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November 26, 2014 AT 3:00 am

Solar Powered Jacket for Rainy Days #WearableWednesday

SolarJacket

This solar jacket, found on ForbesLife, actually gets me excited about the combo of fashion and function. Notice how the plaid pattern mixes nicely with the solar shields on the storm flap. The jacket is new in Tommy Hilfiger’s line and is an attempt to combine classic style with modern tech. Writer, Rachel Arthur, explains the details of the coat, which she tested on the streets of New York.

We’ve all been in those scenarios where the battery on our phone dies and we don’t have access to a port to power them up again – why couldn’t we carry our own energy-generating source around with us? A subtle cord in the lining of this jacket connects the solar panels on its back to a removable battery pack in the front right pocket. From there, you’re able to charge as you go.

AuthorSolarJacket

At first glance, the solar panels, although they have been segmented, look like they would not be very flexible. Rachel speaks to the comfort level of the coat.

The first thing to say, is that the solar panels on the back snap easily on and off, meaning you can detach the technology and be left with a genuinely nice-looking jacket too.

That’s also a bonus considering carrying both the battery and the solar panels around does make the jacket somewhat weighty. Not unbearably so, mind you, as the rest of the jacket is reasonably lightweight, with a removable insulation layer inside making it even more so.

A little bit of weight seems to be a nice trade off for clean energy for a phone. The flexible solar cells store energy in a battery pack which can supply four full charges to a mobile device. There’s even additional USB ports so you can have multiple units plugged in. The only real limitation is the price tag on the coat, which is a steep $599. However, you know as makers we always have options. We’ve got a great tutorial on a Solar Boost Bag that you can work into your own jacket design. So, go create something fabulous and then send us some pics from the streets.


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