This is an unusual product, but one which many outdoors people or travelers will have longed for at least once in their life.
How often have you been chilled at night in your sleeping bag, and just wanted another 'layer' or more 'insulation' to throw over you to retain that valuable warmth?
Maybe you have been on a long overnight bus journey, or stuck in an airport in the night, getting cold with all your sleeping gear out of reach in the luggage system?
Possibly you have been watching the sunset, sitting on a hill or beach, gradually becoming aware that the daytime clothes you are wearing are not going to keep you comfortable for much longer?
I can think of countless occasions like the above, when I have been 'chilled' or very cold, but aware that to increase my warmth at that moment would have meant carrying another 'insulation' layer or 'clothing' in my pack on the way to wherever I camped. Something I just (a) didn't have the space for and (b) didn't want to carry the extra 'just in case' weight.
Ideally the solution for any of the above would be;
(a) as light as possible (of course)
(b) with minimal bulk (easy to pack)
(c) highly heat reflective
(e) silent (unlike a space blanket)
(f) highly breathable and finally
(g) water resistant (to prevent spills on the bag)
The solution has come from a small unknown UK designer and this item has been around quietly for a while, however it was recently sent to me to test as the designer thought we would appreciate the features more than most. As it happens, quite rightly!
So I tried it as exampled above and found it to be a remarkable product doing exactly what it says on the tin. I've slept out on these frosty nights in a light sleeping bag which would normally be 1 or 2 'seasons' too light and thrown the blanket over me 'silver side' in. I guess it works in simplest terms just like the NeoAir sleeping mat. By reflecting heat back towards the user. Although I am unable to measure the amount of reflected heat I can assure you that I was a darn site warmer than I would have been without it. The effect was very noticeable.
It has a soft tactile feel similar to silk, as well as similar bulk and weight. It is silent and extremely breathable, so there were no damp condensation patches on the bag anywhere beneath it. There was naturally some frost condensation on the shelter skin which fell onto the blanket but didn't soak through at all. So it is water resistant to an acceptable level.
In use you will find the silver side changes tint as it rubs against other surfaces. This is perfectly normal and doesn't effect performance, meerly the 'sheen' in the manufacturing process.
How to use it
If the blanket is purely against your skin then the yellow side will be towards you. (If the silver side is touching your skin then there less reflectivity taking place because of 'conduction') If you are wearing clothes or inside a sleeping system then the silver side is towards you and this will reflect back any escaping heat.
The only negative issue I found with it, was because it was 'so' light I could hardly feel it was there. It was also very 'slippy' and so a bit of DIY would be needed to put some velcro tabs or similar on the edges to hold it in place, however you intend to use it. If for whatever reason you wanted the material more water resistant you could possibly spray on some Nikwax TX Direct, but for normal use it isn't necessary.
It isn't classed as a 'survival blanket' (and shouldn't be used that way) but a very simple and effective way to 'up-rate' your sleep system for minimal bulk. Ideal for cold sleepers, the unexpected frost, to stuff in small spaces in a pack, hammock sleeping, traveling and well, virtually anytime you want a little comfort in your outdoor life!
Try it, you will be pleasantly surprised!!
The “Thermartex®” launch product is the “Bedding Blanket”. It can be used on it's own or on top of other bedding and is suitable for use in any dry environment both indoors and outdoors. Measuring approximately 1.5m x 2m and weighing only 125g the aluminized woven rip-stop nylon blanket is highly breathable and reflects 65% of radiated body heat. It is ideal where thermal performance, weight and packing size are important. It is primarily intended for use as a camping blanket, travel blanket, sleeping bag or normal bed cover, but has many other applications.
Although the blanket is self-extinguishing and has passed “Fire Tests According to BS 7175:1989 (2008)” it should be kept away from fire and other sources of ignition. It should also be kept away from salt and other chemicals as these will damage the heat reflective coating. It is not suitable for use as a Emergency/Survival blanket.
Note: When necessary requires specialist cleaning using the widely available and environmentally friendly “Green Earth®” process. Please note contact or spillage with chemicals, sports drinks etc could damage this product.
Final size: 192cm x 146cm
Packed (tube) size: 15cm x 5cm
Maximum reflected body heat: 65%
Breathable, water resistant and soft to touch
Colour: Silver one side - dull yellow the other