Going on adventures with our dogs leads to tired pups, so when were on the go having a dry, comfortable spot for our four legged friends to relax is important. While the Alcott Mariner Beach Blanket is designed for use on the beach, this blanket is extremely versatile and has become one of our travelling essentials for all types of adventures.
The Mariner blanket is 50”x50”, big enough for a large breed dog to comfortably lay on, or two medium dogs to cozily share. This blanket has joined us on practically every one of our adventures since getting it. We’ve used it on snow, dry & damp ground and indoors, we haven’t tested it in sand yet (we will when the snow melts!). The top side of the blanket is an extremely soft fleece which is a lovely bright blue color, it’s currently the only colour option available. There is also a green Alcott Explorer Outdoor Blanket which seems to be identical to the Mariner in every way so I’m unsure why these products are marketed separately. I’d suggest for Alcott to merge the products together and maybe add another colour option!
The top fleece side of the blanket is hemmed around the rim to a “waterproof” base. While we found the blanket resisted water well, it’s certainly not waterproof. I used the blanket as a “seat cover” on a dewy, moss covered rock and my bottom stayed perfectly dry, but if the bottom were to be put on top of pooled water it would certainly seep through the “waterproof” bottom. So, as long as the blanket isn’t laid down right on top of a puddle or right next to the crashing waves, the bottom of the blanket should stay dry.
Can I say again how soft and cozy the fleece side is? The fleece side of the Mariner made the blanket absolutely ideal for cozy naps, I have to admit I’ve thought about borrowing it for myself! While we loved the fleece feature of the blanket when snuggling up inside the tent or next to the campfire, the fleece is not designed for repelling water or keeping out dirt. We found the material is somewhat absorbent but once wet the fleece dried quickly. After the fleece got damp dirt and sand seemed to stick to it like a magnet, but after it was hung, air dried and given a good shaking it was good to go until we were able to throw it into the wash (because yes its machine washable!).
The top fleece layer of the blanket and the water resistant under side are only connected around the hem on the edge. As the water resistant side is a sheen, smooth material, it is very slippery as mentioned. We found the two layers of the blanket to slide and roll on themselves and against other surfaces quite easily; for instance I stepped on it while it was spread out on the carpet and nearly wiped out, and often I’ll spread the blanket out for the dogs to lay on and by the time they step on it and spin around to get settled the blanket is half upside down and bunched up. I think this issue could be solved by adding some stitching/quilting throughout the entire blanket, or potentially adding a very thin foam/interior layer to give the blanket more substance. The water resistance under side can also be slippery against the surfaces its places on (like on a car seat it slides off easily), so adding rubber textures to the bottom of the water resistant side may give it some more traction.
The Mariner also comes with handles and Velcro straps stitched to the bottom so it’s able to be folded up for easy travelling. So far the straps have held up well although some of our fellow trail testers have started to notice wear on their straps. We tend not to use the built in straps, I instead use (2) elastic utility straps that allow me to roll the blanket up smaller.
Overall this blanket is an extremely useful and is a great item to bring on along on your travels with your dog. We love that this blanket gives our dogs a cozy place to relax without worrying lugging around a travel bed. The water resistance bottom allows us to throw the blanket down on practically any surface without having dirt stick to the bottom.
Review by: Dogs That Hike Trail Tester @thenortherndogs