Design

This is probably the best travel dog bed ever

This dog travel bed, designed by award-winning product designers (who draw dog superheroes), means your dog may be a happier camper than you. Fund now.

 Elijah and Leah Wiegman with their inspiring pups (all images by Spruce) 
Elijah and Leah Wiegman with their inspiring pups (all images by Spruce)

Dogs, camping just got even better – and ridiculously comfy. Spruce has launched a travel bed that folds open to reveal its memory-foam lap of luxury while giving you lots of space to pack your essentials (tennis balls, squeaky balls, back-up tennis ball, treats, bowls) inside. It makes travelling that much easier and cosier.

The first product by Pittsburgh-based start-up Spruce Group is still being pack-funded (or “crowd-funded”, as the humans say) on Indiegogo. It ends on Sunday – time to raid your piggy bank ($139-$219, available in three sizes and with some discounts and perks on Indiegogo).

The company was set up by two ridiculously dog-loving humans: Elijah and Leah Wiegman are both consumer product designers who have 18 patents and two Red Dot Awards to their names. More importantly, they have very lucky pooches with whom they go hiking as often as they can. Wunderdog sent some questions to Elijah.

Tell us about how you came up with the Spruce Pup bed!
Leah and I are both designers (graphic and industrial). We helped create baby product company 4moms,  and when it was time to look at our next step, we knew we wanted to be involved with dogs. We take ours everywhere and were frustrated with packing up all their gear. That’s why we designed the Spruce Travel Dog Bed. It’s a super comfy, full-featured bed when it’s at home, and when it’s time to hit the road, toss your pup’s stuff in and zip it up!

Your Indiegogo campaign is already fully funded. What did you learn from the campaign, and what advice do you have for other start-ups?
The response to our campaign has been awesome. We knew we designed the bed for people like us, but it’s great to hear our tester’s feedback. Two things that were tremendously important were building our core audience (emails, Instagram, friends and family) and during that time, refining the product so that it’s ready to be produced. We spent the extra time making little tweaks to improve the product while we continued to spread the word.

The beds bought on Indiegogo only ship to the US and Canada. Are you planning on making the product available worldwide (hint: Wunderdog lives in the UK…)? 
Once we’ve started successfully shipping the first backer products, we’ll absolutely be expanding International. There’s great pups everywhere!

The bed was inspired by travelling with your dogs. Where do you like to go?
We are campers. From backpacking, day hikes, or road-tripping in the Spruce Van, we have been up and down the East Coast of the US. We’re planning a cross-country tour next summer for sales and fun.

What’s been your favourite trip? 
Our favourite trips usually involve a rustic cabin tucked into the Allegheny mountains (West Virginia). Day hikes, good food and drinks, and a campfire with our pups.

With the Spruce Bed, your dogs sleep on memory foam mattresses. What do you sleep on when you’re travelling?
One of the reasons we designed the Spruce Bed is so that we didn’t have to share our sleeping bags with them (not that we really minded). Leah, Rose and I are pretty tough, just a sleeping bag usually, but we’ve built out a Sprinter Van into a mobile camper and pop-up shop, so now we’re spoiled.

And tell us about your pampered pooches!
Moe is a tripod, so he’s always looking for a cosy spot to curl up in. Scooter was my best friend for 13 years, the inspiration for being outside with dogs, and my perfect pup. We had to say goodbye last weekend and it still hurts, but she lives on in all our adventures.

Finally, on your website, you tell how your dogs inspir­ed you to create a sup­­erhero when you were little. Tell all! 
When I was a kid, I created Winged Revenger. He was a superhero who lived in a huge technological treehouse and rescued animals from Dr Slime and anyone else who’d threaten the environment. Kinda Captain Planet mixed with Batman. Maybe I should start sketching again?

Yes, please!

Click here for the Indiegogo campaign and here for the Spruce website

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