Blue Rubber Band

WTF Report: “Napwrap—the arm trap”

Kids. There are two things you should never do as a responsible reviewer or critic.

  1. You should never blindly belittle a project that someone else has dedicated countless hours to.
  2. You should never criticize something without having actually tried it.

I’m about to break both of those rules, because I’m a terrible human being.

Allow me to introduce…Napwrap:

This is an exceedingly sophisticated product and a miracle of engineering, so it’s a bit difficult for me to clearly summarize exactly what it does. But I’ll try:

It’s a band made of stretchy fabric that you use to tie your arms together.

Huh…that was easier than I thought.

The makers of Napwrap claim that it helps you relax and sleep on the plane. It does this by restricting your arm movements, keeping them folded safely across your chest. Here are a few other items that can do the same thing for free:

  • Stuffing both of your arms inside a plastic bag
  • Rope
  • Wearing a sweater and tying its sleeves together
  • Duct tape
  • Attacking an air marshal and getting tackled to the ground and forcibly restrained

Moving on. I’m always suspicious of products that bill themselves as a type of Swiss Army Knife with multiple uses. You think you’re giving me more reasons to buy your product. You’re not. You’re just admitting that you don’t trust your product to fulfill its primary purpose, so now you’re desperately trying to justify why I should spend money on your bullshit invention. Here’s what Napwrap can be used as, according to its makers:

Sometimes use it as an eye mask.”

Actually, we already have a type of eye mask that helps you sleep. It’s called a sleeping mask. Also, if I’m using the Napwrap as a sleeping mask, what’s holding my arms together? Do I need two Napwraps? Why should I have two of them, if I could have a Napwrap and a sleeping mask?

Use it as an earmuff if you’re cold.”

Same as above. You people suck.

Slingshot to throw peanuts at your neighbors? No problem!

…fucking what?! What?! I know you think you’re being cute. Stop that!

Phone holder.”


“Use it to practice your Tai Chi moves. Napwrap!”

The above video also attempts to legitimize the product with SCIENCE. Here’s one of the “facts” from the video:

Did you know crossing your arms can confuse your brain and help lessen pain?

No, I did not know that. Do you know what else can confuse your brain? People taking scientific findings out of context and using them to promote their stupid product. You’re referring to this one study, which found that switching the dominant and non-dominant hands over an imaginary midline resulted in a statistically measurable reduction in a specific pain sensation. The effect of that pain reduction? Equivalent to around 3 percent.

So, yes, crossing your arms can “help lessen pain,” but unless you travel with advanced lab equipment and perform controlled experiments while flying, you won’t even know the difference.

The opening of the video is a gem in its own right:

“Well…let’s think about a time when you were sitting in the middle seat. You know: There are only four armrests and six arms. And this is the story without a Napwrap. Let’s look at the story again: What if a couple of your neighbors were Napwrapping?”

Fuck you. It’s the same goddamn story with a Napwrap. Napwrap doesn’t add armrests to a plane. It also (hopefully) doesn’t remove any arms from the equation. Don’t bullshit me, lady! Also, “Napwrapping” isn’t a thing. Stop trying to get that term to catch on.

I first heard of this product on Diane Owens’s blog, but it wasn’t until I looked at Napwrap’s Kickstarter page that I realized the full depth of the insanity involved. The Kickstarter page has a “Frequently Asked Questions” section. It lists a single question, which isn’t how FAQs tend to work. That question is: “Why do I need a Napwrap?” The answer:

“For most people crossing arms is a comfortable posture. The problem is holding that position requires muscle and mind which is difficult to maintain, especially when sleeping.”

There’s probably a joke in there somewhere about how failure to “maintain your mind” is the very affliction responsible for this product, but I’m not sure what that joke is.

In the meantime, I’m working on a competing product. It consists of two Velcro straps you wear around each wrist. When you need to nap, you just stick them together. Simple and effortless. And the best part? You can attach almost any Velcro-enabled item to them and have them double as makeshift storage.

I need a good name for the product. This is what I have so far:

  • Straightjacket Lite™
  • Jail4Joints
  • GlueLess
  • I-Can’t-Believe-These-Aren’t-Handcuffs

If you have better suggestions, I’m happy to hear them. I need all the help I can get. This product is going to be huge.