The Snuggie Ripped Off the Invention of a University of Maine Student
It was a cold night at the University of Maine back in 1998 and freshman student Gary Clegg was trying to stay warm in the old, not always well-heated dorm rooms on the Orono campus. That's when he had an idea that would take the world by storm until another company stole that thunder.
He tore holes in his sleeping bag so he could put his hands through them to use the remote control for his TV and still keep his upper body warm. During Christmas break, he asked his mother if she could make a blanket with sleeves. If you're thinking that's when the Snuggie was born, you are so wrong. That is when The Slanket, named using a combination of the words "sleeve" and "blanket," was born right here in Maine.
Gary and his brother Jeff started the Slanket company and by 2007, The Slanket was available to the world and was getting tons of sales after being regularly featured on QVC.
Of course, when inventing something as revolutionary as the Slanket there will always be imitators and two years later the Snuggie started getting attention. The Snuggie took the world by storm too, even though it's a much smaller and cheaper version of a blanket with sleeves.
What are the differences you ask? The Snuggie is made out of super cheap material while the Slanket is made of fleece.
The Snuggie is much smaller. If you stand up wearing a Snuggie, it won't touch the floor. When I stand up with my Slanket I have to gather it up to walk around. The Slanket comes with a foot pocket to keep your feet extra warm. The Slanket will last for a long time while the Snuggie could easily be torn to shreds by your dog.
I have owned a Slanket since it went to market, and still use it during the winter all these years later.
All this doesn't mean that Gary Clegg isn't successful. According to a 2018 interview with The Rooster, the Slanket has changed his life and he's now a jet setter traveling to sell the Slanket on TV shopping networks all over the world.
So keep your Snuggies or use them to start a campfire. That's the most warmth you'll get out of them compared to the Maine-born Slanket.
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