Kickstarter can be real hit or miss sometimes. For every great idea that gets funded, there’s another that never seems to materialize. Lucky for us the TYLT ENERGI+ falls in the former category. Their idea was to integrate an extremely functional backpack with the ability to charge your mobile devices. All they needed to make it happen was $50,000. Not only did they hit their funding goals, but they surpassed it, hitting over 150% of their goal. We’ll be looking at whether they were able to accomplish all they set out to do with this backpack.
TYLT ENERGI+ overview
I recently had the opportunity to review TYLT’s RIBBN charger. What impressed me the most about that device was the quality of materials and product design. So, needless to say, I came into this review with some pretty high expectations.
When I first pulled the TYLT ENERGI+ out of its box, the first thing I noticed was that there were instructions and diagrams everywhere in the backpack, showing how to get things set up. There was also a manual, but I didn’t need it. The diagrams were more than adequate. I also noticed a few loose strings poking out of the backpack, not a big deal, but again, I’m coming into this with abnormally high expectations.
When you purchase the backpack you’ll also receive a 10,400mAh battery pack and 3 micro USB cables. One of the cables will have an older 30 pin iPad/iPhone/iPod adapter plug attached. Before you continue setting things up, it’s best to charge up the battery pack to full capacity. The battery pack charges using a standard micro USB cable. They do not furnish a charging cable, but the device will work with the phone charger you already have and can even charge from any of your computer’s USB ports. One added bonus of the battery pack is that it has an output of 4.2A. This will allow you to quickly charge tablets, phones, or anything with a micro USB connection.
TYLT ENERGI+ setup
The backpack has a little pouch for the battery pack that will snuggly hold it in place. All the cables are fairly easy to route to the various pockets and pouches that you might want to place your devices in. One of the best features is that they don’t limit the pockets that can be routed to. Even though there are only 3 cables, almost all of the pockets can have a cable routed to it, so you don’t have to rely on where TYLT recommends you to place your devices. You can use your discretion to decide where you could best use the charging capabilities.
I also loved their cable management solution. They included elastic strips in strategic parts of the backpack to keep your power cables nice and neat. If you’ve ever built your own computer, you know how important that cable management can be.
Overall it’s not too difficult to get things up and running. It also fairly easy to reroute the cables to adapt to your changing needs.
TYLT ENERGI+ usage
I mentioned earlier that the idea for the ENERGI+ was to make an extremely functional backpack. I think the better word to describe it would be practical. There is virtually no unused space. If there is an empty space, there is a pocket. They even included a space with a rigid sunglasses and phone holder. This exact same space, of course, has a slot for a power cable, but it also has a slot to feed some wired headphones outside of the backpack so you can listen on the go.
Everyone that I showed the backpack to said that the only thing it needed was a water bottle holder. They then proceeded to be amazed as I pulled out just such a holder out of one of the pockets. This is just another example of how TYLT utilizes every usable space on the backpack. I was able to cram a ton of stuff in the backpack. I had my laptop, laptop power adapter, tablet, phone, lunch container, and various knick-knacks, with room to spare. Even with the backpack being fairly heavy at this point, the strategic padding really helped to remove any undue strain or pressure on my body.
I imagine that when they designed this backpack, they had a bunch of people sitting around asking, “Yeah, but can it do this?”. There are so many little things about this backpack that make it great. For example, there is a waterproof pouch on the front of the backpack for important documents. There is an embedded NFC tag in the strap so that you can trigger your phone to easily do certain tasks. There is a slot behind the backpack that will allow for the handle from a roller luggage to slip through so that you don’t have to carry the backpack on your back while getting to your plane at the airport. Speaking of traveling, the ENERGI+ is also TSA friendly.
What we liked
- Extremely functional and practical
- Ability to charge devices on the go
- Wow factor
What could be better
- A lower price would be nice
- More flexible battery pocket for other nonTYLT battery packs
- Quality was slightly off from their norm
TYLT ENERGI+ overall
For the most part, TYLT met my expectations with the ENERGI+ and I am very happy with the results. If you’re in the market for a backpack and travel a lot or you find yourself needing to charge your mobile devices fairly often, this is the backpack for you. If you’re a penny pincher, then not so much. The TYLT ENERGI+ retails at $169.99 on TYLT.com but is currently on sale for $119.99 with free shipping for Prime members on Amazon.
I’ve found that backpacks are very personal and very situation specific. Not really a one-size fits all. Why not get a great backpack(s) and an Anker battery pack?
I think for some people that is a great option. Let’s face it, the ENERGI+, while convenient, is expensive. Is it worth it? Well, only you can decide that. I personally think that their battery and cable system is pretty awesome. Is it going to be all things to everybody? Absolutely not and I wouldn’t recommend that everybody purchase this bag. I just hope that my own time and insight with the ENERGI+ can help people decide if this backpack will fit their needs.
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