practical uses for an outdoor blanket

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Blanket

An outdoor blanket is an excellent investment because this is a versatile product that you can use in all seasons. It’s not just something you use during fall or winter when the temperature dips. The best outdoor blanket has many practical uses that give it the utmost versatility. Whether you like camping or hiking or want to get comfortable outside, it's essential to know how to find the best outdoor blanket for every season.

What to Look for in the Best Outdoor Blanket

Shopping for the best outdoor blanket that would be good for all seasons is easy if you know what to look for. An excellent place to start is to check the quality and type of the material, if it were to serve different purposes, and would be suited for various conditions. 

1. Material

Outdoor blankets should be made of a specific material with characteristics that enable them to withstand any use or condition. For that reason, the most common materials used for outdoor blankets are wool, Sherpa, and fleece. These materials are popular in making outdoor blankets because they are comfortable while protecting you from the elements.

Not all outdoor blanket materials are created equal. Therefore, research each material to know the advantages and disadvantages.

Wool is one of the go-to choices for making outdoor blankets. It is made with natural fibers from animals like sheep. It is a popular material for outdoor blankets because of its insulating and fire-resistant properties. However, wool is less comfortable than fleece or Sherpa. Wool is also heavy and bulky. 

Sherpa and fleece are good options for an outdoor blanket because they are lightweight and offer excellent insulation. Sherpa and fleece are also made from synthetic fibers, which are recommended for those who want materials not derived from animals.

Sherpa has the added benefit of water resistance. Most Sherpa blankets are dual-sided, with one side suitable for retaining heat and the other for protection against the chilly winds. 

It's essential to consider the material when looking for the best outdoor blanket. However, it's just one aspect, and you must also look into other factors.

Shopping for the best outdoor blanket

2. Durability

Durability is a factor that is relevant to the type of material used for making the blanket. Several other factors can take play in the quality of the blanket and its durability.

Durability is crucial if you want the best blanket suited for year-round conditions. For example, you want a blanket that can protect you from the winter cold and be used as a picnic blanket during the summer and spring months.

The quality of the construction and build of the blanket are integral in determining how durable a blanket is. It is also essential to examine the stitching methods and if there are other technologies used in the manufacturing process of the blanket.

3. Portability

The best outdoor blanket is one that you can easily carry around when you need it. It explains why you have to look for a blanket made with a lightweight material. When your blanket is light, it is easy to pack in your bag when camping or hiking as it isn't bulky or doesn’t take up much space. 

A lightweight blanket is also easier to take with you wherever you go, such as when you're having a beach picnic, going to a football stadium to watch a game, or camping.

4. Size

An outdoor blanket that is appropriately sized offers more versatility with its use. Ideally, choose a blanket that covers at least two people. This size makes it versatile enough for a picnic blanket, so you can lay it on the ground to sit on. It also makes staying warm when camping or hiking easier, and you can share it with your companion. 

This size also ensures that the blanket is still compact enough so that it is easy to carry with your pack when not in use. 

5. Waterproof

The best outdoor blanket must be waterproof. Even if the material is not waterproof, it should come with a waterproof lining or layer to keep it dry. The waterproof layer protects the material while also making it more effective in protecting you from cold and other harsh weather conditions. 

6. Machine-Washable

You have to check the care and washing instructions of an outdoor blanket. The best outdoor blanket gets the job done, but it should not be high maintenance. 

Remember that using your blanket outdoors will pick up dust particles, pet hairs, dried leaves, and other foreign substances. Investing in a machine-washable outdoor blanket will make your life easy when cleaning it. You can put it in the washing machine, and the machine does all the work for you, which saves you time and effort. You can hang it to dry and be ready for your next adventure!

7. Special Features

This factor is an extra item that would be good to have when looking for outdoor blankets. One of the unique features to look for is windproof backing while choosing a waterproof blanket. It is essential that it should also be windproof so that the wind can’t cut through the material, so you are protected from a strong gust of chilly wind. Being windproof also protects the blanket from accidentally flying off when an unexpected wind hits you. Ensure it is thick and heavy enough to stay in place without reinforcement.


Other Uses for Outdoor Blankets

Even if you are not spending as much time outdoors as you intended to, there are other practical uses for an outdoor blanket. Here are some ideas that you can try:

  • You can turn your outdoor blanket into a functional accessory for your outdoor furniture. Add it to your outdoor loveseat or sofa so you have a cozy blanket to wrap yourself in and stay comfortable in your outdoor living space, especially during fall.
  • Use your outdoor blanket to provide an extra layer of insulation for your camping tent. It helps to keep your tent extra warm and cozy.
  • Use it for picnics for any season. Whether you are having a picnic in the summer or you lay it on the snow, the waterproof layer of an outdoor blanket helps to keep you comfortable. Choose a blanket with ultrasonically quilted waterproof backing so it won't slide around on the surface once you lay it out.  
    outdoor blanket can be used for picnic

FAQs on the Best Outdoor Blanket

What is the best material for an outdoor blanket?

Fleece is one of the best materials for an outdoor blanket. It is comfortable, soft, and offers excellent insulation. It is also durable enough to handle all kinds of weather conditions. 

Can you use a regular blanket for outdoor use?

You can use a regular blanket outdoors at a pinch. However, if you want a blanket that adequately protects you from the elements, you have to invest in one specifically built for outdoor use. 

Are outdoor blankets waterproof?

Not all outdoor blankets are waterproof. If you want this particular feature, look for those with polyurethane or polyester lining that offers a waterproof layer to the blanket. The extra layer provides additional protection to the material and increases the usability of the blanket, primarily when used in harsh winter conditions. 

The Bottom Line

If you shop for the best outdoor blanket, make sure you don't cut corners. You have several options in the market that would tick all the boxes above. Therefore, take the time to compare your options to find the best blanket to match your needs and be suitable for any season.