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"Passively powered" by Grind and subzero-sleeping-bag design, this thermos insulator keeps contents piping hot all night long.

Photo of Karin Carter
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This thermally-insulating chamber allows the camper to take boiled water from the evening campfire and keep it piping hot overnight so that it's ready for the early-bird morning brew--there is no need to start a campfire or stove first thing in the morning.  The bag is designed to fit any medium thermos or insulating bottle.  With boiled water inside your thermos and then with the thermos inside this pod at bedtime,  water will be ~40˚F hotter in the morning than in a thermos alone (for 8 hours overnight in 35˚F temperatures).  Even when used around normal bottles (not double walled thermoses), this thermal chamber has R value enough to slow cook.

By utilizing baffled wall construction and seam sealing (in place of stiched-through construction),  the pod mimics alpine sleeping bag design for maximum heat retention.

Whether it's a Kleen Kanteen, a Hydro Flask, a stainless army issue, a Stanley thermos, or any generic water bottle, the Nike Grind Footwear "Fluff" in the box baffles conforms to the exact shape of the liquid container such that there is no draft by which heat would escape.   

Car-campers and glampers (or anyone who slept off-grid) can wake up to immediately enjoy a truly hot beverage or meal, without having to start the campfire/stove first.   

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Laminated EVA Foam
  • Laminated PU Foam
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The majority of the fill for each box chamber will be comprised of Nike Grind Footwear "Fluff." Chopped Nike Grind EVA foam (both pure and laminated) can be mixed in as well. These Nike Grind materials work equally as well as typical insulators (such as styrofoam balls, PET fiberfill, or down) for this type of non-wearable product. Laminated PU foam scrap may work well to form the outer wall fabric, as it needs to have more body than the inner wall fabric. I would welcome and love the chance to prototype with the real materials. The prototype I have made is comprised of PET fiberfill and chopped EVA sheet foam (floor mats).

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

This is a v1 "works-like" proto. The look/feel/vision for the final product will be similar to the styling of a YETI hopper, a Patagonia duffle, or an Osprey dry bag. Seams will be welded or sealed.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Campers, car campers, glampers, bird watchers, fisherpeople, hikers, trekkers, outdoor enthusiasts, and off-grid homesteaders--folks who buy gifts at REI, who enjoy the durable look of YETI, and/or who appreciate the environmental commitment of Patagonia. Gen Xers and millennials who like the outdoors...and coffee. All of these above people will benefit from a product that allows them to enjoy being outdoors more and to feel good about the purchase (and use) of this energy-efficient product.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

I would first share a more refined and styled prototype with my former classmate, coworker, long-time friend, and founder/owner of Alite (fun simple outdoor gear for casual camping). With a small initial order and successful sell-through numbers, I could then approach bigger camping retailers/brands, such as the REI, MSR, and EMS's for orders. To achieve successful sell-through of the initial run, I would market online via glamping and camping blogs. Beyond the hot bag, this idea could be extended to larger chambers that serve as kettle warmers (for Brits mostly ;)), and passive slow cookers (like the wonderful, but more rugged for alpine context).

How is your idea innovative?

My initial controlled trials using the v1 proto found that the bag kept water 20˚F warmer overnight (10 hours in 35˚F low temperature) than water in the same thermos alone (not in a thermal chamber). With professional seam sealing and design refinement, I believe this heat retention can be increased even more. As is, 20˚F is a lot--the human body/brain can perceive and feel a change in just 1˚F. The box baffles (used in sleeping bag design) resulted in this increased performance innovation.

What inspired this idea?

My Granny Vera who lived on a farm in Africa and used to cook porridge by placing it in between two stuffed bags in a cardboard box and waiting....without the use of additional wood, gas, or electricity. Frugal innovation at its finest!

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

It's my passion to turn trash into something of value. I have been thinking about it for over 17 years, ever since my design school days at Stanford, through my few years at Nike in the '00s, and as I founded and subsequently closed an upcycling co.

In what city are you located?

Denver and Sayulita

In what country are you located?

USA and Mexico

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Karin Carter ,

Great to see you in the Challenge! Could you please provide more content for the submission question, "How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?" How might you begin to turn the raw Nike Grind materials into your final product? What might that process look like step-by-step? How might you begin your prototyping process?

With the deadline fast-approaching at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, please ensure all of your final updates are completed by then.

Excited to learn more!