People, Travel

Online Funding for “Travel Jacket”

Online Funding for “Travel Jacket”Online Funding for “Travel Jacket”

Air travel is miserable. Aside from all the hassles of getting on the plane, once you are in your cramped little seat it becomes difficult to do anything but sit upright, elbows tucked and wait for the journey to be over.

In a testament to what a nightmare it is, a Kickstarter campaign for a “travel jacket” designed to make flying more comfortable has become the crowd-funding site’s most successful clothing campaign ever, Quartz reported.

The jacket has gotten a good deal of press over the past several weeks. It has gained more than 40,000 backers pledging $9,192,055. The jacket’s creator, Chicago-based company BauBax, only originally set out to gather $20,000.

The jacket’s retail price starts at $160 (plus taxes/shipping). It comes in four different styles—sweatshirt, windbreaker, bomber and blazer—and boasts 15 features targeting the varied torments of air travel, though they are useful for any kind of travel.

Among them are earphone holders, an iPad pocket, a drink pocket that fits a can of soda, gloves that extend from the sleeves, a telescoping pen built into the front zipper that doubles as a stylus, a passport pocket and a hood that includes an inflatable neck pillow and sleep mask.

The funding campaign’s success is an amazing feat for a jacket that is definitely more about utility than aesthetics, but it makes sense when one considers the constraints of flying.

Airline seats, for instance, are now 1.5 inches narrower than they used to be, and airlines are experimenting with hellish new methods of compressing passengers into planes, such as somehow squeezing in more seats per row, or even staggering the way seats face so that you could end up staring at the person next to you for your entire flight.

It is no wonder British Airways offers passengers mindfulness exercises to de-stress. A jacket—or any innovative product—that allows economy fliers to achieve some sort of comfort and access to their essentials would be a hit.