I recently saw this Kickstarter campaign for an all-in-one cooler, blender, USB charger, and music player. What a brilliant way to streamline a camping trip or a weekend at the lake, not to mention the fact that there’s a massive demand: The campaign not only reached its goal of $50,000, but then surpassed it by $7 million.
While I try to make it out to the beach a couple of times in the summer, sometimes the pure amount of schlepping involved – towels, cover-ups, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats – can sometimes make me second guess any well-intentioned beach plans.
Here are 11 functional and good-looking items that have earned their spot in my oversized beach bag (that is, until someone figures out how to make an all-in-one towel/radio/sunscreen apparatus).
1. I’ll always take the brightest towel I own so that it acts like a beacon. I can spot my place even if I’ve drifted down the coast. ($50)
2. This Earth Tu Face all-in-one natural lip and body balm is a magical product with two uses. Talk about streamlining. ($34)
3. I’ll slather myself with sunscreen before leaving the house, but more often than not, I forget to protect my hair. The sun can wreak havoc on a dye job, so I rub a little of this guy all over. (P.S., Don’t forget to put sunblock on your part, too). ($29)
4. It can be pretty demoralizing getting the lenses of your new sunglasses scratched by sand. This hard-case sunglass cover does double-duty for keeping my SPF chapstick safe, too. ($16)
5. As much as a canvas tote is a staple in our household, having to shake out sand from my bag for weeks isn’t exactly my idea of a fun beach keepsake. This loose straw weave this tote makes for an easy shake-out and I don’t have to worry about wayward sand castles in my trunk. ($80)
6. Umbrellas are key for sun protection, but when I'm hunkering down with a my favorite deli sandwich, they also prevent gusts of sandy wind. This umbrella is the ideal protective barrier. ($20)
7. The tiniest wireless speaker that packs a majorly preppy punch. ($60)
8. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone (and is pretty much the only way I get a little exercise in). ($30)
9. Instead of bringing a purse, keep your money, keys, and cell phone protected in this tiny zip-up pouch. ($45)
10. A muted red water bottle that's as powerful as it is good looking. This bottle will keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours. The best part is that a portion of the proceeds goes to WaterAid, American Forests, and Drink Up. ($45)
11. Another two-fer that I love: One part refreshing mist and one part bug repellant. ($32)