The Noxgear Story
Headquartered in the birthplace of aviation, Dayton, Ohio, Noxgear was founded by two engineers, Simon Curran and Tom Walters. In the beginning we set out to solve a problem we faced, and in the process of doing that we founded a company with a simple mission: deliver innovative, well-designed gear to all nocturnal athletes.
Co-Founders: Simon Curran, CEO and Tom Walters, President
The Very Beginning: A Dark Field
The field is dark except for white lights at the corners. The air feels cold on this early fall night. We’re assembled for a game of Night Ultimate (aka. Ultimate Frisbee). Although we've played this game countless times before, this is our first night game and the atmosphere is different. It’s a new level of excitement. Once the game starts it plays a bit slower than usual as we try to figure out how to operate in the dark. But as we get more comfortable and the throws go further and we run faster something becomes very apparent: this is awesome.
After a few hours of playing with steam rising from our bodies, we look around and two facts become clear: One, we need to do this again; and two, we need to find a better way to light ourselves up. And with that thought, our journey had begun.
Not Just Fun & Games: Applying Visual Science to Revolutionize The Safety Vest
Like most athletes, we logged many of our long runs and rides at night or early in the morning. When we started our research into the visual science behind being seen in the dark, we were shocked to discover that most of today's safety gear is simply inadequate and outdated. Backed by the science and driven by our enthusiasm to engineer innovative athletic gear, we set off to revolutionize the age old Safety Vest.
As we began to visualize the earliest designs of our high visibility vest, prototype builds began almost immediately. Electronics were bread-boarded. LEDs and fiber optics were tested. Fabrics were sewn into our first units and evaluated. So the Tracer360 Visibility Vest joined our Torch Game Vest to define our very first, flagship products. Two products sharing a common design but customized for two distinct uses. The Tracer360 is an eye-catching high visibility vest for early morning and nighttime athletes. It’s the perfect addition to your winter running gear worn over your reflective jacket or on summer nights escaping the heat of the day. And our Torch is an unmatched illuminated game vest for night sports.
A Company Begins
Looking back now on the early days at our company we can really appreciate the challenges we faced and the progress that was made. More than a year was spent conceptualizing, designing, and testing what is now the final production design for the Tracer360 and Torch Game Vests. The responsibility was on us alone to make the many decisions that guided these products through their development. Our early adopters came from our crowd-funding campaign.
Our crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter.com started on March 22, 2013 and successfully finished 6 weeks later. It had taken months to prepare for the campaign, which meant fully understanding how we would take the Tracer360 and Torch designs through production and deliver them to our first customers. We will be forever indebted to our loyal Kickstarter backers as it was their support, encouragement and feedback that positioned us to succeed.
We are proud of this company and what it represents. Our name, Noxgear, is based on the Latin word for night: nox. Nocturnal, or being active at night, is also derived from this Latin origin.
From the earliest days of our working prototypes, our vests burnt a distinct ‘X’ in the night air. So the perfect combination of its meaning and using the letter ‘x’ gave us our name: noxgear – for the nocturnal athlete.