Sandcastles and sand toys on the beach paul snapp/EyeEm | Adobe Stock
All Ages

Best Beach Gear 2021: 9 Must-Haves for Families

See recent posts by Courtney Elko

The days of conveniently carrying one beach chair, a towel and a cute beach bag to the beach are mere memories of your time before children. Getting the kids and all of your stuff to the beach takes a bit more planning and thinking outside of the (sand) box. But there are ways to lug less beach gear if you pack the right beach gear. Pack these beach gear essentials for an easy day at the beach.

1. BBLuv Nido 2 in 1 Travel Bed and Play Tent

For new parents, taking a baby to the beach for the first time can be stressful. You want the baby to be comfortable and happy, plus safe from the sun and sand. Enter the BBLuv Nido 2 in 1 Travel Bed and Play Tent. The small, pop-up tent conveniently folds down in seconds and is easy to carry in the included carry bag. Or, it can be placed inside a larger beach bag. The baby sun tent and canopy protects from UVA and UVB rays, in addition to sand, wind and mosquitoes. There is a comfortable mat for babies to lay on and a few removable toys that hang from the canopy.

Related: 8 Essential Items to Pack in Your Beach Bag

2. ZiggyShade Beach SunShade

ZiggyShade Family Beach Sunshade

Baby is shaded, but what about the rest of the fam? Or, are you just looking for a tent everyone can use, baby included? The ZiggyShade Beach SunShade is ideal for the entire family to stay protected from the sun, as the fabric is made from UPF 50-plus material. Four corner pegs are provided, but the sandbag anchors can easily secure the tent as well. Its open-air concept allows it to be wind resistant, and the sandbag anchors help it to stay in place and also make it easily movable as the sun shifts throughout the day. Bonus: it comes with a carrying case that can easily fit into checked luggage or even a carry-on bag if you’re flying to your beach destination.

3. Summer Infant Pop N’ Sit Portable Booster

Summer Infant Pop N' Sit Portable Booster

The Summer Infant Pop N’ Sit Portable Booster is ideal for the baby or small toddler who wants to sit up and see everything that’s going on at the beach. This lightweight, compact fold chair features a BPA-free tray perfect for beach snacks, and there is also a safety harness and storage pocket. The chair, recommended for ages 6 months to 37 pounds, conveniently folds up into an included over-the-shoulder carrying bag.

Related: The Best Baby Gear: 12 Essentials for Babies

4. TIMBER RIDGE Outdoor Collapsible Wagon

The TIMBER RIDGE Outdoor Collapsible Wagon is a top seller on Amazon, and it’s no wonder why. This beach cart requires little effort to set up (score!) and has front wheels that can rotate 360 degrees, making navigating the terrain from parking lot to beach sand a breeze. The cart can hold up to 150 pounds, has two cup holders, and comes with two organizational pouches. Note that this beach cart is not designed to hold children.

5. EasyGo High Wind Beach Umbrella

EasyGo Beach Umbrella

The EasyGo High Wind Beach Umbrella is a solid choice for families wanting a beach umbrella that will stay in place. Sixteen fiberglass ribs make this umbrella durable, and a vented canopy means better air flow. This classic beach umbrella comes with a carrying bag, as well as a heavy duty screw to anchor it into the ground.

Related: The Essential Beach Packing List

6. Beachr Beach Umbrella Sand Anchor

Beachr Beach Umbrella Sand Anchor

If you plan on bringing an umbrella to keep things cool on the beach, the Beachr Beach Umbrella Sand Anchor is essential. The 15-inch screw twists into the sand to keep your beach set up secure. It can withstand winds of up to 50 mph, so there’s no need to worry about your umbrella flying away on a windy beach day!

7. Roadie 24 Hard Cooler

Ready to invest in a Yeti? The Yeti Roadie 24 Beach Cooler is a great option for the beach, and is guaranteed to keep your drinks ice-cold all day (and night) long. Slimmer and lighter than the preceding model, it stands about 13″ (about the height of a standard bottle of wine, in case you were wondering) and can keep those snacks and sippy cups cool while you and your family play in the waves.

Related: The 15 Least-Crowded Beaches in the U.S.

8. YISENCE Waterproof Digital Camera

YISENCE Waterproof Digital Camera

Let the kids have some fun with an underwater camera! The YISENCE Waterproof Digital Camera takes video and still images and can be used on land or in the water. The camera is compact, durable, and can operate up to 10 feet underwater for an hour at a time. It comes with a charger and drawstring pouch for easy transport; a micro SD card is not included.

9. Click N Play Sand Castle Mold Set

Click N Play 13 Piece Sand Castle Mold Set

If the kids want to build the ultimate sandcastle, they will need the ultimate Click N Play Sand Castle Mold Set! The 13-piece sandcastle kit comes in an easy mesh carry bag and is filled with molds and tools to build unique sandcastles in various sizes. The kit includes a small shovel and rake, however you’ll have to supplement with your own larger beach buckets. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

You Might Also Like:

5 Best Fitness Trackers for Kids
The Best Family Pajamas for 2023
10 Best Waterproof Winter Boots for Kids
10 Best Winter Mittens for Toddlers (That Will Actually Stay On)
8 Things You Should Never Wear at the Airport

Our team of parents and travel experts chooses each product and service we recommend. Anything you purchase through links on our site may earn us a commission.