‘Technical’ Outdoors Blanket

Filed under: Camping 

Can a blanket be considered “technical” gear? An outdoors startup in San Francisco says Yes.

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The company builds a blanket with stitched baffles, synthetic-down insulation, and a rip-stop nylon face. Called the Rumpl, its aesthetic draws from sleeping bags and puffy down jackets sold at outdoor gear shops.

The blanket comes with a stuff sack and packs small. Features include a dirt- and water-resistant face fabric that’s treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) chemical similar to what’s found on your down jacket.

It comes in five sizes, with prices starting at $65.

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The Rumpl is made for use in the outdoors. You can picnic on it, or use it in a tent to sleep. This versatile nature — it’s a blanket, after all — makes it appropriate for home use, too.

The blanket could also serve travelers well. Stuff it in a backpack for chilly hostels, overnight bus rides, or unexpected naps outdoors.

I tested it in several scenarios. After a few weeks of use, the Rumpl has earned my respect. It’s a very simple product, but it is constructed of quality materials and shows no sign of wear after some abuse.

Blanket Test

I got the “throw” size Rumpl — it measures 50 x 70 inches and weighs about 2 pounds. It packs to the size of a large bread loaf in an included stuff sack.

Over the test my blanket has been used on a backpacking trip in the Superior National Forest, and it’s seen a couple night’s sleep in a hammock. It endured three weeks on my family couch, four small children included.

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In the living room, or seated outside watching a kids ballgame, the “throw” size is about right. It wraps the whole body and is warm enough for windy spring days.

It can serve as a primary sleeping quilt on warm camping nights. But the blanket is not incredibly insulating — don’t expect to use a Rumpl alone on a backpacking trip unless you’re in a hot climate or heading out in July.

Backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail (Rumpl drying after night of camping)
Backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail (Rumpl drying after night of camping)

The outer fabric, a shiny nylon, is slippery. It was hard to keep it on the shoulders sitting around — if I could change one thing on the product it would be to replace the outer fabric with something more supple.

Look at the Rumpl for your next do-all outdoors blanket. Use it car camping, tailgating, at home, or around a fire on a misty night where you need a layer of extra warmth.

tagged: review
By
Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.
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