CGear was nice enough to send us one of their Sandlite Sandless Beach Mats to review this summer. Unfortunately, due to life and other things going on, we were never able to make it to the beach for me to properly review this “sandless beach mat”. But rather than delay this review any longer, I decided to just take it over to the local park and throw some sand and dirt on it to see how it performed.
What is a Sandless Beach Mat?
The idea behind a sandless beach mat is that nobody likes to go to the beach and spend the day sitting on a towel or blanket that’s full of sand. Sand gets everywhere.
Instead, why not sit on a blanket that protects you from the sand underneath, but allows sand that gets on top of it, to fall straight through and back to its family. That’s the idea behind the sandless beach mat.
And, in addition to sand, because it allows things to fall through it, if you spill water, or get dirt on it, or anything liquid or granular like that, it will just fall right through, keeping your dry and clean while you enjoy your time outside.
We actually have another blanket that’s similar to the CGear one, but it’s more of a picnic blanket that does the exact opposite of this one. It actually traps everything you spill on it, thus turning into a pooly mess by the end of your time outside.
We had it set up next to a kiddie pool during a barbecue earlier in the summer and my daughter kept splashing water on to it. Needless to say, the water just sits on top of it and doesn’t move, which made it a mess to clean up at the end of the night. The material is a waterproof material so the water didn’t soak into it or anything, but it just pools up and doesn’t go anywhere, leaving it still wet when we went to fold it up to put in the car.
Does it Work?
As I said, unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to the actual beach with the blanket/mat, but I was able to make it over to the local children’s playground. I chose to go during the day, which might have been a mistake. I probably should have waited until my kids got home from school and took them over there, but instead I went by myself, in the middle of the day, with a beach blanket, to throw sand on it…
And the best part is, the park is mostly woodchips, the only part that has sand is a small 10′ x 10′ square with a little digger in the middle of it. So picture me, a 36 year old man-boy, spreading out this beach mat in this small sand pit made for little kids and their digger, in the middle of the day, with no children… Needless to say I didn’t stay very long.
After I spread out the mat I grabbed a handful of sand and threw it on the mat. At first the sand just sat there, although I’m not really sure what I was expecting. But after wiping my hands across the sand a few times, it did indeed fall through the blanket and back into the sand pit where it belongs.
Seeing as how the sand worked so well, I decided to throw some dirt on it to see how that worked… let’s just say it’s definitely made for the beach.
Dirt itself is denser than sand is, so even with a few wipes of the hand, not all the dirt fell through the mat, which is kind of what I was expecting considering it is made for sand. Some of the dirt did indeed fall through the blanket though, but the larger clumps and more tightly packed particles didn’t make the journey home, and instead had to be shaken out of the blanket before I rolled it back up to take home.
Once I got home, I decided to do one more test with a bottle of water. I poured some liquid on to the mat and watched as it beaded up, didn’t absorb, and basically fell right off the main area of the blanket. However, the water did get absorbed by the fabric around the outside edges of the mat, so unfortunately if you spill on it, you could still end up with wet edges. But that’s a much better option than ending up with an entire wet blanket to carry around, or pack up and put in the car.
So overall the CGear Sandlite Sand-free mat is a great option for the beach or the park. Whether you’re hanging out in the sand or the grass, or just need a place to put your cooler, this mat perfect for any family outing. Oh, and did I mention that it rolls up into itself for easy packing and carrying, it’s amazing. No more struggling to fold up a giant blanket, or jam a wet towel into a beach bag. The CGear Sandlit mat easily folds into itself and securely fastens so you can grab it by the handle and go. Super simple.
We will definitely be using the Sandlite mat over our other picnic blanket whenever we know we’re going to be sitting outside from now on.