summer beach essentials

Summer Sand Essentials: 8 Items That Should Be in Your Beach Bag

This post is also available in: Español

Whether you’re strolling the sandy beaches of Puerto Vallarta, sunbathing in San Diego or riding the waves of Honolulu, we all need to pack our summer beach essentials before heading outdoors.

Beyond looking hot in your trunks, you’ll want to take products that are functional for the beach or gadgets to keep you entertained. So besides those everyday beach items — sunblock, sunglasses — we recommend these functional and stylish summer beach essentials to make your next jaunt to the beach a memorable one.

1. Tote Bag

summer beach essentials tote bag
L.L. Bean, Hunter’s Tote Bag, Zip-Top

First things first — you’ll need a sturdy tote to carry everything else on our list. L.L. Bean, a well-known accessories company, makes the best tote for everyday activities. This Hunter’s Tote Bag, with zip-top detail, is perfect for summer. This style comes in three different colors — including the cam print above for the fashionistos — and in three sizes from medium to extra large.

This tote is constructed with strong materials to ensure durability. It also has a thermoplastic interior coating that’s both sturdy and water-resistant to keep your beach towel dry. Plus, there are other unique features, like an extra layer of polyester reinforcing the bottom, and a full-length zipper top that keeps sand out when you’ve found the perfect sunbathing spot. $39 at llbean.com 

 

2. Surfer Shirt

summer beach essentials surfer shirt
Hurley Quick Dry Icon Men’s 3/4 Sleeve Surf Shirt

We don’t know about you, but we don’t like to look drenched in sweat in our beach attire. Unfortunately, most beachwear isn’t designed with this functionality in mind. Luckily for us, Nike — an innovator in athletic footwear and apparel in its own right — has Hurley as a subsidiary, a beach brand that has combined style and comfort in this cool 3/4-sleeve surf shirt.

It’s made with stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric for maximum comfort. UV fabric also blocks out the sun’s rays for added protection against burning. The raglan sleeves look chic, plus the stretch fabric gives it a natural range of motion. $50 at nike.com

 

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3. Headphones

summer beach essentials headphones
Urbanears Plattan ADV Wireless in Bonfire Orange

You need a stylish, functional headphone while sunbathing. These Urbanears’ Plattan ADV Wireless headphones are cordless and Bluetooth compatible. They also have a built-in swipe interface to let you cycle through your diva playlists and pick up calls with a simple swipe and tap of the ear cup. (Let’s hear it for technology!)

These headphones comes in nine vibrant colors, from bonfire orange (above) to powder pink. And after a hot day at the beach, you can peel off the headband and throw it in with the wash (!) to keep it clean and fresh for your next beach outing. $99 at urbanears.com

 

4. Picnic Basket

summer beach essential picnic basket
Thermotastic Insulated Picnic Basket

Who doesn’t love a picnic on the beach? Thermotastic, maker of picnic products, has the perfect lightweight, insulated basket for a warm beach day. This summer beach essential comes in three different colors, though we’re partial to the blue. It has useful features a the zipper closure to keep your food warm — or cocktails cold — for up to 12 hours. The lightweight aluminum frame and the soft handle also make this basket easy to carry around the beach. $20 at amazon.com 

 

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5. Stylish Board Shorts

summer beach essential board shorts
Colin Seamless Ash Board Shorts

We love a guy sporting sexy board shorts. The brand Saturdays NYC serves up surfer realness with a great selection of board shorts for day at the beach or nights by the bonfire. These classic knee-length, nylon board shorts with abstract ash print detail are both chic and comfortable. Their two-layer construction also makes them durable for beach activities. $85 at saturdaysnyc.com 

 

6. Water Resistant Watch

summer beach essentials watch
G-Shock Watch

Remember that time you dove into the water and realized you’d left your watch on your wrist? Maybe a water-resistant one is a sound investment for your next beach trip.

Contrary to popular belief, “water resistant” does not mean waterproof. Instead, a watch is given an ATM rating for how many meters it can be submerged without being damaged. For instance, 5 ATM corresponds to 50 meters — you can wear it and swim for a short period. But a watch with a low ATM rating is not meant for diving or snorkeling.

G-Shock from Casio has a sporty and water resistant watch, the GAX100MSA, that is perfect for the beach. This watch has a 20 ATM rating — 200 meters/660 feet — which makes it ideal for high-impact water sports and recreational diving. This stylish watch also has tide graph, moon data and temperature measurement features, making it a great beachside watch. $160 at casio.com 

 

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7. Beach Towel

summer beach essentials towel
Reversible Awning Strip Beach Towel – Red/Navy

Do you love to slap your personalized monogram initials on everything, including your beach towels? Pottery Barn not only has a great selection of beach towels, but they provide the service for customers.

We love this reversible awning stripe beach towel because it’s like having two towels in one. It comes in six colors, including red/navy and orange/stone, as well as three sizes. It’s also made of 100% cotton, which is important to Pottery Barn’s environmental commitment. By buying cotton products here, you’re supporting responsible cotton production through the Better Cotton Initiative. It feels great to have a personalized product and be socially responsible at the same time. $30-$50 at potterybarn.com 

 

8. Waterproof Slides

summer beach essentials birkenstocks
Birkenstock, Arizona EVA Waterproof Slide Sandal

Forget the flip flops — waterproof slides like these from Birkenstock have become a true summer beach essential. Birkenstock has recently enjoyed a renaissance in the fashion world; from Givenchy to Giambattista Valli, many of the hottest fashion houses have created a designer version of this simple slip-on.

This updated Birkenstock style is made from flexible EVA foam that happens to be waterproof. It also has the signature Birkenstock footbed, which mimics the shape of your foot over time and provides excellent support. They’re also lightweight, making them perfect for summer beach days. $35 at nordstrom.com 

Featured image by pixdeluxe via iStock