New November 2015 - V3
The latest incarnation has once again been improved following feedback from our customers as to how this blanket is used and performs in the wild.
These improvements include:
Size: 2m x 1.6m
Material supplied full width cut using an ultrasonic knife giving a soft and anti-fray edge to allow users to cut, sew and hem as they wish. (Please note that there may be a few fine holes along the edge from the manufacturing process.)
The material is now calendared, which means it is Down Proof, should you wish to use insulation within it.
The material has a fluorocarbon coating.
Water resistant: Improved DWR to reduce water marks on surface and prevent ingress. This has been a major improvement as many customers had used the previous versions in wet conditions, which in some cases damaged the surface. You are now able to put this blanket through a washing machine, cold wash only, no detergents.
Showerproof: See above, this is a vast improvement.
New January 2015 - V2
Following the incredible popularity of this product during 2014 the UK designer has returned to the technical drawing board and made various improvements and alterations as follows;
1) Colour has changed from the bright Yellow to Bottle Green
2) Uses a rip stop nylon British made fabric
3) Larger than before at 1.6m x 2m
4) 75% reflective (up from 65% on the previous version)
5) Total blanket weight 200 grams (Up from 36g/sqm to 62.5g/sqm)
6) All edges are cut using an ultrasonic knife giving a soft and anti-fray edge
7) Can now be washed by hand (See box for details)
As I write this with the blanket over my knees (aww bless) the reflectivity and heat retention is instantly noticeable as before. The previous material did have more of a silk like feel to it, whereas this feels slightly stiffer more akin to a rip-stop nylon as mentioned above.
Although heavier than before, the idea of supplying a larger piece of fabric is to allow end users to cut, hem and sew the material into whatever suits their needs. Many people have made sleeping bag liners, or sleeping bag covers from the product and obviously this will reduce the weight and volume all in one go.
It certainly would benefit from some kind of attachment system to suit your needs, to keep it in place when sleeping on the ground or in a hammock. It is just as slippy as before!
The uses are still the same and as before here is some background and suggestions on how to best use the material.
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? Perhaps lying back in hammock and wondering if that sudden chill will last all night?
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 manufacturer 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' out. 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 the soft tactile fee of rip stop nylon. 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 green 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 ONLY onto the Green side) 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!
Please note: If it becomes damp, ie left on wet grass, the silver surface may appear patterned. However we have confirmed with the manufacturer that it does not effect performance in any way, even though the silver side may look creased.
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 1.6m x 2m and weighing only 200g the aluminized woven rip-stop nylon blanket is highly breathable and reflects up to 75% 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.
The blanket 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: This product can be washed by hand in cold water, using a non-biological handwash for delicates. After washing the silver surface may appear patterned this does not effect performance. Full details are on the packaging for maximum long life care.
Final size: 1.6m x 2m
Packed (tube) size: 15cm x 5cm
Maximum reflected body heat: 75%
Breathable, water resistant and soft to touch
Colour: Silver one side - bottle green the other