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10 products to help you survive a long family day at the beach

Useful buys for beach lovers of any skill level.

Useful buys for beach lovers of any skill level

(Source, left: herschel.ca/iStock/Getty Images; right: indigo.ca)

Making beach plans for the summer? This year, the demand for outdoor recreation is expected to be high, and popular beaches may reach capacity by mid-morning or require advance reservations. 

Whether you're headed to a local lake for an afternoon or have bigger plans for a seaside holiday, being well-prepared and equipped can help make your visit that much more fun — especially if kids are involved. To help you get the most out of your family beach time, here are ten helpful buys that will make you the envy of the shore. 

Sun umbrella

Can't decide between a tent and a beach umbrella for sun protection? This 8-foot umbrella with side panels and zippered windows offers a convenient compromise. It offers UPF 50+ protection and comes with ground stakes for those extra-windy days.

SKLZ Sport-Brella Premiere Umbrella, $89.99, Sporting Life

Beach shade

This UPF 50+ beach shade can be set up quickly and offers features like extra-long steel stakes and a privacy door for quick clothing changes. Consider it a day-trip essential for extra sunny days … or if you have a toddler that still requires a covered, quieter spot for that mid-afternoon nap. 

Coleman Road Trip Beach Shade, $81.48, Amazon

Outdoor blanket

A great outdoor blanket can go from beach to park to backyard with ease and style. This one comes with a cushioned top layer and waterproof bottom layer, and is lightly weighted so you won't have to worry about wind picking up the corners.    

Sunbuster Blanket, $79, L.L.Bean

Beach chair

Indigo brand Oui's new range of beach accessories is designed with style in mind, and well-priced. Available in two colours, this portable folding chair features a sturdy outdoor fabric and steel frame. It also comes with a shoulder strap for easier transport.

Oui Beach Chair Spiral, $79.50, Indigo

Hard-sided cooler

For a long day trip, a big cooler is a must have; Yeti makes some of the sturdiest, most stylish ones on the market. The Roadie is a bit of an investment and isn't the lightest option, but comes with a five-year warranty and will keep things cool all day long.  

Roadie 24 Hard Cooler, $279.99, Yeti

Soft-sided Cooler

For a short afternoon in the sun, or if you're going to a beach with concession stands nearby, you might not need a family-sized cooler. Vancouver-based Herschel just launched a new range of insulated bags and accessories this month, and their sleek, soft-sided coolers are available in two sizes and fashionable colours and prints. 

Pop Quiz Cooler 12 Pack, $99.99, Herschel

Water shoes

For little feet or rocky shores, water shoes can come in handy. This little kid pair is made from recycled materials and so cute they'll want to wear it to the splashpad and pool, too. 

Bare Steps H2O Sneaker, $45, Merrell

Sun care

A sunburn is the common beach souvenir that no one wants. These sweatproof and waterproof stickers, invented in Canada, can help you see when you might need to reapply sunscreen on yourself, or the kids. 

SpotMyUV Detection Stickers, $11.99 for 12-pack, SpotMyUV

Bug Repeller

This Wirecutter-recommended, scent-free mosquito repeller can work for more than 6.5 hours after each charge. A must-have for those buggy twilight hours if you're planning to stay for sunset, and it would certainly come in handy for backyard barbecues or camping too.   

Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repeller Gen 2.0, $104.95, Amazon

Cheap carryall 

It may not be fancy, but Ikea's classic blue shopping bag is very convenient for loading up and transporting bulky beach essentials like inflatables and life jackets. This 20-gallon version comes with a zipper closure to ensure that nothing falls out en route.

Frakta Storage Bag, $3.99, Ikea


Truc Nguyen is a Toronto-based writer, editor and stylist. Follow her at @trucnguyen.

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