Alps Mountaineering Wavelength Review
Cons: Very large and bulky, a bit slick, not home washable
Manufacturer: Alps Mountaineering
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Maggie Brandenburg