The REI Camp blanket is relatively standard but fails to emerge as a front-runner in any category. It's moderately weighted for a synthetic blanket, offers decent weather resistance, and stays reasonably clean from dirt and hair. It adds an extra layer against the chill but isn't enough on its own in cold weather. It has all the features that make it useful, including a loop for hanging, and meets the basic expectations we have for a camping blanket, without standing out in its performance or price.
REI Co-op Camp Review
Cons: Extremely simple design/use, not particularly warm
Manufacturer: REI Co-op
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The REI Camp blanket is a synthetic blanket filled with polyester fibers. It comes in numerous colors, patterns, and pictures, and can also be purchased in a larger, two-person size. REI also makes several other types of blankets we didn't test, including flannel options, fleece covers, under quilts, and ponchos.
With an exterior of Pertex (a synthetic nylon fabric), the REI Camp blanket is an average, slick-feeling blanket. Its underside is a marginally less slick, softer fabric that is fine against your skin, but not a stand-out in comfort. At 52" x 68", this single-person blanket is much more suited as a lap blanket or shoulder throw than an appropriately-sized sleeping option. It's relatively thin, which we think makes it less naturally cozy than a thick, puffy blanket. It can't become a poncho either but is thin enough; you can feasibly use it as a sit-upon blanket if you so choose. All in all, it's functional, but our testers weren't as excited to use it as our award winners.
With no listed fill-rating or temperature guidelines, we didn't have lofty expectations from this thin, synthetic blanket. In our laboratory insulation testing, it performed near the bottom of the pack when it comes to holding heat in. Every member of our testing team also remarked that it just doesn't feel overly warm to wear. With this level of warmth, it's best for use during chilly evenings and crisp fall days rather than truly cold winter weather.
When it comes to versatility, the REI Camp is a mixed bag. You can't wear it as a poncho or stake it down for groundcover and it isn't the best combination of warmth and size for backpacking. However, it's treated with a DWR coating that repels nearly all water (aside from what soaked into the seams) and protects us against the wind. It also features one side of ripstop material, and it does a pretty bang-up job of shedding sand, dirt, pet hair, and other outside debris. It's a great choice for casual outdoor use but isn't up to particularly tough tasks like winter camping or backpacking.
Weighing just 19 ounces, this synthetic blanket compresses into a moderately sized 3.3 liter package. Synthetic blankets aren't known for their low weight or compressibility, so we're impressed by this characteristic of the REI Camp blanket. However, to reach these low numbers, it sacrifices a bit in the size and insulation department. It does fit easily back into its cinch-top stuff sack and is an excellent option for summer car camping in the mountains.
Features & Design
The Camp blanket is machine washable in a front-loading washer on a gentle cycle. Horizontal stitching helps hold the insulation in place and a single corner loop allows you to hang it up for drying or storage. Other than that, it's a pretty no-frills option.
If you're after a no-nonsense blanket for summer and light spring/fall usage, the REI Camp might be your cup of tea. We've noticed it often has variable pricing through the cycles of seasonal color and pattern changes, that might make the lackluster (but totally adequate) performance more worthwhile. If you're after a better-performing blanket in any category, though, we think there are better options for the money.
The REI Camp blanket is adequate for light outdoor use. It's reasonably protective and durable without being particularly cozy or super warm. When asked to sum up their experience with this blanket, our testing team agrees, "it's fine".
— Maggie Brandenburg