Top Picks for the Best Beach Gear

I’m so excited that summer is here and I can finally get some beach time in with my family. Some of you might be a stone’s throw from the beach like I am (don’t hate), or maybe a few of you are taking family vacations to a beach town this summer. However you get there, here is a list of my top picks for the best beach gear:

1. Fold and Go Wagon by Kidwise

I bought this wagon four years ago and Costco and it has been a lifesaver. I pile my two kids in it with all our beach gear and just roll it all down to the sand. The big rubber wheels are ideal for off roading it. I also love that it folds right up into a zippered bag and stores easily in my trunk. This is one of the best portable wagons on the market. PS: It takes a little practice to get used to steering it- so hang in there!

2. All Purpose Outdoor Blanket by JJ Cole Collections

I am obsessed with this blanket. I have given it as a baby shower gift many times because it’s one of those things you don’t know you need until you have it. It’s waterproof, large enough for multiple people to share, and folds up into a compact shape. It even has a handy adjustable shoulder strap! This blanket has a permanent spot in the trunk of my car. I use it everywhere, but especially at the beach because the sand comes right off of it. Gotta love that!

3. Sun Umbrella by Sport-Brella

I bought one of these at Costco last summer. Not only does this umbrella provide UPF 50+ sun protection, it also protects against wind and rain. It’s slim and easy to set up, and when anchored properly, will not blow away during a windy beach day. It’s large enough for an entire family to sit under, which means it’s also perfect for camping and soccer games.

4. Mesh Beach Bag by Family Size Whale Bag

This mesh bag stands up by itself and then squashes down easily for storing. It holds up to six beach towels and has handy pockets to store small essentials. I love mesh bags for the beach because the sand and water from used beach toys doesn’t collect in the bottom of the bag. Handy Mama Tip: Put all the dirty sand toys in the bag and then dunk the filled bag in the ocean. It’s the quickest way to rinse everything off.

5. Large shovel by Ames True Temper

This shovel is totally necessary for digging hold for your kids to take a mud bath in or making large sand castles. It’s small and lightweight, but durable. It’s the perfect size for a child to use and it’s easy to transport.

6. Backpack Cooler by Picnic Time

All that swimming and playing is going to work up an appetite. I like backpack coolers because they are easy to carry. This cooler backpack has two compartments: One mesh area for essentials and personal items, and one insulated area for beverages and food. Plus, it’s pretty cute for a cooler bag!

7. Mesh Baby Seat by Summer Infant

Ok, I know this is meant for bathing an infant. BUT… Taking a baby who can’t sit up to the beach can be kind of a nightmare. Especially when you’ve got an older one who needs your attention. I totally lugged this to the beach when my youngest was an infant and it was a lifesaver! She sat in it and was totally amused by watching my oldest play in the sand. It’s totally worth the extra room it will take up in your wagon. Did I mention that it’s mesh, which means that sand won’t stick to it and you can hose it down? Yesssss…..

8. Sun Suit with Built-in Swim Diaper by Flap Happy

This sun suit is totally cute (they have other great styles too) and it has a built-in swim diaper. That means you can ditch the disposable swim diapers (a totally eco-friendly idea) and let your baby run wild and free without the fear of an “accident.” PS: I also really love the Flap Happy sun protection hats- so pick up one of those too!

While we are on the subject of sun suits, keeping your little ones safe from the sun is top priority. Here are some link to our favorite sun essentials:

Baby Gizmo Top Picks for Sunscreens

Swimsuits for Sun-Shy Skin

And a final thought on water safety:

Surprising information on what drowning really looks like.

Have fun and stay safe everyone!

Morgan is a Domestic Goddess and mother to two girls, Big Chick and Baby Chick. Before she became a mother in 2007, she worked as a nanny for three different families. This means that she has had goldfish stuck to her car floor for a very long time. While Morgan loves all baby and child related gear, she has a particular fondness for strollers. When Morgan isn't outside enjoying the Southern California weather, she also writes for her own website:


  1. another great beach item would be the KId co go pod. I saw your summer fun review and had to run out and get it. IT IS AMAZING, i love this thing! folds up sooo easy pops ound baby loves having toys right there in reach, only downside is i have to put a huggababy in it or he will sit o low to play. but beach towels would do the same thing as the huggababy, thats why i say that the go-pod would be great for the beach.

  2. I know this sounds kind of redneck, but since you suggested the mesh baby seat, we take my daughter’s Summer Infant bath tub to grandma’s pool. I fill it up with water from the pool and throw in some pool toys. It is big enough for her to play in and stay entertained without her running to the pool. Since she is 9 months old and walking, she doesn’t quite understand “no”, so I will try anything!

  3. Hi Ginger! I did a little research and there are different models of the Fold N Go wagon with different price points. I bought mine (the one with rubber wheels) at Costco about four years ago. I’ve never seen the model with the plastic wheels in action, but I highly recommend purchasing the model with the rubber wheels. It’s been a great addition to our arsenal of gear. I hope that helps!

  4. Don’t forget to have a back up diaper/swimsuit if using a reusable swim diaper. If baby goes #2, you’ll have to have a way to clean and/or replace it, like with a cloth diaper. I love them though, saves money on disposable swim diapers. Also, fyi, disposable ones can be reused also as long as they aren’t “dirty”. Just lay them out in the sun to dry and use again (until they start looking worn.)

  5. That wagon looks great, but the reviews differ with your review regarding the wheels. One reviewer said the wheels are not hollow plastic (leaving me to believe they are solid plastic), and another reviewer said the wheels are plastic, not rubber. Did you just get a different model?

  6. I found out I was pregnant right before my husband and I moved to Hawaii and I was not super thrilled about the idea of lugging a baby (and all the gear) to the beach. And that was a bummer because we LOVE the beach. What has come in handy for me is the Bumbo seat! It’s light and easy to wipe off and keeps her safe and secure when she’s not sleeping 🙂


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