I’d like to start this review off with a sincere, heartfelt apology to the team at Wildish for the Mr. Big Stuff blanket. I’m sorry for not believing in you from the moment I was assigned to try you out over Memorial Day Weekend. Your pouch was so tiny, so lightweight I immediately wrote you off as another beach gimmick, akin to those stupid clips shaped like parrots that are supposed to keep your towel attached to your chair. I thought that this was something that only the tourists who wear socks with sandals on the beach and massively over pack would buy, probably from one of those beachside stores that has a million boobie mugs on display in the window.
I was so, so wrong. Please forgive me Mr. Big Stuff, you are the real deal.
I thought that I was the expert in beach packing. After years of beachside apartment living, I have a reusable plastic shopping bag that is permanently packed with necessary beach essentials- 4 different sunscreens, a few cozies, a hair brush, a deck of cards, a utility knife, a pair of swim goggles and a giant orange retro floral flat sheet. Supplement this with a clean towel and some icy beverages, then head on out to claim your spot in the sand. I felt a great deal of pride carrying my one bag down the elevator and out to the beach while everybody else seemed to struggle like hermit crabs with entire houses worth of junk strapped to their backs. I was smug, and I had become complacent.
The old sheet was bulky, beginning to fall apart, and smelled awful despite periodic washings. It also never dried by the time I was ready to pack it up, and the color was… well, it was pretty much what you would expect it to be after about a decade of abuse and suntan lotion. Really, the only redeeming quality the poor guy still had was the cool print, which made a unique and fun-looking base camp. Since I tend to be more of a form than function- type person, this was more than a good enough reason to keep the sheet’s sacred position in the beach bag. Whatever, it also made an awesome toga when I walked back from the beach. I’m not perfect.
Off the bat, Mr. Big Stuff took up about a quarter of the space generally reserved for my beloved sheet. It was also much, much lighter and neatly packaged into the little sleeping bag pouch thingy- for a beach minimalist, this is amazing, you may even be able to downsize your beach bag. For those of you beach-hoarders, you could use the saved space for like 3 sets of stupid parrot towel clips.
Opened up, I followed the directions and filled the corner pouches up with sand- TA-DA! Mr. Big Stuff stayed put. The weather was calm and I was lazy so the stakes never made it out, but it seems like they would make the blanket stay put pretty much anywhere. Mr. Big Stuff didn’t wad up or fly around at all.
I knew what would really make or break the blanket for me was how it dried- the little pouch is cool and everything but what’s the point if you can’t actually use it? We laid down on Mr. Big Stuff right after getting wet, then timed it to see how fast it would dry. Despite being in a tropical climate with like a million percent humidity at all times, the wet areas were pretty much dry by the time we found a phone and started the timer. WHOA. Fast forward 3 minutes from then and Mr. Big Stuff was completely dry.
As a control, the old floral sheet was set up right next to Mr. Big Stuff. By the time we left, the sheet was all crumpled up and damp as usual. When the time came to pack up, Mr. Big Stuff easily and conveniently folded back into its pouch without taking a ton of sand along for the ride. Floral sheet was not so easy and since it was still wet, ended up stuffed in an empty cooler.
WHAT YOU GET
- 1x Mr. Big Stuff beach blanket w/ Classic Sand Pockets & 6 Tent Stake Loops
- 1x Stuff Sack
- 6x Aluminum Stakes