I never go to the beach without these 4 gadgets

Slather on that SPF, slip into that bathing suit, and pack your beverage of choice in that insulated Yeti of yours. We’re going to the beach! 

While I’d argue that the beach is best when you leave your tech behind, or, as Lorde did, throw your cellular device in the water, there are a few gadgets you can pack along to elevate the relaxing experience. As you head to the beach for the Fourth of July to soak up some sun and relax, I encourage you to bring along a few of my favorite gadgets. 

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From a portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker for listening to your beachy playlist to a handy electric fan for when it gets too hot, I rounded up a few gadgets I’m bringing to the beach this summer — and I highly recommend that you follow suit. Keep reading for more. 

Let’s talk tunes: This speaker from Sony is my favorite one to listen to at the beach, in the park, or at home in my bedroom. I’ve used the speaker to play music during dinner parties, and even amid a group of 15 friends all sat around the table, the sound was clear and strong. It gets plenty loud and offers crystal-clear sound. It’s also waterproof, dustproof, and rustproof, so you can splash water on it or kick sand onto it without a problem. The speaker comes with a handy little carrying strap for maximum portability and a 12-hour battery life that should last you an entire day of tomfoolery by the water. 

More: Finally, a portable Bluetooth speaker that sounds great but won’t break the bank

What I also love about this speaker is how much quality Sony packs into a fairly affordable Bluetooth speaker with great sound. At $130, you’re getting a high-quality speaker that punches well above its price point. For summer beach days, I can’t recommend the Ult Field 1 enough and am looking forward to blasting my favorite songs on it as I hang in the sand this season. 

If the ocean breeze isn’t cutting it and you’re needing some additional cool air on your face, this handheld mini fan is about to be your best friend. My friend who brought this to the beach last summer to cool herself off told me that she still carries the fan everywhere, thanks to its compact size and easy portability. Even better: Not only is this a fan, but it’s also a flashlight and a power bank, so you can plug a charger into it to give your phone some extra juice at the end of the day. 

The mini fan has over 50,000 ratings on Amazon, and customers compliment its sweet design and functionality. It’s great for any breeze-less and sweltering summer day, whether on the beach, at a packed outdoor concert venue, queueing up in lines at an amusement park, or braving the sweaty subway. 

If you don’t have any more space for a book in that beach bag of yours, might I suggest a Kindle instead? I know that an e-reader is not the same as a paperback, but there are some instances when an e-reader, like the Kindle Paperwhite, simply works better than a physical book. 

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The beach is one of those instances for a few reasons: the first is that the Kindle is waterproof and will survive splashes and sand, unlike a soggy paperback book. The second is its slim build and portability — you don’t have to choose between titles with a Kindle; bring them all to the beach instead and have space in your beach bag to spare. The Paperwhite offers an adjustable warm light and a glare-free display, so you can read e-books in direct sunlight without a problem. If you’ve got a laundry list of books to read this summer and are planning on knocking a few of those titles off while lounging on the beach, this Kindle could keep your reading goals on track. 

Hanging on the beach all day is bound to drain your various devices’ batteries. Bring a portable charger along, like this Anker PowerCore, to boost them back up. This PowerCore charger is lightweight, small enough to throw in a bag, and boasts a USB-A and USB-C port. ZDNET’s Adrian Kingsley Hughes says he uses these constantly to power up his action cameras and devices on the go. While the chargers aren’t disposable, Kingsley-Hughes says he likes that its affordable price makes it easy to replace if it gets lost. “If they get damaged, lost (or, as one did, fall off a cliff), I’m not out that much money,” he writes. 

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While thinking about the best gadgets to bring to the beach, I kept in mind two essential things: usefulness and portability. I tried to choose tech gadgets that a regular person would actually use and reap the benefits of while they’re passing the day by the water. If you’re anything like me, and your closest beach is a 50-minute subway ride away, you know that that beach bag you’re lugging around gets heavy, quickly. I tried to choose products that lighten the heavy load of your beach bag or relieve you from the hot weather. I test and report on tech products for a living, so I chose products that my colleagues and I can vouch for, many of which we have reviewed ourselves. 

Hot temperatures can drain a phone’s battery, fast. That’s because heat speeds up chemical reactions in the battery. To keep my phone battery strong while I’m on the beach, I like to wrap it in a towel and hide it from direct sunlight. I also will only try to use it when necessary. 

There are the classic beach bag essentials, like a beach towel (I like to bring one towel for sitting on and one for drying myself off), sunscreen, sunglasses, a water bottle, and a cooler with drinks and snacks in it. I also love bringing earbuds with me, so as to not bother my friends while I listen to my favorite tunes on the water. 

Other beach-friendly tech 

These Nothing Ear (a) earbuds have been my favorite accessory for on-the-go listening recently. They’re bright and easy to find in my book bag, and they offer a great balance of clear sound and decent noise cancellation. I’ll be bringing these to the beach and on road trips all summer long. 

Bring your battery booster with you to the beach — and look chic while doing so — with this Casely Power Pod. You can match the MagSafe battery pack to your Casely phone case, so the clunky battery seamlessly meshes with your phone and doesn’t look like a brick.