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NEMO Puffin Review

It's large, seriously cozy, and it offers solid comfort, warmth, and protection
NEMO Puffin
Photo: NEMO Equipment
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $100 List | $99.95 at REI
Pros:  Softer underbelly, weather-resistant, great features, feels warm, easy to clean
Cons:  A bit large and bulky
Manufacturer:   NEMO Equipment
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 23, 2020
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 10
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Warmth - 25% 8
  • Versatility - 20% 7
  • Packed Size - 15% 6
  • Features & Design - 10% 9

Our Verdict

If you want a camping blanket that can just about do it all, you've come to the right place. The Nemo Puffin is our Editors' Choice award winner and is a seriously great blanket that we love using both indoors and out. It has a soft underside and boasts dimensions and a shape which facilitates snuggling. It's weather-resistant and easy to clean and feels warm and cozy. You can button up a foot box into the bottom of the blanket to keep your toes warm, even in the snow. It's a bit bulky for some specific uses like backpacking, but for campfires and movie days, the Puffin is our favorite choice.

New Integrated Stuff Sack

During our test period with this Editors' Choice Award winner, NEMO released an updated version with an integrated stuff sack. The model we tested has a square zip case for storing the blanket. The latest Puffin, however, has a zipper pocket along the bottom that the blanket can stuff itself into for storage. Other than this, the two models are the same.

April 2020

Compare to Similar Products

 
NEMO Puffin
This Product
NEMO Puffin
Awards Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $99.95 at REI$51.73 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$40.14 at Amazon$25 List$68.00 at Amazon
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Pros Softer underbelly, weather-resistant, great features, feels warm, easy to cleanQuite warm and puffy, fairly weather-resistant, comfortable, reasonably affordableSolid insulation, light and packable, compression stuff sack, large size, affordableVery soft underside, comfortable, simple stuff sack, reasonable size/weight, inexpensiveImpressively lightweight, compresses small, great weather resistance, becomes a poncho, quite affordable
Cons A bit large and bulkyVery large and bulky, a bit slick, not home washableNo cross-stitching, not weatherproofOn the small side, not super warm, not particularly technicalSlippery material, thin-feeling, unimpressive durability
Bottom Line It's large, seriously cozy, and it offers solid comfort, warmth, and protectionA warm, cozy blanket for cold days, though a bit too bulky for serious travelDespite its unconventional look and feel, this blanket is warm, useful, and impressively affordableA solid, comfortable blanket for just about any casual useA super portable and packable blanket that's affordable but lacks some durability
Rating Categories NEMO Puffin Wavelength Snugpak Jungle Kelty Bestie Horizon Hound Down
Comfort (30%)
8.0
7.0
5.0
9.0
5.0
Warmth (25%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
5.0
Versatility (20%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
5.0
Packed Size (15%)
6.0
4.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
Features & Design (10%)
9.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Specs NEMO Puffin Wavelength Snugpak Jungle Kelty Bestie Horizon Hound Down
Filling Type Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic Down
Measured Blanket Size 54" x 78" 51" x 73" 62" x 74" 42" x 74" 50" x 76"
Compressed Size 4 L 11 L 3.5 L 3.5 L 2.1 L
Weather Resistance DWR treatment
(water resistance)
water resistant windproof & MicroDiamond
(light water resistance)
none DWR treatment
(water resistance)
Weight 36 oz 40 oz 26 oz 24 oz 17 oz
Stuff Sack Y - zippered Y - drawstring Y - compression Y - drawstring Y - roll-top
Exterior Material 30D nylon micro-ripstop 20D nylon 100% polyester with Paratex antibacterial treatment 75 D polyester taffeta top
190T polyester pungee bottom
20D ripstop nylon
Insulation Material 600G Stratofiber (synthetic) TechLoft Silver (synthetic - resinated polyester fiber) Travelsoft (synthetic - resinated polyester fiber) 9.5 oz Cloudloft (synthetic) 650-fill RDS duck down
(80/20 down/feathers)
Manufacturer Temp Rating (F) Not specified Not specified 45°F Not specified Not specified
Pocket Yes - 1 zippered near feet No No No No
Machine Washable Yes - front load only No - commercial washer only Yes - front load only Yes - front load only Yes - front load only
Available Sizes 1-person (tested), 2-person One size only Regular (tested), X-Large One size only One size only
Additional Features Foot Nook foot box created by three buttons and holes, outwardly curved edges, sewn through in horizontal bars, contrast-colored top edge Sewn through in horizontal bars None Softer bottom layer, sewn through boxes hold insulation in place Can become a poncho, has handles for wrapping around body or hanging, sewn through boxes hold down in place

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Nemo Puffin is a synthetic blanket that's filled with 600 grams of Stratofiber insulation. It comes in one and two-person sizes and several colors.

Performance Comparison


Perhaps not the most elegant bird watching look we can dream up, we...
Perhaps not the most elegant bird watching look we can dream up, we sure appreciate the warmth, comfort, and durability of this blanket out in the field on a frigid winter morning.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


When it comes to comfort, the Puffin delivers. If you hate slipper blankets, the Puffin is right up your alley. The underside is soft nylon, which feels plush against our skin. It's puffy and thick, adding just enough weight to feel comfortable without being overly heavy. We measured the one person blanket at 54" x 78", which is an ideal size for most people. From petite to tall, our testers felt comfortably swaddled in this blanket and never smothered. It's large and poofy enough to be a comfy little nest and isn't too cumbersome or restrictive.


The Puffin has three buttons along the bottom, which form a small foot box for keeping your toes covered and comfy while you relax. It also has uniquely outwardly curved edges. At first, we weren't sure what difference this would make, but it's a great little perk that helps keep you covered no matter how you're using the blanket. The only way we think Nemo could make this blanket even more comfortable would be to make the underside even softer. However, that might result in a decrease in durability or an increase in the amount of hair and dirt the underside would cling to.

The Puffin has slightly outwardly bowed edges that sound superfluous...
The Puffin has slightly outwardly bowed edges that sound superfluous but actually help give additional coverage and coziness.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Warmth


Filled with 600 grams of synthetic Stratofiber insulation, the Puffin feels quite thick. This ultralofted batting creates plenty of air pockets, which keep you nice and toasty. The softer underside also warms up almost immediately against your body. The foot box comes in handy again here, as it goes a long way toward keeping your warm air bundled inside the blanket with you, even as you shift around. Though it has no rated temperature conditions, we felt warm and protected, even outside in the snow.


During our hot water insulation testing, the Puffin performed about average compared to the others, losing just under 1°F per minute. Though this doesn't sound particularly impressive, the rest of the blanket's features help it to feel quite warm when you're under it. Though it's not rated for a specific temperature, Nemo does advertise it for field use, including protection against wind and rain. Among our wide range of testers, this one is consistently a crowd favorite and the first to get snapped up.

The Puffin's bottom hem can button up to create a cozy foot box -...
The Puffin's bottom hem can button up to create a cozy foot box - which anyone with chilly feet is sure to appreciate!
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


With the claims of the Puffin being "technical" and made for field use, we put them to the test. Impressively, the Puffin performed well when it came both to repelling water for long periods and as protection against the wind. Even the seams didn't let any water or wind through to the other side. The DWR treated, ripstop nylon exterior material manages to be both resistant and durable, while also repelling everyday debris like pet hair, sand, and dirt.


The foot box adds some versatility to the Puffin, as it helps keep the blanket on top of you. We also appreciate that the foot box is created using buttons rather than snaps, which can eventually rip the fabric they're attached to. The stuff sack is also a good-sized square, which can easily be used as a pillowcase while camping, just by stuffing some of your extra layers inside when you head to bed. Though the Puffin may not have quite the versatility as some that convert into wearable ponchos, it's a joy to use for relaxing and staying warm both indoors and out.

In case being an awesome blanket isn't enough, the Puffin's stuff...
In case being an awesome blanket isn't enough, the Puffin's stuff sack filled with extra clothes makes a great pillow for camping!
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Packed Size


Weighing a whopping 36 ounces, the Puffin isn't much of a backpacking contender. It can be compressed into just four liters, and might be worthwhile to stick in your checked back en route to a winter getaway. Though we like how easy it is to shove back into its spacious stuff sack, that does mean it takes up a bit more space than other blankets of similar sizes.


However, for the performance the Puffin has to offer, we think its size and weight are within reason. They certainly don't deter us from throwing it in the car to take to a friend's bonfire or on winter road trips, and we were certainly much happier having it with us.

As much as there is to love about the Puffin, it's not the smallest...
As much as there is to love about the Puffin, it's not the smallest or most compact blanket we tested by a long shot.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Features & Design


We've already discussed the helpfulness of the foot box. We think it might be slightly better to use symmetrically with four buttons instead of three, but maybe that's just us. This is also the only blanket we tested that has a little zippered pocket on it. We find it handy for small items like keys and chapstick, and we've even put a rock in it to keep it from blowing away.


If you're someone who loves a good warranty, rest assured that Nemo backs the Puffin with a lifetime warranty. Helpfully, this blanket is also able to be washed at home in your front-loading washing machine. Not that you'll probably need to toss it in too much, as it does a great job of staying clean no matter what we dragged it through or set/spilled on it. It also comes in several neat color combinations, which we love.

Keep a few things close at hand in the small pocket by your feet, or...
Keep a few things close at hand in the small pocket by your feet, or simply store the stuff sack so you never lose it!
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


Though it's not a cheap blanket, the Puffin is far from being the most expensive option we tested. Considering it outshines the rest when it comes to performance, we think its price is fair and well worth all the use you'll get out of it, even when you aren't camping.

Conclusion


We truly love this awesome camping blanket from Nemo. It has the right combination of comfortable and useful features to keep you warm and happy in front of the tv or the campfire. It's easy to care for, pretty darn durable, and one of the coziest models we tested. If you're after a top-notch, versatile blanket and don't mind a bit of bulk, we think you'll love the Puffin.

Cuddle up when the snowflakes fly, in the Puffin field blanket.
Cuddle up when the snowflakes fly, in the Puffin field blanket.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg