$4,770
pledged of $24,000pledged of $24,000 goal
185
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Aug 25 2016
$4,770
pledged of $24,000pledged of $24,000 goal
185
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Aug 25 2016

About

NOTICE

We are planning to re-launch our Kickstarter campaign in a few months. For our loyal backers and other interested parties, even though we will be back for a re-launch later this year, you may now purchase the XeroVest directly on our website, www.xerovest.com. There are several reasons for a re-launch. During our initial launch, much of the world was experiencing record heat, greatly reducing the response rate for a cold weather product.  Additionally, as we approached the end of our initial Kickstarter fundraising period, we just then began to receive the significant media attention and the needed social engagement necessary to achieve our funding goals.  Rather than wait until the end of our initial Kickstarter period, we decided to re-launch when the colder weather is nearly upon us. In the meantime, we will focus on better marketing, improved social media communication, and additional product testing and certifications.  

The XeroVest™ is our flagship in the XeroGear line of personal emergency protection products. The XeroVest™ is a highly portable, inflatable, air-insulated emergency anti-hypothermia garment. Weighing only 2 oz. (57g), the vest is made up of a network of cross-connected cells which are inflated through a simple one-way mouthpiece on the vest’s collar. Inflating the vest creates a warm, insulating layer of trapped air, while conforming to the shape of the wearer as it is inflated. This system insulates the wearer’s body core while allowing excess moist air to escape through the vest's integrated vent holes. 

 

 

The interior surface of the vest is mirrored and thermally reflective — keeping body heat trapped next to the user, and preventing as much as 80% to 90% of radiant heat loss. It is like a space-blanket that you wear — but more thermally efficient and effective since the air cells inflate. It is made from 100% nylon, so it is tough as well as water and weather-proof. The final retail price for all this functionality is expected to be under US$10. 

Putting on the XeroVest™ couldn't be any simpler: 

As the air cells inflate, the vest conforms to the wearer's body, creating a snug barrier against the cold. And since it is inflated by air from your own lungs, the vest starts warm and stays warm. 

The Cold Truth

Hypothermia is not to be taken lightly. According to the CDC, cold kills more people than all other weather-related causes combined — and areas with some of the mildest winters actually have higher death rates from cold than those with colder winters due to poor preparation and lack of information on how to keep warm. 

From 1999 to 2011, a total of 16,911 deaths in the United States, an average of 1,301 per year, were associated with exposure to excessive natural cold. 

 

It is not widely known that children are at even greater risk for hypothermia. Because of the ratio of skin surface area to a smaller metabolic mass, children lose body heat as much as 68% faster than adults. 

It is for this reason that we will be producing children's sizes of the XeroGear vest — both for retail sale, as well as bulk packs for distribution by emergency services personnel. 

How the XeroVest™ protects you

Staying warm is a matter of changing your rate of cooling — and insulation is as much about keeping heat in, as it is keeping cold out.

  • If a person is exposed to cold, and their internal mechanisms cannot replenish the heat that is being lost, the body's core temperature falls. Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even in milder weather above 40°F (5C). 
  • In mild hypothermia there is shivering and mental confusion. In severe hypothermia, organ failure can occur resulting in death. 
  • Insulating the core organs prevents this cycle from starting. Extremities are warmer since blood is not needed to maintain the body’s core temperature.

Radar reflectivity

The XeroVest™ is made of radar-reflective polymer which greatly increases the radar visibility of the wearer. This can aid in search-and-rescue efforts to locate a wearer who has become lost or injured. This feature is also useful by operators of small boats and kayaks as it permits positive radar detection of the wearer on the surface of large bodies of water from long distances. 

Product features

 

Development & Testing

In the past year we've gone through a total 4 different prototype iterations. These refinements included stronger materials, a more than doubling of the inflation cell network, and much better lower back fitment. You can see how our Gen #1 vest compares to the current version.

Generation #1 vest
Generation #1 vest

This past September, we engaged the services of Cornell University's Human Ecology Lab to conduct testing on the final production candidate to determine the vest's insulating properties and moisture transfer function. Once we'd decided on testing protocols, we began running tests on “Walter”, a sensor equipped thermal test manikin developed by Cornell to measure clothing insulation values, body heat loss, and moisture transfer from body surfaces.

Generation #3 vest on Cornell testing rig
Generation #3 vest on Cornell testing rig

 

Comparative thermal testing at Cornell University
Comparative thermal testing at Cornell University

Evaporative testing confirmed that the vent holes work as designed, and did not significantly alter the garment's impressive insulation properties. Ounce for ounce, the vest had a higher insulation value than any product they'd ever tested. At this point, we concluded that no further refinements were necessary at this time, and that the vest product was ready for pre-production and real-world field testing. We should also mention that XeroGear is now a corporate member of the Cornell Institute of Fiber and Fashion Innovation. 

This XeroVest™ is patented, and we have filed additional US and international patents covering the improved features of the vest.

The practical testing phase included human trials as well as use cases. One such use case was "Stranded Motorist". This meant testing the XeroVest™ in a car — windows down and heat off.

As far as driving, we can report that it presented no impediments whatsoever. Putting it on was simple, as it is loose when it goes on, and only tightens up once you inflate it. Seat belts didn't present any issues — so long as you don't over-inflate, and keep the lower portion of the belt under the vest. 

If you were one of the thousands stranded and unprepared on the roads this winter, you'd be grateful you had a few of these in your glovebox. This past January, about 500 cars and trucks were stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for almost 24 hours along a 7-mile stretch of the turnpike. In Kentucky, the same snowstorm was responsible for stranding nearly 800 vehicles along the I-75 for as much as 19 hours. These are by no means isolated incidents — they occur every winter season.

Branding & custom applications

The production samples seen above have been produced in the generic shell design. However, the exterior of the vest can be printed with virtually anything, and in full color — sports team logos, event sponsors, disaster relief graphics... anything. XeroGear™ vests are printed using an industry standard 4-color process, creating nearly limitless possibilities. PMS colors, fluorescents, and matte varnish can also be applied without effecting the vest's performance in any way.  

Custom application designs
Custom application designs

Timeline 

How the funds will be used 

The funds are needed for machining the fusing and trim dies for additional vest sizes (Children & Large); the creation of new print designs (camouflage, high-visibility, etc.); creation of a new pouch packaging system for our products; design of Point of Purchase (PoP) displays (see example below); and to further the development of other emergency cold-weather products in the XeroGear line. In keeping with our philosophy, all these products will be designed to be highly effective, lightweight, and reasonably priced.

Point of Purchase display mockup for all sizes
Point of Purchase display mockup for all sizes

Should we substantially exceed our initial funding goals and anticipated product demand, the additional resources you generously provide will be used to expand and optimize our manufacturing capabilities. This includes a high-speed, multi-station fabrication system specifically designed for XeroVest™ production. This system will allow us to laminate, seal, and cut with millimeter accuracy in a single operation. From that stage, the vests go directly to folding and packaging. 

HIgh-speed production system layout
HIgh-speed production system layout

Reward Tiers

About us 

XeroGear LLC is US manufacturer of portable personal protection equipment. Our mission is to create and produce innovative solutions that will save lives and reduce the risk of injury around the world. This same philosophy will extend to our company's social and environmental initiatives. 

XeroGear LLC is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, at the offices of Stewart Management Company and The Stewart Law Firm. The principals of XeroGear include founder and inventor Ian A. Bruce; C. Anthony Shippam; Gordon Stewart, Esq.; and Dorothy Doubleday, Product Development.

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to view the XeroVest™. If you like this project, please share it. We greatly appreciate your support.

 

 

Risks and challenges

We have spent the last 12 months refining the design and getting the manufacturing process right. What you see in our videos and pictures are not prototypes -- they are actual, working production samples. We have a US patent for this device, and further international patents have been filed. We've also gone to the expense of having the XeroVest independently tested for thermal efficacy at the same leading university used by dozens of other major garment and camping accessory manufacturers for their own cold-weather products. Other products under development in the XeroGear line (8 and counting) will be subjected to these same rigorous testing protocols.

In short, we have done our homework -- the product works, so the risks are negligible. We have also partnered with the best US manufacturer in the industry and will be scaling our manufacturing process to meet our anticipated demand.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    A Heartwarming Gesture

    2 XeroVests in "Child" size donated in your name for worldwide disaster relief operations.

    Along with our thanks, we'll publish the names of all contributors in this category in our blog.

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    7 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 9 or more About US$ 9

    Early Bird Individual

    Single XeroGear Vest
    "Standard" size. This vest size fits most men and women US sizes small to large.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    37 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 18 or more About US$ 18

    Early Bird Couple

    2-pack XeroGear Vests
    "Standard" size. This vest size fits most men and women US sizes small to large.

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    98 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Early Bird Family

    5-pack XeroGear Vests
    "Standard" size. This vest size fits most men and women US sizes small to large.

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    41 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    A Lifesaving Effort

    100 XeroVests in "Child" size donated in your name for worldwide disaster relief operations.

    Along with our hearty thanks, we'll publish a list of all contributors in this tier in our blog, as well as a special mention in any relevant press releases.

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)