When I think of an emergency blanket, what comes to mind is a shiny thin piece of mylar material.
The old versions of these were quite fragile and were prone to tearing if you sneezed in their general direction.
Newer versions are more durable but still quite thin.
Recently I came across the Arcturus Survival Blanket. I was intrigued by this product because it has reinforced grommets so that it can double as a tarp or emergency shelter.
Sometimes, I am a sucker for anything new and decided to give Arcturus a try. Before getting into the testing and review section, lets’ start by seeing what this blanket has to offer.
Survival Blanket Specifications
Dimensions. The blanket measures in at 60” X 82” and weighs less than one pound.
Material. The blanket is two-sided. One side has a Mylar covering which both reflects heat and acts as a barrier for keeping body heat in.
The opposite side is made from two layers of polypropylene which are waterproof, windproof, and can be used as a blanket, tarp, or in the construction of a shelter.
Transporting. The survival blanket comes with a resealable bag, making it easy to carry from one place to another.
Grommets. The blanket comes with four reinforced grommets, one on each corner, making it easy to tie down or for constructing different shelter configurations.
Each grommet is also advertised as being able to hold up a suspended 35lb. weight.
I have had plenty of tarps in the past where the grommets were the weak point and would easily rip out.
So, after I saw the picture of this survival blanket being able to hold up a 35lb weight by the grommet I really wanted to test that out.
But just in case the grommet did not hold up to its advertisement, I thought it would be good to test out some other features first.
Testing It Out
At the time of testing the survival blanket, the temperature was 46 degrees Fahrenheit with wind gusts of around 10 miles per hour.
I took the blanket outside and after stripping off my coat I was left wearing shoes, jeans, and a t-shirt.
This left me feeling a little chilly, so I quickly wrapped the blanket around me with the mylar side towards my body.
I stood out in the open so that I could catch the full force of the wind and cold temperatures.
After roughly twenty minutes I felt reasonably comfortable inside the blanket and noticed I only felt the wind through areas of the blanket that were not fully wrapped around my body.
With a little bit of paracord and some homemade wood stakes, I quickly set up a shelter similar to an arrowhead design.
The large size of the grommets allowed me to use larger diameter pieces of wood for stakes. This helped to secure the ends easily and firmly to the ground.
While not huge, the interior of the shelter would be accommodating enough to get out of bad weather or for an overnight structure.
After setting up my shelter I decided to give it the once over by dumping several gallons of water onto the outside from a height of roughly five feet.
The water immediately beaded up, rolled down the material, and off the side of the shelter.
I crawled back inside the shelter and felt every inch of the walls and ceiling with my hands. No water had come through.
However, I will note that the very edge of the survival blanket does not appear to be waterproof and will allow water to soak into it.
Depending on the design of your shelter this could allow water to build up along an edge and run down the interior. Something to keep in mind.
Grommet Weight Test!
As I talked about earlier, the reinforced grommets are what sold me on trying out this survival blanket.
I had seen other reviews where individuals had hung a thirty-five-pound weight from a single grommet and suspended the tarp in the air. A photo of this can also be seen in advertisements by Arcturus.
I did not have a scale or 35lbs of marked weight, so I improvised.
A gallon of water weighs approximately 8.33lbs. I had four one-gallon jugs that I filled with water.
Their combined weight was roughly 33.32lbs. which is slightly less than the 35lbs the grommet is advertised as being able to hold.
Using 550 paracord I tied three of the grommets together and tied that end to an overhanging tree branch, which allowed the fourth grommet end to hang freely.
I then tied all four jugs of water together, lifted them, and tied them to the grommet that was hanging down.
The jugs were only hanging a few inches off the ground and were stationary as the wind had finally died down.
I was not sure how long I wanted the test to go for, but I figured ten minutes would be a good run.
However, after sixty seconds I heard a very distinct snap sound.
At first, I thought one of the paracord pieces around the jug handles had come loose from tension. But I quickly realized that the corner had ripped.
While the grommet itself and the reinformed fabric around it were still intact, the survival blanket had ripped away from the corner.
Survival Blanket Pros and Cons
- Lightweight and compact
- Comes with a zippered carrying bag
- More durable than traditional emergency blankets
- Can be used discreetly
- Two different sides allow for it to be used in different maners
- More expensive than standard emergency blankets
- Failed the grommet weight test
- Water can collect along the outer seams
The majority of reviews on the Arcturus Survival Blanket are very good.
Most people feel the size is just right without it being overly large and difficult to handle.
The negative reviews tend to be centered around the durability of the seams and the mylar side of the blanket.
In these instances, the seams did not hold up under windy conditions and some people have complained about the silver coating rubbing off on the mylar side of the blanket.
Q: Can this be used on the ground to sit on?
A: Due to its double-sided design it is thicker than a regular mylar emergency blanket. I placed it on the ground and while it did not provide a lot of padding, it did provide an insulating layer between me and the ground. Before laying the blanket down, be sure to remove rocks, sticks, or any other sharp objects that could puncture the material.
Q: Is the carrying bag waterproof?
A: The bag appears to be made from the same material as the survival blanket and the main portion of the bag is water-resistant. However, the opening is the week point of the bag and water could penetrate along the zipper edge.
Oddly enough I still like this product even though it failed the weight test. That is because it is a survival blanket that can be used as a tarp.
When looking at this as just a survival blanket, I would say it is the most durable one I have ever owned.
Traditional emergency blankets can puncture and tear easily, making them difficult to move around in.
But when I had the Arcturus wrapped around me, I felt that I could move freely without worrying about the integrity of the blanket.
Its size is just large enough for a small shelter when needed and the mylar side acts as a reflector when near a heat source.
The grommet sections are reinforced and appear stronger than those on other tarps, but I wouldn’t rely on them being as strong as advertised.
Overall, as survival blankets go, I would recommend the Arcturus Survival Blanket as an addition to any kit or vehicle.
Do you have any experience with the Arcturus Survival Blanket? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know! Thanks for reading and stay prepared!