This post may contain affiliate links.

Technical Camping Blankets from Nemo and Therm-a-Rest

The Therm-a-Rest Technical Blanket can be attached to a sleeping pad and has a drawstring around the neck to seal in warmth.
The Therm-a-Rest Tech Blanket can be attached to a sleeping pad and has a drawstring around the neck to seal in warmth.

Before sleeping bags became popular, backpackers and campers used to sleep outdoors with wool blankets. Some still do.

But for warm weather camping, there’s definitely something to be said for using a blanket filled with synthetic insulation rather than a more constrictive sleeping bag or liner. In addition to providing all the comforts of home, synthetic camping blankets are roomy, easy to wash, vent, and perfect for side sleepers. While these blankets don’t have temperature ratings, they’re usually quite comfortable for sleeping with into the low 50’s, making them a good piece of family camping gear, suitable for all ages.

Technical camping blankets like the Therm-a-Rest Tech Blanket (above), also come with a number of crossover features typically found on much more expensive backpacking quilts, such as sleeping pad connectors or straps and chest drawstrings to create a closed sleeping system. They can also be used to augment an existing sleeping bag in cool weather, by draping the blanket over a sleeping bag or stuffing it inside.

Nemo Puffin Blanket
Nemo Puffin Blanket

Equally suited at home on the couch, or in your tent, is Nemo’s Puffin Blanket. Also filled with synthetic insulation, it has a fold-over flap along the bottom that makes it possible to create a footbox similar, in spirit at least, to those found on backpacking quilts. The bottom of the blanket comes with three buttons that can hold the flap in place, making it ideal for stargazing outdoors on a cold evening, or for a little extra warmth at a college football game.

The Nemo Puffin has an optional foldover footbox which is also good for stargazing outdoors on cool nights.
The Nemo Puffin has an optional foldover footbox which is also good for stargazing outdoors on cool nights.

Best of all, both the Nemo Puffin and the Therm-a-Rest Tech Blanket cost less than $100, making them an economic option for family camping that won’t break the bank. Kids can’t outgrow a blanket the way they can outgrow a sleeping bag, and something to consider in your bag of tricks for affordable family camping gear.

Disclosure: The author purchased both of the products reviewed here with his own funds. 
SectionHiker is reader-supported. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.


  1. Is there a significant difference between these and quilts?

    • Quilts tend to be more “fitted”, kind of like a hood less mummy bag without a back, and are a lot more expensive. But for warm weather camping there’s no reason why you need a quilt when one of these blankets would be just as good and a heck of a lot less expensive.

  2. Even less expensive are military surplus “poncho liner” blankets. Many styles to choose from and some are less than $25. They can be used as underquilts for hammocks also.

  3. Philip,

    Please give us a review on the woobie when you get a chance. That poncho liner intrigues me.

  4. Craig (Cragdwella)

    I modified a poncho liner and used it before I bought an underquilt, it worked great ! See the video on my youtube channel. Being synthetic ,it just does not compress down as good as down. Thanks

  5. As you say, people have used blankets for a long time. Centuries, before the modern era. For car and family camping, there is also an inexpensive alternative that’s plush and useful at home as well: inexpensive comforters. As we did with blankets and blanket pins, you can make a huge “jellyroll” bedroll or “puffybag.” Five inch blanket safety pins are still used for horse blankets, for example, For one person, one of these homemade “jellyrolls” will have enormous loft. Too heavy for other than short pack-ins, but for car and family camping are wonderful.

  6. To me, it would be a camping blanket to keep myself warm during the night. There will be some bitterly cold wind and it will probably be freezing cold. Hence, dressing up warm is good for body protection.

    Nice list of gears you added. Thank you for sharing and please keep it up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve *