Solar charged jacket glows in the dark like kryptonite

Whether you like to jog, hike, cycle or climb, being visible in the dark helps you stay safe. Light colours or reflective materials can help with this, but depend on outside sources of light in order to make you visible, which may not be present. The outdoor gear company Vollebak introduces the Solar Charged Jacket, which is lightweight, stretchable, waterproof, and “glows like kryptonite”.

Using what the company calls “some batshit crazy tech”, the jacket is 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 material stores the sunlight and glows in the dark.

The core technology that enables this function is the waterproof membrane of the jacket, an ultra thin layer housed inside a translucent mesh that keeps rain out and lets sweat escape. It’s been engineered with a phosphorescent compound that rapidly absorbs and stores light, then releases that light slowly as it becomes dark. Because the phosphorescence is engineered into the membrane itself, it cannot wash out or rub off.

The fabric reacts so rapidly you can see the jacket’s tech at work in as little as 2 seconds by holding your phone’s torch against the surface of any part of the jacket to pinpoint charge it. A small patch will instantly start to glow green. The darker the room, the brighter the glow.

According to the company, the jacket only needs a couple of hours’ charge to glow up to 12 hours.

During the day, the jacket has a light grey colour. When it becomes dark, however, and the jacket is fully charged, it glows in the green spectrum at around 530 nanometres before fading to silvery green, then white.

The Solar Charged Jacket is designed with outdoor sport in mind. The fabric is stretchable and waterproof, including sealed seams, while still being breathable. In total, the jacket only weighs 230 grams (8.1 ounces).

Photos: Vollebak