Collage of items picked from the editors

10 Products Our Editors Will Be Packing in Their Beach Bags This Summer

These items will make a splashy addition to any beach trip

We're dedicating our July features to the world’s most beautiful and unique beaches and islands. With many travelers finally able to take the coveted beach vacation they’ve had to put off for over a year, there’s never been a better time to celebrate the sensational coastlines and calm waters that nab a starring role in our dreams. Dive into our features to learn more about off-the-radar beaches you should consider for your next trip, how one Spanish community came together to save its coastlinean ultra-exclusive Hawaiian island you might not have heard of, and game-changing beach hacks recommended to us by the experts.

After a long year of being indoors, the much-coveted beach vacation is back—and our editors are wasting no time heading back to the sands. Packing for the beach can be simple: a swimsuit, a pair of sunnies, and your favorite mode of sun protection always make the list. But there are a few items whose comfort and versatility are guaranteed to take any trip to the next level.

From sunscreen favorites to the perfect water shoes, towels, and floppy hats, here’s what our editors absolutely have to have when hitting the beach.

Ellie's picks for what to bring to the beach

Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 by Supergoop 

This is the best face sunscreen I’ve ever used. It’s lightweight, non-oily, both water and sweat resistant, and not really fragrant at all (which I prefer for facial products). It comes in a very slim bottle, too, so it doesn’t take up space and packs well in a carry-on if you’re flying somewhere. I use it every day (even in the winter!) but it’s ideal for a beach day. Plus, it’s reef safe!


The Amalfi by Andie Swim 

I’ve had my eye on this swimsuit for over a year, and I’m so glad I tried it out this summer. I’m a firm believer that a black one-piece swimsuit is timeless (the LBD of a summer wardrobe), and this one feels very high-quality and has just the right amount of stretch. I like how it looks with shorts or a skirt, making for an easy transition from the beach to cocktail hour!


Sherri's picks for what to bring to the beach: Sandals and sunscreen

Teva Flatform Universal

Trade in your flip-flops for a pair of platform Tevas; I promise that you won’t regret it. I bought these sandals in 2018, and they’re my go-to on hot days, especially if I’m going near a beach. The thick sole is comfortable for long days of walking, and the extra height will keep your feet safely above scorching sand. Because they’re foam, it’s easy to rinse off the sand, and the adjustable velcro straps mean that the sandals will not fly off your feet even if you’re running. I will say, strong ankles are a must when wearing these on loose sand. I own the solid black pair (because they match everything), but there are 13 color options available.


La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen SPF 60

I never wore sunscreen for most of my life despite spending most of my summers outside, and I only realized that Black people actually do need sun protection when I got into skincare. Now, I put on sunscreen every day, and for sunny days on the beach, I like to reach for La Roche Posay’s Melt-In Milk Sunscreen. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, water-resistant, and you only need to wait 15 minutes after application before heading out into the sun. Because this is a chemical sunscreen, people with darker skin tones don’t need to worry about that dreaded white cast you get from mineral sunscreens. Even better, it doubles as a face and body sunscreen, so you only need one bottle in your bag.


Taylor's pick of what to bring to the beach: A quick dry towel

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel

Carrying around a bulky beach towel takes up a lot of valuable space, so I often opt for a smaller microfiber quick-dry towel instead. I’ve used Rainleaf's version to dry off after many a swim. It gets the job done and dries itself out before I need to throw it back in the bag. Plus, larger sizes are also available if you’re looking for something with more coverage!


Elizabeth's pick for what to bring to the beach

Warby Parker Haskell Sunglasses

I am notorious for losing sunglasses, so up until last year, I had never sought out a good pair. But after years of feeling like my cheap, $20 pairs were doing more harm to my eyes than good, I finally invested in my first pair of Warby Parker glasses. The scratch-resistant lens blocks 100 percent of UV rays, which is super necessary for a long day at the beach, and the Akulon-coated screws mean that the temple arms won't pop off (which has happened to a previous pair!). Plus, they come in different sizes, so you can find a pair that best suits the shape of your face.


Laura's pick for what to bring to the beach: Beach towel

Frescobol Carioca Linen Beach Towel

If you’ve never used a linen beach towel before, you’re in for a treat. Frescobol Carioca’s version is pricey, but the lightweight linen packs beautifully, washes well, dries quickly, and will remain a staple in your beach bag for years. Linen is antibacterial, meaning that this towel looks (and smells!) great, even after long days in the sun and sand. After six years with mine, I seldom leave home without it. A bonus: it makes for a chic post-sun cover-up too!


Molly's pick for what to bring to the beach: Inflatable chair

SwimWays Spring Float Recliner

Giant unicorns or bright pink doughnut floats might look better on Instagram, but I stand by this basic recliner. An armrest, headrest, footrest, and cupholder make it as close to a La-Z-Boy as you’ll get at the beach, and the mesh bottom means you sit just low enough in the water to stay cool. Even better? It’s easily inflatable with lung power, packs down flat, and slides easily into a beach bag.


Astrid's pick for what to bring to the beach: Beach hat

Sir. The Label Maurice Floppy Hat

Sometimes you need just a little more sun protection on top of your already generous application of sunscreen, and that’s where a floppy beach hat comes in handy. I like to toss this chic ivory one into my bag when I know I’ll be lying in the sun all day because it’s sturdy enough to cover my face without too much drooping. I also enjoy its minimalist design and topstitching.


Jamie's pick for what to bring to the beach

Aleader Women's Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes

If you prefer active beach days to lounge ones, these shoes should have a place in your bag. They’re lightweight and breathable with a mesh upper that allows water to easily pass through, meaning you’re not getting weighed down with each step as you wade through waves. The bottoms also have good protection and traction, making them ideal for some beach activities, such as walking along a rocky shoreline, going for a quick hike without fear of slipping, or standup paddleboarding (especially if you’re launching from a rocky area). Plus, unlike many other water shoes, they have a sneaker-like appearance, so they look great if you pop into a beachside restaurant or shop. I’ve had mine for over three years, and they’re still good as new.