Suns out, buns out — though by buns, we mean fresh cinnamon rolls and finger sandwiches sat atop checkered quilts on display for everyone at the local park to see. Yes, ICYMI, picnicking spiked in popularity last summer thanks to COVID-19 social distancing regulations, but the pastime is back for summer 2021. We are giving it a warm welcome with an all-star list of the best picnic blankets on which to while away the hours.
The gingham throw + wicker basket combo will never go out of style, but picnic blankets have evolved to include waterproof rugs, intricately designed quilts, and handy-dandy foldable totes — all of which we happened to find up for grabs right now on the internet. Scroll through below and acquaint yourself with your new summertime partner in crime. Whether you enjoy a TikTok-inspired picnic in the park or prefer a secluded camping escape, these blankets will get the job done.
Best Gingham Picnic Blanket
As we said, the red and white gingham picnic blanket is a timeless treasure. This mat from Food52 mixes the classic checkered print with water-wicking materials and new-wave portability to make the perfect picnic companion.
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 7 reviews
Picnickers Say: "I got this for Covid-era picnics with friends, but it's so much more! My partner and I keep this in the car and we're always ready for an impromptu meal al fresco. It's just as handy and comfortable at a picnic in the park as it is making a parking lot picnic better on an antique pick-up run. The zipper is sturdy, the surfaces are wipable, and I think this will last well through the various uses we plan to put it through."
Best Beach Picnic Blanket
If you're the friend who loves the beach but won't go near the ocean, then a cozy, wool-like picnic blanket (that still offers a waterproof backing) is your new best friend. No towel? No problem. Just sit back and relax on the sand, read a book, or munch on a snack.
The Hype: 4.5 out 5 stars and 138 ratings
Picnickers Say: "We love this blanket. It’s very soft, water-resistant, the backing kept us dry on damp grass, and it’s a good size for two to three people on a picnic. The carrying straps are cute and [made from] functional imitation leather. Also, it comes with a second canvas carrying case that also has extra room for picnic essentials.”
Best Portable Picnic Blanket
Out of all the requirements for a good picnic blanket, mobility is a big one. This waterproof, extra-large blanket folds into its own little carrying case, making it easy to tote around or to hang up in your closet once back at home.
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 6,495 ratings
Picnickers Say: "This blanket is so light and handy for travel, outdoor concerts, picnics, etc. We spilled several things on it the first use — the blanket didn’t absorb, and was spot-free after a quick washing. Would recommend it to all my friends!"
Best Waterproof Picnic Blanket
This sweet sunrise blanket is constructed from well-made polyester or waterproof fleece to keep your picnic mess-free. According to reviews, it's great for outdoor concerts, picnics, and all kinds of summer fun.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars and 415 Etsy shop reviews
Picnickers Say: "Purchased for picnics and outdoor concerts. Thin, really well-made blanket. Easy to keep in the boot of my Mini Cooper. We opted for the polyester version hoping sand, twigs, and grass wouldn’t stick to it as badly as the fleece. Colors are much more vibrant than the listing photo."
Best Designed Picnic Blanket
Sometimes the best use for a picnic blanket is cute decoration. Make your summer picnic TikTok-ready with any one of Trek Light Gear's nicely designed outdoor blankets.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars and 65 reviews
Picnickers Say: "These blankets are perfect for a picnic or gathered round to keep warm. They are soft, rugged, and just the right weight."
Best Affordable Picnic Blanket
This blanket is under $20, versatile, and easy to travel with. Take it with you to your next park hangout or camping trip, and keep it in your car for unexpected adventures.
The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars and 22 reviews
Picnickers Say: "Blanket was made with good quality. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a picnic blanket for two."
Best Camping Picnic Blanket
This YETI blanket is here to protect you from all kinds of picnic mishaps. Yes, it comes with a a hefty price tag, but customers who take camping seriously love its double-duty comfort, waterproof layers, and durability.
The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Picnickers Say: "Excellent quality and a good size. I bought this for my son and daughter-in-law as an all-purpose picnic, lake, camping blanket. Yes, it is expensive, but it will last and be used for many years which makes it a wonderful gift! The storage/carry bag is a huge plus!"
Best Family Picnic Blanket
For families with little ones or friend groups with messy eaters, this picnic blanket is great for group gatherings. It is 100% machine washable, super soft, and adorably printed.
The Hype: 4.9 out of 5 stars and 97 reviews
Picnickers Say: "This blanket is the perfect size to take on the go when meeting with friends at a park or anywhere outdoors. It's easy to clean, wash, and re-use again. I have a 7-month-old who loves rolling around on the mat, so I wanted a reliable blanket that could also be washed. It helps that the print is cute too!"
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.