The “thermal blanket” search query gives more than 20,000 various models in online-shops; however, not all of them have all the required characteristics. Furthermore, in most cases, cheap fleece blankets are hidden behind the loud “thermal blanket” name. We have found and compared five real thermal blankets within the price range from $4 to $24. At the end of this article, you will also discover ten well-proven ways to use them.
How space blankets work
The thermal blanket is a unique and incredibly versatile product. An inevitable part of any rescue service emergency kit, it’s also called a “space blanket”, because NASA was using the very same tinfoil in the “Apollo” program. What’s the main feature of it? There are several of them: this blanket saves up to 90% of the human body warmth for a couple of days, it’s impermeable, water and dustproof, and it’s virtually impossible to tear it, while the price for one blanket is below $5. Such a combination of characteristics in a 50-gram package that can be used to cover an adult person with head makes this blanket mandatory stuff for any traveler, driver or just a practical person. It doesn’t require power sockets or accumulators, and it will keep you warm at any temperature! This blanket is really the warmest one of all the existing models.
By wrapping yourself in such blanket, you will keep the normal temperature of your body for a long time, keeping it warm in severe climatic conditions. If you decide to use it as a tent, you will protect yourself from the burning desert sun, because the material will reflect all the sunrays. The most important thing: never wrap yourself in the thermal blanket under the burning sun, because it may cause overheating. Such blankets should be used only as an awning in hot climatic conditions!
The TOP-5 of best survival blankets (emergency blankets, space blankets)
At first glance, one may think that all the thermal blankets are similar, because they are made from tinfoil. But don’t be so fast, because each model has its own purpose. Some blankets can be utilized instead of sleeping bags, while bigger single or multi-layer thermal blankets can be used not only to wrap someone around, but to create a fireplace in a swampy area or construct a shelter from them.
There are three best selling models among all the blankets in the budget segment. The first one is Emergency Survival Mylar Sleeping Blanket – a set of two emergency sleeping blankets of 84 inches x 36 inches each. This packaging is the most popular and requested one. Are you asking why? There are several factors: the price (the lowest one) and the fact that it’s a set for two people (the majority of customers simply doesn’t need a set of 10 blankets). The main disadvantage of this model that makes it worse than other blankets is hidden in the word, “sleeping”, because this blanket can’t be used for anything but sleeping due to its form of a sleeping bag. In other words, you can’t create various shelters using this sleeping bag. Everybody can pay ~$4.86 to get such a blanket. This model won’t take a lot of space, but it will definitely save you from the cold in an emergency situation. One should keep such a blanket in the car, in case you run out of fuel in a place with severe climatic conditions. You can spend a couple of days in such bag, paying no attention to the external factors. However, the tinfoil sleeping bag won’t save you from struggling or diseases, but it will definitely protect you from freezer burn. We recommend using this blanket in conjunction with a classic sleeping bag in case if you have one, but you don’t want to pay a lot of money for a specific isothermal one.
Now we are moving to the ten most functional pieces of tinfoil, which you’ve never met in your life — Kangaroo Emergency Thermal Blankets. Unlike the best selling model, these blankets can be used in many different ways: you can keep yourself warm, store food, and make a lot of practical or not really practical stuff. For example, you can use this blanket as a campfire scaffold or as a water reservoir, but we will talk about these ways in the last part of this article.
You won’t find stitched or glued parts on the surface of the blanket. Such an approach makes this blanket incredibly durable and efficient. Even the most powerful gusts of wind won’t penetrate this tinfoil, but only if you manage to fix it properly. The size of each blanket is 54 inches x 84 inches, which is more than enough to wrap an adult person from head to toe. This blanket has an amazing level of heat-saving efficiency. If you wrap this blanket around your body, you will feel like you’re in a thermos that totally protects you from the cold air. The most interesting part is that such characteristics make it possible to use this blanket as a thermos that will keep your food and products safe for a couple of days. Thus, you can pay ~$8.95 to get 10 multifunctional blankets, which can not only save you in an emergency, but in your daily life too. It’s a real paradise for the “do-it-yourself” kind of people. You can find a lot of amazing ideas in the “Useful tips” section.
The third model is the most stylish one, but only if the word “stylish” can be used for a tinfoil blanket. Unlike many other emergency blankets, this model has two sides: one is silver and another one is dark green which can be used to disguise the blanket in the forest. The working principle is the same as all previous models. This model can also be used as a protective screen for a tent that will protect you from the burning desert sun. This set includes six blankets of 52" x 82" each. The total price is ~$15.99. This model is more expensive than the previous one, but it’s a stylish product, so only you can decide if you want to buy it or not.
Price: ~$4.86 (stitched into a bag, 2 pack) Check the current price
Price: ~$8.95 (multifunctional blankets 10 pack) Check the current price
Price: ~$15.99 (camouflage thermal blanket 6 pack) Check the current price
Multilayer survival blanket — Grabber All Weather Blanket
This model is a fully functional blanket with multiple layers. It looks a bit denser and thicker, however, it has the same characteristics as the previous models. This blanket is made of tough laminate of fiber scrim and aluminized plastic.
What are the main advantages of this model? There are several rings, which can be used to fix the blanket to various surfaces. The usual tinfoil requires different approaches and cheating methods to be fixed. The size of the blanket is 60”х84”, which is enough for a blanket and allows you to use it to cover two people. There are four color schemes with different prices: olive, light blue, orange and red.
Price: from ~$17 Check the current price
Survival sleeping bag — Tummah Emergency Survival Mylar Thermal Sleeping Bag
This model was created especially for those people who prefer fully functional and warm sleeping bags. You can show your creativity and insert an additional level of tinfoil into the old sleeping bag of your grandfather, but isn’t it better to have a sleeping place that already has isothermal features?
This sleeping bag looks like a space blanket, i.e. its outer part is made of golden tinfoil and you will never get frozen in such a shelter. However, it can be too hot inside this sleeping bag during a relatively warm night. But this is not a problem, because this blanket can be used as a mattress. You can cover yourself with a light blanket, while this sleeping bag will keep you warm from below. Despite loud marketing promises, all isothermal parameters of tinfoil are similar to the most affordable sleeping blankets, but the level of comfort is significantly higher. The size is standard: 82”х 35”. The blanket has only one color scheme that looks much better than usual tinfoil. There’s no doubt this blanket offers only a couple of functions and it’s not as useful as bigger sheets of isothermal foil, but if you are looking for a sleeping bag for your trips in severe climatic conditions, then this blanket is the best choice for you.
Price: ~$13.99 Check the current price
In order to make comparison easier let’s look at the table as we usually do.
Best Survival Blankets Comparison Chart
Emergency Survival Mylar Sleeping Blanket (2 Pack)
|Thermal sleeping blanket, 84” x 36”||-|
|Kangaroo Emergency Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10)||Thermal blanket, 54” x 84”||+|
|Emergency Blanket, Military Green||Thermal blanket, 52" x 82"||+|
|Grabber All Weather Blanket||Thermal blanket, 60”х84”||+|
|Tummah Emergency Survival Mylar Thermal Sleeping Bag||Thermal sleeping bag, 82”х 35”||-|
How to use emergency and space blanket
NASA's insulation technology has been widely used to create slim thermal blankets. Perhaps no one can appreciate these benefits more than victims of the earthquake that razed Pakistan, Afghanistan and India in October 2005. When relief poured into the region, aid included supplies of silver thermal blankets that doubled as ground covers during the day and blankets at night.
There are many different ways to use isothermal tinfoil. We have chosen the most practical and useful variants.
- Shelter to protect from the sun. The blanket is fixed above a specific area with a rope or any other means to keep revitalizing coolness above it.
- Reservoir for water. Due to its isothermal characteristics and relatively big size, the blanket can be used as a water reservoir. The material is waterproof, thus there’s no need to worry if you manage to fix your impromptu water deposit.
- Thermos for products. Do you want to keep your food fresh and safe? Just cover it with a thermal blanket that will keep it fresh for multiple days!
- Sleeping mat. If you are not worried about the wind and humidity, you can just use the thermal blanket as a warm mattress.
- Make a stretcher. If one member of your group hurt his or her leg, the best way to bring them back to a safe place is to use a stretcher. The thermal blanket is durable enough, thus it can be used to make a stretcher.
- Construct a shelter. Find a couple of branches and take a big thermal blanket to make a warm and dry shelter that will cover you from bad and dirty weather. You can find a full tent building guide on the website of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Increase the campfire warmth. Create an isothermal tinfoil shield and stretch it behind the campfire, sitting on the opposite side. Such an approach will increase the level of warmth from the campfire and protect your campfire from wind.
- Campfire scaffold. Does it look impossible to create a campfire in a swampy area? Use a heated blanket and you can create it even in the middle of a lake! Don’t forget to fix it properly, and protect it from gusts of wind.
- Patches on clothes. If you tear a sleeve in a mountain region, you can put a cutout from an isothermal tinfoil blanket and forget about freezer burns.
- Create an emergency sign. Tinfoil becomes really shiny under the sun, thus you can use it to make a distress call, instead of using smoke signals.