6 Best Emergency Blankets – Outdoors with Bear Grylls


A survival blanket is a good purchase to make in preparation for any camping adventure or outdoor activity. In fact, it’s wise to keep one in your car for any emergency situation that may arise.

Our top pick is the TACT Bivvy 2.0. The bright orange color is eye-catching for emergencies, it has a whistle, and it packs down perfectly into a small stuff sack, which is easy to pack into a backpack. 

The blankets from Arcturus were also impressive in terms of durability and versatility. The Military Wool Blanket and the Heavy Duty Survival Blanket are two options that you can travel with time after time. 

We looked at a range of different types of emergency blankets, from great value multi-packs to durable and reusable options. We also considered elements such as packability and weight to ensure they are suitable for use in the great outdoors.

In this guide, we make suggestions for the best emergency blankets and explore the top features to look for when you are making the purchase. Finally, we answer some frequently asked questions. 

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The 6 Best Emergency Blankets for 2024

Best Overall for Camping – TACT Bivvy 2.0 

Image by Tact

Features and specs

  • Material: Polyester 
  • Size: 84 x 36 inches
  • Folded size: ‎4.96 x 3.27 x 2.13 inches
  • Weight: 4.8 oz

The TACT Bivvy 2.0 by Survival Frog is a blanket made from ultra-lightweight HeatEcho reflective polyester film. The strong material creates a thermal layer that is tear-resistant, windproof, and waterproof.

The bright orange Tact Bivvy bags are easy to spot, and they even come with a whistle to attract attention. Reinforced taped seams create a weather-resistant barrier between you and the freezing cold.

The TACT Bivvy 2.0 can be used as an emergency sleeping bag in your survival kit or as a sleeping bag liner that can raise your body temperature by 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It compresses into a tiny stuff sack and weighs just 4.8 ounces. According to the brand Survival Frog, it is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet large enough to cover a 7-foot person. 

Best Budget  – EVERLIT Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket 4 Pack

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Image by EVERLIT

Features and specs:

  • Material: Mylar 
  • Size: 52 x 82 inches 
  • Folded size: Approximately 3 x 4 inches 
  • Weight: 2 oz

Everlit Survival was founded by a group of Army veterans to create the best emergency equipment. These emergency blankets measure 52 x 82 inches, but once folded, they can fit into a bag the size of a credit card and weighs just 2 ounces. They come in a pack of four.

Mylar, a material often used by NASA in space exploration, is used to harness and reflect radiated body heat. It can be used for protection from bad weather thanks to its waterproof properties that can help to fend off hypothermia or shock in emergency situations. 

Reviewers mention that these blankets offer great warmth and they loved the compact package size.

Best Multi-Purpose Blanket – Arcturus Heavy Duty Survival Blanket 

the-best-emergency-blankets
Image by Arcturus

Features and specs:

  • Material: Mylar and polypropylene 
  • Size: 60 x 82 inches 
  • Folded size: 4 x 10 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs

There are several uses for this durable emergency blanket from Arcturus, which has one mylar reflective side and one side made from two layers of polypropylene, which creates a waterproof barrier.

It can be used as a blanket, tarp, or an emergency shelter, which makes it one of the most versatile blankets on our list.  

There are grommets in the corners, which allow the blanket to be hung up to create a warm shield or a waterproof shelter. The blanket folds neatly into its own carry bag and can be used time and time again. 

Reviewers had many different uses for this blanket, from covering filters in freezing temperatures to winter camping.

Best Packable Emergency Blanket – Go Time Gear Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag

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Image by Go Time

Features and specs

  • Material: Mylar
  • Size: 34 x 86 inches 
  • Folded size: 4 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 4.1 oz

The Go Time Gear Life Bivy is a great addition to any emergency survival kit. This emergency sleeping bag packs into a bag that is smaller than a soda can, which can be easily carried on camping trips or kept in the car.

Made from PET mylar, the reflective interior sends 90% of your body heat back to you. Sealed seams keep the rain, wind, and snow away. It comes with a detachable survival whistle that can reach up to 120 decibels to alert rescuers.

This mylar emergency blanket could also be used as a sleeping bag liner for extra warmth while camping.

Best Wool Blanket – Arcturus Military Wool Blanket

the-best-emergency-blankets
Image by Arcturus

Features and specs

  • Material: 80% wool, 20% hypoallergenic synthetic fibers 
  • Size: 64 x 88 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs

A wool emergency blanket provides excellent warmth. This option from Washington-based company Arcturus is perfect for a number of scenarios. 

Even when it is wet, wool can keep you warm, making this a good choice for cold-weather trips, ski trips, winter hikes, or winter camping. You can even use it for snuggling up by the fire in your cabin. 

A thick and cozy blanket, it weighs over four pounds, so it’s not exactly a lightweight option like some of our suggestions. It is made from 80% wool and 20% hypoallergenic synthetic fabrics, allowing it to be washable and durable. A solid lock-stitch prevents the edges from fraying.

It comes in subtle colors and the large size is perfect for you and a friend. 

Best Emergency Poncho – PREPARED4X Rain Poncho with Mylar Liner

the-best-emergency-blankets
Image by PREPARED4X

Features and specs

  • Material: Mylar 
  • Size: 45 x 41 x 0.01 inches
  • Folded size: 5.28 x 3.66 x 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 oz

This poncho’s clever design is a combination of a rain poncho and a safety blanket, leaving your arms free to move around, while keeping you warm at the same time. 

The poncho is made from tough reinforced mylar, which is wind and water-resistant, and its reflective lining retains body heat. 

It packs down into an easy-to-carry pouch that can be stuffed into your backpack. It comes in a pack of four, so there’s one each for the whole gang. For less than $4.50 each, the poncho offers great value for money. 

What Features to Look for in an Emergency Safety Blanket 

When choosing an emergency safety blanket, sometimes referred to as a space blanket or thermal blanket, it’s important to consider several factors.

Here are some key features to look for:

Material and Construction

Look for blankets made from durable and heat-reflective materials, such as mylar or aluminized polyester. These materials are lightweight, compact, and provide excellent thermal insulation for emergency situations or outdoor activities.

Wool blankets can also work as effective emergency blankets. 

Mylar is a brand name for a type of thin polyester film that was developed by DuPont in the 1950s. It is strong and heat resistant, and it has been used by NASA for protection in extreme temperatures during space exploration. 

Mylar emergency blankets can also be used as a signaling device due to their reflective surface.

Size and Portability

Ensure the blanket is large enough to cover your entire body. Most emergency blankets come in a standard size of around 52 x 82 inches, but always check the dimensions to make sure it is large enough.

Also check the size of the blanket when folded or rolled into a stuff sack or bag, to make sure it can fit easily into a backpack or emergency kit or into the back of the car. 

For camping and outdoors activities, a packable emergency blanket is particularly useful. On this list, we chose the Gear Life Bivvy and TACT Bivvy 2.0 for their small packable sizes. Some emergency blankets come individually wrapped, making them easier to carry and protect from wear and tear.

Reflectivity

A good emergency blanket should have a highly reflective surface to efficiently reflect and retain body heat. The reflective coating helps in preventing heat loss by reflecting a high percentage of the body’s heat back to the person using the blanket. 

The reflective surface is also eye-catching and visible in an emergency. 

Waterproof and Windproof

Your emergency blanket should offer protection from wind, rain, and snow. This is a key feature since inclement weather can further contribute to heat loss.

A waterproof emergency blanket will help keep you dry in wet conditions, help you stay insulated, and can combat signs of hypothermia. 

Durability

Some emergency blankets are more robust and tear-resistant than others, which is important for outdoor adventures or situations where the blanket may be subjected to rough handling.

Some emergency blankets come with reinforced grommets or corner ties, allowing you to use them as a makeshift shelter or tarp. This adds an extra layer of versatility to the blanket.

Brand and Reviews

Research the brand before you click “buy now”. It is a good idea to purchase an emergency blanket from a company with expertise in survival products and/or one that has a good reputation in the outdoor space.

Always read customer reviews to find out key information about the emergency blanket’s performance in the real world, as well as details such as size and the quality of the material.

Temperature Rating

While emergency blankets are generally designed to provide thermal insulation, some may have specific temperature ratings. Consider blankets that are suitable for the expected climate conditions in your region.

Cost

Emergency blankets are generally reasonably priced. If you are looking for a wool blanket, it will be a more expensive option. You can find them for prices as low as $5, but you might want to spend more if you are looking for one that you would like to last a long time.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do wool blankets make good emergency blankets? 

Wool blankets can make very good emergency blankets since they are warm and can be used over and over again. They can offer great comfort in emergency situations, especially in cold weather.

However, an emergency wool blanket does not offer the same insulating properties as a mylar blanket, and it is not as packable, portable, or lightweight. 

Are emergency blankets reusable?

The reusability depends on the specific type and design of the blanket. Some mylar emergency blankets made of a thin, metallic polyester film are intended for single-use or limited use.

These types of blankets can be thin and fragile, and with repeated use or folding, they may develop tears or lose their effectiveness. 

If you’re looking for a more reusable option, you might consider camping blankets made from other materials, such as durable fabrics or wool. While these may be heavier and bulkier than mylar blankets, they can offer greater longevity and may be suitable for more extended or repeated use.

How long do emergency blankets last?

It will depend on their use and the fabric that they are made from. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines to check if the blanket is reusable or single use. 

If the blanket shows signs of damage, wear, or loss of effectiveness, it’s advisable to replace it to make sure it works well in emergency situations.

Can emergency blankets be used for medical purposes?

One of the primary uses of emergency blankets is to prevent and manage hypothermia. They are designed to reflect and retain body heat, helping to keep an individual warm in cold conditions.

They can also be used to manage shock. In cases of trauma or severe injury, individuals may go into shock, and one symptom is a drop in body temperature. Wrapping the person in an emergency blanket can assist in maintaining his or her body heat and addressing this aspect of shock.

Conclusion 

An emergency or safety blanket is an essential addition to your emergency kit. If you don’t already have one, now is a great time to make the purchase. Also check out all the essentials to pack for a camping trip.

Emergency blankets are useful for many outdoor pursuits, such as camping or backpacking, but they also have a purpose in everyday life. Purchase a multi-pack to store in the back of the car in case of emergencies. 


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