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Friday, July 1, 2011

R.W. Barrel Saunas: Behemoth, body-baking barrels


Saunas were thought to have near-supernaturally restorative properties when invented by the ancient Finnish people, which makes it all the more tragic that modern-day ones are often creepily hijacked by dudes just trying to finish. Bringing back their old-school majesty...and privacy: R.W. Barrel Saunas.

Individually hand-milled in northern Minnesota, these cedar-hewn sweatboxes are made via the same process as regular barrels (but presumably with more ladders), can be styled/sized to your liking, are more affordable/efficient than standard saunas, and have the “traditionally pleasing shape that everyone loves”, despite the cans looking nothing like Scar Jo's. Each unit comes with a weather-sealed door, your choice of heating component (electric, gas, or wood), interior benches that can comfortably seat six, and a tempered glass window; they're all fit together with ball & socket joints, and rimmed with huge stainless steel hoops, aka a cyborg contestant on Flavor of Love 2112. Aside from picking your size, you can also decide between a traditional model or the slightly sleeker tube sauna, which doesn't get bulbous in the midsection like a barrel, meaning it's more easily assembled and thus can be done inside your house after arriving in kit form, assuming you actually want a black Trans-Am with Mr. Feeny's voice inside your house.

If you live within 50mi of the shop -- it's nearly 2hrs outta Mpls, so you likely don't -- delivery's free, but for everyone else, a small delivery fee also buys you an expert hand in getting the thing set up, which's ironic, as avoiding an extra hand's the reason you wanted your own private sauna in the first place.

These things have to be seen to be believed, at