The Selk'bag: A Completely Unexpected Gaming Accessory

By Jeremy M. Zoss in GearFest
Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Yes, really
​About a week ago, I got one of the strangest review pitches I've ever seen: I was asked if I wanted to review a wearable sleeping bag called the Selk'Bag. The pitch actually positioned the item as a way for gamers to stay warm during chilly gaming sessions - which, as a gamer with a basement lair in Minnesota, sounded perfectly reasonable to me. So I said I'd check it out.

Here's my take on what has become known as the "Sleeping Bag Man Suit" at JD Central.

First, here's the technical info, as strange as that sounds:

30% lower weight than Selk'bag 3G
A new quick-release hand closure system allows for quick entry and exit of the hands
Baffled construction to eliminate cold spots
A soft polyester shell with a water resistant finish (DWR)
Reinforced nylon soles prevent wear; lateral grips give traction on multiple surfaces
Double front entry-zippers and a right hip zipper make for quick entry while granting access to pants pockets
An insulated hood for added warmth
A convenient carry sack for compact portability
Thermal collar around the head and neck to prevent drafts
Exaggerated draft tubes to stop heat loss around zippers
Wider zipper tape prevents snags

This wearable sleeping bag retails for about $99 and comes in a pretty standard compression sack. When I took it out, I have to admit that my first reaction was that it looked pretty silly. I mean, come on:

But I tossed the Selk'bag on right away and quickly discovered that it actually fit me pretty well. I could move around easily, although the feet felt a bit large. But I flopped down on my couch with this thing on and watched a movie with my wife. It was a chilly night, so she threw a couple of blankets over herself. I was completely fine in my Selk'bag, even a little bit too warm. It passed the first test: providing warmth.

But what about playing games in this thing? Well obviously Kinect games are out of the question, but for standard gaming - yeah, it works. You can't see it in the picture above, but there are slots in the arms for your hands to pop out, so holding a controller while wearing the Selk'bag is no problem at all. That is, if you don't mind the fact that your controller may occasionally rub against the extra fabric flopping around your hands. 

It would have never occurred to me to investigate the Selk'bag as a gaming accessory if not for the PR pitch email, but now that I have, I actually think it's kind of great. For most of us in the US, it's about to get chilly, and if this winter is half as bad as the last one, it's going to be cold. By choice, I have my gaming setup in my finished basement, as it's more private. It's also colder. In the winter months, I typically have on a hoodie in my basement, throw on a blanket or do both. Now I can just slip this on.

I haven't tested the Selk'bag outdoors, but I think I'd actually prefer it as indoor wear. I'm a pretty active camper, and most of the sleeping bags I own are rated to colder temperatures than the Selk'bag and are designed to keep your limbs together rather than apart. Maybe the Selk'bag is designed for less hardcore campers, I don't know. What I do know is that it's a surprisingly decent option for hardcore gamers.

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