Technical details
Open Accordion
Size + fit
Open Accordion

Fit guide: The Solar Charged Puffer is designed with a loose fit, with plenty of room for other layers underneath. If you prefer a closer fit, we recommend you go for the size down.

Model wears: Skier, snowboarder and surfer Will Higginson is 6ft 2 / 188cm with a 40in / 102cm chest and 32in / 81cm waist. Will has an athletic build and wears the Solar Charged Puffer in size Large.

Personalised advice: See our size guide for more advice on sizing, or you can ask us for personalised sizing advice here.

Returns and exchanges: Don’t worry if you order something and it doesn’t fit – we have a free, no hassle 30 day return and exchange period.

XSSMLXLXXL
Fits chest83-9091-9899-106107-114115-122123-130
Fits waist71-7676-8181-8686-9191-9696-101
XSSMLXLXXL
Fits chest33-3636-3939-4242-4545-4848-51
Fits waist28-3030-3232-3434-3636-3838-40
Solar Charged Puffer

The origins of the Solar Charged Puffer

In 2017 we invented the Solar Charged Jacket – a lightweight running jacket that could store and re-emit sunlight. After it was named one of TIME magazine's Best Inventions and as Sports Gear of the Year by WIRED, we started working on something even more ambitious – the Solar Charged Puffer. Built for the coldest, darkest places on Earth, it’s taken us 3 years to build it. We’ve gone through hundreds of designs, materials and construction methods, to create one of the most extraordinarily technical jackets ever made.

Solar Charged Puffer

It’s completely white during the day

The Solar Charged Puffer only starts glowing when you go somewhere dark and expose it to light. So during the day the jacket is completely white. While the white exterior looks and feels like just one layer of material, it’s actually three layers sandwiched together, each doing a different job. The first two layers make the jacket waterproof and windproof, as well as storing and re-emitting light. The third layer is there for strength – it’s built from the same nylon ripstop found in parachutes so has an incredible strength to weight ratio.

The science behind the glow

The core technology that enables the Solar Charged Puffer to glow is the second layer – an ultra-thin membrane just below the surface of the jacket. Engineered with a phosphorescent compound, it rapidly stores any light it comes into contact with and re-emits it slowly over time. The membrane acts as if it’s alive, absorbing sunlight like a plant. And with the phosphorescence engineered into the membrane itself, the tech sits at the very centre of the fabric, so it can’t wash out or rub off.

You can write on it with any light

To see just how responsive the Solar Charged Puffer is to light, the simplest thing to do is go into a dark room and start writing on it using the torch on your phone against the surface of the fabric as if you were using a pen on paper. It will start glowing instantly and leave a trail of light. There is no time lag or warming up. The fabric reacts the moment light strikes it.

Solar Charged Puffer

It’s so responsive you can even draw on it

The fabric reacts so rapidly you can see the jacket’s tech at work anywhere, but the darker your surroundings, the brighter the glow will appear. Drawing on it with a flashlight or headtorch is one of the more fun things you can do. And as the entire jacket is made from the same material, the whole thing can act as a giant canvas or light.

Solar Charged Puffer

How it looks when it’s first charged

When it’s fully charged at night it glows green like kryptonite. As well as being a cool party trick, it can be life-saving on a mountain. No search team would ever fly past a human-sized firefly. This image was taken after blasting the jacket with multiple high speed 12,000 watt flashes in a studio.

The darker the environment, the brighter the jacket will glow

The logic behind the Solar Charged Puffer is really simple: the brighter the source you charge it with, and the longer you charge it, the more energy it will absorb and the longer and brighter it will glow. The jacket will always appear to hold its charge longest out in nature at night where there’s less light pollution. As it fades back to white over the next few hours or minutes, depending on its charge, it will go through several phases, from a radioactive looking green, to a silvery green, then finally a ghostly white.

Solar Charged Puffer

After 12 hours it will have a ghostly glow

The glow is at its brightest immediately after it has been charged, but retains a ghostly glow for up to 12 hours. So if you leave it hanging up in your room you will see a very pale green light coming from it. If you want it to glow brighter at any point you can recharge it. If you’re heading outdoors you can use anything to hand to top it up – a head torch, your car headlights on full beam, even standing near a light bulb will do it.

Solar Charged Puffer

Four outside pockets built for warmth and storage

We’ve replaced traditional side pockets with two giant bellows pockets on the front of the jacket that open up the more you put inside them. They’re tall enough and deep enough to hold route maps, or spare kit. Leave them empty and the fleece lining means they’re a perfect place to warm your hands. Both pockets are protected by external storm flaps and come with rubberised zip pulls. You’ll also find two invisible chest pockets which are large enough for wallets, cards and keys, and are easy to use when you’re wearing a backpack.

Solar Charged Puffer

Ultra-durable detailing throughout the jacket

The front zipper is a heavy-duty, waterproof two-way zipper so you can undo the jacket from the top and the bottom at the same time. A large storm flap and metal press studs help secure the jacket in place. You’ll find adjusters on the inside hem to tighten the jacket at the waist. These are also built from metal, work with a double pincer action, and come with a cord adjuster built from Cordura. And on the inside of the jacket you’ll find two more giant pockets, one on either side of your chest.

Solar Charged Puffer

Comfort and protection for your head

The hood is insulated and lined on the inside just like the rest of the jacket, so it’s warm and soft against your face and skin. An internal fastening system at either side, and another adjuster at the back, mean you can tighten it up whenever you need. The jacket has a high collar to insulate you in the harshest conditions, and it’s double-lined with a soft, brushed fabric against your neck, nose and mouth.

Solar Charged Puffer

Cuffs made to last

The wrists are normally the parts of your jacket which take the most abuse, so we’ve reinforced the Solar Charged Puffer with hard-wearing, black Cordura panels at the cuffs. You’ll also find two metal press studs at each wrist which allow you to adjust the tightness, with the tighter setting built to seal around your gloves and let in as little air as possible.

Solar Charged Puffer

Built for winter

The Solar Charged Puffer is fully insulated and built for the coldest winter. The baffles are large to reduce the potential for cold spots. And the hood covers most of your face. Try this on indoors and you’ll see pretty quickly that it will do the job you need it to do. Of course, the heat you generate through movement and what you layer the jacket with will always have a profound impact on how hot or cold you feel – explorers pushing hard in the Arctic have been known to strip down to their t shirts. But this is a jacket you can take anywhere.

Solar Charged Puffer

Our insulation is made from recycled plastic

Instead of pulling feathers out of ducks, we pull plastic out of used plastic bottles and turn them into insulating synthetic fibres. Every single jacket uses around 15 half-litre recycled plastic bottles. Staying warm is all about trapping as many pockets of air next to your body as possible, so these synthetic fibres are built to be hollow, which means you’ll automatically have millions of air pockets trapped next to your skin. And as the curl of each fibre traps more air than straight fibres, the microscopic texture of the fibre itself also retains heat.

Solar Charged Puffer

How plastic is turned into insulation

To turn recycled plastic bottles into insulation we work with pioneers in thermal insulation based in Milan. They’ve been working on recycled fibres and using plastic bottles in their technology since the 1980s, well before it was the cool or right thing to do. They use a process called mechanical recycling to blend the bottles, eliminating the need for hazardous chemicals and creating synthetic fibres that have the highest loft for the lowest weight, just like down.

Solar Charged Puffer

Each type of fibre does a different job

Our insulation is made from a blend of different fibres each with their own ‘multi-shape’ structure. Some are designed for puffiness, others for resilience or thermal efficiency. But it's blending them together that gives it the best performance on the market for any synthetic fibre – making the insulation 20% puffier and you 10% warmer than its closest competitor. And while synthetic fibres used to have the same clumping problem as down, making each fibre a different shape stops them linking together and clumping like down does.

Solar Charged Puffer

How the insulation performs against down

While down traps heat well, it doesn’t breathe well. So it’s not the ideal option if you’re working hard. If you’re hiking, climbing or skiing our insulation will do a better job of regulating your body temperature, as it will breathe better and won’t hold onto sweat. And while down will win on a ‘warmth to weight’ ratio if you’re trying to make the world’s lightest jacket, we’re not. The Solar Charged Puffer is built to keep you warm and protected in the coldest, darkest places on Earth.

Solar Charged Puffer

Engineered for the cold and the dark

You can think about the Solar Charged Puffer as four different layers of technology working together to protect you in winter. A translucent nylon mesh and lightweight polyurethane membrane on the outside of the jacket combine to keep out the rain and snow, as well as keeping you visible in the dark by absorbing and re-emitting light. The nylon ripstop below them is engineered to keep you and the jacket in one piece. And the insulation is built to keep you warm in the cold down to -40°C while letting you work hard without overheating.

Solar Charged Puffer

Part of the future of intelligent clothing

Most clothes today still do what they’ve been doing for the last 50,000 years – they keep you warm, dry or cool. But over the next 10 to 100 years clothes are going to become intelligent by responding and adapting to the environment you’re in. Alongside our Graphene Jacket that can store and redistribute heat, and our Full Metal Jacket that is the first step towards disease resistant clothing, our Solar Charged Puffer can become its own light source, making it just one of the many technologies we’re working on to make the future happen faster.

  • esquire-final

    Vollebak aims to do for outdoor clothing what Tesla did for cars and El Bulli did for food, using science, wit and imagination to create products no-one thought possible.

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