15 Beach Essentials That Will Make Your Summer So Much Better

published May 13, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
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Credit: BONNINSTUDIO/Stocksy

Memorial Day — the unofficial start to summer — is only two weeks away, which means that peak beach season is right around the corner (for lots of folks, at least). With more and more states lifting COVID-19 restrictions and CDC (the Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendations ticking in a positive direction, people across the country are feeling more optimistic about planning outdoor gatherings, like beach days! That’s why, to help you get in the spirit (and get prepared for some fun in the sun), we scoured the internet for the ultimate beach essentials. From stylish beach towels and expertly insulated water bottles to our go-to beach chair and a beach cart designed to help make lugging everything to and from your car easier, these 15 must-haves are the best of the best. Keep reading to learn more about the products you need to make sure your next beach day goes, ahem, swimmingly.

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was $65.00

For a towel you'll love wrapping around yourself, keep these stunning new beach towels from Brooklinen at the top of your list. With cool designs that mimic actual waves, the brand gave their famously soft and absorbent towels a ’70s-inspired revamp that's sure to be a hit at your next beach hang.

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No beach outing is complete without the right tunes. Keep the music playing all day long with this portable speaker from JBL. Available in eight fun colors, this waterproof speaker offers wireless Bluetooth pairing and up to 12 hours of play on a single charge. Planning to enjoy the beach for longer than that? Check out number 10 on our list, and you'll be good to go (or stay).

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was $59.99

Take shelter from the sun with this beach umbrella from Sport-Brella. Oversized and spacious, it provides privacy and protection thanks to its two patented side panels while also enabling airflow with two zippered windows. Best of all, this eight-foot umbrella also features UPF 50+ sun protection and comes with everything you need to secure it into place.

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When spending all day in the sun, staying hydrated is not a want but a need. With double-wall insulation, this Iron Flask Sports water bottle is designed to keep your H2O cold for up to 24 hours. And with a 64-ounce capacity, you'll have enough water to keep everyone around you hydrated, too.

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was $14.99

We love putting you on to ingenious products and the Snackeez is one of them. A portable cup and a food container in one, this travel mug makes packing a snack for the beach that much easier. Great for kids and adults, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

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Looking for the ultimate beach bag? Well, here it is! This bag from FITFORT is an incredibly spacious two-in-one, and once you try it, you'll never go to the beach without it again. With enough room to hold four large beach towels, this mesh bag also features a 12-can-capacity insulated cooler that can detach for easy use.

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was $99.99

On extra-hot days, no beach trip is complete without a durable cooler. From the trusted folks at Coleman, this 100-quart cooler can hold ice for up to five days thanks to its expert insulation. With a leak-resistant drain, a large tow handle for easy mobility, and a "Have-a-Seat" lid for when the beach chairs are all taken, everyone needs a Coleman cooler in their kit.

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Proper sunscreen, like this one from EltaMD UV, is an absolute must. Providing SPF 45 protection, it's made using an oil-free zinc oxide formula with broad-spectrum coverage that protects against UVA and UVB rays.

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was $129.99

Reading on your phone is virtually impossible at the beach, and getting your books wet can put a damper on any beach day. So, if you're someone who enjoys catching some rays while catching up on the latest bestseller, a Kindle Paperwhite may just become your new best friend. Offering up to 32GB of storage and a glare-free display that reads like real paper, the Paperwhite is the perfect way to enjoy everything from your favorite books to magazines, comics, and audiobooks.

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was $17.99

Getting stranded at the beach without your phone (or your music) is a big no-no! To keep your devices charged all day, bring along an extra battery source in the form of this portable charger from Anker. Sleek and slim, this charger provides rapid charging when and where you need it most.

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If you're looking for a durable beach blanket to help keep your items as sand free as possible, this Wekapo blanket is the way to go. Comfortably fitting up to seven adults and designed to be as simple as possible, this blanket features four corner pockets that are perfect for storage and sand anchoring. Best of all, it features a triple-stitched design, so you know it'll last you a long time.

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Looking for a beach tent that's durable, protective, and easy to put together? You're going to love the Neso Tents beach tent. Designed with a waterproof nylon/lycra blend, rust-proof aluminum poles, and patented reinforced corners, this beach tent also features a UPF 50+ rating to help block out 98 percent of the sun's harmful rays. Using sand or other natural resources to anchor the corners into place, you just might find yourself taking this one on all of your outdoor adventures this summer.

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Keep your clan entertained with the Toss and Catch Ball Game, a beach activity that's perfect for the whole family. Simply toss the ball back and forth to catch it on the velcro paddles — it's fun and easy! And if you're looking for something better suited to the little ones, this sand toy set will keep them busy building sandcastles for hours.

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Shelter Logic

A great beach chair should be an excellent multitasker, and this one is a total workhorse. With an adjustable overhead canopy that provides shaded seating, this reclining beach chair offers three backrest incline options for catching all the rays. Made with a sturdy steel frame and breathable, moisture-resistant mesh fabric, it also comes equipped with a meshy canopy pocket for storing your valuables, an adjustable pillow, and backpack straps for easy carrying — all for under $50!

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was $85.49

Lugging all this stuff back and forth from your car can be a nuisance — if you don't have a Mac Sports utility wagon, that is. This beach cart (available in six colors) can hold everything from beach chairs and towels to a cooler and the kiddos' toys with ease.