The best beach towels do more than keep you dry—they’re additive to your beach style. They elevate a flawless sand-ready summer fit from good to “who’s that guy over there?” Because no matter how fresh you look in your camp shirt, swim shorts, and shades, rolling up to a park hang or beach day with a ratty old bath towel really undermines the whole effect.
Though, yes: the best beach towels are absorbent. They are large—here at GQ, we firmly believe that there’s no such thing as a too-big beach towel. The best, in our opinion, have enough space to accommodate at least one other’s person’s ass, or to fully cover yours while you’re changing out of wet trunks in the parking lot (without creating a scene). The best towels are also fast-drying and able to shake off sand quickly after a long day on the surf. And yeah, like we said before, there’s no reason they shouldn’t look good.
From artisanal Turkish towels to classic cabana stripes to designer terry cloth versions, there’s a whole world of towels out there that’ll swell your beach style to surf-break-sized proportions. Here are 26 of the best beach towels for staying dry—and looking sharp—all summer long.
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