Ive had success running off 4xAA but LEDs are dim. I had to bypass the 5v voltage regulator as the batteries died in order for the controller and lights to continue to work. Id like to use a better supply, but Im very concerned not to over load the controller or the LED strip.
As for the setup, I have the power supply going into a proto board, and from there I power the controller and LED strip on different pins. They both draw from the same source, but the LED strip is not drawing from the controller directly. I may look into separating the power though.
You can get lipo battery packs that have 2 5 volt USB outputs or 1 each of 5/9/12 volts output. These recharge from USB wall warts. I picked up a battery that has 2 separate 5 volt terminals from Amazon for about $25, and I've seen the 5/9/12 volt batteries in the $35-60 range. Typically these batteries have 5,000 maH or more when discharged at 5 volt. I was curious and I could run an Arduino running blink continuously for about 3 days. I would think it would be a lot more convenient to charge one battery (and change batteries if need be while you are wearing the suit) than a whole bunch of AA batteries.
Would you mind linking to the one you've had success with? I've been on the lookout for a lipo, but see so many varieties I haven't been able to hit the trigger on any just yet. Plus I'm in Canada, and our Amazon selection (that's available to us) is quite dismal compared to the US.