Summer is just around the corner, and it's time to start planning your beach vacation! Whether you're a seasoned beach-goer or a first-timer, it's important to have the right gear to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. As much as I want to tell you the most important thing for the beach is a frisbee and cold beer there is way more to it than that. The most important thing for the beach is protection from the sun! So the top 3 on this list all have to do with protecting your skin.
Here are the top 10 beach items you need this summer.
#1. Reef-Safe Sunblock
Protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun is essential when spending time at the beach. However, it's important to choose a sunscreen that is reef-safe to prevent damage to the ocean's fragile ecosystem. Look for sunscreens that are free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, two chemicals known to harm coral reefs. Many companies claim to be "Reef-Safe and Reef-Friendly" unfortunately, very few actually are. Moreover, the vast majority of sunscreen products are loaded with chemicals that are horrible for your skin. When it comes to natural reef-safe sunblock you must opt for a zinc based mineral sunscreen and Raw Reflection by Raw Botanics is the best you can buy (we promise) and at $25 you can't go wrong. This amazing sunblock is 100% natural, organic, free from harsh chemicals, reef and baby safe, made in San Diego CA and best of all it leaves your skin glowing and healthy!
#2 Beach Umbrella or Canopy
Shade from the sun is a must-have for any beach day. It provides shade and a place to cool off during the hottest parts of the day. If you go with a more traditional umbrella, look for one with a sturdy base and UV protection to keep you safe from the sun's harmful rays. We have tested a bunch of these and find that the best option is always the easiest to set up and take down. For that reason our #1 pick in sun shelters is the Lightspeed Outdoors Sun Shelter Tent available on Amazon. They come in really cool colors, last forever and really just pops up and down in seconds.
#3 Swim & Sun Shirts
Thankfully, there are a number of specialized sun protective clothing brands these days. It's now possible to wear sun protective clothing, and look good at the same time. Sun protective clothing protects the largest organ we have and we can’t trade it for another one. We love what the popular surf brand Hurley is doing here for both Men and Women. UPF 50 is standard and they have a ton of options for colors for about $40 its a great investment. Another great option here for women is a one piece with zipper. We have tested the SELINK long sleeve one piece swimsuit available on Amazon for $34.99 and seen awesome results. So definitely worth checking those out for this summer. For the kids this is even more important. Little ones have thinner, more sensitive skin so even when a child is old enough for sunscreen, experts still recommend using sun-protective clothing because there is less room for user error and because some kids just don’t like the feel of a pasty white film on their skin. I know I'm sick of fighting those squirmy little devils and dealing with the mess. There are endless options these days for kids but our recommendation is the Coolibar UPF 50+ Baby Finn Hooded One-Piece Swimsuit for $44 on Amazon.
#4 Beach Bag
A durable beach bag is necessary for carrying all of your beach essentials. Look for a bag with plenty of compartments and made from water-resistant material to keep your belongings dry and a zipper closure to keep things secure. Our favorite beach bag is by the San Diego based company ALOHA Collection and the go to bag is the Pinstripe Day Tripper Tote Bag at $72 its a fair price for what you are getting and you can buy direct from the company. If you are not into pinstripes they have tons of other options. We also love that they also sell Fanny Packs aka Hip Packs.
#5 Microfiber Towel
Traditional towels can be bulky and take up a lot of space in your beach bag. Microfiber towels are lightweight, compact, and quick-drying, making them the perfect choice for a day at the beach. One of our all-time favorite microfiber product is Nomadix towels. They are made using certified post-consumer plastic bottles and look really cool. We love the Original Towel: North Swell 2 for $39.95.
#6 Sand-Free Mat
A sand-free mat is a game-changer for any beach-goer. It allows you to relax on the beach without getting covered in sand. Look for a mat with a dual-layer mesh technology that sifts sand through but prevents it from coming back up. Our pick for the best Sand Free Mat is CGEAR’s Sandlite Mat for $74.99 direct from the company. We chose this brand because they look better than most and they are very easy to cary.
#7 Soft Cooler
Soft coolers in backpack or tote style are a must have and seriously game changer. Spend the extra money and make sure you buy one that is waterproof so that after the ice melts you don't end up with water all over your car. Also, these types of coolers will keep your drinks and food cold for up to 24 hours! Our favorite is the RTIC 30 can cooler in seafoam green! We also love that they have one called the Patriot in Red White and Blue. At $119.99 there are certainly cheaper options but we have yet to find one that keeps things cool and does not leak as well as the RTIC.
#8 Portable Waterproof Speaker
Music is a great way to set the mood for a beach day. A portable speaker allows you to play your favorite tunes while lounging on the beach. Look for a speaker with a long battery life and water-resistant capabilities. Our pick for the best performing and best looking speaker is the JBL FLIP 6 Waterproof Portable Speaker available on Amazon for $99.95 with a ton of colors to chose from.
#9 Insulated Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is crucial when spending time in the sun. An insulated water bottle will keep your drinks cold all day long, and prevent the use of single-use plastics. Whether it's water for your health or margaritas for the soul we believe more is better! So we went big on this recommendation. The best option here is the RTIC Jug. These come in 1/2 and 1 gallon and there are a ton of colors to chose from. Currently priced on sale direct from RTIC at $34.99 this is a great deal.
#10 The Beach Chair
A comfortable beach chair is a great investment for those who plan on spending long hours at the beach. Look for a chair with a sturdy frame, comfortable padding, and easy to carry features. To be honest, I prefer to sit in the sand, but if you are going to lug around a chair make it a good one. Our pick for the best chair you can get for the money is the Ostrich Deluxe Padded Sport 3-in-1 Aluminum Beach Chair. Show some style and opt for the classic blue and white striped one. Buy it on Amazon for $139.99 you will not be disappointed.
So there you have it folks! From protecting your skin with reef-safe sunscreen to getting comfy with a proper beach chair, these top 10 beach items will ensure a fun and safe day at the beach.