Nothing beats a hot summer day at the beach. All you really need is a towel and a pair of sunglasses to have a killer beach day, but there’s a whole ton of gear that can be a blast to bring along. When you’re hitting the beach for a full day with the family or with friends, it’s always fun to come prepared to play, eat and lounge to the max.
We’ve put together a top twenty list of some seriously rad beach items to bring along with you this summer to the salt and sand. There’s beach gear here ranging from unique cooking and cooler units that ensure you’ll dine in style — to beach games that are bound to tire you out by the end of the day. The beach is a place of both play and of pure tranquility, so we’ve included items that will both add excitement to your beach day as well as some gear that will assist you in winding allll the way down. Growing up on my native Cape Cod on the Massachusetts coast, the beach was like church to us every Sunday, and my family always did it big. We’ve learned that there’s a major difference between going to the beach, and a day at the beach — and nothing can top a great day at the beach.
1. Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent
This beach tent by Lightspeed Outdoors is seriously awesome. It erects using an easy up and down compression hub system that pops the tent frame into position and collapses again with ease. It’s a bit on the heavier side at about six pounds because of the frame design, but it packs easily into a nice slender shoulder bag, so there’s no problem bringing it along to the beach. This tent also is secured with both stakes and sandbags. This tent has three mesh windows that can be either revealed or covered, so you can choose to have a breeze or privacy. The floor of this tent is built to be durable for kids and pets and the material of the tent itself is water proof as opposed to water resistant like a lot of other beach tents. The water proof trait of this tent makes it something you might want to use not just at the beach, especially because of it’s super easy assembly.
Price: $69.99 & Free Shipping (22 percent off MSRP)
2. Wacces Multi-Purpose Backpack Chair with Cooler
I really dig this backpack chair from Wacces. This backpack, cooler and seat all in one is a seriously useful and practical piece of beach gear to own. This chair even includes a back rest and can support up to 250 pounds built with comfort in mind. Stitch foil lining within the cooler bag should keep your food and beverages chilled for hours — and there’s a pretty good amount of space in there for quite a lot of beach snacks! The strapping on this pack is also well made, so you wont be wincing due to shoulder pinching under the weight of your gear. I think this backpack-cooler-chair has a really cool look to it and is bound to turn heads on the beach. If you’re going solo, then this unit will no doubt have you covered with the capacity to bring everything you need.
Price: $27.95 & Free Shipping
3. Boombotix Weatherproof Bluetooth Speaker
The person who brings the tunes is always a hero. This powerful little speaker by Boombotix will ensure your beach day has music. This portable, weatherproof speaker sounds really great for the size and cost — and you won’t be disappointed with how tough this little boom-box is. I purchased this speaker over a year ago last summer, and it has played countless hours of music for me. The powerful clip on the backside of the speaker makes it easily attached to a backpack strap or anywhere really. I take mine fishing and to the beach on a regular basis and it sees a lot of splash and a lot of sand — but nothing has stopped it yet. On a full charge my Boombotix will play music for around eight hours — pretty killer battery life if you ask me. If your favorite music device doesn’t have Bluetooth capabilities then fear not, you can use the auxiliary plug. This speaker can even be “daisy-chained” to other Boombotix speakers for more volume output. All in all, if you want to bring some music along on your trips to the beach this season, definitely check out this tough, dependable and LOUD speaker by Boombotix. On a final note — I purchased mine for $60 at RadioShack last year and am thrilled with the product, so Amazon’s price of $16 seems almost unreasonable for such a sweet little unit.
Price: $15.90 & Free Shipping (73 percent off MSRP)
4. Spikeball Game Set
If you’ve been to the beach lately, you very well may have seen some groups playing Spikeball. I see this game played all over Cape Cod, and at first I thought it looked kind of silly. When I finally got a chance to play I immediately understood why this beach game has become so popular. It’s very comparable to volleyball in how its played — with two people on each team. The game is super high energy and fast paced — a great activity if you want some rowdy competition with friends. It seems like every beach day it becomes more than just a game to me and my buddies as tournaments ensue and rivalries ignite. The game conveniently breaks down into a carry bag that is worn as a light backpack — so it’s a lot less intensive than bringing a volley ball net to the beach. If you’re looking for a truly exciting beach game without the hassle of lugging anything too cumbersome, then this is the game for you.
Price: $59.99 & Free Shipping
5. Coleman Perfect Flow Grill Stove
What’s a beach day without some burgers and dogs? When it comes to grilling up some lunch, the Coleman Perfect Flow Grill Stove is all you need. This simple and reliable unit by Coleman is a great camp stove and grill all in one. The two in one design allows you to use the stove and grill at the same time, so you won’t waste any time cooking your meals. Coleman’s Wind Block panels help to shield the burners from wind and can also be folded down and used as side tables. I can’t speak enough about this feature — when battling high winds on the beach it’s really helpful to have some built in protection from frustrating gusts. The Perfect Flow Grill/Stove puts out 20,000 total BTUs of cooking power, so there’s not really anything this unit can’t do in terms of regular grilling. It will fit up to a ten inch pan on the stove and sports 130 square inches of grill space, so despite its compact size you can cook a pretty decent amount of food on this bad boy! One last thing to note is that this is a very fuel efficient unit — you can really cook a lot of food off of one fuel canister!
Price: $104.49 & Free Shipping
6. Mac Sports Heavy Duty Collapsible Beach Cart With Folding Table
Here’s a solid beach cart by Mac Sports. When you’re really taking a lot of gear to the beach, a reliable cart or caddy can be a huge help. This cart has the interior dimensions of three feet long and about two feet wide and deep with a weight capacity of 150 pounds — so there’s not really any beach gear this wagon can’t carry. The foldable table is a really nice touch in my opinion, and for just an extra 25 bucks I think it’s well worth springing for this unit as opposed to the same wagon by Mac Sports without the table. When sitting in a low beach chair, the wagon is at a good height to include a table. It’s always nice having a sand free space to eat food or play a card game. For the value, this is my go to beach wagon for capacity and convenience.
Price: $149.99 & Free Shipping
7. Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler With Hard Liner
Here’s a reliable and affordable cooler from Coleman. I find this size cooler to be ideal for small groups, or for packing a personal feast. If you think you might need a larger unit, I would recommend this 48 can cooler by Artic Zone. I find this smaller soft cooler by Coleman to be the ideal size for a sandwich, some snacks and a few beers. When you’re hauling all your beach gear across soft, hot sand, it’s not preferred to have a big clunky cooler that’s only half full. At less than $17 this cooler by Coleman is a really great value. The main insulated compartment has a hard plastic removable liner, so you can create a bit more packing flexibility by popping it out. A front zippered pocket and two mesh side pockets are perfect for stowing your utensils snd snack foods. The liner is super easy to clean, a feature often overlooked when purchasing a cooler. Unless you need to feed a family of five, this unit by Coleman will keep your cash in your pocket and your lunch nice and chilled.
Price: $16.31 (59 percent off MSRP)
8. SkyGenius 8×42 Binoculars
Binoculars are a great addition to any beach bag. Whether you’re viewing seabirds down the coastline or admiring someone’s yacht far offshore, it’s fun having a pair of nocs to peer through. Where I grew up going to the beach, the surf is sometimes very heavy, so my mother always had a pair of binoculars by her side when us kids would be out playing in the waves. It’s an easy way to keep an eye on your children when they roam down the beach or far out into the water without having to peel yourself out of your seat. This compact pair by SkyGenius has pretty decent magnification at 8X and is made with nice quality materials. There’s a tripod screw built in if you want to add some attachments for further stability, and also a carry pouch and strap included. This is a pretty high quality pair of binoculars at a very reasonable cost. Pass these badboys around during your next beach day and see what you and your pals can spot out on the high seas.
Price: $54.99 & Free Shipping (38 percent off MSRP)
9. Yaylabs Soft Shell Ice Cream Ball
Ever heard of the Ice Cream Ball? These things are seriously awesome, my family used to bring one to the beach all the time during the heat of the summer. Yea, it’s an ice cream maker….that you can bring to the beach! It’s as simple as adding natural ingredients like cream, sugar and vanilla in one end of the Ice Cream Ball and adding ice and rock salt in the other end. By shaking, rolling and agitating the Ice Cream Ball, it makes a quart or a pint of ice cream in around 30 minutes. You can add whatever you want to it really — I remember we used to slice strawberries and add some chocolate chips and the ice cream would come out crazy good! It’s kind of a different texture ice cream than you’re likely used to eating, but it’s unique in the best kind of way. There’s a recipe booklet included so you can build your creativity from there. If you have the space to bring this unit along with a few easy ingredients, you could be the beach hero of the century.
Price: $26.52-$37.59 & Free Shipping (Up to 24 percent off MSRP)
10. FieldCandy ‘Cool as a Cucumber’ Wind Screen
Having a wind screen on the beach always comes in clutch. Whether you’re trying to eat a sandwich free of sand, or just want to get out of the breeze and soak up some sun, a sturdy windscreen will have your back. I always bring a windscreen to the beach regardless of the wind — I set one up to mark my territory where I park for the day and also to create a little privacy. It’s a sort of tactic to create your own personal space in a place as wide open as the beach. One more added bonus is a windscreen makes you easy to find when your friends are trying to locate you — especially with the pattern on this screen by FieldCandy. The fabric is rated UPF 50+ for sun protection, blocking out up to 99.7% of UV rays. There’s two different sizes available here, both of which pack nicely into a matching carry bag.
11. Harvil 90mm Bocce Ball Set
Bocce is an absolute classic beach game on my native Cape Cod, and seemingly everywhere else too! It’s a simple yet exciting game best played with a refreshment in hand. The idea is to throw your teams balls closest to the target or “jack” ball. That’s about it — it’s a game of who can get closest to the target, and it’s actually really addicting and a gas to play for all ages. This is a nice heavy set from Harvil at a pretty reasonable cost, and it even comes with a little measuring tape. The balls are made of poly-resin so they can endure many a beach day of getting smacked around. These balls are built to make that sigture “knock” sound when they connect with each other — because it wouldn’t be bocce if they didn’t! This is a quality bocce set that everyone will want to play and that no one will want to carry!
Price: $44.99 & Free Shipping (13 percent off MSRP)
12. Makanu Mahogany Soprano Ukulele with Gig Bag
Some people just darn love noodling around on a guitar. For the musician who finds it hard to be without instrument — this ukulele by Makanu is a great item to own for the beach. This is one of the higher reviewed ukes on the market, and it comes at a very reasonable cost. It’s a 21 inch soprano ukulele with 12 frets that’s paired with white nylon strings and silver geared tuners. The body and neck are mahogany and covered with a clear, high gloss finish. If someone in your beach group is a talented string player, they might get a big kick out of owning this little instrument for Sundays down at the shore. This little guy conveniently comes with a carry bag so you can avoid getting the thing too sandy when you’re moving on and off the beach. As far as small, cheaper ukuleles go, this model has the best reviews for staying in tune and for ease and comfort of play. Bring your own tunes with this one and either make instant friends with your beach neighbors or inevitably drive them crazy!
Price: $39.99 & Free Shipping
13. Amazon Fire HD 32 GB 8 inch Tablet
Reading on the beach is always a treat. I wanted to include this tablet by Amazon because it makes utilizing Kindle eBooks easy! There’s definitely a certain satisfaction of carrying a real book to the beach, but then again some books are quite heavy and take up a good bit of space in your bag. By using a tablet you can bring as many “books” as you want using Kindle eBooks and you’re only packing an eight inch tablet! On another note, you’ll probably use this tablet for all sorts of stuff considering it’s essentially a pocket-book computer! This tablet by Amazon is very highly reviewed by customers and very reasonably priced. You can flip the pages on whatever you’re reading for up to 12 hours of battery life, so rest assured you won’t run out of juice mid beach day. All in all, this seems like a great purchase that will add to your beach gear as well as prove useful during everyday life.
Price: $109.99 & Free Shipping
14. LureLux Biodegradable, Organic Sunscreen
You gotta bring your sunscreen to the beach! Sunburns are no joke and can cause serious long term skin damage, so it’s really important to apply sunblock that works. This sunscreen by LureLux is a highly reviewed organic and biodegradable option that is a great choice of sunblock for a few different reasons. This product is really friendly for most skin types and wont cause breakouts or rashes compared to a lot of the mainstream sunscreens. There’s several customer reviews of this product that praise this sunblock as being the first one they’ve ever found that doesn’t adversely effect their skin AND that protects from the sun! The ingredient list is quite short compared to most sunscreens which is always a good sign. Furthermore, this sunblock is described as non greasy or sticky, and won’t leave you all white and pasty after applying. One important thing to mention concerning modern day sunblocks is that they are incredibly detrimental to the health of our oceans and fresh water bodies. The chemicals in many commonly used sunblocks are considered carcinogens in some countries (Titanium Dioxide for example) and can wreak havoc on coral reefs, stream and pond chemistry and ecosystems and wildlife in general. In a world that’s becoming consistently more and more polluted, I feel it’s every person’s duty to do what they can to lessen their environmental impact. Although sunscreen like this is a bit more expensive, if you can afford to spend the extra couple bucks on environmentally friendly products, you’re making a difference concerning the health of our natural world — and the health of your own body as well.
Price: $12.95 – 24.95
15.Sarong Beach Throw by Mandala Life Art
I’m a big fan of using a light tapestry as a beach towel. They pack down to nothing in your bag but also work just fine for laying out and for drying off. This nicely patterned sarong by Mandala Life Art is a great option for a beach throw. This sarong is sized pretty large at 71 by 45 inches, and works great as a bathing suit cover-up, wrap skirt or dress, shawl or head scarf. It’s 100% organic cotton and is a hand printed item. With four different patterns available, gals and guys alike can both find a use for this beach throw. Sometimes I take the light tapestry I own walking with me down the shore and tie it into a pouch for collecting seashells and stones. Whether your wearing it, drying off with it or using is as a bag or tablecloth, this sarong is a versatile and hip piece of beach gear not to be overlooked
16. Picnic Time ‘Beachcomber’ Portable Beach Mat
A beach chair is a very personal item, so I’m not going to pretend like I know what’s the best option on this one. This portable beach mat by Picnic Time however, is a pretty awesome option for beach seating that I think a lot of people can get behind. It’s made of durable polyester material that’s super light, and comfortable to sit on. the frame is steel and the body is fully padded. The backrest is adjustable so you can really stretch out and catch some rays. The unit folds up nicely and has a shoulder strap for easy transport. Opened, it’s 65.5 inches long and 21 inches wide, so this probably isn’t a great fit for you if you have a particularly large build. If you like to spread all the way out and enjoy being down at sand level, then this is the seat for you. There’s even a zippered pouch on the back side of the seat you can tuck a few items in before hitting the beach! There’s five different colors and patterns available, so there should be something here that’s your style.
Price: $39.99 & Free Shipping
17. Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Scuba Mask Snorkel Set
Having a mask and snorkel to do some free diving can be really fun. Depending on where you are, there may be a lot to look at underwater at your favorite beach, lake or stream. When visibility is good, it’s like entering a whole different world with a nice mask on. This snorkel and mask set by Phantom Aquatics is a great value, and honestly a pretty decent option for serious scuba divers as well. I myself am a certified diver, and me and a lot of my diving buddies prefer a single lens design rather than masks that separate the lens for each eye. By having only one lens, your field of vision is more fluid and not split by a divider. Furthermore, the lens on this mask curves around the side housing in order to give you a truly panoramic view. The mask material is silicone, and customer reviews give the comfortability rating a thumbs up. I was taught to always rub regular toothpaste on the inside of a new mask lens before initially using it in order to ensure the mask wont fog up on you. The toothpaste removes the residues left over from manufacturing that can cause your mask to fog up. The snorkel here is pretty standard, but it does include a purge valve which is a nice feature. At $35 this set is a great buy and with the proper care (make sure to rinse with fresh water after use in the ocean!) it should last you years of underwater exploring.
Price: $34.99 & Free Shipping.
18. Illuminet Floating Critter Net
A minnow net can entertain the kids for hours. If there’s tidal pools at your favorite beach spot or if you like to visit your local lake or river, then having a net is a must! For the inquisitive child or adult, it’s always interesting and exciting to go looking for critters to catch and observe. Whether its crabs, minnows, frogs or turtles, getting a close up look at the local wildlife can be really neat! This critter net by Illumistore is a great size and weight for use by both kids and adults, and it floats too! Take a walk out onto a tidal flat or maybe around your favorite fresh water pond and see what you can find! It’s a great way to introduce kids to the wonder of nature, and a great way to connect with wilderness yourself! For $10 this is a rad little item to include with your beach gear that just might turn out to be the most entertaining thing you bring!
19. HapTim Waterproof Picnic Backpack with Cutlery Set
We included this unique backpack in this review because it’s well….seriously radical. If you love to beach picnic then this bag is a must have. Made of high quality nylon fabric, this backpack has high wear and deformation resistance on top of being pretty darn waterproof. The oversized main storage compartment is built with premium insulation lining for keeping your food and drink either hot or cold. A detachable wine bottle holder is also compatible with the side of this pack. I really love how Hap Tim configured the cutlery set, it’s truly an effective bag for settling down at your favorite beach spot and having a meal. Hap Tim even includes all the cutlery, wine glasses and other dining necessities pictured! Customer reviews rave about the quality of the included picnic blanket. With all the included gear, this bag is truly an incredible value and will make you the envy of your beach pals.
Price: $59.99 & Free Shipping (50 percent off MSRP)
20. 60 Inch Delta Kite for Kids and Adults
Had to include a classic kite on this list! The pleasure of properly flying a kite in a healthy beach breeze is unrivaled! This 60 inch triangular kite is a great option for an affordable and durable kite. It’s advertised as being strong, flexible, rust proof and mold proof — so this is a kite that won’t be battered and done after just a few flights. Because this kite is designed knowing you’re going to smash it into the sand dunes countless times, it should fly true for many a beach season. This unit comes partially assembled and includes some simple instructions for setting up the rest of the kite. Customer reviews insist it’s a really easy kite to fly for both kids and adults. On a crowded beach with no cell service, flying a kite can be a great (and easy) way to let your friends know where you are. Whether you’re a child or adult, there’s nothing more timeless than getting one of these bad boys off the ground and into the wind.
Price: $29.80 & Free Shipping (25 percent off MSRP)
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