The growing bedbug issue on New York's subways sounds pretty awful, but you know what's worse? All the parasites and invisible germs you don't see while taking public transit. You might as well be rolling around in a petri dish when you step on a bus, unless you've got protection. Say, gallons of hand sanitizer, or Betabrand's new germ-fighting transit jacket.

Appropriately called the Germinator, the jacket is a collaboration between gravitytank and Betabrand and is actually the result of almost a year's worth of research into how commuters get sick on public transit—and how to help prevent sharing illnesses.

A fabric with a removable antimicrobial liner is used on a set of removable cuffs that let standing subway riders safely hold onto rails and polls without picking up germs, and on the right sleeve is a dedicated pocket for a transit pass that helps keep it sequestered, and easy to find, when not in use.

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The Germinator jacket also features an extra high collar enhanced with antimicrobial material that can be zipped up and used as a sort of face mask to keep microscopic airborne attackers at bay. And since a crowded subway car is prone to getting hot and stuffy at times, the jacket features vented pockets that can help you cool down without having to remove your fleece armor.

And there's even a chest pocket providing easy access to your smartphone, since commuting every day without some kind of digital distraction is torture. At just shy of $200 while Betabrand attempts to pre-sell enough of them to make a production run worthwhile, the Germinator isn't obscenely expensive, nor does its design tell your fellow commuters that you're terrified of picking up their germs. Instead it will let you fly below the public radar, dodging coughing attacks, and long-range sneezes from taking you out. [Betabrand via designboom]

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