Jump to content


Photo

Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests

  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 Sirius76

Sirius76

    Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined: 11 May 2007
  • Loc: Chicago, Il

Posted 17 May 2010 - 09:46 AM

Hi all,

Let me introduce myself. My name is Dragan Nikin and recently my wife and I started a small online company called Dark Skies Apparel. www.darkskiesapparel.com Our main objective within the company is to supply cool, modern and useful apparel to astronomers. We're not talking plain old, run of the mill silk screened shirts but high quality reprints of today's finest and highest resolution images!

What I want to do here though is I'd like to give you a brief description of our signature item which we believe will be an answer to many astronomers problems. Our Hooded
Observing Vest was designed by astronomers for astronomers and has been beta tested for nearly a year now. Briefly, it has 8 EP pockets (4 of which are large enough to hold the largest oculars on the market) It has an oversized hood to help cut glare/improve contrast so that you see more detail in the objects you're looking at. No more towels slung over your head! 2 pencil/pen pockets as well as a reading glasses pocket. This isn't a photographer's/fishing vest converted to be used at the telescope. Nope. This is a real astronomers observing vest! No more climbing up and down ladders to change out an EP! Perfect for the seated observer as well who would rather keep their EP's handy and dew free! No zippers or snaps to risk scratching an ocular. 100 % cotton that's as soft as it is durable.

As an aside, if you were at this past weeks TSP near Ft. Davis, you may have seen one or two in use. We unveiled the vest and it was an immediate hit selling out twice! The feedback has been fantastic and we couldn't be more grateful! If you were down there and saw one/purchased one we'd love to hear your opinion. We have more products in the design phase as well as in production. The vests are available now but printed apparel isn't. Printed apparel will be available in another week or two.

I just wanted to send an introduction to all the CNer's and let you all know about us.

Finally, a small portion of all sales is donated to the International Dark Sky Association to help the fight against light pollution.

Thanks for reading!
Clear Dark Skies,
Dragan Nikin
www.darkskiesapparel.com

#2 Mike Foreman

Mike Foreman

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 496
  • Joined: 06 Apr 2007
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:00 PM

Dragan,
I bought the last one at the TSP on Friday afternoon.
Unfortunately the clouds rolled in.
It looks great thought and I can't wait to use it.
Will let you know how it is working out.

#3 Sirius76

Sirius76

    Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined: 11 May 2007
  • Loc: Chicago, Il

Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:49 PM

Excellent! Thats great news Mike!
Thanks and we're sure you'll appreciate the vest even more once you use it!

Feel free to send me your opinions on it. I'd love to use your comments on our site.

Clear Dark Skies,
Dragan Nikin
Dark Skies Apparel
www.darkskiesapparel.com

#4 dvb

dvb

    different Syndrome.

  • *****
  • Posts: 6251
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2005
  • Loc: Vancouver, Canada

Posted 20 May 2010 - 12:25 AM

I just ordered one - looks like a very useful product.

#5 Scott K

Scott K

    Non-standard Title

  • -----
  • Posts: 2247
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Dallas, TX & Eufaula, OK

Posted 20 May 2010 - 12:31 AM

I'm thinking I'm going to put in a request to the kids for one of these as a father's day present. MmmHmmm...

#6 bsim

bsim

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1871
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Miskatonic

Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:26 AM

Dragan,

I got mine yesterday. It looks fabulous. I'm looking forward to using it soon, but I can already tell it's going to be indispensable.

#7 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3494
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Arizona, USA

Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:36 AM

I got mine yesterday. It looks fabulous. I'm looking forward to using it soon, but I can already tell it's going to be indispensable.


Ben,
Let us know your thoughts on the vest after you get a real chance to use it. I'm interested in getting one of these as well.

#8 Sirius76

Sirius76

    Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined: 11 May 2007
  • Loc: Chicago, Il

Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:39 AM

Benjamin,

Great news and we're glad you like it! Send us a brief review when you get a chance to observe with it if you can. Feedback is extremely important to us!

#9 Sirius76

Sirius76

    Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined: 11 May 2007
  • Loc: Chicago, Il

Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:45 AM

***Hooded Bests are BACKORDERED***


Hi everyone,

Just so everyone knows, we are officially BACKORDERED! Though our Non-Hooded vests are still available, the Hooded vests are not. We're getting alot of emails regarding when we'll have more in stock. We will have more available to ship by the end of next week. (May 28th or so) Check the site often for updates or drop an email from our homepage and we'll put you on the list. As soon as we have them in hand we'll update the site and send out a mass email.

And yes. The introductory price of 60 bucks stands.

#10 coopman

coopman

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3477
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2006
  • Loc: South Louisiana

Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:57 AM

You mean $50?

#11 Sirius76

Sirius76

    Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined: 11 May 2007
  • Loc: Chicago, Il

Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:03 PM

You mean $50?


The Hooded Vests have been introduced at $60. The Non Hooded are $50. These prices will remain.

Sorry for the confusion.

#12 Alvin Huey

Alvin Huey

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2761
  • Joined: 17 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Greater Sacramento region

Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:19 PM

Hi Jim,
Did you see Darrell's? He had it during TSP.

Everyone else,
I have to say that it was an immediate hit during TSP. Jimi and I couldn't keep then in our hands as we sold them out twice during TSP. Once people saw them, they want it! :)

Some of the best observers from TSP got one, namely Larry Mitchell, Jim and Ana Chandler, Faith Jordan, Barbara Wilson, Steve and Amelia Goldberg, Jose Sancho, etc

Those who heard my talk during TSP, saw the hooded vest demo.

I've used it all week and it makes a HUGE difference in viewing dim and bright objects alike. Faith, Dennis and I used it extensively during our TSP AO Superthin galaxy survey. The pockets are very useful, especially going up the ladder of Jimi's 48" OMI reflector. Faith, Jimi and I had our eyepieces in our pockets before running up the ladder...so changing eyepieces was a cinch, while observing the super dim objects in the 48".

#13 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3494
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Arizona, USA

Posted 21 May 2010 - 03:11 PM

Hi Jim,
Did you see Darrell's? He had it during TSP.


Hi Alvin,

I never saw Darrell when he had his handy. I did see your talk, but from where I sat towards the back, I only thought it was a hood on a vest. I had no idea that it had all the useful pockets. I think you concentrated in the demo on the usefulness of the hood without mentioning the other features. Either that or I suffering from lack of sleep, which was more likely :grin:

#14 BajaPaco

BajaPaco

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 367
  • Joined: 30 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Baja California, Mexico

Posted 22 May 2010 - 09:17 AM

Dragin, I am interested in purchasing your hooded observing vest when they are available and have sent you a PM and email. :cool:

#15 davidpitre

davidpitre

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3599
  • Joined: 10 May 2005
  • Loc: Central Texas

Posted 23 May 2010 - 02:43 PM

Well if Alvin, Barbara Wilson and Larry Mitchel are wearing them, I gotta' sport one.
Any chance you might do a white one for solar.
For me the jacket would be more essential during the day. Many of use are less willing to haul out a bunch of gear during the day. A jacket to hold a couple of EPs and adapters, and a hood to replace the blanket would be the bomb. There ain't no way I going to cover myself in black during the summer Texas sun though.

#16 Sirius76

Sirius76

    Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined: 11 May 2007
  • Loc: Chicago, Il

Posted 24 May 2010 - 12:11 AM

David,

We completely understand. In fact, we actually produced a white vest w/hood prototype just for the solar crowd. But as soon as it was put on and we pulled the hood up, well.....lets just say that it too closely resembled the garb of a certain radical racist group we'd rather not have ANY affiliation with.

I suppose if the demand we're high enough we could try to come up with something though.

For an informal poll, how many people here would be interested in a white/light colored vest for solar observing?

#17 davidpitre

davidpitre

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3599
  • Joined: 10 May 2005
  • Loc: Central Texas

Posted 24 May 2010 - 02:21 PM

Yeah. That's scary.
Maybe you could modify the hood a bit to keep it from being pointed.

#18 Sirius76

Sirius76

    Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined: 11 May 2007
  • Loc: Chicago, Il

Posted 27 May 2010 - 02:17 PM

Hi all,

Just to keep you all informed.

We have a new batch of our Hooded Observing Vests in stock. They will remain at the introductory price of $60.00 until July 1st. We wanted the special pricing to last through the Father's Day Holiday.

For those who requested to be notified by email, you should have a message in your inbox.

Also. Two designs of our printed apparel SHOULD be available for purchase tomorrow night on the website. I'll keep you all informed of that.

Thanks again everyone!

#19 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3494
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Arizona, USA

Posted 27 May 2010 - 03:23 PM

Thanks for the notice. I just grabbed one off your web site. Looking forward to giving it a try.

#20 dvb

dvb

    different Syndrome.

  • *****
  • Posts: 6251
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2005
  • Loc: Vancouver, Canada

Posted 28 May 2010 - 11:42 AM

Mine arrived today. It definitely exceeds my expectations. The vest itself fits well - big enough to fit over outer-clothing in cold weather, but trim enough not to be sloppy.

The hood is huge, and will make an excellent light-shield from those pesky street lights.

An "observatory" you can wear, and hang in the closet when you've finished!

#21 Sirius76

Sirius76

    Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined: 11 May 2007
  • Loc: Chicago, Il

Posted 28 May 2010 - 10:08 PM

Just a quick announcement.

If anyone is interested, we have a two shirts available for purchase. Our "Photo Plate" series of shirts in an M51 and an Eskimo Nebula is now available.

In the near future we'll have a few more designs available as well as more shirt colors!

Pick one up for dad! :grin:

#22 WaterMaster

WaterMaster

    Moat Keeper

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 9658
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA

Posted 04 June 2010 - 10:10 PM

Dragan,

Finally got my vest. It fits very well, thank you. I'm very impressed with the quality of construction. I did not expect the lining. Very well made indeed. I can't wait to use it.

I'll have someone take a picture of me at the Craters of the Moon Star Party next week.

Thanks,

#23 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3494
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Arizona, USA

Posted 05 June 2010 - 02:21 AM

I just completed my first observing session with the new vest. Gotta say...I love it. What a huge difference it makes when the neighbors porch lights are on. More relaxed viewing because I can leave my left eye open. Really helped with the dim galaxies tonight. The pockets made switching out EPs a cinch. The eyeglass pocket is just perfect!

Thanks Dark Skies...

#24 BajaPaco

BajaPaco

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 367
  • Joined: 30 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Baja California, Mexico

Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:49 AM

Dragan,

I received my new vest last week and have used it several times. I love it! I formerly used a piece of black cloth as an observing canopy and found it very awkward moving around the telescope and reaching for the eyepiece case. The vest allows unrestricted movement and makes it easy to switch from the telescope to binos. I also really like the ultra convenient pockets. Great product! Well constructed and a good fit. :cool: :waytogo: :waytogo:

#25 Sirius76

Sirius76

    Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined: 11 May 2007
  • Loc: Chicago, Il

Posted 07 June 2010 - 12:35 PM

Thank you all for your comments!! Just getting back from Southern Utah, I now have some time to work on the website and have some of your comments posted.

Our 2xl vest is also being worked on. Our goal is to have those available by the end of the month. I'll keep everyone posted.

Again, thanks for the feedback. The vest is truly a product that the more you use it, the more you'll come to appreciate it!






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics