Do you use coolers as blanket liners?

Do you use coolers as blanket liners when it gets really cold? How warm do you think they are?Example, would you equate them to say a 150g fill stable blanket?

Personally, I don’t use coolers. Damp fleece gets cold quickly. Depending on the level of warmth needed, I’ll either layer two turnouts or add a liner underneath. Schneider’s and SmartPak SmartTherapy both make 100g liners that work nicely under turnouts - they’ve been my go-to this winter.


I also don’t and wouldn’t use coolers. I find the fleece makes them sweaty especially if under a rainsheet or turnout blanket.

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I do in unusual circumstances, like all of their other warm blankets have gotten soaked in the rain or snow. I will use fleece fitted coolers or cotton knit fitted coolers.

But I really prefer my liners.

I think they both add similar warmth to my 100g liners.

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Fleece makes their hair super itchy and crumpled too.


Nope. They can get damp and heavy, and they tend to cause shoulder rubs. They also pull back and get tight against the shoulders and withers.

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I do. I’ll put it on under her rain sheet, mostly in the fall/early winter when I’ve left my pasture-kept horse unblanketed in a reasonable rain, but then the temperature is forecast to dip to near or below freezing, and the wind to pick up. So it’s generally overnight.

I have minimal experience with blanketing (I only do it in the above situation and below zero F, so it’s not a lot of times per year, and I only have the sheet, cooler, and a heavyish blanket), but it just seems wrong to put the rain sheet right over the wet coat. Her coat always dries up nicely with this combination, looks good the next morning, and I’ve never seen her sweating. I’ve also never had the cooler get wet or cause a rub.

ETA: my cooler does have two front straps, two (criss-cross) belly straps, and a tail cord, and fits & stays in place much the same as do her sheet or blanket.

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Mine are always super staticky so I stop using them entirely. I find that they don’t offer a lot of fill, usually on the low end of the 50-100g range.

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Nope, besides the dampness issue, there is too much fabric to fit smoothly and securely under a blanket so it bunches up and can cause the whole mess to slip. Coolers arent contured to fit and dont have multiple girths and buckles like the blankets, most just a big, rectangular wool sheet with one buckle in front. They are supposed to drape loosely to allow air circulation.

However, in extreme cold for my region at the time ( highs around -5f and lows -15f for 5 days) have added the cooler as an extra layer over the top of everything else. That way if they stepped on the longer hem of the cooler getting up, it just slipped off rather then pull the rest askew.

This just isn’t true these days.

30 years ago, sure.

Most of the “coolers” marketed to people in the sport horse disciplines for the past 20 or so years are fitted with proper front buckles, one or two surcingles, and tail cords. They are also often annoyingly short in drop, which I have never fully understood.

Pull up Dover or SmartPak’s website if you don’t believe me.

Personally, I still love my old rectangular wool coolers. I literally just used one last night that was probably twice as old as the horse wearing it. :rofl: But that’s not a cooler I would ever use under a blanket as a liner.


I like this one from Dover. It makes me think of a grandpa sweater because of the little collar. Chest buckles, two cris cross belly straps and a tail cord. I’ve not tried using it as a blanket liner as my horses have fairly extensive wardrobes. But! Cooler!


That is a gorgeous blanket!

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Thanks everyone for the replies, yesterday it was -45 here, and while I was changing blankets (adding a 150g stable sheet under a winter) I had a fellow boarder comment about how I should be using my fleece coolers instead of the stable sheets. In the end, I told her this is what me and my horses like and used my stable sheets.


In those temps I think you’re far better of using the 150 gram stable blanket as a liner! Brrrrrr that’s cold


Yes, I’ve used a fleece cooler a couple times when horse blanket was wet and my only option was a cooler under a sheet. I did use an elastic surcingle to help keep the cooler secure as it doesn’t have 2 belly straps. I wouldn’t do this on a routine basis. I never had a problem with it causing sweating. After all, coolers are used to wick away sweat after harder workouts, not trap it! Otherwise why would we ever use them?

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Thanks for the update Tex. Those who have the old style rectangles or use barn provided ones should still refrain from using them under blankets. Got no problem with the new style “ cooler” as a liner.


I have some coolers that I am considering sewing to my no fill blankets. I think fleece holds in warmth better than nylon. The problem with coolers is that they slip and get tight on the neck and shoulders. I think with some additional support they would probably work fine. I’ve also considered just sewing some supportive straps across the cooler. I think a cooler that doesn’t slip would make a very nice blanket liner and would be easier to wash.

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It’s not my favorite layer, but I’ve used both wool and fleece coolers as a bottom layer when the weather was truly bitter and I didn’t feel that I had an alternative in the horse’s wardrobe (either the rug was being repaired, or it was wet.) I do not use them as layers when the horse’s body is wet- for that, I’d stack multiple coolers to dry the horse, and do something else to keep him warm overnight- and I don’t turn out with them as the base layer unless they have criss-cross belly straps and I can rig up a tail cord. I wouldn’t plan to do it regularly.

I will add that some of the newer fabrics - like the Rambo Airmax - work really well under a blanket when you have to make a less than ideal management decision, i.e. put away a horse that is still slightly damp. You can then unbuckle them and pull them out at night check without taking off the top blanket and losing all the heat.

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