Remember when we used to jostle for the dinner table with the view of Elliott Bay? No longer. In a winter where many of us relegate our going out to the great outdoors (i.e. a sidewalk on Capitol Hill), the most desirable seat in the house is the one closest to the heater.
But the odds of plopping down by one of the patio’s few towering heat sources—if the establishment has any—sometimes seem lower than catching Lake Union from Canlis on a Saturday evening. So we prepare ourselves for disappointment, either by sweating the whole walk over in a floor-length puffer or by carrying our own blankets, stuffed in brimming Baggus or constantly unfolding themselves around our arms like we’re starring in a bad infomercial.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Enter: The Blanket Carrier.
In its most fashionable form, it’s an adjustable leather strap that buckles around your rolled-up blanket, turning an unwieldy heating device into a nice cylindrical purse that's easy to carry between breweries and capable of hanging elegantly from the back of a chair.
Pendleton sells its recognizable carriers alongside motor robes (a very good gift!) or separately, in two different sizes (we recommend pairing it with Feathered Friends’ ultra-cozy, ultra-portable down throw). Portland-based Red Cloud Collective's take is handmade with English bridle leather and solid brass buckles.
Move away from the higher end versions and you're essentially in yoga mat strap territory. Adjustable versions like Lululemon’s Loop It Up mat strap or Manduka’s Go Move sling can easily serve double duty (use code 8LimbsYoga at Manduka’s website to send 25 percent of your purchase price to the currently closed local studio).
Looking for portable warmth but not sold on the strap? Approach packable, pocket-size blankets with caution: Either they’ll fold up well without providing any coziness, or you’ll never quite figure out how they fit in the first place. This Evan Kinori knit shawl from Capitol Hill boutique Glasswing is a much better alternative. Imagine your quarantine bubble’s surprise when you untie your scarf!
And even if you're currently snug as can be inside your favorite restaurant, keep this in mind: San Francisco just axed all indoor dining amid a third wave of Covid-19 cases. We could be close behind. Holding out for a spot by the heater will make for a long, cold, lonely winter.