Know any fashion designers? Want to make a million dollars and/or be nominated for a Nobel? Well, read on…
I’ve been thinking about a new coat design. Yes, that’s right, “Mr. Has Everything” ready does – including an Ocean ATX Kevlar-reinforced offshore sailing jacket. The kind going for almost $1-kilobuck these days; bought turning my serious sailing days, on sale, for half a G-note.
Best jacket ever. Ideal for freezing your ass off winter sailing Puget Sound and points north. (No one made any claims of sanity on this site, did they?)
Thing is, this finely-crafted gem is not going to keep anyone from freezing to death in the inner city this winter. And it won’t help a pa-tute “In the Event of an Actual Emergency.”
So, I figured, why not design a whole new kind of coat? A sort of “wearable micro-home,” if I can describe it that way. Lots of design elements to it and I think you’ll find it’s kind of neat.
Basic Design Problems
#1 design problem is waterproof. #2 is cleanable and breathable. #3 is price. #4 is health and odor. #5 storage space. #6 day-night, all-season comfort.
Let’s rethink a proper “UrbanSurvival Coat” shall we? (wheeling out the whiteboard here…)
The first thing is it looks more like an old cowboy coat, than anything else. These were called dusters back in the day. And in the Aussie Outback, I hear this is the basis of the oil cloth outback riding coats. Three bills worth. OMG pricey.
EXCEPT, instead of a longer flap for riding, this one would have flaps from about the middle of the thigh down for walking. They’d be sealed, front and back, with Velcro. Remember the mission, here, this is a coat you might be able to live in long term.
If you’re going to be “wintering out” in the city, you’ll want to have cuffs on the sleeves – almost like a French cuff – that could be unrolled and Velcro’ed close to keep the heat in and rain out. (Getting interesting yet? It gets better…)
Around the neck there’s more Velcro to attach an “all season hat” which we’ll get to in a sec.
It’s got an oversized water bottle holder. Many over-sized flapped pockets to keep street treasures in. Even a flask-sized one for those who can’t detox.
There’s also on one side, a series of air hoses that can blow up different parts of the coat.
Yeah – take a look at this back view and let me explain:
Since we’re going to be living about anywhere we stop, it will be useful to have lots of small “air mattress-like” compartments. Obviously, in this drawing, I show the pads are being narrow, but as a matter of fact, they could ALMOST wrap around a person. Depending on who does the finishing design.
One up around the neck, mainly for nighttime use. One in the middle of the back so when you lay on concrete, there’d be an inch of (insulating) air between the ground and the wearer. Lower down, another blow-up would be a lumbar support.
From the lower waist to just above the knees, you see that? 1.5-inch thick blow-up air mattress to keep the butt off the cold and losing core heat.
Further on down, around knees down to the shoe-top area, would be a form-fitting blow-up for each leg.
Liking it? On to the hat, then.
This would be a waterproof, breathable shell with Velcro around the bottom to afford a waterproof (or highly rain-resistant) connection to the UrbanSurvival Coat.
There would also be a face-mask – very breathable – just like on my offshore winter sailing coat. And as long as we’re borrowing details, let’s put a zip (or Velcro) attached liner inside, as well.
You’ll see above the eyes, there are two flip-ups. One would be a kind of form-fitting bug net while the one above that would be waterproof plastic, attached to the hat with some plastic “struts”. With two, you could have a clear for rainy days while the one above could be dark for high glare winter conditions. Or, when you just really need some shut-eye.
All I’d like out of this would be something on the label saying “urbansurvival.com” but that’s my end of it. Other than that, I think the first one to market with this kind of coat could sell a million of them into the recreation market, and well as making a cost-reduced version called “The Homeless Coat.”
That’s the key part of marketing this puppy, you see? Yes, you get a pretty nifty high-tech coat – which might go out the door for $300 bucks. But as part of the deal, you’d actually be buying two coats. One would be distributed to homeless people.
Seems to me like a “value proposition” where everyone could win.
My thinking is that it would be a great alternative to outdoorsmen and to keep in the car’s emergency kit – one for each person.
You see, so much of camping and outlanding is all about the equipment. OMG, first you need a tent, then you need a down sleeping bag, and since you have all that, well, now you need one of those high-end packs to schlep all this stuff around. And still, where do you put the damn water bottle?
The idea of this thing is we wear it all as a piece of clothing and call it good. Did you catch that it would also be unsinkable when you blew into the five air tubes on the front (or seven – we could put floatation bladders on the sleeves, too)?
How will it sell? It would take some research. I’d sure like to see someone who’s a really good clothing designer get hold of this and sit down with ’em for a beer and kick around how this could work.
Might even be able to sell some of these to the military. Like an inflatable field jacket, extended, with blow-up padding, that you could wear. Roll-up weatherproofing would be an option.
How This Came Up?
Well, I decided that I am not spending enough time “out on the land here.” What’s the point of a 1.26- million square feet of yard and only using 3,000 feet of it.
So I went looking and you can buy, over at Amazon, a really nifty (read: inexpensive) combination walking cane and three-legged folding stool. See: the $22-buck Drive Medical Deluxe Folding Cane Seat, Black at Amazon. You can get others with more capacity (try 441 pounds) but those run upwards of $65-bucks, or so.
It was this that got me to wondering about how to make my hikes more enjoyable. When I got around to thinking about overnighting on the property, I concluded that the right thing to wear would be a German Pillbox (right, from the WW II movies) because of wandering poachers and various furries. Which now includes a couple of young foxes up the hill from us, reports my buddy Cale.
The concept here is something that could actually save a few lives in the winter and who knows? Might event catch on as the dandy (pack-free way) to head up into the hills for a quick overnighter. Big enough pouch for a couple of freeze-dried meals, a cooking pot, fire starter, and a roll of TP and….
ALL wearable if we get into a new way of thinking.
Write when you get rich, or to get my phone number if you’re the real-deal outdoor clothing designer…