Industrial - Honours

Rheeo Dry Jacket

The Rheeo Dry Jacket is designed for kayakers in water temperatures that are less than 12˚C. Not only is it a fusion of the best features of a personal flotation device and a dry suit, but it also improves on both.

Adrian Coronado Quispe

Diagram showing the flow of interview, survey, and cultural probe data to final design findings.

The Research

Primary research was carried on from an extensive literature review. A survey was carried out that reached many people from all over the world. The survey results were analysed and visualised to see trends in the data, and relationships between variables, such as kayaker’s age, length of engagement in the sport, self-reported rates of injuries, etc.

The interviews were the most interesting aspect of the primary research. Kayaking participants and also kayaking instructors gave their insights and expertise on the topic in the interviews, discussing in-depth aspects of the kayaking experience that had previously not been considered in literature reviews, such as their connection to nature, comfort on the river, and full awareness of the risks of cold water.

Final Design

White-water kayakers that go out to rivers and oceans with water temperatures below 12˚C face a few issues. The most pressing is the possibility of cold shock, where the body is unable to properly react to sudden immersion to cold water, and if not prepared for, can lead to death. To combat this, they wear many layers of insulation, as well as thick life-vests to keep themselves afloat, at the expense of true comfort and flexibility.

Introducing, the Rheeo Dry Jacket. The Rheeo Dry Jacket is a revolutionary product that offers excellent insulation, protection, and flotation, far exceeding previous offerings to kayakers. It uses air cushions instead of foam slabs, and the exterior is made with world-leading Gore-Tex for the best insulation possible.

Led by User testing

The most exciting feature of the Rheeo is the air cushion segments, that replace the traditional EVA or neoprene foam slabs that current personal flotation devices (PFD) use. Through many weeks of rigorous user testing, a final design that maximises protection without sacrificing flexibility was designed. It also features shoulder pads, a never-before-seen feature of a PFD. The addition of shoulder pads hopes to tackle the sorely underrepresented impact injuries to the shoulder area and joint. The cushions are to be blow-moulded using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which is lighter than EVA or neoprene while offering a more resistant and more durable finish. The final result is a very protective, yet very lightweight and protective, series of segments.

Product Features

The jacket exterior is made from Gore-Tex, the world leader in textiles for harsh and extreme environments. It is incredibly durable against abrasions and impact force, perfect for white-water where kayakers may find themselves scraping or tumbling against hard, dangerous surfaces. It is also fully waterproof, ensuring the person stays fully dry, yet breathable, to vent sweat and keep the skin comfortable. Finally, the insulating properties of the Gore-Tex keep them warm and protected against the harsh cold.

The river pattern on the jacket exterior is made using thermochromic ink, a special ink that changes colour when a temperature changes. Some kayakers may be unaware of when temperatures can drop to hypothermic levels and take a toll on their body. The river pattern, therefore, will change colour to an icy white when the temperature drops. This gives the kayaker and their companions a visual cue, letting them know to keep alert.

Rheeo Dry Jacket in Context

Adrian Coronado Quispe

Adrian is highly passionate about industrial design, aiming to create products and systems that can help make the world a better place for people. He is skilled in 3D modelling, rendering, and prototyping physically with cardboard and foam. In his free time, Adrian paints miniature soldiers, heavily inspired by his love for animated movies.