Portable solar charging has never really picked up in a huge way, due largely to the pretty nominal power those small back-mounted panels can provide. Of course, if you can find a way to deck more solar cells, the greater the amount of charge you should be able to draw. I guess that’s the idea behind this OEM Solar Vest, which sports four panels lined up across the back, allowing it to process more light to turn into usable energy.
If you can suffer through the obvious fashion disaster (let’s be honest – that’s one ugly vest), the Solar Vest should wear like any regular outfit over your shirt. It fits in numerous types of gadget connectors right on the eight front pockets so you can use it to hold your electronics while it charges. An 8,800mAh battery is built-in, allowing it to store charge for later use.
The canvas vest comes with both zippers and Velcro, along with a number of utility pockets to really up the ante in style (not really). In case people make fun of your fashion sense, it sports a large SOLAR VEST label in the back to ensure they know damn well why you’re decked in such gear.
Unless you’re in some kind of outdoor job, though, I doubt you’ll manage to get a halfway decent charge out of this thing. That’s why they make of point of suggesting it as a potential outfit for folks who spend majority of their working hours under the sun. If you sell hotdogs on the corner or have a bike messenger route, this should be a perfect addition to your daily garb.
From what I can tell, the on-board battery can also charge via the mains as well USB, which should make it really useful as a wearable (if you can call it that) backup power if you frequently find your gadgets in need of replenishing. I doubt the Solar Vest will make it at a shop near you soon, though I’ve seen stranger things happen. It should be available wholesale shortly from Chinavasion.