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12 Best Beach Blankets to Pack for Socially Distanced Summer Trips

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The Rumpl Stash Mat comes in a variety of colors.

Courtesy of Rumpl

The Rumpl Stash Mat comes in a variety of colors.

Whether you’re looking for a sand-proof beach blanket or an extra large one that fits the entire family, we’ve found something that deserves a spot on your packing list.

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Summer’s not over just yet and there’s still plenty of time to plan a socially distanced beach getaway to the coast or your favorite lake. Don’t assume your beach house rental will have all the essentials you’ll need to stake out your own spot on the sand, though. In addition to sunscreen and a swimsuit, you’ll want to bring your own beach blanket to keep your feet and bottom protected from the hot sand.

Sure, you can always repurpose the top sheet of a bed set you’re ready to get rid of. But these beach blankets include clever features like integrated carrying cases, water-resistant bottoms, sand-proof materials, and weighted corners that will make your day at the beach way less of a hassle. Here are the 12 best beach blankets that you’ll want to pack the next time you head to the coast.

CJGear Sandlite Sand-Free Mat

  • Buy now: $55, cgear-sandfree.com
  • Dimensions: 40 x 78 inches (small, fits approximately 1 person)
  • Weight: 1.43 lbs.
  • Features: Sand-proof; water resistant; integrated carrying handle

Made with staggered layers of polyester, CJGear’s Sandlite beach mats allow particles of sand to fall through the patented fabric instead of sitting on top of it or sticking to it. The mats also come with a carrying handle and elastic closure loop for easy portability. The price and dimensions listed above are for its small one-person beach mat, but it also comes in medium (up to two people) and large (up to four people).

Grand Trunk Parasheet Beach Blanket

  • Buy now: $30, amazon.com
  • Dimensions: 84 x 84 inches (extra large, fits approximately 5 people)
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Features: Sand-proof; water resistant; integrated stuff sack; corner sand pockets; corner stake loops

Chicago-based Grand Trunk started off by making parachute nylon travel hammocks back in 2001. Since then it has expanded to a variety of outdoor travel gear, including the Parasheet beach blanket, which is made from water-resistant parachute nylon that sand won’t stick to. Despite its extra-large size that can fit approximately five people, it packs up into a stuff sack that is roughly the size of a water bottle. In addition to reinforced stake loops on all corners, it also includes corner sand pockets so you can weigh down the blanket without having to bring along stakes.

Rumpl Stash Mat

  • Buy now: $69, rumpl.com
  • Dimensions: 52 x 75 inches (medium, fits approximately 2 people)
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs.
  • Features: Sand-proof; water-resistant bottom; paracord edge loops; integrated carrying case

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From the makers of one of our favorite packable camping blankets, this ground cover works just as well as a beach blanket as it does on muddy surfaces in the park. Built with a 5K laminated waterproof underside and a soft faux suede top that repels sand, the Rumpl Stash Mat also comes with an attached carrying case and paracord edge loops so you can stake it into the sand or dirt. If you’re planning on using it as a beach blanket to lie down on, it fits two people comfortably, but four people can sit on it at a time.

Slowtide Dylan Beach Blanket

  • Buy now: $58, rei.com
  • Dimensions: 66 x 80 inches (medium, fits approximately 2 people)
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs. 
  • Features: Machine washable; sustainably made

Fans of lightweight Turkish cotton towels will love this oversized version to use as a beach blanket for trips to the shore. The Slowtide Dylan beach blanket doesn’t just look good—it’s also made with 100 percent Turkish chambray cotton sourced through Cotton LEADS, a program dedicated to responsible cotton production. 

Matador Ocean Pocket Blanket

  • Buy now: $35, matadorup.com
  • Dimensions: 44 x 63 inches (small, fits 1 person)
  • Weight: 3.8 oz.
  • Features: Sand-proof; water resistant; built-in corner stakes; weighted corners and sand pockets; integrated storage pouch

The lightest blanket on this list, this pocket-sized wonder can go with you anywhere you need a clean, dry place to sit. It packs a lot of features into a few ounces. Made with water- and puncture-resistant HyperLyte Nylon, it also includes attached ground stakes for windy conditions and an integrated storage pouch that you can carry it in. It fits one person lying down, or up to four people sitting if you’re sharing it as a picnic blanket. The Matador Pocket Blanket comes in several colors, but the limited edition Ocean version features artwork from Hawaii-based artist Sarah Caudle. For every Ocean Pocket Blanket sold, Matador removes one pound of trash from waterways. 

Coalatree Kachula Adventure Blanket

  • Buy now: $67 (was $79), coalatree.com
  • Dimensions: 50 x 72 inches (medium, fits approximately 2 people)
  • Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz.
  • Features: Water resistant; made from recycled materials; converts into travel pillow

Both the nylon flannel top and ripstop nylon bottom of the Coalatree Kachula Adventure blanket are made with recycled materials, making this an eco-friendly choice. Thanks to several clever features, it can be used as so much more than a ground cover for a day at the beach or the park. If you stuff it into itself, it can be used as a travel pillow, and also comes with a snap-attached hood so you can wear it as a poncho. The reinforced snaps on its sides also allow you to connect multiple blankets together to use as a light sleeping bag.

Johanna Howard Home Atlas Throw

  • Buy now: $150, johannahoward.com
  • Dimensions: 50 x 65 inches (small, fits 1 person)
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs.
  • Features: Machine washable

Designed by Johanna Howard, a former clothing designer, this 100 percent cotton throw is beautiful enough to drape over your couch and cozy up with during Netflix sessions. But since it’s machine washable, you can also toss it in your tote bag to use as a beach blanket or for a picnic in the park without worrying about ruining it.

Sea of Diamonds Oversized Beach Towel

  • Buy now: $95, soukiemodern.com
  • Dimensions: 51 x 75 inches (medium, fits approximately 2 people)
  • Weight: n/a
  • Features: Machine washable

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Founded by Taib Lotfi, who was born and raised in Morocco, and Hollywood-native Kenya Knight, Palm Springs’s Soukie Modern is known for its vintage Moroccoan rug collection. But it also sells other home decor—including this oversized beach towel designed to look like a Moroccan rug (it even has tassels!). It’s large enough to use as a beach blanket for two people but is made with ultra-absorbent velour/terry cotton so it doubles as a towel, too. If you can’t get enough of Soukie Modern’s design aesthetic, bookmark the Palm Springs Airbnb Knight operates for your next trip.

ENO Islander Deluxe Blanket

  • Buy now: $60, rei.com
  • Dimensions: 99 x 99 inches (extra-large, fits approximately 6 people)
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz.
  • Features: Machine washable; stuff sack included; tent stakes included 

Asheville-based Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) began as a hammock company in 1999, and it has since expanded to make durable, ripstop nylon beach blankets as well. The ENO Islander Deluxe blanket is large enough to fit up to six adults sitting and comes with a nylon stuff sack to carry it in once your beach day ends. The ultra lightweight blanket comes with aluminum tent stakes that allow you to anchor it in the sand (or grass or dirt if you’re taking it camping). In addition to planting two trees for every hammock sold, ENO gives 1 percent of its annual sales to nonprofit environmental organizations as a member of the 1% for the Planet group.

Nomadix Festival Blanket

  • Buy now: $70, rei.com
  • Dimensions: 60 x 70 inches (medium, fits approximately 2 people)
  • Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz.
  • Features: Sand-proof; water resistant; anchoring corners; made from recycled materials

Made in several Instagram-friendly colors and patterns, the Nomadix Festival blanket has a water-resistant base and soft sand-proof top to keep you dry and comfortable when you’re at the beach. It comes with anchoring corners so you can use your own tent stakes to keep it pinned down on windy days. In addition to making all products with postconsumer recycled plastic, Nomamix is also a member of the 1% for the Planet group.

Mer Sea Beach Blanket

  • Buy now: $99, mersea.com
  • Dimensions: 65 x 87 inches (medium, fits approximately 3 people)
  • Weight: n/a
  • Features: Corner sand pockets; machine washable; carry tote included

Known for minimalistic sweaters and travel wraps, Mer Sea translated its simple aesthetic to its Turkish cotton beach blankets. Though these extra large blankets—also available in navy blue and charcoal gray—may look plain, they come with several clever designs, including corner pockets you can fill with sand so the blanket doesn’t blow away, and a matching carry tote that makes it easy to travel with.

Yeti Lowlands Blanket

  • Buy now: $200, yeti.com
  • Dimensions: 55 x 78 inches (medium, fits approximately 2 people)
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs.
  • Features: Waterproof; carrying case included; machine washable

At nearly six pounds, the Yeti Lowlands blanket is the heftiest option on this list. But its waterproof bottom and padded and insulated upper means you can use it for much more than a day at the beach. It can repel both dirt and pet hair, so bring it along on camping trips or use it on road trips for your pup to sit on. When you’re done using it, it conveniently packs away into its own carrying case.

Products we write about are independently vetted and recommended by our editors. AFAR may earn a commission if you buy through our links, which helps support our independent publication.

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