Gift Pick: Burton Sleeper Hoodie Holds Gadgets and More
HYPE CHECK: BURTON SLEEPER HOODIE
What it is: Burton's Sleeper Hoodie is designed for the busy air traveler, but should be a big hit with everyone from bands who spend weeks at a time tour buses, to those of us who like to catch a nap on the bus on our way to work. Inside the neck rests an inflatable neck pillow; blow it up, and you've got immediate, built-in head support. (Much better than resting your head on the corner between the seat and the window, much less the person next to you.) It's also got hidden compartments for your MP3 player (lower left), passport (inner left), and even your earplugs (it comes with a pair). It even has thumb holes in the sleeve cuffs for those with cold hands, and zippers under the armpits (with mesh in between) for when you get all hot and bothered (like during the spaghetti scene of 'Lady and the Tramp'). There's more: a light shield pulls down to block out the glare of the sun-like reading lights your neighbor refuses to turn off (if not fully block out those fluorescents lining the cabin wall), and a headphone port for wiring your music inside the shirt. It feels like something to add to your essential travel arsenal -- and since it looks and feels like a regular hoodie when disengaged, you can even where it when you get wherever it is you're going. As long as it's not Tahiti.
Why it's different: Most sweatshirts don't do anything other than zip up. This one does about everything except cook you breakfast.
What it costs: $100
What we like: For those that travel long distances, this thing is a lifesaver. It's incredibly versatile and feature-packed, and this sort of combination of technology and fashion is long overdue. The ability to adjust your temperature actually works in practice -- finally avoid sweaty armpits during boarding, and the thumb holes really do keep your palms warm, no matter how high they decide to crank the AC. The whole thing just feels very well thought-out and designed.
What we don't like: Rather than the wrap-around style neck pillow that they sell in airports, the inflatable pillow in the neck is more of a log-shaped affair. It still works – even without anything to lean against, you can just rest your head on either of your shoulders – but the full wrap-around action would have been even better. Also, while the design is great if you're into big graphics (we love the line-art airplane), it's perhaps not the most subtle thing in the world – this thing might not fly with the over-50 business set (pun intended).
Does it live up to the hype? Yes. We love it. It's an incredibly useful piece of gear for those of us that take long trips (or perhaps lots of short ones, requiring sporadic naps), and feels like it will last many, many hours of airtime. It's a heavy-duty sweatshirt, and for $100, you can't really argue with the comfort and peace of mind it give you – even when sandwiched between two fatsos (loudly eating sandwiches) on your flight from LA to London.
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