Cycling the Natchez Trace: Battery pack or solar charger?

As I prepare for my Natchez Trace bike trip next month, I agonize over gear. Don’t worry, it’s a good kind of agonize not the bad kind; gear nerds will understand.

I originally planned to take the Voltaic Fuse 6W solar charger to recharge my iPhone 5s. But I recently saw the stats on the new Mophie Powerstation.

Right now I’m leaning towards the Mophie pack. It’s 12,000 mAh of battery. The iPhone only has 1,570 mAh of battery so that’s over 7 full charges. Plus, I’m not cycling through wilderness so I can just charge the battery and the phone when I stop at restaurants. Even if I only have access to an outlet one time during my week-long trip, I can fully recharge the Mophie.

I’m just not sure how well the solar charger would work while riding on the bike. Plus, I’ll use the battery at other things like concerts or when traveling. If I was going to a 3rd world country or traveling through wilderness with limited access to facilities, I think that would change the equation. They’re both the same price so it’s just a matter of functionality at this point.

Anyhoo, would be interested in hearing your thoughts!

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3 thoughts on “Cycling the Natchez Trace: Battery pack or solar charger?

  1. After taking a look I would be more inclined to lean towards the Mophie option as well if i were biking and had access to power outlets ever so often. Seems like that’s a fairly big pack and should keep your electronics powered even if it took you a day or two to get to an outlet for a recharge.

  2. MIke wish I would have seen this before you left on your trip. I have been traveling with Mophie juice packs and solar panels for some time and the combo works out great for me. I found a solar panel that you may want to look into for future trips. Actually I will put a few links on this post of some gear I use you might be interested in. Light weight and small form factor is key for both pedal and motor bikes.

    I use this to charge my Mophie juice packs while riding.
    Solar panel:

    Sustainable lantern that is awesome, plenty of light.

    These can be used with the Mophie juice packs for the campsite and they put out plenty of light. I use them on the picnic tables when I have when it gets dark. Used them in the tent at night before I got the luminaid. LED and very little drain on the juicepacks

    These also can be used with the Mophie jucie packs for when you are cooking in the tent at night. Amazing what a little air movement can do for your comfort. These also do not use up the juicepacks much.

    These things just rock. I have more than a few, and they will hold ice for a freakishly long time. They were the brainchild of a cyclist and they have multiple sizes that fit in your bottle holders on your bike.

    Sorry for a long and late post.

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