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Best Emergency Blanket: Ultimate Guide for Finding the Best Survival Blanket

Emergency blanket outdoor
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

When you are out in the outdoors, it should be in your best interest to survive in any condition. Regardless of whether you’re camping in the wild or stuck in an outdoor location, having the right gear can mean your very survival. What’s another thing that you should expect while outdoors? Emergencies. One of the most important tools that you can have in an emergency survival situation is the best emergency blanket.

However you are probably asking yourself, how does one shop for an emergency blanket anyway? Well let us tell you that you have come to the right place. Apart from giving you some good tips on how to shop for an emergency blanket, we have also taken the liberty of highlighting some of the best products that you can find in the market.

Product nameWeightDimensionsBest UsePrice
Mylar Men’s Emergency Thermal Blankets1 lbs6 x 2 x 4 inches, 54 inches x 84 inches (open blanket)outdoor survival, backpacking, campingCheck price on Amazon
Heat Reflective Emergency Blanket / Survival Blanket1.6 ounces52 x 52 x 84 inchescamping, hiking, first-aid, disaster preparednessCheck price on Amazon
Emergency Blanket Pack of 4 – Highest Quality0.08 lbs55 x 0.1 x 87 incheshiking, camping, trekking, first-aidCheck price on Amazon
Premium Emergency Thermal Heat Blanket – First Aid Heat0.5 lbs84 x 53 incheshiking, picnics, snow and rain emergenciesCheck price on Amazon
Ultimate Survival Technologies Survival Reflect Blanket0.6 ounces83 x 52 x 0.1 inchescamping, hiking, survival, first aidCheck price on Amazon
American Recreation Products Campers Emergency Blanket1.6 ounces84 x 52 inchescamping, outdoor recreation, emergency and survival kits, first aidCheck price on Amazon

Things to consider before buying

Emergency blankets are a must-have on your survival kit, and not just for the obvious applications like keeping you warm in emergency situations.

On top of increasing your survivability, your gear will provide that much-needed comfort to ensure that you don’t end up miserable in the wild. All emergency blankets are not made equal, though. To make sure you end up with the best one for your needs, there are some features you need to consider:

Water and Wind Resistance

Emergency blankets are typically quite large with very high resistance to water and wind. Basically, this blanket will reflect body heat towards the user and will keep harsh elements at bay.

Emergency_blanket

Not all emergency blankets are waterproof and windproof, though. Make sure to pick a blanket with this property if you’re headed for a place notorious for its rainy days. if you are in dire need of a shelter, you can use your blanket to create one. Its waterproof properties will ensure that you stay dry against the rain. You can simply tie the blanket to some tree or branches with a rope and you’ve got yourself a nice emergency shelter.

A waterproof blanket also provides a temporary way to waterproof your backpack and boots. Simply cover your backpack and line the inside of your boots with pieces of the blanket to keep them dry. This is especially good if you’re caught in a sudden downpour.

Material

Unlike your typical camping blankets, an emergency blanket is generally made from two layers of aluminum and can be used multiple times. Its shiny material makes it highly visible from a distance, which is good if you’re signaling for rescue teams.

Emergency blanket

Not just for attracting the attention of the rescue team, the reflective surface of the material can be used to direct the sun’s rays towards the tinder in order to start the fire (kind of like using a magnifying glass). However, it’s always wise to bring a more reliable fire starter with you.

The material is also typically thin so you can cut out shapes or letters and leave them on the ground for airborne rescue teams to see. Although, if warmth and protection against the elements are your priority, you might want to go for a thicker emergency blanket.

Weight

This type of blanket is extremely lightweight and is designed to keep 90% of your body heat to prevent dangers like hypothermia. These blankets are definitely a must-have addition to your emergency kit.

Emergency blanket kit

Outside of its emergency uses, this type of blanket has become a staple for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a good thing that it weighs very little and is foldable so that it’s easy to pack and carry. Loss of body heat can be a result of several factors like water evaporation, convection and thermal radiation.

If you ever find yourself under the mercy of such dangers while you’re in the wilderness, this lightweight blanket can be a lifesaver. The weight of each emergency blanket may differ, but most of them are lightweight enough that your backpack won’t be weighed down at all.

Reflectiveness

An emergency blanket is reflective mainly because it functions as a signal that makes it easier for the rescue team to find you, but this blanket can be used to reflect heat, making them useful around campfires by directing the heat towards you. Mylar doesn’t melt until the heat reaches 489 degrees so there’s no danger of fire, provided that you don’t put the blanket too close to your heat source. This is quite a reliable way to maximize the heat output.

If you’re only going to use the blanket’s reflectiveness as a source of heat, a plain silver emergency blanket should suffice. If you think you’re going to need the blanket’s emergency signal one day, though, a gold blanket reflects more light.

Emergency blanket reflectiveness

Believe it or not, this reflectiveness can also be used to cook meals. You use the blanket to trap and reflect the sun’s rays towards the food you are cooking. However, this will only work if you are working with thin slices of meat since they don’t need more than 165 degrees to cook.

It can also be used to dry clothes. In a survival situation, wet clothes might as well be the kiss of death because it can quickly lead to hypothermia. The reflective surface of the blanket can dry your wet clothes at a rapid rate. One way to do this is to simply place the piece of clothing on the blanket and put it under the sun to dry. Another one is to hang your clothes on a clothesline and put the clothing over the blanket. This way, the sun’s rays will reflect towards the clothing for faster drying.

The reflective material is also great for marking the trail in case you want to retrace your steps or to help rescue teams to find you as soon as possible. The reflective material of emergency blankets can also be used to scare birds away since they really hate the light reflections.

Durability

A good emergency blanket is a durable one. Flimsy emergency blankets may rip easily, but durable blankets can even be used to make emergency cordage. The blanket can be used as a cord by tying or braiding it together. A good material is strong enough to hold pouches or even catch fish. However, it is not strong enough to hold body weight so don’t use it for things like repelling.

Emergency blanket durability

A durable blanket is also a good material for emergency slings and tourniquets. Many emergency cases involve injuries and might require a sling or tourniquet. The thermal blanket can be used as a temporary sling or tourniquet by simply cutting a few strings out. It should be a good temporary first-aid solution, at least until professional help arrives. A durable blanket is also strong enough for carrying small items by building a pouch or a horseshoe pack.

Versatility

Aside from being used to cover the body, emergency blankets are also used as a roof for shelters. When your tent starts to soak from all the humidity, you can use your emergency blanket to provide extra protection. You can also affix the thermal blankets to the doors and windows of your tent to prevent heat from escaping.

Emergency blanket shelter

It’s also great for preventing ice buildup in the car. Thermal blankets can prevent ice buildup on the glass of the vehicle by simply placing them over the windshield. You can then just trap the ends of the blanket in the car doors to secure them.

In your garden, you can prevent your vegetable plants from shriveling during extremely hot weather. Simply drape the material over the plant bed and secure the blanket using a rock.

These blankets can also be used for things completely unrelated to protection and heat retention. Some people use it as a fish lure. Certain fish are attracted to shiny things which makes the pieces of the blanket a good addition to your fishing lure. Just cut off small pieces of the material and attach it to your lure to catch fish easily.

In a situation where water is both critical and limited, you can use your emergency blanket to gather rain water or trap condensation. Also, with a little ingenuity, you can use your blanket to improvise a scarf or create a hood. Very handy when you need extra clothing support to keep you nice and warm.

Best products on today’s market

So do you need an emergency blanket? Of course you do! Shopping for an emergency blanket is a relatively simple affair. However, it’s easy to end up with a product that doesn’t live up to your expectations. Thus, we have compiled some of the best products that you can buy in the market to help you out:

Ever Ready First Aid Mylar Thermal BlanketsEmergency Mylar Thermal Blanket

Price: approximately $7 – $30

Weight: 1 lbs

Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 4 inches, 54 inches x 84 inches (open blanket)

Specific Features: Made from durable insulation Mylar material, waterproof and weatherproof, provides compact emergency protection in all weather condition, retains / reflects 90% of body heat

Best Use: outdoor survival, backpacking, camping

As far as emergency blankets go, this is about as basic as you can get. However, don’t take that as a bad thing. The Ever Ready First Aid Mylar Thermal Blankets have everything that you’ll want from an emergency blanket.

For starters, it is very thin, lightweight and highly portable which makes it perfect for packing for trips. You can even fit about three of these blankets in one of your pockets.

Since it’s so thin, it is perfect to be used as a “base layer” by lining it inside your sleeping pad or bag. The durable insulation Mylar material should ensure that it will last long despite multiple uses.

However, the most attractive feature of this product is its price point. For about $5, you get 10 pieces of blankets and that’s a tough deal to beat. One minor drawback is that its reflective material has that loud, crinkly sound that’s typical with most “space” blankets.

PROS:

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Durable thanks to the Mylar material
  • Available at a great price
  • Will keep you sufficiently warm

CONS:

  • Noisy, but that is as expected of a product with this kind of material
  • Durable it may be, once it rips, it will continue ripping until the blanket’s been separated into two halves

Related:  In case you’re going somewhere really cold and secluded where this emergency blanket may not be able to provide you with sufficient warmth or protection, consider purchasing this Grizzly Gear Emergency Survival Mylar instead. Because it’s shaped like a tent, it’s bigger, warmer, and more durable.

Check the price on Amazon

Dukal Heat Reflective Emergency BlanketDukal Heat Reflective Emergency Blanket

Price: approximately $5

Weight: 1.6 ounces

Dimensions: 52 x 52 x 84 inches

Specific Features: Single wrapped emergency blanket / survival wrap, reflects more than 90% of body heat

Best Use: camping, hiking, first-aid, disaster preparedness

If you are looking for an emergency blanket that gets the job done, you can’t go wrong with the Heat Reflective Emergency Blanket by Dukal. One thing you’ll notice right away is that this blanket is extremely lightweight.

You can easily carry it in your backpack or even in your pockets because it can be folded down to the size a deck of cards. This one’s designed for outdoor conditions which makes it a good option for outdoorsmen who are looking for a very solid emergency blanket.

It can retain or reflect about 90% of body heat so take this with you if you will be camping in colder areas. Its 52 x 52 x 84 size means that it can completely cover an average adult. As for the price point, it’s fairly reasonable considering the quality of the product that you’ll be getting.

PROS:

  • Very affordable price
  • Can be used for many things other than as an emergency blanket
  • Large in size
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • It’s all folded up so you’ll need to cut it into smaller pieces if you need it that way

Related: Although this emergency blanket should be enough to keep your body warm, your hands may still feel cold because you lose heat through your extremities. Use these Hothands Hand Warmers along with the emergency blanket to keep your whole body warm and toasty no matter where you are or what kind of condition you’re in.

Check the price on Amazon

Gold Standard Outdoor Company Emergency BlanketGold Standard Outdoor Company Emergency Blanket

Price: approximately $14

Weight: 0.08 lbs

Dimensions: 55 x 0.1 x 87 inches

Specific Features: Each blanket is individually wrapped, dual Sided – Gold / Silver – for maximum safety from 1 product, extremely lightweight, protection from Hypothermia in emergency situations

Best Use: hiking, camping, trekking, first-aid

The Gold Standard Outdoor Company Emergency Blanket is another solid product that we highly recommend. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply looking for a blanket to add to your emergency kit, you’ll find a lot to like in this product.

We love the fact that it’s extremely lightweight, small and compact which is perfect for outdoor trips or simply be stored in your glove compartment. Another noteworthy feature of this blanket is that it’s dual-sided with gold and silver sides.

This is a good thing if you’re in a snow-prone location as you can use the gold side for improved visibility. We have to say that it’s a well-made high quality product unlike most thermal blankets out there. The seller also guarantees that you will get the pack of 4. Overall, it’s a really smart and high quality product that you just can’t go wrong with.

PROS:

  • Great and unique design, with gold and silver sides
  • Lightweight, small, and compact
  • Great for snowy places. Can protect you from hypothermia
  • Durable

CONS:

  • On the expensive side for emergency blankets, although the quality makes up for it
  • Usage is not as simple as it seems. May need some getting used to

Related: No one hopes to find themselves in the middle of an emergency, but if you do, you need more than this emergency thermal blanket to keep yourself comfortable. Consider purchasing these Cyalume Green Glow Sticks so you’ll have something to light up your surroundings with.

Check the price on Amazon

Unique Imports Premium Emergency BlanketUnique Imports Premium Emergency Blanket

Price: approximately $15

Weight: 0.5 lbs

Dimensions: 84 x 53 inches

Specific Features: Available in various pack sizes, perfect for adults and children, premium product

Best Use: camping, hiking, picnics, snow and rain emergencies

Now if you are looking for a premium emergency blanket, look no further than this product by Unique Imports. One thing you’ll notice right away is the durability of the 84′ x 53′ Unique Imports Premium Emergency Blanket it just feels sturdy and non-flimsy which can’t be said for most similar products in the market.

The size is fairly standard and should fit both adults and children. You should have no problem using it to cover your body in order to keep your body heat inside and it does a great job of doing so. Another thing worth mentioning is that it is more expensive than the other blankets featured here.

However, the price really is worth it since you’re paying for premium quality materials. Not to mention, this blanket can be used multiple times, which is a huge plus. It’s definitely a good option for people looking for something premium.

PROS:

  • Durable and reliable
  • Reusable, so you don’t have to keep stocking up on new emergency blankets
  • Lightweight
  • Good for protection in snowy areas

CONS:

  • Expensive for an emergency blanket, although it really is well-made
  • Is a bit more complicated to use than emergency blankets that you can just dispose of after one usage

Related: In case you’re looking for another product of similar premium quality that offers better protection, this BlizeTec Emergency Thermal Survival Blanket and Tube Tent may just be the thing you’re looking for. No matter how well-made, an emergency blanket is an emergency blanket. If you’re willing to pay a bit more, you’ll be able to afford this emergency tube tent. You’ll definitely feel more secure in this one.

Check the price on Amazon

Ultimate Survival Technologies Survival Reflect BlanketUltimate Survival Technologies Survival Reflect Blanket

Price: approximately $6

Weight: 0.6 ounces

Dimensions: 83 x 52 x 0.1 inches

Specific Features: High quality, field tested survival gear, wind and waterproof, high visibility reflective surface for emergency signaling, lightweight and compact

Best Use: camping, hiking, survival, first aid

Ultimate Survival Technologies is a reputable name when it comes to survival products and this emergency blanket is no exception. Like all good emergency blankets, the Ultimate Survival Technologies Survival Reflect Blanket is extremely lightweight and compact which means you can take it anywhere without fuss.

It is wind and water proof which should be more than enough to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. The blanket is 55 x 87 inches which is a good size to cover your entire body (if it’s too big for you, try squatting and wrapping the blanket around you).

Its high visibility reflective surface is perfect for signaling in case of an emergency situation and you need extra visibility. As for keeping you warm, this blanket passes with flying colors. You’ll get comfortably warm, not hot. This is one of the best emergency survival blankets that your money can buy.

PROS:

  • Wind and waterproof
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Has a great reflective surface. Will keep you warm and send out a noticeable signal
  • Affordable price

CONS:

  • The sides are jagged, and this may cause the blanket to rip easily
  • Not quite thick enough

Related: If you’re planning to take this emergency blanket with you on a trip, your emergency survival kit won’t be complete without this LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. Water is a basic need. This water filter will give you the means to keep yourself hydrated even if you didn’t carry any bottled water with you.

Check the price on Amazon

American Recreation Products Campers Emergency BlanketAmerican Recreation Products Campers Emergency Blanket

Price: approximately $3 – $120

Weight: 1.6 ounces

Dimensions: 84 x 52 inches

Specific Features: Aluminum laminated polyethylene, folds to pocket size, waterproof and wind resistant

Best Use: camping, outdoor recreation, emergency and survival kits, first aid

The American Recreation Products Campers Emergency Blanket is not exactly the most popular one out there. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing because this is a very solid product that works as advertised.

The aluminum laminated polyethylene material feels highly durable, won’t be torn apart easily and should last longer than most emergency blankets. The high quality material is also great in reflecting body heat which is useful in both emergency situations and outdoor recreation. The material is also waterproof and wind resistant, making it a good addition to your outdoor survival kit.

The blanket is also big enough for average adults but it can easily be folded to pocket size, making it easy to carry around. Whether you’re looking for an emergency first-aid blanket or a survival tool, this one is definitely worth checking out. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s budget-friendly as well.

PROS:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Waterproof and windproof
  • Affordable price
  • Durable

CONS:

  • The price for this product varies wildly

Related: This survival blanket is cheap enough already, but if you’re looking for something even cheaper, consider this SODIAL(R) Foil Survival Rescue Emergency Blanket. It’s similarly waterproof, so you’ll have no problem weathering the rain in this emergency blanket even though it does feel flimsier than American Recreation Products Campers Emergency Blanket.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

As you can see, emergency blankets are not just used solely for critical situations. Far from it. With a little bit of creativity and ingenuity, this type of blanket will transform into a multi-purpose survival tool. Getting emergency blankets is definitely a great way to upgrade your outdoor gear arsenal. By being aware of these uses of an emergency blanket, don’t you want one as well?

Shopping for the best emergency blanket that will fit your needs and budget shouldn’t be that hard. Start out by checking out our recommendations and you will surely find something that you’ll like. As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to read product reviews and customer feedback before buying anything.

Emergency blankets review

Have you used an emergency blanket before? Any other ways you’ve used your blanket that you’d like to share? Lastly, share this article with your family and friends so they’ll know just how useful these blankets are. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Linda Green

    I have Vertex 6-pack emergency blanket. I purchased them for my emergency bags and for camping. They are small enough to fit in pockets, yet big enough when opened. I think the emergency blanket is ingenious and it’s so versatile with all of the ways it can be used as a survival tool!

  • Daniel Carraway

    I love these new emergency blankets! They are very compact and the material is sturdy and keeps you warm and safe. It easily slips inside my pocket so it really gives me peace of mind knowing that I’d stay comfy and warm, no matter what.

  • Millie Anderson

    Hopefully I’ll never have to use it, but I bought an Ultimate Survival Technologies blanket for a ‘Winter Emergency kit’ for my car. I’ve tested it out in the house and it seems pretty warm. Nice and lightweight too so it doesn’t take up too much space with the rest of the kit in the trunk of my car. With the blanket, I carry snow chains, a spare phone charger, flashlight, de-icer and a case of water bottles. Would you recommend anything else for a car emergency kit?

  • Daniel Carraway

    Some cash would be advisable and an air pump (12 volts will be fine). In this case, an air pump that’s built in a 12v jump starter would work better.

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