Sunscreen. Towels. Swimsuits. Toys. Sunglasses. Even the most minimalist beachgoers can’t avoid a little gear. Because the sun and sand are relaxing only if the sun doesn’t burn and the sand doesn’t come home in the car.

“You have to approach a beach day almost like a mini-camping trip,” says Molly Fergus, general manager of TripSavvy. “Come overprepared, with more than you think you will need of everything.”

We asked some beach-bum experts to find us the latest and greatest goods and gadgets for beach days. Here are their picks. (And don’t forget water and sunscreen.)


The Kobo Forma, a waterproof e-reader. (Rakuten Kobo)

Reading is a prime pastime on the sand. Alexander Howard, lead editor for home page and interests for the travel guide company Lonely Planet, is based in Nashville and goes out of his way when traveling to find the best beaches. He always packs the Kobo Forma, a waterproof e-reader with a large display that can be read even in bright daylight ($279.99 to $329.99, us.kobobooks.com). It’s perfect for “beach-going bibliophiles,” he says.


Matador’s Droplet Wet Bag. (Matador)

Frequent road-tripper and author of the book “The Best Coast: A Road Trip Atlas: Illustrated Adventures Along the West Coast’s Historic Highways,” Chandler O’Leary of Tacoma, Wash., is often sketching at the beach. She keeps her sketchbooks in a Matador Droplet Wet Bag ($14.99, matadorup.com). “It’s super handy and stuffs down into a teeny tiny case that can hang on my key ring when I’m not using it,” she says. She also keeps her phone, camera and anything else she wants dry in the bag.


Sea Bags' Blue Ogunquit Beach Tote. (Sea Bags)

Surfer Julia Chaplin, author of “The Boho Manifesto: An Insider’s Guide to Postconventional Living,” likes to keep her beach days low-key. “I don’t like gear, especially beach furniture, as I want to feel the texture of the sand and smell the sun-kissed salt when I’m lying down.” As a surfer, though, she does need sunscreen, a sarong and sandals, and she carries those in a Blue Ogunquit Beach Tote ($225, seabags.com). It has a pocket for wet swimwear and a grommet in the bottom to shake out the sand at the beach.


Sandusa's beach towel in the Monterey pattern. (Sandusa)

The Sandusa Beach Towel was designed by an Australian engineer and surfer who was tired of wet towels sticking to sand ($49.95, sandusa.com). It’s a 33.5-inch-by-63-inch cotton beach towel with a waterproof and sand-resistant backing. “The towel doesn’t get wet from the sand, and you can sit on it in the car in a bathing suit and you won’t get your seat wet,” says Laura Begley Bloom, chief content officer of Family Traveller.


Mott50’s Mila one-piece swimsuit in the Le’Orangerie print. (Mott50)

Hurricane Cards. (Hurricane Cards)

Mott50 makes clothing with sun protection built in: shirts and leggings as well as swimsuits and coverups for the whole family. Living in Palm Beach, Fla., Stacey Leuliette, owner and editor of the Scout Guide, says she loves the Mila one-piece swimsuit in the Le’Orangerie print, which is also available on several other clothing pieces — as well as a matching kids’ suits ($118, mott50.com). The zippable suit, which has hand covers for added sun protection, is made of UPF 50 fabric. (UPF stands for ultraviolent protection factor and is used to measure the amount of UV radiation that reaches the skin through clothing and other fabrics.)

“I love playing cards by the beach or on a boat, but it’s way too easy for them to fly away,” says Fergus, who recommends Hurricane Cards ($19.99, hurricaneplayingcards.com). They are “weighted, waterproof and even float in the water,” she says, noting that they shuffle well, too.