The 8 Best Picnic Blankets for Parks, Beaches, and Camping Trips, According to Lab Testing

Our top choice is the L.L.Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket, which repels moisture and provides a plush cushion on rocky surfaces.

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Picnic blankets
Dera Burreson/Better Homes & Gardens

The idea of hosting a picnic probably conjures up images of a sun-soaked field, woven baskets full of delicious food, and a classic checkered picnic blanket. In reality, picnicking can be a lot less glamorous if you don't have the right gear.

The best picnic blankets will keep you cozy and dry on dewy grass, cushion you against rocks underneath, repel sand and dirt when packing up, and resist stains when you accidentally spill your glass of red wine.

We put 30 of the best picnic blankets to the test in our lab in Des Moines, Iowa, to figure out which ones are worth buying and which you should skip. Our testing included rating the softness of each blanket when spread out over rocks and hard surfaces, spilling sand and grape juice on them to see how easy they are to wipe off and shake out, and noting the overall quality of each one.

After two days of rigorous testing, we selected the L.L. Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket as the overall best picnic blanket because of its thick cushioning that keeps you comfortable when sitting on uneven terrain and how easy it is to clean.

Here are the best picnic blankets.

Best Overall: L.L.Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket

4.5
L.L.Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket

L.L.Bean

Why You Should Get It: This picnic blanket is machine-washable and can tumble-dry in the dryer, so it's easy to clean and remove stains.

Keep in Mind: Testers found it difficult to shake sand out of the fleece side of this blanket.

Whether you're spreading this blanket out at your kids' Saturday soccer games or packing it on a weekend camping trip, the L.L.Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket makes sitting on the ground surprisingly comfortable. It has a slick, waterproof underside that repels moisture, so morning dew or damp ground from recent rainfall won't soak into the blanket.

Its top layer is made from thick, durable fleece, which our testers found to be extremely plush and cozy. Even when sitting or lying on top of rocks, we could barely feel any lumps beneath the blanket, making it great for use on uneven terrain.

One tester noted that this picnic blanket also doubles as an extra-warm sleeping blanket if you're camping, so you can curl up in your tent or by the fire without getting chilly.

When we spilled grape juice on the L.L.Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket as part of our tests, we found that most of the liquid was super easy to remove after blotting the stain with a few paper towels. This means you won't have to worry about accidental spills permanently staining your blanket. Plus, it's machine washable and safe to tumble-dry, so keeping this blanket clean is no problem.

Our testers found that sand clings to this picnic blanket, and it took several shakes to remove sand particles during our lab testing. Therefore, we don't recommend using it at the beach.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 72 x 58 Inches
  • Material: Nylon and polyester fleece
  • Cleaning Method: Machine wash and dry
  • L.L. Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket
    Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Best for Travel: Little Unicorn Outdoor Blanket

4.8
Little Unicorn Blanket

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It comes with a weather-proof carrying case for easy transport.

Keep in Mind: This blanket is pretty small compared to other picnic blankets we tested.

This lightweight yet durable picnic blanket is perfect for storing in the back of your car or packing for travel. While it's one of the smaller blankets we tested, our experts were surprised by its softness, making it super comfortable for resting, even on rocks or uneven surfaces.

The fabric is water-resistant, and we found that it repelled stains and moisture shockingly well—the grape juice we spilled on it came right out, even on the white parts of this blanket. Sand was also quite easy to shake out, though we noticed that the sand left a subtle residue that needed to be wiped off.

Our testers also liked that this picnic blanket comes with an over-the-shoulder carrying case, making it easy to fold up and transport from one place to another. It also ensures that your blanket doesn't become an unfolded mess in the trunk of your car if you plan to store it there.

Since its dimensions are pretty small at 5 square feet, it's not great for seating more than two people at once, so plan to bring extra blankets if you're picnicking with friends.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 60 x 60 Inches
  • Material: Polyester
  • Cleaning Method: Machine washable
Little Unicorn Indoor Outdoor Blanket
Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Best Camping: YETI Lowlands Blanket With Travel Bag

Yeti Lowlands Blanket

Yeti

Why You Should Get It: This waterproof picnic blanket repelled stains better than any of the other blankets we tested.

Keep in Mind: Because of its plushness, we found it slightly difficult to fold.

If you frequently find yourself on outdoor adventures—whether that's camping trips, hiking excursions, or days at the beach—this camping picnic blanket from Yeti is more than worth the hefty price tag. Our testers loved the quality of this blanket, which received perfect scores for its comfort level, durability, and ease of cleaning.

When spilling grape juice on the Yeti Lowlands blanket for our tests, we were shocked that it repelled the liquid instead of absorbing it, making it easy to wipe up the spill without leaving even a hint of a stain. Similarly, when shaking out spilled sand, the particles didn't cling to the fabric but came out in just a few shakes.

We also found this blanket to be extremely plush to sit and lie on, making even rocky terrain feel comfortable. Our testers noted that they couldn't feel any rocks when sprawled out on the blanket unless they sat directly on top of one, and even then, the padding made it barely noticeable.

The blanket is even waterproof, so you'll be protected from any dew or moisture soaking through the layers and making your clothes soggy. And if the Yeti blanket ends up getting dirty, you can simply toss it in the washer and dryer.

Because it's so plush, our testers had a bit of trouble folding this camping picnic blanket up and fitting it into the carrying case after use, so plan to have a second person help you.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 55 x 78 Inches
  • Material: Polyester and rayon
  • Cleaning Method: Machine wash and dry
Yeti Lowlands Blanket
Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Best for Beach: Red Camp Waterproof Picnic Blanket

3.8
REDCAMP Extra Large Picnic Blanket Waterproof Sandproof

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This waterproof picnic blanket repels sand, making it easy to shake out without tracking debris home with you.

Keep in Mind: The blanket is quite thin, so it doesn't provide much cushion against rocks and hard surfaces.

Nothing beats a day spent sunbathing at the beach. And while a cozy beach towel makes a great seaside accessory, bringing a picnic blanket along can provide a larger surface area for snacking, spreading out, and protecting your belongings from the sand.

We liked this Redcamp waterproof picnic blanket because of its portable, sand-resistant design. During testing, we found it to be extremely lightweight and easy to fold, so it won't be as bulky as other picnic blankets when carrying it from the beach to your car. It also has a handy carrying handle, so you can easily transport it without taking up a bunch of space in your arms.

This picnic blanket is best suited for the beach, rather than a hard surface like rocks or uneven terrain, as the material is quite thin and doesn't provide much cushioning. It's also a slick material, which makes it waterproof and prevents sand from getting caught in the fibers of the blanket. We were able to successfully shake out the sand with minimal effort during our tests.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 59 x 79 Inches
  • Material: Polyester and PVC
  • Cleaning Method: Wipe with a damp cloth

Related: The 11 Best Beach Towels, According to Lab Testing

Red Camp Waterproof Picnic Blanket
Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Best Waterproof: Oceas Large Waterproof Outdoor Blanket

4.2
Large Waterproof Outdoor Blanket

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The fabric is much more comfortable than other waterproof picnic blankets we tested.

Keep in Mind: Sand and dirt clung to the back of this blanket, and it took a few shakes to remove.

When putting the best picnic blankets to the test, we found that most waterproof options felt very plasticky and uncomfortable to sit on, making loud crunching noises every time we moved. However, the Oceas Outdoor Waterproof Blanket was the exception.

Made with a thick fleece fabric on top and a double-coated layer of waterproof polyester on the bottom, this picnic blanket felt extremely soft and cozy to sit on while providing an impressive barrier against moisture. Our testers loved the quality of the ripstop fabric, which made it feel more durable than other blankets we tested.

At 58 inches long by 79 inches wide, this blanket is large enough to accommodate multiple people at a time, making it great for group picnics or wrapping around yourself and a friend at outdoor sporting events.

We wouldn't recommend this picnic blanket for use at the beach, though, as sand and dirt clung to it during our tests and made it difficult to shake out. It also didn't hold up as well as others when we spilled grape juice on it, so be careful to keep potentially staining liquids off of this blanket.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 58 x 79 Inches
  • Material: Fleece and polyester
  • Cleaning Method: Machine washable
  • Oceas Outdoor Waterproof Blanket
    Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Best Classic: Three Donkeys Picnic Blanket

4.5
Three Donkeys Picnic Blanket

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: We loved the extra space this oversized picnic blanket offered while still remaining lightweight.

Keep in Mind: It's not as thick as other picnic blankets we tested, and our testers were able to feel rocks and lumps through the fabric.

If the idea of a picnic conjures up images of wicker baskets and a red-and-white checkered blanket, then you'll love the quality and classic design of this Three Donkeys picnic blanket. At over 6.5 square feet, this blanket is great for lying down or seating your whole family at once. We liked that it's reversible, so you can choose between the waterproof, red checkered side on dry days or sit with the fleece side up when the ground is damp.

While we found that this picnic blanket didn't provide as much cushion as others we tested, it works great on grass or at the beach. It was also super easy to shake out any dirt and sand that clung to the blanket, so you don't have to worry about bringing unwanted debris home with you.

We also found that the waterproof side of this picnic blanket was extremely easy to wipe clean, so when we spilled grape juice on it, no stains or marks were left behind. There's also an attached carrying handle, so when you're ready to pack up, you can simply roll the blanket up and carry it by the straps.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 79 x 79 Inches
  • Material: Polyester, cotton, and Oxford
  • Cleaning Method: Machine washable
  • Three Donkeys Picnic Blanket
    Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Best Large: Oniva Blanket Tote XL Outdoor Picnic Blanket

4.3
Oniva Blanket Tote XL Outdoor Picnic Blanket

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This blanket is quite thick, so you can sit on hard or rocky surfaces without feeling uncomfortable.

Keep in Mind: It was difficult to shake sand out of this picnic blanket, and it stained when we poured grape juice on it for our tests.

If you frequently attend outdoor concerts, kids' sporting events, or park get-togethers with friends, this extra-large picnic blanket is a great choice and can fit several people at once. During testing, we particularly loved how comfortable yet portable the Picnic Time extra-large outdoor picnic blanket was, making it great for families on the go.

At more than 6.5 feet long and nearly 6 feet wide, multiple people can sit or lie on this blanket without feeling cramped. Our testers really liked this blanket's plush fleece, which made it quite comfortable to sit on the ground, even when on rocky or uneven terrain.

We also loved how easily the Picnic Time blanket folded up, despite its thick cushioning, and the velcro clasps and attached shoulder strap make it easy to transport without having to keep track of a separate carrying bag.

With a waterproof underside, the blanket protects against dew and moisture, which makes it great for using on grass. However, we found that it didn't repel sand as effectively as we would have liked. A lot of sand stuck to this blanket, and it took several shakes to remove. This blanket also stained when we performed the spilled juice test, so be careful when eating or drinking on it.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 80 x 70 Inches
  • Material: Polyester
  • Cleaning Method: Hand wash only
  • Picnic Time XL Outdoor Picnic Blanket
    Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Best Quilted: Down Under Outdoors Quilted Fleece Stadium Blanket

4
Down Under Quilted Fleece Stadium Blanket

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This blanket has all the bells and whistles of a premium quilted picnic blanket without the high price tag.

Keep in Mind: It isn't as waterproof as other picnic blankets we tested.

The best picnic blankets can serve dual purposes as both a comfortable place to sit and a warm layer to wrap around yourself when the temperature drops. The Down Under Outdoors blanket has a durable waterproof layer on the bottom for added protection against dewy grass, with a thick fleece cushion on top to keep you feeling cozy.

During testing, our experts commented on how much they loved this blanket's zippered pouch, which is great for temporarily storing small items you don't want to blow away, like wrappers or plastic bags. It comes with an included carrying case, though you may need two people to roll up and store this blanket since it's so thick.

We found that the Down Under outdoors blanket is heavy enough that we didn't have to worry about it blowing away in the wind, and even when we placed rocks and lumps underneath it, our testers remained comfortable. When testing it on sand, it took a little bit of effort to shake out any stuck-on sand and debris but not enough to deter us from buying it.

We did discover that, while this blanket is advertised as waterproof, it did absorb some water through the polyurethane back when exposed to moisture for 15 minutes, although our testers couldn't feel it through the fleece. Keep this in mind if you plan to use it on a particularly damp day, as the water may seep through if exposed to it for too long.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 82 x 55 inches
  • Material: Polyester and polyurethane
  • Cleaning Method: Machine washable
  • Down Under Outdoors Blanket
    Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

The Bottom Line

Our top overall choice for the best picnic blankets was the L.L. Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket, which earned our testers' high praise because of its plushness, versatility, and how easy it is to clean. We also loved its waterproof underside which protects against moisture and how comfortable it is on sand, dirt, and rocky ground.

Our Testing Process

We tested the best picnic blankets on the market by spreading them out on the ground and having our testers experiment with adding rocks and debris underneath them to see how much cushioning each blanket provided.

Our testers sat and laid on each blanket, poured sand on them to see how much the particles clung to the fabric, and spilled grape juice on them to determine their stain-resistance. Testers also poured water on the underside of the blankets and let it sit for 15 minutes to test waterproofness. Finally, we had our experts carefully examine each blanket to rank its quality and durability.

All testing took place at our home testing lab in Des Moines, Iowa.

California Picnic Large Picnic Blanket
Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

What to Know About Picnic Blankets Before Shopping

Fabric Type

Not all picnic blankets are the same, and finding one with a high-quality, dirt- and moisture-resistant fabric can be the difference between a successful party and an uncomfortable one. Fleece picnic blankets provide extra warmth and cushioning against the hard ground, making them a great option for both sitting on and wrapping around your body when it's cold.

When it comes to waterproof picnic blankets, shop for ones with a protective, moisture-resistant layer on the bottom that isn't too thin or plasticky. During testing, our experts disliked several blankets because the fabric provided very little cushion and felt crunchy to sit on. Instead, we preferred the blankets that had a plush upper layer with a durable underside.

Dimensions

Depending on your height and the number of people you plan to have sitting on your picnic blanket, you'll want to purchase something that corresponds to your needs. The smallest picnic blanket on this list was the Little Unicorn Indoor/Outdoor blanket, which comfortably fits one to two people and is great for travel.

However, we also loved the size of the Picnic Time XL Outdoor picnic blanket, which had plenty of space for a whole family to sit. Keep in mind that the larger the blanket, the harder it is to shake out and the more difficult it may be to carry.

Intended Use

While many of the picnic blankets on this list are quite versatile, it's important to consider what your typical intended use for the blanket might be. During testing, we found that waterproof picnic blankets with a fleece top were terrific for use while camping, hiking, or attending a sporting event, but they tended to attract sand that was difficult to shake off.

However, thin and lightweight picnic blankets were ideal for beach trips because they repelled sand and liquid, but they were too thin to be comfortable on a hard or uneven surface like rocks and grass.

ISOPHO Waterproof Blanket
Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Other Picnic Blankets We Tested

Grand Trunk Parasheet Beach Blanket

Our testers really liked the lightweight and sand-resistant design of this blanket; however, we weren't as impressed with its quality or thickness. It's made from parachute material, so it has a slick texture that did nothing to cushion the ground, especially when we tested it with rocks underneath. This blanket wasn't waterproof either, and it soaked through completely in under five minutes, causing it to receive a low score during our tests.

Miu Color Store Outdoor Picnic Blanket

This waterproof option was a contender on our list for the best large picnic blanket. We loved its oversized dimensions (5 feet wide by 6.5 feet long), its sand-repellent texture, and its relatively low cost compared to other blankets. However, our testers felt it was quite thin, especially when spread across rocks, and the material had a very cheap, crunchy feel to it that wasn't as inviting as other blankets we tried.

The Somewhere Co. Rollup Picnic Blanket

The bright, fun patterns on this roll-up picnic blanket really caught our testers' eyes at first, though it didn't perform in the lab as well as we had hoped. While we found it quite comfortable to sit and lie on, it was very difficult to remove sand and stains from this blanket, making it impractical for real-life use.

Picnic Blanket Testing
Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Your Questions, Answered

What kind of picnic blankets are good for outdoors?

When shopping for the best outdoor picnic blanket, you'll want to find something that is moisture resistant to protect against dewy grass, comfortable enough to sit or lie on, and thick enough to mask rocks and uneven ground beneath you. We found that fleece-topped waterproof picnic blankets were excellent for camping, hiking trips, and sporting events since they offered the most warmth, moisture protection, and cushioning.

However, if you're headed to the beach, lightweight sand-free picnic blankets are a great option since you need less cushioning against sand than the hard ground. This allows you to easily shake off sand particles at the end of the day and wipe away any spills that occur.

Wekapo Sand Free Blanket
Dera Burreson/Better Homes and Gardens

Can I machine wash a picnic blanket?

Depending on the type of picnic blanket you purchase, it may or may not be machine-washable. Several of the options we tested in our lab were safe to wash and even tumble-dry in a machine, including our top pick, the L.L.Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket.

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when washing your picnic blanket to avoid damaging or ruining it. If your blanket is safe to wash, we recommend using a mild detergent and washing it in cold water on a low-spin cycle to preserve its quality over time.

Who We Are

Samantha Jones is an associate home editor at Better Homes & Gardens, covering topics such as beach towels, hammocks, stick vacuums, and more. To write this story, she researched important features in the best picnic blankets and compared her research to extensive insights gathered during our picnic blanket tests in our lab in Des Moines, Iowa.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks.

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.

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