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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests
      #3810323 - 05/17/10 10:46 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


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Mike Foreman
sage
*****

Reged: 04/06/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3813381 - 05/18/10 06:00 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.


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Mike Foreman]
      #3814089 - 05/18/10 11:49 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


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dvb
different Syndrome.
*****

Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3816682 - 05/20/10 01:25 AM

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

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Scott K
Non-standard Title


Reged: 09/13/07

Loc: Dallas, TX & Eufaula, OK
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: dvb]
      #3816692 - 05/20/10 01:31 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...

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bsim
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/04/08

Loc: Miskatonic
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3819085 - 05/21/10 08:26 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.


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: bsim]
      #3819321 - 05/21/10 10:36 AM

Quote:

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.


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: bsim]
      #3819327 - 05/21/10 10:39 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!


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3819343 - 05/21/10 10:45 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.


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coopman
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3819593 - 05/21/10 12:57 PM

You mean $50?

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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: coopman]
      #3819612 - 05/21/10 01:03 PM

Quote:

You mean $50?




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

Sorry for the confusion.


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3819801 - 05/21/10 02:19 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".


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #3820006 - 05/21/10 04:11 PM

Quote:

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


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BajaPaco
sage


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Baja California, Mexico
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3821462 - 05/22/10 10:17 AM

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

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davidpitre
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: Central Texas
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: BajaPaco]
      #3824120 - 05/23/10 03:43 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.


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: davidpitre]
      #3825030 - 05/24/10 01:11 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?


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davidpitre
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: Central Texas
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3826040 - 05/24/10 03:21 PM

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


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: davidpitre]
      #3831942 - 05/27/10 03:17 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!


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Vests new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3832030 - 05/27/10 04:23 PM

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

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dvb
different Syndrome.
*****

Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: rockethead26]
      #3833590 - 05/28/10 12:42 PM

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!


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: dvb]
      #3834664 - 05/28/10 11:08 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!


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3847650 - 06/04/10 11:10 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,


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #3847854 - 06/05/10 03:21 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...


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BajaPaco
sage


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Baja California, Mexico
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: rockethead26]
      #3851772 - 06/07/10 11:49 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.


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: BajaPaco]
      #3851940 - 06/07/10 01:35 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!


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RAKing
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3861834 - 06/13/10 08:22 AM

Dragan,

A friend of mine saw one of your vests and had to order one. She told me and I have also ordered one.

I have a nice dark neighborhood, but I hate the mosquitos landing on the back of my neck.

Cheers,

Ron


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Planet Bob
member


Reged: 02/05/06

Loc: Harrisburg, Pa
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #3864061 - 06/14/10 12:19 PM

Fellow DSO observers,

I and 2 other Chesmont club (SE Pa) members purchased vests at TSP and were able to use them for about 2 1/2 hours hours on Friday night. All 3 of us are 'seasoned' DSO observers, and we were unprepared for the improvement in image quality resulting from the use of the vest. Put simply, we could see more galaxies, more detail and more extension.

I had used a piece of dark material in the past, which did work, but was awkward and inconvenient, so seldom used. The vest is comfortable and easy to use.

My wife, who does custom sewing, was surprised by the high quality of the materials, fit and sewing, and worried that the makers might only break even at the asking price.

This accessory underscores the importance of dark adaptation, and its degradation resulting from observing field light pollution (red observing lights, tripod lights, equipment lights and computer screens), and illumination from the night sky (the Milky Way can cast obvious shadows!).

Clear and dark skies,

Bob


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Planet Bob]
      #3867222 - 06/15/10 09:26 PM

Ron and Bob,

Thank you so much for your comments. Being the new kid on the block when it comes to astro-gear, the positive remarks you two have left as well as all the comments left by other CN'ers has been remarkable. Its that sort of press thats so important to us! We're just glad that we can offer a product thats never been offered before and that fellow astronomers are seeing the benefits of such a product.

And Bob. Thank you to your wife for her comments. We're extremely proud of the quality of work that we can offer to our fellow observers. Especially for the price we've set! Its always a proud feeling when others notice. Thank you again!


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3887384 - 06/26/10 01:53 PM

Hi all,

To those who inquired into when we'd have more M51 shirts in white back in stock, they're back! We have a full inventory of both our Eskimo and M51 shirts back in stock.

We're also excited about two announcements.

In about a week or two we're going to release a pretty awesome Saturn shirt!

Also our 2XL Hooded Observing Vest should be on the website as planned, on or about July 1st. I'll announce it here when they both are available for purchase.

Thanks to all for your inquiries and your patience!


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sparky123
sage
*****

Reged: 06/14/10

Loc: 41°N 96°W
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Sirius76]
      #3979557 - 08/12/10 07:47 PM

These observing vests are outstanding. not only is it a brilliant idea...dragan went above and beyond as these are made incredibly well. These vests are a no-brainer....everyone pick one up as they are worth their weight in gold!!!

Thanks Dragan


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WOBentley
Deep Sky Denizen
*****

Reged: 09/16/09

Loc: Pacific Northwest USA
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: sparky123]
      #3986262 - 08/16/10 01:38 PM

Dragan
My wife and I both had our first opportunity to use your vests in a "real" situation at the Oregon Star Party and I think that my wife may have found a novel use.
She was taking her first astrophotos using a DSLR and wanted to look at the results on her camera screen so she pulled her hood over the camera and wrapped the back of the camera with it so she could see and not send white light out to others... worked great! Oh and of course it was great for its intended use also
Dave


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: WOBentley]
      #3990904 - 08/18/10 03:00 PM

Sparky & Dave,

Thank you so much for your kind words! Word of mouth is very important to us. We appreciate your opinions!


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blueshift
member


Reged: 02/10/07

Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: dvb]
      #4025159 - 09/03/10 10:41 PM

Hey Sirius76! What gives with your site? I put in the correct town, state and zip and your site claims it is not valid! Arlington Hts, Illinois 60005 does exist! I have lived there for the last 40 years!

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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: blueshift]
      #4026410 - 09/04/10 04:15 PM

PM sent

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LouP
super member
*****

Reged: 12/27/09

Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Sirius76]
      #4219951 - 11/30/10 09:26 PM

Hi,

I seem to be late to the party but was looking for something like this for solar and night time use. Is this something that can be too hot for the summer and can it be used for both. Or is better to wait for the solar version to be produced.

Thanks,
LouP


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: LouP]
      #4221608 - 12/01/10 05:01 PM

Hi Lou,

Our black vest can get quite hot in the daytime sun. We've heard from some folks who don't mind it in cooler weather but in summertime heat it becomes quite stifling.

We're hoping our white vest will help with that. Obviously it can't reflect all of the heat from the sun but it is a huge improvement over the black vest during the day. The white color definitely helps.

The main difference between the white and black vests (other than color obviously )is that the white vests hood is double lined for added darkening. We found a single lining wasn't enough to block out as much light as we liked.

I hope I answered your questions.

And as a quick update to everyone patiently waiting, we plan to have our white vests on the website and available for purchase this weekend. We've had a few hiccups in the production and were not able to meet our own deadline of mid November. We're pretty confident that we'll have them available this weekend.

I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on CN that isn't on our notification list.

Thanks!


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Gone caving
Vendor- Lunt Solar Systems, Lunt Engineering
*****

Reged: 04/02/07

Loc: Underground... really
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: dvb]
      #4236781 - 12/08/10 05:17 PM

Looking forward to seeing you at NEAF 2011

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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Gone caving]
      #4237733 - 12/09/10 02:15 AM

Agreed!!

We also hope to have a some new product to unveil!


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Pentax Syntax
member


Reged: 11/03/12

Loc: Maryland
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Sirius76]
      #5621828 - 01/13/13 10:24 PM

Hi Dragan,

I bought one of the black vests last year and love it. I started getting into solar observing this year and just had to have the white one so I placed an order. Every single time I use them at a Star party or a neighborhood astronomy get together I run people ask about the vests. When I let them put it on they admire the workmanship and the quality of the product. Thanks to both of you for providing this wonderful product!


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Sirius76
Vendor-Dark Skies Apparel
*****

Reged: 05/11/07

Loc: Chicago, Il
Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Pentax Syntax]
      #5624398 - 01/15/13 01:20 PM

Quote:

Hi Dragan,

I bought one of the black vests last year and love it. I started getting into solar observing this year and just had to have the white one so I placed an order. Every single time I use them at a Star party or a neighborhood astronomy get together I run people ask about the vests. When I let them put it on they admire the workmanship and the quality of the product. Thanks to both of you for providing this wonderful product!




Hi John,

Thank you so much for the kind & publicly made comments! They are truly appreciated and do not go unnoticed!



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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: Dark Skies Apparel and our Hooded Observing Ve new [Re: Sirius76]
      #5629869 - 01/18/13 12:23 PM

Quote:

Hi Lou,

Our black vest can get quite hot in the daytime sun. We've heard from some folks who don't mind it in cooler weather but in summertime heat it becomes quite stifling.

We're hoping our white vest will help with that. Obviously it can't reflect all of the heat from the sun but it is a huge improvement over the black vest during the day. The white color definitely helps.

The main difference between the white and black vests (other than color obviously )is that the white vests hood is double lined for added darkening. We found a single lining wasn't enough to block out as much light as we liked.

I hope I answered your questions.

And as a quick update to everyone patiently waiting, we plan to have our white vests on the website and available for purchase this weekend. We've had a few hiccups in the production and were not able to meet our own deadline of mid November. We're pretty confident that we'll have them available this weekend.

I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on CN that isn't on our notification list.

Thanks!




Just received the white solar hooded vest, and modeled it for my teenage daughter, with the hood up. She said it made me look like those white hooded people. Fortunately I don't live in the south, but I wish it had a solar observing logo, to avoid having to explain the white hood.

I do like the fact the hood is oversized and extends down over the eyes. I may add velcro to the lower chin area of the hood. But they say some like it open to reduce dew and some like it closed when dew is less likely.

I chose the white one, because it is hot in the summer while solar observing, even in the north. I used to wear a black hooded sweatshirt, and like the name implies, I did sweat alot in summer days.


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