Beach towels serve many purposes. They keep you and your belongings off the sand, help you dry off, and in some cases even provide extra storage or a comfortable pillow. You might be able to get away with just grabbing whatever’s lying around the house and throwing it into your bag for a beach vacation, but to really make the most of your time in the sun and surf, keep the following in mind while choosing your towel:
Pick the right size.
Beach towels come in a staggering array of sizes, from compact travel towels to enormous sails of cloth big enough to cover a bed. Make sure you get the right size for your needs, and keep in mind that some towels may shrink after being washed.
Know your materials.
Terry towels sport loops of fabric on front and back and tend to be highly absorbent. Velour towels have had their loops cropped, which can make for a brighter design but less absorbency. Woven or jacquard towels feature woven designs and tend to be big, heavy, and very absorbent. Depending on whether you want a super-absorbent towel or a lightweight, eye-catching one, you may be better off with one material over another.
Think outside the box.
Some towels designed for purposes other than a day at the beach make great beach towels. Quick-drying, lightweight towels created with athletics or travel in mind may help you save space and keep your bag light.
Try something new.
Towel manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to upgrade the common beach towel. If you dig a little, you can find towels with special pockets designed to hold gadgets like a tablet or a smartphone, towels with pillows sewn in, and more.
Bring a plastic bag.
Your towel may be clean and fluffy when you go to the beach, but by the time you come back it’s likely to be wet and covered with sand. A plastic bag provides a cheap, easy way contain all that moisture and grit.