Any keen outdoors person knows there is just no substituting good gear. Using your jacket as an extra layer might be okay for a night. But spend multiple chilly sleepless nights in a tent and you will wish you bought the best camping blanket you could find!
And when choosing a camping blanket, there is a lot to consider. Aside from the cost, the type of camping and outdoor activities you enjoy will affect what is ideal for you.
This is our guide on how to choose a camping blanket that fits all your needs.
There are so many different types of camping blankets, the choice can be overwhelming. You do not want to spend your hard-earned money on the wrong camping blanket.
Considering the types of weather and climate in which you will be using your new camping blanket is a great place to start.
It’s a matter of preference, but anything above 60°F is generally considered warm. In this type of climate, the best camping blanket wouldn’t need to be insulated. But moisture or sweat-wicking would be a useful feature.
When it’s hot outside, you still need cover. And where there’s heat, there’s often insects which you will want to keep out!
Cold weather camping or outdoor activities offer different challenges. Cold weather is generally anything below 40°F and you may need to consider wind chill too.
You will need a warm camping blanket that insulates, traps heat, and staves off hypothermia.
You will need a waterproof blanket if you are camping in wet weather, no ifs or buts! A waterproof blanket will help keep you comfortable and safe. Even if you are camping in warm weather, it will not feel very warm if you’re soaking wet.
If you are camping in rainy conditions, a quick-drying microfiber towel is also a good idea. That way, you can dry off properly before using your waterproof camping blanket.
Weather will impact which material or fabric is best for your camping blanket. Here are some of the typical materials used to make the best camping blankets and their properties so you can determine which is the best for you.
Even to this day, the military still uses wool blankets. It is a natural fiber of which there are many different kinds (merino wool, lambswool, etc.). And wool still insulates even when it’s wet.
It is also a fire-resistant and moisture-wicking material.
However, wool is not the most comfortable fabric. Plus, it can take a long time to dry out and can be very bulky and heavy compared to other materials.
An emergency or thermal blanket is a plastic or foil blanket that medical professionals give to people at risk of hypothermia or shock. It is generally a thin, heat-reflective plastic sheeting designed to trap heat.
These kinds of materials fold up small, which is ideal for packing light.
However, these materials are not hard-wearing and durable. And don’t make for the most comfortable of blankets to sleep under or sit on!
Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is waterproof, fire-resistant, lightweight, and extremely warm. It is also a great insulating fabric even when wet and it is sweat-wicking.
Polyester is also a durable material with a nice feel to it. These qualities make it one of the best camping blanket materials for most types of weather and activities.
It does not do well in high heat (like a dryer) because it might shrink. Luckily, polyester is quick-drying so you can leave it to dry by itself.
Fleece is a synthetic wool alternative and has many of wool’s qualities such as the ability to trap air between fibers. It is also very insulating and, unlike wool, is lightweight and dries quickly.
However, fleece is an extremely flammable material which isn’t ideal if you enjoy sitting around a campfire.
Weight and size are two key factors to consider when choosing the best camping blanket. Though you want one that will keep you warm and dry, you need to keep in mind that you will be carrying this blanket too!
First, think about how you normally explore the outdoors. Do you go on day hikes, venture on multiday treks, or drive up to a camp spot? If you drive, you probably don’t need to worry about weight and size and can prioritize comfort.
But if you carry your weight, this might be the most important consideration for you. Opt for a pocket-sized blanket with the ability to hang it from the outside of your pack. That way, it will take up next to no space and be easily accessible when you need it.
Another factor is how you intend to use your camping blanket. Because all campers know the best gear has more than one use and is versatile.
Do you intend to use your camping blanket primarily as an extra layer? Or is it likely to be used as a picnic blanket, beach towel, tarp, rain cover, or even a yoga mat?
Considering how you will use a camping blanket will affect the right kind of camping blanket for you. Down insulated and cozy camping blankets do not make great tarps!
Finally, the best camping blanket for you will be extremely durable. You do not want to buy gear that is only good for a handful of trips. And not only because it’s a waste of money or because you don’t want your gear breaking mid-adventure, but because of the environmental impact.
Investing in multi-use, well-made gear is a great way to minimize your carbon footprint, reduce your waste and help protect the earth.
The Best Camping Blanket for Every Adventure
Hopefully, you have a much better idea of what to look for in the best camping blanket for the climates and activities you enjoy.
And if you want a versatile, waterproof, durable, and compact camping blanket, check out the BEARZ Outdoor Pocket Blanket.
It is the only blanket you will ever need for camping, festival, and beach adventures. Every detail is carefully considered, and it is available in a variety of colors!