Rumpl Down Puffy Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, packs down small, turns into poncho, impressive weather-resistance, useful stuff sack
Cons: Slippery and swishy, on the small side, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rumpl Down Puffy is a down blanket with 600-fill RDS (Responsible Down Standard compliant) duck down insulation, rocking an 80% down, 20% feather fill ratio. It comes in three sizes, including the one-person we tested, one-person tall, and two-person, as well as a wide variety of colors, patterns, and pictures. Rumpl also makes blankets with synthetic filling, nano-fill, as well as a fuzzy "sherpa" fleece blanket.
When it comes to what blanket you'd want while spending a lazy Saturday watching tv on the couch, the Rumpl isn't our top choice. Its nylon exterior is one of the slipperiest, swishiest materials of any blanket we tested. It also feels a bit cool right when you first put it on your lap and has a strong tendency to slide off if you make the wrong move; the tag has a warning specifically about taking care if you're using this blanket with infants.
Our main tester has a slightly larger version of this blanket, which she took on a trip to Iceland last spring. It was used in a camper van, with a bed surrounded with walls and obstacles, yet it still managed to fall off the bed in the middle of the night. Its relatively feather light weight does not aid in staying put.
However, for an outdoor blanket, used as a luxury on a backpacking trip or on international travel, it does the trick. It's poofy enough to give a bit of coziness, and its dimension are 51" x 72", which is on the smaller side compared to this group. For our taller testers, even those 5'9" and above, many expressed the wish that this blanket was a bit larger. Rumpl does make a "tall" version that adds a few extra inches while still being single-person sized.
Worn as a poncho, the Rumpl Down is more functional than comfortable. It has a single clip to hold it together, leaving your front a bit open and exposed. If you're just standing around on a windy day, this isn't ideal. However, if you're tailgating or cooking dinner at the campsite or in any other way using your hands, this openness is appreciated. Still, the other poncho-option blankets we tested have more closure points that make them more comfortable for moments you don't need your hands, and we wish this Rumpl would also have more options.
Like most blankets we tested, the Rumpl Down has a 600-fill rating. In this case, they've used an 80% down, 20% feather mixture that's fairly standard and meets Responsible Down Standard expectations. However, we noticed a huge variation in the look and thickness of blankets we tested, even among those with the same fill rating. A lot of this comes down to the material used and its insulation properties, but even so, many inconsistencies were noticed. The Rumpl is thin, in part due to the extra insulating powers and compactability of down. It also can loft up to be fairly puffy with a little extra time and effort. After the initial "cold shock" from its outer material, it feels pleasantly warm to use.
More than any other we tested, the Rumpl Down demonstrates the most significant difference between packed size and the level of available loft, which translates to a warmer blanket despite a smaller size. During our hot water insulation testing, it scored in the middle of the pack or just below, losing just under 1°F per minute. Where we noticed its warmth the most is in outdoor situations, as it also is quite weather-resistant.
We tested the limits of the Rumpl's weather-resistance, and are impressed by how wind and water-resistant it is. No other blanket outperformed it when it came to stopping water from soaking into or through this blanket or keeping the wind at bay, and very few were on this same level. A DWR coating on the outside of the blanket is what helps with this magic, though just like the DWR coating of any other piece of gear, it will lose potency and effectiveness over time (but can also be reapplied at home with a washing machine product like Nikwax). The Rumpl's poncho wearability also increases the versatility of this blanket, as does the small packed size that allows it to be taken just about anywhere.
Though all of the blankets we tested won't do so well against stray embers from your campfire, the ripstop nylon of the Rumpl Down is durable against the many other hazards of life. It does well at repelling dirt, pet hair, sand, and other debris. The reinforced outer edge and cross-stitching through the middle help keep the down where it belongs and prevent it from being ripped out too easily. Unlike some of the other down blankets we tested, hardly any feathers escaped during our testing. Overall, it's an impressively sturdy blanket (especially considering how light it is) and is well-loved by our human and canine testers alike.
The Rumpl Down packs down into a tiny little ball and weighs just over a pound (19 ounces), making it easy to stick in a suitcase or backpack for pretty much any adventure. Though it's not the lightest blanket we tested, it's our favorite combination of weight and performance; while Rumpl makes essentially the same blanket with other types of filling, down is (so far) the lightest and most easily compacted of them all. If that's what you need, then down is what you want.
The Rumpl's stuff sack is useful in compressing its size. Its thin, cylindrical shape is easy to stuff the blanket back into, and the sack material itself easily lets air escape even when the rolltop is closed. This makes it simple to compress, even though it's not a compression sack. A simple press down on the blanket within lets you roll the top down impressively far. And if you then stuff it into some dark corner of your bag, it's not a hard shape, so anything you put on top of it can compress it even more. It's truly an ideal companion for space-conscious travel, from backpacking to minimalist packing for a weekend away.
Features & Design
The Rumpl is a simple blanket with just the right number of features, making it impressively useful in a variety of situations. We've already discussed the cross-stitching, which keeps the down in place, and the poncho clip. All four corners also have a small loop so you can hang your blanket or even stake it down on the ground to keep your bum dry when outdoors.
Perhaps most importantly, if you're like us and get everything dirty, you can launder the Rumpl Down at home in your front-loading washing machine (on a delicate setting). It's not something you should do very often, as it will artificially age the down and DWR coating, but it's nice to know it's an option if you need it. You can also add loft to the down with a no-heat dryer setting and several clean tennis balls. If DIY cleaning isn't enough, Rumpl also backs their blankets with a one year warranty.
Value is probably the biggest downside of the Rumpl Down. It's one of the most expensive blankets we tested and one of the most costly options from Rumpl. However, for those who prize high portability, want some of the best weather protection, and aren't willing to sacrifice durability, it delivers. If this price exceeds your budget, several other options will be a better value.
The Rumpl Down is a seriously lightweight, durable, and protective down blanket. It's a great choice for portability and our Top Pick for Backpacking. It does come with a pretty serious price tag, but if you're a minimalist adventurer in search of a blanket, this one is hard to beat.
— Maggie Brandenburg