Kelty Bestie Review
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|Pros||Inexpensive, soft underside, packable||Doubles as pillow, footbox cinch, soft||Versatile, weather-resistant, less costly than similar performers||Large dimensions, soft underside, inexpensive||Compact, inexpensive, large dimensions|
|Cons||Not water-resistant, thin material, narrow||Permanently attached stuff sack, snaps not well aligned||A little bulky, nylon underside gets sweaty||Heavy, bulky, not many features||Not weather-resistant, no cross-stitching|
|Bottom Line||An inexpensive and comfortable blanket great for children and outdoor social occasions||A versatile blanket that stores itself as a pillow great for camping and travel||A functional blanket with a hood and snap closure great for bundling up in a variety of settings||This comfortable extra-large blanket is big enough for two and luxurious for one||A super compressible but warm blanket with a unique look and feel|
|Rating Categories||Kelty Bestie||Therm-a-Rest Stellar||REI Co-Op Camp Wrap||Kelty Biggie||Snugpak Jungle|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Features & Design (10%)|
|Specs||Kelty Bestie||Therm-a-Rest Stellar||REI Co-Op Camp Wrap||Kelty Biggie||Snugpak Jungle|
|Measured Blanket Size||42" x 76"||56" x 75"||54" x 72"||80" x 82"||64" x 76"|
|Compressed Size||3.5 L||3.4 L||5 L||15 L||2.1 L|
|Weather Resistance||None||Water resistant||DWR treatment||None||MicroDiamond|
|Weight||25 oz||22 oz||28 oz||47 oz||25 oz|
|Stuff Sack||Yes, drawstring||Yes, stuffs in pocket||Yes, drawstring||Yes, drawstring||Yes, compression|
|Exterior Material||75D polyester||30D polyester||100% Ripstop Nylon||75D polyester||100% polyester with Paratex antibacterial treatment|
|Insulation Material||Cloudloft||eraLoft Polyester Hollow Fiber||Polyester fibers||Cloudloft||Travelsoft (synthetic - resinated polyester fiber)|
|Manufacturer Temp Rating (F)||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified||45°F|
|Machine Washable||Yes, front load only||Yes, front load only||Yes||Yes, front load only||Yes|
|Available Sizes||One size only||One size only||One size only||One size only||Regular (tested), X-Large|
|Additional Features||Lightweight||Fast drying, draw cord cinches blanket around feet, snap loops for compatibility||Snaps, armloops, built-in hood||Soft-brushed fabric, comfortably fits 2 people||Antibacterial treated fabric|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Kelty Bestie is a synthetic-fill blanket made from 75D polyester on the outside and Cloudloft insulation. It has several fabric pattern options and is conveniently machine washable.
The Bestie has the most comfortable underside of any blanket that we tested. Though it is still polyester, it feels soft against the skin and doesn't suffer from the same cold-on-contact sensation that most synthetic blankets and sleeping bags have.
The biggest drawback of this model is its small dimensions. Its 42 inch width is noticeably narrower than most others which are over 50 inches wide, and it's not really possible for an adult to wrap it all the way around their body.
The Bestie is not as warm as most. It's definitely more of a lightweight summer blanket, not an alternative to a sleeping bag on a backcountry trip. Its Cloudloft insulation isn't especially thick, and the blanket overall feels very thin. It also doesn't have any water-resistant coating.
With all of that in mind, if you need an extra layer for a nap or reading a book in a hammock on a breezy day, this is a nice lightweight option.
The Bestie is a basic blanket. It isn't equipped with any of the additional features — like pockets, water-resistant coating, or clips to convert it into a poncho — that most other models have. However, when it comes to durability, this blanket has reinforced edges and solid seams.
The top effectively sheds debris — pine needles, crumbs, dog hair, etc. However, the underside, because of its soft texture, holds on to stuff much more easily, so it needs a good shake and brush if it's used outside or on the floor.
Weighing one pound, eight ounces, this blanket falls in the middle of the pack. Its smaller dimensions make it slightly more compressible; however, the polyester insulation holds its volume more than down so those two factors ultimately cancel each other out to yield a blanket with average packability. It definitely stores well in a closet or trunk of a car but isn't ideal for long-haul travel.
It comes with a simple drawstring bag, which also has a handle for easy carrying. Overall, the blanket is a middle ground between size and function.
Features & Design
This blanket really focuses on the basics and doesn't come with many stand-out features. The cross-stitching of the square baffles holds the insulation in place and eliminates cold spots. Its most notable design element is the notably soft underside, which makes it extra comfortable.
As with many of the blankets in this category, we also appreciate that it is machine washable. Because it doesn't have a DWR coating, it absorbs the stains of the everyday more easily than other models. However, tossing it in the washing machine and not having to wait days for it to dry makes it a much more attractive proposition than a down blanket which requires a lot of attention to get completely dry.
Should You Buy the Kelty Bestie?
The Bestie is just about as inexpensive as brand-name camping blankets come. It hits that price point by staying away from any of the extra features that other blankets sometimes incorporate. Though it is one of the lighter models in the category good for cool summer evenings, it is soft and comfortable. We recommend it for families with young children and anyone who wants a blanket on hand for outdoor social gatherings when there is just a little nip in the air.
What Other Camping Blankets Should You Consider?
If value is a top priority in your quest for the right blanket, we recommend the larger Kelty Biggie. It is slightly more expensive but has significantly larger dimensions that make it truly suitable for two people. The Snugpak Jungle is another value purchase that packs down even smaller and comes with a compression stuff sack. For comfort with just a few more features, we like the Thermarest Stellar, which also doubles as a travel pillow and a cape.
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