The 8 Best Beach Blankets to Buy in 2018

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A beach blanket is a must for your next trip to the shore, but they’re not all created equal. We’ve come a long way from the basic towels and picnic rugs of the past; now, options include huge yet lightweight blankets made of parachute nylon or microfiber blankets with unique patterns and shapes designed to make a fashion statement. Below, we look at a wide range of different options to suit all tastes, whether you’re a fashionista with a penchant for retro glamor or a Mom in need of a solution to keep your entire family sand-free. See our picks for the best beach blankets to buy today.

Our Top Picks

01 of 08

Best Overall: Sand Escape Compact Outdoor Beach Blanket

Sand Escape Compact Outdoor Beach Blanket

Wildhorn Outfitters

4.7

The Sand Escape Compact Outdoor Beach Blanket is reasonably priced, especially considering its large size. At 9’ x 7’, the blanket offers 63 square feet of sand-free space, providing ample room for all of your beach gear and family members. Four integrated sand anchor pockets help to keep the blanket on the ground even in high winds. Reviewers particularly love the fact that despite the blanket’s huge size, it’s also amazingly compact.

It comes with an integrated stuff pouch and compression straps (attached so that you’ll never lose them), and packs away to just 6” x 7” for hassle-free storage. The blanket is made from ultra-lightweight, tear-resistant parachute nylon, and is designed to last for years to come. Best of all, sand can’t stick to it. At the end of the day, simply shake it off and revel in the novelty of a sand-free car and home. Choose sea blue/charcoal, meadow green/gray or dark blue/gray stripes.

02 of 08

Best Budget: Camco Handy Mat with Strap

The Camco Handy Mat costs a fraction of the price of some of the other blankets on this list but remains a firm favorite. It’s made from durable, mildew-resistant polypropylene, making it difficult to stain and easy to clean. Fabric edging prevents fraying, while the mat itself is UV-stabilized to guard against fading over time.

Essentially, this blanket proves that cheap doesn’t have to mean poor quality. It measures 60” x 78”, and folds into a compact 10.5” x 15” tote complete with a hook and loop flap, handles and a pocket on either side. It’s a breeze to carry to the beach, and even easier to fit in your cupboard afterward. Choose blue/green, green/red or green/turquoise stripes.

03 of 08

Best Circular: Ricdecor Microfiber Large Round Beach Blanket

Tired of conventional rectangular or square blankets? Stand out from the crowd with Ricdecor’s Microfiber Large Round Beach Blanket. It comes in a variety of eye-catching patterns, including an Indian mandala, flamingos and pineapples or stylized jungle foliage. It’s made from microfiber, a super soft and absorbent fabric that allows the blanket to double as an effective beach towel. It’s also conveniently quick-drying. With a 60” diameter, the blanket provides ample space for two people. In between beach trips, it’s perfect for yoga or meditation sessions, or for use as a unique tapestry or throw for your bedroom.

04 of 08

Most Stylish: Scuddles Blue & White Striped Tote Blanket

For flawless retro style, opt for the Scuddles Blue & White Striped Tote Blanket. Its soft polypropylene weave boasts artfully faded blue, white and chocolate stripes, while fabric edging helps to prevent fraying - keeping your blanket looking smart for longer. When you’re not using it, the blanket folds into a tote with pockets on either side, a woven handle and a color-coordinated, messenger-style flap.

It’s as practical as it is stylish, with a waterproof backing that keeps you dry (and is amazingly easy to clean). The polypropylene is also mold and mildew-resistant - a major bonus if you forget to air it properly before packing it away. When open, the blanket measures 60” x 78”, providing plenty of space for couples and families of up to four people.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Best with Waterproof Lining: Songmics Outdoor Waterproof Blanket

The Songmics Outdoor Waterproof Blanket combines the comfort of a beach towel with the water- and sand-proof benefits of a nylon tarp. With soft fabric on one side and a water-resistant PEVA lining on the other, this blanket lets you lounge in comfort while staying dry. It even has a layer of foam padding on the inside for added cushioning. The polyester back wipes free of sand, dirt, and mud, and can travel beyond the beach for use at sports matches, music festivals and campsites. At 77 x 59 inches, it can comfortably seat four adults.

When you’re finished with it, simply fold up the Songmics Outdoor Waterproof Blanket and secure it with the attached Velcro flap. The attached handles allow for instant portability, and the whole thing weighs less than two pounds, making it an unobtrusive addition to your beach bag. This blanket is available in five vibrant prints.    

06 of 08

Best Oversized: Kahuna Next Gen Parachute Beach Blanket

A great solution for big families or beach parties, the 8’ x 8’ Kahuna Next Gen Parachute Beach Blanket provides 64 square feet of space that comfortably accommodates four adults (or any similar combination of children, dogs, and beach gear). It’s made from durable, ultra-light parachute nylon and features 12 sand pockets and four ground stakes to anchor it to the sand. There’s also a built-in zippered pocket for your valuables. And, because sand can’t stick to nylon, your days of gritty sandwiches and uncomfortable chafing are over.

At the end of the day, pack the Kahuna blanket into its 6” x 8” pouch. With a total weight of only one pound, it’s an almost unnoticeable addition to your beach bag, unlike the bulky towels and beach blankets of the past. And the fact that it’s extremely fast-drying means you can use the Kahuna blanket as a trunk or seat liner to keep your car water- and sand-free on the ride home. This beach blanket is available in four different color combinations. 

07 of 08

Most Durable: IndigoMer Reversible Folding Wicker Rug

Those that prefer a more substantial blanket should opt for the IndigoMer Reversible Folding Wicker Rug. It’s made from up-cycled plastic strands and woven together to create a beautiful braided design inspired by traditional Bedouin culture. Like the original Bedouin mats, this one is intended to withstand repeated use and exposure to the elements, and won’t rip, tear, fade or disintegrate over time. Reviewers love its sturdiness, which provides enough support to balance plates and cups; and extra padding for pebble or shingle beaches.

The mat is also waterproof and easy to clean with a single wipe. There are three colors to choose from: blue and ivory, green and ivory and maroon and ivory. All have a reversible pattern on the opposite side that lets you change things up whenever you get bored. Sizes range from small (79” x 55”) to extra large (118” x 118”). Whichever you go for, the mat folds easily for convenient storage in your closet or car trunk.

08 of 08

Best Multipurpose: Napa Water-Resistant Beach Blanket & Poncho

Available in black or red, the Napa Water-Resistant Beach Blanket features water-resistant polyester on one side and a fleece lining on the other. When open, it measures 50” x 60”, and is intended for use as a blanket, a stadium seat or a picnic table cover. Perhaps most usefully, it also doubles as a poncho, thanks to the hood contained in a hidden compartment. Wear it with the polyester side facing outwards to protect yourself from unexpected rain. The blanket folds away into a slender tote, which reviewers state makes a comfortable pillow or cushion. However you decide to use your blanket, it’s machine washable for easy cleaning when you’re done.

Products We Tested

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent eight hours testing one of the top beach blankets available. To get the most accurate results, our testers packed this blanket on a trip to the shore, laid it out on the sand, and lounged for hours on end. We asked our reviewers to consider the most important features when using this blanket, from its size to its material. We've outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Beach Blanket

Size and shape Think about how much stuff you plan to put on your beach blanket — and then add a few more square feet. (Larger families with loads of gear will want a larger footprint.) Most beach blankets come in either rectangular or square shapes, though one of our picks bucks convention with its circular footprint.

Fabric Beach blankets are made from all sorts of materials, including water-resistant polyester, fleece, parachute nylon, and microfiber. Even the most rugged models typically have softer fabrics on top and some employ fabrics and fabric treatments that keep sand from clinging to the blanket.

Use For some folks, simple protection from the sand will suffice. For others — especially bigger families — added features like sand anchors and stakes might be helpful at keeping the blanket in place. Pockets are also great for those who love playing in the waves and want a secure spot for their valuables.

Test Results: Sand Escape Compact Outdoor Beach Blanket (Best Overall)

4.7

What We Like

  • Large size

  • Easy to transport

  • Dries quickly

What We Don't Like

  • Limited design options

Sand Escape Compact Outdoor Beach Blanket
Sand Escape Outdoor Beach Blanket
Sand Escape Beach Blanket

“This blanket is so much better than using a towel to lounge around on the beach,” gushed one of our testers. In particular, our reviewers loved its large size, fast-drying material, and attached pouch for easy portability. “You can fold the blanket right into the pouch,” one explained, “and just balling it up and putting it in works — it's great if you're in a rush.” Our testers did, however, wish this blanket came in other designs. “The current colors look a bit like a camping tent,” one reviewer noted.