The early days of our business Functional Design™ took place in Talkeetna, Alaska.
Nestled between the Talkeetna, Susitna, and Chulitna rivers and two mountain ranges,
Talkeetna is well known for its wilderness adventure. The town is a center of activity
year-round with climbers, backpackers, skiers, fishermen, and rafters, but is best
known as the staging ground for expeditions on Denali. I arrived in Talkeetna in
1981 with a heavy-duty treadle sewing machine and was soon stitching every imaginable
type of gear: tents, sleeping bags, and expedition clothing. Mending eventually
transformed into design as friends came to me looking for solutions to special
The idea for the Sweetie Pie was conceived to fulfill a threefold problem that faced mountaineering
couples: that of sleeping warm, reducing weight, and taking up less space in the backpack. Traditional
zip together bags were heavy, bulky, and cold. The prototype Sweetie Pie Bag Expander was created and
put to the test on a 120 mile (193km) back country cross-country ski trip across the Talkeetna Mountains.
For the first time ever I slept warm and cozy while winter camping in spite of temperatures reaching
-20°F (-29°C). I continued to use the Expander while pregnant and as the mother of an active toddler.
Functional Design™ moved to Seattle, Washington in 1997 and we received our patent in 1999.
Families camping with small children, college students sleeping in dorms, musicians on the
road, adventure cyclists, Boundary Water enthusiasts, backpacking newlyweds, one very tall
man, and guides in expedition settings have all endorsed the design “for adventurers who
support warmth, comfort, and snuggling.” In 2002 our Sweetie Pie Sleeping Bag Doubler
received Backpacker magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award.
Functional Design™ is a web-based company with a commitment to conservation of resources. We
do not send out catalogs or unsolicited mailings. Functional Design gives back to our environment
and its people, globally and locally, by donating 2% to selected organizations.
Thank you for visiting our website.
*US Patent Number: 5960492