Testing the Outdoor Blanket at the Beach

Putting the windproof, waterproof, blanket to the test on the Oregon Coast.
Marissa Reedeker

When you make a windproof, waterproof, breathable blanket, there are few places that come to mind to put it to the test - and the Oregon Coast is definitely one of them. An impromptu spring camping trip anywhere in the Pacific North-West means you really don't know what weather you're going to get.

Fortunately, luck was on our side, and we were greeted with a generous amount of sunshine. However, remember photos can be deceiving! While it may seem like a bright and warm day, what you can't see is the chill of the ocean wind and the relentless amount of flying sand. But hey, it turned out to be the perfect opportunity to really see what this blanket was made of. We decided to put it to the test against the relentless wind and flying sand to see how it held up.

Wind-Proof Blanket (Jacket) - Check!

If you ever Google the Oregon Coast, you'll probably come across photos of the legendary 327-foot Haystack Rock. So, naturally, we couldn't resist making a spontaneous pit stop to witness its glory firsthand (and trust me, photos barely scratch the surface!). Fooled by the inviting blue skies and coziness of the car, we ventured onto the beach wearing nothing but a couple of t-shirts. Can you guess what greeted us? Yep, you guessed it: an unrelenting cold gust of wind. A whole lot of it.

Thankfully, we brought the blanket along to take some photos, and had the idea of using the outdoor blanket as a makeshift jacket (and maybe even a shield against the sand). And it worked like a charm! I bet the blanket would be an absolute game-changer for those post-cold-swim or post-surf chills. Perhaps next time we should put it to test and go surfing. I mean, staff surf trips are a totally reasonable expense in the Lathley budget, right?

Wet Sand Picnic Blanket = Check!

We headed out for a picnic at Short Sand Beach in Oswald State Park.  After evaluating our options to find the perfect picnic spot, we realized the only place that was free from the wind was at the very end of the bay. We made our way to the north end of the beach to shelter from the wind. Unfortunately, the sand in this area happened to be quite wet, but having the blanket with with us kept it simple, there was no stress of getting us, or our things wet through the fabric. We were able start up the Biolite and cook our lunch on the beach. We also managed to catch up on some reading without the pages flying around too much. Well, at least until the tide had other plans!

Sandy Sunset Picnic Blanket = Check!

What's better than watching a sunset on the beach? Oh that's right, watching a sunset on the beach, on an outdoor blanket that you made. We originally brought the blanket down to the beach in the same bag as some of our other things like the camera and some snacks. The fleecy side felt super soft, and cloaked over the sand made the most comfortable spot to cozy up and watch the sunset. The only thing I wish is that I had another one to wrap around me! It was hard to avoid getting sand on the actual blanket, (we meet again, wind!) so I assumed we’d just carry it separately back to camp with us. When we packed up to leave,  it was surprisingly easy to shake off all of the sand, which was an unexpected perk (thank you - amazing materials).

So What Makes the Blanket Windproof, Waterproof, and Breathable?

If you’ve read some of Lathleys articles before, you’ll know were a huge fan of the concept: simple designs, amazing materials. And if you're new here well - you’ll soon understand why. Here is what makes the  outdoor blanket so awesome:

it's made of a three layer fabric:

1. The Face Fabric.  This is the smooth side that we use as the outside of the blanket (and on the bottom for the picnics).

2 .The Backing Fabric. This is the fleecy side which we used to cozy up for sunset or wrap around us when it's cold.

3. The Polyurethane Membrane. This is where the magic happens. The membrane is what bonds these two fabrics together and makes the blanket waterproof, windproof, & breathable.The polyurethane membrane has holes so small that they only allow water vapour to pass, and not the water droplets. Talk about amazing materials!

If you're interested - we dive into the exact fabrics we used for this blanket in the Lathley Community. It's free to join and you can sign up here. It’s also a great place for questions and support if you do decide to make your own blanket. And again, if you want to learn how to make one for yourself, we teach you in one of our Projects. You check out the project here.

All in all, we were stoked to have the outdoor blanket with us, and now we're totally going to make more. Stay tuned for that Lathley Surf Trip!