Emergency blankets are a must-have piece of gear for anyone venturing outside. These nifty tools are essential if you end up in a sticky situation as they can help you stay warm and survive horrible weather in the backcountry.
However, there are hundreds of survival blankets out there to choose from. So, knowing which one is best for your needs isn’t easy.
To get you started, we’ve compiled this list of the best emergency blankets on the market today. Plus, we’ve also added a detailed buyer’s guide so you know what to look for as you shop.
The SOL Emergency Lightweight Bivvy is a fully featured survival blanket for use in remote environments. This model weighs 3.8oz (107.7g) and packs down to the size of a large pill bottle.
It is designed to reflect 90% of your body heat to provide you with warmth, even in harsh weather. Moreover, this blanket is made from a tear-resistant polyethylene that’s aluminum-coated for added heat-retention and durability.
As a fully waterproof and windproof option with sealed seams, the SOL Emergency Lightweight Bivvy is a nice choice for wet environments. Plus, even though it is a bit more expensive than the alternatives, this blanket is durable enough to be reused over and over again in the outdoors.
- Durable aluminum-coated polyethylene construction
- Fully seam sealed and waterproof
- Designed for reuse
- Somewhat expensive for a survival blanket
For budget-conscious campers, the Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Blanket is a solid choice. This option comes in a 4-pack, making it a great bang for your buck in terms of value.
Made from Military-spec 12-micron dual-sided aluminized mylar, these blankets are crafted to hold up in harsh environments. They can also retain up to 90% of body heat for added warmth in cold conditions.
Each of these survival blankets weighs just 2.1oz (59.5g) and comes neatly folded in an individual package that’s about the size of a deck of cards. This makes them an ideal option for anyone that’s looking for a blanket that they can throw in their pack for those “what-if” situations.
- Available in an affordable 4-pack
- Lightweight and compact size
- Dual-sided aluminum lining provides ample heat retention
- Not fully seam-sealed
Aptly named, the Don’t Die In The Woods Emergency Blanket is a great companion on any outdoor trip. These survival blankets come in a 4 pack of blankets that are each rolled up in an individual nylon stuff sack.
With a weight of only 2oz (56.7g) per blanket and an open size of 5’ x 7’ (152.4 x 213.4cm), this model offers a great combination of weight savings and functionality. They’re also up to 23% longer than most emergency blankets, which means they provide extra protection from the elements.
Additionally, this option is among the most affordable for campers that are looking to buy a multi-pack of blankets for larger groups. While they are not reusable, these blankets are durable and reliable enough for true survival situations in the backcountry.
- Durable nylon stuff sack for transport
- Affordable for a 4 pack of blankets
- Not reusable
When your adventures take you to extreme conditions, the Go Time Gear Emergency Bivvy is a good piece of equipment to have at your side. This emergency bivvy can serve as a sleeping bag and a survival shelter all at the same time.
At 4.1oz (116.23g), this mode isn’t the lightest on the market. But, it does come in a compact size that’s packed inside a durable and waterproof nylon drawstring stuff sack for easier transport in the backcountry.
The emergency blanket itself is made from extra-thick 26 micron mylar, which is tear and puncture-resistant for durability. Finally, it has fully taped seams for waterproofing and is burly enough to hold up throughout repeated use.
- Comes in a waterproof stuff sack
- Extra thick materials for durability
- Taped seams for waterproofing
- Somewhat heavy for an emergency blanket this size
If you really need to stay warm, the Arcturus Heavy Duty Survival Blanket is a piece of gear that you want to have on hand. Unlike most other emergency blankets out there, this model is made from a beefy, aluminum coated heating reflecting fabric for maximum warmth.
Although it’s the heaviest option in our review at 3.6lbs (1.6kg), this blanket unfolds to 8.5’ x 12’ (243.7 x 365.8cm). That means it’s large enough to shelter multiple people from the cold at once in an emergency.
Plus, Arcturus designed this survival blanket with extra-strong and reinforced grommets. These grommets serve as great tie down points if you want to pitch this blanket as a tarp or a shelter for long-term survival situations.
- Extra thick and durable for rugged conditions and frequent use
- Large size for added heat retention and coverage
- Can be pitched as a tent or a tarp
- Heavy and bulky
What to Consider When Choosing An Emergency Blanket?
With so many great emergency blankets to choose from, it’s important that you know what to look out for as you shop. Here are some key things to consider during your search:
Generally speaking, survival blankets are designed to be lightweight so they’re easy to carry around on all your adventures. Lightweight models usually weigh in at 2-4oz (56.7-113.4g).
The drawback to lightweight models is that they tend to be less durable or offer less protection from the heat. So, if you’re looking for an emergency blanket that can happily withstand frequent use and harsh conditions, a model that’s on the heavier end of the spectrum might be a better choice.
A blanket that packs down small is indispensable in the outdoors. This is because you never want to be in a situation where you have to leave your emergency gear behind due to a lack of space in your pack.
Thankfully, most emergency blankets come either rolled up in a tiny stuff sack or folded inside a plastic bag. However, some models are larger than others, which makes them better for use during day hikes or shorter backpacking trips.
Unpacked Size & Shape
The unpacked size and shape of an emergency blanket is important to consider because it directly affects your ability to stay warm outside.
Most of the more affordable options out there come in a standard square shape. These types of blankets are meant to be used as a quilt that you can wrap around yourself for warmth.
If you’re looking to stay extra warm, however, the “bivvy bag” style emergency blanket is a sure bet. These models are shaped like sleeping bags, which make them better at trapping in heat and insulating you from the cold.
Of course, these tend to be slightly bulkier, heavier, and more expensive, but they’re a solid choice for extreme environments.
The final thing to consider in a survival blanket is durability. Like any piece of gear, durability is an important factor because you don’t want to spend your money on something that’s going to fall apart as soon as you try to use it.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that many emergency blankets are designed for single use only. This is because they’re made from very thin 12 micron mylar, which is prone to tearing after extended use.
Thus, if you’re looking for an emergency blanket that’s reusable, perhaps for ultralight backpacking use a model that’s made of thicker materials (e.g., more than 12 microns) is a solid choice.
If you’re going to spend a lot of time outside, you need to be sure that you’re prepared with the right gear. An emergency blanket can ensure that you always have a way to stay warm should a survival situation arise. The key is finding the right survival blanket for your needs so you never have to be without shelter.
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