Some of the best camping weather known to man can be found during the cooler months. Not only are the crowds mostly dispersed, but you might also be lucky enough to catch the fall leaves turning, or witness the first snowfall of the season, or gaze at the glistening frozen air in the first light in the morning. While these experiences are beautiful, you’ll want to ensure you’re toasty warm while you’re sleeping. Sleeping bags can handle very cold temperatures, but add a quality wool blanket to the mix and you’ll be nice and cozy as you sleep peacefully.
When you initially think about wool, the word itchy probably comes to mind. However, this is an unfair association. If you invest in a quality wool blanket, it’ll be soft and cozy and provide that perfect thermal layer. We’ll also go into detail about the weight of the blanket and how packable it is if you plan to backpack because maximizing space when packing for a long winter trek can be tricky.
So without further adieu, let’s take a look at some of the best wool camping blankets on the market, what you should look for when buying a wool blanket, and a few frequently asked questions.
The 5 Best Wool Blankets for Camping
Ever Ready First Aid – Wool Fire Retardant Blanket
What We Like
This Fire Retardant Wool Blanket from Ever Ready First Aid is a fantastic camping blanket. It’s made of 80% wool and is designed in a similar fashion as military grade wool blankets. It comes in a large size, measuring 66” x 90”. With such a high wool content, the blanket provides excellent insulation while remaining soft and comfortable. Additionally, another great feature is that the blanket is fire retardant.
With such a low price point for a wool blanket, this is one of the most popular options available, especially for campers, hikers, and backpackers.
What We Don’t Like
Since we’ve highlighted some pros about this purchase, let’s also discuss what could potentially be a few cons. First, the manufacturer discloses the 80% wool content, but they don’t say anything further about the remaining 20%. This leaves us to guess and wonder about what other synthetic fibers are involved. Also, the fact that the other materials are not disclosed does not bode well for proving exactly how fire retardant this blanket is. For a wool blanket, the images look quite thin making us question how much warmth and insulation it will provide. But again, on the positive side, the fact that it appears thin means it could pack down pretty easily in your backpack or car. This manufacturer also doesn’t state if this blanket is washable or not, but some brave reviewers reported back saying they washed their blankets with no issues.
EKTOS – 100% Wool Camping Blanket
What We Like
The 100% Wool Blanket from Ektos is another one of our favorite camping blankets. It is beautifully made and comes in a nice navy blue hue. This blanket is 100% wool, which ensures that you stay warm and toasty in cold weather. Weighing a whopping 5.5 pounds, this blanket is one heavy duty blanket. Measuring 66” x 90”, it is a perfect size, and really isn’t too big or too small to manage. Thanks to to the premium wool quality, this blanket is also exceptionally soft. The product description also states this blanket is as “odor free as possible.” This description makes sense because natural wool does have a distinct smell to it. This blanket is listed as washable, which is also a great feature.
An interesting feature with this product, it does not contain chemical fire retardant because wool has naturally occurring fire resistant properties. Many companies add additional retardant for safety measures. It’s also worth noting this blanket is a moderate step up in price from the previous Ever Ready First Aid blanket.
What We Don’t Like
Weighing 5.5 pounds, this blanket is pretty darn heavy. Adding 5.5 pounds to your backpack can make a big difference when hiking long distances. This is definitely a factor. However, if you’re not backpacking and carrying your blanket in the car, then this might not be an issue for you. In addition, this blanket claims to be naturally fire retardant, but without the additional retardant, we’d suggest you keep it a ways back from the campfire to avoid any sparks from catching. Can’t be too careful.
Arcturus – Military-Grade Wool Blanket
What We Like
Another fantastic wool blanket for camping is the Military Wool Blanket from Arcturus. In terms of its price point, this blanket is the middle ground between the EKTOS and Ever Ready First Aid blankets. The wool blanket comes in three different colors: military gray, navy, and olive green. It’s 80% wool and 20% hypoallergenic synthetic fibers. The manufacturer states that the synthetic fibers were added to make this an easy to wash blanket, which is certainly a feature we won’t complain about. In fact, Arcturus actually recommends periodically washing the blanket to add to the softness. It is a bit smaller than the previous two blankets, with dimensions of 64” x 88” and a weight of about 4.8 pounds.
This blanket is definitely aesthetically pleasing and truly looks great in all three color options. It has a nice brown lock stitching all the way around the perimeter to seal the edges and to add a touch of style
What We Don’t Like
A potential con, this blanket does not have additional fire retardant. We list this as a potential con because this topic is highly debatable. We’ll discuss fire retardant further in the frequently asked questions towards the end of the article.
Additionally, this blanket weighs a hefty 4.8 pounds, which can be difficult to carry and travel with, especially for hikers and backpakers.
Woolly Mammoth – Merino Wool Camping Blanket
What We Like
The Merino Wool Camp Blanket from Woolly Mammoth is a great option for camping trips. It’s a bit larger than similar models and is extremely soft and comfortable. The blanket consists of 80% high-quality Merino wool. The other 20% is made up of a nylon/polyester blend. The Merino Wool Camp Blanket comes in gray, navy blue, and olive green, and also has a nice stitching along the edge to prevent any fraying.
The dimensions of the blanket measure 66” x 90” inches, which is slightly bigger than most comparable wool blankets. For reference, that’s a bit larger than a queen-sized mattress, so the Woolly Mammoth should be suitable for two people and is a perfect addition to any double sleeping bag. Even with the larger size though, it’s actually quite a bit lighter, with a weight of about 4 pounds. This blanket does come at a higher price point, but that is to be expected with the higher quality Merino wool.
An interesting note, this blanket does not contain any recycled wool. It is all brand new. The manufacturer points out that the blanket is made with a twill weave to hide stains and spills. It also has a milled finish which provides a nice thick density to this blanket for warmth and durability in the outdoors.
What We Don’t Like
This blanket is not machine washable, and is dry clean only. This could potentially be a large drawback, especially if you are camping often, as the blanket will accumulate dirt and a campfire smell over time. While it isn’t a dealbreaker, dry cleaning can be a pain.
Also, this blanket is not treated with any additional fire retardant.
Pendleton – Yakima Wool Throw Blanket
What We Like
The Yakima Camp Throw Blanket from Pendleton is a game changer — it is fantastic. We own and it and we love it. The blanket comes in three different sizes: twin, queen and “one size.” It also comes in four different color patterns and is made of pure virgin wool and cotton. This sleeping bag is definitely for the camper that desires aesthetic appeal. If you’re a travel photographer looking for the perfect blanket for your photos, this is the one for you. It’ll give your photos all of those cozy campy vibes. But also on a more serious note, this company has been around for a long time and their reputation for being a great brand and providing great products is there for a reason. They’ve withstood the test of time and it’s no wonder so many bite the bullet and spend the money on their wool blankets.
Pendleton also proudly supports the American Indian College Fund, the National Park Foundation, the FisherHouse, and the Native American Rehabilitation Association. So while this blanket may cost more, you can feel good about your purchase knowing that this company places such an importance on philanthropic endeavors.
What We Don’t Like
Compared to other wool blankets for camping, the Yakima Camp Throw Blanket is significantly more expensive. However, with hundreds of glowing 5-star reviews, this is truly a case of “you get what you pay for.” This blanket is very high-quality, exceptionally warm, and extremely comfortable. It’s worth the price tag.
Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Wool Blankets
When deciding which wool blanket to purchase, it’s important to consider exactly how you’ll be using it. What type of climate do you usually camp in? Will you be sleeping on a cot or laying in a camping hammock? Different sleeping scenarios call for different requirements. So before purchasing, take a look and decide what features are important to you.
Cost Verses Durability
For those longer backpacking trips, it’s important to remember that investing in quality gear is a matter of safety. When you’re out in nature, it can be highly unpredictable. It is up to you to be prepared for whatever mother nature decides to throw your way. In our opinion, investing in a high quality wool blanket that packs down nicely in your backpack is a necessity. Not only will it provide a great layer, but that layer could also make a difference between life and death if you get caught in a surprise storm. A prepared camper, is a smart camper. However, if you’re parking your car next to your campsite than the ability to pack down your blanket might not be a big issue, it’s alright if its a bit bulky because you won’t be carrying it across miles.
Size & Weight
Consider if you’ll be sharing this blanket with someone or just using it by yourself. If it’s for one person only, then size may not be as big as a factor. When it comes to weight, a lot of campers believe it’s better to have multiple light weight blankets not exceeding two pounds each so you can add additional layers as necessary.
Be realistic about what you’re willing to do to care for your blanket. Do you have a busy on the go lifestyle? Then a machine washable blanket is probably the best bet for you. If you have the time and resources to maintain a dry clean only blanket, then go ahead and invest. But be sure if you are going to make that investment that you will actually follow the instructions. You will instantly regret it if you choose to machine wash that pricey dry clean only blanket and it comes out of the wash perfectly sized for a toddler.
It’s important to note that wool blankets are designed to be an insulating top layer. They will not block out the cold ground. Use your wool blanket in conjunction with a good quality sleeping pad to ensure warmth.
Wool Camping Blanket FAQs
The manufacturer claims the blanket is naturally fire retardant, is this true?
While wool might naturally be fire retardant, these blankets are manufactured. The companies might claim they follow a natural process to maintain the integrity of the wool, but fact of the matter is that the wool is still being stretched and woven, and other fabrics are often mixed in. If the manufacturer adds cotton or polyester to blend with the wool, then the blanket is no longer naturally fire retardant because the cotton and polyester are not.
Can I wash my wool blanket?
It is not recommended to wash your wool blanket in the washing machine. We recommend bringing it to the dry cleaner’s. Often times, people think they can throw the blanket in the washing machine as long as they hang it up to dry. However, the wool blanket can still shrink or become damaged.
Because my blanket is wool, will it be itchy?
Not necessarily. High quality premium wool should be very soft, especially when woven together with other fabrics. But also remember, this blanket will likely not come into contact with your bare skin. These blankets are usually used as an added layer of warmth, on top of existing layers.
Wool blankets can be extremely beneficial when used for warmth while camping. Just remember to really think about what features are important to you before choosing which blanket to invest in. Overall, it’s a worthwhile purchase and a good wool blanket will serve as a great addition to your collection of camping gear.
Stay warm out there.