The Snazzy Napper is a travel blanket designed to block out light and provide privacy on a plane or bus. A tester at television station WCIU (Chicago) says it looks like "a giant bib for a giant baby." An opening allows just the nose to poke through so you can breathe, and a soft metal clip surrounds the opening, allowing the blanket to hug the contours of your face. An adjustable Velcro strap wraps around the head to hold the Snazzy Napper in place. A larger version (*Est. $25) also serves as a blanket, and is equipped with a pocket. Both versions come with a carrying case.
Although the Snazzy Napper is intended as a serious product, it has been the butt of jokes and spoofs in the media, including "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." When reporters from CNN and WCIU asked consumers about the Snazzy Napper on the streets of New York City and Chicago, it got extremely negative reactions.
We also found brief but useful video reviews at NBC's "Today" show and at WRC (Washington D.C.). Gadling.com's Mike Barish reviews both versions based on his own tests riding in a chilly, air-conditioned car. A critical review at the San Francisco Chronicle is based on the commercial alone, but about 40 readers add comments. The review at a humor blog The Mother Load is also based on the commercial. An article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution doesn't review the Snazzy Napper, but discusses its development and rise to fame.
The main drawback noted in reviews is that the Snazzy Napper looks silly and is embarrassing to wear in public. Some reviewers find it claustrophobic, while others say it can make you a target for extra security screenings in airports because your face is hidden. Reviewers also point out that the pockets on the larger version of the Snazzy Napper make your personal items easily accessible for theft. Overall, a regular sleep mask -- plus a blanket if needed -- looks like a much better bet.
Reporter Jeanne Moos interviews the creator of the Snazzy Napper, and tries it out in New York City. Moos wears it in Central Park and on the subway -- provoking smiles, giggles and stares but not, apparently, any admiration or envy.
Review: Jeanne Moos Tests the 'Snazzy Napper', Aug. 20, 2010
2. WCIU (Chicago)
In this news segment, several people on a Chicago street try on the Snazzy Zapper. All but one say they wouldn't buy or use it -- except possibly as a gag gift. Users say it doesn't seem comfortable; one girl says it would be impossible for her to sleep with a big piece of cloth over her face.
Review: Will It Work? Snazzy Napper, Editors of and contributors to WCIU, Nov. 3, 2010
In this short video segment, the hosts both don Snazzy Nappers to see what they're all about. They don't provide very much insightful feedback, instead, they laugh at the absurdity of the design. This demonstration concludes with Kathie Lee Gifford saying that she finds it much too claustrophobic to wear.
Review: Kathie Lee and Hoda Nap in Comfort and in Style, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, Sept. 9, 2010
4. WRC (Washington, D.C.)
The Snazzy Napper is mocked in this brief video review, where its main purpose is presumed to be covering the face during sleep in case the mouth drops open. Sarah Fraser, along with the two hosts of Hot Talk, all agree that they would never wear the Snazzy Napper.
Review: Hot Talk: Snazzy Napper, Sarah Fraser, Nov. 8, 2010
After a brief test of the Snazzy Napper in a car with the air conditioning on full blast, Mike Barish recommends the larger version for people who need both a sleep mask and a blanket -- but he says a regular sleep mask does as good a job as the smaller Snazzy Napper. He also brings up a good point: If the Snazzy Napper helps you get to sleep in public, it doesn't really matter how ridiculous you look to other people because you'll be completely unaware of it.
Review: Review: The Snazzy Napper, Mike Barish, Aug. 30, 2010
6. San Francisco Chronicle
This brief review at the San Francisco Chronicle's website calls both versions silly, and says the larger one looks like a cross "between a ghost costume for Halloween and a KKK robe." About 40 users leave comments and most of them also mock the Snazzy Napper.
Review: Forget the Snuggie, try the Snazzy Napper, Kristi Gustafson, Aug. 20, 2010
7. The Mother Load
This review at a humor site scoffs at the Snazzy Napper based on the commercial, without any testing -- because the author says she's too claustrophobic to consider putting it on. Her main criticisms are that it looks infantile and claustrophobic, and makes you more susceptible to theft. (You can't watch your purse, cell phone or carry-on bag while wearing it.)
Review: Stupid Product: Snazzy Napper, Sarah Clark, Aug. 25, 2010
8. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
This short article in the business section of the Snazzy Napper's home town chronicles the development of the Snazzy Napper, along with its quick, viral rise to fame. The author does not evaluate the product itself.
Review: Atlantan Makes Sleeping Snazzy, Nedra Rhone, Sept. 24, 2010