Picnic Blanket Basics

Portable Weatherproof CoverageJJ Cole Picnic Blanket 1

  • What: JJ Cole Outdoor Blanket
  • When: Birth and well beyond
  • Why: Resists dirt, moisture, mildew, and kid debris
  • Where: Amazon

I’ve had a JJ Cole Outdoor Blanketsince my first summer with my oldest child. I love the cute patterns and the way it packs up into a bag with a shoulder strap for easy carrying.

The coated blanket material on both sides means I don’t have to worry about grass stains on the darker bottom side. Nor do I spend anytime fretting about my kids dragging grass or water or anything else onto the printed top side while I have it spread out. I spend even less time cleaning it, as when get ready to go, I pick it up and shake off any water or dirt or food or other things I don’t want to make a home in our blanket.

If weight concerns you, you might want to look at other options, since this blanket weighs more than some. I usually stick it under our stroller, so the weight poses no issue. But I’ve also carried it on my shoulder plenty of times for events like movies in the park or concerts at the zoo, and I’ve had zero complaints (about the blanket, that is) even when loaded down with a diaper bag and at least one child.

With my infant, the five foot square blanket provided plenty of room. I could put him down on it for tummy time and let him explore the grass and dirt without laying directly in it. Or he could lay on his back and gaze at the clouds and sky, with plenty of room for me to rest beside him. Once he started sitting up, we used it to sit together outside and play or people watch. And by the time he started toddling, we used it for proper picnics.

It also has a handy pocket, which I find perfect for storing a travel pack of wipes inside, but it could easily hold your wallet, keys, or phone for summer outings. (Why don’t women’s clothes have more pockets?) The shoulder strap not only adjusts to fit over bulky stroller handles, but also comes off completely if you decide to stash this blanket in your car and don’t need a strap.

The coated material defeats any weather, so if your picnic of sunshine turns into rain, you could have this blanket double as a rain poncho for yourself. Or throw it over the top of your food in a pinch to keep it dry until the sun peeks out again. It comes in seven patterns and colors, so pick your favorite for your next outdoor adventure.

Unlike some picnic blankets I’ve used, this one folds back up into its carrying mode without any complicated origami involved. Because it has no bag, I don’t have to stuff or shove to get it back in at the end of the day.

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