With the Intersect Aspen event starting Sunday and running though the following Friday, I’ve got fine art on the mind. Even though this column space is generally given to the form and functions of outdoor gear, there’s no reason that strides in the world of visual art and design can’t seep into the picture. Graphic design is my full-time gig, so I have to admit, I can really geek out when these worlds collide.
Famed sleeping bag blanket company Rumpl decided to offer up the canvas of their products to showcase the work of accomplished and up-and-coming artists around the world. A far cry from the traditional solid color blankets of old, The Rumple Artist Division (RAD) currently has over a dozen different artists’ designs available on an array of their products. Features run the gamut of acclaimed Native American printmakers, French muralists, adventure photographers, abstract painters and typographic storytellers.
I recently acquired a new Nanoloft Puffy featuring Baltimore muralist team Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn. Playful and vibrant, this duo has been turning urban areas into colorful works of art for over a decade. Their signature geometric designs, bold shapes and colors bring a sense of youth, playfulness and energy to otherwise drab urban spaces. Noticing a lack of abstract art in public spaces, Jessie and Katey set out to literally change the landscape for the better.
That same vision transfers itself onto their Rumpl blanket canvas. Properly named “Chromatic Voyage,” this isn’t something you’ll likely lose in the dark. It’s a conversation piece that never fails to generate a smile on others’ faces. Even though it’s geometric in nature, it still has movement and is bright and colorful without seeming adolescent.
As for its function, the blanket holds true to Rumpl’s excellent reputation. The one-person, 52×75-inch Nanoloft version is made of down-alternative synthetic insulation. Fifty plastic bottles are recycled per one-person blanket to create a 100% post-consumer recycled polyester shell and insulation. It includes a cape clip, so you can wear it hands-free. This will be one colorful cape.
As with all the other Rumpl blankets I’ve tried, this one is machine washable and pet-hair resistant. The outer shell has a DWR-resistant finish for more durability and a little water resistance. I love how easy these blankets are to beat up and throw around. I’ve used them on rocky terrain, for a wet dog, at dirty festivals and even kept one in my tote during COVID for when we were always having to gather and eat outside. Come home, throw it in the wash and it’s good as new.
If you want to get your hands on a RAD blanket, I recommend moving quickly. They only make a limited run, and then are sold out. Rumpl is constantly rotating in new artists, so there’s always something new on the docket. The Chromatic Voyage Blanket ($199), as well as other artist collaborations, are available at Rumpl.com.
Intersect Aspen is an annual art and cultural event running all next week and takes place mostly at the Aspen Ice Garden. For more info, check out IntersectAspen.com.
Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be reached at [email protected].