Beating chill at games is in the bag

Sitting outdoors in a football stadium during fall and winter games can be a chilly way to spend several hours. A blanket can help ward off the cold, of course. But now there is another way people can stay warm: They can climb into a bag.

Marvel Putnam, a retired circus tent maker, has designed a stadium bag that he said works better than a blanket for a person sitting in the stands. His invention, the Snug-L-Bun, is a nylon bag that slips over a person's feet, legs and lower chest.


Although the pouch looks somewhat like a sleeping bag, it is designed to weigh less and to repel rain or spilled drinks. The bags weigh a pound or less; most sleeping bags weigh about three to five pounds.

"Sleeping bags are too big and bulky to take in and out of a stadium," said Peter Hambly, the marketing director for Putnam's company, Snug-L-Products, in Sacramento, Calif. "And if you stand up in a sleeping bag, it will ruin the bottom. The Snug-L-Bun has a heavy-duty nylon bottom panel so you can stand up and cheer at a ball game."


The bags, which are designed in one size to fit all, are 47 inches long. They include a drawstring at the waist for tightening around the lower chest or hips. The waist expands to 54 inches. The product, which has no lining, is designed to trap heat around the lower body and to act as a windbreaker. The fabric is treated to resist water and soiling.

The bag comes in three versions: Compact, which weighs six ounces and comes with its own carrying case sewn to the inside of the bag; Just-in-Case, which weighs eight ounces and tucks into a small separate waist pack, and Deluxe, which weighs a pound and is made of a heavier-gauge nylon that is more durable than the other models.

The Deluxe, which comes with a carrying sack, has a zipper extending the length of the bag, making it easier to get in and out of. It has an interior pocket that holds a solid foam seat pad that is adjustable, so it can be centered for the best seating position.

The Snug-L-Buns are available in limited quantity at sporting-goods stores. The suggested retail prices are $25.50 for the Compact, $32.50 for the Just-in-Case and $39.80 for the Deluxe. For information on dealers, call Mr. Hambly at (916) 423-3990.

Mr. Putnam, who is 80, said he created his first stadium bag in 1965 for himself and his wife, Laura, out of canvas that he used for making circus tents. The couple took the bags to watch the San Francisco Giants play baseball at Candlestick Park.

"I did it to please my wife and to save me from freezing," Mr. Putnam said. "Always in the third or fourth inning, the sun would go down, and then we would climb into them."

Three years ago, he decided to design a bag to sell to the public. He introduced it to the market in August. "Fabrics in the early days were crude," he said. "They didn't do the job as well."

Snug-L-Products is owned by Putnam Enterprises, the Putnams' real estate company in Sacramento.