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You can lay claim to the best spot on the sand, but an ill-prepared beach day can instantly dampen the fun. If you’re looking to spend an afternoon safely soaking up the sun or hitting the waves, you’ll want to bring the best beach gear to keep you comfortable and shaded.
You’re already on the right track if your list includes sunscreen, beach towels, sunglasses, waterproof Bluetooth speakers, and social distancing-friendly outdoor games. If your plans involve dining or drinking (non-alcoholic) sips until the sun sets, then you’ll also want to bring the appropriate shade and accessories for keeping yourself and your food and drinks cool.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best beach accessories for covering all of your sandy bases this summer and beyond. From pop-up tents and al fresco-friendly coolers to blankets that will keep your plot sand-free, check out more of our top picks below.
1. Rio Beach Wonder Wheeler Wide Beach Cart
With a capacity of 100 pounds, this foldable beach cart will make it a breeze to lug all of your beach gear across the sand. The storage area has 15 cubic feet of storage, so you’ve got enough space for beach blankets, towels, sand toys, and more essentials. The removable tote bag is great for keeping smaller items organizers — think your lunch, drinks, books, and any other accessories that you want to keep dry and sand-free.
We like that the main storage space is made of mesh that keeps you from bringing home pounds of sand, and there’s also a separate side pocket for holding an umbrella. The cart’s frame was also designed to carry up to four of your standard folding beach chairs, and you can throw a boogie board on top, too, depending on how much gear you’ve already piled in.
The best part is that this cart is a cinch to pull on sand, concrete, grass, and mud, all thanks to the sturdy steel frame, padded stroller-style handle, all-terrain 10-inch back wheels, and articulating front wheels.
2. Sunnylife Block Party Beach Umbrella
Stand out from the sea of generic beach umbrellas — and give your sandy spot a colorful landmark — with Sunnylife’s stylish sun shade. This height-adjustable waterproof umbrella measures 67 inches in diameter and tilts 360 degrees so you’ll never have to be without shade.
The corkscrew sand anchor keeps the umbrella firmly in place, and the fabric’s UPF 30 coating offers added UV ray protection. It also includes a storage bag with a carrying strap. If you’re not into this colorful criss-cross pattern, the Australian-based brand also has plenty of other umbrellas in equally eye-popping colorways and designs.
3. Smiler+ Cooler Backpack
If you prefer a hands-free cooler, consider this sleek insulated cooler backpack by Smiler+. Measuring 19.7 inches tall by 7.9 inches deep by 13.4 inches wide, this bag features an upper zippered section for warm foods and main leak-proof compartment that can keep as many as 49 cans cold for up to 12 hours. Two expandable mesh pockets — each big enough to hold four bottles of wine — and two front zippered pockets offer extra storage capacity. The back and shoulder straps also feature padded mesh for comfort and breathability.
4. Yeti Tundra Hard Cooler
For coolers that stand the test of sand and beyond, Yeti’s Tundra hard cooler was made to withstand rugged activities. The inside measures 19 inches long by 13 5/8 inches deep by 11 1/4 wide — large enough to hold about 45 cans with ice.
We’re also big fans of this trail-ready cooler’s nearly indestructible construction, heavy-duty latches, and puncture-free wheels. The easy-to-grip aluminum arm and curved tracking design also make this cooler easy to pull across the sand without hitting your heels.
5. WhiteFang Beach Tent
You’ll have your own private cabana within a minute with this pop-up beach tent. It measures 99 inches long by 55 inches wide by 59 inches high and has enough room for two adults and two kids. The durable 210T fabric features 50+ UPF coating for sun protection, and the sturdy steel frame is designed for quick setup and packing.
This beach tent also features three windows that are easy to roll down and fasten, and the front can be closed for privacy or used as an extended floor to help keep out sand. It also comes with everything you need to keep the tent secure on windy days, including steel stakes, plastic sand stakes, built-in sand bags, and guy lines. When you’re ready to pack up, this folding tent fits conveniently into a 33-inch by 6.5-inch by six-inch storage bag.
6. Sun Society 3-in-1 Beach Bag
Whether it’s a solo or group outing, this multi-functional bag makes beach trips incredibly easy. It includes a removable insulated bottom cooler that can hold up to 12 cans of beer/soda or two wine bottles with ice packs, and there’s also a handy strap for holding a rolled-up towel.
The carryall measures 20 inches by 16 inches by six inches and is made of mesh that keeps sand from collecting inside. It has a drawstring closure and external zippered pockets that offer organized storage for your phone, sunscreen, and other items. We also like that it includes a detachable water-resistant pouch for keeping items dry or stowing away wet swimsuits.
7. Urban Outfitters Tropical Printed Beach Chair
Whether you’re lounging on the beach or your own back yard, this lightweight chair will surely keep you in a summer state of mind. Measuring 23 inches long and high by 21 inches wide, this folding chair features a stylish tropical design and a handy carrying strap. The top and arms are padded for extra comfort, and the aluminum frame can withstand up to 331 pounds.
8. Quik Shade Max Shade Chair
If you’re looking to lighten your beach load, then allow this folding chair to take care of both your seating and shade. Made with a sturdy steel frame, this chair’s durable 600D water- and stain-resistant fabric makes it well-suited for the sand and sun, and can support up to 225 pounds.
We’re fans of the adjustable shade that can be tilted, raised, or lowered to your liking. The portable chair also has two mesh cup holders and a handy storage pocket for your phone, wallet, and other essentials.
9. Society6 Beautiful Mexican Sarape Picnic Blanket
If you love the look of a traditional Mexican sarape on the sand, try this colorful picnic blanket by Society6 designer Tina Salazar. It measures 50 inches by 60 inches and features a water-resistant top and bottom. The UV-coated printed top resists fading from the sun, while the polyester-canvas bottom helps to keep sand from sticking. This beach blanket also includes buckled straps for easy packing.
10. WELLAX Sand-Free Beach Blanket
Measuring nine feet by ten feet, this durable beach blanket has plenty of space for a party of seven people. It’s made of lightweight ripstop nylon that’s water-proof and heat repellent, and we like that sand is easy to brush off. This blanket folds conveniently into a four-inch by eight-inch pouch, so it saves quite a bit of space when you’re packing up. And on those breezier beach days, the four corner pockets can be filled with sand to weigh the blanket down.
11. Turtlebacks Sand Coaster Drink Cup Holders
Ditch the sandy-bottomed bottles and cans with this pack of eight vibrant plastic cup holders. Each drink holder’s opening measures three inches in diameter by 1 7/8 inches in depth, so they can accommodate standard water bottles, reusable bottles, aluminum cans, car keys, and other small items.