From wearable blankets to fleece-lined quilts that roll up into a pillow, we’ve tested the best outdoor blankets for winter swimming trips and keeping you warm post-dip
Blankets are such useful and versatile items for outdoor swimmers. They roll up nice and small, you can throw them in the boot of your car or your kit bag for ad-hoc adventures, and wrap yourself up in them to keep you warm post-swim.
Here we’ve tested the best outdoor blankets for your swimming adventures in autumn and winter, from wearable blankets to fleece-lined quilts that convert into a pillow.
The best outdoor blankets for swimming trips 2023
They say: The Lowlands® Blanket helps transform the outdoors your personal base camp. Everything from the waterproof utility layer to the supremely soft, insulated interior was meticulously engineered to create a one-of-a-kind, all-terrain, ultra comfortable blanket. And your dog will love it, too. It’s designed to repel dirt, burrs, and pet hair — so let them sit, lie, and roll around on it as much as they like.
We say: This isn’t the type of blanket you throw around you – one side is waterproof and the other padded and warm. The ultimate outdoor blanket. Comes with a decent bag and handle to sling around your body. We tested this on the beach, in mud and elements. It’s machine washable. Useful for camping or changing after swimming. It is worth the price tag!
They say: The MoonBlanket is a versatile and cozy Top Quilt. Available in three variants. Ideal solution if you want to improve your hammock experience or simply need a comfortable blanket on the go. MoonBlanket, made of safe (for you & the environment) and durable materials, provides warmth and comfort wherever you use it. It can also be used as a Poncho when you unzip the hole.
We say: This outdoor blanket packs up small and it has become my staple ‘throw in the bag’ blanket. It was a bit fiddly when first using to work out how to wear it, but once sorted it is a great extra layer after swimming. It is really versatile, can be used as an extra blanket over a sleeping bag when camping, in the car after a swim or worn over the top of layers and jacket after getting dressed.
They say: Large, two-sided blanket. Jacquard fleece one side; water resistant nylon other side. With a tape and press stud detail allowing the sample to be worn around the shoulders. Comes with a tape strap attachment so the blanket can be rolled up and stowed away. Laid on patch pocket with press stud so valuables can be kept secure. Bound edges in nylon with branded embroidery on patch pocket. Jacquard design created in-house by Folk – each piece will be unique in placement appearance.
We say: Beautiful and cosy, maybe too beautiful to take out in the mud in winter! A great campervan blanket, it is warm and feels luxurious. The water-resistant side does work but wouldn’t do well in a downpour. The wool fleece is a good natural fiber for the environment and will keep you warm if wet. We loved the pocket detail.
They say: Snuggles fleece blanket has a variety of uses all designed to encase you in warmth. Extremely soft, this blanket will allow you to stay well insulated as well as comfortable in colder conditions. This blanket comes in a choice of 4 colours so you are able to pick one for each member
of the family. A perfectly versatile and comforting piece of outdoor equipment, this fleece blanket is a must-have for any avid explorer.
We say: For the relatively low price point, this outdoor blanket was surprisingly toasty. It also measures well – at 120 x 180 cm there’s enough of it to be able to wrap up fully. However, it is not a waterproof blanket, so care is needed when using it to warm up post-swim.
They say: Insulated, machine washable, and made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, the Classic 4-in-1 PillowBlanket™ is the ultimate blend of technicality and comfort. The 4-in-1 is much more than just an outdoor throw blanket. It transforms into a pillow. It folds into a sleep sack and snaps to become a waterproof cape. Made with 100% recycled 50D Ripstop REPREVE® fabric, it is eco-conscious as well as durable.
We say: I was seriously impressed by this outdoor blanket. There’s a huge range of colourful designs to suit any taste and it’s large enough to wrap comfortably around my body and keep me warm. A huge selling
point was that the blanket itself also packs down into a sack that doubles up as a pillow; ideal for overnight adventures.
They say: Our Wearable Blanket is made with synthetic padding to retain heat and keep you warm in cooler temperatures. It has an adjustable hood for extra protection and a kangaroo pocket to carry the essentials. It has snap button fastenings at the sides for an adjustable fit. This wearable blanket is ideal for camping and evenings in the garden.
We say: I love that you can wear this blanket, allowing swimmers to warm up their body without being confined to one place whilst doing so. The blanket itself is roomy and great at retaining heat. However, for that post-swim warmth (especially with damp bodies), I think changing robes are more suited to the job.
Read our guide to the best warm hats for cold-water swimmers.
This article is from the October issue of Outdoor Swimmer. If you buy a product through a link on this page we may receive a commission.