Best Picnic Blanket for Sand

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I have 5 kids and we spend a lot of time at the beach during the summer – so I know first hand how much of a difference the best picnic blanket for sand can make. Here’s some great options for your next trip to the beach (or any sandy picnic spot)! 

Best Picnic Blanket for Sand

There’s nothing more annoying than sitting down (especially when you’re wet) and there being a bunch of sand on your picnic blanket! Even if you’re just having a picnic in a sandy area it’s super annoying to have a blanket that’s constantly covered in sand.

Sand is also a pain because it can be hard to get off your blanket. Some brands are difficult to shake off, and others might get stained. Especially if you press wet sand into them. That’s a no-go.

Then again, you want a picnic blanket that’s big enough for you and whoever you’re picnicking with. You probably also want something that’s comfortable to sit on, and that of course doesn’t try to blow away the minute you get up.

How Are Sand-Proof Picnic Blankets Different?

So you’re probably wondering why it even makes a difference to get a picnic blanket for sand vs a standard picnic blanket. How different can they possibly be?

While it’s true that some picnic blankets work great for sand, grass, and almost any other surface you need a little something between you and the ground, there are also picnic blankets that are specifically made to be used on sand.

Some beach blankets, or picnic blankets for sand, are very thin. Since the sand itself is usually relatively comfortable to lay on there really isn’t a need for a lot of padding.

They’re also easier to clean, because chances are where you have sand you also have water. The “mud” the wet sand creates can stain some blankets, even if they’re machine washable.

Picnic blankets for sand also repel the sand a little bit. That means that they can usually be brushed off, or at the very least come pretty clean when shaken off. Unlike a soft blanket where the sand might cling (especially if damp), sand should come right off these picnic blankets.

Finally, there isn’t always a way to anchor picnic blankets into sand. Often the sand is too soft to support a stake so you end up with a blanket that will blow around in the wind – especially around the corners. Some of these blankets have pockets that you can actually fill with sand to help weigh the blanket down.

Planning an outdoor picnic by the beach? You might want to check out these folding picnic tables that are perfect for children and adults alike, too!

DSTAR Beach Blanket, Extra Large  

Best picnic blanket for sand DSTAR beach blanket

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I absolutely love the size of this picnic blanket. It’s big enough to hold between 5 and 9 adults, which means everyone can get invited to your beach picnic. It’s also a great option for families so everyone has plenty of space.

Made from nylon, sand has no chance of sticking to this thing. Although it is very lightweight and easy to transport, the corners have the option of stakes or filling the pockets with sand to weigh it down. Finally, the pockets on the side are handy to keep your phone and other accessories safe from the sand.

Pros:

  • Very large blanket
  • Easy to set up and you can weigh down the corners
  • Sand and waterproof
  • Includes a carry bag

Cons:

  • Tricky to fold when it’s windy outside
  • Sand stays on it until brushed or shaken off

ENO, Eagles Nest Outfitters Field Day Fleece Blanket

Eagles Nest Outfitters beach blanket

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I don’t know about you but when I’m wet and cold it’s really nice to have something soft against my skin when I sit down. Especially when it’s a little bit windy. That’s why this blanket is great – one size is made of water and sand resistant material, the other is fleece. 

Of course the biggest drawback with the sand is that it can sometimes get stuck onto fleece. You’ll definitely need to shake this blanket off if too much sand gets tracked onto it. But, if you want something soft, the fact that it’s lined on the back means it still works well.

Pros:

  • Soft and comfortable to sit on
  • Nylon side is water resistant
  • Buckle converts the blanket into a cape, which is nice to convert it from picnic blanket to warming blanket

Cons:

  • Made for one person, although more than one could fit if you’re sitting
  • Sand could get stuck to the fleece side
  • You’ll need to shake it to get the sand off

Beach Blanket Picnic Mat

Picnic mat for keeping sand out of your food

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This blanket is very similar to the DSTAR Beach Blanket in terms of materials and set up. However, the key difference is that this picnic blanket for sand has some fun games built into the design. That means you don’t have to lug extra equipment if you want your beach or park picnic to include games.

Besides that it’s water repellent and easy to clean. The sand will sit on top, but it’s pretty easy to brush or shake off if there’s too much on the blanket.

Pros:

  • 2 in 1 – beach blanket and mat for games
  • Corner pockets or anchors mean it won’t blow in the wind
  • Good size for a group

Cons:

  • Might not be comfortable to play games while people are seated on the blanket
  • Game area means you lose sitting space when games are in use
  • Extra accessories like bean bags could get lost

YETI Lowlands Blanket

Lowlands blanket for taking to the beach on a picnic

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Everything YETI brand makes seems to be good quality and designed for rugged outdoor use. This blanket is no exception. It’s made of soft quilted material on one side and the other is a waterproof backing.

When not in use everything gets stored in the handy carrying bag (that is also very well designed.) Sand and pet hair shake off easily, and if you happen to get it dirt this blanket is also machine washable.

Pros:

  • Waterproof on the back
  • Dirt, sand, pet hair, and other debris shakes off easily
  • Easy to care for and machine washable

Cons:

  • Would be nice if it was bigger
  • Can be difficult to fold and fit into the carrying case, especially alone or when it’s windy

ABETER Sand Free Beach Mat Blanket

ABETER sand free beach blanket perfect for families

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All the blankets on this list repel sand or are super easy to clean, but imagine if there wasn’t any sand on the blanket at all! That’s what this one does. It actually has small holes throughout so the sand just falls through to the other side.

This mat is more of a barrier between you and the sand than a great picnic blanket, but it still makes the list because it’s super handy when you’re trying to keep sand off your towels during a beach picnic.

Pros:

  • Dry sand falls through the mat
  • Keeps towels and other fabrics from getting sandy
  • Great size

Cons:

  • Material is not comfortable to sit on so you’ll still want a cushion
  • If you lay it on uneven ground sand can push up through
  • Wet sand doesn’t fall through as easily

What is the Best Picnic Blanket for Sand?

If you’re still not sure which one to go with, our pick for the best picnic blanket for sand is the DSTAR Beach Blanket. Not only is it extra large (and actually large, not like some blankets), it’s designed to work extremely well with sand.

While there are some better blankets out there in general (like the YETI), they just don’t stack up when specifically being used at a sandy park or the beach. 

Back to the DSTAR Beach Blanket – one of the best features about it is that it’s completely waterproof. The material isn’t porous, which means there’s nowhere for the sand to get stuck. It’s super easy to brush the sand off, shake off the mat, or even use a small broom on it.

While it’s not as plush or comfortable as something that’s fleece lined, it makes up for it when you don’t need to worry about your blanket getting wet or dirty. That’s not to say it’s uncomfortable, though – you can still sit on this blanket comfortably.

The only time you might want to consider a different picnic blanket is if you’re planning on sitting on a hard surface. Some sandy places can be really rocky or full of debris; in that case you’re better off with a blanket that has more padding.

Finally, the fact that it has pockets and stakes means you don’t have to worry about the blanket blowing away regardless of where you have it set up.

Best Picnic Blanket for Sand – Final Thoughts

While the DSTAR Beach Blanket is definitely the best overall pick as the best picnic blanket for sand all these blankets are great options.

It really comes down to how many people you’re entertaining, whether you want something that you can use on hard ground, how water/sand proof the blanket needs to be, and what your budget is.

Everett

Everett hates writing bios but loves writing other things. He's really into geek culture, travelling, and books. When not raising 5 kids, you'll probably find him blogging over at thebestnest.co or wasting way too much time on Twitter (@EvvyWrites).