14 Beach Accessories That Will Save Your Summer Vacation

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For many travelers, a day at the beach requires little gear. A chic swimsuit, an oversized beach towel, and reliable, reef-safe sunscreen are essentials, of course. But even the most modest, hassle-free beachgoer might discover that the right gadget can seriously upgrade — and even simplify — a weekend by the shore.

Take the Yeti Hopper M30 Soft Cooler, which (despite a $300 price tag) is becoming something of a cult favorite. Instead of fishing drinks out of a lukewarm puddle in your cheap lunch bag, the Yeti Cooler will keep them cool for hours of sunbathing and tide-chasing.

And instead of your standard shades — which you were going to bring anyway and probably lose or ruin— travelers can opt for a pair of anti-scratch sunglasses made with 100 percent UV protection and a lightweight, material that enables them to float.

This is the high- and low-tech gear that will change the way you spend your summer. And we're willing to bet these accessories will quickly feel like must-packs.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite e-reader
Courtesy of Amazon

Skip the paperback this summer and bring all of your favorite beach reads with you in one seamless device. The latest edition of the Kindle Paperwhite is both glare-free and waterproof, making it ideal for reading outdoors.

To buy: amazon.com, $150

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 Waterproof Speaker


Of all the wireless speakers on the market, this is the only one we really can't leave home without. Despite its small, lightweight design (less than a pound), it plays your favorite tunes at an impressive volume. This waterproof and dustproof speaker can play the Beach Boys for 13 hours without charging. Plus, it floats.

To buy: amazon.com, from $80

YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler

Black and grey cooler bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Have we mentioned how obsessed people are with this cooler? The YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler has a durable waterproof shell and a powerful zipper and magnetized closure that's ultra leak-resistant, making it a reliable vessel for food and drinks on-the-go.

To buy: amazon.com, $300

LifeProof Frē Waterproof Cases

Black waterproof phone case
Courtesy of Amazon

LifeProof's scratchproof, waterproof, and almost-all-other-accident-proof cases are must-haves if you prefer to have your smartphone with you at all times, including at the beach. Even if your phone is already waterproof, this case will keep out sand and dust.

To buy: amazon.com, from $70

CGear Sand-Free Mat

Sand Free Mat
Courtesy of Amazon

Made from a one-way sift material originally designed for military use, this mat is perfect for beach picnics. It dries almost instantly and has D-Rings so you can fix it to the ground. The days of sandy, windswept lunches at the beach are over.

To buy: amazon.com, from $48

Rheos Floating Polarized Sunglasses

Tortoise round sunglasses
Courtesy of Amazon

Admit it: the waves have washed away at least one pair of sunglasses in the past. Instead of sinking to the bottom, these sport shades by Rheos will float back to the surface, thanks to an ultra-light frame. Other beach-worthy benefits? The lenses have anti-scratch and anti-glare coatings, and they offer 100 percent UV protection.

To buy: amazon.com, $55

Odyseaco Mesh Beach Bag

Black mesh beach bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Swap out your old beach bag for this versatile mesh tote, which is spacious enough to hold four large beach towels. It also has a bottom cooler pocket, so you'll be able to store all your drinks and snacks in one place.

To buy: amazon.com, $20

Pacific Breeze Pop-up Beach Tent

Pop-up Tent
Courtesy of Amazon

Shade-seekers will love this easy pop-up tent, which is lightweight and designed to offer UPF 50+ sun protection. You and two to three guests will also love this beach tent during unexpected summer storms.

To buy: amazon.com, from $100

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL

Mophie Power Charger
Courtesy of Mophie

Keep all of your devices, including your waterproof phone and e-reader, fully charged with the Mophie Powerstation Plus XL. Designed to work with both Apple and micro-USB devices, this portable back-up battery offers up to two days worth of charge, depending on the device. Twin USB ports let you charge two devices at the same time.

To buy: amazon.com, $82

Clare V. for Anthropologie Beach Towels

Colorful beach towels
Courtesy of Anthropologie

A trip to the beach isn't complete without a soft, fluffy beach towel that you can lounge on for hours. These French-inspired towels from Clare V.'s new collaboration with Anthropologie are a stylish addition to any beach bag.

To buy: La Plage Beach Towel, anthropologie.com, $54; Piscine Beach Towel, anthropologie.com, $54

Thinksport Safe Sunscreen

reef safe sunscreen thinksport
Courtesy of Amazon

These days, reef-safe sunscreen is an absolute must. This SPF 50+ sunscreen is safe for your skin and the environment, since it's biodegradable and free of harmful chemicals.

To buy: amazon.com, $10

Madewell Packable Mesa Straw Hat

Tan straw hat
Courtesy of Madewell

Straw hats are another must-have for the beach, but they're always tricky to pack. This hat from Madewell is unstructured enough to easily bounce back from bends and folds if you'll be storing it in your beach bag.

To buy: madewell.com, $40

Fatboy Miasun Sun Shade

Beach sun shade
Courtesy of Fatboy

This portable sun shade is easy to pack and set up, making it a must-have beach accessory when you know you'll be in the sun all day. Made from lightweight cotton canvas that filters out 96% of UVA and UVB rays, the shade comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, so it's a stylish addition to your set-up on the sand.

To buy: shop.fatboyusa.com, $139

Updated by
Madeline Diamond
Madeline Diamond, Associate Commerce Editor
Madeline Diamond is an associate ecommerce editor at Dotdash Meredith, where she primarily works on the Travel + Leisure brand. She writes about all things travel gear, including everything from the best suitcases to the most comfortable travel clothing.
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