Of Bedrolls and Picnic Blankets

16 Nov 2016

When Prometheus Design Worx announced their technical picnic blanket, I was somewhere between amazed, disgusted, and outraged, based on the following points:

  • technical: how is a picnic blanket technical? The language used to describe outdoor equipment is bad enough for the consumer (softshell or hardshell? Technical baselayer?), but when it’s applied to a product as mundane as something for you to sit on to keep your precious arse off the ground, it’s entirely ridiculous.
  • the cost: at $189, this is a very expensive value proposition, which is a fancy way of saying it’s very expensive. I don’t particularly care if it’s made of wool, or for that matter hand-spun unobtanium mined on comets. I understand that a perfectly functional blanket can be had for sub-$10.
  • it’s heavy. At 1.2kg, it’s going to be very noticiable anywhere you carry it, and provide relatively little functionality in return. Serious car campers/glampers only.

Obviously my amazement, disgust, and outrage is fuelled by a) not having one and b) not being the vendor of such a product.

I was content to be a little cross, and ultimately move on from the subject, until I saw two further items: Best Made Company make a Waxed Canvas Blanket at $179, and Civilware outdo both with their All Terrain Bedroll at $195.

Who knew? A market of high-end blanket exists. And why shouldn’t there be? People, me included, are wildly foolish with value propositions, and like to have stuff that they can clobber the value propositions of others with.

Wonderful.

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