What makes a good picnic blanket? We have the answers you’re looking for!

Are you taking the family out for a picnic? Or are you just planning a warm-weather outing? Don’t forget your picnic blanket. But, what if you don’t have one? What better way to start your preparation than picking out your perfect picnic blanket? We prepared the most important facts on What makes a good picnic blanket to help you choose the right one. 

Picnics have been around for quite a long time, but today’s picnics are much easier than back then. Today, we have waterproof blankets, picnic sets, and picnic baskets, all to make our outing more enjoyable. A good multi-purpose picnic blanket can make your picnic more enjoyable and successful. In the end, your picnic blanket needs to repel wind, rain, condensation, sand and the damp grass when used in most outdoor events.

sunrise picnic

What makes a good picnic blanket? 

Picnics are there to enjoy nature, tasty food, and refreshing drinks, most importantly, they are undertaken with the ones you love. But, before you pack your blanket, there is now a crucial item that can make or break your outdoor activity, and that is the picnic blanket.

The perfect picnic blanket should have a few qualities. These qualities depend on the style in which you intend to be and some criteria, like the size and quality of your blanket. A picnic blanket’s design is simple, it mostly depends on how you plan on using it, and that is why what makes a good picnic blanket is important to have in mind. 

good picnic blanket can be used as: 

  • Festival blanket
  • Tent floor
  • Picnic blanket for traditional picnics
  • Car blanket
  • Beach blanket
  • Stadium blanket for outdoor concerts or sports events

And many other uses for a tarp, almost anything you can think of. But, it’s not the multiple purposes in question; instead, it’s how you intend to use your blanket. Is it going to be only a beach blanket, or are you going to take it to national parks too? In the end, your perfect picnic blanket is the one that fits your needs, and not the one size fits all, which most articles nowadays recommend. 

Next up, we will discuss what makes a good picnic blanket, its characteristics and what to look for when choosing the right fit for your next park field trip. 

Size

The size of your seating space plays a crucial role in what makes a good picnic blanket. Your outdoor picnic blanket should offer you enough space to sit on it comfortably while all of your food, drinks, and accessories are lying on top of it too. You shouldn’t feel cramped.

If you’re trying to cram as many accessories as possible onto your picnic blanket while on your picnic, and the space is as minimal as possible for you to sit, it’s no good. Imagine doing this on a too-small blanket, where you’re pulling the blanket to get more seating space while the person sitting across from you is doing so too. 

If you’re searching for some more information on picnic blanket size, we have a great article with a size chart. How Big Should a Picnic Blanket Be: What Size Should I Choose for My Family? will tell you what to look out for when it comes to size and how big of a blanket you need, by the number of people you’re planning on seating. 

As you can see, a big picnic blanket is a must if you’re trying to seat a lot of people on it. If not, opt for something small and lightweight, perfect as a loveseat.

people on picnic blanket

Material

The upper material of the blanket or top layer also makes a difference when it comes to both the use and quality of the blanket. There are numerous materials in use today, from fleece to nylon.

  • Nylon

Nylon and polyester are used for beach blankets because they have water-resistant properties and dry fast. Another good thing about an outdoor blanket made of nylon is that you can quickly get rid of sand clinging to it.

BEARZ Outdoor Pocket Blanket
  • Cotton

Cotton picnic blankets are soft, making them ideal picnic mats for picnic parties for adults, or babies with sensitive skin. Outdoor blankets with cotton blends are widespread during summer picnics because of the material’s breathability.

Bersuse 100% Cotton Anatolia XL
  • Wool

A wool outdoor blanket is a luxury picnic blanket, it breathes well and offers heat retention, but it is not machine washable and is on the expensive side.

Arcturus Military Wool Blanket
  • Fleece

Last but not least is the fleece blanket; it is trendy, and people love it because it’s cushioning, fluffy, and offers insulation.

Waterproof Outdoor Blanket with Sherpa Lining

Since there are so many versions of the camping blanket today, you can choose the fabric according to your needs. First, you must consider your intended use and how much you’re willing to pay for your blanket.

what makes a good picnic blanket

Waterproof

Some picnic blankets have a water-resistant or waterproof underlayer. A light shower can come by on any sunny day, and the wet grass in the park can ruin your outing. That is why blanket manufacturers started making a waterproof bottom layer on picnic blankets.

A waterproof blanket will keep you and your friends dry by keeping the moisture and the cold away from your clothes and skin in any condition. Think of what you will use your blanket for and the area’s weather conditions. After that, choose whether it’s best to purchase a blanket with or without waterproof backing.

It would be good to have one if you’re facing colder and wetter climates. But, if you live in the tropics with minimal rain, and if you’re trying to find a blanket for the beach, you might not need a waterproof blanket.

sitting on picnic while its raining

Machine-washable

Once you go out for a fall picnic and all of the little leaves start to stick onto your blanket, and your pet’s hair sticks to it, too, you will realize why this is on our list. 

Having a machine-washable blanket is a pro for those of us with pets and any other kind of messy hobby. Some people even like to wash their outdoor blanket in the washing machine after every use, just to keep it germ-free. 

You can check out more information on the importance of washing your picnic blanket every season and a guide on how to do this in our article on How To Wash a Blanket and Maintain it Afterward. You will find a washing guide and a how-to on maintaining it there.

KAMUI blanket in washing machine

Portability

One of the deciding factors on what makes a good picnic blanket is its portability. The ease of transporting your foldable blanket from point A to B is vital. Whether you go on a picnic, fishing, camping, or watching a sports event in a stadium, you don’t want to carry a blanket that takes up a lot of space; the chances of you bringing it with you on every outing are very small.

Others place their outdoor blankets inside their favorite picnic basket; but with a stuff sack or a carrying bag, you can easily sling your blanket on your shoulders to every outdoor function without breaking a sweat.      

backpacking with view

Lightweight

Like portability, the weight of your blanket might play a crucial role in making or breaking it. Weight is a factor of what makes a good picnic blanket, and you can imagine how hard it might be to carry around a 10-pound heavy extra-large blanket.

We recommend including blanket weight as one of the considerations in choosing a picnic blanket, especially if your picnicking place isn’t so close to your car.

family in park

Our Choice: The KAMUI Outdoor Blanket

One blanket that fits all of these factors is the KAMUI outdoor blanket. Here are the most important facts that will prove so:

Outdoor Waterproof Fleece Blanket by KAMUI
  • Size: Fits four people on it
  • Material: Fleece top layer
  • Waterproof: Yes, it has a waterproof backing
  • Machine washable: Yes, you can wash it in the washing machine
  • Portable: Yes, it comes with a stuff sack
  • Lightweight: Yes, this item is light to carry
couple sitting on picnic blanket

Conclusion

Ultimately, all that matters is that you are happy with your waterproof picnic blanket and that it offers protection against the cold and wet ground. What other way to do it than to satisfy all your needs, from size and material to waterproofness?

We hope our article on What makes a good picnic blanket helped you in choosing the right model of blanket for your next outing. 

FAQ

What is the best material for a picnic blanket?

Picnic blankets nowadays include fleece, cotton blends, nylon, and polyester materials. Fleece and cotton are warm and soft in texture and provide a layer of warmth and insulation to your outdoor blanket, perfect for cold weather. Nylon and polyester fabrics are ideal for summer picnics and excellent for laying on when you’re at the beach as it makes sand and dirt easily fall off.

How do I choose a picnic blanket?

Choose a picnic blanket with an insulating layer and waterproof backing, machine-washable, portable, lightweight, and a size that can accommodate you and your family in your outdoor activities such as summer picnics, concerts, camping trips, hikes, and beach picnics. Go over this article to check the features we suggest you consider.

Can I use a regular blanket as a picnic blanket?

Yes, if you’re in a pinch, but regular blankets will not give you the same warmth, protection, packability, and compactness a real outdoor blanket can offer.

What is the average size of a picnic blanket?

A good picnic blanket size will depend on the number of people you plan to accommodate. We recommend checking out this guide and size chart to give you a clear idea when choosing the right blanket size for your needs.

How do you waterproof a picnic blanket?

You may add a bottom layer of ripstop nylon into an outdoor blanket to make it waterproof. With this backing on your blanket, you’ll stay dry and protected from wet grass or damp ground when having picnics.