After another round of testing, we’ve updated this guide with new picks to shelter you from the sun. We also suggest an alternative to one of our sunscreen recommendations that’s been discontinued.
There are always two beaches—the one you imagine and the one you end up on. Somehow the sun is always hotter, the sand more persistent, and the towels less inviting than you remember them being. But with a little preparation, you can close that gap between fantasy and reality. We’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and testing the best umbrellas, chairs, sunscreen, and other gear to make your next trip to the water as fun and relaxing as possible.