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Alps Mountaineering Wavelength Review

A warm, cozy blanket for cold days, though a bit too bulky for serious travel
Alps Mountaineering Wavelength
Photo: Alps Mountaineering
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Price:  $70 List | $69.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Quite warm and puffy, fairly weather-resistant, comfortable, reasonably affordable
Cons:  Very large and bulky, a bit slick, not home washable
Manufacturer:   Alps Mountaineering
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 23, 2020
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Comfort - 30% 7
  • Warmth - 25% 9
  • Versatility - 20% 6
  • Packed Size - 15% 4
  • Features & Design - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Alps Wavelength is an exceptionally thick, puffy synthetic blanket that's both warm and cozy. It's pretty resistant to wind, water, and the hair and debris of daily life outdoors. We - and our pack of canine testers - love the thick coziness that comes with nesting in this blanket, as well as its fairly reasonable price tag. However, it's also one of the heaviest, bulkiest options we tested and is exceptionally slippery. It also lacks the added protection of being ripstop. But for adventures where warmth is paramount, and size doesn't matter, we appreciate the bulk and comfort of this super puffy blanket.

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Price $69.99 at Amazon$100 List$199.00 at REI
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Pros Quite warm and puffy, fairly weather-resistant, comfortable, reasonably affordableSofter underbelly, weather-resistant, great features, feels warm, easy to cleanLightweight, packs down small, turns into poncho, impressive weather-resistance, useful stuff sackSolid insulation, light and packable, compression stuff sack, large size, affordableVery soft underside, comfortable, simple stuff sack, reasonable size/weight, inexpensive
Cons Very large and bulky, a bit slick, not home washableA bit large and bulkySlippery and swishy, on the small side, expensiveNo cross-stitching, not weatherproofOn the small side, not super warm, not particularly technical
Bottom Line A cozy, warm blanket that's great on cold days, but it's a bit large for most travelThough a little bulky, this blanket is comfortable and provides serious warmth and weather protectionA very light, compressible blanket and poncho that come in handy when you need to save spaceThis blanket is a solid performer for a seriously great priceA good, comfortable option for pretty much any casual cozying
Rating Categories Wavelength NEMO Puffin Rumpl Down Puffy Snugpak Jungle Kelty Bestie
Comfort (30%)
7
8
6
5
9
Warmth (25%)
9
8
6
8
4
Versatility (20%)
6
7
8
6
4
Packed Size (15%)
4
6
9
7
7
Features & Design (10%)
6
9
8
7
7
Specs Wavelength NEMO Puffin Rumpl Down Puffy Snugpak Jungle Kelty Bestie
Filling Type Synthetic Synthetic Down Synthetic Synthetic
Measured Blanket Size 51" x 73" 54" x 78" 51" x 72" 62" x 74" 42" x 74"
Compressed Size 11 L 4 L 2.8 L 3.5 L 3.5 L
Weather Resistance water resistant DWR treatment
(water resistance)
DWR treatment
(water resistance)
windproof & MicroDiamond
(light water resistance)
none
Weight 40 oz 36 oz 19 oz 26 oz 24 oz
Stuff Sack Y - drawstring Y - zippered Y - roll-top Y - compression Y - drawstring
Exterior Material 20D nylon 30D nylon micro-ripstop 20D ripstop nylon 100% polyester with Paratex antibacterial treatment 75 D polyester taffeta top
190T polyester pungee bottom
Insulation Material TechLoft Silver (synthetic - resinated polyester fiber) 600G Stratofiber (synthetic) 600-fill RDS duck down
(80/20 down/feathers)
Travelsoft (synthetic - resinated polyester fiber) 9.5 oz Cloudloft (synthetic)
Manufacturer Temp Rating (F) Not specified Not specified Not specified 45°F Not specified
Pocket No Yes - 1 zippered near feet No No No
Machine Washable No - commercial washer only Yes - front load only Yes - front load only Yes - front load only Yes - front load only
Available Sizes One size only 1-person (tested), 2-person 1-person (tested), 1-person tall, 2-person Regular (tested), X-Large One size only
Additional Features Sewn through in horizontal bars Foot Nook foot box created by three buttons and holes, outwardly curved edges, sewn through in horizontal bars, contrast-colored top edge Can become a poncho, corner loops for stakes, sewn through boxes hold down in place None Softer bottom layer, sewn through boxes hold insulation in place

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Alps Wavelength is a synthetic blanket filled with TechLoft Silver, a resinated polyester fiber insulation. It comes in a few colors.

Performance Comparison


Dogs love the extra loft and cushion of the Wavelength blanket!
Dogs love the extra loft and cushion of the Wavelength blanket!
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


The outside of the Alps Wavelength is a soft but quite slippery 20D 380T nylon fabric that's not ripstop. Both sides are identical, unlike some we tested that feature a softer, less slippery underside that's more comfortable laying across your body. We measured this super fluffy blanket at 51" x 73", which is an adequate size to use while camping. Its weight and impressive loft make it cozy; even our dog testers love laying on and under this nest-like cover. It's exceptionally warm, and the exterior is a bit slick, which can mean it borders the line of toasty and sweaty; because of this, we find it most comfortable when used with a layer of clothing. If you appreciate a blanket that's poofy and a bit hefty, then you'll appreciate having the Wavelength wrapped around you.

Though she may not love having her photo taken, she does love...
Though she may not love having her photo taken, she does love lounging on the Wavelength and was hard pressed to surrender it back into the hands of the humans.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Warmth


By far the thickest blanket we tested, the Wavelength is impressively warm. In our insulation testing, it consistently performed near the top of the pack in heat retention. It's filled with an undisclosed, but remarkably thick synthetic 100% resinated polyester fiber batting that Alps Mountaineering terms "TechLoft Silver". Our field testing consisted of laying on snow and cuddling in the Canadian Rockies, which proves how warm this blanket really is. Anytime we found ourselves feeling very cold, this blanket was one of our top choices for warming up fast.

We're impressed at how warm this blanket feels, even on snow in a...
We're impressed at how warm this blanket feels, even on snow in a snowstorm!
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


The Wavelength is a pretty "lifeproof" blanket. It keeps pooled water from soaking into its insulation (though it did look slightly wet after some time, despite feeling completely dry) and does an impressive job blocking the wind. Its slippery fabric shakes clean any dirt and pet hair, and the edges and stitching are well-constructed and durable. However, we would have liked to see this blanket made from ripstop material as a sort of fail-safe option for using it daily and in the great outdoors. It's slippery and can be challenging to keep wrapped around your shoulders or over your lap, and lacks any wearable poncho-conversion feature to help combat the slickness. It's a bit warm for a chilly summer's eve and is best suited for colder weather.

A perfect blanket for a chilly winter morning warming up in the sun.
A perfect blanket for a chilly winter morning warming up in the sun.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Packed Size


At 40 ounces, this synthetic blanket is a monster in comparison to the rest we tested. It's also the only compressible blanket we tested that won't fit into the 5-liter compression sack we used to test compactability. Instead, we stuffed it into a 20-liter bag that we managed to squeeze down to about 11 liters. In short, this blanket is beefy and is not the best for size or weight-restricted travel. But if you're setting out on a road trip, can check a bag at the airport, or simply want a blanket for close-to-home casual adventures, this large blanket is an excellent choice.

Even for a synthetic blanket the Wavelength is exceptionally heavy...
Even for a synthetic blanket the Wavelength is exceptionally heavy and bulky.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Features & Design


Coming at you with a straightforward, no-frills design, the Wavelength isn't going to blow you away with hidden pockets or other handy features. It is exactly as it looks; however, it's one of very few we tested that is not recommended for washing in your at-home washing machine. Instead, Alps Mountaineering recommends hand washing it or using a front-load tumble washer.

Though it lacks frills and features, the reinforced edge is...
Though it lacks frills and features, the reinforced edge is appreciated.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The Wavelength is on the lower end of the price range of blankets we tested; however, it's also a bit more specific use. If you're after a super cozy, toasty blanket, and don't mind that it's bulky, then we think this blanket is worth its price. But if you're looking for a travel companion or something you can wear and wash, it's unlikely to live up to your expectations.

Conclusion


This blanket is thick, puffy, warm, and cozy. It's also bulky and heavy and a front-loader washer is recommended. It's an excellent option for truly cold weather cuddling and is our dog pack's favorite blanket to cuddle up in. As long as you're not trying to cram it into small spaces or wash it weekly, you'll appreciate the comfort, coziness, and affordability of this super warm blanket.

We love how toasty the Wavelength keeps us - even at dawn in the...
We love how toasty the Wavelength keeps us - even at dawn in the middle of winter while on the lookout for birds!
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg