We thought we were pretty avid beach goers before, but since moving within walking distance to the actual beach part of Newport Beach, California a few months ago, we’ve headed to the sand on almost a daily basis. Whether we’re trying to catch some waves, hanging out with friends or just watching the sunset, we’ve picked up a few things that have made our beach days both better and easier. Here’s our picks for the best beach gear.
1 Microfiber Beach Towel
A towel is the most basic piece of beach gear, and Wildhorn Outfitters reinvented this staple and took it to a whole new level. Whether we need to dry off after a swim or just want to stretch out on the sand, the Akumal Microfiber beach towel is our new go-to. My favorite thing about this towel is that it spreads out like an extra large beach blanket, but rolls up extra small. It hardly takes up any room in our beach bag. Plus the sand shakes right off and it dries super fast.
2 Beach Blanket
This Wildhorn beach blanket is another recent addition to our beach kit. As much as we love the sand, we don’t love it when it gets everywhere. We spread this beach blanket out before setting out all our gear, which helps keep us a bit less sandy.
3 Beach Chairs
These Tommy Bahama beach chairs are the best ones around. With backpack straps, a built-in cooler, and the ability to adjust all the way flat, these have everything you want in a beach chair. They’re a bit pricey on Amazon, but we bought ours through Costco a few years back for a much better deal.
4 Beach Umbrella
After spending some time along the Italian coastline, I wish everyone would buy these brightly colored striped umbrellas, all in the same color, and then line them up in perfectly straight rows in the sand. It’s super durable with a hefty price tag to match, but owners claim it will last you for years to come. For a more affordable option, the Tommy Bahama Umbrella is a solid choice.
5 Beach bag
I like having a large canvas beach bag that’s always ready to go, so we can grab it and head out the door. This bag fits everything we need, and is lined with small pockets great for storing keys, phones and sunscreen. That way, I don’t have to dig through the bottom of the bag to find what I need.
The YETI Coolers look awesome and every review raves at how long these coolers keep the contents icy. Until I can justify spending the $200, the Igloo MaxCold Cool Fusion 36 is working great, both for days at the beach and overnight camping.
7 Snorkel set
We’ve bought a few, and so far, this snorkel set has been the best. While they’re usually pretty cheap or easy to rent, we’ve brought our own on our last few beach vacations so we can play I spy with the fishes no matter where we are.
Lounging at the beach is nice, but it’s been so much fun to have a reason to get in the water. We’re still pretty new to surfing, but so far the 7′ LOG Catch Surf has been a great (well, I took a beating from it this last weekend, so I’m not sure if the feeling is mutual, but I’m trying to stick with it). We see a ton of the Wavestorm 8′ boards around, but a lot of people have said they’re not near as durable and you’ve pretty much outgrown the board once you can consistently pop up. This Catch Surf should be even more fun the better we get.
9 Beach tent
Quick and easy. At $25, the price is pretty much unbeatable for IKEA’s beach tent.
10 Spike Ball
At first, I didn’t understand why this game was all the rage (seriously, I see them everywhere on the beach). But Spike Ball is super fun and easy to play. I think the $60 price tag is pretty steep for a net and a ball, but I’m sure it’ll get plenty of use!
11 Swim suit/ Rash Guard
The cute swim suit options for little girls seem endless, but we had to hunt around to find a fun rash guard and swim suit that fit our son. We love the ones at Zara and H&M. The Cat & Jack options from Target are great too because the tops and bottoms are sold separately (our son uses the 3-6 months bottoms and 18-24 month tops!)
12 Beach Sandals
Flip flops fall off tiny feet, so these Igor jellies are a great alternative. Plus, the extra protection is nice for tidepools, and the cushion slips out for easy rinsing.
13 Sand Toys
This large bucket comes with all the sand toys you need to build an epic sandcastle.
14 Kick board
Our son has a little foam kick board that he calls his surfboard, and he hardly goes anywhere with out it.
What’s the best thing in your beach bag? Let us know!