About this project
THE COZY LAYERS SYSTEM
Development of the Cozy Layers Passage System is based on personal experiences in some of the harshest alpine conditions on the planet. It consists of four layers of upper-body clothing (base, fleece, down, and shell) made of some of the most advanced fabrics in the industry and designed to work together in an all-new way: Zippered passages in the hand pockets in the outer layers allow easy access to inner layers. This makes Cozy Layers clothes ideal for extreme cold conditions.
- Easy food and water access: Water, food, electronics, etc. can now be kept close to your body where they will stay warm and unfrozen. If you lose your gloves, you can put your hands through all the layers to reduce the chance of frostbite.
- Hydration reservoirs will not freeze: You can keep a hydration reservoir in a pocket and, unlike typical Camelback type systems, the tube will not freeze because it too is kept close to your body where it stays warm from your body heat. The tip will also not freeze because all water will fall back to the reservoir and not stay in the tip due to gravity
- Layers can be used in any combination: Each layer is a fantastic piece of clothing on its own. The fleece, down, and shell layers each have 2 large stretch pockets behind each Passage zipper so they can be used without the base layer.
- Plastic transparent pocket in shell layer for watch/GPS/weather device so you don't have to expose your wrist just to check the time/weather/location
THE INDIVIDUAL LAYERS
The Shell layer (Manchu) serves as a protection from wind and outside moisture like rain and snow yet still helps get rid of body moisture. The shell also protects from chafing, cuts, scrapes, and other obstacles you may encounter during your travels. A transparent pocket for watch/GPS/weather device in the left sleeve means you won't have to remove your glove or expose your wrist just to check the time/location/weather. Our shell layer uses Schoeller’s award-wining c_change fabric which “opens” its pores up in reaction to increased body and ambient heat and “closes” them when it cools down to help maintain the perfect interior climate within the garment. c_change is currently the leading technical fabric in Europe.
The Shell layer detail diagram
The Down layer (Picchu) is a lightweight, windproof and toasty warm down jacket made of Schoeller downproof fabric treated with the advanced NanoSphere technology that repels water, oil and dirt. The jacket is then filled with 800/900-fill down feathers. I credit the warmth and comfort of my goose down-filled sleeping bag, jacket, pants, booties, gloves, and hood for making it to all the summits I attempted. I liked it so much that I used a goose as the mascot for this company.
The Down layer detail diagram
The Fleece layer will keep your skin dry and warm because it will dry quickly if it gets wet from perspiration. It is made of Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft fabric to provide warmth without the weight and bulk of traditional insulating fabrics. Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft has the highest warmth-to-weight ratio of any Polartec fabric. Besides the two Passage zippers, there is a hidden zippered pocket on the chest.
The Fleece layer detail diagram
Polartec Thermal Pro
Polartec Pro High Loft Compression Demo
The Base layer shirt can be worn on its own or used with any or all of the other layers on colder days. You will love the feeling of the Jersey-knit Merino wool in our base layer. It is soft and COZY, breathable, stretchy, odor resistant, stain resistant, fire-resistant, anti-wrinkle, all-natural, biodegradable, and renewable. Wool also reacts to body temperature like Schoeller's c_change fabric and provides natural UV protection.
The Base layer detail diagram
Woolmark has this video on youtube:
After the successful completion of the KickStarter campaign, we will send backers a survey allowing them to vote for the final color combinations. If we reach the stretch goals for additional color choices, backers will then be able to choose their colors from the most popular combinations.
The layers will initially be offered in Small, Medium, Large and X-Large sizes. A sizing chart will be published upon successful funding and you will be able to send in your choice in the survey we send out. Here is an example of a sizing chart for the base layer:
BASE LAYER SIZE CHART
Please note: I recommend using the smallest size that will fit you for base and fleece and go 1 size up for down and 2 sizes up for shell.
It is ok to have a slightly tight fit for the base layer and fleece. The snugness of the base layer adds to the warmth and the fleece stretches and holds the water reservoirs more securely
For example: I use these layer sizes: (S) Base layer, (S) Fleece layer, (M) Down layer and (L) Shell layer.
We need at least $100,000 for an initial production run. If we raise $50K from KickStarter we can raise the other $50K through loans. If we raise more, everyone wins and we will be able to offer additional perks at no extra cost.
·If we raise at least $100,000 from KickStarter, every backer that pledges $35 or more will also get a full-color poster of Denali
·If we raise at least $150,000 from KickStarter, every backer that pledges $35 or more will also get a full-color poster of Denali, a 2014 calendar with photos from various mountains, and we will offer a choice of two color combinations for each layer.
·If we raise at least $200,000 from KickStarter, every backer that pledges $35 or more will also get a full-color poster of Denali, a 2014 calendar with photos from various mountains, we will offer a choice of four color combinations for each layer, and we will be able to offer extra-small and extra-large sizes.
THE COZY LAYERS STORY
In late December of 2011, I quit my comfortable job as a software engineer and traveled to South America in search of adventure. I climbed my first 6000-meter peaks: Huayna Potosi in Bolivia and Aconcagua in Argentina. Aconcagua was very cold and I almost got frostbitten when I removed my gloves to adjust my crampons. This experience gave me the idea for designing apparel that has a few features to prevent frostbite and keep one cozy, well-fed and hydrated. I formed a new company, Cozy Layers Inc., and incorporated it in Virginia on April 19th, 2012.
The first iteration of my ideas was off-the-rack outdoor apparel altered by a local seamstress that I tested on Denali in June of 2012.
Swamy in his first prototypes on the summit of Denali, June 2012
After the success of my first prototype and learning some valuable lessons along the way, I knew I had a product. I hired professionals to turn my concepts into complete product designs and signed up to showcase our ideas at the annual SnowSports Industries America (SIA) show in Denver in January of 2012. It was a great event. We met representatives from various companies including Mike from Werx Designs who agreed to work on an initial tech packet for us. We also met Ben, a contestant in the SIA jacket design competition who agreed to help with our second set of prototypes and designs.
Swamy and Diego in front of our SIA booth
After SIA, we began working on a second set of prototypes for the full Cozy Layers system using raw fabric and materials. We contracted Werx Designs to build us a rad new tech packet that will be part of the full Cozy Layers system. Werx is the designer for many top brand name companies including Eddie Bauer's First Ascent series. We also met with Schoeller of Switzerland and plan to use their most high tech down fabric for our down layer. We have also met with other manufacturers and suppliers and are working with some of them to get salesman-ready samples.
We have put out requests for bids for contracting out production of salesperson-ready prototypes. We should have them available by mid-July. We plan to test these prototypes in Kyrgyzstan on Mount Lenin between July 18th and August 10th. We also have a whole team of employees in Reston Virginia engaged in more research, prototyping, design, marketing, customer support, quality assurance, shipping, packaging and production. This is an awesome team that is very excited about the project and committed to providing the utmost attention to detail and the needs of our supporters.
The Cozy Design Team: Diego, Akiko, Ben and Swamy
- Swamy, the soul of Cozy from Fairfax, Virginia
- Diego, Yosemite Guide, project consultant and beta tester from New Jersey, now walking from near the Mexican border all the way into Canada on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail)
- Akiko, master seamstress from Portland, Oregon
- Ben, designer from Alburqueque
The Cozy Production and Support Team
- Lester - Operations Manager and Customer Support
- Minh - Quality Assurance and Production
- Barry - Graphics Designer and Marketing
- Pamela - Fashion Designer and Seamstress
- Matt - Brand Ambassador, Photography and media
Our long-term goal is to start a brick-and-mortar business in Reston, Virginia where people can walk in, talk with a guide about mountaineering, ski-mountaineering, long distance backpacking and get all the information they need. Customers can also get measured for custom clothing built from fabrics they choose from a swatch book. We can also tailor a training program and travel logistics for a particular peak. If this concept is successful, we plan to open additional centers in other cities around the United States.
We also hope to keep mountaineering, backpacking, and never stop learning. We hope that we will be able to translate our research into products that people from all walks of life can use in their day-to-day activities and not just in extreme environments.
Towards the goal of becoming a truly full service company for people interested in mountains, we have teamed up with local and overseas outfitters. We are especially proud of our relationship with Transcend Adventures who have led clients to the top of Mt. Everest.
Here is an image they took on their way to the summit.
Our partner Shekhar sent us this picture on his way to the summit of Mt. Everest
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
We think this is a great idea that needs to be made available to the public. However, the barriers to market entry and production are very high and we need your support to make this dream a reality. The money raised will be used to source materials and fund manufacturing.
The money WILL NOT be used for research, development, prototyping, testing, marketing and other work that has already been paid for from personal savings.
Risks and challenges
Production delays could happen due to the following:
1. Vendor delays
2. Manufacturing delays
3. Risk of not obtaining the bridge loan
4. Shipping, Customs and packaging delays
We are proactively working with vendors and manufacturers before we are even funded so some of the concerns can be alleviated sooner. We are also working with private lenders and venture capitalists to ensure that bridge loans will not be a problem.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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