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Baubax travel jacket with 15 built-in features raises over $3M in funding

Anything billed as "the world's best" idea on Kickstarter usually doesn't deserve so much as a second glance. Here's the exception.
/ Source: TODAY

Anything billed as "the world's best" idea on Kickstarter usually doesn't deserve so much as a second glance. That's pretty much common knowledge. But the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Yoganshi and Hiral Sanghavi just might be the exception.

The revolutionary jacket design for which they're raising money on the popular crowdfunding site boasts 15 travel accessories — and the idea for it actually came about because of their long-distance relationship.

Baubax travel jacket has 15 built-in features
Courtesy Baubax

As Hiral told TODAY, he would find himself on frequent flights from his home in Chicago to Yoganshi's pad in San Francisco. And, like most fliers, he'd almost always forget his bulky travel pillow at home and end up purchasing another one at the airport for a steep price.

"Yoganshi was with me at the airport one time, and she told me I absolutely couldn't buy another pillow," he laughed. "We started talking about ways to make it easier for people to remember their travel essentials."

The fact that Yoganshi is a user experience designer and Hiral is an entrepreneur with years of startup experience certainly didn't hurt. They brainstormed for a while at their gate, and came up with the idea of an app that would remind people not to forget, say, their pillow (or, more importantly, their passport) before heading to the airport.

Baubax travel jacket
Courtesy Baubax

But they quickly realized they'd need something that non-tech-savvy people could use — something that was even more integrated into the travel experience.

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By the end of their three-hour flight that day, they'd mapped out the beginnings of the travel jacket. And within a few weeks, Yoganshi got to work designing it.

Baubax travel jacket has a built-in pillow
Courtesy Baubax

So, about those 15 features. They're a combination of absolutely-necessary-genius-travel-hacks and you-didn't-know-you-needed-that-and-you-probably-don't accessories, including:

  1. Inflatable neck pillow within the hood of the jacket with one-press deflation
  2. Earphone holders that keep your earbuds untangled
  3. Phone pocket
  4. Zipper that doubles as a one-inch pen and soft stylus
  5. Pen and stylus double as a bottle-opener
  6. Passport pocket
  7. Blanket pocket
  8. Gloves that slide in and out of the sleeves
  9. Portable charger pocket
  10. Eye mask built within the hood
  11. Insulated drink pocket that holds your drink upright so you don't have to use the plane table tray
  12. Built-in microfiber cloth
  13. Sunglass pocket
  14. iPad pocket
  15. Hand-warming pocket
Baubax travel jacket has built-in gloves
Courtesy Baubax

In July 2015, they launched their Kickstarter campaign asking for funds to help them produce the product. And what seemed like a lofty initial goal of $20,000 has since been topped by much loftier donations of over $3,000,000 (at the time of this article's publication).

And what do they plan to do with all the extra money?

"We've got a few projects already in mind," said Hiral. "We were very inspired by the work that Levi's is doing with Google right now, and we're trying to develop a way for clothes to be temperature-controlled, among other things."

With $3 million and presumably more on the way, we don't think they'll have a problem tackling bigger challenges in the future.