After a long winter and a wet spring, it's about dang time for some bona fide beach weather. But before you charge through your front door with your sun umbrella in hand like you're in Medieval Times—take heed. While there's nothing that gets you out of the mid-week doldrums like imagining sand between your toes and the sunlight on your skin, the reality—if insufficiently prepared—is a day in paradise that can make you sand-caked, sunburnt, hangry, and dehydrated.
In preparation for this weekend's sandy lie-about, we've gathered all the beach stuff a friend could need. Whether you want to keep the sun away or keep the sand out of your ... everything, read on for the coolest beach products you never knew you craved.
Throw your GoPro in the air and let it slowly glide back down as it takes aerial footage. The Birdie fits the GoPro Hero 3+, GoPro 4, and GoPro 5. The case floats in water, so it's safe to bring to the beach. $25.
This CGear sand-free tote is water-resistant and made with a weaved double-layer mesh that lets the sand sift through the bag's bottom. It's large enough—23 x 7.5 x 15 inches—to pack all the beach essentials. $30.
The WEIMY beach blanket measures 7 feet by 6 feet. When you're ready to pack up, though, it can fold down to become a five-by-seven-inch pouch. It's made of a durable, lightweight nylon and comes with pegs that anchor its corners, so it won't fly away. The blanket is designed to stay cool in the heat and dry super quickly. $32.
Microfiber towels are thinner than the traditional terry cloth, plus they’re more absorbent and dry more quickly. This makes them great for the beach. These towels from Bdsign are 74 x 74 inches—you and a few friends can lay out comfortably—washing machine friendly, and come with a travel bag. $35.
For a towel with more color and personality, it’s highly illogical not to check out these Star Trek beach towels. Boldly go to the beach with these two 59 x 29.5-inch cotton towels. They are safe to throw in the washing machine and dryer on cold and low-tumble settings. $10.
I can’t stand damaging books with water, sunscreen, or sand. When it comes to beach reading, a Kindle does the trick. The Kindle Paperwhite battery lasts weeks, features a built-in adjustable light for both day and night reading, and has an anti-glare screen so you can read the words no matter how sunny it is. The Paperwhite comes in black or white. $120.
Don’t forget to protect your eyeballs. These lightweight 6.40-oz. Sunski sunglasses have polarized lenses, which means they not only block light coming directly from the sun, but also the light that glares off pavement. These have a polycarbonate frame with steel hinges and come with a carrying case and lifetime warranty. They are available in three colors. $58.
Sunksi also has three new models of sunglasses that are made from leftover and recycled polycarbonate plastic resins. Each pair is $68.
If you don't want to lay around on the sand, bring a decked-out beach chair that's easy to carry. This polyester beach chair is lightweight, 19.5 inches wide, and made with an aluminum frame. A side pocket has a place for your cell phone, sunglasses, and other smaller items. It also boasts a side table that folds out, with a beverage pouch and a security pocket. $79.
If you aren’t a fan of beach chairs or laying on a towel in the sand, this inflatable sofa—82 x 27 x 35 inches—from WEKAPO might be your favorite beach lounging experience. It has a built-in headrest, requires no pump to blow up—just wave it in the air to inflate—and will maintain air for hours. The waterproof lounger comes with a carrying bag and stakes to keep the seat in place. It can also be used as a pool float. $38.
The Sea Doo Dolphin Sea Scooter can thrust you forward up to 2 mph and dive 15.5 feet deep. The battery lasts for 1.5 hours and the whole thing weighs only 12 pounds. For those with Aquaman aspirations, this might be the closest you'll ever get. $330.
Some items you’ll want to keep safe from the elements. To ensure the security of your phone, wallet, or devices, bring roll-top dry bags. This set from WildPaces comes with three sizes—10-liter, 5-liter, and 2-liter. They’re made of a waterproof fabric and float when closed. The largest comes with an adjustable shoulder strap. They are also great to throw wet clothing or towels into once you leave the beach. $24.
The goTenna helps solve the problem of being on a beach with no service and not being able to communicate with people nearby. It creates an "off-grid" network where friends in range can send texts and have access to GPS. You can send group chats or one-on-one messages to people in the area. The free goTenna app includes offline maps for the whole world, too. $149.
The four stainless steel hooks on the Pole-R Bear umbrella attachment can keep your belongings off the ground when you are at the beach or in your backyard. The rubber attachment can fit around poles that are 3/4 inches to 1-5/8 inches in diameter. $11.
The Anker SoundCoreSport XL connects to your phone via Bluetooth, is waterproof up to one meter, and has a built-in noise cancelling mic for answering phone calls. The speaker also holds 15 hours of juice and has two dynamic 8-watt stereo drivers giving it a bright, crisp sound. $70.
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