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The best beach towels for summertime adventures

A beach towel is a multipurpose summer must-have. It should be bundled up with your other beach essentials because it serves a variety of purposes during your trip. You can use it to mark down a nice spot on the beach, dry off after a dip, lounge under the sun, or keep you and your things free from sand and seawater. It also works great as a blanket during cold summer nights and even as a pillow when rolled up.

Not all beach towels are created equal, though. When choosing a towel, factor in size, the material it’s made of, and its absorbency capacity. There are some that are big enough for you to lounge on, those that are thick enough for full drying off post-swim, and others with fiber content to help shake off sand and grime. Consider the style as well: Do you want something plain, something bright, or something with cool patterns? We’ve scoured the web and compiled here some of the best beach towels for a hassle-free day at the beach. Let’s take a look.

At a glance:

  • Best overall: Utopia Towels Cabana Stripe Beach Towels
  • Best quick-dry: PackTowl Microfiber Quick Dry Towel
  • Best for kids: Jay Franco Poncho Beach Towel
  • Most versatile: Wetcat Original Turkish Beach Towel
  • Most lightweight: Bagail Microfiber Camping Towels
  • Best round: Laguna Beach Textile Co Cabana Beach Towel
  • Best oversized: Wise Owl Microfiber Beach Towel

Best overall: Utopia Towels Cabana Stripe Beach Towels

Utopia’s Cabana Stripe towel is a brightly-colored beach towel measuring 30 inches by 60 inches. They’re soft, yet sturdy, holding up through many washes and helping maintain their soft fibers regardless of how many beach days you have. They’re also absorbent but lightweight and dry quickly. Crafted from 100% cotton fabric, each fluffy towel possesses breathable characteristics that make them great for both the hands and body.

Best quick-dry: PackTowl Microfiber Quick Dry Towel

Pack Towel’s microfiber towel is a quick-drying towel that uses microfiber to dry easily and avoid mold and mildew. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns and is machine-washable to sanitize against odors and mildew. They dry 70% faster than standard cotton and contain Polygeine to reduce odors. It is also more compact than your average beach towel. With this item, you also get a storage bag and a loop to help with hanging.

Best for kids: Jay Franco Poncho Beach Towel

Jay Franco’s beach towels are a fun option for children ages 3 to 7. They come in a variety of character themes and designs, including Ariel, Incredible Hulk, Minnie Mouse, and Spiderman. And since they come poncho-style, they easily dry and help kids get cozy after splashing in the waves. They’re also machine-washable with reinforced edges, so you don’t have to worry about fraying.

Most versatile: Wetcat Original Turkish Beach Towel

Never go out of style with the Wetcat Original Turkish Beach Towel. This peshtemal towel may be lighter than terrycloth, but it delivers the same quick-drying and absorbent capabilities. Made with 100% cotton, it feels luxuriously gentle and soft, even on the most delicate skin. The fabric doesn’t hold sand, so it works great as a beach blanket or towel, plus it’s versatile enough for the pool, gym, spa, or hike. The tassels add a fashionable twist, making the towel also ideal to use as a scarf, throw, sarong, wrap, or coverup.

Most lightweight: Bagail Microfiber Camping Towels

Truly lightweight, compact, and easy to pack, this Bagail microfiber towel is perfect for camping, backpacking, and beach trips. It’s made from a skin-friendly, high-quality material that’s comfortable and soft on the skin. Best of all, it absorbs water like a dream, as it’s capable of holding four times its weight in water. And unlike the usual cotton towels, it doesn’t hold on to sand and dries up to 10 times faster. It’s also a nice choice for everyday use and even professional sports training.

Best round: Laguna Beach Textile Co Cabana Beach Towel

Made with 600 grams per square meter (GSM) of cotton, this round beach towel from Laguna Beach Textile Company is almost 50% thicker than a regular beach towel. While it’s great for patting yourself dry after a dip, it also makes for a stylish accessory for lounging on the sand or by the pool. This soft and absorbent towel is also Jacquard woven, so the patterns remain well-defined despite regular use and washing.

Best oversized: Wise Owl Microfiber Beach Towel

Fancy an oversized beach towel for your next beach trip? You might want to consider this model from Wise Owl. Measuring 7 feet by 4 feet, it spreads out almost as large as a double bed, which is great if you want to lay on the sand and grab some sun. It also contains millions of fibers that suck up water up to three times faster than a standard towel and can absorb seven times its weight in liquid. Although big in size, this soft, comfortable, and hypo-allergenic towel is light in weight and rolls neatly into the built-in elastic loop for easy packing.

Beach towels are going to make your trip so much easier. They’re quick-drying, allow you to have extra seating on the sand, and they shake out to get rid of excess moisture and dirt. They’re easy to wash and hold up well under a variety of beach conditions. Let one of the options on our list make your life that much easier, and you can also check our list of the best yoga towels.

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