17 Essential Gadgets & Beach Gear for the Ultimate Summer Vacation

Get ready for the ultimate summer of fun in the sun! I rounded up all the best pool & beach gear for families. From super handy ways to cool down in a flash to must-have sun safety gear, every one of these items below will help make this summer your best one yet.

Get a head start on planning your ultimate summer of fun in the sun by stocking up on these essential gadgets & gear for the beach or pool. Check them out!

Best Pool & Beach Gear for Families

Whether you’re prepping for a weekend getaway to a sunny Florida beach or just trying to plan ahead now so you can spend more time with your family when summer finally arrives, you can’t go wrong with any of these essentials.

Just one tiny note before we get started, this post uses affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase through them, I get a small commission, but the price remains the same for you. I only recommend items that I use or would use myself. Thanks!

1. The ultimate beach blanket

ABETER Sand Free Beach Mat Blanket

Napping on the beach is one of summer’s greatest simple pleasures! I’m not really a fan of sleeping on damp & gritty sand-sprinkled blankets, though! If you feel the same way, you’ll love this sand-free beach blanket! It has mesh technology that whisks the sand right through, keeping the surface soft and smooth. Plus, it’s big enough for your whole family!

2. The best mineral sunscreen for your family

Babo Botanicals Natural Zinc Sunscreen

I don’t have to remind you that sunscreen is the most important beach gear to pack in your bag! Since I only use natural sun protection for my family, I love Babo Botanicals.  It’s an all-mineral sunscreen line that comes in tons of different formulas for all ages & skin types.

FYI, my kids’ pediatrician told me during our last visit that we should only wear mineral sunscreen now. It’s a new recommendation because of recent studies showing that the chemical-loaded ones can cause cancer. I know there’s a lot of debate about those studies, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. Besides, other studies show that chemical sunscreens damage coral reefs and sea life. I can’t see any good reason not to go with a mineral sunscreen option, can you?

3. Protection for your phone & cash


One of my biggest conundrums at the beach is what to do with my money and phone. I don’t want to leave it in my bag, where anyone can take it. I suppose someone could babysit it all day! What fun is that, though? We’re there to spend time together as a family, not play guard to our valuables.  The best solution? Grab one of these CaliCases! They’re waterproof and universal. Plus, they come in a ton of fun colors, glow in the dark, and float.

4. A handy hook that attaches to your umbrella

Beach Umbrella Hanging Hook | Essential Beach Gear

Sometimes, you find a gadget that’s so simple yet so genius, you wonder why you didn’t think of it. This hook is one of those times! It’s literally just a little gadget that you pop onto your beach umbrella. Then, use the 4 prongs to hang your towels, sunglasses, or other lightweight items. Simple? Yes. Genius? Absolutely!

5. The last cooler you’ll ever need to buy

YETI Roadie 24 Cooler |Pool Gear for Families

The Yeti Roadie is definitely among the priciest beach gear on this list but give me a second to convince you why it’s literally the last cooler you’ll ever need to buy. First, it’s a lot bigger than it looks in the picture. Second, with 2 inches of PermaFrost insulation, Yeti doesn’t play around when it comes to keeping drinks cool. Plus, it’s certified bear-resistant. Yep, as in it can withstand actual bears! So, it should have no problem holding up against your kids!

6. An itty-bitty, on-the-go patio umbrella

The Original Sunscreen 100226 Patio Umbrellas | Essential Beach Gear

How cute is this teeny tiny travel patio umbrella? It fits right in your bag yet offers protection from the sun just where you need it. Use it to cover your book, your drink, or even your head. For anyone who has ever tried to read a Kindle on the beach, you know hard it is to see the screen in the blazing sunlight! That alone makes this an absolute essential!

7. A cute little clip for your towels

BocaClip-Clown fish Clip

Raise your hand if you’ve ever chased a towel across the beach after a brisk gust of wind blew it away! Okay, now put them down and grab one of these darling clips! They’re not just insanely adorable! They also serve a vital purpose at the pool- keeping those towels put! With 13 adorable designs, everyone in the family can have their own.

8. The ultimate pool floatie for unicorn lovers

Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float |Pool Gear

Treat your unicorn fanatic (which, we all know, is secretly YOU) to this ginormous and awesome unicorn pool float.  Be warned though, once inflated there’s no way it’ll fit in your car. It measures an incredible 79”L x 55”w  and stands over 3 feet tall! ISo, you may want to pick up a portable pump. Which brings us to…

9. An air pump that totally saves your lungs

Air Pump for Inflatables Beach and pool gear

Whether you splurge on a giant unicorn or just need to inflate some smaller floaties, this portable air pump will come in super handy. It’s powered by your car’s lighter port (I know cars don’t come with lighters anymore, but they still have that power port). Or, you can plug it into the wall if you’re planning to use it at resort.

10. A handy brush for getting rid of sand

sand brush beach gadgets

No more tracking sand into your car, thanks to this handy little brush kit. It comes with two brushes designed to remove sand from your body, your clothes, your surfboard, even your dog! When you’re done, toss it back into the included bag and throw it in your trunk.

11. Cute, colorful & oh-so-practical sand stands

Beach Cups

These bright and fun stands are just perfect for holding your tasty beach beverage. Each one holds cans, bottles, and even fountain drinks. Use the extras to hold your phone, sunglasses, or other small essential pool and beach gear.

12. A tiny table that’s just right for the beach & pool

Personal Beach Table

This tiny table promises to get your gear off the ground in style. Unlike cheap plastic portable tables, it’s made from the same aluminum that goes into airplanes. When open, it supports up to 30 lbs. When you’re done with it, fold it down flat and stick it in your beach tote. Definitely a must-have for the beach & pool!

13. Comfy yet portable loungers

2-Pack Lounger

Let’s be honest here, beach chairs are a pain to lug around. They’re clunky, awkward to carry, and take up way too much space in our trunks. Fortunately, that’s not the case with this lounger duo. The fold down totally flat and fit into an included carrier with a shoulder strap. When you find your perfect spot, just fold them out, adjust the back to just the right height, then start lounging.

14. Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker beach gear

Every great beach day needs some tunes to set the mood, right? This cute little guy clips right onto your beach bag and delivers crystal clear sound. Plus, he’s waterproof and dust-proof, so he won’t fritz out when your kids drip all over him. Just remember, be polite and keep the volume down. Not everyone wants to hear Summer Lovin’ blasting across the beach!

15. A phone charger run by the sun

Solar Charger

Ever notice how your phone’s battery seems to die at exactly the moment you need it most? It’s not like you can run back to your car to charge it up. Well, you could, but what a pain! Pack this highly rated solar-powered charger in your beach bag and you won’t have to worry about the dreaded low-battery warning. You can also charge it up in your home outlet so it’s ready to go before you head to the pool.

16. Sacks to keep your wet clothes contained

dry sacks

Where do you put your family’s wet clothes & towels at the end of your beach day? If it’s in plastic bags, please stop. Not only are they bad for the planet overall, but if they fly away and end up in the ocean, they can do real damage to marine life. Instead, grab this 3-pack of dry sacks. They’ll keep all that moisture tucked neatly away. Or, if you’re planning a boat trip, they’ll also keep moisture out!

17. The ultimate sandcastle set

Sandcastle set

You didn’t think I’d forget about the quintessential fun in the sun activity, did you? Build the ultimate sandcastle with your kids- no architecture experience necessary! This cute set comes with four different molds that stack up for easy carrying. It’s safe for all

There you go, 17 must-have pool & beach gear for families! Even if you just grab a few of these gadgets and goodies, you’ll be well on your way to the ultimate summer of fun in the sun!

Last update on 2022-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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