the day because 1: I use it that much and 2: it consumes that much power with all the apps running. So this would be a definite yes for me!
Thanks in advance CrackBerry and Powerbag!

That bag has "need for SxSW" written all over it. Yes, please enter me. I seriously could've used one last year.

Marc K.
@technomensch
@stayinginsync

I live in a mobile world. In car, train, plane, hotspot etc. No office. On the go with my BlackBerry & laptop. Enter me please. Thanks CB!

ohgoshhie i would love to have this soo badly, well not a chance i could win this.
but i gonna try this. goodluck ya all. xoxo byul.

Would be good if the various plugs were interchangeable, but this would make a good upgrade to my current bag.

As an emergency services training officer, I'm constantly on the move. BB, PB, and laptop/projector in tow. This would be fantastic for me!

I'll love this Bag!!!! I have a Portable charger but is mess up already..!!!!N so please give me one of those..!!!!, Thank you

Bought my new powerbag, had it for less than a week. Then it got stolen!!!!!!! :-(Really love it for that few days of extra juice

Wow, camping/hiking backpackers dream! My phone and playbook would never die. Ontop of that it seams more and more cell phone towers are being installed every year around lakes and things. "Camping" with tech toys is where its at lol

This is most likely the sweetest contest I have ever seen on this website. I definitely want in. Please let me win this one. Especially since I just got the PlayBook and have two other devices that I can charge that I always have with me. Not counting when my wife is with me and she has her torch. Great contest. Now all I need to do is hope I win.

I really like this gadget and have been following news & stories about powerbag since I came to know about it early this year. I am really looking forward to win one...

Ooooooh, I'd love to win that one!

Could use that for work, for race weekends, for road trips.... oh yeah, I could pack it all in that bad boy.

I'm wanting a new bag for the work commute anyway, so good timing. It's a sign!!!

Well, maybe not, but I still want one.

Such an awesome idea! why not make portable power part of the bag... simple but genius! I definitely want one!

This would be so perfect for me. I keep everyhting in a bag now, but I have to carry that bag and wheel myself at the same time, and I am alwasy looking for a place to charge my tablet or phone cause I use them so much.. If I won this bag I can tell you it would go to goood use. I could hang it on the back of my chair, and keep my devices charged while out and about! What better way to make life easier.

Now that a travel bag ... when I'm on site for support I carry my BlackBerry phone, Playbook and two other devices that will work with that charger (headset etc.) wouldn't have to worry about finding power for my charger or remembering to bring it! I would love to have one...

Looks amazing! I'd love to power my electronics on the go :D it'll let me run my blackberry and ipod for a VERY long time! :)

Oh My Jeezus, if I am ever to win one of these contests let it be this one........and let us all say AMEN!

Plus I been eyeing this since CES, when Ashley did her review! I gotta have it but it aint fitting the budget.

I would love to win 1!! Wow if i lose this contest the crackberry team really hate me! I'm 0 for like 100+ with contests from here now! I got 3 chances to win one in one contest, So show the love Crackberry!

Sounds quite nice, are the three adaptors the ones you show in the 5th picture or are there two usb adaptors like that, which would seem more useful these days with most stuff charging from micro usb.

I loved when i saw this in your CES video. When i saw that i was hoping you would have a contest for it. I WANT ONE!!!

Please pick me! College student that goes to school and works about 12 hours total a day. Plus I live in a poor reception zone so I'm always having to charge. This would make life so much less dependent on a charger!

Have been traveling a lot carrying multiple chargers and cables. This will make life much easier for me. Would love to win one.

Between my 9700, my Playbook and my x201 laptop, I could sure use an emergency power source and kit to carry it all. Bring on OS 2 !

Sounds similar to my first laptop bag, which had a universal AC adapter built into it. It's still in pristine condition, as I never used it...between the leather and the AC adapter, it weighed a ton.

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