The best blanket for winter camping

From bestreviews.com
By
Allen Foster
BestReviews

To help combat that mildew smell that happens in storage, blankets not in use should be kept in a dry, dust-free location that offers adequate ventilation both in the room and around the blanket.

When camping in the winter, purchasing the right blanket goes beyond a matter of comfort. What starts out as a chill can quickly become more serious and turn into hypothermia, frostbite, and even dehydration. It’s vital to stay warm at all times.

In addition to keeping you warm, blankets for winter camping should be compact and weather-resistant. We love the Stoic Basecamp Bivy Quilt for its ability to provide warmth down to 20 degrees. If you'd like to learn more about winter camping blankets, keep reading.

Considerations when choosing blankets for winter camping

Inner materials

When it comes to staying warm, it's what's inside the blanket that counts. The three most common materials are down, fleece, and wool.

Down: Down is a mix of feathers (goose and/or duck). It’s very effective at containing body heat — the more densely packed with feathers the blanket is, the warmer you’ll be. Down is comfortable and breathable, but those with allergies or an aversion to animal products should avoid it.

Fleece: Fleece is a synthetic material that’s comfortable, lightweight, and has moisture-wicking properties. It provides warmth, is animal-friendly, and it dries quickly if you happen to get it wet. Another selling point of fleece is its affordability.

Wool: If you're looking for warmth, wool is the best option. It’s naturally flame-retardant and can still keep you warm if it gets wet. While it excels in many areas, it’s uncomfortable on bare skin and it’s heavy, which is not a plus when hiking.

Outer materials

If your winter camping blanket has an outer layer, you want it to be something durable that protects the materials inside from the elements. Polyester, acrylic, and nylon are good options. All three materials feature a degree of weather resistance and fire resistance, which makes them suitable for outdoor use. All three can also typically endure machine-washing, but nylon should be air dried.

Features

Size

There are two aspects of size to consider: compressed and uncompressed. If you’re hiking into your campsite, you need to conserve space. Some winter camping blankets can compress down to a remarkably small size, which is exactly what you want in most instances. When uncompressed, the blanket should be able to cover your entire body. If you prefer, some models are large enough to keep two people warm.

Weight

Carrying extra weight when hiking isn’t ideal — just a couple of extra pounds can be all it takes to bring on fatigue. Always look for the lightest camping blanket available when hiking is involved. If hiking isn't a factor, you can consider a thick and weighty wool blanket.

Versatility

You may be shopping for a blanket specifically for use on winter camping trips, but if you purchase a versatile one, it can serve you at tailgates, outdoor sporting events, picnicking, car camping, and more. The more you can do with one blanket, the greater its value.

Price

If you're looking for a budget winter camping blanket, you can find one for as low as $30.  However, if you need something that provides greater warmth and increased durability, consider a winter camping blanket that resides in the $50 to $100 price range.

FAQ

Q. Are winter camping blankets machine washable?

A. Possibly — check the product's care label to be sure.

Q. Can't I just use the blanket from my bed when camping out?

A. No, and especially not if there’s precipitation. A camping blanket doesn't just keep you warm; it must stay dry as well. A wet blanket actually pulls heat away from your body, making you colder.

Blankets for winter camping we recommend

Best of the best: Stoic Basecamp Bivy Quilt

Our take: A versatile insulated blanket rated to keep you warm down to 20 degrees.

What we like: This bivy quilt features a water-repellent finish that can help protect against both dirt and moisture. The convenient built-in hanging loops can be used for drying or staking down the blanket.

What we dislike: Read all care instructions, as not following them can damage the material.

Best bang for your buck: Arcturus Military Wool Blanket

Our take: If you like to have a blanket wrapped around your shoulders when sitting at a campfire, this is a prime choice.

What we like: Manufactured using 80% wool, this camping blanket is naturally fire-retardant — no chemicals have been added. It’s large enough to accommodate two individuals and continues to provide warmth if it happens to get wet.

What we dislike: To get the most out of this blanket and keep the shedding to a minimum, hand-washing in cold water is recommended.

Choice 3: Horizon Hound Down Camping Blanket

Our take: A compact, lightweight camping blanket that provides comfort without the added weight.

What we like: Weighing only one pound, this blanket is perfect for hiking and camping. It’s durable, water-resistant, and machine-washable. Additionally, it compresses down to the size of a loaf of bread for travel.

What we dislike: While this camping blanket excels in many areas, it doesn’t provide exceptional warmth.

Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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