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The 5 Best Travel Blankets: Compact & Cozy (2018 Buying Guide) - Armchair Empire

The 5 Best Travel Blankets: Compact & Cozy (2018 Buying Guide)

After spending more than 80 hours testing twenty travel blankets on six flights, ten car rides, three bus rides, and a train ride, we’re confident the best travel blanket for most travelers is the Travelrest Premier Travel Blanket. It’s soft, machine washable, affordable, and incredibly easy to pack.

Budget Pick

World's Best Cozy-Soft Microfleece

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Our Pick

Travelrest 4-in-1 Premier Class

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Mid-Range Pick

Cabeau Fold 'n Go

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Table Of Contents

1. Travelrest 4 in 1 Premier Class Blanket

This is currently my #1 pick, simply because it offers outstanding quality at an affordable price.

We actually have a full review of this product available on our site, which provides an extremely in-depth look at the blanket and further specifications. That review can be found here.

Overview

The Travelrest model is the perfect combination of comfort, durability, and versatility.

It’s hard to tell exactly what material it’s made of, but its description of being “ultra-plush” is absolutely on the mark.

If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s made of velour, fleece, or perhaps a cotton and polyester mix. Either way, it’s indescribably soft, and one of the most comfortable blankets I’ve encountered in my life.

I’ve had this product for close to a year now, and it’s held up fantastically. I can detect a minor reduction in softness from when I initially purchased it, but that’s basically impossible to avoid with extended use.

In terms of its construction, there’s been absolutely no fraying or thinning, and the color hasn’t faded.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this blanket lasted years without noticeably declining in quality.

The blanket seems to have been put together extremely well; I detected no visible problems with the stitching, even around the blanket’s zippers which is where some cheaper products tend to drop the ball.

Versatility

One of the nicest features of this blanket is its versatility. It primarily functions as a cover, but it can also be used as a pillow, as well as a tool to provide lumbar support.

It also functions as its own carrying case by zipping up into itself, which makes transporting and packing it extremely easy.

Specifications

The Travelrest model can be bought in two sizes- 38 by 60 inches, as well as 40 by 72 inches.

The smaller size should be big enough for the general population, but if you’re on the taller side or prefer 100% blanket coverage it might be a good idea to go for the larger model.

The blanket folds up to a manageable 10 by 13 inches when zipped up in its pouch, and weighs a light 13.6 ounces.

Check out the Travelrest Pillow if you’re looking for a travel pillow to compliment this awesome blanket!

2. World’s Best Cozy-Soft Microfleece Blanket

This cozy blanket comes from the World’s Best company, and is an excellent choice for someone who wants something warm to bring with them but isn’t willing to spend more than $20 on it.

The blanket is crafted from a soft microfleece fabric, which feels extraordinarily soft against your skin.

It comes in a staggering variety of colors as well, allowing you to insert some flair into your travels.

I can’t vouch for its durability, as I’ve only had this particular blanket for a few months. However, it has gone through several machine-wash cycles without fraying or losing softness, so it’s looking good so far.

By far, the most appealing part of this blanket is its pricetag. It makes it an excellent gift, and the ideal blanket to grab in a hurry if you’re going on a short trip.

I’m also generally rougher with this blanket, as I know that I can replace it for dirt cheap.

The blanket stretches out to a respectable 50 by 60 inch size, and weighs a light 1 pound.

3. Lewis N Clark Microplush Blanket​

This is another extremely inexpensiveoption, making it an ideal purchase for those not wanting to break the bank on travel accessories.

It’s constructed from a blend of polyester and fleece, allowing it to be extremely comfortable yet durable. The blanket includes a compression carry strap, allowing for easy transport and packing.

This blanket is fairly similar to our #2 pick.

Both are simple, no frills choices that are relatively inexpensive yet definitely able get the job done.

4. Cabeau Fold ‘n Go Blanket & Case

We’ve featured the company Cabeau several times on this site, as they tend to make excellent travel accessories. This blanket is no exception, as it offers comfort in a variety of ways.

Its primary function is obviously as a travel blanket, and in that regard alone it pays for itself.

The material that this blanket is made of is only referred to as “French microfiber.”

I’m not exactly sure what this means, but I’ve had absolutely no complaints about the blanket’s comfort or durability.

It’s machine washable and seems to handle abuse well, so I’m assuming it’s made of polyester or a mix of other synthetic fabrics.

Aside from its comfort, the Cabeau Fold ‘n Go Blanket really shines in its versatility – it can also be used as a cozy pillow, a seat cushion, or placed behind your lower back for lumbar support.

It can be zipped up into itself to form a 12 by 7 by 4 inch travel case, which is how it can be used for its various functions. It’s also a convenient size for packing and transporting.

5. Cocoon CoolMax

I absolutely had to include this product in my list, because it’s one of the first I ever bought. I’ve been satisfied with its performance for years, and I’m confident that you will be too.

Overview

The Cocoon CoolMax Blanket is one of the more luxurious options I’ve encountered. You can just feel its quality by holding it in your hands, and it feels even better when you’re wrapped in it.

I’m also not exactly sure what this blanket is made of, and the material is only described as the company’s “special midweight CoolMax knit.”

I sometimes worry that these fancy names are tactics used by companies to cover up the fact that their products are made of cheap fabrics, but that was absolutely not the case with this blanket.

The material appears to be quite thin on first inspection, but it’s actually remarkably warm.

The blanket also breathes extremely well, which is a great help for people like me who have issues regulating their body temperature.

Once again, I can’t stress enough how comfortable this blanket is.

I always sleep like a baby when I’m enveloped in its warmth, even on longer flights that would otherwise make me uncomfortable.

Price

Luxury often comes with a price, and this pick is the most expensive on my list. However, it’s still under $50, and I’ve never once regretted purchasing it.

If you’re a more casual traveler looking for a cheap blanket to use on short flights, then the Cocoon Coolmax might not be for you.

But if you’re willing to spend a little more, and you’re someone who often has to suffer through long, uncomfortable flights, I definitely think it’s worth the investment.

How We Tested

The main thing to look out for when buying a travel accessory is really longevity. You want your stuff to last you more than a few trips, right?

So, we tested these blankets by putting them through the ringer. Each blanket was used during travel of some kind (either on a plane, in a car, on a bus, or on a train) for 20+ hours at once, and we weren’t gentle with them. They were crammed into suitcases, backpacks, stuff sacks, and luggage, and were generally as hard on them as possible.

The one thing that really wears down a blanket fast is washing it, so we did that too. We ran each blanket through six consecutive machine wash / dry cycles, using hot water and drying on hot. These settings are typically the most damaging – exposing the blankets to such rough settings means we can get a very accurate idea of which ones are well made and which ones aren’t.

On top of the physical stress testing, our reviewers made note of how comfortable the blankets were while in use during prolonged travel. This definitely comes down to personal preference in some regards, but we made sure to exclude any blankets that ended up being scratchy or stiflingly hot from our top picks.

Buying Guide (2018)

Whether you’re travelling by airplane or by bus, long trips can get uncomfortable rather quickly.

I’ve personally been on many flights that were way too cold, and the airline-issued blankets that they provided me with were cheap, itchy, and ultimately not very comfortable.

After suffering through years of uncomfortable flights, I finally decided to explore the option of buying my own blanket.

I was determined to find the best option on the market, and willing to pursue that goal until I’d once and for all eliminated discomfort while flying.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much when I made my first purchase, but WOW did it make a difference! I was no longer cold during my travels, and I found it much easier to fall asleep on long flights. Most are quite compact and barely take up any extra space, to boot!

Over the years, I’ve added many more blankets to my collection. I’ve encountered some amazing brands, as well as some not-so-great brands.

I thought that others might be suffering from the same discomfort I felt while traveling, so I decided to compile my research and experiences to help point people in the right direction.

What To Look For

As with any product, you’ll run into good and bad options. Some companies think that they can just stitch together a cheap square of fabric and sell it at a marked up price.

However, the difference between a good and bad quality blanket can be massive.

I’ll go into some of the features and qualities you should be looking for, in order to help you weed out the bad products.

Comfort

As a product that’s worn over your body and comes in contact with your skin, comfort is obviously the number one concern here. The blankets issued by airlines are often made of very cheap or worn-out fabrics, which makes them itchy and irritable.

Buying your own blanket is the only way to ensure that you remain comfortable throughout your travels.

Portable blankets can be made from a variety of both natural and synthetic materials, with some being better than others.

In my opinion, the premier blankets are almost all made from a mix of natural and synthetic fabrics.

The natural fabrics, including cotton and wool, tend to be exceptionally soft and comfortable. Cotton in particular is also extremely breathable, which helps to regulate body temperature on summer nights.

There are a large number of synthetic fabrics that boast a high level of comfort as well, including fleece, polyester, and acrylic. My favorite blankets in terms of comfort tend to be made from a mix of cotton and polyester, but I find a wide range of fabrics to be satisfactory.

Durability

In terms of durability, synthetic fabrics are superior. However, the synthetics tend to be a bit less comfortable than natural fibers, which is why it’s best to buy a blanket made from a mix of the two.

Polyester blankets in particular can be treated quite roughly for a long period of time without falling apart or becoming less comfortable.

They can withstand years of washing and drying without fraying or fading, making them extremely cost-effective purchases.

Acrylic blankets offer the same resilience by being machine washer friendly, and they take years to fade. In addition, acrylic blankets are generally very resistant to being moth eaten.

The thickness of the blanket also plays a part in its durability, with thinner blankets being much more likely to fray and tear with prolonged use.

Price

Trip-worthy blankets are great products, but at the end of the day you’re still just paying for a piece of fabric. For that reason, you should be able to pick up a quality blanket for a fairly cheap price.

If you’re paying over $50, I’d say you’re being ripped off.

On the flip side, anything less than $10 is most likely going to result in a cheap and inferior product.

There are a large number of quality options in the $10-$40 dollar range, so it’s up to you to decide how much money you’re willing to spend on your comfort.

Now that I’ve offered insight into how you can tell the a good blanket from the bad, feel free to use my top 5 list as a starting point in your search for the perfect blanket.

Conclusion

If you read the entire post, I applaud you for sticking with me. I hope I’ve offered some useful information and recommendations, as always.

Long flights can be a nightmare for some, so I think it’s appropriate to do whatever you can to make them easier on yourself.

Ultimately, I think a blanket specifically intended for traveling is a great investment if you’ve ever found yourself feeling uncomfortable while traveling.

I can personally vouch for every blanket included in my list, and I’m someone who tends to be fairly picky in terms of what makes me comfortable.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or suggestions!

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