This May Just Be the Last Beach Towel You'll Ever Need
Whether it's a picnic in the park or catching some rays on your next beach vacation, the sand-resistant, quick-drying Sand Cloud towel is up for any adventure.
Summer is looming in the distance. And while there’s plenty to love about this season – longer days, warm nights and afternoons spent by the water – summer also ushers in another season that’s not so sunny: Soggy Towel Season.
You can find evidence of Soggy Towel Season’s reckoning across patio railings, towel racks and shower doors all summer long. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the deep sigh of a woeful beachgoer whose towel from yesterday still isn’t dry. And don’t even get me started on the sand, forever clinging to that damp towel – that is, until it’s time to toss it into your bag. Then you’ll suddenly have enough sand to build a sandcastle inside your suitcase.
In a frenzied effort to avoid Soggy Towel Season at all costs, I eventually stumbled upon Sand Cloud towels. Founded in San Diego and featured on Shark Tank, Sand Cloud boasts stylish, Turkish cotton towels in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns that claim to be sand-resistant, quick-drying and larger than a standard towel, all while still being thin enough to fold up comfortably into your bag.
Even with the Shark Tank seal of approval and hundreds of positive reviews, I was skeptical: Could a beach towel really be that good? I put Sand Cloud’s XL beach towel and one of their bath bundles to the test over the course of a month to see if they stood up to the hype.
Look and Feel
Sand Cloud’s XL towel measures approximately 60” x 68” inches. The one I received was in the Boho Turquoise pattern, a bright blue (it's actually more vibrant than it appears on their website) with organic shapes. The XL towels feature tassel fringe along the shorter sides.
The Sand Cloud XL towel is sand-resistant, quick-drying and folds up easily into any bag. Coming in a rainbow of hues and patterns, the 60" x 68" towel is made from soft, organic Turkish cotton and comfortably seats 2-3 people. Sand Cloud donates 10 percent of its profits toward marine conservation.
Sand Cloud’s bath bundles come with two bath towels and two hand towels. The bath towels measure approximately 35” x 60” while the hand towels measure approximately 18” x 28”. I received mine in gray but they also offer the bundle in navy, and, according to their website, more colors are on the way.
The Sand Cloud bath bundle includes two bath towels and two hand towels made from soft, organic cotton. The lightweight towels dry quickly and are thinner than a traditional bath towel, making them just as good for frequent handwashing as they are for tossing into a bag for an afternoon by the pool.
All the towels are made from organic Turkish cotton. The XL towel is especially soft to the touch – it’s not surprising that many of Sand Cloud’s marketing photos feature people looking off into the sunset with the towels draped around them. You could easily use the XL towel as a blanket in a pinch or while camping.
The bath and hand towels are double-sided, with one side being flat woven and the other looped terry like you would expect from any other towel. However, if you’re used to a thick, plush towel, it will take some time for you to adjust to the thinner Sand Cloud towel.
The washing instructions state to machine wash the towels in cold water. The XL towel stayed soft on its first run through the wash; the bath and hand towels felt a bit stiff but did soften up after a few washes. The XL towel states to air dry it, while the bath bundle items you can toss in the dryer in a low-heat cycle. I have no room to air dry the XL large towel, so it goes into the dryer as well and doesn’t seem to be fraying or getting destroyed just yet.
Size and Portability
The first thing you’ll notice is just how thin these towels are. You can stack two, or even three, of Sand Cloud’s bath towels before reaching the thickness of one standard towel; in addition, the bath towels are bigger than a standard bath towel, meaning you can really, truly wrap the towel all the way around yourself after a nice shower.
Even the most intricately folded, standard bath towel still takes up more room than the XL towel. The XL towel replaced a large, woven blanket that I would have to tie up like a yoga mat and shove between the straps of my backpack to carry to the park, turning me into a human bumper car every weekend. Thankfully for me and other parkgoers, you can easily fit two of the XL large towels into a large backpack or beach bag (even if they were folded poorly and hastily shoved into your bag) and still have room for other items.
Upon hearing I was testing Sand Cloud towels, two friends bought XL towels on their own accord for an upcoming beach trip, which led to lots of jokes that the beach would offer more scenic views of our oversized towels instead of the shore. Once you lay them down, though, I think you’ll find they’re a perfect size: two adults can comfortably lounge on one of the XL large towels while still fitting your bag on its surface. We even used the tassels to tie the ends of the towels together to help keep the corners weighed down on a windy beach day.
If you need more room, Sand Cloud offers an even larger towel option, aptly named the Party Blanket that measures around 83” x 87”, though their website says that due to its four-layer weave design, it may slightly shrink after a few washes.
Coming in at 83" x 87", the appropriately-named Party Blanket features the same qualities as Sand Cloud's other towels — quick-drying, sand-resistant and thin enough to fold easily into a backpack — in a size that can fit you and all your friends.
Before I knew I’d be able to go to the beach, I took the XL towel to the sandiest place in the city I knew: a volleyball court in the park. After fussing with it in the sand for several minutes for the purpose of this photo, I actually was pretty impressed that the sand did seem to shake right off. The towel is going to see park lawns pretty frequently, so I’m happy to report that the towel also shook off bits of dirt, hay and grass that normally would have stuck to my old towel and ended up all over my floors.
The real test was a long, windy day at the beach nearly a month later, when my towel basically got buried in the sand from frequent roundtrips to the ocean back to the towel, accidentally getting stepped on and when we buried my friend in the sand right next to it. And though it needed a little more force, the sand really did glide off it.
As I’m sure is clear now, wet towels gross me out. Thankfully, the hand and bath towels really do dry quickly. The hand towels dry up between rounds of what feels like constant handwashing these days. My bathroom is dark and doesn’t get any natural light, and I can still return to a semi-dry towel.
One morning, I spread the XL towel out for lunch in the park but found the grass was still slightly damp, causing the towel to get wet from underneath. The wet spots seemed to dry right up in the sun.
On my beach trip, we hung the XL towels across the deck railing to dry on a sunny day; when we went back outside about an hour later, the towels were already dry. In fact, they were almost completely dry. I’m used to having to carry my wet towel back in a separate bag to not get my other belongings wet, but this, helped by its compact size, isn’t necessary with the Sand Cloud towel.
Another fun beach anecdote that speaks to Sand Cloud’s water resistance: We accidentally spilled a full drink and were blown away to see the liquid actually beaded up onto the surface of the towel, and we were able to pour the liquid right off of the towel.
Farewell, Soggy Towel Season. Sand Cloud lives up to its boasted features, and I’m looking forward to taking my towels on more beach vacations, picnics and eventually festivals and camping. I honestly didn't think that I would have so much to say about a set of towels. If you’ve made it this far and still aren’t sold, don’t take it from me, just listen to my friend’s unsolicited commentary overheard throughout our beach trip:
“You know, we joked it would be ridiculously large, but it’s really a good size.”
“Wow, yup – it’s dry already.”
“This is honestly the last beach towel I’ll ever need.”