You might have heard of the BauBax jacket.
Introduced on Kickstarter on 7 July 2015, the innovative utility jacket quickly became dubbed as the “The World’s Best Travel Jacket”, and raised a record USD$9,192,055 for a USD$20,000 goal.
Today, a trio of Singaporeans have just designed a jacket that might just knock the BauBax off its lofty throne.
Sheer It With Me
Designed by Modest Mark (previously The Minimalist Brand), the same team behind the successful Deuce Wallet, the Sheer jacket is the “Ultimate Odorless and Water Resistant Travel Jacket”. The jacket was launched on Kickstarter 2 days ago, and have already raised S$20,018 of a S$50,000 goal (at time of writing).
The lining within is bamboo fabric, which helps to absorb the odour from the jacket (proven through a day trial at Sentosa).
The jacket features a total of 8 pockets located on both the inside and outside of the jacket. The hood is detachable, and in it comes a travel pillow that you can inflate with 2 breaths and is easily deflated.
The inner lining also has a gap through which you can thread your earphones while your phone sits in a pocket below. A magnet in the jacket also lets you stick your earbuds, since all earphones are magnetic, a fact that I too learned when I saw the jacket in action.
The main zipper can be detached, and doubles as both a utility clip as well as a bottle opener. In case you’re wondering what that rectangular packet is in the image below, that’s your jacket.
Did I mention that the Sheer can be folded into its own pocket to be stored neatly away? Well, I just did.
The Sheer Inspiration
“Our products are designed upon the principles of “One Thing Less”, or “OTL”.
One thing less to carry around, one thing less to worry about. Ingenious designs that makes you kneel on the ground and wonder, “why didn’t I think of that?”
The idea for the jacket first came to Alphonso Ngiam, Shawn Neo and Edwin Wong when they were having supper after work. In an interview with Vulcan Post, Alphonso shared how he cycles to work everyday and the night weather can get chilly and wet from time to time.
From there came the idea for a waterproof, odourless jacket that would not have to be washed often. And as the founders travel to Guangzhou for work often, convenience of pockets and sleeping masks were also added to the mix.
One issue brought up to the team was that a utility jacket was not entirely novel, and that they might be “a little late to the game“.
Alphonso, however, addressed this by noting that there are no universal travel jackets out there, and that there is no perfect fit for everyone.
“The Sheer is designed with bamboo fabric so that you can wear this jacket for your entire trip overseas without smelling funky.”
Alphonso relished in sharing with me the unique features of the Sheer. According to him, there are 3 outstanding features exclusive to their design.
The first and second are the water-resistant and odourless features.
Given the warm and wet weather in Singapore, these features would definitely appeal, especially the odourless one. When we met, he shared about how they managed to get their model to wear the jacket for an entire day at Sentosa, after which they zip-locked the jacket overnight.
The satisfaction was almost palpable when he teased that it had not been an easy experience for their model, but in the end, the results were worth it.The Sheer remained clear-smelling the next day when they removed it from the bag.
The final unique feature is that the jacket can be stored away neatly simply by folding it into its back pocket, thus eliminating any hassle in storage.
Taking A Note From The Deuce
The Deuce wallet enjoyed a healthy amount of success with backers, having managed to raise more than 1000% of their goal.
On the topic of what the team has learnt on managing a successful campaign, Alphonso reflected that the most crucial factor is time.
“In 60 days, we need to get the word out as much as we can. For Sheer, we started pre-marketing and creating content beforehand so that we can be more prepared for the funding phase.”
As for the Sheer’s projected success, Alphonso confides that the jacket is the most complete product they’ve designed till date.
Having already received much positive feedback both offline and online, the team has their heads held high that this campaign would be something amazing.
In response to my concerns about the delivery troubles suffered by the BauBax, Alphonso assuages me that because they are based in Singapore, they were able to negotiate shipping costs for Asia down.
For USA or Europe, the team is also liaising with e-commerce shipping company Fulfillrite to station a warehouse in San Francisco, which would secure them prime global shipping rates.
Why I Believe In It
The BauBax may have been a massively popular product, but here’s why I’d choose the Sheer over it. I had the opportunity to try the jacket for myself the past week, and this is why it never left my side.
It is surprisingly light, and yet provided just the perfect amount of warmth for me in the office. To those who recall the torrential rainstorms that plagued Singapore the past week, you’d know that weather had gotten cold.
The fact that I didn’t have to use an umbrella outside (during light rain), or carry an extra bag around for my things, definitely endeared the Sheer to me even more.
The Sheer Jacket may not be everyone’s cup of tea with its function-over-aesthetics design, but it is definitely worth the investment, even if you’re not a traveller.
You can find their Kickstarter page here.
Featured Image Credit: The Modest Mark team