Aug 21, 2023

The 7 best picnic blankets of 2023

If you’re spending a lot of time outside, an outdoor blanket can make the experience much more comfortable. After all, a good blanket can protect you from itchy grass, dirt or dampness on the ground.

While an outdoor blanket is not a substitute for a good sleeping bag, you can use it for a number of other activities like a picnic, lounging as you watch a sporting event or a place to relax as your kids play at a park.

To help you find an outdoor blanket that meets your needs, we spoke with two experts on exactly what features to prioritize while shopping and based on those suggestions, we found highly rated options from top retailers like Amazon, Target and beyond.

SKIP AHEAD Our top picks | How we picked top-rated outdoor blankets | Top-rated outdoor blankets | How to shop for an outdoor blanket

To help us determine what to look for in an outdoor blanket, we spoke with professionals who plan small and large scale picnics for a living. They regularly use outdoor blankets in all types of environments, and they created a list of features to consider when shopping.

Along with the features experts recommended, we also made sure that any outdoor blanket we selected had a 4-star average or above from at least 600 reviews.

Yeti, the company behind one of our favorite tumblers, makes a padded blanket with a water-resistant layer. This blanket is 78 inches by 55 inches and comes in three colors — fireside red, smoke blue and canopy green. It also comes with a rectangular carrying case. This blanket has a 4.8-star average out of over 600 reviews on Yeti’s website.

Dimensions: 78 inches x 55 inches | Material: Polyester | Weight 5.8 pounds

This picnic blanket was a top pick in our story about picnic essentials. It has a 4.5-star average from over 15,000 reviews on Amazon. The blanket has a vinyl backing to prevent a damp ground from seeping through, a padded middle for comfort and a woven vinyl top that feels soft to sit on, according to the brand. When you’re done using the blanket, it folds up into a portable tote with a handle for carrying.

Dimensions: 52 inches x 57 inches | Material: Vinyl | Weight 1 pound

Another choice from our picnic essentials story, this blanket is water-resistant and has a vinyl backing that sand will not stick to, according to the brand. It has a 4.6-star average from over 3,500 reviews on Amazon and comes in 13 patterns (like grey stripe, red check, yellow flower and more). This blanket rolls up and can be secured with a buckled strap that has a top handle for portability.

Dimensions: 78 inches x 58 inches | Material: Vinyl and polyester | Weight 1.8 pounds

This puffy quilt utilizes similar materials as sleeping bags for a padded, warm outdoor blanket you can sit on or wrap yourself in, according to the brand. It even has clips at the corners, allowing you to fasten it around your neck like a cape so you can cook, sit around the fire or eat a meal while still staying warm. This blanket has a 4.8-star average from over 830 reviews and comes in a variety of colors and prints — including ocean fade, cactus bloom and black. This bag also comes with a small bag so you can roll up the blanket and store it between uses.

Dimensions: 52 inches x 75 inches | Material: Polyester | Weight 9.6 ounces

This blanket is sized to comfortably sit between three and five people, according to the brand. It’s lightly padded and made from polyester, which you can wipe down if anything spills on it. After use, it folds up into a compact shape with an attached strap so you can carry it over one shoulder. This blanket is also available in a smaller and larger size and comes in various prints, like midnight poppy, tropical leaf and primrose patch.

Dimensions: 60 inches x 84 inches | Material: Polyester | Weight 2.8 pounds

This blanket is filled with duck down and covered in water-resistant nylon. It has a 4.6-star average from over 2,000 reviews on Amazon and comes in a variety of colors, like green, red and blue. It has clips so you can wear it like a warm poncho, or you can spread it out on the ground to provide a comfortable, padded place to have a picnic.

Dimensions: 50 inches x 77 inches | Material: Nylon | Weight 1.1 pounds

The top of this blanket is covered in soft fleece, while the bottom is lined with water-resistant polyester. The machine-washable blanket also has a hidden pocket, so you can stash things like your keys or phone. This blanket comes with a sack to store it in and is available in green check, blue, red and more colors and patterns.

Dimensions: 55 inches x 82 inches | Material: Nylon | Weight 2.4 pounds

If you’re considering purchasing an outdoor blanket, here’s what our experts recommended you keep in mind while shopping:

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers topics like beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two experts to gather their guidance on what to look for when shopping for outdoor blankets.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

Bethany Heitman has spent over fifteen years creating engaging content. She is the former editor-in-chief of People StyleWatch and has held senior leadership positions at Cosmopolitan, Health, and Seventeen.

SKIP AHEADOur top picksHow we picked top-rated outdoor blanketsTop-rated outdoor blanketsHow to shop for an outdoor blanketBest overall:Best budget pick:Best splurge:Size:Portability:Water resistance:Dimensions: | Material: | Weight Dimensions: | Material: | Weight Dimensions: | Material: | Weight Dimensions: | Material: | Weight Dimensions: | Material: | Weight Dimensions: | Material: | Weight Dimensions: | Material: | Weight Consider how you’ll use it:Pick something durable:Look for features that add ease:Lauren KimmonsCandace PerezCatch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.