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Adventure / July 9, 2017

Why we sell a $275 blanket

Written by: Mitch Harris

When Shoulders of Giants first considered Belmont’s “adventure blankets” for our shop, I was skeptical. It sounded like a sales gimmick to me—like some savvy marketing team tacked the word “adventure” onto a blanket to mark up the price for the Whole Foods and Pilates crowd. If it worked, I figured we’d soon be awash in adventure hand towels, adventure bath mats, and adventure throw rugs.

So before we stocked our shelves, I asked the Belmont people to send me a sample to test. I’ve been eating crow ever since.

Belmont’s Legacy Blanket is now a permanent fixture in my summer gear collection. It’s not a technical piece of gear, but it’s been designed like one—the blanket can serve as a shelter in any rainstorm, but it also looks pretty good draped over the back of my couch.

 

1. They’re waterproof

Belmont is based in the Pacific Northwest (their HQ is in Portland, Ore.), where “water-resistant” is synonymous with “soaked through.” So they’ve gone the extra mile to make blankets that are 100% waterproof. 

The blankets sandwich a waterproof membrane between fleece and woven synthetic layers. They look and feel just like their porous cousins but can hold up to even a torrential downpour.

That waterproofing comes in handy on picnics or at outdoor festivals, when even brief rain showers can wet your clothes and ruin your afternoon. The fleece insulation makes it much warmer than a tarp or poncho… and it obviously looks way better, too.

2. They look cool

Before I checked out Belmont’s products, I honestly never thought about how my “picnic” blanket looked. Truthfully, I didn’t really have a picnic blanket (I don’t have a basket either, because it’s 2017 and I’m not a cartoon)—but I did have a ratty old wool throw that I used for stargazing, concerts in the park, and stuff like that.

To pack that blanket, I’d usually stuff it into a backpack or just have a member of my party carry it in their arms. It wasn’t a good system, and it definitely didn’t look like one. But like I said, I never really gave that a second thought.

Then I got my Legacy. It was the first “roll-up” blanket I’d encountered, so I was immediately impressed by its compact travel size and by the elegance of its leather strap. The blanket carries like a briefcase, which is both convenient and attractive—and much more dignified than keeping it balled up in a backpack. The blanket rolls out to 58″x58″, which is just large enough for two people to comfortably share.

3. They’re not that expensive, really

Before I held one in my hands, I balked at the price of the Belmont Legacy. To the uninitiated, $275 seems like a whole hell of a lot for a blanket (I’m pretty sure the one on my bed cost like $25).

But the Legacy is made with Pendleton Wool. That connects it to a legendary Oregon-based company that has dominated the high-end blanket game since the mid-1800s. Pendleton doesn’t really sell any blankets for less than $100, and most of their “camp blankets” are in the $200-300 range. Their blankets are the sort that people pass down to their kids.

Add on the substantial value of the waterproofing (that’s 100% waterproof, in case you forgot—as waterproof as your car’s windshield), and the Belmont Legacy is actually a pretty screaming deal. But if the price tag still bothers you, you can get the simpler HellaGood for just $125.

Those aren’t the only reasons I’ve come to love Belmont Blankets. They’re also soft, machine-washable, and hand-made in Portland, Oregon. But our audience research has found that readers only have a 600-word attention span for articles about bedding, so I’ll leave it there.

If you have any questions about Belmont Blankets, you can get them to me by emailing the address below. Or you can find the HellaGood and the Legacy for sale in our shop.

Do you have questions or comments about this piece? Email them to [email protected]

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about the author

Mitch Harris

Mitch Harris embraced the Every Day Carry trend long before it was cool. From the day he got his first pocket knife, Mitch has devoted himself to staying prepared for every eventuality. Through his position at Shoulders of Giants, he’s able to keep his kit stocked with the very newest and best EDC gear.

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