Maine Gift Guide: The Slanket

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The fashionista in you finds the whole idea of a blanket with sleeves horrifying. But even you have to admit, the warm and cozy factor is intriguing.

Clearly, you're not alone. It seems like everywhere we go this season, we see Snuggies for sale. But we're more interested in the Slanket. Yes, the Slanket. It's the original blanket with sleeves (shockingly, Snuggies are a knockoff) and it was invented by a University of Maine student, Gary Clegg, in 1998.

As the story goes, Clegg was chilly while lounging around in his dorm room, so he kept a sleeping bag on top of his bed. But the fact that he had to take his arm out to change channels while watching TV was a bit of a problem, so he cut a hole in the side. Over break, he had his mom sew up a blanket with a sleeve. One sleeve led to two, an invention was born and in 2004-2005, Clegg launched the Slanket.

To say it caught on would be a huge understatement. Yes, it inspired a bunch of copycats. But the company has made millions, and Clegg, who grew up in Standish, is doing quite well for himself. You may recognize him from QVC. Oh, and his roomie from UMaine, Nick Collins, now works as a Slanket consultant.

For the record, the Slanket isn't made in Maine, but the idea was, and the product is, by most accounts, superior to the competition. Yes, it costs more. But it's cozier, thanks to a higher-pile material, and it fits less like a hospital johnny and more like, well, a blanket with sleeves. In other words, there's lots of extra material in the back that you can wrap around yourself.

If you're only buying local this season, we totally understand. But if you (like thousands of others) are thinking about putting a Snuggie under the tree, give the Slanket a chance. Feeling really cozy? You and your sweetie should consider the Slanket Siamese.

We won't tell. And to all you stylish guys and gals, nobody needs to know what happens in the privacy of your own home.

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Kate said...

Ah, finally someone acknowledging that the Snuggie is a rip-off. Everyone is, snuggie this, snuggie that, and I'm like, what about the Slanket?? It has a much better name!

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