Generally speaking, the best gear is the gear with the most versatility, and the Solar Jacket belongs in that high-ranking category. A high-tech, lightweight jacket for many different occasions that’s packable. The solar jacket by out-of-the-box apparel designer Vollebak, is super cool and a whole lotta fun.
The high-tech lowdown on the Solar Jacket
It’s the core tech at the heart of the Solar Jacket which gives it its uniqueness – an ultra-thin membrane inside a waterproof translucent mesh – and is highly breathable. The membrane is engineered with a phosphorescent compound to store light energy, just like that of a plant leaf. Once exposed to a light source, the membrane will slowly re-emit the light.
The jacket can be quickly charged by sunlight (even on a cloudy day) or from a lightbulb. Leaving it exposed for two minutes or two hours will suffice, and the jacket glows as soon as you enter a dark space. When fully charged, the Solar Jacket glows its brightest green kryptonite color – a great safety feature for a nighttime run or trip in the mountains.
The brighter the charging source and a longer charge yields a brighter glow. The jacket emits light for a few hours before the slow fade back to a silvery-looking green and then a ghostly white. The tech cannot wash out or be rubbed off.
Not just all safety and seriousness, but fun too
The fabric is extremely sensitive and responsive to light. So much so that you can draw on it with a flashlight or headlamp: take out your iPhone torch and write a silly message on it or draw something cool before heading out into the dark.
The seams are done with a specialized transparent tape so that the entire jacket becomes a light canvas – every part except for the zip. This was something carefully conceived to make the jacket work to the fullest extent.
Super sharp styling fit for an office or Ultra marathon
By day this jacket is a light grey with a transparent sheen to it. The hue of the jacket will change in direct sunlight, depending if you have a light or dark t-shirt layered underneath. The jacket is handsome and sharp enough for a man to wear to the office, but also perfectly suitable for any outdoor adventure.
The material is stretchy and ideal for hiking, running, biking, or anything else. The degree of stretch makes the jacket more akin to a baselayer than a shell. The Solar Jacket is also waterproof. Every seam on the jacket is fully taped to keep out the wet along with the waterproof front zip and concealed storm guard for extra protection on inclement weather days. Three laser cut air vents with welded edges located under each pit to ensure adequate air flow.
The material is super soft and pliable with no friction or rubbing against the skin. Weighing in at only 230 grams, the jacket is so thin and packs down to the palm of your hand. The lightweight and packable aspect makes it perfect for any short or extended travel and trips.
Precise design and engineering
The Solar Jacket features a single pocket to hold a mobile phone, keys, or a card. The pocket has been designed on the smaller side so that when items are placed inside, there’s little bounce. A rubberized and lockable zip ensures nothing accidentally falls out. The hems have adjustments for an extra customized fit and feel. And the drawcord on the hood, when cinched snug, guarantees no loose or flapping material in the wind or while moving at speed.
All in all, the Solar Jacket is good for day or night use and for most sports. Benefits include keeping you safe and dry. Daily commutes to work, running ultras through the mountains, climbing at the crag, bike rides and kayak trips have met their jacket match as a windbreaker and emergency layer. It’s available for $445 USD