Outdoor gear manufacturer Vollebak is up to its old tricks. Last fall, the company introduced a new ski jacket that embedded millions of microscopic glass spheres into its fabric, making its wearer more visible in low light conditions. Now, it has taken that same technique in a new direction, introducing an all-black layering system that is actually highly reflective in the dark.
The new Black Light collection claims to be the world’s first all-black night visibility gear. That seems like a contradiction in terms, but the garments that are part of this layering system use strategically placed reflective dots to help make the wearer more visible. Each of those dots is made up of 60,000 tiny black glass spheres, which give them their reflective qualities. The result is clothing that is completely black in color but reflective when struck by light in the dark.
Currently the Black Light layering system consists of four distinct products – a jacket, a long-sleeve midlayer, a long-sleeve base layer, and a t-shirt. Vollebak says each of the products is made up of lightweight fabrics that are designed to be stretchy and breathable, making them comfortable to wear in a variety of conditions. They are all designed to work together as well, offering 14 different combinations for every outdoor pursuit.
The most expensive single piece in the Black Light collection is the jacket, which carries a $645 price tag. For that price, customers get a waterproof shell that is breathable enough to be used in the summer, but can be paired with the other Black Light layers for cold weather outings, too. The jacket also features a helmet-compatible hood that works independently of a high collar, keeping wind, snow, and rain off the wearers face and neck. Two waterproof pockets located on the chest are accessible even while wearing a backpack, with Velcro cuffs, and an internal media pocket – complete with headphone loops – completing the package.
The other articles of clothing that make up the Black Light system don’t come cheap either. The midlayer pullover will set customers back $180, while the base layer top and t-shirt run $115 and $95, respectively. Each item features somewhere between 16 and 22 reflective dots that have been placed in such a way as to help viewers recognize a human form as quickly as possible, even in almost total darkness.
Vollebak has more information on this new take on reflective outdoor wear.