Using market research as a guide, a competitive analysis was conducted to study existing vests and emergency preparedness kits that are available to gather information about the range of size, price, and contents to determine the core features needed for the vest: weather protection, storage, mobility, and ease of use.
Through rounds of ideations, muslin and fabric mockups were used to simulate the location of the vest's tools and contents were tested on the body. The tools were organized into categories and placed into the pockets that are most comfortable and accessible to the users. The team designed each pockets' dimensions and access based on these contents. It was essential for the user testing to indicate that the prototype is thermally comfortable, comfortable while sitting and/or driving, not physically limiting the movements of users. An essential factor of the Perci Vest is its necessity to allow the user to move quickly and perform activities such as carrying other people or items. For example the user may have to evacuate their home and walk or run while carrying a child on their arm, a backpack on their back, a piece of luggage in their other hand and needing to unload/load bags in a car.
The Perci Vest uses internal zipper pockets in ergonomic orientations that allow quick and easy access to items in the vest. The internal pockets keep the weight of the items close to the wearer’s body, making the vest streamlined and comfortable. The side seam inset panel is made of a stretch knit allows for increased mobility, better fit, and long term comfort. The vest is lined with a sweat wicking mini mesh fabric that keeps the wearer cool and the elongated back hem makes it more comfortable to wear while moving. It features a collar construction with a zippered compartment with a collapsible hood that can be deployed when needed, and stuffed and stored when not in use.
Interwoven designed and prototyped the functional garment and finalized contents to achieve an easy-to-use, durable, and manufacturable product.