Regardless of the time of the year, you’ll always need a high-quality outdoor blanket. You can use them during family beach days, camping trips, or even romantic picnics. Of course, these are some of the best moments one can have with their loved ones. Therefore, it only makes sense to spend such times with quality items that are suitable for the occasion.
Choosing an outdoor blanket can be quite daunting, given the number of factors you’ll have to consider. For instance, how many people will be using it? What time of the year will you need the blanket? Are there different brands in the market? If so, which one of them is the best? All these are questions that need conclusive answers before you can go ahead with the purchase.
Generally, the best outdoor blanket must be easy to clean, portable, and waterproof. Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily depend on the occasion. If you’re looking for a detailed guide on this, then you’re in the right place. This article aims to cover some of the main tips that will help you choose the right outdoor blanket and how to care for it.
- Number Of People
The first thing you’ll need to consider is the number of expected users. Outdoor blankets come in various sizes and shapes. Some are meant for two people, while others are designed to cover multiple users. So, when you go shopping, keep in mind the estimate of those who’ll be in attendance. Of course, this is largely dependent on when and where you’re planning to use it.
For instance, if you’re arranging a romantic picnic, there are chances that there will be only two users—you and your partner. Therefore, taking a small but warmer outdoor blanket will do the trick. However, in cases where there are many people involved, especially family beach days, you might need a bigger blanket for that purpose.
The market is full of various types of outdoor blankets, which makes it even harder for you to choose the best product for your needs. One thing you wouldn’t want to do is invest your money in something that won’t serve your interests.
So, one of the things you ought to consider is the climate of the places you’re planning to visit. Is it likely to be cold or warm?
Here are some of the things you should consider in each case:
- Warm Weather
Weather that’s above 60°F falls under the ‘warm’ category. In such conditions, you won’t need something that’ll suffocate your body parts. Therefore, insulation or anything similar shouldn’t be among your choices. Sweat-wicking, on the other hand, will definitely be a very useful feature.
You might think that you don’t need a blanket in hot conditions. Well, that’s a risk you wouldn’t want to take since you’ll need to keep insects and other small irritating organisms away.
- Cold Weather
Are you visiting an area whose temperatures measure below 40°F? That’s considered a cold region, and you’ll need something warmer than the one mentioned earlier. This is where blankets with insulation mechanisms will come in handy.
What’s the significance of insulative blankets in such conditions? They trap heat under the cover and ensure that your immediate surroundings remain warm even when it’s chilly outside.
- Wet Weather
Apart from warmth, water should also be your concern in humid to wet conditions. Therefore, you must find waterproof outdoor blankets to keep you safe and comfortable. Of course, warm weather can also have water flowing around, and that might make it quite uncomfortable if your blanket is soaking.
It might seem quite obvious, but a blanket that’s difficult to carry around can be quite inconvenient. Remember, whether you’re going for a picnic or a camping trip, you’ll be carrying around a lot of accouterments. Therefore, you would want an item that can be folded and put in a small bag without taking up too much space.
It should also be very light and easy to spread once you’re at the location. But don’t compromise its warmth for lightness if you’re planning to use it during cold weather. Of course, there are blankets that are still very light but still provide the necessary warmth needed.
If you’re going for a romantic picnic, then color should be one of your priorities. Remember, romance is not all about what you feel but also what you see. Enjoying the coolness of Mother Nature while sitting or covered in a perfectly colored blanket can be very memorable.
While on a picnic, you’ll also be planning to take a few selfies. There is definitely no better way to do this than on colorful background. A beautiful blanket adds ambiance to your photos and makes them classier. Therefore, in your shopping adventure, be sure to look for something that’s not only pleasing to the eye but also to the camera.
There is no doubt that weather will always have an impact on your blanket’s fabric. The adversity of the consequences is highly dependent on what material the blanket is made of. Therefore, be sure to choose the material that best fits your particular occasion.
Here are some of the most popular blanket materials:
Wool is an organic fiber that comes in different kinds like merino wool, lamb’s wool, and more. It’s one of the most preferred materials by the military, perhaps because of its quality and durability. Another advantage is the fact that it has fire-resistant properties and also moisture-wicking.
Despite all these positive comments, wool is still far from being the most comfy fabric in the market. In addition, the material can soak in water and may take twice as much time for it to completely dry out. As you’d expect from all wool-based products, such blankets can be quite bulky.
Are you at risk of hypothermia? Your best blanket choice might, therefore, be plastic. You’re, however, likely to find this type of blanket at a medical facility because healthcare is their primary goal.
A plastic blanket is basically a thin plastic sheeting with a heat-reflective mechanism that helps trap heat. As such, you’ll be able to feel warm throughout your camping trip.
The good thing about plastic blankets is the fact that they can easily fold up, which makes them extremely portable. You can store them in your bag and use them whenever needed. That’s the convenience everyone wants during such trips.
Given that they’re made from plastic, you know how uncomfortable it can sometimes feel. It doesn’t matter whether you’re sitting on or sleeping under. This blanket doesn’t offer the comfort that you get from other materials. They’re also less durable and will be rendered unusable after a few weeks or trips.
As a waterproof, lightweight, extremely warm, and fire-resistant synthetic fiber, polyester is definitely one of the top materials currently in the market. The best part is the fact that it can still offer its insulating properties even when wet. So, you won’t suffer from the cold but rather experience the much-needed warmth in chilly conditions.
Another feature worth noting is that its sweat-wicking, something that’s very necessary during hot conditions. Unlike plastic blankets, the products of this material are very durable and can last even years depending on how regularly you use them.
Fleece is one of the blanket synthetic wool alternatives. It combines a lot of wool’s qualities and those of other products. For instance, it can accumulate air between fibers and is also highly insulating. However, unlike wool, it is being lightweight allows it to dry relatively quickly.
The only disadvantage, though, is the fact that fleece is highly flammable which isn’t great if you enjoy having campfires.
The best camping or picnic blanket should be able to withstand various conditions. For instance, you wouldn’t want to go back and buy another blanket right after the first trip just because it rained on you. Again, it’s imperative that your gear stays intact throughout the picnic period regardless of the environmental conditions.
Apart from saving you money, you’ll also be saving the environment by investing in durable products. Buying low-quality blankets means you’ll be disposing of them off every now and then, which increases the number of wastes.
How To Care For Outdoor Blankets
Purchasing a good outdoor blanket is one thing, but ensuring that it retains its quality for long enough is another. How you maintain and care for your blanket will determine whether you’ll use it again on the next trip. Of course, you wouldn’t want to visit the store every time a romantic picnic plan comes up, would you?
So, here are a few things that you can consider to ensure that your favorite blanket continues to serve your needs.
- Don’t Store When Damp
After that rainy experience, you might be in a hurry to pack your things and go back home. If you forget about the damp blanket in your bag for hours or days, it might start losing its quality.
For one, damp conditions encourage the growth of mold, which can be quite frustrating. Even when you subject it to extreme cleaning afterward, it might still leave some stains behind. Also, the smell that comes with damp blankets can be unpleasant.
Therefore, after your picnic, make sure you wash the blanket and hang it on the washing line. Let it dry completely before folding and storing it.
- Get Rid Of The Stains On The Spot
Anything can happen while at the park or on the beach, and your blanket could be stained. Many people ignore the stains in such scenarios hoping that they’ll get rid of them when cleaning the blankets. Well, inasmuch as that could work, some stains can be very stubborn, especially if your blanket is brightly colored.
The best option, therefore, is to tackle the problem as soon as it happens. If it’s a small area, you can add a little washing powder and rings it off as soon as possible. Sometimes a significant area could be stained. In such cases, your best option would be to soak the blanket and use your spare. Now you see why it’s recommended to carry an extra blanket?
- Follow The Manufacturer’s Washing Instructions
Depending on the material, every manufacturer provides sufficient instructions on how to wash your blanket. Not everything goes in the washing machine, and not all blankets can be hand-washed.
Therefore, if the instructions say ‘no washing machine,’ be sure to adhere to them. Failure to do so might accelerate the wear and tear of your blanket. At the end of the day, you might find yourself back at the store looking to spend on another blanket again.
- Don’t Expose to Too Much Sun
Of course, we advocate for hanging your blanket under that warm or hot sunshine to get rid of the moisture. As earlier mentioned, this helps keep your blanket in good condition. However, it’s worth remembering that too much sun can also be destructive.
Regardless of how durable your outdoor blanket is, too much exposure to sunshine can compromise the quality of its fabric. In the long run, this could end up making your blanket wear out faster than expected.
Whether you’re going out for a picnic or a family beach day, you’ll always need an outdoor blanket that serves a specific purpose. Therefore, as you go on a shopping adventure, make sure to keep in mind some of the most important features before making your final decision.
For instance, the size of the blanket and the material it’s made of should be on your priority list. Another factor is color, although not many people keep this in mind. If you’re looking to take a few photos, then you must be concerned about the background, in which your blanket will also play a role.
Portability is another crucial factor considering that you’ll need to carry the blanket around all the time. However, don’t compromise your comfort and warmth for portability. You need to find a balance for all these factors. A perfect blanket is one that combines all your needs serves your desires.