Simmer Down: 15 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

Well, that time of year is upon us once again. Beach season; a time when we mysteriously fall ill a couple Friday afternoons a month. A time when tanning it becomes more important than toning it. A time when the dogs days of summer consist of day-long lounging at the beach followed by sunset spirits on the boardwalk. You’re going to fall in love at least three times, bear witness as late nights turn into foggy mornings, and embrace the unbiased warmth of the afternoon sun. Relax, it’s summertime, and the living is truly easy.

Getting to the beach is a pastime for summer fanatics the country over. Be it for a day, a weekend, or only once a year, each trip to the water’s edge presents new opportunities and gives us time to relax, taking a well-deserved breather from those headache-inducing fluorescent lights. With every sand-covered footstep, or every wave ridden, or every beer opened, real world worries drift off like sails in the sunset, leaving you in a state to inflated bliss. So go ahead, float on, drift away, fall out, and forget. Check your problems at the asphalt.

We’re all aware no beach trip is complete without the essentials. And of course, we understand the subjective nature of the word. That’s why we put our heads together and came up with 15 beach bag essentials that we know we can’t do without here in San Diego. I mean, it is a bit of a year-round beach community, so we might have some experience in this regard. So with Memorial Day just around the corner, dive head first into a summer state of mind and get ready for a season fueled by late nights, questionable decisions, and the occasional sunrise. No judgments here.

Owen & Fred Everyday Tote

Owen & Fred Everyday Tote

Since heading to the beach without all your gear isn’t an option, you might as well get smart and house all your belongings in one place to ensure easy access. This EveryDay Tote is a great option and because of its gray and green color palette and subtle design, you won’t look like you’re carrying your girlfriend’s purse around the boardwalk. It’s made in the USA from strong nylon and includes one exterior pocket, one large main pocket, an interior zipper pocket sized for a wallet or phone, and a spring-loaded hook for your keys. It’s the perfect alternative to oversized backpacks and day bags.

Purchase: $9

Jack Black Sun Guard Sunscreen

Jack Black Sun Guard Sunscreen

Don’t let a weekend at the beach turn you into a North Atlantic lobster. Nothing’s worse than a terminal sunburn on the first day. Be smart. Be sure to slather on some skin protection. This Jack Black Sun Guard is a great option, especially because of its high water-resistant quality and oil-free, vitamin-rich formula. It offers superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and absorbs quickly without any greasy or heavy residue. And remember, just because it’s cloudy doesn’t mean you’re safe. We’ve seen many a vacationer make that mistake and pay for it ten-fold the next day.

Purchase: $21

Knockaround Amber Fort Knocks Sunglasses

Knockaround Amber Fort Knocks Sunglasses

Perfect for those bright days at the beach and durable enough to withstand the daily abuse that goes along with summer shenanigans, these Knockarounds embody the classic design, style, and color that made the brand famous a while back. Its injection-molded frame features recessed gold bars with hidden spring hinges. They boast UV400 protection, impact resistant lenses, a matte finish, and come with a custom print microfiber protective pouch. Summer ain’t summer without a fresh pair of shades and these frames will certainly do the trick.

Purchase: $25

Unifun Waterproof External Battery Power Bank Charger

Unifun Waterproof External Battery Power Bank Charger

For those who think that a dead smartphone is the end of the world, have no fear, the Unifun battery pack is here to save the day. Featuring a creative design that includes waterproof, dust proof, anti-shock, and skid resistance technology, it’s perfect for those extended beach days when the prospect of encountering an outlet is slim to none. The battery pack’s 10400mah battery can charge an iPhone up to five times and a tablet up to three on a full charge. The pack also hosts an Auto power-off feature to ensure you don’t waste any precious power when not in use.

Purchase: $26

Teva Decker Flip Flops

Teva Decker Flip Flops

These classic flip flops, dubbed the “deckers” by Hawaiian surfers in the 70s, are multilayered and represent the cool colors of the time and the all-around comfort you’d come to expect from a classic beach flip flop. The Decker features a polyester webbing upper, stacked EVA midsole, and TPR outsole. Don’t be fooled by those leather options out there, because nothing’s worse than slipping all over your leather sandals with wet and sandy feet. Comfort is key for those extended bar-hopping boardwalk afternoons and these flips will ensure you remain at ease.

Purchase: $32

Oakland Surf Club New Wave Hat

Oakland Surf Club New Wave Hat

Regardless of how much sunscreen you may lather on this summer, a good hat is always a great idea to keep the sun off your head. And no, we’re not talking about a sun hat or straw Huckleberry Fin hat either. Oakland Surf Club produces some of the most stylish apparel around, marrying both hip-hop and surf culture vibes together with high-quality results. This New Wave cap is no different and will keep the sun off your face in style long after the zinc sunscreen has worn off.

Purchase: $34

Stanley Insulated Growler

Stanley Insulated Growler

Riding solo and don’t feel like resembling someone with a drinking problem while you lug a cooler full of frosty cool ones down to the beach? Pick up one of these Stanley growlers in their famous hammertone green aesthetic. Available in both 32 and 62 ounces, patented vacuum insulated technology keeps your beverage of choice cold for up to 14 hours and is made from 18/8 stainless steel, is BPA free, and comes with a heavy-duty handle for easy pouring. You know, just in case you wanted to share.

Purchase: $40

Pendleton National Park Beach Towel

Pendleton National Park Beach Towel

A proper beach towel is imperative to a day’s stay by the sea. Thankfully Pendleton has you covered with their 40×70 inch all cotton beach towel featuring the classic stripes and colors from Pendleton’s National Park blanket collection. It features a sheared cotton front, looped cotton back and comes with a lifetime warranty from Pendleton. So while there’s nothing more refreshing than a summertime dip in the ocean, drying off with a fresh towel can be just as rewarding.

Purchase: $50

Surfer’s Journal

Surfer’s Journal

Reading material. In today’s world, it’s become highly underused and under appreciated. And since you’re at the beach, why not brush up on some surfing knowledge with this excellent publication. Basically, The New Yorker of surfing magazines, The Surfer’s Journal features some of the best surf journalism and storytelling around. From current events, evergreen stories, to travel escapades, each issue presents a fresh take on a favorite pastime. So with the waves crashing in the background, sand in between your toes and cold beer in your hand, get lost for an hour in the pages of this highly-regarded periodical.

Purchase: $66/yr.

Kaisr Original

Kaisr Original

Everyone needs a little lounge time at the beach. Time to relax and rejuvenate. But bringing an oversized beach chair down to the sand can get quite cumbersome. This Kaisr, however, fits in any small bag when folded up and takes only a matter of minutes to set up. Simply fill the device with air and lock it in for the perfect lounge set up. No pumps required. And with a sea breeze blowing setting the Kaisr up will be a snap.

Purchase: $89

Dutch Surfboards Truth Handplane

Dutch Surfboards Truth Handplane

Sometimes we all need a break from the group to relish in the fantastic energy of the ocean. And since you can’t fit a surfboard in your beach bag this handplane is a great alternative. Hand planes help body surfers maintain momentum and a line on the wave, allowing them to slice through the water with ease. Its wood makeup produces neutral buoyancy and helps you keep control on the wave’s face.

Purchase: $100

Nixon Unit Tide Watch

Nixon Unit Tide Watch

Whether you’re a year-round or seasonal surfer, odds are you’re going to get in the water at some point this summer. So in preparation, you might as well have a water-resistant summer watch that also gives you tidal information for 270 beaches worldwide on its digital face so you will never miss a session wherever you travel. The Unit Tide is also water resistant up to 100 meters, features a large 45mm polycarbonate case, silicone bezel, and custom molded silicone band with locking looper and buckle.

Purchase: $125

Outerknown Origin Surf Trunks

Outerknown Origin Surf Trunks

Here’s what happens when an environmentally-minded pro surfer enters the outerwear world. You wouldn’t know it at first but Kelly Slater did a fantastic job working with top designers to produce clothing that leaves a much smaller fingerprint on the environment than larger, staple brands. These Origin trunks are no different. Made from 86-percent recycled polyester, these trunks are designed with a more streamlined waistband for added comfort and come with a back pocket hosting a YKK AquaGuard bonded zipper closure and bungee key ring.

Purchase: $135

Iron and Resin Olas Shirt

Iron and Resin Olas Shirt

Spanish for waves, this “Olas” shirt is true to the ocean and therefore the perfect beach wear for when the sun becomes a bit too much, or when the time comes to hit an afternoon happy hour. It’s a classic full button-down made from 100 percent cotton, featuring a subtle wave design throughout, so you can stay with the ocean wherever the day’s wanderings may take you. The Olas is exactly what you’d come to expect from a classic Southern California brand like Iron and Resin.

Purchase: $135

FUGOO Tough Go Anywhere Speaker

FUGOO Tough Go Anywhere Speaker

What’s a day at the beach without music? And no, you don’t want to be that guy who lugs a whole acoustic guitar down to the beach and strums the same three chords for several hours. Instead, do yourself and your friends a favor and offer them the option of variety. It’s possible with this Bluetooth speaker, considered the most rugged on the market today. The FUGOO is 100-percent waterproof, shock-proof and all around life-proof so a little beach-day wear and tear is nothing to worry about. It also boasts 95dB of sound and 40 hours of battery life so the party can continue well after the sun sets.

Purchase: $229

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