Tajezzo PZ5 Smart Backpack Review: Something Completely Different

Have you ever wanted to make a call from your backpack? Have you ever wanted your backpack to put on a light show while you listen to music? Have you ever wanted your backpack to be lit up to make you more visible after dark? While “no” might be the answer to the first two questions, the third one definitely is a “yes” for us. The Tajezzo PZ5 smart backpack does all three of those things, and we just had to test it, as it is undoubtedly an unusual product for motorcycle riding.

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The Tajezzo PZ5 is a hard-shell backpack that includes Bluetooth intercom technology, two battery-powered external speakers, and many cargo options. The hard shell incorporates a thin LED panel at the top with the speaker array on the opposite side, facing the back of the wearer’s head.

The unit is 22 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and as much as seven inches deep. Although the shell is hard plastic, it doesn’t have any crash protection capabilities claimed. The two shoulder straps are adjustable, and there’s a buckled strap across the front that holds the straps securely on your body. Imbedded in the right strap is a four-position rubberized multipurpose button assembly, which we’ll get to.

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Inside, you can pack your smartphone, tablet, and laptop (15-inch maximum), all in separate compartments, at the same time. There are countless pockets and sleeves to hold all sorts of things. It’s roomy and practical—no doubt about it.

After pulling the PZ5 out of its beautifully elaborate box, the first thing you do is charge it—there’s a 19 Wh lithium-ion battery inside the backpack, which is about six times the capacity of an iPhone 13. There’s an integrated USB charging cable in the backpack, so you plug it into a USB charging port and wait a few hours. You then unplug the cable and tuck it back into a lower cavity of the PZ5. You’ll also note two other cables tethered with it—one each to charge your iPhone or Android device.

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Next up, you pair your phone to the Tajezzo PZ5—that’s where the multipurpose button on the left shoulder strap comes in. Push the button with the telephone icon to initial Bluetooth 5.0 pairing, and you’ll quickly see the backpack come up on your list of devices—at least it did with my iPhone 12 Mini (our preproduction PZ5 was called “Leo Backpack”). Accept the pairing, and it’s ready to go. Also, every time I subsequently powered the PZ5 on, it automatically paired to my smartphone.

The first thing I did with my smartphone paired was listen to some music to access the speakers. I selected the new EP from Smirk on Spotify and hit play. Lo and behold, the Tajezzo PZ5 turned into a loudspeaker system. The sound from the speakers powered by a 13-watt amp isn’t precisely hi-fi, but it’s not bad. It cranks up decently loudly, too.

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If you’d like the LED panel in the back to flash along with different colors to the music, then push the light button until it announces in an odd voice that you’re in the Music mode—Austin Powers would love it. If not, the Light-off mode allows you to listen with no lighting accompaniment.

Music and talk radio sound fine around town while riding with a full-face helmet on, though not as good as when you have a communications device integrated into your helmet.

Next up is testing the phone function—yes, you can make and receive telephone calls with the PZ5. When a call comes in, push the telephone button to answer the call. There’s a microphone integrated into the backpack, so you can talk to the other party. However, the other person is heard via the backpack’s speakers, which means anyone nearby can listen to the person you’re talking to.

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The system certainly sounds good enough for phone calls while walking around with it on your back. You can answer the phone while riding. However, to clearly hold a conversation, you’ll want to pull over—not a bad idea, anyway.

In addition to the Music mode for the LED panel, there are two lighting modes of interest to motorcycle riders—Sport mode and Night mode.

Night mode is straightforward. If it’s dark, it’s on. If you put the PZ5 in this mode in the daylight, it will come on if you ride through a tunnel or other dark area. The LED lighting is a slit, so it’s an auxiliary safety device—the taillight on your motorcycle or scooter is much brighter and has more lit real estate.

We were promised more in Sport mode than we got. The instructions claim, “When there is an emergency stop, bumps, or others, the light will flash quickly.” We went out and did some emergency stops, and never were able to trigger the light to flash quickly. However, it does blink and cycle through different colored lights in this mode continuously. It could be the motion sensor needs to be more sensitive to braking forces. So, while the braking flashes never happened for us, we did like the continuous flashing, particularly as it began to get dark.

Weighing in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces, before you put anything in it, the Tajezzo PZ5 is not a lightweight backpack. That’s to be expected, as it has a hard shell, speakers, and a large battery. The good news is that it sits nicely on your back, so it’s comfortable for commuting and urban rides.

The Tajezzo PZ5 smart backpack has an unusual collection of features. The sound system function is a big differentiator, as is the battery pack, which can charge various devices. The added visibility of the LED panel is okay, but something of an opportunity lost due to its relatively small size—the braking light function also needs to be worked out. The large, versatile cargo area and the rugged polyhedron shell are also appealing features.

While you can certainly use it on a motorcycle or scooter, it’s highly functional for pedestrians, bicyclists, or skateboarders. Tajezzo, founded in August 2019, describes itself as a company that “[combines the functional innovation of industrial design with the popular trends in the fashion field and creating a maverick for the new youth of the Z generation—wearable products.” Oh, and Tajezzo is the Chinese word for “trailer.”

Currently, the Tajezzo PZ5 is part of a Kickstarter project, with a promised delivery date of February 2022. The MSRP of the PZ5 will be $359, though the Super Early Bird price on Kickstarter is $249. As always, we can’t assure that anything on Kickstarter will be delivered on time, or at all. However, the project has been successfully funded with 40 backers as of Thanksgiving, so that’s a good sign. Additionally, we had an actual working preproduction model in white rather than dark gray, which is why we went with the representative stock photos. That assures us that it’s not vaporware. The PZ5 backpack is an interesting product, no doubt about it.