Kelty Bestie BlanketThe Kelty Bestie Blanket is the perfect solution if you’re hoping to add a comforting touch to your outdoor adventures. Whether it’s slung over your shoulders around camp, layered on your sleeping bag, or left on your lap, you’re going to fall in love with this super-soft blanket. You can carry it home in its stuff sack and pop it in the wash for effortless cleaning. Ultimate hassle-free comfort with a surprisingly low price tag? This blanket really will be your bestie in no time. View Latest Deal
Kelty products are much-loved by outdoor enthusiasts around the world, and it’s easy to see why. Founded way back in 1952, Kelty has had plenty of time to come to grips with what special touches to your gear make all the difference when you’re out in the wilderness, and it has a strong commitment to quality too.
Although Kelty is best-known for its rugged outdoor backpacks, over the last few years, it has branched out into the realm of camping gear. Kelty’s sleeping bags have been a huge success, and so we’re excited to see if this extends to their blankets.
Here, we’re going to review the Kelty Bestie Blanket, one of Kelty’s more economical camping blankets, to see if it’s managed to maintain the high standards we’ve come to expect from Kelty.
First and foremost, and blanket should be nice and comfortable – if you don’t like how it feels, you aren’t going to wear it, simple. So, how does the Kelty Bestie Blanket perform in this department?
Very well, actually. In fact, the incredibly comfortable underside of the Bestie is probably its major selling point. Constructed from 190T Poly Pungee (a think yet durable polyester) this blanket feels silky smooth against the skin. It’s nice and supple too, so you won’t feel like you’re folding your blanket into position, which can be the case with some outdoor blankets. The shell is constructed from 75D Polyester Taffeta and, although this isn’t waterproof (but more on that later), it’s again softer and more supple than tougher fully waterproof materials.
One thing to note is that this blanket is only available in one size – 75.5 x 42.25 inches. This isn’t huge, so don’t expect to be able to engulf yourself in this blanket while lying down, and we definitely don’t recommend using it as your primary sleeping layer.
Overall, the materials used are some of the comfiest we’ve come across in terms of outdoor blankets so, for a casual, comfortable non-sleeping blanket, Kelty has done very well with the Bestie.
Warmth is another crucial factor to consider before purchasing a blanket, and that bit of extra heat is probably why you want one in the first place. So, will the Bestie manage to keep you warm in cooler climates?
The first thing to note is that the Bestie is designed for casual camping use – if you’ll be out in subzero temperatures you need to be looking elsewhere for technical gear.
The Bestie will keep you fairly warm, as far as casual blankets go, thanks to its 9.5 ounces of Cloudloft insulation. Kelty uses this synthetic fill in most of its more economical products (including sleeping bags as well as blankets) and it certainly does the trick – but it won’t keep you as warm as the higher-end synthetic fills (or a good down filling).
We also like that there are baffles running both horizontally and vertically along the blanket, as these stop the insulation from bunching up and leaving insulation-bare patches that let the cold in.
The outer shell of the Bestie is constructed from polyester, which naturally repels water; however, it hasn’t been treated with any additional waterproof coatings, so water will make its way through the blanket fairly rapidly. One advantage of synthetic fills over down is that they retain some of their thermal properties when wet, and they dry faster too.
Overall, the Bestie has a decent amount of insulation in it that will be held in place by numerous baffles and will keep you warm even when damp – but it won’t make up for proper base layers and you definitely don’t want to leave it outside in any showers.
As well as keeping you snug as a bug in a rug, a decent camping blanket should be able to withstand the inevitable bumps and scrapes it will encounter in the wild. So, how tough is the Kelty Bestie?
Unfortunately, the soft-brushed fabrics on either side of this fabric aren’t the most robust we’ve seen, but this is partly what makes them so comfortable. Nylon is naturally somewhat resistant to wear and tear, but we’d like to have seen rip-stop nylon used to improve the overall longevity of the blanket.
Despite that, the edges of the blanket are reinforced to stop any fraying, and the blanket has a high-quality feel overall. It might not last you a lifetime, but will a little bit of care it should definitely last you a fair few trips.
Convenience is an important thing to consider when thinking about any bit of gear you’ll be taking on a camping trip. So, how convenient is the Bestie?
Weighing in at 1 lb 8 oz, this isn’t a blanket for a minimalistic backpacking trip (but then again, for that kind of trip, you probably won’t take a blanket at all) but it’s not bad for regular camping. A lighter down filling would reduce the weight without reducing the warmth, but you’d have to shell out a lot more for it.
The small size (specifically the narrow width) certainly reduces the versatility of the blanket – you can’t use it as your main sleeping layer and you won’t be able to share it either. Despite this, the smaller size does actually come in handy when you want to don something over your lap or shoulders without it trailing everywhere, particularly in muddy conditions.
The included stuff sack, at 6.7 x 11.8 inches, is easily stuffable yet not excessively large. What’s more, it features a handle for ease of transport and the drawstring top is super simple to use. There are no compression straps, so if you want to free up a tad more space, you’ll have to pick one up separately (although we probably wouldn’t bother).
Unlike some other blankets, the Bestie isn’t full of extra features – there’s no stash pocket, you can’t wear it as a poncho, and it lacks hanging loops for storage at home. This has, however, helped to keep the weight down considerably. Furthermore, we absolutely love that this blanket is machine washable – when you get home from a muddy trip, simply pop it in the machine when you get home instead of spending hours hand-washing.
Overall, the Bestie isn’t as compact or lightweight as its down-filled counterparts. However, it can be machine washed and is considerably more affordable. It’s not super heavy or bulky either, and it’s certainly portable enough for casual camping trips.
So, how well does the Bestie compare to other blankets in the same price range? Pretty well!
Sure, the materials could be a little more weather-proof, and it would be lighter and more compact if it was filled with down, but you’d be paying a lot more to upgrade.
As it is, this blanket is extremely reasonably priced, and it really does have a lot to offer. Its exceptionally soft underside makes it an absolute winner in terms of comfort, and it’s super convenient too.
For casual camping trips (or even snuggling on the couch at home), you’ll be hard-pushed to find a better blanket in this price range.
With an overall rating of 90, the Kelty Bestie Blanket has done very well against our rating system.
It could be a tad warmer, broader, and more durable, but in terms of comfort and value for money, this blanket can’t be beaten.
So, all in all, what do we think of the Kelty Bestie Blanket? If you’ll be camping in subzero temperatures, or space in your pack is of the utmost importance, then this probably isn’t the blanket for you.
However, if you’re looking for an extra layer for casual camping, and you don’t want to spend a fortune on it, then the Bestie is a great shout. In fact, it’s so soft, you might find yourself leaving one in your car permanently for long journeys, and even picking up an extra one for the couch.
It isn’t overly heavy, packs down fairly well into its well-designed stuff sack, and you can even pop it in the wash when you get home. It’ll keep you warmer when you’re outdoors and make you feel super snuggly too – what more could you ask for at this price?