Have you ever experienced not being mentally present on a trip because you’re too busy daydreaming about how to warm up? I feel robbed of my travel experience when this happens! And trust me, I get cold VERY easily.
Maybe you’re sitting by a campfire on a hiking trip, trying to sleep on an airplane, laying on the beach on a cool and breezy day, trying to survive winter van life…the list goes on.
We need the best travel blanket to accompany us as a trusted sidekick.
In my opinion, the best travel blankets will keep you warm in over air-conditioned airplane cabins, double as a travel pillow on road trips, and best of all, let you bring the comfort of home wherever you go.
I’ve put together this list to help anyone looking for the best travel blanket for yourself (or as a gift for your nomadic friend)!
Table of Contents
- Different Types of Travel Blankets
- The Perks of a Travel Blanket
- Top 10 Travel Blankets of 2023
- Which Travel Blanket is Best for You?
- Save on Pinterest for later!
Different Types of Travel Blankets
Travel blankets come in all different styles and sizes. Some are super light and pack down super small so they can be carried in a backpack or even a pocket. Others are made of high-tech material that dries quickly, or offers superb stain resistance and easy cleaning.
The type of travel blanket you choose will depend on the type of travel you intend to do with it. If you’ll be using it to stay warm in your van, a weighted, wool, or even heated travel blanket might be best. If you plan to take it backpacking, you’ll want something lightweight and easy to clean.
The Perks of a Travel Blanket
You might be surprised to learn that travel blankets provide some perks beyond just keeping you warm. For people who suffer from a fear of flying, a weighted blanket can ease stress and reduce anxiety. A lightweight travel blanket can double as a bug shield or pillow on camping trips. Patterned wool blankets not only give you a warm spot to sit on the cold ground, they also make great home decor.
**This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. This helps me make a small commission on any purchases made, at no extra cost to you.
Top 10 Travel Blankets of 2023
Here’s my roundup of the best travel blankets for 2023–all of them are reasonably priced and available through Amazon.
1. Best Lightweight, Compact Travel Blanket
The Matador Pocket blanket was created in 2014 when its creators saw concert-goers and park-lovers spreading out coats when the ground was too wet to sit on. It was literally created to be kept inside a pocket so it could be used anywhere, at anytime. Could this be your new concert-going friend?
The Matador 2.0 is made of Ripstop Nylon, making it water-resistant, tear-resistant and super tough. It seats 2-4 people, but packs down into a pocket no bigger than the palm of your hand. Amazing! The Matador also comes with stakes so you can secure it to the ground. It’s an ideal piece of travel gear for backpackers and others seeking a super lightweight compact travel blanket.
2. Best Weighted Travel Blanket
On the opposite end of the spectrum to the super light Matador, we have the Gravity Weighted blanket. A weighted travel blanket is incredibly useful if you suffer from travel anxiety—for instance, when flying. Weighted blankets have been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
While the extra heaviness of a weighted blanket may not be ideal for flying, its stress-reducing benefits make this travel-size weighted blanket worth it.
The Gravity Blanket is a large lap blanket, weighing in at 10lbs and measuring 40” x 60”. It will keep your legs warm on a plane or around a campfire, or can be wrapped around your torso to help reduce anxiety. It packs down to a respectable 22” x 9” and comes with its own carrying case, ideal for easy transport.
3. Best Cashmere Travel Blanket
If you’re looking for a little more luxury, or simply want to travel in style, you can’t beat a cashmere travel blanket. Can’t afford to fly first class? The Jet&Bo cashmere blanket can make your economy seat feel a little more upscale.
A cashmere blanket will certainly cost you more than any of the other options on this list, but for that price you get a super soft, lightweight, very warm blanket that can be packed down quite small and comes with its own stylish carry pouch. Cashmere travels well and doesn’t wrinkle, so it’s an ideal material for stuffing into a carry-on or backpack.
4. Best Wool Travel Blanket
The PuTian Merino Camping blanket is a wool/polyester/nylon blend that seats 2-4 people and is thick enough to sit on while also being soft enough to wrap around yourself.
Wool makes for the best hiking and camping material because it’s tough and insulating, but breathable if you start overheating. The thickness and ruggedness of this camping blanket makes it ideal for laying on the cold, hard ground as a sort of “picnic” blanket.
Actually, wool can keep you just as warm as a sleeping bag so you may even be able to use it on camping nights.
But, they are heavier and more difficult to pack down small than other blankets on this list, so I recommend them primarily for car camping or road travel over air travel or backpacking.
If you don’t have a heater in your camper, keeping a few of these around for chilly nights is a must. It comes in a variety of fun prints that also look great on your sofa or bed. It’s machine washable and wrinkle resistant.
5. Best Travel Blanket for an Airplane
The temperature on an airplane is impossible to control, no matter what those adjustable air conditioners over your head want you to believe. A packable travel blanket can mean the difference between a comfortable, long flight and absolute, freezing torture.
The Cocoon Coolmax blanket is similar to the Matador in that it packs down super small and is very lightweight. This airplane blanket is made of 100% polyester, so even though it’s thin, it traps a lot of heat and keeps you very warm. It’s machine washable, wrinkle resistant, and feels like a thin jersey t-shirt. It comes in a drawstring stuff sack.
6. Best Heated Travel Blanket
Depending on where you live, vanlife nights can get chilly! That’s when you need to bust out the big guns: your heated travel blanket.
The Zone Tech Sherpa Fleece blanket is super thick, super soft, and super toasty. This fleece travel blanket can be used with or without the heating attachment, making it great for summer or winter use.
The blanket can be charged from a USB port, from a car battery outlet, or by DC current, making it a great blanket for vanlife. Take note that it is not machine washable.
7. Best Shawl Wrap Travel "Blanket"
Hitting the beach on your next vacation? This shawl wrap will keep you warm on windy beach days (and the plane that flew you there!). Not only that, but it has UPF 50+ sun protection built into its high-quality, moisture-wicking material.
It’s insanely versatile and the blanket measures in at 68×35 inches–plenty big enough to be used as a beach blanket in a pinch, or as a cozy shawl. Reviewers have also used it as a scarf or towel.
Made from eco-friendly material with sun protection of UPF 50+, this is a must-have travel accessory. It doesn’t hurt that it has over 800 five-star reviews on Amazon.
8. Best Poncho-Style Blanket Wrap
The Kululu wearable travel blanket is made of super soft micro-plush fleece and zippers up into a travel-size pillow for easy carrying (or to use as a neck pillow!). It measures in at 14.56″ x 11.41″. What I love about the poncho style is its guarantee of not slipping off of you. Especially when you’re sitting upright, it can be hard to stop a blanket from falling off your shoulders.
It isn’t THE most compact travel blanket, but it does have a luggage clip so you can attach it to any carry-on luggage.
9. Best Hoodie Travel Blanket
The MasterManner travel blanket adds that extra level of warmth with its soft, microfiber fleece hoodie. Protect your head and ears (and add a little extra snoozin’ privacy) by throwing up the hood. Its packed-up size measures in at 14”x13” and zippers up into a pillow or a body-rest pillow for lumbar support. It also has a built-in zippered pocket for storing a phone or important documents, and a hand luggage belt for securing to your seat’s headrest.
10. Least Expensive Travel Blanket
For just $11, you can snag the “World’s Best Cozy Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket”(according to the brand). This blanket is made of super soft, hypoallergenic microfleece. As the brand states, “from Netflix to Nova Scotia, take with you on your next trip for improved travel and even better naps.”
On the downside, this fleece throw blanket doesn’t come with a stuff sack, so you’ll either have to store it in your carry-on bag or use some kind of backpack clip to attach it to your luggage. But it IS machine-wash friendly and comes in a variety of fun and vibrant colors!
Which Travel Blanket is Best for You?
You should choose your travel blanket based on your unique needs:
- Are you a backpacker or hiker for whom space and weight are primary concerns? Go for the Matador.
- Do you run super cold? Maybe the heated Sherpa blanket is what you need.
- If you get severe travel anxiety, the Gravity weighted blanket might help.
- If you’re just looking for a solid all-around car camping or picnic blanket, the PuTian Merino blanket will probably suit you best.
No matter what your needs are, you’ll find a travel blanket to fit them (and fit in your luggage!) If you have a personal favorite travel blanket, drop me a note in the comments! I’d love to hear about it.