Exploring nature is an incredibly fulfilling and relaxing endeavor. Unfortunately, it’s also really cold a big chunk of the year. A great way to stay warm while out in all that natural wonder is with a hiking or camping blanket. Today we’ll be reviewing different styles of blankets to help you find the best camping blanket.
- 1 Best Camping Blanket
- 1.1 Matador Pocket Camping Blanket 2.0 New Version
- 1.2 Kelty Bestie Insulated Camping Blanket
- 1.3 Pendleton Twin Wool Camp Blanket
- 1.4 BEARZ Outdoor Camping Blanket
- 1.5 Zefabak Down Blanket for Camping
- 1.6 Snugpak Jungle Blanket
- 1.7 Montem Premium Pocket Blanket
- 1.8 Mambe Extreme Weather Waterproof/Windproof Camping Blanket
- 1.9 Ektos 90% Wool Camping Blanket
- 1.10 Rumpl The Down Blanket
- 1.11 Premium Life US Military Poncho Blanket
- 1.12 Woolly Mammoth Woolen Company Merino Wool Camp Blanket
- 1.13 Oceas Outdoor Waterproof Fleece Blanket Great for Camping
- 1.14 Ruth & Boaz Outdoor Wool Blend Camping Blanket
- 1.15 Therm-a-Rest Ramble Down Hydrophobic Camping Blanket
- 2 Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Camping Blanket
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Camping Blanket
Strictly speaking camping blankets aren’t essential pieces of gear. Sure, they’re warm and easy to carry but they’ve long since been overtaken by sleeping bags as the standard outdoor sleeping tool.
At the same time there’s just something about a warm blanket on a cold night. Huddling by the fire, blanket wrapped around you, a hot mug of coffee in your hands as you slowly drift off to sleep.
Camping blankets are a deliberate throwback to an older way of exploring the outdoors. They’re also great for staying comfortable during the day while hiking, car camping, at a bonfire or just while enjoying your backyard.
We’ve tried to find great examples from each category of camping blanket at a range of price points. Check them out and find out what fits your needs best.
Matador Pocket Camping Blanket 2.0 New Version
The Matador Pocket Camping Blanket 2.0 is an ultra lightweight and packable ground cover blanket. It folds out to cover 63 x 44 inches, giving you a very useful bit of space to work with.
It’s made from a water and tear resistant fabric to stand up to rough ground. It has a special stitching pattern that lets it fold up into a small pouch about the size of a deck of cards.
It includes weighted corners that you can pull out to use as sturdy metal stakes. One thing we really liked was the inclusion of sand pockets. This allows you to increase the weight on a windy beach to keep your blanket from blowing away.
Matador was the originator of the pocket blanket as we know it today. Their updated 2.0 version is well-made, durable, and includes all the features you could ask for at a very reasonable price.
Kelty Bestie Insulated Camping Blanket
It’s a large and comfortable blanket that provides excellent insulation while still being very packable. It comes with a stuff sack and weighs just 24 ounces. Even better, it’s affordable and is available in a variety of colors.
The Bestie is warm enough for cool to cold nights. We definitely wouldn’t recommend you take it with you as your only source of warmth on a cold winter night but it’s great as a lounging or day hiking blanket.
Pendleton Twin Wool Camp Blanket
Pendleton is world famous for the quality and durability of their wool products. The Pendleton Twin is a wool camp blanket that gives you excellent insulative properties and looks really good while doing it.
It’s made from a blend of 86% wool with 14% cotton to improve overall strength and comfort. It rolls up to fit into an included carry strap system and is available in a vast range of colors, patterns, and styles.
The wool construction of this blanket makes it perfect for use in wet condition on even the coldest of nights. It’s dry clean only but the design and pattern you choose plays a big role in how visible stains are on the blanket. One downside to wool blankets is their weight: The Pendleton weighs almost five pounds.
One of the best things about Pendleton wool blankets is their durability. People have been relying on Pendleton for quality outdoor and camping blankets for over 100 years. They’re expensive, but you only need to buy a Pendleton blanket once to enjoy it for a lifetime.
BEARZ Outdoor Camping Blanket
The BEARZ Outdoor Beach and Camping Blanket is a lightweight pocket style blanket. It’s designed to fold down to the size of a deck of cards and provide effective ground cover wherever, whenever.
It’s made from a waterproof and tear resistant nylon material and comes in a small pouch for storage and portability. It has four sand pockets, one in each corner, that can double as a convenient place to store your things while sitting on it.
The BEARZ blanket is great as a beach blanket, ultralight hiking ground cover or as a picnic blanket. It’s relatively inexpensive and stands up to regular outdoor use.
Zefabak Down Blanket for Camping
The Zefabak Down Camping Blanket is a lightweight and highly packable hiking blanket. It’s made from 20 denier ripstop nylon with a 90% natural down filling.
This gives it great insulative properties for a very low weight. It weighs just 1.23 pounds and stuff’s down into a small sack. It’s great for hiking, airline travel or anywhere else you need a high quality but lightweight blanket.
The Zefabak Down Blanket is an inexpensive alternative to the many name brand down hiking blankets on the market today. It’s made from durable materials, is extremely warm, and provides great value for your money.
Snugpak Jungle Blanket
The Snugpak Jungle Blanket is a lightweight synthetic insulated blanket. It’s intended for use as a travel or outdoor blanket and is made from windproof and water resistant nylon.
The filler is made from synthetic materials and rated to a comfort level of 45 °F and a survival rating of 36 °F. It’s fully stuffable and packs down into a 6 x 6 inch stuff sack. This makes it both highly insulating and capable of being packed just about anywhere.
Because it’s made from synthetic insulation rather than down it can be stored stuffed without fear of lofting issues. Overall the Snugpak is a great blanket for hiking, camping or emergency use. It’s reasonably priced and great to throw into a bug out bag, emergency car kit or into your camping box.
The Montem Premium Pocket Blanket is an ultra thin nylon ground cover blanket. It’s designed to provide a waterproof barrier between you and the ground.
Like other pocket blankets the Montem packs into a stuff sack for maximum portability and convenience. The nylon material used to make it is both waterproof and tear resistant. This allows you to use it on wet or rough terrain without fear of damage.
It has corner pockets designed to hold rocks or sand. This helps prevent it from blowing away on a windy day and allows you to store small items securely.
The Montem Premium Pocket Blanket is an inexpensive and reliable groundcover. It’s not much use for keeping warm but great if you want somewhere dry to sit when hiking, camping or out at the beach.
Mambe Extreme Weather Waterproof/Windproof Camping Blanket
The Mambe Extreme Weather Blanket combines the comfort of a fleece blanket with the insulating properties of space blankets. It’s made of Polartec classic 300 fleece with a waterproof nylon liner on one side.
Sandwiched between these two layers is a reflective lining. This increases its insulating properties without noticeably increasing its weight or bulk.
It’s available in a small personal size or a large sharing size. This makes it perfect to take on a solo hike or as a family cover at a late fall football game. It includes a drawstring stuff sack for easy storage when you’re ready to get moving again.
Caring for your Mambe Extreme Weather Blanket is easy. It’s fully machine washable and can even be tossed in the dryer.
The Mambe Extreme Weather Blanket is a high-end outdoor and cold weather blanket at a premium price. It’s comfortable, durable and relatively lightweight for its size and insulating capability.
Ektos 90% Wool Camping Blanket
The Ektos 90% Wool camping blanket is a heavy duty wool blanket designed for emergency and outdoor use. It’s made from a 90/10 blend of wool and synthetics for maximum insulation and long term durability.
It’s a large blanket, measuring 66 x 90 inches when unfolded, and is quite thick. This makes it incredibly warm but also noticeably heavier than other camping blankets.
The Ektos is modeled after traditional military cold weather gear. Its wool construction means it will stay warm even when soaking wet. Because it’s blended with synthetics it’s much easier to clean than pure wool or wool and cotton blend blankets. You can actually machine wash it on the gentle cycle.
It’s definitely not one you’d want to carry with you on an ultralight backpacking trip. For car camping, winter fires or as part of an emergency kit it’s an excellent option at a very affordable price.
Rumpl The Down Blanket
Rumpl is a well known name in the down camping blanket market. They basically created the category a few short years ago and have been going strong ever since.
The down filling gives it excellent insulative properties while the 20 denier nylon makes it soft to the touch and resistant to tearing. It’s available in three different sizes ranging from Throw up to a large Two Person blanket.
We’ll be honest—We really like this blanket. Everything about it just screams quality. Unfortunately, so does the price tag. The Rumpl definitely isn’t a value priced product.
All the same, if you’re looking for a top of the line down camping blanket and willing to pay a premium for it the Rumpl is definitely the way to go.
Soldiers and Marines have been using ponchos as blankets for decades. The Premium Life US Military Poncho Blanket goes a step further and acts as an added insulating layer for the standard issue US poncho.
This mil spec blanket is made from nylon with a polyester fill. It’s made in the USA and comes in a traditional woodland camo pattern. The sides come with ties to allow you to attach it to a poncho or tie it down.
One thing to keep in mind when ordering these liners is where you’re ordering them from. Like many military surplus products there are an unfortunate number of counterfeiters out there. Order from a trusted source to make sure you get the real deal.
As long as you take precautions to make sure you’re getting a bonafide US military style poncho liner you’ll be in good shape. It’s a warm blanket that packs down well and can hold up to serious use and abuse.
Woolly Mammoth Woolen Company Merino Wool Camp Blanket
This wool blanket from the Wooly Mammoth Woolen Company is made from a 80/20 blend of merino wool and acrylic. This gives it excellent heating and moisture mitigation characteristics.
Merino wool is highly regarded as the best wool for use in travel and hiking clothes. In blankets it’s softer, more compressible, and resists odors more than other materials. This blanket is 66 x 90 inches yet weighs just four pounds.
That’s an excellent size to weight ratio for a wool blanket. The acrylic is added in to help strengthen the blanket and reinforce the edges. It’s double stitched and has a milled finish.
This makes the Merino Wool Camp Blanket one of the best wool camping blankets available. It’s relatively lightweight, has a great combination of value to price, and is usable in all weather conditions.
Oceas Outdoor Waterproof Fleece Blanket Great for Camping
The Oceas Outdoor Blanket is a waterproof fleece blanket. It combines the warming properties of high-quality fleece with a double coated layer of waterproof polyurethane.
This gives you a good mix of warmth and water resistance for a fleece blanket. It’s designed with a built in storage strap that lets you pack it down. You can also stuff it down into a stuff sack for more secure storage when needed.
The Oceas Outdoor Blanket combines the benefits of an insulative blanket with the features of a pocket blanket. It’s good as a groundcover for a picnic or to keep you warm on a cold winter’s day.
Ruth & Boaz Outdoor Wool Blend Camping Blanket
The Ruth and Boaz Outdoor Wool Blend camping blanket is an inexpensive yet high-quality hiking, camping, and outdoor blanket. It uses a 20/80 blend of wool and polyester.
This gives you many of the benefits of wool without the high price tag that comes with them. It’s 59 x 54 inches and weighs just 2.2 pounds. This makes it suitable for packing in on a camping trip or keeping around home for a backyard bonfire.
It’s available in a wide variety of colors and vibrant patterns. Because it’s made of a wool polyester blend it’s machine washable and suitable for drying in a clothes dryer.
The Ruth and Boaz Outdoor Blanket isn’t the best blanket out there. Its blend of wool and polyester doesn’t have the same insulating capabilities as a higher wool content blanket. At its price point though it’s a good product that provides reasonable value.
Therm-a-Rest Ramble Down Hydrophobic Camping Blanket
Therm-a-Test is one of the leading names in camping sleeping pads. Their products are intensely researched and lovingly manufactured to provide excellent performance under the most trying of conditions. The Therm-a-Rest Ramble Down Blanket is a large down camping blanket made from premium materials.
It’s an 88 x 88 inch square yet weighs just under three pounds. It’s fully stuffable and fits in a 15 x 11 inch sack for easy transport.
It’s shockingly comfortable.
When unpacked and fully lofted the Ramble is a full three inches thick and seriously warm.
It’s made from 50 denier quilted polyester and is both durable and soft to the touch. The filler is a high-end Nikwax hydrophobic down. This prevents it from absorbing morning dew or other moisture and protects the loft of the down.
The Ramble is a large and incredibly comfortable camping blanket. It’s a premium product at a premium price. If you’re looking for a great down blanket for multiple people this is a great option to consider.
Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Camping Blanket
When you’re looking at hiking and camping blankets it’s all about picking out the features you need at the price you want. If you’re looking for the best and lightest weight blanket you’ll need to pay a premium for it.
If you’re on a budget, you’ll have to choose between various features and might end up with something that’s super warm but heavy or vice versa.
Camping blankets come in a wide range of prices and quality levels. You can get basic fleece blankets for $10 to $20 or high-end down and wool blankets for well over $100.
In most cases you get what you pay for. Cheaper blankets will usually offer some features you need while making compromises elsewhere. If you want the perfect combination of warmth, weight, packability, and portability you’ll have to pay for it.
Types of Camping Blankets
There are tons of different types of blankets for camping out there. They range from basic ground covers all the way up to ultra warm winter blankets intended for the coldest nights.
Pocket Blankets – Pocket blankets are a relatively new invention more closely related to picnic blankets than traditional sleeping blankets. They’re made from highly durable synthetic fabrics and designed to fold or stuff down into a pocket sized sack.
They’re great if you’re going hiking and want somewhere more comfortable to sit or lay down. Most are at least water resistant and do a good job protecting your clothes and gear from the dust of the ground.
Sleeping Bags – Sleeping bags are technically a type of camping blanket designed to wrap around your body and zip closed. Most use a synthetic shell with either down or synthetic insulating fill. They’re great for sleeping but aren’t as useful if you just want to lounge around your campsite.
If you’re looking for the best in insulating and cold weather survival a mummy style sleeping bag is the way to go.
Thermal and Emergency Blankets – Emergency or space blankets are designed to provide the maximum amount of insulation for short term use. They usually weigh just an ounce or two and come folded in a package about the size of a deck of cards and as thin as a few pieces of paper.
They’re not usable as a comfortable ground cover but they do a great job acting as a windbreak and heat reflector when backcountry camping.
We wouldn’t recommend you rely on emergency blankets as your primary blanket but it’s a great idea to throw one or two in your pack whenever you go on a hike.
Cold Weather Blankets – When you’re planning to go winter camping a quality cold weather blanket is a great way to travel. They’re generally made from thick wool or heavily insulated down/synthetics and provide significant warmth.
Cold weather blankets should be fully weatherproofed and maintain their insulative properties even when wet.
Hammock Blankets and Underquilts – As hammock camping grows in popularity new types of blankets are emerging to help you stay warm on a cold night. Underquilts are specially sized and shaped blankets built to be slung underneath your hammock.
This helps prevent the heat loss from the air common with hammock camping and adds a little more cushioning to the experience. You can combine this with a quality wool or down blanket on top for a very comfortable night’s sleep.
Puffed and Lofted Blankets – Puffed blankets are one of the more exciting new fields in the hiking blanket world. They combine the properties of high-quality down puff jackets in the form of a blanket.
They’re available with either down or synthetic insulation and provide excellent insulation without bulk or weight. Most can be compressed to a fraction of their fully lofted size and they generally weigh much less than a comparable wool blanket.
Because of their excellent combination of weight to heat down blankets are usually on the pricey side. There are good deals to be had but on average you should expect to spend more on puffed blanket.
Hiking and camping blankets are available in a wide range of materials. We’ve covered some of the most common categories of materials here.
Wool – Wool has been used to make blankets for thousands of years. It’s an excellent insulator wet or dry and is very durable. Many of the best camping blankets available are made from different types of wool.
The only real downside to wool blankets are how heavy they are and how difficult they can be to clean. You’ll usually need to hand wash them to prevent shrinking or other negative effects.
Cotton – Cotton is an inexpensive and easy to care for fabric. Its relatively lightweight, comfortable to use, and provides good insulating properties. It’s great if you’re going car camping or want an extra blanket to keep in your RV but isn’t suitable for use as a hiking blanket.
Cotton not only loses all its insulating properties when wet, it also becomes much heavier. Taking a cotton blanket with you into the backcountry is a recipe for disaster.
Synthetics – Synthetic blankets are made from a wide variety of materials including acrylic, polyester fleece, and nylon. They’re inexpensive, lightweight, and have pretty great performance under all weather conditions.
They can’t quite match up to the insulating properties of wool but they’re getting really close and are significantly lighter.
Mylar – Mylar is a silver metallic material commonly used to make balloons and as an insulator. It’s this second property that makes Mylar useful in making blankets. If you’ve ever seen one of those emergency or space blankets you’ve seen a mylar blanket.
It reflects up to 90% of the heat back on the user but does have some issues with condensation forming. It’s also basically impossible to fold mylar blankets back down in the same way as you opened them.
Newer generations of blankets are incorporating a mylar layer into fleece or thin wool. This gives you greater insulation without increasing the overall weight of the blanket.
The best size for a camping blanket depends on how you plan to use it. If you’re planning to use a camping blanket instead of a sleeping bag you’ll want to be covered from your neck to your toes.
If you’re just looking for a comfortable ground blanket a smaller or larger size might work better. Don’t forget to think about how easy a blanket is to carry and how well it will pack down.
Portability, Foldability and Compressibility
In the past the performance of your camping blanket was tied directly to how portable it would be. As a blanket got warmer it would naturally become larger, stiffer, and less able to be folded or compressed.
Advances in materials have changed that in a drastic way. Emergency blankets can be incredibly warm but fold down to the size of a deck of cards. Newer blankets with lofted materials provide excellent performance but can be significantly compressed.
For backcountry hiking you really want a blanket that can be heavily compressed or folded down. This reduces bulk while still giving you all the warmth you require.
One thing to keep in mind is that performance and packability aren’t free. As you increase the portability and warming capabilities of a blanket the price goes up quickly.
There are ultralight camping blankets and heavy duty camping blankets. If you’re out on a light spring day or a cold winter night you’ll need to adjust the type and weight of the blanket you bring with you.
Most pocket blankets weigh just a few ounces. Full size wool blankets intended for winter use can weigh as much as ten pounds. How much your blanket weighs really depends on what material its made from and what season it’s intended to be used in.
Insulation and Filler
When you’re looking at puffed and lofted blankets you usually have a choice between down and synthetic fill. Down is a natural material harvested from geese and other waterfowl while synthetic fibers are man-made.
Down provides the highest warmth-to-weight ratio available. It’s highly compressible and retains its shape and loft well even after storage. Most top quality puffed blankets and sleeping bags use down insulation.
The only real downsides to down insulation involve water and cleaning. Down insulation loses its insulating properties when wet and is very sensitive to many cleaning products. It also takes a long time to dry once wet.
Synthetic insulation includes a huge range of insulating materials and fabrics. They range across the price and performance spectrum from very good to very cheap. Even the best synthetic insulation can’t quite match down’s performance.
When picking between down and synthetic it really comes down to price and intended use. If you want the warmest and lightest camping blanket down is the way to go.
If you plan to take your blanket with you on a kayaking or other water based trip, or if you want to spend less, synthetic insulation may be the better choice.
When we talk about weatherproofing with blankets we’re usually referring to its insulating properties when wet. Many fabrics and insulation types lose most of their ability to keep you warm when wet.
If you’re taking a blanket on a long hike or somewhere in potentially bad weather make sure you keep this in mind.
Cleaning your hiking blanket is a big part of long term care. Before you purchase a high-end blanket you should check the care instructions. A lot of otherwise excellent blankets have really specific cleaning requirements.
Wool and down are two especially difficult ones to care for. They require special detergents, specific temperature ranges and drying methods. Make sure you understand how you need to care for your blanket before making a purchase.
There are as many extras, add ons, and special features available as their are blankets. Some of the most popular and useful include things like:
- Storage Pockets
- Weighted Corners
- Pre Stitched Folding Lines
- Carrying Straps
- Ground Peg Rings
The weighted corners and ground peg rings are especially useful under windy conditions. This allows you to secure your blanket to the ground without fear it will blow away.
With how many categories of blankets there are it’s basically impossible to pick a single best camping blanket.
There are great pocket blankets, great wool blankets, and great down blankets. Which one works best for you really depends on how you intend to use them and under what conditions you need them to perform.
As long as you follow the buying tips we’ve given you here you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the best camping blanket for your needs.