This Fall, Cozy Up With One of Our Favorite Camping Blankets

Leave your sleeping bag behind

September 13, 2021 11:51 am
The Best Camping Blankets
The Best Camping Blankets

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I’m always looking to improve my camping setup. Sometimes that means replacing old equipment, but it also means adopting novel ideas to determine what works best (and what doesn’t). In the past, I relied on sleeping bags for comfort and warmth through the crisp chill of fall, but these days I leave my bag behind if I’m not backpacking. In its place, I’ve switched to packing a camping blanket for any casual adventures close to home.

Made with the same functional materials as sleeping bags, camping blankets are ideal for three-season adventures from the backyard to the backcountry. And I love how they feature insulation to provide warmth through the night, yet ditch the confining zipper for a basic, comforting design. Whether you’re sleeping under the stars, sitting by the fire or settling into your camper van, a camping blanket is your new comfy multi-tool.

Over the years I’ve tested dozens of these do-it-all covers. Here’s how to find the one that’s right for you.

The Best Camping Blankets

Kammock Firebelly 30F camping blanket
Kammock Firebelly 30F Camping Blanket

Our Pick: Kammock Firebelly 30°F

Most of us are familiar with Kammock’s roster of outdoor hammocks, but the Austin-based brand also designs some of the best camping blankets. The Firebelly 30°F is our favorite quilt due to its superior warmth, clever features and compact design. Summer weather may not call for a 30-degree blanket, but the 750-fill down is perfect for camping and lounging in shoulder season. If you’re hanging around the campsite, a poncho opening frees your hands without sacrificing warmth, and adjustable straps dial in the fit around your body. For those sleeping in a hammock, the included conversion kit allows you to pair the quilt with your hammock for added warmth while you hang. Though outdoor blankets aren’t commonly used for backpacking, the Firebelly weighs only 34 ounces, so you can bring it everywhere.

Patagonia Macro Puff Quilt Camping Blanket in blue
Patagonia Macro Puff Quilt

Best Blanket for Couples: Patagonia Macro Puff Quilt

Need a camping blanket made for two? If snuggling up with your campfire companion is on the itinerary, the Macro Puff’s nearly-queen-sized dimensions offer plenty of room for you, plus one. Made from the same materials as Patagonia’s Micro Puff Hoody, it’s remarkably lightweight and water-resistant (for your accident-prone partner, of course). Despite its cloud-like construction, quilting keeps the insulation positioned to maintain warmth, even as you battle over blanket real estate. And webbing loops allow you to hang the quilt or lash it to your sleeping pad. True to form, materials are bluesign approved and fair trade certified.

Nemo Puffin Camping Blanket
Nemo Puffin Camping Blanket

Best Indoor/Outdoor Camping Blanket: Nemo Puffin

If there’s one thing camping blankets can improve upon, it’s transitioning from the campfire to the couch. After all, technical fabrics are ideal outside but they feel unnatural indoors. One blanket that has a foot in both camps is the Nemo Puffin. Its soft underside is comfortable against your skin like a traditional throw blanket, but insulation still keeps you toasty outdoors. If you’re prone to cold toes, buttons along the bottom create a “Foot Nook” for instant warmth and a zippered pocket holds essentials. The design is bowed outward along the edges, making it easy to wrap yourself in a cozy cocoon, and the fabric is surprisingly resistant to dirt and debris. Though it’s a little bulky, we still recommend the 2-person style for car camping.

Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20 Camping Blanket
Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20 Camping Blanket

Warmest Camping Blanket: Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20

With its 20-degree temperature rating and mummy-bag design, the Therm-a-Rest Vesper 20 is incredibly warm for those of us that don’t mind camping in the cold. It maxes out on insulation with 900-fill power, though we should note the comfort rating only goes down to 32°F. That said, a ThermaCapture lining traps radiant body heat to retain warmth, and a Sleep Liner adds an additional five degrees of defense. If you’re itching to bring your camping blanket on overnight trips, this one weighs 19 ounces, making it lighter than a full water bottle. Unlike other camping blankets, the bottom features a fixed, insulated footbox to keep your extremities warm and eliminate drafts.

Kammock Arctos 20°F Camping Blanket
Kammock Arctos 20°F Camping Blanket

Best Feature-Rich Camping Blanket: Kammok Arctos 20°F

The Arctos is similar in many ways to its hot-headed sibling, the Firebelly, but includes more technical features that we can’t ignore. Its 850-fill power down is unbelievably toasty through late fall, and a tapered shape converts the blanket into a sleeping bag-like roll. The same opening for your head engages hands-free poncho mode, but the design is only suitable for one camper (sorry couples). Mummy bags are ideal on cold nights, so Kammock added a half-length zipper to keep your feet warm. If you’re a hammock sleeper, don’t worry — this model also turns into an underquilt when you’re snoozing off the ground.

Matador Pocket Blanket
Matador Pocket Blanket

Best Minimal Blanket: Matador Pocket Blanket

The Matador Pocket Blanket is small. We’re talking ultra-lightweight, fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand small (it weighs only 3.5 ounces). In a world dominated by bulky, puffy blankets for camping, Matador’s design focuses on doing more with less. Its Easy-Pack Pattern helps you fold the blanket into the stuff sack and when the blanket is open, built-in corner stakes keep it in place. The nylon and wool material isn’t built to keep you warm, but it does create a barrier between your rear and the ground. Throw it in your backpack for picnics and trips to the beach without agonizing over the space it consumes.

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket
Rumpl Original Puffy Camping Blanket

Best Original Camping Blanket: Rumpl Original Puffy

Rumpl probably didn’t invent the technical blanket, but they certainly guided the concept when they launched on Kickstarter back in 2013. Since then, the Oregon-based brand has become synonymous with our favorite puffy blankets, and the Original Puffy is a classic that’s hard to beat. The blanket is lightweight and delightfully warm using synthetic insulation, but it’s also hearty and easy to clean in the wash. Plus, it packs down to (nearly) the size of a Nalgene bottle, making it perfect for on-the-go adventure. As a bonus, Rumpl’s creative team produces some of the best artwork, which you can find in the National Parks Collection and RAD collaborative program.

Kelty Bestie Blanket
Kelty Bestie Blanket

Best Budget Camping Blanket: Kelty Bestie Blanket

You don’t need to sacrifice your savings to get a great camping blanket, and the Kelty Bestie is proof of that. Its Cloudloft insulation offers plenty of warmth by the fire, and brushed fabrics on both sides feel soft against our skin. Sized perfectly for lounging, it packs away when not in use to let you bring it anywhere. And it’s backed by Kelty’s lifetime warranty, so you’ll enjoy it for years to come.

Yeti Lowlands Blanket
Yeti Lowlands Blanket

Best Heavy-Duty Blanket: Yeti Lowlands Blanket

Camping blankets are indeed tough, but even technical fabrics are no match for rocks, dirt and water. Perhaps that’s why Yeti brings the same heavy-duty prowess from their hard coolers to the Lowland blanket. Its durable shell is waterproof on the bottom to prevent moisture from soaking your rear and insulated on the inside to offer plenty of warmth. The shell material repels not only water, but dirt, burrs and pet hair too, so we don’t mind using it for tailgates or trips with Rover. Once we’ve thrown it through the wash, a heavy-duty zippered case keeps it organized until we need a rough ‘n’ tough blanket again.

Pendleton Yakima Blanket
Pendleton Yakima Camp Blanket

Best Wool Blanket: Pendleton Yakima Camp Blanket

We’re suckers for the reliable simplicity of wool; mainly because it’s durable, breathable and a better fabric for the planet. So, when it comes to American-made wool, Pendleton’s Yakima blanket deserves our endorsement. It’s thick, heavy and warm without feeling like an overstated piece of equipment. When we picture a camping blanket in the simplest form, this is what comes to mind. There’s no breakthrough feature, no hidden cost or cause for concern. It’s a blanket, and that’s all it needs to be. If we’re being honest, it also looks pretty good on the ‘Gram.

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