Father Nature OutdoorStart-up company Father Nature Outdoors set out to save the world from sleeping on the cold hard ground once and for all. Similar to Big Agnes and Therm-a-Rest, FNO has designed a sleeping bag and camping pad that work together as one unit to keep you from slipping off at night.

Christopher DeVore is the founder of Father Nature Outdoors, starting the company at the age of 19 while a sophmore at the University of Maryland. FNO is based around an integrated sleeping bag product that packs and sells both a sleeping bag and camping pad together.

“I wasn’t satisfied with the options available to me at the time, and more importantly, I knew I could free up space in my backpack,” DeVore recalled. He started by sewing his own bag together, but after receiving compliments on his idea in business class, he started to look at commercial manufacturing.

DeVore was thrilled when he found a manufacturer who used the exact materials he wanted for the first generation of the FNO Integrated Sleeping Bag. With the bag in hand, he went to UMD’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship where he received guidance and won a few awards to pursue his start-up, including a 2nd place in Microsoft’s Young Entrepreneur contest in 2012.

“Now my goal is to get word out about my small business and gain feedback- both negative and positive,” DeVore told me. The FNO Integrated Sleeping Bag is a three season synthetic bag that incorporates a self-inflating sleeping pad beneath it in a sleeve. The camping pad air valve is accessible even as it sits in the sleeve, meaning you don’t have to separate the two for inflation.

Both of the products pack together and roll up to the size of a conventional foam camping mattress. The camping pad and sleeping bag are sold as a unit ($159), meaning you don’t have to spend time and money searching for the perfect union of products.

When asked of future plans for Father Nature Outdoors, DeVore mentioned that he would like to keep the business small but with a dedicated fan base. The next step for FNO is expanding into other seasonal options, with the most immediate growth option being a duck-down integrated sleeping bag. DeVore now hopes that more fans will find their way to Father Nature Outdoors.

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  1. The very first version of this idea that I was aware of appeared in 1990 with MacPac from New Zealand.
    I had two (samples) sleeping bags that integrated the self inflating pad into the bag to save weight and bulk on ultralight pursuits. I used the system for one season and found it NOT good. The hood of the bag would not contour when drawn together resulting in large gaps for cold air to sneak in around the shoulders. Biggest problem I found was that I could only sleep on by back since turning on my side the hood would suddenly be in my face, not around it, exposing my ear/side of the head. I ditched the system and MacPac dropped the line a year later.
    These days I use high end down sleeping bags with a NeoAir pad to save weight and sleep comfortably like never before.

  2. Looks like a total rip off. And the pad inside bag idea (like some Big Agnes bags and the Nemo Siren) feels like you’re strapped to a litter; it’s uncomfortable at best.

  3. Totally comfortable bag! Great deal and lightens my load while backpacking. I’ve been searching for a solution for some long nights on hard ground on the Appalachian Trail in Western MD and just found it. Couldn’t be more pleased with my purchase. This kid is going places with this bag. Good luck to him.

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