Tack n' Talk

Online Equestrian Resource

The Skinny on Blankets!

Presented by:  Larissa W. Cox, M.Sc. Applied Equine Science

There are just so many winter blankets available today.  There are heavy weight, medium weight, light weight, just sheets with differing denier.  What does this all mean? 


Firstly, turnout blankets need to be waterproof.  Most blankets are coated to repel water with many being Teflon coated.  The fabric repels water, but is still breathable enough to allow air and moisture to escape from the blanket.  The standard for waterproof and breathability is 3000mm. 

Blankets really vary in weight or amount of fill.  When choosing a blanket, choose one that is appropriate for your climate and your horse.  A clipped horse or a thin haired one,  will probably need a greater amount of fill than an unclipped horse.  Blanket fill is usually made of polyester and is measured in grams.  Sheets do not contain fill.  A medium weight blanket ranges between 180 grams and 200 grams of fill.  A heavy weight blanket usually is between 300 grams and 420 grams. 

Here are a couple of charts that can help you determine what’s best for your horse. 



Sheet – No   fill Provides   protection from wind and rain
100 Gram Light   Warmth
150 Gram Light/Medium   Warmth
200 Gram Medium   Warmth
250 Gram Medium/Heavy   Warmth
300 Gram Heavy   Warmth
400 Gram + Extra   Heavy Warmth



No Clip

Clipped   Horse

50-60 Degrees Sheet 100 Grams
40-50   Degrees 100 Grams 150 – 250 Grams
30-40   Degrees 150 – 250 Grams 200 – 300 Grams
20-30   Degrees 200 – 300 Grams 300 – 400 Grams   or above  30 – 40 Degrees with Liner
Less than   20 Degrees 300 – 400 Grams 300 – 400 Grams   with Liner

The outer shell or Denier refers to the size or coarseness of the fiber of the blanket.  The higher the denier, the tough the outer shell.  Again, blankets vary in the denier and type of fabric.  A reasonable blanket is around 600 denier and a middle range on is about 800 denier.  The toughest of blankets will range from 1200 denier to 2100 denier.  Balistic nylon is the toughest type of blanket on the market for those horses that are tough on their outer wear. 

Below is a chart that can help you determine the strength of your blanket. 

Denier Strength
210 Very Light   Strength
420 Light   Strength
600 Medium   Strength
1200 Heavy   Strength
1680 Extra   Heavy Strength
2100 Super   Heavy Strength

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