Vollebak Unveils Trippy, Color-Shifting Waterproof Layer

Lasers and more than 2 billion ‘disruptively-structured microscopic glass spheres’ come together to make a wind- and waterproof shell unlike any we’ve ever seen.

Vollebak just made a jacket that no two people will ever see exactly the same way. Inspired by “500 million years of evolution,” the Black Squid Jacket mimics the iridescence and bioluminescence of the eponymous cephalopod.

Vollebak Black Squid Jacket

Fully water- and windproof, the three-layer ski and snowboard shell contains more than 2 billion tiny glass spheres that scatter and reflect light. In dull light, the jacket appears black and oily. But hit it with bright light, and the Black Squid Jacket explodes into a rainbow of shiny of hues.

“And because of the way the disruptively-structured microscopic glass spheres on the surface of the jacket scatter light, two people can be looking at the jacket from two different angles and will see entirely different patterns and colours,” the brand claims. “Even if you’re holding a camera up to the jacket, what you see through the lens and what you see in real life, will be two different images.”

Vollebak Chameleon Black Squid Jacket

No doubt, this jacket looks really cool. And at a latte shy of $1,000, it’d better. Based on the specs, this jacket looks like a standard ski shell. Uninsulated with oversized pockets and a generous cut, this jacket has plenty of room for layering and bulky gloves. Add in the helmet-compatible hood, high collar, and pit zips, and it checks all the boxes for winter pursuits.

Vollebak Black Squid Jacket

Plus, the Black Squid Jacket boasts a healthy waterproof rating of 10,000 mm‚ a standard in the industry for quality outdoor gear. Of course, that gear usually costs half of what this jacket does. But you’re not going to wear this primarily for its performance. The premium on this shell is that you’ll be visible at the top of the hill … from the bottom.

In fact, Vollebak claims the optical effects created by this jacket dovetail with military and scientific materials research: “The goal is to create an equivalent synthetic material that can rapidly camouflage itself by mimicking its surrounding environment … that would enable soldiers and machines to seemingly disappear.”

Vollebak Black Squid Jacket

But Vollebak’s aim was the opposite. It just wanted to make a truly unique, trippy jacket. And with more than 40,000 tiny light-refracting spheres in every square centimeter, that’s what you get.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.