I’ve found my perfect travel companion: Cotopaxi’s Kusa Blanket. I don’t know what I ever did without it. I love it.

This thin, lightweight, poly-insulated nylon blanket with DWR water resistant coating has become my favorite piece of outdoor and travel gear. I originally assumed I’d use it this summer for picnics and beach outings, as a ground cover. Thankfully, I was smart enough to pack it when I left town for a few months…and it hasn’t been anywhere near the ground.

During a 38-hour train ride from Seattle to Minneapolis, the Kusa Blanket kept me warm and comfy as I rested, slept, and reclined in my private sleeping car. That little room cost twice what I’d pay for a return airfare, but it was worth every penny. I needed time to decompress after a grueling first year of grad school. I was so glad I had the Kusa Blanket because it felt soft and silky against my skin…and, germaphobe that I am,  just felt better sleeping under my own blanket. Since the Kusa Blanket packs down so small into its own little stuff sack and weighs less than a pound, I’m probably never leaving home without it.

The Kusa Blanket is incredibly warm….and large (52 x 70in). I’m six feet tall, and I’ve been using it as a bedspread, as a blanket, and wadded up as a pillow for weeks now, and no matter how I use it, the blanket always seems to be the right weight and the right size.

In Minneapolis, I assumed I’d pack the Kusa Blanket away since the temperatures were well into the 80s and 90s, but there were more than a few nights when I woke up cold in the wee hours and grabbed the blanket out of my bag. Again, it’s light weight and generous size was perfect for my needs.

Now it’s a few weeks later, and I’m in Iceland. It was quiet warm when I was in Reykjavik ten days ago, so I used my Kusa Blanket instead of the heavy duvet at my guesthouse. It’s soft and cozy,  an ideal bedspread for warm nights when I still feel like I want some cover (or when I know I’ll get cold in the middle of the night).

Here in Olafsfjordur, it’s 40 degrees F, and the clouds are thick and low. Looking out my window, it looks like the clouds are just 20 feet about the houses across the street. I’ve been using the Kusa Blanket as a pillow in the afternoons when I write (I have a tiny room with just a bed, a sink, and a small wardrobe, so I write lying down) and as an extra blanket under my duvet at night.

My host told me I can crank the heat since it’s free here, but I like it when my room is cold so I have an excuse to curl up under my Kusa Blanket. Over the past month it’s held up very well to my abuse, and kept me warm on an extra-long train ride, an overseas plane ride, and on several day-long bus journeys.

The Kusa Blanket is available in one color: brown with red trim. It can be purchase alone or as part of a festival kit that includes a daypack and the Cotopaxi Aqua Water Bottle. Check back reviews of those items in mid-August.

Bottom Line: This versatile and cosy blanket is perfect for travel. It packs down small, and is so worth bringing along to any event or on any trip. I love having my own blanket with me wherever I sleep. I suppose I will use it for outdoor outings, such as picnics, beach outings, and outdoor concerts, when I return to Seattle at the end of the summer, but to be honest, I will probably toss it on my bed and keep it there until my next trip. I can’t stand being separated from it!


$89.95, at Nordstrom.com: Cotopaxi ‘Kusa’ Blanket – Metallic