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Stylish Sleeping Bags for Urban Overnighters

Just in time for Labor Day weekend voyages, writer Nancy Lazarus surveyed the market for sleeping bags and got a sneak peek at the back-to-nature themes, trends, and colors that will be setting up camp come 2015.


Spoon-shaped sleeping bags from Dover, New Hampshire-based NEMO.

From the American Museum of Natural History’s Night at the Museum-fueled all-nighters to the recent “Citi Field Sleepover,” where 400 fans plopped down their tents and sleeping bags to watch a jumbotron broadcast of a New York Mets’ road-game, the sleepover isn’t just for middle schoolers anymore. Soon the age-old question of what to wear will be replaced by what sleeping bag to bring, so UnBeige went on a hunt for suitable choices.

While sleeping bag options for children abound, stylish adult sleeping bags for urban use are in short supply. Adult sleeping bags have mainly been designed for serious camping excursions. More innovations have been introduced in shapes and materials than in colors and technology, as detailed below. We’ve added a few suggestions regarding upcoming colors and patterns based on StyleSight’s spring and summer 2015 preview, to give enterprising designers something to sleep on.

Shapes: Rectangular bags and body-contouring styles prevail, such as Egyptian-inspired mummy forms, and more recent hourglass silhouettes. Other shapes encourage user mobility (nocturnal activities and sleepwalking). Fun shapes for kids include pizza slices (pictured at right, from Dreamtyger), animals, and the little dipper.

Materials: As with ski parkas, there’s been ongoing progress in using synthetics that keep bodies warm and wick away moisture. Sleeping bags come in traditional flannel, cotton, fleece, and down, as well as newer blended fabrics like CoolMax, PrimaLoft , DownTek, UltraLamina, and Thermolite.

Technology: Only a few sleeping bags include built-in wiring for using electronic devices. While campers in the wild may prefer to tune out, most urban campers would probably rather stay connected.

Color schemes: Many sleeping bags for kids sport colorful or playful designs, but most adult sleeping bags are solid colors or two-tone contrasts. Only a few make a fashion statement, and reversible sleeping bags or flexible zip-in/zip-out designs to match the occasion are hard to find.

Recently StyleSight previewed trends they predict for spring/summer 2015:
Colors: blues, purple, burgundy; saffron, ginger; pastels; washed indigo, distressed finishes
Patterns: circles; black-white-navy blocking; bold stripes; nautical motifs; florals, Hawaiian prints
Influences: food and nature–think berries, sorbets, botanicals, landscapes
Themes: vintage and retro looks, such as calligraphy, seersucker, varsity letters

These forecasts may offer a good starting point for designers to add more pizzazz to urban sleeping bags, an up-and-coming niche for human-sized canvases.

Nancy Lazarus’s last contribution to UnBeige previewed the BMW i3. Learn about her here.

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