COOPH says the HelioFlex is the “only backpack you will ever need.” The bag’s name is derived from the ancient Greek god Helios, the personification of the Sun, and it sheds light on one of the backpack’s essential features, a built-in solar panel.
The “Solar Front Bag,” which COOPH developed alongside Sunnybag, allows photographers to charge their cameras and other electronics. The 8.5-watt solar panel is modular, meaning it can be detached entirely from the rest of the backpack.
Modular backpacks are hot these days. Earlier this month, PetaPixel covered the Zipble, another modular backpack on Kickstarter.
Returning to HelioFlex, the solar panel can charge a tablet over USB-C with about eight hours of sunlight. A typical dedicated camera can fully charge in five hours, while a smartphone takes about four hours. As a result, it could be the perfect companion for adventure photographers who go off the grid for days at a time.
“HelioFlex adapts to you,” writes COOPH. Everything begins with the “backpack base,” a somewhat traditional backpack with a top flap opening, a handle, adjustable shoulder straps, and side pockets.
Users can attach one of the three add-on bags using counter-arranged hooks and Fidlock buckles. Aside from the Solar Front Bag, there are also Tablet Front Bag and Camera Cube Bag options.
The Camera Cube Bag fits inside the backpack’s main compartment and includes adjustable internal dividers. The camera cube is accessible from inside the HelioFlex Base Backpack and includes a separate shoulder strap.
The Camera Cube Bag’s adjustable dividers “fit any device” and should work well for mirrorless cameras, DSLRs, drones, and action cameras. While it does not look like a larger telephoto lens would fit into the Camera Cube Bag, it seems capable of holding a camera body and a few smaller lenses.
COOPH says the HelioFlex is water resistant and delivers “maximum comfort.” The backpack has a ventilated back, two main compartments, and 16 gear pockets. The two internal compartments are five and 10 liters in capacity and one of the gear pockets is designed to hold a water bottle or a camera tripod and includes a strap to keep longer tripods safely attached.
Pricing and Availability
The COOPH HelioFlex backpack is available in three colorways: charcoal black, granite gray, and moss green. The base backpack starts at €149, which is just over $160. This is a €100 savings compared to the eventual retail price.
An “Ultimate Bundle” option that includes the HelioFlex Backpack Base and the Solar Front Bag and Camera Cube Bag add-ons is €299, or about $330. Individual add-ons start at just over €50.
COOPH expects the HelioFlex to begin shipping in March 2024. Full backer options and details are available on Kickstarter.
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Image credits: COOPH