Blankets with sleeves. Now that's progress.Thanks to Snuggie's cheesy direct response ad that went viral in late 2008/early 2009 (not to mention that it was, wonder of wonders, a blanket with sleeves), the Snuggie craze warmed America's hearts in a big way and is still going strong.
Now there are Snuggies for kids, Snuggies with special designs, Snuggies for dogs. Snuggie lovers have organized pub crawls, and last year the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers broke the world record for most people wearing sleeved blankets at the same place and time, only to be outdone by a stunt staged by baseball's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
But just as Facebook didn't invent social networking, the Snuggie itself wasn't the first sleeved blanket; it was just the sleeved blanket that became the most popular. Before the Snuggie, there was the Slanket, the "original blanket with sleeves." It hasn't caused the uproar that the Snuggie did (Slankets, for instance, aren't available at Walmart.com; Snuggies are). But it's still a blanket with sleeves, popular enough to be offered in a variety of colors and designs, for adults and kids alike.
So which sleeved blanket should you wrap yourself in on these chilly winter nights--the originator or the popular choice? Compare and Contrast, Money College's new price comparison column, assessed prices, varieties and reviews for Snuggies and Slankets to help you decide which sleeved blanket you should cozy up to on cold winter nights. All information is current as of Jan. 7 and is subject to change.
Product Name: The Slanket
Tag Line: "The original blanket with sleeves!"
Number Sold: 1.8 million in the United States from 2006 to 2010
Varieties: 36 still available at shop.theslanket.com across three categories: Original Slanket, Slanket Kids and Travel Slanket.
Dimensions: 60-inches wide by 95-inches long for the original, weighing five pounds.
Reviews: On Amazon, the Slanket in Alaskan Blue and Slanket in Ruby Red tie for the most reviews (31), averaging at 4.5 out of a possible five stars. "Out of all of the companies making sleeved blankets, Slanket is without a doubt the highest quality," claims Amazon user OrangeCrush in the review selected as the most helpful by Amazon shoppers.
Favorite/Least Favorite Slanket: We personally like the Royale with Sleeves (for the purple color, not just the random Pulp Fiction reference). Peace Keeper however is a real eyesore, overwhelmed by a dreadful looking pattern consisting of massive, multicolor, overlapping peace signs.
Costs: At The Slanket's online store, Original Slankets are $32.99, Travel $24.99 and Kids $21.99, not including shipping which averages from $9.76 for ground delivery to $69.38 for next day air. On Amazon, the lowest cost we found for a new Snuggie was $21.95 for Castlerock Gray and up to $44.95 for Ruby Red.
Product Name: Snuggie
Tag Line: "America's favorite blanket with sleeves!"
Number Sold: 25 million
Varieties: On Snuggie's site, 34 varieties across several categories, including original, designer (includes camouflage and tie dye), True Fun (with prints like peace signs and monkeys), specialty (including Snuggie To Go, and Snuggie Varsity), microplush (include crimson, leopard and zebra designs), kids sizes (camouflage, princess, Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants), and a variety of sizes for pets (including blankets, hooded blankets and nesting nooks).
Dimensions: 54-inches wide by 71-inches long, weighing 1.6 pounds, for the original.
Reviews: On Amazon, the original blue Snuggie has the most reviews (116) that average out to three out of five stars. "The Snuggie is lightweight but I must say it does keep me warm when I'm all wrapped up in it," says Amazon reviewer Spudman.
Favorite/Lease Favorite Snuggie: We love the fun SpongeBob; pity its only sized for kids. Snuggie for Two sounds like a good idea, except the couple is forced to share a sleeve. We like togetherness, but it'd be nice if two arms didn't have to be smashed together.
Costs: Most Snuggies are $14.95 each at mysnuggiestore.com, not including shipping (which appears to be $7.95 for one Snuggie) and a possible tax. The most expensive variety we found was the Snuggie Sherpa Style (which comes with a plush lining) for $39.95, plus $9.95 for shipping. On Amazon, the cheapest deal we saw (not including kids and pet options) was $11 for the Snuggie Varsity and up to $39.49 for the zebra print.
Piet Levy's Compare and Contrast breaks down the prices and perks, for products and services that college kids want, every other Monday on WalletPop's Money College page. Send suggestions, including items or services you want Piet to write about, to email@example.com.