Nelson Rigg Solar Bag – Run In The Sun

1. The Nelson Rigg CTB-950 SLR King Tourer ($299.95) comes with the main bag, solar panel (installed in the solar panel pouch in the back of the main bag), roll bag, main bag rain cover, roll bag rain cover, and an assortment of device connectors. The main bag measures 14 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 18 inches tall and with its expandable zippered section it can open up to 10 inches wide. The roll bag measures 13 inches long and 9 inches in diameter.

2. With Nelson Rigg’s Full Nelson mounting system, the bag can be mounted to a bike in numerous ways. We used our passenger backrest, and the bag was secured by tightening the three Velcro straps around the seat. There are also two straps with female buckle ends (not shown) that loop around the base of the backrest and hook into the male buckles on the bag to help secure it to the bike.

3. The bag has a vanity cover that zips over the mounting system to hide the all the straps and keep your bike looking clean.

4. Here you can see the back of the bag with the roll bag installed. The roll bag attaches to the main bag with a quick and easy buckle system (roll bag can be mounted separately as well). Here you can also see the solar panel in the back of the bag. The solar panel is removable if you should ever want to take it out. There are two pockets on each side of the bag, two of which are expandable to give you even more storage.

5. The main storage compartment of the main bag has capacity of 33.04 liters or 41.30 liters when expanded, plenty of room to shove in several days’ worth of clothes. The bag also features a fully lined interior and a fold out rigid plate to keep the bag from sagging when it’s empty. When you get to you your destination, and you pull the bag off the bike, it has hidden straps so you can turn it into a backpack.

6. On the back of the bag is yet another zippered pouch that can work as a mini mobile office to hold a PDA, cell phones, writing utensils, envelopes and two pockets to hold the battery charger and whatever you are charging. The backside of the solar panel has a cord that runs through and into the office compartment and plugs into the battery pack.

7. The device connectors kit includes a double-sided retractable cord system with one end that plugs into the battery pack and the other end plugging into your cell phone/PDA. Nelson Rigg includes an assortment of connectors to plug in to a wide variety of cell phones, iPods/MP3 players, and PDAs. Currently the one thing the charging system won’t work with is the 3G iPhone. Nelson Rigg also offers a separate rapid charge AC adapter so you can plug into a wall and charge the battery. You can also plug the USB cord into your computer and charge the battery.

8. However you charge the battery (via the solar panel, 110 outlet, or computer) the blue lights will flash indicating that the battery is being trickle charged. When all five lights stay lit, the battery is fully charged. When using the solar panel in direct sunlight in good conditions it can take between five to six hours to fully charge the battery. Then the solar panel will help maintain the charge while on the road without overcharging the battery. To charge your device you simply plug it in, push the button on the battery and the light will come on and begin charging. The solar panel does not need to be connected to charge the device. It’s estimated that once fully charged the battery will charge a device up to three times. We were pretty impressed with the bag and solar kit, there’s plenty of storage and backup battery power in one easy-to-use setup.

Why does it always seem like whenever you’re all loaded up and enjoying a long road trip your bike seems to break down in the middle of nowhere on some desolate road-probably because as motorcyclists we know the best rides and scenery can be found on the road(s) less traveled. And of course when our bikes do break down, it never seems to fail that one of two things occur, either we can’t get any cell phone service or we can get service but our phone has no juice left.

While we can’t do much to help with the no cell service situation, one of Nelson Rigg’s CTB-950 SLR Solar King Tourer bags is bound to ensure that you’ll be able to power up your cell phones no matter where you are once it’s been fully charged by either the sun or by outlet power at and possibly be the saving grace you need to help get you off the side of the road. While the CTB-950 SLR may look like a regular tour bag, it stands apart from the rest with its solar panel, rechargeable battery pack, and device connectors kit. The solar panel has a DC output voltage of 5.5V an output current of 700mA max, and has a cycle life of about 300 times. So while it isn’t powerful enough to recharge your laptop it can definitely handle your cell phone, PDA, and MP3 music devices.