Snugpak Jungle Review
Cons: No cross-stitching, not weatherproof
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Snugpak Jungle is filled with synthetic Travelsoft resinated polyester fibers. It comes in a few colors as well as both an XL version and a sleeping bag model.
The 100% polyester exterior of the Jungle blanket is impressively soft and much less slippery and swishy than nearly any other model we tested. Snugpak claims the underside of the blanket is "supersoft" and we'd have to agree. It lays pleasantly against the skin and is one of our favorites for fabric feel. It's also one of the largest single-person blankets we tested, measuring a whopping 62" x 74"! This makes it nearly square and it can easily be shared between two people who aren't afraid to be very close, or wrapped around just one person for extra warming powers. It's not a bulky blanket and appears rather thin compared to some of the extraordinarily poofy blankets we tested. The considerable size helps make up, in part, the comfort lost by the lack of loft.
Though we have come to appreciate what this blanket has to offer, it's a bit odd right out of the gate. It's unlike any other model we tested in how it looks and feels, with atypical construction materials and large dimensions (with little loft). However, the longer we used the Jungle blanket, the more we grew to appreciate the comfort it offers with its overly large size and the ability to wrap it around you any way you want. It's functional for various body sizes and can be sat upon and wrapped around your legs if you're on the ground. However, it isn't a favorite of any of our testers when it comes to that comfy blanket that you just feel at home in.
With synthetic Travelsoft insulation made of 100% polyester fibers, the Jungle provides a solid level of warmth. It's one of the few blankets that has a temperature rating from the manufacturer, who claims it's effective down to 45°F. Though this blanket is warm, we're skeptical of that low temperature rating. A lot of staying warm while you sleep also has to do with keeping warm air around you, which is more challenging to do with a blanket that's open on the sides, rather than a fully-enclosed sleeping bag. If your aim is to stay warm in 45° weather while awake, the Jungle blanket will do the trick. With that being said, we think this is a subjective matter, as it also depends on what you're wearing under the blanket, what activities you're doing (if any), if wind or rain are involved, and if you're the type of person who normally runs hot or cold.
This performance level is reinforced by the Jungle's display during our several rounds of insulation testing. It is more inconsistent than any other blanket when it comes to insulation, and seems to depend heavily on the little details of how it's used. With all the best strategies to trap heat and minimize cold air pockets being introduced under the blanket, it does rather well. But with the irregularities of movement and what we consider "normal" use, it's less impressive. It's thin insulation and lack of puffiness or loft doesn't lend it that "instantly warm" feeling when you first wrap it around you, though it also doesn't feel chilly against your skin for a prolonged period of time. In the grand scheme of things, the Jungle blanket is a decent insulator and helps you stay reasonably warm.
When it comes to rated conditions, Snugpak makes some lofty claims about the blanket's ability to protect you from the elements. They claim this blanket is "windproof and water resistant". Up against a stiff breeze, it actually does a pretty great job of protecting you from winds and is right up there with the best of the camping blankets we tested. However, when we tested its water resistance, we found a slightly different story. The top layer of the blanket is MicroDiamond fabric that doesn't have a DWR treatment but is advertised to be water-resistant by its nature. This is a loose interpretation compared to other more impressively resistant blankets. If you manage to spill your coffee or it starts to sprinkle slightly while you're out, there's a small window of time in which the fabric will resist soaking up liquid. It's enough time to grab a towel to wipe a spill or gather your things and head into your tent to wait out a storm. After several minutes, any liquid left sitting on the Jungle blanket will soak through both top and bottom layers and the insulation inside.
The Jungle blanket has no features to allow it to be worn as a garment. Its large overall size and relative thinness make it a good candidate for a sit-upon blanket, but keep in mind that it won't protect you from a particularly wet ground for long periods of sitting. The fabric is treated with antibacterial and anti-microbial Paratex treatment to help you use it outside. We didn't test bacterial growth after months of using this blanket outside though, so we can't speak to how well that treatment may or may not affect the performance of the blanket.
The Jungle blanket has an odd cross-stitching that we aren't big fans of. The insulation layer is held around the edges with cross-stitching that only goes through the backing of the blanket rather than all the way through all layers. This likely helps maintain the integrity of that topside as a wind protectant and is mildly water-resistant. We had no durability issues with this blanket during our testing, but numerous online users mentioned the insulation came unattached from the inside of the blanket. This resulted in the batting becoming bunched on one end or side of the blanket, rendering it virtually useless for keeping you warm. We did not experience this, but it does raise some red flags when it comes to durability - especially when true cross-stitching all the way through the blanket would go a long way toward fixing this issue.
The Jungle blanket is a mixed bag for packed size. At 26 ounces, it's not a lightweight option that inspires to be a backpacker's dream. However, it does pack down impressively small for a synthetic blanket of these dimensions, and we were able to compress it into a small 3.5 liter package. It's also the only blanket we tested in which the stuff sack is also a compression sack, eliminating the need for you to buy a second piece of gear to squish this blanket down.
While we love the compression stuff sack included with this bargain blanket, it's a bit small, and we consistently wrestled with getting it back into the bag. Since it is a compression sack in addition to a stuff sack, we think it would be much better and easier to use if the bag was larger, to begin with, while still condensing down into a petite package. As small as the bag currently is, it's rather cumbersome to cram the blanket back in after every time you use it, and leaving it stored for long periods of time in such a small space is never a recommended idea to prolong the lifespan of anything filled with insulation. So while we love how small this large blanket can become, it leaves a little to be desired in terms of how easy it is to fit in the bag, and is a bit on the heavy side for truly lightweight adventures.
Features & Design
The Jungle blanket is a fairly straightforward, simply designed blanket; it doesn't have any loops, handles, or pockets added on. However, the overly large size and dimensions are almost a feature in and of themselves. The MicroDiamond topside also adds a unique look to the blanket that's unlike any other model we tested. The available colors are natural and will blend well into their environment. An ex-military member of our testing squad also notes that the Jungle blanket reminds him strongly of the "Woobie" poncho liner frequently used among US troops, but is warmer and more comfortable.
The Jungle blanket is machine washable in a front-loading washing machine. Like any blanket, you should never stick it in a machine with an agitator in the middle. Snugpak also backs all its products for one year against any manufacturing defects. This is an excellent policy to take note of, especially for this blanket, as we found quite a few reports of users finding these types of flaws in the blanket they received. This warranty policy can, of course, be dependent on where you buy it from and when you buy it, so if it's important to you, be sure to do your own research before you decide to purchase.
Not only is the Snugpak Jungle one of the more impressive camping blankets we tested, it's also among the least expensive options. If you're hunting for the coziest blanket out there, you might not love this one, but if you want something that's a good fit for life outdoors and won't break the bank, the Jungle blanket has got you covered - literally.
The Jungle blanket is a unique camping blanket among those we tested, offering an interesting combination of features. It's highly functional and is available for a comparatively low price. Though it's not the most snuggly or lightest of blankets, it packs down into an included compression sack and does a solid job providing warmth and wind protection. For a large single-person blanket that's really meant for outdoor adventures, it's hard to beat the price and performance of our Best Buy award winner, the Snugpak Jungle.
— Maggie Brandenburg