On a hot day, a lake or pool can look so inviting that you might feel compelled to jump right in, fully clothed. With a little planning, put together a beach kit for your car or backpack instead. With just your bathing suit, sunscreen, and a beach towel, you’ll be ready to cool off at a moment’s notice. These great towels will help you keep fun in the sun from turning into a soggy, sandy mess.

Nautical and nice. Amazon

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These striped cotton towels are designed to be thick and absorbent. Throw them on a deck chair for a little extra-padding when you’re reading by the pool, and thoroughly dry off in comfort after a swim. The edges are reinforced to withstand frequent use without fraying, and the cotton fabric is a medium-density 630 GSM (grams per square meter). Even if the day is grey and the temperature cool, a stack of these towels with sunny yellow, sky blue, and coral accents in your linen closet will evoke salt air, sailboats, and tropical fish.

Convenient and colorful. Amazon

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If your favorite weekend activity is hiking, adding these fast-drying microfiber towels to your backpack is a smart idea. Each set is available in attractive colors from coral to navy blue, and comes with one towel that’s 4 feet by 2 feet, and a smaller face cloth. The larger towel is too small to use if you’re planning on stretching out on the sand, but it’s perfect to help you get dry quickly after a spontaneous dip in a pond on the way to your campsite. The set comes with a handy travel bag and carabiner to clip to your pack, and if your towel gets soaked you can stash it in the waterproof compartment before hanging it out to dry by the fire.

Versatile and vibrant. Amazon

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If your idea of a perfect day at the beach or pool includes all the style and intrigue of the latest summer novel, this Turkish towel fits right into the picture. Set up your lounge chair, make sure there’s a pitcher of lemonade at your elbow, and tie one of these 100 percent cotton towels around your waist to show off its rich color, texture, and tassels. At just under 6 feet long and a little over 3 feet wide, it can be used as a beach towel, a shawl, or keep out the chill of an evening breeze off the water.

Adorable and absorbent. Amazon

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For many parents, anything that makes bath time more fun and keeps saltwater and chlorine out of your car’s upholstery is a win. These cute hooded towels do more than that. The 49-inch by 28-inch size is ideal for toddlers but can fit kids up to age seven, and your child can transform into a dinosaur, elephant, puppy, and more while being fully compliant with your instructions to cover up to avoid getting a chill after a day at the beach. The towels are made with 100% cotton with a velour finish for extra softness and might just become a favorite blanket for kids looking to snuggle up for a nap.