‘Survival Jacket’ For Those Who Expect The Worst

If you need this jacket, you may want to rethink your upcoming expedition.

Survival Jacket 2

That’s because you’re preparing for 75 mile per hour impacts and then huddling in the fetal position (two exceptional features of the jacket). But the Condition Black jacket is still one of the more interesting apparel designs to hit the market in a long time with some very unique elements.

The Condition Black jacket by Vollebak is designed for some crazy abuse, the kind of abuse that may incapacitate the user, thus requiring the built-in life-saving features. The brand says it’s made for backcountry skiing, speed-riding, downhill mountain biking, or other high-speed sports.

We hope you don’t need to survive too many high speed crashes or all-night fetal huddles, but for those who do, this just might be the right jacket for your extreme endeavors.

Condition Black Survival Jacket

This jacket has 19 “ceraspace and Nanosphere” panels designed to withstand impacts up to 75 miles per hour. The ceraspace/Nanosphere combination — an armor made of 3D ceramic particles set in a flexible skin — covers likely impact points, and may reduce the injuries caused by crashes.

Jacket Armor

I’m not about to test these claims as I’m pretty sure hitting an object at 75 MPH is going to hurt regardless of the jacket worn. But maybe the Condition Black would help. Any volunteers?

Post-impact (or after some other life-threatening situation) the “survival” elements of the jacket come into play. You can curl into the fetal position for survival mode with the help of “magnetic survival pockets.”

Glow-in-the-dark survival instructions printed on the jacket will guide the dazed and weary survivalist into a fetal, hood-up ball meant to conserve energy and warmth.

Condition Black Survival Jacket 2

Here’s how a spokesman from the company explained it:

“So the Survival Pockets are based on the principle that when you’re cold, exhausted and in hostile conditions, with an urgent need to conserve energy and stay warm, the simplest way to insulate your vital organs is by getting into a fetal position – forearms crossed over your chest, with your knees tucked up. This reduces the total surface area of your body that’s exposed to cold, and also protects your armpits, groin and chest – areas which produce and lose the most heat.

The two Survival Pockets on the Condition Black Jacket help you get into this position and, crucially, stay in it when you can barely think straight. There’s one on either side of your upper chest to slide your hands into. Both pockets fasten magnetically, which means they’ll only open when you want them to. They’re double-lined for warmth. And they’re also color coded to minimize thinking: the glow-in-the-dark instructions written on the left forearm line up with the white bar tab on the right pocket.”

Hmm, again, maybe a little foresight would have helped avoid being huddled in the fetal position during a blizzard. But whatever dumb-ass mistake got you there, now you’ve got this jacket keeping you warm.


And it does look like a good jacket in many ways.

It’s made using very high end WB-400 softshell material from Scholler, a fabric we’ve tested and found exceptionally tough, water-resistant and breathable. Coupled with an interior fleece for warmth, we expect this is a good shell layer. The hood design looks effective, and overall the jacket appears to be well made.

Condition Black Survival Jacket

But it better be! This bad boy sells for an eye-watering $830 online. But it’s ok. Go ahead and curl up into the fetal position from the sticker shock. This jacket promises to keep you warm.

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.