A good blanket is on my must-have list for outdoorsy parents with babies. They are helpful in so many situations: a picnic at the park, a place for your baby to play while camping, something to lay out on the beach, a place for kids to snack on-the-go without your child getting dirt all in their food (jk, your toddler will do that intentionally)—there are a million scenarios where they come in handy.
But what makes a good blanket?
Glad you asked. A good blanket for camping or outdoor adventure is one that's stain resistant and machine washable (I mean, you've met kids right?), one that's waterproof, one that's weighted so it stays flat on the ground, one that's durable, one that's insulated, and one that's cushioned.
That's why I was psyched to try out the 686 Waterproof Hooded Puffer Blanket because it checks all the boxes.
It's not just a blanket
I appreciate a company that thinks things through and really makes a quality and versatile product.
For me, 686 kinda nailed this one, so I feel like I'm not giving full credit by calling it a blanket. It's way more versatile than that.
Within the 686 Waterproof Hooded Puffer Blanket, there's a pocket for your phone which has proven convenient for me. It's easy to store, quick to grab when I need it, and since the blanket is waterproof, it keeps it dry. The blanket also comes in a durable stuff sack, making it easy to throw it in the trunk without taking up too much space.
My favorite feature, however, is the hood that pops out to make it a wearable poncho. This is ideal for snuggle sesh's with my kids and sitting around the campfire. There are clips attached for holding the 2 sides together to make it hands-free, but unfortunately they broke on my blanket on the first use. With that said, I don't miss them and never really feel the need for them. This blanket/poncho is so much more than clips.
What makes this blanket perfect for outdoor adventures with your family
Being in the cold is the best feeling when you can stay warm. To achieve this, I've dubbed myself the puff queen. I have puff pants, puff shoes, a puff jacket, and puff mittens ( I really hate being cold), so when I saw this insulated puff poncho blanket, I had to have it—and it was the cherry on top to complete my puff ensemble—with it's double-sided windproof fabric as a bonus.
One of my favorite parts about this blanket is that it's waterproof. For me as a desert dweller, that detail is most helpful when my kids dump their water bottle or juice box on me—at least my outfit is spared. But when we're camping in a damp place, it's a nice barrier between the ground and my babies. And not to mention the usefulness at the beach, or when it's actually raining.
I of course have to mention once again that it's not only stain resistant, but also machine washable when it needs a cleaning—because if it's not machine washable, it's just gonna be dirty, amiright?
So, is it worth it?
I'm as frugal as they come. However, if I spend some cash on something that provides me a variety of uses and makes my life easier on the regular for a long time, it's definitely worth it.
That's how I view this blanket.
The 686 Hooded Puffer Blanket is a permanent fixture in my car now because we use it so much. I use it as a picnic blanket, I use it sitting around the campfire, I use it cuddling with my babies in my camp chair, I use it under our sleeping pads in our tents because it's insulated and it will keep us extra warm, and I use it to wrap myself when my kids want to continue sledding but I'm freezing cold and ready for hot chocolate.
With three kids, my family can really test a product and it's durability quickly. I've only had this blanket for a month or two, but we use it all the time and it definitely withstands the test of toddlers.
If you get outdoors with your kids, if you're a road tripping family, if you love to car camp, if you live that hashtag vanlife or RV life, this blanket would get some good use..