Have you ever felt robbed of a travel experience because you spent all of your time daydreaming about how to warm up instead of just enjoying the moment?
This has happened to me numerous times–while camping, on an airplane, long car ride, surviving winter van life, at a festival or outdoor event–if only I’d brought a travel blanket to take the edge off my chill.
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
- The Perks of a Travel Blanket
- Top 15 Travel Blankets of 2023
- Best Pocket Blanket
- Best Weighted Travel Blanket
- Best Cashmere Travel Blanket
- Best Wool Travel Blanket
- Best Travel Blanket for Airplanes
- Best Camping Blanket
- Best Beach Blanket
- Best Outdoor Blanket
- Best Backpacking Blanket
- Best Day Adventure Blanket
- Best Heated Travel Blanket
- Best Shawl Wrap Travel Blanket
- Best Poncho Travel Blanket
- Best Hoodie Travel Blanket
- Least Expensive Travel Blanket
- Which Travel Blanket is Best for You?
- Save on Pinterest for later!
The Perks of a Travel Blanket
The right travel blanket can do a lot more than just keep you warm on trips. Depending on where you are using your own blanket, other perks include:
Ease flying anxiety on a long haul flight with a weighted travel blanket
Stay protected from mosquitos and bugs on camping trips with a lightweight travel blanket
Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays on beach days with a UPF+ beach blanket
Give yourself some extra snoozin’ privacy (and warmth) with a hooded travel blanket
Use as cute decor to add color and coziness around your living area
**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 15 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 or nomadic-related suppliers.
1. Best Pocket 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, the Jet&Bo cashmere blanket can make your economy seat feel a bit more upscale. A cashmere blanket will certainly cost you more than your average travel blanket, but for the 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.
Use the carrying pouch as your own personal travel pillow by either putting the folded blanket inside or the airline-provided pillow inside. The 100% woven cashmere blanket comes in at 60″ x 45″ when open to full size, and packs down to 13″ x 10″ in its carry pouch. Cashmere travels well and doesn’t wrinkle, so it’s an ideal material for stuffing into a carry-on or backpack. This blanket is hand-wash only, with mild detergent and cold or lukewarm water.
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 Cocoon Coolmax blanket is a great option for frequent travelers who need a little extra warmth on those long flights or train rides without sacrificing much luggage space or breaking the bank. Because a packable travel blanket can mean the difference between a comfortable, long haul 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 (weighs just over a 1/2 lb). This plane 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. Use on your next flight to seriously amplify your comfort.
6. Best Camping Blanket
The Hoverquilt premium down blanket will give you that curled-up-at-home-in-your-comforter feeling regardless of where you are; camping in a tent, hammock, camper van, under the stars…it’s the ultimate warm adventure blanket. While still packing up insanely small, so you don’t have to sacrifice comfort just to travel light.
The Hoverquilt is made of buttery soft – 20D ripstop nylon fabric and overfilled with 750 Fill Power Goose Down, designed for temps as low as 30F / 0C. At its full size, the Hoverquilt can comfortably fit two adults, while still packing down to smaller than a volleyball. It uses a sleeping bag design but without the zippers.
The blanket comes in a carrying pouch and weighs just ~ 2.5 lbs (1.36 kg). To wash, place on the “gentle” cycle and tumble dry on low heat. Stay cozy and comfortable no matter where you’re sleeping with the maximum coverage Hoverquilt.
7. Best Beach & Picnic Blanket
The Woven Wonders Desertscape blanket is packed with attractive features. Not only is it eye-catching and comes in a variety of beautiful colors, but it’s made of hemp and flax, making for an anti-static, debris-resistant, hypoallergenic and thermoregulating lightweight blanket. (Oh, and it’s biodegradable and ethically-made with responsibly-sourced fibers).
This blanket is great as a beach blanket or picnic blanket. It has cloth loops on each corner; ideal for hooking to picnic tables, beach umbrellas, or even walls as stylish decoration. The Wooven Wonders blanket weighs 20 oz. and its dimensions are 52” x 65”. It’s washing-machine friendly; simply wash cold with like colors.
8. Best Outdoor Blanket
The Dometic GO camp blanket checks all the boxes for a casual outdoor blanket. Throw on the ground at your camp site or use at the beach as a picnic blanket, pet blanket, or whatever your heart desires. Its rugged waterproof bottom and soft upper shell provide maximum comfort and protection from the elements.
The Dometic GO blanket is made of water-resistant fabric that’s machine wash/dry safe. It fits one person comfortably and the blanket comes in a carrying pouch. Ideally, keep this folded blanket in the back of your car or camper van so you can always have it on-hand.
9. Best Backpacking Blanket
The SOL Bivvy Bag blanket is a backpacking essential because it’s insanely lightweight and durable, waterproof, and will keep you warm in the harshest of weather conditions. Heck, it can even serve as your tent thanks to its adjustable side vents (to reduce condensation) and reflective material that “bounces” 80% of your own body heat back on to you–so you can stay comfortable throughout the night.
This travel blanket is super versatile: use as a sleeping bag, “tent”, camping tarp, or thermal blanket. You can also layer it with your regular sleeping bag to get an additional 15 degrees F of warmth from your sleeping bag’s temperature rating.
Carrying a survival blanket like this on all outdoor expeditions can give you peace of mind, knowing even if you get caught in extreme conditions overnight, you have this blanket to stay warm. The Bivvy Bag weighs 8.9 oz. and measures in at 36″ x 84″ at its full size.
To wash, use a special tech wash detergent that protects the waterproof material, and use cold water on gentle cycle. Do NOT put this blanket in the dryer; it could potentially melt–just air-dry it.
10. Best Day Adventure Blanket
The ENO Islander blanket is the all-around champ of travel blankets for casual day adventures. Its durable parachute-style, nylon fabric makes it ultralight, easy to pack down small and easy to clean, so you can throw in your beach tote or hiking pack.
But a standout feature of this blanket is the set of stakes it comes with, so you can secure the blanket on breezy days. Simply secure the stakes to each of the stake loops on each corner of the blanket. There’s even a hidden corner zipped pocket to stash valuables when you want to run down to the ocean for a minute!
The ENO Islander weighs 15 oz. with dimensions of 67x67in. when fully spread out. It’s made of 70D nylon taffeta and comes in a drawstring carry pouch. You can either spot-wash this blanket or throw in the washing machine on gentle cycle with cold water. While you can use regular detergent, I recommend using a tech wash detergent to protect its durable material. Let air dry.
11. 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.
12. Best Shawl Wrap Travel "Blanket"
Hitting the beach on your next vacation? This stylish 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.
13. 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.
14. 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 kangaroo pocket for storing a phone or important documents, and a hand luggage belt for securing to your seat’s headrest.
15. 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.