Survival blankets are a must-have if you want to stay well-prepared for an emergency.
I admit it is a smart move to have a blanket or two to back you up when in need, but it doesn’t even have to be an emergency to really need one. I am sure you will agree with me when I say that it is better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it.
A survival blanket is an irreplaceable item if you find yourself stuck in the wilderness.
Up in the mountains, even during the summer, the temperatures can get very low. So anything that can keep you warm is well worth having.
Hypothermia can happen faster than the majority of people believe. It can take as little as 10 or 15 minutes. And things can get even worse if you have nothing to protect you against the wind and rain. Annually more than 20,000 people die from hypothermia in the United States alone.
However, not all survival blankets are created equal; some may seem like a good idea until you really put them to the test.
This is why here, you will find an in-depth list of everything you need to know about the finest survival blankets on the market.
Survival blankets are known by many different names, space blankets, emergency blankets, Mylar blankets, thermal blankets, and so much more.
One can easily get a little lost and confused when trying to find the right survival blanket for their needs. This is why below you will find detailed information on several different topics like:
- Everything you need to know about the different types of survival blankets.
- The best survival blankets.
- How to use a survival blanket.
What Are the Different Types of Survival Blankets?
Survival blankets can be made from a variety of different materials—each with its pros and cons.
Animal Hide and Skin
Today things are a lot different compared to before. Technology has constantly been improving over the past years, and we can certainly take advantage of that.
However, a long time ago, the animal hide was the best material for creating survival blankets and protection against the harsh elements. The animal hide is thick and durable but very heavy and not exactly what one would consider compact.
Mylar is a polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which has been stretched into a polyester film. And it is one of the commonly used materials used for making survival blankets.
These are also known as space blankets because Mylar was used by NASA for its reflective and insulating capabilities.
Mylar is usually one of the cheapest and lightest forms of insulation.
It can provide good protection against the elements, including water, wind, snow, and more. It is usually able to retain and reflect back high amounts of the body’s temperature.
When it comes to UV light, Mylar usually does have some very low transparency depending on its thickness, so it will not reflect all UV light.
One of the downsides of Mylar blankets is that they are very noisy.
Mylar is also super thin, which could be both an advantage or a disadvantage depending on how and where it needs to be used as it can easily tear or puncture.
Wool has been used throughout the years for cloaks. It is one of the best types of textile fiber that will keep you warm and protected, even when it gets wet.
Wool does not produce any significant noise but takes a lot more space compared to Mylar blankets.
On the other hand, it is significantly more durable and long-lasting compared to Mylar. A properly looked after wool can last 20 even 30 years. While Mylar can get easily teared and destroyed, especially when using it in harsher conditions, wool can withstand a lot more punishment.
Polar fleece is another excellent alternative since it is very compact and has excellent protective capabilities.
However, polar fleece is usually not windproof but, on the other hand, does not absorb moisture. Polar fleece can still provide good insulation, even when it gets wet.
Down—including synthetic down—is a superb material for anything survival. It can be used for survival blankets, sleeping bags, and so much more.
Down is capable of generating lots of warmth and keeping your body from losing its body heat. Synthetic down, on the other hand, can do that even if it gets wet.
Compared to fleece, down is a lot warmer.
Best Survival Blanket
This is one of the good value packs you can get. For a very fair price, you can get 4 Mylar emergency blankets.
The really neat thing about these Mylar blankets is that they come in a variety of colors, ranging from highly-visible orange to army green and even winter and woodland camo.
And as a bonus each in each package, you will find an extra gold emergency blanket.
These emergency high-quality blankets will keep you warm and protected from the elements, as they can retain up to 90% of your body heat.
The size of each blanket is 52″ by 82″. They are also extremely compact and lightweight, weighing about 2 oz each.
Overall a great product at a great price—there is hardly anything to complain about here.
This blanket is made from high-quality fleece. It is both water and windproof and can keep you warm and protected from the outside weather.
This super thick and durable blanket weighs just 2.9 pounds and measures 82″ by 55″. It even comes with a hidden pocket that can be used for storing your phone, keys, or other items that you want to keep protected.
It comes with a lifetime warranty. It is very hard to beat a deal like this one.
This 10-pack emergency blanket strikes as one of the best value deals we can get.
For a very low price, you get 10 Mylar blankets capable of protecting you from the cold, wind, and more. The Mylar is capable of reflecting and retaining up to 90% of your body heat, and it can even be used to provide some protection from the sunlight.
Because they are made from Mylar, this makes them very lightweight and compact. You can easily fit a few in your car, home, and hiking gear.
These blankets come in the standard 52″ by 82″ size.
These high-quality emergency blankets will have your back even in very severe weather conditions. They are very durable yet extremely lightweight and will not encumber you in any noticeable way.
The material is designed to retain up to 90% of your body heat, making it suitable not just for hot but for cold weather too.
These emergency blankets measure 60″ by 84″ and weigh 2 oz each.
Each blanket comes in a pouch, and the quality can be felt when you hold them in your hand—overall excellent value for the money.
This emergency blanket is made from thick and durable Mylar. Although it is very light and thin, it is very durable and can be used multiple times, even in rougher conditions.
It is designed to return 90% of your body heat back to you, which makes it a perfect solution for camping and hiking, even in bad weather. This blanket is both water and windproof with reinforced seams for increased insulation.
It is a very cost-effective solution because, with the blanket, you will get a heavy-duty string that can be used for starting fires, a whistle, and a carrying sack.
It measures 84″ by 36″ and weighs a tad over 4 oz.
This emergency blanket deserves a spot in anyone’s survival gear.
It is extremely durable and can withstand being used multiple times, even in very rough conditions.
This blanket is multilayered:
- On one side, it has a Mylar layer, which will reflect and retain up to 90% of your body heat and is highly visible.
- On the other side, you will find two layers of PP or polypropylene. It is an elastic and tough type of plastic. PP is known to withstand a lot of bending and uses without breaking.
This tarp is perfectly capable of sheltering anyone from wind and rain and can be used not just as an emergency blanket but as a lean-to shelter too.
It measures 60″ by 82″ and weighs about 1 pound, making it heavier compared to other Mylar-based emergency blankets.
However, if you are looking for something bigger, there is also an extra-large model, which is 144″ by 102″.
There are no two opinions here.
This blanket is designed for survival—the high loft fiber gives it excellent durability and versatility. It will provide you with excellent protection against the elements thanks to its water repellent and windproof capabilities.
In addition to that, the fabric has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
It has outstanding insulating capabilities to keep you warm even when the temperatures get very low—it has been rated for as low temperatures as 32 F (or 2.2 C).
This survival blanket is 90″ by 72″, which makes it slightly bigger than most the conventional survival blankets. It is also lightweight and easy to carry, weighing a mere 2 pounds.
On average, it is a pricier blanket, but one well worth its price.
When it comes to Mylar survival blankets, there’s no better place to look for one than the manufacturer of Mylar itself.
These are able to provide excellent insulation and are capable of retaining and returning back to you up to 90% of your body heat. It is an excellent option for overall weatherproof protection.
The size of these blankets is 54″ by 84″. They are super tiny and compact, so much so you can fit them almost anywhere. And considering the price, there is no doubt, these are one of the finest emergency blankets you can get.
Unlike some of the other emergency blankets on this list, this one is made from 80% wool and 20% hypoallergenic synthetic fiber.
Because of that, there is some good news and some bad news.
It is heavier than other comparable Mylar blankets—it weighs 4.8 lbs. However, it is extremely thick and durable.
The reason why wool is such a great alternative is that even when it is wet, it can still keep you warm and cozy.
This survival blanket is able to reflect up to 90% of your body heat back to you—in other words, it will keep you very warm.
The best thing about this emergency blanket is that it is made from vacuum-metalized polyethylene heat sheets, which are more durable than Mylar.
And anyone who has ever used Mylar bags for storing food knows how easily they can get punctured and tear apart. However, this emergency blanket is capable of multiple uses and will survive even in rougher conditions.
The bright orange color will make this blanket easily visible from long distances, which is definitely something you want if you are stranded somewhere.
The blanket measures 56″ by 84″ and weighs a mere 2.5 oz. And at the price it comes, it is a real bargain.
This emergency blanket by Grabber will be an excellent addition to anyone’s emergency kit. It is capable of returning and retaining up to 80% of the heat of your body.
It can indeed be called a space blanket because it uses a multilayered construction of special insulating materials that were used for the Apollo space missions.
The great thing about it is that it can be very versatile. The only downside—it is on the more expensive side; however, the price is well worth it.
Best Way to Use a Survival Blanket
Survival Blankets Do Not Generate Heat
Although survival blankets will keep you warm, they do not generate any heat on their own. They work as a shield protecting your body from the wind and cold, thus keeping your body warm.
Some can retain about 70%, while others up to 90% of your body heat. The higher the percentage—the lower the heat loss. Depending on the area where you live, you may want to have as much protection as possible, especially during the colder months of the year.
In the same manner, Mylar blankets can be used to reflect heat if you have no other way of protecting yourself from the sun.
Depending on the type of survival blanket you have, it may be advisable to have a few more extra blankets in case the others tear or break.
This is important, especially when it comes to Mylar blankets, as they can tear and puncture quite easily in rough conditions.
Make Sure You Are Well Protected
The bigger the survival blanket, the more of your body will be covered. There will be no point in covering your head and upper body if the blanket is so small your lower body is left outside exposed to the cold weather.
It defeats the whole purpose, so make sure you pay special attention to the dimensions of the survival blanket before buying it.
Use Your Blanket With Care
Most of the fabric-based survival blankets are very tough and will not tear easily. However, that is not the case with Mylar blankets.
Even the thickest Mylar can be easily punctured on hard and sharp surfaces.
Make sure you are exercising extra care when taking your blanket out and while using it. Even if it tears, do not panic; this is why it is a good practice to have a few extras.
Do Not Cover Your Nose
There are no hard and fast numbers here, but experts believe that we can be losing between 10 to 45% of our body heat through our heads. This is why wearing a hat is so beneficial during the colder months.
However, even if you decide to cover your head with the survival blanket, make sure that your nose is not fully covered. If you cover your face and nose fully, you will be breathing in more CO2, and you will be trapping all the humidity from your breath inside.
This will create condensation inside the blanket and will negatively affect your body temperature.
Survival Blankets Are Versatile
Survival blankets, especially Mylar ones, are incredibly versatile and can be used in many different ways. They can be used for:
- Collecting water;
- Signaling planes and people at long distances;
- Building shelter;
- Ground cover;
- Protection for accessories, phones, keys, personal documents, and so much more.
Knowing how to adapt and use your blanket in different situations may literally save your life.
A survival blanket is one of the must-haves when it comes to preparing your emergency and first aid kit.
One of our first instincts is to make sure we are stocked with plenty of food and water, but all the water and food will do us no good if we are left stranded in the wilderness without any protection against the cold.
The good news is that a survival blanket is both an inexpensive and lightweight way to give us a better chance of surviving in the wilderness.