From woven weighted blankets to aesthetic dog beds to vibey body pillows, no brand has captured the essence of cozy comfort quite like Bearaby. The lifestyle startup's products have become status symbols for in-the-know customers, and its signature blankets are now enjoying the same level of name recognition that brands like Kleenex, Sharpie, et al., have had for decades. And now, they’re entering the apparel space in classic Bearaby fashion — with weighted knitwear.
World, meet the Napigan: The cleverly-named sweater actually launched over the holidays, but sold out so fast you likely didn’t even get a chance to hear about it. (According to the brand, the Napigan’s initial limited-edition run was depleted in just four days (!), and racked up a hefty waitlist of over 3,000 people. Not many brands can say they did that.)
From a purely visual standpoint, the Napigan is unmistakably Bearaby; the hand-knit, 100% organic cotton textile looks and feels like your favorite Cotton Napper blanket, and comes in two sizes: Small, weighing 4.5 pounds, and medium, which is seven pounds. (As far as the limited size range goes, I actually think this is a bit of a misnomer. Both sizes are extremely oversized — above, I’m wearing the small — and are able to be worn open or closed to fit a variety of bodies.)
The Napigan is currently available in two colorways: Confetti, a navy, pink, and gray stripe, and Ribbons (pictured above), a navy, white, and gray stripe. Both the small and medium sizes retail for $349 each, putting them in line with Bearaby’s other premium offerings. Below, follow along as two R29 editors put the Napigan through a variety of tests: At the office, on planes, and at home.
"I'm a massive fan of Bearaby — I own three blankets for my couch, bed, and one for guests — and miss them dearly when I travel. When I received my Napigan, I hastily unboxed it at work and threw it on over my outfit. Dare I say, the fashion is fashioning? I don't typically go for oversized styles, but I felt super hip wearing my Napigan — it feels very Japanese in its boxy shape and bold color-blocking. I'm wearing the small, and you can definitely feel the weight of 4.5 pounds on your body. I loved wearing it at my desk — it instantly made me feel cozier, even from our startup-y, industrial Brooklyn office.
I wore it again on a short flight from New York to Miami, and I will say, I have mixed feelings about it as a travel item; on one hand, I loved feeling swaddled from my seat in coach, watching Netflix from my iPad. On the other hand, this was a very bulky item to get on and off through security, and unless you're wearing it on your person, carrying it around got exhausting fast. (The bulky nature of the sweater also may or may not disturb someone in a middle seat, FYI.) For all the reasons I outlined above, I actually found myself enjoying it most at home; it's a short trip from my living room couch to my closet, and I love that I can enjoy the comfort of a weighted blanket while being able to move around and, you know, use my arms." — Karina Hoshikawa, Senior Writer
"The Napigan felt very bulky when I first put it on. It wasn’t necessarily heavy, but I was very aware of the thickness of fabric, especially around my arms. After wearing it for about 10 minutes, that awareness dissipated, and I just felt super comfortable as I scrolled through my Instagram feed on my Uber ride to the airport. I found out my flight was delayed by three hours as my Uber was pulling into the airport. Luckily, that meant one thing: French fries and a drink. I sat down at the terminal to indulge myself with a big glass of red wine, and the woman across from me complimented the Napigan (after noticing me taking a shameless selfie). The wine had worn off by the time I was squeezing my way into my economy seat, and I was starting to feel like there was too much fabric for this tiny space. Already contending with the insufficient amount of room for my legs, the Napigan's bulk definitely wasn’t giving what it was supposed to give to solve my sense of discomfort. About halfway through the flight, I decided to flip the Napigan around so the majority of the fabric was on the front of my body. This made all the difference: within three to five minutes, my stress levels shot down, and my annoyances with traveling completely faded. I made it to my destination without any further issues, and since I didn’t check a bag, I was on my way fairly quickly. I did notice my shoulders started to feel a little sore after wearing the Napigan for about six to eight hours. I wonder if that would have happened if I had gone with a smaller size (I had the medium) since it’s not as heavy.
In terms of the appearance, I like the neutral colorway and the color blocking, which keep it from looking too much like a blanket. I do wish it was slightly less bulky in the arms, but I think the long sleeves were the key to creating that weighted feeling. The cotton is as soft as my other weighted blanket, but it has a tighter, thinner weave, which I appreciate. If you have anxiety while traveling, I recommend giving it a try and reversing it once you’re on the flight to maximize your comfort. It takes a bit of getting used to, but bringing this Napigan along has made me a breezier (and more relaxed) traveler." — Sam Baker, Former VP of Commerce & Partnerships
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