In 1976, a deep-sea diver and a secretary noticed the arrival of body warmers in the US. They thought this trend would reach the UK as well and decided to get ahead of the trend. It was Bryony Harris, director and co-founder of Snugpak, taught by her husband Brett Harris, chairman of the board of a clothing company. They began producing experimental body warmers and jackets. Both spouses worked full time and devoted every free minute to their experiments with the insulation of jackets. Thus, a new production was born in a handicraft workshop with the help of home workers. At first they only made 15 jackets a week. In 1977, in order to gain business experience, the couple invested all their savings in G & H Products Ltd (which later became Craghoppers).
Two years later, the couple decided to independently develop their own Snugpak network. The couple began to realize that if the new company was going to be successful, they needed to produce products with year-round demand, and not seasonal warm jackets. Sleeping bags have become the logical choice of new manufacturers.
By 1984, the company had seven seamstresses, and two years later the production moved to a larger building in the village of Silsden in West Yorkshire, where it remains to this day. Brett knew that the company must develop through innovation. Traditional sleeping bags were heavy and very bulky. He wanted to produce lighter and cheaper, but no less quality than expensive bags.
In 1987, Snugpak began selling their Softie 6 and 12 sleeping bag lines. These were the smallest synthetic sleeping bags on the market and sales skyrocketed. The classic Softie 6 model was most widely used by private individuals during the Gulf conflict. Today’s Softie range consists of many different models. All of them are based on the original idea, but are constantly updated thanks to new technologies and insulating materials.
The Softie 3 Merlin sleeping bag, released in 1989, became a real sensation and an international bestseller. It combines good thermal insulation with high breathability, which allows you to sleep at zero degrees. Its weight does not exceed 750 grams, and a bag the size of a melon (16 by 16 cm) has become a real find for tourists. Until now, such bags are used all over the planet.
The original Sleeka jacket has also remained the most popular model ever since and is now used by tens of thousands of people around the world. It’s the most versatile Snugpak ever, striking the perfect balance of insulation, weight and pack size.
Now Snugpak products include not only jackets and sleeping bags, but also tents, backpacks, various types of warm clothes. Many of these products are used by the British military. Snugpak products can be divided into two main groups. Code Green models are for the military. This is a variety of clothes and backpacks, mostly olive and black. Survival Range models are civilian uniforms for extreme sportsmen, tourists and lovers of an active lifestyle.
Most of the Snugpak product range is still made in the UK, although new high-end lines of sleeping bags and jackets are already being made in the Far East. In 2002 and 2009, Snugpak won the Queen’s Award for International Trade.
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