We know what you're thinking: "I've got the best sleeping bag in the world, how could this portable bed technology possibly evolve any further?" Well friends, the future of sleepwear is here - and it is Selk'bag. While many of you will likely be reading this review far from the comfort of your bed - or with arms chilled while your lower body remains toasty warm within your own sleeping bag - we have left such inconveniences in the past.
The 4G Lite Sleepwear System from Selk'bag has taken our wildest dreams and made them a reality, and those of you who have been considering investing in some new camping equipment would hate to miss this technology.It takes some inspired thinking to introduce a technology that people didn't realize they needed, but that's just what Selk'bag inventor Rodrigo Alonso Schramm seems to have done. A Latin-American graphic designer by trade, Schramm drew inspiration for the Selk'bag from the necessity of portable sleeping bags to outdoor enthusiasts, and the Selk'nam natives of Tierra del Fuego, Chile. The now-extinct Chilean natives were famed for both their physical prowess and toughness, and their ability to tolerate the harsh cold of the Chilean wilderness.
The Selk'bag is just what it looks like: a sleeping bag without the constrictions, binding, or large opening allowing heat to escape on particularly cold nights. With a single zipper, adjustable hood and nylon soles to prevent slipping, the Selk'bag Lite is as effective at keeping warm around the house as it is on a weekend camping trip - so those who prefer to stay inside during winter have just as much reason to try it out as you Bear Grylls superfans.
Nothing can ruin a great gaming experience like an unwanted chill or draft, and if we're honest, it's hard to sport a blanket these days without looking like an idiot. Sure, you can keep your hands close to your body, or inside the sleeping bag you already own, but what about motion gaming? Enter the Selk'bag Lite, with its 'Quick-Release Hand Closure System' letting your entire body stay warm while freeing your hands to manipulate a gamepad, Move controller, or Wii Motion Plus.
The Selk'bag Lite may be a trimmed-down version of the company's full model but the quality hasn't taken a step down with the price. Constructed from a polyester shell filled with synthetic fiber for insulation, the sleep suit is just as warm and soft as your average sleeping bag, with enough durability to take outdoors - should winter chores be unavoidable.
The days of dreading leaving one's warm bed to give your car a tune-up, take your dog for a walk, or even hunt down your family dinner are now over. We put the functionality of the Selk'bag Lite to the test, and were more than impressed with just how versatile this so-called 'sleepwear system' really is:
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While manufacturer MÃ¼sucHouse recommends that the Selk'bag's thermal fortitude is pushed to its limit at -4°C, we were more than impressed to find that at almost -10ºC the cold could barely be felt within the confines of the suit. The nylon soles stood up to the rigors of both snow and pavement, and with the ability to wear shoes within the bag itself, wearing the Selk'bag for the entirety of a camping trip is a real possibility.
As for motion gaming like Dance Central, or the intense racing action in Forza Motorsport 4, the overwhelming insulation of the Selk'bag does falter. But for longer gaming sessions on the couch, or if you're simply looking to save on your heating bill, the Selk'bag Lite leaves regular blankets in the dust. The ability to unzip the suit from the bottom grants access to pockets, but having access on both sides of the suit, or pockets within the suit itself would have been a nice addition. Similarly, an optional elastic or adjustable waist would make getting around a bit more comfortable.
That being said, the suit's first purpose is for sleeping, so the lack of these functions in favor of a lower price is understandable.Whether you're taking part in a LAN party sleepover at your friend's house, or simply have family staying over the holidays, the Selk'bag makes the idea of finding a bed wherever you lie a reality.
Napping, camping, stationary gaming, or just trying to keep the cold at bay, the Selk'bag Lite really does impress. Available through the company's website SelkbagUSA.com at a starting price of $79.99 USD, a variety of colors and sizes mean anyone can find the sleep suit of their choice, even children. We'll warn you though, it's unlikely that a traditional sleeping bag will ever fulfill your needs once trying out the Selk'bag.
While it may be a bit odd at first glance, the Selk'bag does deliver on being the most comfortable and thermally potent sleeping bag you're likely to find. Even if you only keep it around for a yearly camping trip, or in the trunk of your car in case of an emergency, if you can afford to spend a bit more than a standard sleeping roll the 4G Selk'bag Lite is a wise investment.
If you're still not sure, check out the company's own commercial, and try not to be convinced to make the world "your playground."
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.