The Best Food-Related Gear to Bring to The Beach

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I absolutely love going to the beach — even in the winter! And my family is lucky enough to live fairly close to Cape Cod, which makes our summers infinitely more fun. (More time at the beach! Less time in the car!)

So it makes sense to hear that I’ve devoted a lot of time and thought to researching and acquiring my perfect beach gear — specifically, gear that’s related to eating and drinking (two of my favorite things, no matter the location). And the tools you bring to the beach really do impact your overall experience: You want your drinks to stay cold, your cooler to work, and your food to remain sand-free. Which brings me to this list of 10 products that are going to make your beach day so much better.

1. House of Noa Everly Portable Mat

This mat is a must for sitting and spreading your beach feast out on. It folds up, so it’s easily packable (it even comes with a canvas pouch to store it in!) and is super easy to clean. I took mine to the beach recently and all of the sand was easily shaken right off of it when we were done for the day and ready to go home. It’s also great for picnics and comes in lots of fun prints!

2. Corkcicle Stemless Glass

Many Kitchn editors are fans of these stemless, insulated wine glasses. And they’re perfect for beach days when you want to sip on some chilled wine seaside! As Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman, says of these glasses, “I can attest that wine stays cold — even as you get to the dregs, even if it’s sitting directly in the sun on a 90-degree day.”

3. Hydro Flask Day Escape Soft Cooler Tote

This tote is durable, spacious, lightweight, and completely waterproof. Honestly, it’s the ideal cooler tote. This zipper on this guy is quite special, too: It’s toothless … and totally silent. As the product listing says, the zipper “requires less pulling force, and is self-healing.” That’s right: It can never become unaligned and therefore unusable!

4. RovR Products RollR 45 Cooler

If you want a hard cooler, my favorite wheeled cooler pick is by RovR Products (read about it here!). It has large wheels that easily glide across any terrain — including sand. You can even buy an attachment that turns your cooler into an umbrella base!

Whether you bring a cooler tote or a cooler, you’re gonna need great ice packs. And these are some of the best of the best. They come in many different sizes and stay cold for a very long time (read: all day!). While they are pricey, you may only need one or two!

These containers are pretty brilliant. They actually stand up on their own, which makes them super useful at home and at the beach. Because of this, they’re less likely to fall over and get sand in them (which means no ruined snacks or sandwiches!). I use these bags constantly— and they’re available in lots of different sizes and five colors.

Pick a spray bottle, any spray bottle. (This one is cheap!) Whether you fill it up at home or in the ocean, one of these is super helpful for spritizing sand off hands and fingers prior to eating. Sand-free lunches? Sand-free lunches!

I always regret when I don’t drink enough water at the beach (you know, because of the heat and salt water!). I recently got a YETI Rambler and it’s helped me drink a lot more water … wherever I am! It keeps water cold, has a screw-on top and a chug spout (for easy sipping!), and holds a lot. It comes in a 26- and 36-ounce sizes!

9. BigMouth Pizza Beach Towel

Sure, you could get any beach towel. But why not get a giant beach towel that’s in the shape of a pizza pie? I can’t think of a reason not to either!

10. Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair

If you’re in need of some beach seating, this chair fits the bill. It’s an investment for sure, but it has some very cool features. (And, hey, how often do you have to buy a beach chair?) It has straps so you can carry it to your beach spot like a backpack, a cup holder, and an insulated pouch for storing your essentials like sunscreen, a seltzer, and a snack or two.

Do you have some favorite beach gear? Let us know in the comments!

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Lifestyle Editor, Tools

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm is the Tools Editor at The Kitchn. A professional kitchen equipment tester, she’s worked for America’s Test Kitchen, EatingWell, and Food52. Her goal: to find the best gear for your kitchen so you don’t waste time or money on anything else. She lives in Boston, MA with her two dogs.

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