The 10 Best Travel Blankets
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in December of 2015. When you need to stay warm away from home but don't want to lug around anything too heavy, a travel blanket can fit the bill nicely. Most come with stuff sacks, and are made from thin and lightweight, but comfortable, materials that pack down easily so you can enjoy them on a plane, on a train, in the car, or when camping. We've even found some stylish models to let you show off your personality. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 07, 2021:
We removed the Travelrest 4-in-1 Premier Class in this update because it takes up more space than other options and has a tendency to shed.
The Lewis N Clark Microplush has been removed and replaced with the Lewis N. Clark Set, which folds down into a smaller size that's more convenient for travel. It also comes with extras, like an inflatable pillow, an eye mask, and foam ear plugs, so it's a good all-in-one kit for sleeping on a plane or train.
We also replaced the Trillium Worldwide Cozy with the Great Working Tools Heated. While the Trillium was a fine option for those looking for extra warmth on a road trip, the model from Great Working Tools has a number of useful features that make it a better choice for many. For one thing, it's machine washable, so you can clean it up if you spill something on it. It also has auto shutoff for safety and three different levels of heat for comfort.
New to the list, the Litume Breathable can be rolled down into an extremely compact bundle that can easily fit into a carry-on bag. It's available in two different materials: velour or fleece. Each one has its own pros and cons, so make sure you pay attention to which one you're getting.
January 29, 2020:
After some consideration, we have elected to remove the World's Best Microfleece, as, despite the name, it doesn't have the durability to go the distance. Those who want something inexpensive and simple might instead consider the Forestfish Throw or Flight 001. The Cocoon CoolMax is a worthy, slightly pricier option, although note that it isn't the best for warmth. You might choose it if you like to be covered but don't necessarily need a lot of heat. On the warmer side, there's the popular Rumpl Original Puffy, a handsome, packable choice that is great for camping, car travel, and more. And unlike some, you can throw it in both the washer and dryer. There's also the Cabeau Fold ‘n Go with its convenient handle and soft, toasty microfiber. Finally, we have kept one beach blanket, the Matador Pocket 2.0. Don't think that it isn't versatile, though, as it makes a good ground cover, backpacking blanket, and air travel choice, too. But keep in mind that it's water-resistant, not completely waterproof.
Calm X Gravity Those who find comfort and relief with a weighted blanket won't have to give that feeling up when away from home with the Calm X Gravity. Weighing in at 10 pounds, it can provide a soothing experience, but it's sized to pack into a carrying case for hassle-free transport. gravityblankets.com
Kammok Bobcat 45ºF The Kammok Bobcat 45ºF gives you plenty of comfort for backpacking and hammock camping, but without any unnecessary bulk or weight. It boasts DownTek water-repellent down to keep you feeling toasty, as well as a ripstop nylon exterior that can stand up to long-term use. kammok.com
Gravel Layover It's on the pricier side, but the Gravel Layover has been thoughtfully designed to keep you warm in a variety of travel situations, including on long-haul flights. Its notable features include leg pockets that stop drafts and a micro-fleece hand pocket, and it comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can count on it for a long time to come. graveltravel.com
Creature Comforts While On The Road
Bring a snack or two for that layover, and dress wisely for the journey.
The more you plan ahead prior to a trip, the more enjoyment you will get from a vacation and the less stress and disruption you will incur from a required business trip. Proper travel planning involves carefully selecting the various outfits and accessories you might need and then carefully packing them in a logical, easy-to-access manner. It also involves double checking schedules and itineraries, and studying the locations you'll be visiting.
Creating a low-stress, enjoyable trip means working to make the actual travel portion of your excursion as pleasant as possible. For visits to far away destinations, for travel that involves multiple legs, or for a shorter trip where the travel process will consume much of the overall time you spend away from home, it's especially important to make sure that your travel experience is a good one.
Take the pressure off yourself (and your traveling companions) by always leaving a surplus of time built into your schedule. It's better to spend time waiting at the gate than it is frantically running through the airport hoping your flight has not yet departed. And make sure to take care of your creature comforts while on the move. Bring a book or load a podcast or two onto your phone for those areas without WiFi or cellular service. Bring a snack or two for that layover, and dress wisely for the journey. While it's always a good idea to look presentable during travel, make sure to choose supportive shoes and wear clothing in which you can be comfortable for hours on end; any unforeseen delays may preclude your getting changed anytime soon.
And whether those unforeseen delays indeed occur, or if you're simply the savvy, prepared traveler, you'll always be happy to have brought along a good travel blanket.
Using A Blanket To Help You Travel In Comfort
First and foremost, a great travel blanket will help you rest while on the move. From mitigating the chill of the cabin of a plane or train to giving you a bit of extra privacy and a sense of security while you sleep, a travel blanket's first and most important function is to keep you covered comfortably. There are many soft, plush travel blankets that offer ample coverage, plenty of warmth, and that can easily be laundered once your journey is at an end; all of those are important factors to be considered when thinking about the right travel blanket.
Also consider choosing a blanket that can easily be rolled into a pillow, or that can form a tube you wrap around your neck and shoulders to help support your head.
As many travel blankets are made from polyester fleece or microfiber and offer much the same soft, warm feel as one another, when choosing a travel blanket, you should consider factors beyond the material of the blanket itself. Some come with built in straps that can be used to keep the blanket rolled up and even strapped to the handles of your wheeled luggage, which is quite a convenient feature when you're trundling through the airport, train station, or city street. Many other travel blankets come with handy storage bags that help keep them compressed and out of the way, not to mention clean, when they're not in use.
Still others have attached pillows or a slip-over, poncho style design for the ultimate comfort while you're on the move. Also consider choosing a blanket that can easily be rolled into a pillow, or that can form a tube you wrap around your neck and shoulders to help support your head. Keep in mind, though, that all of the aforementioned considerations are less viable for some kinds of travel, such as backpacking, cycling, trekking, or travel via canoe or kayak.
Traveling In Comfort While Traveling Light
If you're trying to travel light, whether for a backpacking trip across Asia or a hiking trip down the Appalachian trail, the size and weight of your travel blanket matter more than its soft, plush feel. When you're carrying all your gear on your back, slung over your bicycle in pannier bags, or stuffed in a hiking backpack, every once counts. You will have to trade in that thick, luxurious travel blanket for an option that's more compact, more versatile, and more durable.
Other travel blankets are reversible, with one side designed to keep you warm and the other side perfect for repelling water.
Fortunately, there are many travel blankets available that are great for this more rugged type of journey. Some variations are so small that they can be folded up and tucked in a pocket, yet can still be laid out to create a spot for sitting or wrapped around you to cut the wind chill and retain a bit of body heat. Other travel blankets are reversible, with one side designed to keep you warm and the other side perfect for repelling water.
When you will be ranging far afield, such as completing an overland hiking and camping trip, you should make sure your travel blanket will always be an asset. A few things to consider are weight, how quickly the blanket will dry out if soaked, and what other potential uses could be. A water-repellent travel blanket that can double as a rain slicker or tarp for a tent is a great idea, for example, while a blanket with a built in pillow might seem warm and welcoming, but will actually just take up precious space in your pack.