The 10 Best Beach Blankets

Updated July 25, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Beach Blankets
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you're a beach lover but don't enjoy getting up-close and personal with sand while you're laying out, you're in need of a good blanket. Gear up for summer with one from our outstanding selection, ranked for comfort, price, and style. They include a wide range of desirable attributes, including storage pockets and water-resistance. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best beach blanket on Amazon.

10. Raqpak XL

The Raqpak XL measures a massive seven-by-seven feet and comes with 4 stakes and corner sand pockets, so it stays securely flat even without people or things atop it. It's thin and lightweight, making it easy to toss into your day bag or trunk.
  • enough room for the whole family
  • doesn't provide much padding
  • material gets hot in the sun
Brand Raqpak
Model pending
Weight 14.9 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. JJ Cole Outdoor Mat

The durable JJ Cole Outdoor Mat has stitched guiding lines for quick and accurate folding when you need to flee the sand pronto but want to keep things organized. It folds into a purse-like tote that's easy to carry and has a pocket for your keys and other small items.
  • available in seven styles
  • detachable carrying strap
  • surface is a bit slippery
Brand JJ Cole
Model EMGR
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Tuffo TA3 Outdoor

True to its name, the Tuffo TA3 Outdoor is durable enough to withstand just about anything. It will keep you sand-free and sitting pretty, especially because it comes in so many different colors and patterns, and includes a carrying bag for easy transport.
  • water-resistant nylon backing
  • bag has large storage pockets
  • could be a bit softer
Brand Tuffo
Model TA3-001
Weight 4.4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

7. Camco 42805

The Camco 42805 is available in two extra large sizes to provide enough room for everyone in the family to spread out, and features two convenient built-in pockets. Its woven texture makes it easy to shake free of sand at the end of the day.
  • mildew-resistant material
  • weighs just over one pound
  • handle stitching is a bit weak
Brand Camco 42805
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Yodo Blue Stripe

The Yodo Blue Stripe is an affordable polyester fleece throw with a durable and water-resistant PVC backing. For added comfort, it boasts a 2 millimeter thick foam layer in its center that provides adequate cushioning on most surfaces.
  • convenient self-enclosing design
  • doesn't attract sand
  • velcro closure wears out over time
Brand yodo
Model pending
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Matador Pocket 2.0

The Matador Pocket 2.0 is so small it could fit in your wallet, but ends up surprisingly spacious when unfolded to its full size. It's a wise idea to tuck one away in your glove compartment, for you never know where you'll end up.
  • built-in metal ground stakes
  • puncture- and water-resistant
  • a bit small for two people
Brand Matador
Model pending
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Miu Color

The Miu Color doesn’t discriminate; it can handle grass or sand and everything in between, and is soft enough to use when you have toddlers or infants rolling around with you. Its waterproof surface makes it easy to clean at the end of a day of fun.
  • interior foam cushioning layer
  • machine washable
  • easily folds into a handy clutch
Brand Wamber
Model pending
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Manual Woodworker ASSSH

Sometimes good old-fashioned 100% cotton is the way to go when you're in search of comfort on the sand. The Manual Woodworker ASSSH delivers just that, and features fringed edges and a colorful seashell pattern, in case you forget where you are after a nap.
  • stays soft after multiple washes
  • high-quality woven fabric
  • good for indoor use as well
Brand Manual Woodworker ASSSH
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

2. WildHorn Sand Escape

The WildHorn Sand Escape provides plenty of room to stretch out on and folds into an impressively small compression pouch when not in use. It's made of soft, quick-drying nylon, and features pockets at each corner that can be used for storage or weighing it down.
  • measures seven by nine feet
  • stylish duotone design
  • sand shakes off easily
Brand WildHorn Sand Escape
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Nikiani Palm Beach Crew

The Nikiani Palm Beach Crew is family-sized and features a 100% cotton top layer for super-soft summertime lounging. It also has a sealed, watertight easy-access pocket for your phone, keys, or cash, and it folds into itself for transport.
  • includes a matching bag
  • removable corner weights
  • waterproof bottom layer
Brand Palm Beach Crew
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

What Separates a Beach Blanket from an Indoor Blanket?

A beach blanket functions in the same way that any bedspread would. Simply put, the blanket provides a comfortable surface for you to place yourself and your accessories on.

The term "beach blanket" is broad, of course, as a lot of these blankets are generally used for picnics, parties, or outdoor concerts. Certain blankets are even designed to double as a poncho, or a makeshift table cloth (see the Raqpak Beach & Picnic Blanket above).

What separates a beach blanket from an indoor blanket is the thickness and the durability. Certain beach blankets come with padding, or a fleece lining, or a nylon layer across the bottom to keep any moisture from seeping through.

Beach blankets tend to place some cushion between you and the ground, and they're also designed for extreme weather conditions, which is why a lot of blankets are manufactured by using materials like polyester, as opposed to cotton, or other linens.

The only true engineering involved with owning a beach blanket involves how to keep it from blowing away. For decades beachgoers responded to coastline gusts by placing some type of item (e.g., a cooler, a purse, or a pair of sandals) across all four corners of their spread.

During the 1980s, manufacturers began including plastic stakes with their beach blankets. Plastic stakes proved too obtrusive, however, and they were soon replaced by weighted pockets. Weighted pockets are sewn into the corners of a blanket. They are designed to hold 3-4 pounds worth of sand. Once the pockets are full, the blanket sits in one place. At the end of the day, you simply dump out all the sand.

What Do I Need to Know About a Beach Blanket Before I Buy?

The most important thing to know before you buy is what you plan on using the blanket for.

If you're a shore person, you probably want a wide blanket made of cotton. You'll also want the blanket to be water-resistant (or waterproof), and, if possible, you'll want the blanket to come with either stakes or open pockets, for weighting down loose corners.

If, on the other hand, you'd like a blanket for outdoor concerts and picnics, your best bet might be a polyester blanket that won't let grass stains settle in. Certain blankets are even designed with a nylon bottom. Nylon is water-resistant so you can place it on wet grass.

As a precaution, you'll want to take into account what type of climate you live in. The barometer could determine whether you need a blanket that you can wear like a poncho (assuming you get stuck outside in stormy weather), or one that's designed with fleece-like material, so you can wrap it around you on a 55-degree night.

Assuming you've found a blanket that's got all the right stuff, the final priority becomes taking a look at the dimensions. If you're purchasing a blanket for one or two people, you'll want a surface that covers at least 5-6 square feet. If you're purchasing a blanket for the entire family, you'll want a surface that covers at least 7-8 square feet.

A Brief History of the Beach Blanket in America

Despite the fact that beach blankets have been used for centuries worldwide, most people consider them to be an American phenomenon.

Why is that? Well, it is due in large part to the west coast surfing craze of the 1960s - a craze that reached its peak around the time an internationally-successful motion picture entitled Beach Blanket Bingo hit the theaters.

There were a ton of surfing movies during that decade, like Surf Craze, Barefoot Adventure, and The Endless Summer, but Beach Blanket Bingo featured Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello in what would go on to become their final leading role as a couple (that is until the nostalgic Back to the Beach in 1987). Add Paul Lynde, Don Rickles, and Buster Keaton for comic effect, and you've got yourself a surfing movie for the ages.

All of which brings us back to the beach blanket, which had originally been referred to as a picnic blanket. The culture was changing, and so too were the ways in which we referred to household items. A "beach blanket" became more marketable, as people rarely went on picnics, but spent at least one week of every summer vacationing at the shore.

Over the past five decades beach blankets have been designed to last longer. They're made with more resistant fabrics, and a lot of blankets come with weighted pockets to hold the corners down (For more on this see "How do Beach Blankets Work?" above.)

Despite these bold leaps forward, the modern beach blanket remains a fairly traditional product. Its function hasn't changed, and it has remained a staple of the coastline scene ever since Americans first started vacationing at the shore during the early 1900s.

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Last updated on July 25, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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