Best space-saving blankets for very cold weather for naps in the driver's seat?

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Lance22

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I've always just gone with blankets from Ikea but they can be quite puffie and seem to occupy so much space which is a limited asset in my minivan..

At work I always go out to my minivan during lunch and eat and take a nap but often will wake up shivering and cold. I just chill in the front seat reclining not in my bed in the back since it's all ripped apart for a rebuild. Does anyone else have tips? I love just sitting in the front seat at a park with bankets and just watching the wildlife.

I'm thining maybe a fleese snuggy and a whole banket on top and maybe on really cold days using my heated blanket in the middle to help my body warm up? Also I'm thinking about getting some type of "puffy coat" seat covers so my back can be "in the blankets too" plus it's cozy. I've done the jack on the back of the seat but it always keeps moving so an actual seat cover during winter would be awesome!

Are there specific materials that hold heat better per thickness vs others? Do comforter from Ikea and ones designed for sticks and brick homes not work best for vanlifers with limited space?

I even tried wearing a jacket backwards and I noticed that is quite comfy. I can't sleep an entire night in the front seat as lack of blood circulation makes me feel sick, but a 30 min nap always seems to help me get through the worknight.
Thanks in advance.
 
One thing you could do is use a small electric blanket and plug it in to the 120v receptacle of your Jackery power station. It would use quite a few watts for a minute on startup, but since you're only using it during your breaks, you could recharge the Jackery later and be toasty warm in the meantime. I use one I got from Amazon which only measures 50" by 60" (made by Electric Blankets by Medical King), and it rolls up into a 6 inch by 2 foot roll when you're not using it. You could probably get an even smaller one ( like a child-size?). They're not bulky because they're electric and don't have to be thick to work.

I'm like you : I loves me a good nap in the driver's seat. :sleep:

Johnny
 
I am a huge fan of microfleece, which can be obtained very inexpensively and used in your bed, front seat, chair, wherever.

There are also fleece snugglies with arm and leg openings, that would also double as a blanket.
 
No need to overthink this. A warm down jacket with a hood and a down lap blanket will be sufficient. Down gives the most warmth to weight ratio for clothing and bedding. It also compresses and takes up very little physical space. Store those two items in a zippered pillow case and they will give you daily use with easy access for use when napping.
 
I am a huge fan of microfleece, which can be obtained very inexpensively and used in your bed, front seat, chair, wherever.

There are also fleece snugglies with arm and leg openings, that would also double as a blanket.

Now that I'm looking on Amazon.. I see a "Sherpa wearable blanket" that has a zipper that zips up into a pillow! which would mean it functions during warm days as a soft pillow.

Also I think a seat cover like maybe a sheep skin for around 50-70 bucks for one would sure be nice to keep my bum warm haha.



One thing you could do is use a small electric blanket and plug it in to the 120v receptacle of your Jackery power station. It would use quite a few watts for a minute on startup, but since you're only using it during your breaks, you could recharge the Jackery later and be toasty warm in the meantime. I use one I got from Amazon which only measures 50" by 60" (made by Electric Blankets by Medical King), and it rolls up into a 6 inch by 2 foot roll when you're not using it. You could probably get an even smaller one ( like a child-size?). They're not bulky because they're electric and don't have to be thick to work.

I'm like you : I loves me a good nap in the driver's seat. :sleep:

Johnny



Working on putting 400 watts so I will have nearly endless power but the fleece heated blanket I got that runs off 12v really dosen't work, it just gives off a "hint of heat" which makes it pointless to bother plugging it in and using it.. Will have to see about going with 110 blanket, I saw bob wells video confirming what I kinda thought that 12V blankets just don't work well enough to put out heat.

Do you know how much watts your Electric blanket by Medical King uses on each setting? I also have two bluetti so might be able to do that as well. One of my favorite things about Van life was sitting in the front seat not having anywhere to go or be and just watching the world pass by rushing to go places.
 
I don’t have an electric blanket in my little Class B, but have found that a fleece blanket over me, then an all season down comforter over that will keep me cozy even in serious cold.

And, I have fleece tops and fleece leggings, also fleece booties. 😅

I’m a bit of a sight when it gets really cold, but there is no one to see me but me and my dog, and the most important thing is being warm so I can sleep. 😅
 
a)
A couple-three winters ago, I needed to high-tail it to Sacramento from Oregon.
I loaded the Dodge pick-up... empty bed, no camper.
I intended a quick turn-around, so took one of our spare heaters, five-gallon propane bottle, appropriate connectors, and a spare clicker-igniter.
.
On the way home, I ran out of steam just north of Weed on Interstate Five.
Wx -- a couple dozen degrees *below* freezing, arctic winds to 60kn (about a '60° lean' if you go out for a stroll).
.
At the airport rest-stop, I set the Wave 3 catalytic heater on the armrest-desk between the seats, and opened both front windows an inch or so.
.
The two Heelers and I were quite comfortable.
And the wind was straight out of the north, so waiting overnight until the wind quit saved quite a lot of fuel.
.
You probably own a heat source for full-time live-aboard.
If I was me, I might simply double-duty that heater, for I am accustomed to its moods.
.
b1)
Motorcyclists have heated vests, gloves, trousers.
They operate on 12vdc, plug right into a power-outlet ('cigar lighter').
.
b2)
Outdoor workers wear battery-operated vests.
The tool brand 'MILWAUKEE' is one source, so their heated clothing uses their power-tool batteries.
.
c)
My neighbor and YouTuber 'WrangleStar' was a woodland fire-fighter.
He recommends wool socks made with Merino; he and his crew use the brand 'DARN TOUGH'.
I got a ten-pack of the knee-high, and they keep my feet nice and toasty.
'Forever Warranty'.
.
With my typical 'malice aforethought', I ordered my socks with a large 'L' as my monogram.
.
Either that, or my socks order came in with only 'lefts'... no 'rights' in the whole shootin' match.
[Note to moderators [stands, salutes]:
That sentence was not intended to be political.
Keep up the great work!]
 
Lance22,
Sorry I missed your question the other day. I just tested my blanket with my Honda (Jackery) 300 and it drew 110 to 118 watts, depending on temp setting, during the startup phase. I wasn't able to test to see if the wattage would come down after it reached full temperature because I wasn't actually wrapped up in it, but I assume it would. That would take just a few minutes if you were using it.

So it looks like you could get a couple of hours of max heat before you drew your battery down too far if you were using a 300W power station, but that little blankie is HOT when it's set on High, so YMMV.

Johnny
 
Before buying anything try using a couple blankets you & pull them over your head & tuck your arms in under the blankets. If you need to wear a stocking cap & gloves. If you keep your head, hands & feet warm it's much easier to keep your core warm. I have a german sniper sleeping bag with arms you can get your arms in quick, has a knee high zipper you unzip & it straps to your rear as a hot seat. It's waterproof with a hood & in a few seconds you can go from sleeping bag to waterproof hooded coat with a hot seat.
 
When sleeping in cold weather I have occasionally used a temporary tent above my bed made of packing blankets I got from Harbor F. Sitting up front for a short period I would just start the engine and use the heater. For an extended period in really cold weather, I guess I could McGiver some sort of "packing blanket tent" around myself.
 
Why buy a special blanket that turns into a pillow? Just stuff the blankets you have into pillow cases. Add a Velcro tab to hold it closed if you want.
Because it's a snuggy like blanket with holes so I can eat my lunch and be warmer. I'm looking to eventually move back into my minivan full time so investing and experimenting now is important so when I'm ready I will be more comfortable with a wider variety of temps. I'm looking to stay in one metro year-round working a fulltime job not traveling to places that are 50-80 degrees all day. Well at least for the first few years.

Electric jacket? They work and aren't expensive for what they do.
I watched Bob's video about warm clothes and the booties has me curious.. Now if I could pick heated jacket OR heated Booties I think I'd pick the heated booties! ...Although I did watch recently a guy put in heated seats in his car to sleep on. Looked like a great idea and I wonder if buying that and putting them into a protective cover could then simply be a method to have an interchangable heated device that could be used to heat a bed, jacket, booties, and so on? Granted it would likely make needing to sew on pouches to each device or have a seamstress sew in a few pouches. hmmm... now the old brain is fired up hot and thinking! haha.

When sleeping in cold weather I have occasionally used a temporary tent above my bed made of packing blankets I got from Harbor F. Sitting up front for a short period I would just start the engine and use the heater. For an extended period in really cold weather, I guess I could McGiver some sort of "packing blanket tent" around myself.

I saw a video of a lady who cut off the side of a laundry basket and built a frame for a tent. A bit silly but it got me thinking. I do have a metal shelf that goes floor to van roof at the foot of my bed. I could easily clip on one of those harbor freight packing blankets and build a head tent. Even with a gap in the bottom for airflow. I've slept in much colder temps but below 40 usually always left me that weird sensation, I was tosty warm under the bankets but my face and lungs were ice cold.

These are some great ideas I think I can work into my design.
 
Lance22,
Sorry I missed your question the other day. I just tested my blanket with my Honda (Jackery) 300 and it drew 110 to 118 watts, depending on temp setting, during the startup phase. I wasn't able to test to see if the wattage would come down after it reached full temperature because I wasn't actually wrapped up in it, but I assume it would. That would take just a few minutes if you were using it.

So it looks like you could get a couple of hours of max heat before you drew your battery down too far if you were using a 300W power station, but that little blankie is HOT when it's set on High, so YMMV.

Johnny
What electric blanket is that? Would love to know. I've tried 4 different ones, and sent'em all back. They all barely got slightly warm.
 
I really think a heated jacket might work best for you. Since you're at work you can turn it on a few minutes before you go outside to the car and not really feel the cold as much.

The nice thing is that most of them work off of a simple battery pack like a phone charger, and you can switch them out. So if you can charge it at work between times outside, even better. If you still want that snuggly feeling you can use one of those IKEA blankets your already have.
 
What electric blanket is that? Would love to know. I've tried 4 different ones, and sent'em all back. They all barely got slightly warm.
It's been my experience that you have to use a blanket on top of the electric blanket to keep the heat trapped on you and not just dispersing into the air. Learned that from Bob and it works.
 

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