Searching for the best travel blanket in 2017? Check out our pros & cons, factors to consider and reviews of recent travel blankets for airplanes & more.
Looking for that extra bit of comfort in any scenario is never a bad thing, is it?
We, travelers, come with many preferences and inclinations, some enjoy flights, train & bus rides, some don’t, either, way we always want more comfort.
Love to snuggle? or Is hygiene everything for you?
A simple thing such as having a great travel blanket can keep you warm and fuzzy and make your flight, train ride or road trip closer to being perfect.
Besides, it’s not uncommon for the travel blankets given by the airlines to be too short, too thin or itchy even.
Picking the right blanket isn’t hard and this list should make it even easier for you!
Top 10 travel blankets for airplanes & more
We’ve ploughed through some great options and picked out the following 11 travel blankets. Some of which double up as both a travel blanket and lumbar support among other uses too.
1. Cabeau Fold ‘n Go
- Might not cover your entire body if you stretch out
Weight: 15 ounces
Size: 60 x 36 inches
Right on top of our list of things a travel blanket should have is a soft plush feel and it doesn’t get much better than the Cabeau Fold’n Go. This blanket is as comfortable as they come and is much thicker than the ones you get on international airlines.
The French micro fiber material gives it a rich appearance and feel while being extremely light too. It folds into a compact size and can be easily attached to your bag or luggage when you move around.
Again like most versatile options in the market, the lumbar support on offer is limited but the size ensures that it’s quite a comfortable pillow. The lumbar support is quite minimal. Size wise it’s slightly smaller than the Travel rest which is up next so it won’t cover your feet a lot of the time. The build quality as reported by many users is also top notch.
2. Travelrest 4-in-1 Premier Plus Travel Blanket with Pocket
- Won’t cover your feet if you are very tall
- Not the greatest of lumbar supports & pillows
Weight: 1 pound
Size: 38 x 60 & 40 x 72 inches
The Travelrest 4 in 1 Premier Plus is without a doubt one of the great travel blanket options. The Travelrest blanket comes in 2 sizes with the larger one more to our liking. It’s quite soft & warm and can be great for hiking, camping in addition to air travel.
The versatility is where this design has its upsides and downsides. The pocket is great and ideal for storing things like eye masks, even small earphones when not in use. Many users have mentioned the pocket to be one of the best features along with the poncho style. If you hate having your blanket slip away during your sleep and waking up cold then this is an ideal solution for you.
If you are 5 foot 5 or lesser this blanket will cover you from head to toe. If you are taller and don’t have compression socks or the likes to keep you warm then this blanket won't suffice. Another criticism is that whilst it’s extremely versatile the versatility itself is not of the highest quality. Do not expect the pillow version to be as comfy as a proper travel pillow for instance. It easily hooks on to your luggage saving you even more space.
3. Lewis N Clark
- A bit narrow width wise
- No pouch
Size: 62 x 37 inches
Weight: 15.5 ounces
The Lewis N Clark micro plush is as luxurious as it gets and is a massive upgrade on even the best of airline blankets. Made from 100% polyester this blanket is guaranteed to keep you warm.
It comes with a Velcro strap which helps you attach it to your suitcase. It might not be the most effective solution but gets the job done. Another positive is that the color doesn’t fade and the material doesn’t come apart even after repeated washes. It’s a tad short but still good enough for wearing from the shoulder down if you have a good pair of socks.
A downside as reported by a few users is that the blanket is slightly on the narrow side. It’s certainly not one of the most versatile options but it gets the job done very well.
4. Cocoon CoolMax Blanket
- Slightly on the thinner side
- Marginally pricey
Size: 70 x 56
Weight: 11 ounces
The Cocoon coolmax is another one of our favorites. It’s quite long as well, which is a welcome change to some of the others on this list. If there was 1 criticism it would be to do with the fact that this blanket is quite thin.
The blanket has great wicking capabilities so if you happen to spill your water during turbulence then this shouldn’t stay damp too long. Whilst it is highly functional size wise it might not keep you as warm as other ones like the Lewis N Clark.
5. Forestfish Fleece Throw Blanket
- A bit thin
Size: 60 x 40 inches
Weight: 12.8 ounces
The Forestfish is one of the more well thought out travel blankets. We liked the fact that it comes in a drawstring bag that is dust & waterproof. Other blankets which are versatile tend to gather dust as you move through different airports & locations.
The waterproof feature will aid you when embarking onto flights in remote locations where sometimes you have to walk through the tarmac to get to the terminal & vice versa. With respect to the blanket itself, it comes with a nice design that is soft and slightly thin but can be used on your lap as well. Forestfish also give you a one year warranty which is a rarity.
6. Pocket Blanket by Treadway
- Not meant to be used as a blanket for airplanes
Size: 4.15 x 3 inches (packed) & 6 feet 2 inches x 4 feet 1 inch (unpacked)
Weight: 4 ounces
If you are looking for a blanket that’s byte sized and can be used for: the beach, camping, hiking, as a seat cover, when on a picnic and much more, then the Treadway will serve you well. It’s quite spacious enough for a couple of people to sit on.
It's water resistant capability along with 6 pockets, sand pockets and portability advantages make this one of our must have items for travelers worldwide. The material itself is quite soft and equivalent to a liner. It does have a plastic feel to it, however, making it unsuitable for flights. The blanket is highly durable as reported by many users too.
7. World's Best
- Not as soft as some of the others
Size: 50 x 60 inches
Weight: 1 pound
This is a soft micro fleece option that is great if you want to share your blanket with your partner. The world’s best is also great for road trips. It’s much wider than others and economical too. The fabric is a 100% polyester which is machine washable. When folded up it's quite compact.
The only downside is that it is not as soft as the Lewis and Clark or even the Travel rest which we touched on earlier. It doesn’t come with any pouch or clasping mechanism to attach to your luggage. If you’re simply looking for a minimalist solution then this is the one for you.
8. Lug Nap Sac Blanket and Pillow
- Pillow is extremely basic reducing its effectiveness
Size: 25” x 46”
Weight: 12 ounces
If one has the need for a pillow and blanket for airplanes then the Lug Nap Sac is a must have. Unlike other versatile solutions, one can use both instead of one or the other. The pillow can be inflated or you can simply place another piece of clothing inside the bag to keep you warm and comfortable.
You can machine wash this blanket and still retain its soft feel. It’s made of fleece and the main thumbs down is more to do with the effectiveness of the pillow itself. When blown up it’s quite small and basic and not for those who want serious neck support. The blanket is slightly on the shorter side when compared to others too.
9. Flight 001 Travel Blanket
- Much heavier than the others
- Doesn’t provide a lot of warmth
Size: 55 x 55 inches
The flight 001 is another soft and compact option if you still havent found the right one just yet. It comes a neat little zippered case which allows you to tuck it away in the summers too.
The polyester side is soft enough for you to use as a throw blanket during car camping and other activities. To gain versatility this blanket does trade off a bit on functionality, in the sense, it doesn’t keep you too warm if you decide to use it on flights and the likes. It does cover the average sized person completely too which is a bonus.
10. Tucker Travel Cover 4-in-1 Travel Blanket and Pillow
- Does not keep your legs warm
Size: small & large for folks who are under 5’ 9” and over respectively.
Weight: 12 ounces
The tucker 4 in 1 cover is a different solution to traditional designs. The hoodie and inside arm pouch is superb for keeping your upper body warm and can give you some level of privacy too. One of the few on our list that’s made from 100% cotton flannel.
It’s as comfortable as it gets thanks to the cotton material. The front pocket can be used to store your iPods or phones while you get some well-deserved rest on even the longest of flights. It’s one of the more pricey options on our list and the only minor drawback is that it doesn’t quite cover your legs. The pillow is nothing special as well. If you are the type to wrap yourself up with a couple of layers. The tucker 4 in 1 plus a blanket like the Lewis N Clark will seal the deal in terms of ultimate comfort.
Factors to consider when choosing the right travel blanket
The factors are quite straightforward in this case and in our eyes boils down to four things:
- Level of Comfort
- Practicality & Weight
Level of Comfort: Silky & fluffy blankets are the key to getting a good sleep on airplanes. The level of comfort often boils down to the material on offer and the design of the blanket. Comfort ideally should extend to scenarios when you are not using the blanket too. We highly valued designs that are versatile and if your blanket can fold into a pillow or is a very compact travel blanket then it should be high on your shopping list.
Generally, premium quality blankets are made from a combination of synthetic materials as well as materials like wool, cotton and the likes. This usually delivers the ideal balance between comfort durability & price. The quality of construction matters a lot and even some 100% polyester blankets can really offer amazing comfort.
You also need the blanket to be able to be able to wick away moisture since any slight turbulence on an aircraft can make you spill your drink. Other than keeping you warm moisture wicking capability is an important functional element.
Q: There are a number of 4 in 1s on the list, do the pillow versions provide the same level of comfort as a proper travel pillow?
A: No, whilst you get some support if you need proper neck or lumbar support then opt for a travel pillow that is not just a rolled up blanket.
Size: Another important factor you need to consider is how much space having this travel blanket is going to cost you. For instance, if your blanket can’t be placed into a pouch or rolled up easily for transportation. As you can see from our list above they do come in many shapes & sizes and most often the trade-off is between having something that is thicker, super comfy, soft and thinner & lightweight.
Practicality & Weight: These are pretty important. If your blanket happens to have a mechanism by which it can be tied to your luggage or your bag it will be more useful. We highly valued options which have this imagine having to lug a pillow & a blanket around especially if you are looking to travel light.
Dovetailing on that point is weight. These are all not essential accessories to most so they really need to be light. A heavy quilt kind of material just won’t do when you are traveling. Those need to be put away often times in your luggage as you can’t exactly wear them all the time.
If you really like to travel light then opting for the tucker travel 4 in 1 would make a lot of sense. If you are willing to sacrifice some space and a few grams here & there then you can even opt for the micro plush blanket by Lewis & Clark.
Q: Hold on a sec, don’t most airlines provide one?
A: Nope! Budget airlines certainly don’t and not all of those flights are an hour long. Some are 3+ hours which can leave you feeling a bit cold.
Durability: The construction of the blanket plays a large role in determining its durability. Generally, thinner ones tend to rip, fade or fray quite easily. Thicker ones tend to last you much longer. In terms of outright durability traits then it’s the material itself. Synthetics like Polyester tend to last much longer than blankets made of pure wool or cotton, however, the latter is definitely the comfier option.
Look for ones that have water resistant or just dust resistant exteriors. Otherwise, your blanket can gather a lot of dirt when moving around the airport or in vehicles, especially when clasped to the outside.
Also, check to see if they can be machine washed. Tumble dryers are not always readily available in hostels. Some blankets dry faster than others on our list. A quicker drying option would be best as even a little bit of turbulence can cause a spill on your new soft blanket.
Price: As with almost any product that you have to buy the price does play a role. Most good travel blankets will cost you between $15 and $35. Typically anything over or lesser is not going to get the job done for opposite reasons. Silky & fluffy blankets are the key to getting a good sleep on airplanes.4 in 1 options might cost you a tad more but are definitely worth it if you are looking for something more than a simple piece of cloth.