beach items

18 Must-Have Beach Items for Sportsmen and Women

Make sure you pack these must-have items on your next summer family vacation.

A recent trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina had me making a checklist to ensure I remembered everything for my family. While we stayed in Avon, North Carolina, the entire Outer Banks area offers some of the best beach vacationing out there.

As you make your way to the beach, you're going to want to make sure you packed everything. Forgetting even sunblock can make for a crappy day at the beach or an even worse night after the beach. Nonetheless, here are several items you'll want to consider throwing in your beach bag.

1. Eddie Bauer Revina Sunglasses for Women

Eddie Bauer

Sunglasses are just as important if not more important than sunscreen when it comes to combatting UV rays. You can't put sunscreen on your eyes, so this is your only means of protection. The Eddie Bauer Revina Sunglasses are a great look for women. Not only do they look good on your face, but they also look great through the lenses.

$49 via Eddie Bauer

2. Stio CFS Board Shorts for Men and Women

Designed for the active beachgoers. Available for both men and women, the CFS Board shorts are extremely comfortable and are much more than just board shorts. These shorts allow for flexibility, comfort and are quick drying. Whether you are walking the beach, using SUP boards or off climbing mountains and jumping off cliffs, these shorts are extremely versatile for all things water-related.

$89 via STIO

3. Beach Pop-Up Tent

We didn't realize how much we needed one of these until we brought our kids to the beach the very first day. We luckily live near a Walmart, so before heading to the Hatteras Islands, we picked one up for super cheap. We were told a beach umbrella just wouldn't cut it and we had to get a beach pop-up tent. This will help get you out of the sun, into some shade and keep the sand off your gear. It's definitely worth packing one of these!

$34 via Amazon

4. Red Paddle Co. Stand-Up Paddleboard

Beach Items

If you want to have some fun on the beach, especially in the OBX where you have the sound and the ocean side, you should try a stand-up paddleboard. The Red Paddle Co. SUPs are so easy to use and will conveniently fold up into a backpack. This allows you to have free hands to carry other items. At first, you may think that because they're inflatable SUPs, they may not be as stable or stiff as a regular one. However, that's far from the truth. These offer a great deal of comfort, stability, stiffness and of course fun for all ages.

$1349 via

5. Vibram Five Finger V-Aqua Walking Shoes

You can be skeptical at first, but these shoes allow you to feel as though you're walking barefoot on the beach. The best part, though, is that it acts as a water shoe, too. These shoes are great for walking on the boardwalk, the beach, SUPs or just swimming in general. Flip flops just won't cut it on a beach for those who are active. Some people don't like the feel of seaweed and rocks while on the beach, and if that's you, this is the perfect water shoe for you.

$71 via Amazon

6. Surf Fishing Rod and Reel from Bass Pro Shops

There are some of us who really enjoy fishing. If we're near water, we should probably have a rod and reel in our hands. If you're headed to the beach, you'll want a surf rod combo. Bass Pro Shops takes away the guess work and offers an amazing surf-fishing combo. The Offshore Angler Breakwater Spinning Combo was perfect for fishing in the OBX from both the beach and the Avon Pier. Its design is long, strong and made specifically for those who want to fish from the surf!

$124 via Bass Pro

7. Yeti Camino Carryall

Your beach bag is what you're going to use to lug everything around. The Yeti Camino Carryall is much more than a beach bag, though. It's perfect for all sorts of activities, but great for the beach. You can use it to keep things dry, or you can use it to carry wet items back home. It's easy to rinse out at the end of the day, and it's rugged and big enough to carry all your stuff.

$149 via YETI

8. Matador NanoDry Towel

Known for having almost everything in a travel size, Matador has a towel that works great for just about all outside activities. Of course, when you go to the beach, you're usually going to bring a towel to lay out on. But in this case, we're talking about a minimalist's way to dry off. Practicality, portability and efficiency make this a must-have on our list of beach items for 2018.

$34 via Matador 

9. Beach Chair

Beach chairs can get pretty expensive if you truly look around. Luckily for us, Amazon not only has an affordable beach chair, but a functional and portable one, too. This chair folds up into a carry bag that you can easily pack while taking up little to no room. Additionally, it sits low to the ground, allowing you to put your butt in the water and sit with your toes in the sand. And, with the included cup holder, you won't have to move until you finish your drink!

$34 via Amazon

10. Alpacka Explorer 42 (Inflatable Raft)

The Alpacka Raft was a HUGE hit at the beach. The Alpacka Raft folds up smaller than a beach towel and allowed us to spend some time fishing in the sound. We were able to fit two adults comfortably and even had our 9-month-old baby join us for a few photos. It was truly fun for the entire family. It's extremely light on the water, so it's very to maneuver, and with a little bit of wind, you may find you don't even need to paddle to get where you want to go. Not only was it one of our favorite beach items, but we now plan to use in back home in Pennsylvania on the rivers, creeks and lakes, too.

$1075 via Alpacka

11. Tin Cup Whiskey

There are all sorts of beverages that will do the trick while on the beach. Coolatas, Wine in a Can or even just your regular beer assortments. But there's one, smooth-sailing, Rocky Mountain whiskey that just looks like it should be a beach item. Tincup Whiskey is a smooth, crisp whiskey that has a bourbon-style profile with a bold, spicy finish, making it a great addition to any beach day.

$25 via Reserve Bar

12. Chaco Mega-Z Cloud Sandals

A good pair of sandals can mean the difference between a good or bad day at the beach. Chaco has designed a very comfortable sandal for the active individual. The straps allow for custom comfort and fit, and the overall design gives you more room to thrive.

$92 via Chaco

13. Filson Lightweight Angler Cap

You'd probably never think there was anything that special about a Filson Lightweight Angler Cap at first glance. As someone who wears hats 90 percent of the time, when someone first told me to buy this sun hat, I though, "What's one more?" However, I didn't expect it to be that much different than any other hat. Then I put it on at the beach. Once wet, it doesn't absorb water like my cotton hats do and it was able to be tightened for when tide was coming in. The hard-hitting waves never knocked my hat off and I was comfortable the entire time.

$35 via Filson

14. Eddie Bauer Greenpoint Short-Sleeve Shirt

I love my short-sleeve, button-up shirts, but most of mine look like golfing attire. When I was looking for a lightweight, short-sleeve button-up for the beach, I came across the EB Greenpoint SS Shirt, which was not only much lighter than my golf shirts, but it was also far more comfortable. It provided sun protection moisture resistance, both of which are a must on a hot, summer day at the beach. This shirt went into the ocean with me and stayed with me on the sandy beach, keeping me comfortable regardless of where I was.

$39 via Eddie Bauer

15. THULE Sapling Elite

Beach Items

The THULE Sapling Elite is perfect for just about anywhere you want to go with a baby. We loved using ours at the beach and our son, who's nine months old, was extremely comfortable in this for hours. As you can see, it can work for smaller-framed women as well as bigger men with just a quick-and-easy adjustment. The best part of the THULE Sapling Elite while we were on the beach was the pop-out screen that protected our precious cargo from the sun. This is a great item to have for any style of vacation, but it's certainly great for a beach vacation.

$319 via

16. Thermacell Patio Shield and Radius

Thermacell has a great line of available insect repellents, and we found that both the Patio Shield and the Radius worked great for multiple applications. The Patio Shield worked great for mosquitos and gnats at the pool and on the deck at night. Whether we were at the beach or the sound, we brought the Radius, which gave us the same, 15-square-foot area of protection, but it was much smaller and easier to pack for the beach. Both work very well, though, keeping bugs away while also eliminating the need to spray bug repellent all night.

$24.99 via

17. The Itch Eraser

For those who chose not to sit near the Thermacell or spray down with other bug repellents like Natrapel and Bio Shield, the Itch Eraser will definitely come in handy. Fortunately for me, I never needed this, but my mother did after a late-evening sunset watch that led to a gnat attack. Her legs were painfully eaten up by those little pests, and with the help of the Itch Eraser, her pain and itching went away almost immediately. Similar to a first-aid kit, you'll only need it when you don't have it, so it's always a great item to pack.

$15 via

18. Sauk River Shorts

Sauk River Shorts

This is an all-around comfortable pair of swim shorts. These are perfect for the beach, the pool or even the lakes and rivers back home. These shorts are quick to dry and provide all-day comfort.

$75 via Filson

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