If you’re out of the house often, for either travel or at a convention for example, it can be difficult to find a charge at the end of the day for your phone. For me, someone who does both quite frequently, it can be a pain to find a publicly available electrical socket to give my phone the extra boost I need to call an Uber home or bring up navigation to get back to my hotel. The Tetra backpack by Poros has a built in battery charger and now I can’t live without it.
Disclosure: The founder of Poros, John B., is a super good guy and provided me with a Tetra backpack for review.
I travel frequently and so having a backpack that fulfills my utility needs is something of a premium for me. However, I’ve noticed that there is normally a trade off been backpacks that are useful and backpacks that look good. I normally forgo any ambitions of having a fashionable bag but the Tetra by Poros intrigued me. The most important features to me in evaluating the Tetra were the charge system, features, space, comfort, and looks. Let’s see how the Tetra does in these areas.
Travel while charging your phone, camera, and other accessories
The main difference that makes the Poros a compelling travel option is the bag’s embedded charge system. Each bag has a 10,000 mAh battery with dual charging capability delivered by either dedicated Lightning connector or Micro USB connector, plus an additional female USB connector. A standard electric plug provides power to the bag and fully charges overnight. There is even a cool little display embedded in that let’s you know how much juice you have left.
Never worry about battery levels by charging on the go.
But what does all this mean for you? Basically, you can plug in virtually any small device you like for charging. I have the Nexus 6P, an amazing phablet I recommend, but has an incredibly thirsty battery that charges via USB-C. With a $10 adapter cord, I could easily plug in my phone in for a boost and got a little over two full charges while using it. Smaller phones like the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 should see about 4 charges.
The dedicated Micro USB came in handy as well as I was able to charge my camera while commuting between locations. Minimizing my carry load while traveling is super important to me and being able to ditch my charger and an extra battery is surprisingly liberating.
Recently before I had this bag I arrived at an airport after a busy day and found my phone was dead. Finding an outlet and waiting until I had enough juice to call my contact was an annoyance that I know I’ll never have to go through again. And although I still like to carry my phone’s charger, the Tetra has already saved me once on an overnight trip where I forgot it. I now consider a bag like this a must for those who find themselves out of the house for trips or all day events.
The cool display inside the bag lets you know how much juice you have left.
Features, Space, & Comfort
The Tetra features two main compartments: One large compartment that has a padded laptop pocket and zippered notebook pocket, and a smaller front compartment that has 4 small pouch-like pockets and all of the support electronics. The bag is surprisingly roomy as I was able to fit my laptop, notebook, and small Eagle Creek Pack-It clothes organizer filled with a few days worth of dress clothes in the main compartment with ease.
The Poros Tetra is a good looking travel bag
There is however little in the way of features for organization. Three of the four small pouches are dedicated to cords, leaving one small pouch I put my keys in. Although I travel with organizers that help me reduce space and clutter, I would have liked to have seen a couple pen loops and perhaps another inside zippered pocket in the front compartment. I found myself digging through the bottom for a pen all too often.
I’ve taken two trips with this bag and have walked for a considerable amount of miles, and I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the comfort. The shoulder straps boast the Poros Air comfort padding that is made of mesh, but I think it’s the ergonomics of the bag that made it so easy to carry. Even while carrying the Tetra while wearing a sport coat it was never uncomfortable.
The trade-off with the Tetra is that if you can escape the need for little nooks and loops to organize everything for you, this bag offers a lot of space in an extremely tidy envelope.
The small Eagle Creek travel pack fits perfectly
Poros designs simple bags that have a minimalist aesthetic that carries into the feature set of the Tetra. The blue ballistic nylon adds a tough shell while feeling modern while the zippers and hardware are polished solid metal giving it just enough sophisticated accent to give it authority as a high-end bag. Two subtle and well designed logos adorn the back and right shoulder strap.
Looking good while walking around NYC
There are not a lot of choices for a modern looking bag, and the Tetra has clean lines that look good with casual work clothes or even with a suit. I receive a lot of compliments while carrying this bag with someone I know saying how it would make a great gift for her husband’s birthday or Father’s day. It’s definitely a conversation piece that you would never guess has such utility.
Should you buy it? With the utility of the charge system, and the great looks, this is the perfect every day bag for those who travel frequently. Considering the build quality, I believe that $199 price tag is very reasonable. You will however need to be ok with minimal pockets and such. I highly recommend investing in a couple organizers to carry with you.
- Sleek design with well appointed hardware
- Easy to use battery charge system
- Very comfortable even with a sport coat
- Not a lot of pockets or loops for organization
- Cords from the charge system can get tangled
To be honest, I was skeptical at first, and I still find myself looking for a side pocket to place my glasses or water bottle in. However, with the charging capability, roomy bag interior, comfort, and looks, the Tetra is definitely my go-to bag for work and pleasure.
Poros is a Seattle based company that has a growing list of high quality charger embedded bags. I’m sure you’ll find one for your lifestyle and needs.
Do you travel frequently and have any tips or products you can’t live without? Share some in the comments!