Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Observing Vest

While at TSP, I came across a product that is so good that I can't believe that no one has invented it before - the Hooded Observing Vest. This is a large vest, so it fits over outer clothing and has pockets for eyepieces, torch, pens, pencils, filters and other bits 'n' pieces necessary for an observing session. Best of all, it has an oversized monk's hood that can be used in the same way as a black-out cloth to put over your head to block out stray light when observing faint galaxies or nebulae. This can gain you a full magnitude and beats a towel or t-shirt as it's attached to you so you don't have to keep searching for it in the dark. The product only has one down side and that is, if you take it off to put another layer on, it can be awkward to put back on again, but that's a minor detail.

Alvin Huey was wearing one of these on the Monday evening and I was like 'what on earth's that?' and he invited me to try it. I was impressed at the convenience of it and, as soon as one became available, via Jimi Lowrey, I bought it for the bargain sum of $60 and used it for the rest of my time at TSP.

These vests are made by Dragan and Anja Nikin and for more about them, here's the blurb on Dragan's website, where you can order one. I am not one for hype or overt advertising, but these vests really are pretty brilliant.

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