Reviews You Can Rely On

Kelty Bestie Review

An inexpensive and comfortable blanket great for children and outdoor social occasions
kelty bestie camping blanket review
Credit: Kelty
Price:  $30 List
Manufacturer:   Kelty
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 18, 2022
56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Comfort - 30% 7.0
  • Warmth - 25% 5.0
  • Versatility - 20% 4.0
  • Packed Size - 15% 7.0
  • Features & Design - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Kelty Bestie is a simple and comfortable blanket. It has a soft underside and a playfully patterned topside. It is one of our favorites against the skin and is wide enough to cover two laps while hanging out on the deck. We also like it as an option for the kids on a camping trip or for a cozy time on the couch. It isn't water-resistant and also lacks the insulation that much of the down-filled competition has. However, it is still a tremendous value. At its price point, it'd be worth having a couple on hand to spread the warmth to others without having to share.
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Soft underside
Packable
REASONS TO AVOID
Not water-resistant
Thin material
Narrow
Editor's Note: We retested the Bestie and updated our review on August 18, 2022. Our review reflects changes found during testing. While it is no longer an award winner, it still performs exceptionally well.

Compare to Similar Products

 
kelty bestie camping blanket review
This Product
Kelty Bestie
Awards   Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $29.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$94.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$100 List
$99.95 at REI
$49.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$55 List
$48.57 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Inexpensive, soft underside, packableDoubles as pillow, footbox cinch, softVersatile, weather-resistant, less costly than similar performersLarge dimensions, soft underside, inexpensiveCompact, inexpensive, large dimensions
Cons Not water-resistant, thin material, narrowPermanently attached stuff sack, snaps not well alignedA little bulky, nylon underside gets sweatyHeavy, bulky, not many featuresNot weather-resistant, no cross-stitching
Bottom Line An inexpensive and comfortable blanket great for children and outdoor social occasionsA versatile blanket that stores itself as a pillow great for camping and travelA functional blanket with a hood and snap closure great for bundling up in a variety of settingsThis comfortable extra-large blanket is big enough for two and luxurious for oneA 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
Comfort (30%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Warmth (25%)
5.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Versatility (20%)
4.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
4.0
Packed Size (15%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
4.0
9.0
Features & Design (10%)
4.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Kelty Bestie Therm-a-Rest Stellar REI Co-Op Camp Wrap Kelty Biggie Snugpak Jungle
Filling Type Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic
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 Y - drawstring Y - Stuffs in Pocket Y - drawstring Y - drawstring Y - 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
Pocket No Yes No No No
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.

Performance Comparison


kelty bestie camping blanket review - the bestie is smaller but still a comfortable blanket for the...
The Bestie is smaller but still a comfortable blanket for the outdoors.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort


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.

kelty bestie camping blanket review - the (orange) underside is synthetic but feels much softer against...
The (orange) underside is synthetic but feels much softer against the skin than most other synthetic materials.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

Warmth


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.

kelty bestie camping blanket review - sometimes complete coverage can be a challenge but it's still a cozy...
Sometimes complete coverage can be a challenge but it's still a cozy blanket.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

Versatility


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.

kelty bestie camping blanket review - it's a good option for a child's bedroom as well.
It's a good option for a child's bedroom as well.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

Packed Size


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.

kelty bestie camping blanket review - the bestie packs down small and has a convenient handle on its stuff...
The Bestie packs down small and has a convenient handle on its stuff sack.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

kelty bestie camping blanket review - square baffles keep the fill securely in place and evenly distributed.
Square baffles keep the fill securely in place and evenly distributed.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

kelty bestie camping blanket review - this blanket is nice for keeping in our around the house when you...
This blanket is nice for keeping in our around the house when you just need a basic and inexpensive extra layer.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch
 
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