TECHNOLOGY / FASHION

This puffer jacket stores sunlight to keep you illuminated after sundown

Vollebak's Solar Charged Puffer jacket turns you into a human firefly for the dark Scandinavian winter.
By ERIK SEDIN
November 19, 2020

The people over at Vollebak are no strangers to innovative garments. The British brand has been mixing science, technology and fashion long ’before it was cool’, and has turned heads, raised eyebrows and won innovation awards for over a decade now. Earlier pieces have landed TIME magazine’s Best Inventions award and Sports Gear of the Year by WIRED, to name a few.

Vollebak’s latest drop is the Solar Charged Puffer jacket, a three year-in-the-making winter parka insulated to tackle temperatures as low as -40°C, and an advanced three-layer waterproof fabric that changes colour and self-illuminates itself when exposed to light. The highly responsive shell material can be charged and sparked up by any light source, with anything from direct sunlight to a regular lightbulb or the flashlight on your phone.

If you fully charge up the jacket before nighttime, the jacket’s shell glows in a bright green colour. The glowing effect of the shell is best seen in natural conditions far away from light pollution and could work as a party trick, or perhaps as one big illuminating hazard vest when you want to be seen in the wild. The green glow is at its brightest just after charging (see GIF above), but will keep a weak but visible ‘ghost glow’ for up to 12 hours.

In line with Vollebak’s sustainable ethos, the parka’s insulation is built up out of recycled plastic bottles.