12 Must-Have Beach Essentials

Headed to the beach? Make packing a breeze with these essential items.

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March 11, 2019

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: REI

Photo By: REI

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: REI

Photo By: Sunski

Photo By: Anthropologie

Photo By: REI

Photo By: Amazon

Sand-Proof Beach Blanket

Originally developed for the military, CGear’s Sandlite beach blanket features patented technology that keeps the mat sand-free. The blanket features a series of layers that allow sand to sift through without coming back up. The mats come in three different sizes. Medium is recommended for couples, and large is recommended for a big group or family.

Buy It: Amazon, $89.99

Sand-Proof Beach Bag

Like CGear’s beach blanket, the brand’s sand-free tote features the same patented technology to keep sand out of the bottom of your bag so no more tracking sand into your car or home. The tote is also great for camping and picnics.

Buy It: Amazon, $44.99

Sun-Protective Swimwear

As someone with fair skin and a family history of skin cancer, sunscreen just doesn’t cut it for me. I double up my sun protection with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor swim shirt. UPF clothing blocks ultraviolet rays from penetrating fabric and reaching your skin. It’s not a replacement for sunscreen, but it is a great addition to SPF. Shop more of our favorite UPF clothing here.

Buy It: REI, $56.00

Sun-Protective Hat

Like UPF clothing, you can find hats that feature UPF material, too, but they’re not always that fashionable. Most are geared toward fishing or hiking. I love this wide-brim, straw hat from Columbia. Not only does it look like a trendy floppy hat but it has UPF 50 protection and features magical packable technology which means no more weird suitcase creases!

Buy It: REI, $30.00

Cup Holders

It’s happened to everyone: You reach for a cold beverage and realize that it’s coated with a layer of wet sand. And no matter how hard you try to shake it off, that stuff clings all over your drink. Turtlebacks are special cup holders that elevate drinks and keep them totally sand-free. They come in tons of different colors and you can buy a multi-color pack so that everyone can keep track of their drink easily.

Buy It: Amazon, $12.99, Pack of 4

Quick-Drying Towel

Leaving the beach is sad, but you know what’s worse? Getting into your car with a soggy bottom and realizing that all of your towels are still wet, too. Quick-driving towels are a great investment and perfect for a beach vacation where you want to hop from the water to other activities. The Akumal beach towel from Wildhorn Outfitters drys three times faster than cotton towels and can hold up to four times its weight in water.

Buy It: Amazon, $27.99

Beach Tent

Sunscreen aside, sometimes you just need a break from the sun. And if you’re beaching with little ones or seniors, it’s especially important to have shade. The Sport-Brella creates eight feet of shade wherever you go and the tent even features material with a UPF 50 rating for extra sun protection.

Buy It: Amazon, $39.97 (Originally $59.99)

Cooler Bag

Instead of trying to lug a big, bulky cooler through the sand, throw a lightweight cooler bag around your shoulder. The YETI Hopper Flip cooler bag is just as chilly as coolers in the YETI fleet, yet it fits a surprisingly large amount of cans and ice.

Buy It: REI, $250.00

Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sunglass lenses are more expensive and you might not think you need it, but, when you’re out in the sun, they make a world of a difference. In addition to UV ray protection, polarized lenses cut down on the glare from the sun...and that glare can be brutal when reflected off white sandy beaches. For sunglasses less than $100, check out the designs from Sunski. The Dipsea model is one of my favorites.

Buy It: Amazon, $55

Waterproof Speaker

Sync your phone and play your favorite beach playlist with this waterproof Bluetooth speaker. The battery lasts up to six hours and the speaker also features a microphone so you can make hands-free calls and keep your phone out of the sun.

Buy It: Anthropologie, $48.00

Waterproof Phone Bag

I’ve seen it too many times. Someone pulls out his or her phone to Instagram the perfect beach sunset and accidentally drops the phone into the ocean. Use your phone while keeping it waterproof with this pouch from Seattle Sports. The bag features a lanyard necklace that’s perfect for keeping your phone out of harm’s way while kayaking or boating.

Buy It: REI, $19.95

Portable Beach Chair

Up your lounge game with lightweight travel chairs. This sling chair from Coleman features a cup holder and a pocket in the back for beach towels. The low-profile design is perfect for sinking your toes in the sand while remaining sand-free everywhere else.

Buy It: Amazon, $36.05