The Best Beach Gear & Lake Essentials for Summer Staycations


Measuring 38″ x 70″, they’re much larger than standard towels, yet they weigh just 12 oz and take up less space.

They’re handmade by seamstresses in Southwestern Turkey, so each towel is unique. There are currently 6 different design styles, including diamante, simple, waffle, labyrinth, layers, and tribal.

Regardless of which design you choose, all of the Teema towels are comfortable, versatile, and made to last for years to come.

Original Monster Towel

Though the manufacturers may refer to it as a towel, the Monster Towel measures an astounding 100 square feet (10′ square).  

So you can easily fit multiple people on it at the beach, yet it also folds up into a compact roll. But don’t be fooled by how thin the fabric is: It’s highly absorbent and extremely soft, since it’s made out of microfiber. 

The Monster Towel also includes corner pockets to hide your phone and other valuables, as well as a strap to carry when it’s rolled up.

Despite being larger than a King sized bed, it’s surprisingly easy to transport to your next staycation (or vacation) destination.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Caribbean Islands to Visit

 

Sunglasses

DRAGON Baile H20 LL Sunglasses

Dragon Baile H2O Sunglasses

Available in two colors (including black and gray with blue lenses), Dragon‘s Baile H2O sunglasses will make a wonderfully stylish accessory for your next beach trip.

Made in collaboration with champion surfer Mick Fanning, these glasses actually repel water, so you can wear these while you swim without worrying. They also repel dirt, dust, and oil.

We love that these sunglasses are very lightweight and scratch-resistant, so you can keep a crystal-clear view when you’re out on the water.  

They’re also timelessly stylish and unisex, so anyone can enjoy them! 

READ MORE: The 20 Best Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii

Julbo Aerolite & Outline

One of our favorite eyewear brands, Julbo‘s new Aerolite and Outline sunglasses both have wraparound lenses for full protection, while still allowing for full vision.

The Outline glasses come in colors such as red, green, yellow, and black, while the Aerolite glasses come in blue, green, black, and white.

The Outlines can also be fitted to work with prescription lenses, and fit well under a helmet for cycling or skateboarding.

Both the Aerolite and Outline are made of polycarbonate, which is rugged and durable enough to withstand all outdoor activities. They’re also well vented, to prevent fogging.

READ MORE:  Cycling South Koster Island, Sweden

Ombraz Armless Sunglasses Classic

Ombraz Armless Sunglasses

A 2019 Backpacker Editors’ Choice, these incredibly unique Armless Sunglasses from Ombraz have a built-in cord to tighten or loosen the fit . 

You can choose from three different styles of frames– with classic, dolomite, and leggero lens styles–as well as three different frame colors and polarized lens colors. 

These high-quality glasses are lightweight and durable, scratch-resistant and smudge-resistant. So they’re a perfect choice for all your outdoor recreation adventures. 

The addition of the cord and a wider nose pad makes these glasses comfortable enough to be worn for hours. Without the traditional arms, they avoid the typical headaches some glasses can cause.

Also, Ombraz plants 20 mangrove trees (which help to protect beaches and barrier islands) for every pair sold. So you can look stylish and help the environment at the same time! 

Spy Optic Fiona & Julep Sunglasses

Spy Optic is one of our favorite brands of sunglasses because of their fun approach to fashionable eyewear.

For example, just take a look at their Fiona and Julep styles, which are both adorably stylish, but also keep your eyes protected.

The Juleps come in red, white, and clear, with a cute, vintage cat-eye shape. The Fionas come in a variety of colors, including blue, clear, black, and gray. 

These cute Spy Optic sunglasses offer 100% UV protection for your eyes from the long-term damage of prolonged sun exposure.

Made out of polycarbonate, they’re lightweight and durable enough to become your new favorite go-to staycation/vacation shades! 

READ MORE: The Best Things to Do in Sanibel Island, Florida

 

Zeal -Morrison Sunglasses

Zeal Optics Morrison Sunglasses

Zeal Optics went above and beyond with their new Morrison sunglasses, which can be used for regular shades or eyewear prescriptions. 

The lenses are unique because they use what they call Auto Sun technology: They provide polarized protection in the daylight, and but lighten when it gets darker to allow you to see at night.

These sunglasses are surprisingly lightweight, yet comfortable and durable enough for extended wear (they even come with a two-year warranty).

They’re intended for outdoor adventures ranging from fishing and mountain biking to casual hikes, but of course they’re also great for a day at the beach! 

READ MORE: An Epic Guide to America’s National Parks

 

Sandals & Water Shoes

Vionic Women’s Amber Adjustable Sandal & Men’s Leo Sandal

After stepping on the business end of a 6-inch lightning whelk shell in Sanibel Island one year, I really learned the value of a good pair of water shoes. 

Vionic has a variety of stylish sandals and water shoes that balance fashion and function, including the Amber adjustable sandal for women and the Leo sandal for men. Like all Vionic shoes, both offer “Three-Zone Comfort” and exceptional arch support.

The Amber sandals come in gold cork (our favorite) and black, with an EVA midsole to absorb shock and reduce stress on your feet, legs and back. From a style standpoint, we also love the cute flowers on the soles of the shoes.

The Leo sandals for men come in black and brown are a bit more basic style-wise, but they also boast an EVA footbed to provide stability, support, and comfort. 

READ MORE: The 50 Best Travel Shoes for Women & Men

Vines Harmony Sandal

If you’re looking for eco-friendly shoes to suit your laid-back staycation style, the Harmony X sandals for women from Vines Islandwear are an extremely comfortable option.

The company was originally based in the US Virgin Islands, and their sandals are ethically made by women, for women.

These attractive sandals are vegan-friendly, with black, white, and sand-colored polyester braids. The soles are made of recycled tire rubber, with a lovely scent infused inside it to give the sandals a tropical smell.

They’re perfect beach sandals, but they’re also comfortable and fashionable enough for everyday wear. The neutral colors will pair well with just about anything!

READ MORE: The 20 Best Vegan Boots for Women & Men

Cudas Aruba Water Shoes

Cudas Aruba Water Shoe

These cute Mary Jane-style water shoes from Cudas will keep your feet safe in the water and on land.

The Arubas are made with an elastic strap and a dual sole, so your foot can flex while also having a solid grip over many types of terrain. 

They’re really lightweight, and made with mesh so they’re breathable and quick-drying. With their classic style, they’re also versatile enough to wear in the water or to dinner.

The shoes come in black, pink, navy, and gray, so they can complement all types of outfits. Plus, the EVA insole is removable, so you can clean and drain them whenever it’s needed!

READ MORE: The Most Comfortable Walking Shoes & Hiking Shoes for Women

Keen Women’s Astoria West Sandal & Men’s Newport H2

Keen has been one of my personal favorite shoe brands for more than 7 years now. From their Bryce Mid WP hiking boots to the innovative Uneek water shoes, every pair I’ve ever owned has withstood the test of time. 

Their new Astoria West Sandal for women and Newport H2 Water Shoes for men seem very likely at first glance to do the same. 

Available in four different color combos, the Astoria is an attractive wedge-style sandal designed to seamlessly transition from the beach or trail to town. They’re made from recycled plastic webbing, with the subtle heel lift providing cushioning support and slip-resistant, gripping soles.

The olive/bronze-colored Newport Hydro is tailor-made for water-based recreation, with a quick-dry lining and PFC-free webbing that’s both water-repellant and washable. Note that Keen’s website advises ordering these a 1/2-size up, but mine fit well.

READ MORE: Whitewater Rafting the New River Gorge, West Virginia

Teva Women’s Terra Fi 5 Universal & Men’s Terra Float Churn

Teva has long been one of our favorite shoe brands for the quality and rugged durability. And the new Terra Fi 5 Universal sandals for women and the Terra-Float Churn shoes for men are no exception. 

The Terra sandals are quick-drying, made with recycled polyester straps, and have a molded PU midsole. They come in three stylish designs, including Sun & Moon, Canyon, and Manzanita.

The Terra-Float shoes are lightweight, breathable, and offer perfect protection for hiking, crossing streams, and everything in between. They also have a slip-proof outsole to keep you safe when you’re in the water.

After wearing her previous pair of Tevas for more than 10 years, Mary can’t wait to use these shoes on our next trek into the wilderness

READ MORE: The Most Comfortable Walking Shoes & Hiking Shoes for Men

 

Fishing Gear

 

Thule Rod Vault 2

Fishing can be a challenging sport, a fun way to feed the family, or simply a relaxing way to pass the time during summer staycations. 

But it’s no fun or relaxation when your lines get tangled, or a hook gets caught on someone’s skin as you carry your rod. Enter the Thule Rod Vault 2, which is designed to hold either fly rods or saltwater rods safely and securely. 

Made with aircraft-grade aluminum rod tubes and heavy duty, glass-reinforced, nylon reel cases, the RodVault holds two fully assembled rods up to 10 feet long, with reel diameters up to 4.25 inches. 

Other cool features on this essential piece of beach fishing gear include a universal mounting system that fits a wide range of load bars, and fishing rod rack locks that can be secured to your vehicle with a small padlock (sold separately). 

READ MORE: Fishing Mobile Bay & the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Alabama

 

Aquaz Kenai Convertible Waders

Aquaz Kenai Convertible Waders

 

Part of that dream is enjoying the exceptional trout fishing the lakes, rivers, and streams in the mountains have to offer. And these high-quality waders from Aquaz Fishing will make wading in those chilly waters a LOT more comfortable.

 

Constructed with 3 layers of lightweight and heavy duty fabrics, these waders are surprisingly comfy and breathable. The “convertible” aspect refers to the suspenders, which allow you to raise or lower the chest section to your waist. 

 

Other noteworthy features include a water-repellent chest pocket with YKK zipper closure, a fleece pocket for warming your hands, and a 4mm neoprene stockingfoot. 

Intex Mariner 3 Boat Set

From floats and floating islands to inflatable kayaks, a lot of our favorite stuff for the lake came from Intex. So it’s no surprise that their Mariner 3 Boat Set is another aquatic recreation winner. 

Part of their durable Pro Series, the 9ft 9in X 4ft 2in X 1ft 6in boat is made with three rugged layers of PVC, with a keel rock guard and extruded plastic flooring for added stability. Inflating it is easy with the enclosed high-output pump, and there’s a repair patch kit included just in case. 

The craft is great for boating and fishing, with motor mount fittings and a battery pouch included in case you want to add an Intex motor bracket and trolling motor. Anglers will also love the boat’s two built-in fishing rod holders and handy pouch for stowing fishing gear.

Additional features include two handles on each bow for portage, two 54-in aluminum oars, oar holders and rotational oar locks, two inflatable thwart seats, and a U.S. Coast Guard I.D.

GoFish Cam

The GoFish Cam is essentially like a GoPro that was designed specifically for fisherman (though it can also be used for things like snorkeling and Scuba diving). 

The wireless underwater camera attaches directly to your fishing line, and can used in freshwater or saltwater environments. Measuring just 4.5 inches and pre-weighted to approximately 3.3 ounces, it won’t affect your casting at all.

Whether you’re bottom fishing at depths up to 500 ft, trolling for trophy fish, or simply float fishing, the camera captures all of the action in HD (1080P @ 60FPS, 30FPS, and 720P @ 60FPS). The Float Accessory even allows you to stream live directly to your mobile device.

The company recently dropped prices by $80, and released a revamped app that made navigation easier and improved speed for both downloading and playback.

READ MORE: 60+ Cool Camping Gear Reviews (for Every Camping Style)

 

Miscellaneous Beach Gear

Biolite Firepit

BioLite FirePit

When it comes to choosing the best beach gear or lake gear, we would always list a good grill among our absolute essentials. We use the one on our boat 3 to 4 times a week!

The new smokeless FirePit from BioLite is perfectly portable, measuring 27″ x 13″ x 15.8″ and weighing 19.8 lbs. You can use either wood (up to 4 standard size logs) for a blazing hot fire, or charcoal and the removable grate if you want a Hibachi-style grill. 

The FirePit is hyper-efficient in terms of energy, burning up to 24 hours on Low, 10 hours on Medium, or 5 hours on High. And their free Bluetooth app allows you to control the temperature and flame size via the 51 internal jets.

The 10,400 mAh Rechargeable Powerpack can be detached and recharged via USB, or you can purchase a Solar Carry Cover separately to recharge using the power of the sun!

READ MORE: DIY Stoves for Off-Grid Living

BeachSafe

One of the toughest things about spending time at the beach is worrying about what to do with your valuables while you’re having fun in the water.

The Beachsafe is one of the most impressive beach gadgets we’ve seen this year. It keeps your wallet, keys, phone, and other essentials secure in a locked, water-resistant case so you can enjoy your day at the beach without concern for someone stealing your stuff.

The device has a solar panel embedded in it, so you can charge your tech device(s) over the course of the day, while also cooling everything inside with a built-in fan.

It’s protected by both a 4-digit combination lock and a 3-foot stainless-steel cable that you can use to wrap your device securely around your beach chair or other objects.

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U-stand

U-Stand

The U-Stand is a deceptively simple but innovative piece of beach equipment designed to keep your beach umbrella from being blown over in a gust of wind. 

But what we really love about the product is the fact that it’s one item that can serve multiple purposes during your day at the beach.

First of all, the empty container (which is made from durable, UV-protected plastic) needs to be filled with something in order to hold the umbrella in place. So while you can fill it with sand or water, we recommend filling it with ice and your favorite cold beverages. 

We also love that the top of the stand has four cup/drink holders, and that there’s a convenient shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry. 

Kurgo Life Jacket

Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket

We love our two dogs, Huckleberry and Buddy (a.k.a. Boo Boo), dearly. But for some reason neither of them has ever been interested in going in the water, despite the fact that we take them to the lake 3 to 4 times a week. 

For those dogs who DO like to frolic in the sea, the Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket from Kurgo is one of the best beach accessories for keeping your favorite furry friends safe.

Made from 400D and Ripstop material, the dog vest features a removable flotation layer, athletic style, and reflective accents for better visibility in low light situations. 

Other awesome features include two side adjustment points with Nifco quick release buckles, adjustable chest and belly straps, two transverse handles for easy extraction, and two metal D-rings (one of which also works as a bottle opener).

READ MORE: 50 Fascinating Facts About the Dhole (a.k.a. Indian Wild Dog)

 

 

Other Summer Staycation Gear

Sutro Pool Monitor

Sutro

Swimming is currently our primary form of exercise. So a backyard lap swimming pool is a big part of our plans for our future “forever” home. 

For those whose staycations are centered around the pool, the Sutro is an incredibly handy high-tech device that allows you to test pH, chlorine, temperature, and alkalinity levels automatically.

The Smart Monitor is like a pool robot, using the same process as traditional water test kits.

Using chemicals from LaMotte (the gold standard in water testing for over 100 years), the Sutra monitors your pool or spa constantly and sends results to the smart hub using a sub-GHz link.

Not only will it notify you when one of the levels are off, but it will alert you before the water takes a turn for the worse, removing all the hassle of manual testing.

READ MORE: How to Save Water (15 Water Conservation Methods)

 

Phoozy XP3 Series & Tablet/Laptop Capsule

We spend a lot of time on, in, and around the water. And because we can work anywhere we get a WiFi signal, we usually have our iPhones and laptops with us. 

But of course tech devices and water don’t mix. Which is why we’d say these capsules for phones, laptops, and tablets from PHOOZY are essential beach gear.

Working with literal rocket scientists, they used insulating materials developed by NASA to protect astronauts in space. They’re designed to withstand any hostile environment, providing thermal protection from extreme cold and heat (reflecting 90% of the sun’s rays).

Thanks to the military-grade impact core, they’ll also keep your devices safe from shattering. The XP3 Series can protect your phone from a 9-foot drop!

We also love the XP3’s internal stash pocket, plus the fact that the capsules will actually float if they’re dropped in the water while boating, fishing, kayaking, etc. 

READ MORE: How to Start a Travel Blog

Bindle Bottle Bundle

Bindle Bottle Combo Straw Lid Bundle

Looking for ways to reduce your personal plastic usage? Getting rid of single use plastic bottles is a simple way to start! 

In terms of BPA-free water bottles, the stainless steel Bindle Bottle makes especially great beach gear due to its hidden waterproof storage compartment. It’s large enough to stash your cash, credit card, ID, keys, and more while you’re in the water.

Their new Combo Straw Lid Bundle is a great deal, featuring one 20 oz Bindle Slim with loop lid, ine 24 oz Bindle with loop lid, plus two straw lids.

We especially love the Slim version, which is made to fit in cupholders. But both bottles offer dual-walled, vacuum-insulated construction to ensure your drink stays cold for hours as you soak up the summer sun. 

Camelbak drinkwareCamelBak Horizon Drinkware

With travel pretty much off-limits for the forseeable future and most public spaces too crowded for our tastes, the lake has been the only place we feel comfortable socializing from a distance.

So we’ve been adding to our lake gear this year to make hosting friends easier. And the new Horizon drinkware line from CamelBak is a perfect fit for our laid-back lifestyle. 

The line includes all sorts of different options, from the 12 oz Camp Mugs and Wine Tumblers to 25 oz Wine Bottles and regular Tumblers ranging from 10 to 30 oz. 

They’re all attractive (available in 5 colors) and durable, made from double-wall vacuum insulated stainless steel with a full powder coat finish. 

The non-slip silicone pad on the base makes these great for using on our boat or camp tables, and the flow control of their spill resistant tri-mode lids is excellent for drinking on the go. –Reviews by Bret Love & Ari Lentini

 

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