When you can make your jacket glow like kryptonite, you know there’s some crazy tech going on. Made from a highly responsive material that can be charged by exposing it to almost any light source, from the sun to your mobile phone torch, the Solar Charged Jacket is Vollebak’s most technologically advanced jacket.
While this is the kind of technology that would normally live and die in an innovation lab, the Solar Charged Jacket performs amazingly out in nature. It stores sunlight, protects you from driving rain and headwinds, and glows in the dark. And this is what makes it the Swiss army knife of jackets – you can use it day or night for almost any type of sport or adventure to light you up and keep you safe and dry. Whether you’re heading out training in the dark, running an ultra through the mountains, climbing, riding, or out on the water, it works as a phenomenal lightweight rain jacket, windbreaker, emergency layer or safety device. It’s ultra light and packable at 230g so takes very little space or weight when not being worn. And unlike most tech it can’t fail. The core technology that enables the jacket to glow is its waterproof membrane. It’s been engineered with a phosphorescent compound that rapidly absorbs and stores light, then re-releases that light slowly as day turns to night.
The Solar Charged Jacket is fuelled fastest by sunlight as it’s brighter than anything else you’ll find, so the simplest and most efficient way to charge it is by wearing it outside during the day. Whether it’s for 2 minutes or 2 hours, the jacket will simply store the energy from the sun and start glowing as soon as it gets dark. With just a couple of hours’ charge it can still be glowing up to 12 hours later. Even on cloudy days, or left near a window, daylight is bright enough to charge it up.
The logic behind the jacket is really simple: the longer you charge it, and the brighter the source you charge it with, the more energy it will absorb and the longer and brighter it will glow. The glow is at its brightest immediately after it has been charged but can remain for up to 12 hours. In broad daylight the jacket will only ever be a subtle light grey, and it will stay that colour until you go somewhere dark or the sun sets. When it’s fully charged at night it glows in the green spectrum at around 530 nanometers before fading to silvery green then white.
The core technology that enables the jacket to glow is its membrane – an ultra thin layer housed inside a translucent mesh that keeps rain out and lets sweat escape. Engineered with a phosphorescent compound it rapidly stores any light it comes into contact with and re-emits it slowly over time. The tech sits at the very centre of the fabric, so it can’t wash out or rub off.
The Solar Charged Jacket is fully waterproofed, with all seams sealed with specially designed transparent tape, so that none of the glow is lost. The hood and waistband have elasticated drawcords that can be pulled tight rapidly. Welded eyelets at the underarms provide additional ventilation without letting water in. It has a waterproof front zip with a concealed storm guard for extra protection, the cuffs are laser-cut and bonded, and there’s a waterproof zip pocket at the back with enough room for your phone, card and keys.
All images for Vollebak by Sun Lee