When shopping for camping gear, any outdoor enthusiast will know the importance of getting high quality items that work for your use. This includes opting for the most efficient camping blanket. Whether you are driving to a campsite by a river or hiking remotely on the top of a mountain for your spot, having the best gear will help to keep you comfortable and warm. More importantly, you want the blanket you choose to keep you safe. As you will be outdoors as the sun sets and the weather gets cooler you will find yourself completely exposed to the elements. It is important to be well prepared for these conditions by ensuring that you have a blanket to keep you comfortable.
Making an informed decision is important, that is why we have gone into depth about all the features that are important to look for when choosing your next blanket. To help you make the best use of your money, we have created a list of the best camping blankets available on the market. With high quality materials coming in at an excellent value all of the camp blankets listed are designed for rugged outdoor use.
Ready to get started? Let’s go.
How To Choose A Camping Blanket – Buying Guide
Before you choose your next blanket for camping, it is important to have a good understanding of the technology and terminology to look for. While your indoor home blankets may be a matter of aesthetics, there is a great deal more to consider when buying an outdoor blanket. This is even truer if you are in colder climates or practice more rural camping. As overnight temperatures drop, it is important to get a blanket equipped with the proper technology to keep you warm, dry, comfortable, and, most importantly, safe. Reading the blanket reviews is a good way to ensure that your blanket will work for you.
The best camp blanket will be one that is perfectly suited for your individual needs. Someone living in the pacific northwest looking to hike into a campsite will require a drastically different blanket than someone going camping in a place like New Mexico. Having a blanket that suits your climate and your personal preferences will allow you to get the most out of your camping experience.
When looking for your next outdoor blanket, there are many different types that you will be able to choose from. From waterproof outdoor blankets to thick down blankets, there are a variety of different types that all have their individual uses. Knowing which type will work best for you will help to make the most of your trip.
If you find yourself in need of an ultralight, ultra-compact blanket, this should be your go-to option. These camping blankets excel for their unique portability that is incredibly versatile to be ideal for a number of different environments. This is ideal for those trekking as they take up very little space and are highly durable. Most of these outdoor blankets are waterproof in design making them ideal for all sorts of outdoor use. Due to their size, these camp blankets will not work to cover your whole body when lying down and are instead used when sitting.
When you think of a blanket for camping, you are likely envisioning a sleeping bag. This is the most widely used blanket type, and for good reason. This cocoon style blanket works to completely surround your body providing full protection from the elements. A lot of times cool temperatures radiate upward from the ground. Sleeping bags work to keep you warmer by providing a barrier for underneath you as well as overtop.
Sleeping bags are often water-resistant allowing for even more protection. Made from a number of different materials these are a great idea, especially when camping in cooler environments. Sleeping bags often carry varying temperature rating levels that will provide protection to different degrees. The primary downfall of this camping favorite is that they are quite bulky. This makes transportation, especially for backpackers, less desirable.
This type of blanket typically refers to the aluminum foil looking blanket that comes in most first aid kits. Made from Mylar these blankets are ideal as they fold to an incredibly small size and can easily fit just about anywhere. These camping blankets have the primary purpose of providing warmth but also work as an insulator against electricity.
Wool blankets also fit this category. This type of material can keep you warm even when they’re wet. Even though they can be a little scratchy they can come in handy when you need them most. This material is also quite heavy so if you’re backpacking you may want to look into a more specialized outdoor blanket.
This type of blanket is solely used for an emergency. Not something you would bring as your primary blanket for camping, these are instead to be brought with as an added safety protection. These survival blankets are ideal to pack in all first aid packs. They do however come with their share of downfalls. Mylar emergency blankets are quite flammable and are very thin making them not very durable. As they rip quite easily, these blankets are designed for one-time use only.
These blankets, like emergency blankets, should be used for just that: emergencies. Acting very much the same, these outdoor blankets are far more durable. Designed to be used for more than one occasion these camp blankets make for exceptional safety features that will do well in your gear pack as well as first aid kits.
Cold Weather Blankets
For those that live in colder more northern areas, or plan to do their camping in off-seasons, you will likely need a blanket specifically designed for cooler temperatures. Most often, these blankets will be made from either wool or fleece. These fabrics are rugged and excel at insulating temperatures, even when wet. For these harsher climates, it is important to get a blanket that will stand up to changing weather conditions and is built to last.
Extreme Weather Blankets
For those with a bit more of a daredevil adventurous side that will be camping in changing conditions, you will need a tough blanket that will be able to hold up. This is specifically important for those hiking to different elevations or going on multi-day trips. Also known as survival blankets, this type has the important job of acting as an emergency survival blanket. In these kinds of high-pressure conditions, it is important to pay close attention to the material. Here, you will need a blanket that is waterproof, fireproof, wind-resistant, and insulated enough to hold extreme temperatures.
This type of blanket is incredibly versatile and therefore quite appealing to outdoor enthusiasts. With travel in mind, these blankets often come with small cases or carrying pouches. They are incredibly lightweight in design and can, therefore, be used in a variety of situations from camping to picnics. Oftentimes these blankets work to replace sleeping bags as they can provide the same amount of comfort and warmth.
This is the most important aspect of the blanket that you choose as it will determine both your warmth and your comfort. Here you will also want to consider your use. If you are looking for a blanket for hiking to camp, you will likely need a more rugged material that will be tear-resistant and have a stronger warmth rating.
Wool is the ideal option when looking solely for something warm. The fibers in wool allow it a unique quality to trap air inside which helps with further insulation. This is a rugged material that is great for sitting around a campfire as it is naturally fire-resistant. Wool also is one of the only materials that will still keep you warm and insulated, even if it is wet.
While you may be thinking that wool is the best option, it does come with its share of negatives. This material absorbs moisture which makes it incredibly hard to dry. It also has a scratchy feel that can make it feel quite itchy against your skin.
This is an ideal material for those living a vegan lifestyle. Providing many of the same benefits as wool but without the use of animal products, polar fleece is a fully synthetic material option. This is made from a type of polyester known as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). While this material has many similarities, it has some downfalls as well. While it dries much faster than wool, it is incredibly flammable making it not a good option for use around a campfire.
While this may be your go-to fabric for clothing and many indoor blankets, it is not a great option for outdoor use. Cotton, when wet, loses all of its insulation benefits. It also becomes quite heavy when wet. This material type is very flammable as well making it an option better used for indoor use. We actually don’t recommend it for a camping blanket for these reasons.
Another synthetic option, woven acrylic materials are made from a polymer known as polyacrylonitrile. This material is often used for sports clothing as it has powerful wicking features that allow it to pull moisture away from your skin keeping you warm and dry. A great option for outdoor use, this material is both stain and mildew resistant. While this material is melt resistant, it is still quite flammable.
Knitted polyester is an incredibly popular option when looking for outdoor blankets. Like wool, this material holds its insulation even when wet. A synthetic blend, this material differs in one very attractive way: it is fire resistant. While this material has been known to shrink with excessive heat, it is a very warm fabric that has a lightweight design.
This material is very similar to polyester as it is tough and able to stand up well against excessive heat. As an added bonus this resilient material is also waterproof. Nylon is often used as a shell to make a comfortable synthetic down blanket.
In addition to regular nylon, there is a popular fabric type called nylon ripstop which is often used in outdoor gear. This material holds a weaving technique that makes it more durable and resistant to tears – something any outdoors person can appreciate. With all of the same benefits as nylon, this blend is ideal for outdoor use.
You have likely never heard of this material but will be able to recognize it in an instant. This has the look of aluminum foil and is commonly found in first aid kits in vehicles as warming blankets. This material excels at insulating and trapping heat but it is incredibly flammable.
When we talk about the insulation we are referring to a few different things. First, we are talking about the type of insulation. Some blankets will feature cushy down feather insulation while others will have a more synthetic filler.
Second, we talk about the degree of insulation. You may not know this but there are actually levels of full-featured in blankets. As you may guess, a higher fill associates a higher degree of thermal efficiency. This translates to a warmer blanket that is ideal for cooler external temperatures. On the other hand, blankets with a lower fill level are more ideal for warmer summer nights as they provide less thermal insulation.
For camping, there are many different styles of blanket options. Most commonly you will come across a cocoon styled sleeping bag option. This works to completely seal your surroundings and is most ideal for temperature regulation in colder conditions. A traditional blanket style will just be a rectangular piece of fabric that works to lay over your body.
With so many people turning to an outdoor lifestyle, you will find your full of options to turn to as far as style goes. From the many different colors, materials, shapes, and sizes, you can now get a blanket that perfectly matches your style.
The size of the blanket you choose will depend on what you are using it for. Most people tend to go for a blanket that is suitable for 2-4 people. This will allow some added room to double the blanket or to adequately cover two people. For solo camping blankets, we recommend sticking to measurements no smaller than 60” x 60”. More preferred you will find blankets with measurements at the 80” x 60” mark. This allows for coverage for two people coverage and can be a more comfortable size.
Just keep in mind that a larger blanket means heavier as well. If you are the type of camper that likes to hike for days with just a single backpack and all your gear strapped to it, you’ll want a smaller, lighter blanket. This doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable or low quality. Many blankets come in a smaller size just for this type of person.
When you are looking for your next camping blanket, it is important to consider how easy it will be to transport. If you are driving to your campsite there is a little less pressure on this aspect but you will likely still experience limited space in your vehicle. If you are hiking in however you will need to place huge importance on looking for a lightweight and non-bulky blanket.
To determine how portable your blanket will be, you will want to look at the dimensions it will hold when folded, or rolled. It is important to also look at the weight of the blanket. While size is important, be sure to pay attention to how big the blanket will be when folded outright. If it can be rolled into a smaller package you can actually attach it to the outside of your bag. This will not only free up more room inside but also make it easy to get to.
In the early stages of deciding on a blanket, it is wise to consider how you will be using it. If you are looking for a blanket purely for camping, warmth should be your primary concern. If you are looking to get a bit more use out of your blanket you can find one that has added features.
If you want your camping blanket to double as a beach blanket, something for picnics, or a simple throw for your home, you will want to look for different features. Here, getting something easy to clean will be a great option. A durable blanket will allow it to effortlessly transition to different uses. Some blankets may even feature side pockets that are great to act as anchors at the beach.
The weight you choose for your camping blanket will be an important factor depending on the type of camping you are doing. For those driving to a campsite in their car, there will likely be far less importance placed on this field. In contrast, if you are hiking to your site, going with a lightweight blanket is going to be important. As a rule, lighter blankets will be easier to carry around with you and often take up far less room.
Q: What Are The Primary Ways To Use A Camping Blanket?
The answer to this is based solely on preference and need. Some people use a camping blanket as a light liner to provide some protection around a fire while others need the thick thermal benefits of a large wool blanket. Some people even use a blanket as a liner for their hammock to add some insulation.
Q: How A Camping Blanket Handles Bad Weather?
Your camping blanket will handle weather based on the material type. While cotton will absorb any moisture from the air and make you wet and cold, there are some rugged materials, such as fleece, that will do just the opposite.
When purchasing a blanket it is wise to consider the climate you will be using your blanket the most and buy accordingly. Those that live in drier climates will not need as much technology as those living in cold icy climates. The worst thing that you can do it get a blanket that isn’t suited for your area. In fact, it can even be dangerous. If you have a blanket that absorbs water and you get caught in a rainstorm you can actually get hypothermia.
Q: What Is Better? Multi-purposed Blankets Or Specific-use Blankets?
The answer to this question depends on two things. Firstly, consider the climate in which you will be using your blanket. Will you be in a remote area that is prone to cold or wet conditions? If this is the case you will want a rugged blanket that is able to handle the unexpected. Or, will you more likely be driving to a warm campsite in the summer months? In this case, a multi purpose blanket may be a more valuable option.
The second consideration is personal preference. If you are looking for the best of the best, we recommend getting multiple blankets for each location. Many people won’t enjoy lying with the musky smell of campfire while they are out at the park for a picnic. This goes the other way as well when considering the sand you may track into your bed at night after a day spent at the beach.
Q: Why Is A Regular Blanket Not A Good Fit For Camping?
Blankets intended for indoor use often are made completely differently than those intended for outdoor. For starters, they are often far less durable. Indoor blankets often feature materials that are far less resilient including cotton. They typically have a much bulkier design which can decrease their portability and are often a bit heavier in weight. For all of these reasons, it is best to get blankets that are specifically designed for outdoor use when looking for your next camping blanket.
Q: How Easy Are Caping Blankets To Wash?
This is a popular question for this type of purchase. As you are using your blanket in the great outdoors, chances are it will get quite dirty. If it doesn’t get dirty, it is sure to get smokey or musty or otherwise be in need of a good wash.
The answer to this question is mostly material dependent. This is a great consideration when making your purchase. You will want to make sure that you read all labels before buying so that you know how to properly care for your blanket.
The ease of being able to throw your blanket quickly in the washer and dryer is incredibly desirable. Most blankets are often ok to be thrown into the washing machine and can even handle a low heat in the dryer. For those that do not have this option, we recommend a cold hand wash and hanging your blanket to dry, preferably outside, to get rid of any odors. Febreze and other air fresheners are great options to mask any scents it may carry.
Q: What Kind Of Weather Are Camping Blankets Used For?
In most cases, all outdoor gear, including blankets, have been tested in a lab to be assured of their performance. Blankets will often be labeled with a certain degree of temperature in which they will retain their heat too. Most blankets on our list will be rated to a level near freezing, around 32-35 degrees. Those who live in cooler climates will be able to find blankets that are rated for far cooler than this as well.
It is important when checking the rating of the blanket to consider your personal tolerance to temperature. Some people have a tendency to get cooler quicker than others. This will more than likely follow you to camping and, therefore, require you to get a blanket with a higher rating than may be recommended.
Q: Are Camping Blankets Water Resistant?
Be sure to note that water resistant in no way means waterproof. Blankets that hold this rating are primarily talking about the morning dew one may experience. At most, you can expect these blankets to be suitable for a light drizzle. This type of blanket is not designed for prolonged exposure to this type of weather and will eventually allow water to seep through the shell to the inside effectively leaving you unprotected. Opting for a waterproof insulation blanket is important if you are living in very wet climates.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Polar And Coral Fleece?
Coral fleece is known to have a higher pile, fluff in layman’s term. This material is thicker and softer than polar fleece. The added comfort comes at a higher price and is considered a higher end option. It has all of the same features with a bit more comfort. As far as camping blankets are concerned, most on the market feature polar fleece instead of coral fleece.
Globo Surf Overview
For your next camping adventure, it is important to have a quality camping blanket as part of your gear packed. Having a top of the line blanket will allow you to better enjoy your night under the stars as you will be warm and comfortable. Depending on the climate and season that you plan to do your camping, having a rugged blanket can go along way to keep you safe in the wilderness. As the temperatures drop during the night, you will be at a greater risk. Having a resilient blanket that will allow you adequate coverage despite the unpredictable weather conditions is important in keeping you well protected and comfortable.
More Camping Reviews:
- EDC Flashlight
- Mosquito Repellent
- Ultralight Tent
- Keychain Knife
- Camping Lantern
- First Aid Kit
- Rechargeable Flashlight
- Sleeping Bag Liner
- 6 Person Tent
Have you ever camped with one of the blankets that made our list? Tell us about how it worked for you in the comment section below.