TYLT sent me their Energi+ Backpack just before I left for CES, and I thought CES would be the prefect venue to test it out. I received the pack about 12 days before I left for CES and decided to not even open it until the day before my flight left so as to not get any first impressions until I was in the testing phase (boy that was hard). So, the day before my flight left I unpacked it and got it all ready to go for the trip. I fit a Macbook 13″ laptop, Acer Chromebook, Nikon D3100 (w extra lenses), a couple external batteries, both cords for the laptops and various other small extras into the pack with room left over. Before we go any further, let’s list the specs for the Energi+.
- Input Voltage: 5V 2Amp (Micro USB)
- Output Charging Current: 4.75V – 5.25V – 4.1Amp
- Lithium Ion Battery:10,400 mAh
- Battery Charge Time:7-8 Hours
- Two 1Amp USB ports for charging phones
- One 2.1Amp USB port for charging tablets
- 10,400mAh rechargeable Lithium Ion
- 1680D Poly Material Front Panel
- 900D Poly Material Sides & Bottom
- Fly-through Friendly
- Brushed Metal Zippers
- Laptop compartment will accommodate laptops up to 15.5in x 10.5in x 1.5in
- NFC Tag in Shoulder Strap
- Recharges via any USB Port
- 110 Cubic in. See-through Accessory Bag included
The Energi+ is an attractive and sporty looking backpack with a nice, comfortable design that really stood up to the amount of gear I was toting along. I really loved the minimal feel to the look, nothing flashy here, no outrageous colors or graphics. The TYLT logo and branding is done well without screaming “hey look at me, I’m a billboard!” The padding on the shoulder straps is nice and thick and provides some great support while easing the weight on the shoulders. The extra padding along the back with channels to let air circulate is also a nice touch. I tend to sweat heavily, however, and I did find myself having to remove the pack to get some air to my back. There is no flaw in design there, I’m just sweaty.
The design of the pockets and the way they open was genius, in my opinion. The pack is TSA approved, but, as I found out at O’hare airport, TSA approved means “One” laptop per backpack. I had two laptops in it and was forced to go back through the line removing one laptop out of the backpack. Up top is a nice compartment for keeping your cellphone, sunglasses, gum, mints anything that you need to access quickly and easily. Around front is a slim pocket for things like plane tickets, passports, IDs, anything with a slim profile. Along the sides are two more pockets, one is specifically for holding a water bottle and features a netting type holder that you can slip a standard 16.9oz bottle into. The other is again, small but good for things you might need to get to quickly. I used mine for a couple external batteries.
At the top you have access to the larger compartment that opens fully, like a mouth ready to swallow things up. It’s a great place to keep your camera and extra lenses. It’s deep and wide so there’s plenty of space to store whatever you need. The small accessory bag is also in this compartment, which I used to hold my extra wall chargers and cables. Also on top is a slim pouch lined with a microfiber type cloth which is perfect for tablets. It’s very slim, so you’re not going to fit too many bulky things in it. Finally, you come to the main zips which split the bag open to reveal the laptop storage and 10,400mAh battery.
The laptop area is roomy, I was able to fit both my Macbook 13″ and Acer 11″ Chromebook in it. I’m certain most 15″ laptops would fit into this area (not certain on anything bigger). In the same compartment you’ll find the main feature of this bag and that’s its 10,400mAh battery. The battery specs are listed above, so I’ll not repeat them here. The neatest thing about the bag is the ability to route your cables through precut and reinforced holes in the bag into the different compartments. This way you can have your tablet in the tablet pouch and be charging it as well. You can have your phone in a different compartment and run a cable to it from inside as well. The functionality and incorporation of the battery is brilliant. It kept my iPhone 5 charged for the whole day while I was at CES.
The only areas I could see left for improvement were that no lightning cables for iPhones were included. TYLT includes several micro usb cables but no lightning cables, leaving you to use your own. This is fine, but I always like to see those cables included. And the other thing that I would have liked to see is a front buckle to buckle the shoulder straps together. Now I only say this because I wore this backpack for 8+ hours a day while walking and with all the gear I carried it took a toll on my shoulders. Having the front buckle would have alleviated some of that burden from the shoulders and would have been so nice to have. This doesn’t mean the backpack is poorly designed, it just means that I probably used it more intensely than it was intended to be used.
The TYLT Energi+ backpack sells for $199.99 and I think it’s worth every penny. It’s the ultimate geek storage bag. It has more room than you’ll know what to do with. It’s stylish without being overbearing. It’s functional and the pocket placement and designs are brilliant. The 10,400mAh battery is enough to charge your phone several times over. It’s tough and resilient while protecting the valuables inside.
The only things I would like to see are: a front strap buckle to bring some of the load off the shoulders and across the chest. And of course, the inclusion of a lightning cable with the backpack. Now it would be a real feat for TYLT to make this same backpack with a larger capacity battery solution for phones, tablets AND laptops. That would be something to see and use for sure! I give the TYLT Energi+ backpack 4.5 stars out of 5, hit the link below to get yours.
*We were sent a TYLT Energi+ Backpack for the purposes of this review.