Between fixing the wireless internet, cleaning the grill, tracking down a pair of AAA batteries for a new toy and all of the other top priorities on your to-do list as a dad, you’re hardly going to have time to leave the house. If you’re leaving the house you’re going to work, to practice, to grandma’s house and every other place under the sun. You’re doing everything and going everywhere except to the mall to pick up new socks and razor blades. As if they’ve heard your unuttered prayer, the folks at Manpacks have built a service to automatically deliver socks, underwear, shaving cream, undershirts and other men’s toiletries directly to your door on a schedule that will keep you fresher than you’ve probably been in a long time.
A quick perusal of Manpacks at manpacks.com shows that the service is laser focused on the products and items that get you ready for your day. There are boxers and briefs; tanks, v-necks and classic t-shirts from various brands and in various colors. And yes they’ll have your size. So the first question we had for Manpacks founder Ken Johnson is: why would a guy want his underwear delivered to him?
“Our whole goal with the company is to simplify things for guys” says Johnson. “We want to take a lot of the choice away and to automate part of the process of shopping for these things and make it as painless as possible for them.”
There’s is certainly a deliberate effort to limit the menu of potential items you can order in your manpack. T-shirts for example are going to be in black, white or grey and they’ll be in small, medium or large. When you want to get wild and crazy though, you can upgrade the brand from, say, Hanes at five dollars per shirt to a Tommy John crewneck at $38 a pop.
It feels like Manpacks are for that community of single dudes who should have plenty of time to shop for these items but just don’t ever get around to it. However, a nation of dads, who may or may not appreciate the feel of organic cotton, get yet another way to have a box of stuff automatically delivered to the house. That it’s a box of practical stuff is just icing on the toothbrush.
“I think the surprising thing is, the number of times we’ve gone outside of that demographic,” Johnson explains. “The dads, the corporate professionals, government workerss, you name it; there are just people who really, on a personal level, don’t have a lot in common with each other but because of the convenience factor and the universality of how much guys don’t like to shop [we’ve]brought in a lot of unlikely characters.”
When you go to manpacks.com, what to get and how often to get it are key to whole Netflix-like experience. Tips on the website suggest that men should strive to have two weeks’ worth of clean undergarments. That’s a good starting point, but assuming you’ve been wearing underwear in the days before you jump into Manpacks, you’ll want to do the quick math to sort out how many “old and holies” you need to ditch and replace with the new service. Then you’ll find a nice clean underwear/sock/t-shirt equilibrium that works for you.
Venturing outside of apparel, it’s interesting to see what other kinds of products you can throw in your Manpack order. One man’s staple product might be a luxury for another guy.
“We have some rules of thumb that we follow. We like to stay within the morning ritual. You know, the products that you first interact with to get ready for your day,” Johnson says. “Socks and underwear are the first things you put on. You shave. You brush your teeth. You take your multivitamin. These are all things you do to get ready to face the world.”
The “Other” category on Manpacks is where the fun begins….or not. Mixed in with the limited shampoo and soap options, you can pick up an electrolyte supplement that bills itself as a good choice after a workout or after a night out drinking. As a dad who has all but retired from such activities I can tell you that a pill like that could’ve saved me a lot of Gatorade money back in the day. But today, clean underwear that just happen to be new, are as ambitious as we can be.
So let us know in the comments, on Twitter and on Facebook what you’d want to receive in a regularly scheduled Manpack that would save you time. And no, freshly-cooked bacon and perfectly grilled steaks can’t be scheduled like that.