A camping heated blanket can mean the difference between being miserable and cozy if you’re camping in chilly temperatures.
Whether you’re in a campervan or a tent, wrapping yourself in a a soft, fluffy electric blanket feels like a luxury that just shouldn’t happen in the great outdoors.
But luckily, there are many camping heated blankets, from blankets that connect to a USB port, to ones that run on a battery, to 12-volt camping blankets.
In this post, we’re going to tell you about the best electric blankets for camping so you can feel confident in even the coldest of evenings.
CAUTION – through our research, we did find that some electric blankets pose a fire hazard. We didn’t include blankets with these types of reviews on our list.
But before we get into the nitty gritty details of each camping electric blanket, we wanted to share our top three picks:
- 70-140° range
- 8′ power cord
- Machine Washable
- 3 Level Temp Control
- 6-foot Cord
- Battery powered
- Water resistant
The Best Camping Heated Blankets
Roadpro Polar Fleece Camping Heated Blanket
- Power Draw: 55 watts
- Price: $30-$35
- Features: 8′ power cord, 100% polar fleece, 58″ x 42.5″, 1 pound, not machine washable
This Roadpro polar-fleece camping electric blanket is a snuggly fleece throw that plugs right into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. If you want to use this camping heated blanket in your tent or in a campervan all night, you could hook it up to a solar generator like the Jackery 500.
The Roadpro uses minimal energy to stay warm – just 55 watts, or 4.6 amps, which is less than what it takes to charge your laptop! It weighs less than one pound and folds up into a compact storage bag, perfect for a small space.
This Roadpro best camping heated blanket is adjustable – choose between 70-degrees all the way up to 104-degrees. The 8-foot long power cord gives you plenty of wiggle room when using this 12-volt camping blanket.
Keep in mind you’ll need 400-watts of battery power to run this 12-volt camping electric blanket overnight for eight hours. It will drain your car battery if you leave it plugged into the cigarette lighter.
Also, this camping heated blanket is not machine washable – do not put it in your washer or dryer or you’ll ruin it. RoadPro suggests that you clean this blanket by wiping it down with a damp cloth.
- Power Draw: 45 watts
- Price: $30-$40
- Features: Machine washable, durable, 3 temperature levels
The Elantrip 12-volt heated camping blanket is one of our favorites as its machine-washable and dryer safe. This is handy if you accidentally spill something on your blanket. Proper cleaning also makes sure the heated blanket lasts longer.
This heated camping blanket is also exceptionally durable, with reinforced stress points throughout the blanket’s heating mechanisms. You’ll also enjoy three different temperature settings.
The 6-foot cord easily reaches into the backseat of your vehicle. Choose between the different sides of the blanket: one side has soft flannel, the other plush fleece.
While most reviewers on Amazon love this camping heated blanket, a couple said it started smoking, about to catch fire. Be cautious when you’re using a 12-volt blanket.
- Power Draw: Battery Powered
- Price: $250-$260
- Features: 5 hours on one charge, cozy fleece, portable, 60″x60″, water resistant
The Cozee battery powered best camping heated blanket is a bit more expensive than other blankets on our list, but it won’t drain your car battery – it’s portable.
Imagine sitting outside stargazing in the middle of nowhere with this warm blanket wrapped around your shoulders.
This super soft fleece blanket lasts for 5 hours on one battery charge when on low. You can conveniently recharge the battery either using your vehicles 12-volt cigarette lighter or a wall charger in your home.
We love that you can also use the Cozee’s battery to charge your cell phone or other devices when you’re using it with the two included USB ports.
Switch between low, medium and high settings when using the Cozee heated camping blanket, which is also water-resistant and all weather. It helps shield against wind, rain, or snow, which makes it the perfect heated camping blanket.
- Power Draw: 45 watts
- Price: $35-$45
- Features: Washable, auto shut-off, 8′ cord, soft fleece
The Great Working Tools best camping heating blanket is different from the others as it is machine washable. All you have to do is remove the detachable power cord and pop it in the washer on the gentle cycle.
This is a huge plus, especially if you’re using this 12-volt camping blanket with kids who tend to spill.
Choose between three heat settings on the Great Working tools camping blanket so you’ll stay cozy no matter the temperature outside.
The blanket has an auto-shut off feature that can be set for 30, 45 or 60 minutes. This is great for road trips but not if you’re trying to use the blanket for all-night sleeping.
So far, reviewers on Amazon love this camping heated blanket. They say it heats up fast – within 30 seconds, works well in a large vehicle like an SUV and the automatic shut-off keeps the blanket from draining your battery.
This is the newest camping heated blanket we could find to add to the list, but so far, we’re impressed by the quality and features.
- Power Draw: 48 watts
- Price: $25-$35
- Features: Warm polar fleece, safety timer with automatic shut-off, large enough for 2 people, 7′ power cord
The large Car Cozy 12v heated camping blanket is large enough for two people, and has a patented shut-off timer for extra safety.
It measures 42×58″ and includes a reset button, a 7′ long power cord and LED lights on the power cord and plug so you know the blanket is on.
Reviewers mostly claim the blanket works and they love it, but some say it stopped working after 2-3 months.
One person said if you’re using the Car Cozy 12v heated blanket throughout the night, one deep cycle battery can handle the load for 10 hours. They tend to cycle the blanket off and on 2-4 timer per night.
- Power Draw: 3.0-3.7-amps
- Price: $20-25
- Features: Fleece, Emergency shut off, heats up quickly, cheapest camping electric blanket, 78 inch power cord
What’s cool about the Sojoy 12-volt electric blanket is that it shuts off after 45 minutes, preventing you from draining your car battery dry. This is great for falling asleep to give yourself a little extra heat before snuggling down deeper into your sleeping bag.
However, some people who like to use a camping heated blanket all night don’t like this type of safety shut-off, because who wants to wake up every 45 minutes to turn a blanket back on?
If you only need to use a camping heated blanket for quick bursts, then this one might be right for you.
This Sojoy campervan electric blanket heats up quickly, up to 118 degrees. It’s also the cheapest 12-volt electric blanket on our list.
Heated Camping Blanket Comparison Chart[ninja_tables id=”12046″]
How to Power The Best Camping Electric Blankets
Most camping heated blankets use a 12-volt charger to keep your blanket cozy and warm. This is the type of charger that fits into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
This might work if you plan on sleeping in your vehicle, like if you have an SUV with a bed or a campervan. If you’re planning on using the blanket all night long, you will need your 12-volt outlet to be attached to a leisure battery.
PRO TIP: If you have to use your vehicle’s start battery, be very careful that you don’t drain the battery overnight. You may want to consider running your campervan electric blanket for only 30 minutes or so to warm up. Most van lifers say if you leave it plugged in all night you’ll wake up to a dead battery.
In our Chevy Astro campervan, the 12-volt outlet in the back of the van is connected directly to two deep cycle batteries, which get power from two 50-watt solar panels.
You’ll want to check on the watt output of your electric camping blanket, and then figure out the right portable power station for the length of time you want to use your blanket. You can recharge a solar generator while out camping using solar panels, or your engine start battery if you’re out and about driving around.
This is a great option if you want to sit outside while using your camping heated blanket. Just plug it into a portable power station and carry both to wherever you want to sit. You’ll be heated up and cozy in no time, even in the chilliest of temperatures.
The main benefit of a 12-volt electric blanket for camping is that it doesn’t nearly use as many watts as a 120-volt blanket, which is pretty much impossible to use when camping unless you’re in an RV connected to shore power.
PRO TIP: Putting a 12-volt camping blanket right on top of you means you’ll lose a lot of that heat since heat rises. One big tip is to sandwich your heated camping blanket between another blanket and your sleeping bag. This instantly traps the heat, making you a warm and comfortable cocoon during chilly winter nights.
How to Choose the Best Heated Blanket for Camping
There are a few things to think about before you rush in and buy a heated camping blanket. Here’s everything you need to know:
Do you want automatic shut-off with your camping heated blanket? Auto shutoff turns your blanket off after a set time period, typically about 45 minutes. This is great if you’re using your blanket for a short period of time just to warm up.
However, if you’re planning on using your heated camping blanket on low all night long, an automatic shut-off will be very annoying. Think about what you’ll be using your blanket for and for how long.
The Blanket’s Power Source.
When you’re browsing for the best electric blanket for camping online, you’ll see tons of different options. Sites like Amazon often will show you ALL electric blankets, which include blankets powered by 120-volts. Blankets you plug into a typical wall outlet will only work in an RV or a campervan plugged into shore power as they take tons of energy to heat.
Make sure you’re choosing a blanket that’s either powered by 12-volts (your cigarette outlet), or that is battery powered.
Keep in mind that if you choose a battery-powered blanket, you’ll be able to walk around more with the blanket without also hauling around a portable power station.
How Hot the Blanket Gets
Different electric camping blankets have different levels of heat. You’ll be able to check this out when you’re looking for a blanket online. How many different heating settings do you want? Some camping heated blankets have on setting while others have three.
The Length of the Power Cord
Look at the length of your camping heated blanket’s power cord before you buy. If you want to warm up people in the back seat, you’ll need a long enough power cord to reach from the cigarette lighter to the back. Same if you’re sleeping in the back of your vehicle and you want the blanket to reach.
Size of the Heated Camping Blanket
The best heated camping blankets come in a variety of sizes. Some are best for one person while others are big enough to cover three kids in the back seat. Make sure you pick the right heated camping blanket that’s best for your particular situation.
Washing Your Electric Camping Blanket
It’s important to note that most (if not all) electric camping blankets absolutely can’t go in the washing machine. All that water will damage sensitive wires and electrical components. Most manufacturers recommend hand washing or wiping the blanket down with a damp cloth to remove debris.
Uses for a Camping Heated Blanket
The best electric blankets for camping don’t only have to be used while camping. Here are some other ways to put that blanket to use when you’re back from the wilds:
- Tailgating. Bring the cozy blanket to an outdoor tailgate party and you’ll never be shivering in your camp chair again!
- For an emergency. If your car breaks down in a cold climate, a heated camping blanket might mean the difference between staying warm and hypothermia!
- For drives to school. If you have kids who hate driving to school on a chilly morning, cover up their laps with a cozy camping electric blanket to make the trip more enjoyable
- In your backyard. If you love sitting in the backyard but get chilly at night, you can cover up with a camping blanket and enjoy the starts. You’ll just have to make sure you have a portable power station to charge it!
- On road trips. Stop fighting with your partner about the temperature inside your vehicle when on road trips. Just plug in your heated camping blanket and you’ll be good to go!
Alternatives to Camping Heated Blankets
Using an electric blanket while camping is a contentious debate at times. Some swear by 12-volt electric camping blankets and love them, while others complain they draw way too much power.
If you have access to shore power in an RV or campervan, this isn’t a problem. But if you’re in a tent or a vehicle in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be using quite a bit of your leisure battery or your portable power bank.
Here are some of the top alternatives to using a campervan electric blanket in winter.
Happy Heated Water Bottle
This cordless heated water bottle is perfect for keeping warm in winter with minimal use of power. All you have to do is plug in this water bottle for 15-minutes to heat up the water inside. Then, it stays warm for 4-5 hours.
The water temperature goes all the way up to 158-degrees, perfect for putting under your blankets or inside the bottom of your sleeping bag.
The cover is washable, breathable fleece. Be aware you will need a way to charge this if you’re out camping. An affordable inverter connected to your vehicle’s battery will do the trick.
A heated mattress pad
One top complaint about a campervan heated blanket is that it dissipates heat too quickly. A heated mattress pad solves that problem by keeping the heat under you.
One van lifer recommended this particular heated mattress pad connected to a portable power station.
Through our research, we found a heated mattress pad only draws 55 watts, plus it cycles on and off throughout the night, further saving power.
A high-quality sleeping bag
When we camp in our van in winter, we only use 18-degree sleeping bags. We also wear hats and long johns to stay warm. This is plenty for us! So, if you decide you don’t want to deal with propane or electric heat, just buy a really good sleeping bag and call it good.
This Joule bag from REI is what I use and recommend.
Conclusion on the Best Heated Blankets for Camping
A camping electric blanket is an affordable way to get warm when you’re living van life in winter. 12-volt heated camping blankets have a fairly low wattage draw, and can be plugged into a cigarette lighter, inverter or portable power station.
That being said, a heated blanket for camping still takes significantly more power than a diesel or gas heater or a propane heater.
You can’t leave it plugged into your car overnight without risking a dead battery.
To see other options for keeping a campervan warm in winter, head here: Heating a Van in Winter: The Best Campervan Heating Options[ninja_tables id=”12046″]
Other posts to check out:
- Campervan conversion kit: 7 simple ways to DIY your van
- Honda Element Camper: Why this rig has a cult following
- How to choose an induction cooktop for a van
- 13 Awesome Campfire Cooking Tools You Need To Own
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Kristin Hanes is a journalist who founded The Wayward Home as a place to learn about alternative living. She currently lives on a sailboat and in a Chevy Astro van, and has written articles about alternative living published in Good Housekeeping, Business Insider, Marie Claire and SF Gate. Read more about Kristin here.