The Best Survival Blanket for Prepping and Emergencies

This is an updated review guide on the best survival blanket. Our first review roundup was over five years ago and we will continue to update as new products are released and as new blankets are introduced.

A survival blanket satisfies a pretty big survival requirement: shelter. Most of the time we consider shelter to be our home or a tent in the woods. Shelter, as related to survival, actually includes tarps, blankets, and clothes. This may come as a surprise, but the word shelter literally means a “refuge, haven or other cover or protection from something.” In the case of survival, this can mean anything from a downed tree trunk or cave to a raincoat and everything in between. The key utility that ties them all together is that it protects you from threats such as extreme weather and sun exposure.

There are several options to consider when it comes to survival blankets: brands, materials, etc. This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best survival blankets, tested each of them, and now the results are in: the overall best, the best mylar option, and the best wool option. If you need an insulating blanket that will keep you warm in a survival situation, one of our picks will keep you covered.


Contents (Jump to a Section)


Arcturus Survival Blanket

The Best Survival Blanket

Arcturus Survival Blanket

Tough, Warm, and Versatile

When a tarp and reflective blanket love each other very much you get…

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

A tarp doesn’t have great thermal properties unless you use it as a shell to stuff insulating material. The folks over at Arcturus can save you all of that trouble with their survival blanket. Adding a reflective layer as a third layer makes this the most versatile solution we tested, and gives it great functionality as a thermal blanket. They’ve developed somewhat of a fanbase in the survival blanket area, and it’s easy to see why as they take a few spots here in our review roundup. Here are the rough specs of their tarp blanket:

  • 5′ x 7′ for one person
  • 3 layers of 100% polypropylene for durability
  • 4 grommets for tie down
  • 1.4 pounds

Grab an Arcturus Survival Blanket for your kit for a big versatility boost in a small package.


Everlit Emergency Mylar Blanket

Best Mylar Blanket

Everlit Emergency Mylar Blanket

Light, Small, and Warm

Space age technology in a tiny preparedness packet that fits in any kit.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Space blankets, mylar blankets, emergency blankets- whatever you choose to call them one of the main considerations here is cost. Depending on how many you are buying, you really shouldn’t be spending more than $2 each for these. If you are buying in 10+ bulk, it is pretty easy to find them for less than $0.50 each. There are a few quality considerations but it’s pretty easy to avoid poor quality options just by sticking to established brands. That’s why Everlit is a great choice, and provided consistent quality mylar blankets in the bulk packs we tested. Here are their specs:

  • 52″ x 82″ for one person
  • 12-micron thickness mylar
  • 2 ounces

Stash an Everlit Mylar Blanket in all of your kits for a fast, cheap shelter solution.


Arcturus Wool Military Blanket

Best Wool Survival Blanket

Arcturus Military Wool Blanket

Comfortable, Warm, and Proven

The survival blanket people have used for a millennium darn near perfected.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Wool has been great for as long as we’ve been stealing it off of sheep, and it’ll continue to be a great option. 100% wool is tough to find, and mixing a small blend of synthetics can actually help it hold its shape and improve other properties as well. 80% wool is pretty much the sweet spot and where you’ll find most military blankets. Be wary of anything below this wool content.

  • 64″ x 88″ for one person
  • 80% wool
  • 4.5 pounds
  • Made in India

If you are looking for a substantial blanket that can retain heat even when it is soaking wet, pick up an Arcturus Military Wool Blanket.


Everything We Recommend

Arcturus Heavy Duty Survival Blanket

Arcturus Survival Blanket

When a tarp and reflective blanket love each other very much you get…

Where to Buy

$23* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Everlit Emergency Mylar Blanket

Everlit Emergency Mylar Blanket

Space age technology in a tiny preparedness packet that fits in any kit.

Where to Buy

$8* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Arcturus Military Wool Blanket

Arcturus Military Wool Blanket

The survival blanket people have used for a millennium darn near perfected.

Where to Buy

$36* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing


The Blankets We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to the several blankets that we tested: Arcturus, Everlit, Swiss Safe, Go Time, SOL, UST, Primacare, Grabber, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the what to look for section, with an explanation for each.

We focused on blankets and excluded conventional and backpacking tarps. Those have their own review roundup, and are great for serving similar purposes:

We’re always looking for new and better equipment, so if you have a blanket that you swear by let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually, so we can always get it in the next roundup round and see if it makes the cut and we can see if it will beat out our top picks.


What to Look For

The best survival blankets have several important features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Material
  3. Thermal Properties
  4. Durability
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a reliable blanket that will keep you warm in any condition. Below, we break down what each of these features means for blankets that set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like a blanket shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. Don’t go overspending or overdo it. Budget according to your risk and your needs rather than just spending lavishly.

On the flip side, you don’t want to go too cheap or just plain get the wrong thing. If the blanket is paper thin and falls apart with light use, it’s not going to last more than a few days- much less a season- in a survival situation.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource, especially something like a blanket. It’s better to diversify your preparedness gear to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios. There is a sweet spot where you get high value with not-to-high of a price, which is where our top pick sits.

Material

Blanket materials can vary widely, and many of them have unique pros and cons. This is why we suggest three different types of survival blankets- insulated polypropylene, mylar, and wool blend.

  • Mylar emergency blankets: These blankets are made of a thin, reflective material that can help retain body heat. They are lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry and store.
  • Wool blankets: Wool is a natural fiber that is known for its warmth and durability. Wool blankets are heavier and bulkier than Mylar blankets, but they can provide better warmth and protection in cold weather.
  • Synthetic blankets: Synthetic materials, such as polyester and fleece, are lightweight, quick-drying, and easy to care for. Synthetic blankets are a good option for people who want a blanket that is easy to pack and maintain.
  • Tarpaulin blankets: polypropylene tarps repurposed as blankets with integrated thermal barriers are relatively new, but offer superior versatility compared to other options.

Ultimately, the best survival blanket material is the one that meets your specific needs and preferences.

Thermal Properties

The thermal functionality of a survival blanket is the most important consideration when picking the one you will rely on. The main use for a survival blanket is pretty straightforward: insulate your body and provide warmth. Each of the options we list provide warmth, but at varying degrees of effectiveness. Most of the blankets are still able to be used when wet, but may not provide as much warmth. Some are better at lower temperatures than others. The coverage area can also affect how well a blanket performs. The wool blanket performs exceptionally well as far as traditional functionality, although it is larger, bulkier, and heavier than the others. This brings us to a big point on versatility.

Versatility

If a blanket does more than just keep you warm, you are using a versatile blanket. Our list is no exception, with each blanket having more than just the single use of keeping you warm. Balancing how a blanket performs versus how much room it takes in a bug out bag is a versatility consideration. Getting the best functionality out of the smallest package is an important factor where size and weight matter. The Mylar blanket and All Weather blanket pick up high marks in this category since they are very small and light, and have a few more uses than the other blankets. The Mylar blanket is easily adaptable to most situations where you need warmth.

You can cut it to any size and line clothes with it. Technically, you could do this with any of the blankets but the Mylar cost is so low, and it is so lightweight and small that you could store multiple in your kit. You can even use the Mylar blankets to seal things airtight with an iron. It is truly the Swiss army knife of survival blankets. The All-Weather blanket has built-in grommets and can block wind, sun, and rain when set up as a tarp shelter. This lets you accomplish other tasks without being encumbered by a bulky blanket.  It also is hefty enough to be able to use as a sling to carry other resources, such as firewood. The wool blanket has some versatility, but not by design. The Mylar blanket, All Weather blanket, and pocket blanket have an advantage here because they were engineered to be versatile.

Durability

Having a blanket that doesn’t go the distance with you can be problematic. Even the worry that your blanket could tear or be compromised can stay in your mind when you need to be focused. This is where the pocket blanket and especially the Mylar blanket get lower scores. You can make up for this using redundancy. Redundancy is just carrying multiples of those types of blankets, but when it comes down to it you just don’t want your equipment failing in the field. The wool blanket can suffer from stretching and snagging which puts the All Weather blanket slightly ahead in the category of durability.

In this video, Shawn Kelly actually comes to the same conclusion we did comparing Arcturus and our previous top pick: Grabber:


How to Use a Survival Blanket

To use a survival blanket, follow these steps:

  1. Take the blanket out of its packaging and unfold it.
  2. Lie down on the ground and cover yourself with the blanket, making sure that your entire body is covered.
  3. Use the corners of the blanket to secure it in place, either by tucking them under your body or by using them to hold the blanket in place.
  4. If the weather is particularly cold, you can use additional layers of clothing or blankets to help keep yourself warm.
  5. Stay covered and try to conserve body heat by staying as still as possible.

It’s important to remember that a survival blanket is not a substitute for proper shelter and warmth in extreme weather conditions. It should only be used in an emergency situation as a temporary measure until more suitable shelter can be found.


Who Needs a Survival Blanket?

A blanket is one of the necessary pieces of equipment in several kits. A good survival blanket can come in handy in almost any survival situation. It is more versatile than a tent and can provide much-needed shelter just the same.

We consider survival blankets essential for your:

A mylar blanket is specifically essential for your:

There are a ton of uses, so it is very unlikely that you will regret adding one to your kit.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.


The Final Word

Heat retention can save your life in extremely cold environments. Wherever you are packing your survival blanket, be sure to have enough to go around. Being over-prepared is always better than being under-prepared, especially when it comes to survival.

Our readers have also found these articles helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found the Arcturus Survival Blanket to be the best option given its value, material, thermal properties, durability, and versatility.

If you pick up one of our suggested blankets- make sure you know how to use it before you need it. They have unlimited uses, but it’s good to know how to quickly patch your roof, pitch up a shelter, or wrap a pack.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.


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The Best Survival Blanket

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer by day, but a prepper 24/7. I am an Air Force veteran that developed emergency and disaster plans as an emergency manager and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters worldwide. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

2 thoughts on “The Best Survival Blanket for Prepping and Emergencies

  • what do you think about lining an all-weather with a wool blanket? would it double the effectiveness or would it lessen the effectiveness of the mylar?

    Reply
    • It would lessen the effect of the mylar to a degree- it wouldn’t be twice as effective. You want to keep the mylar surface close to your body, so the opposite (line a wool blanket with an all-weather) would work a little bit better. Mylar is designed to reflect heat and needs to be close to the heat source (body).

      Reply

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