Best Beach Tech: 10 Gadgets for Fun in the Sun
What better way to spend the summer than by the water? Whether it’s a beach, lake or river, there’s nothing more relaxing than sinking your toes into the sand. And while some people use beach time to go tech-free, we like to bring some gadgets along for a day on the coast. From Bluetooth speakers to a safe for your belongings, here are our favorite beach-approved gadgets, many of which can survive a splash in the water.
If you’re spending most of your beach day in the ocean, you’ll need a waterproof camera that can keep up with you. The GoPro Hero7 is our favorite action cam, and for a good reason. This device takes excellent video, has great motion stabilization, and is waterproof to 33 feet without a case. And, there are a ton of GoPro accessories if you want to strap it to your wrist or a surfboard for high-quality aquatic-action shots.
The Polaroid Snap instant camera is a breeze to use and creates perfect photo prints in seconds. Kids and adults alike will love the instant gratification of seeing their beach day memories come to life. We think that the Polaroid Snap is a solid point-and-shoot camera for under $100 — literally, it’s made of hard plastic, so it can withstand minor bumps around your beach bag. The Snap has a minimal array of features, but the built-in printer gives the simple camera extra retro appeal.
JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
We love the JBL Flip 4 because there’s no need to sacrifice sound quality for price. Dubbed the “Sub-$100 Speaker King,” the Flip 4 earned an IPX7 rating, meaning it can be submerged in up to about a foot of water for up to 30 minutes. This speaker also has a feature that lets two devices connect to it simultaneously, so you and a friend can take turns DJing, instead of having to pass one person's phone around, which makes this speaker perfect for group outings.
JBL Clip 2
With its small circular design, we think the JBL Clip 2 is the best ultraportable speaker option for the money. The device clips easily to your cooler or beach bag, and its impressive battery life means you can leave it there for multiple beach outings. The puck-size Clip 2 is also waterproof, so it’ll withstand splashes and sand. This speaker is not very loud, but works great for personal use.
Jaybird Tarah Pro
Consider swapping your daily earbuds for a pair that both waterproof and won’t get lost in the sand. The Jaybird Tarah Pro, our favorite wireless sport earbuds, have a 14-hour battery life, turn off after 15 minutes of inactivity, and secure around your neck comfortably. We especially like the customized audio-profile setting in the Jaybird app, which fine-tunes the sound so that it's perfectly tailored to your ears. We wouldn’t take them in the ocean – they’re not waterproof – but they’re great for a run on the beach.
Waterproof Phone Holder
Not all phones are waterproof, and even those that are won’t do well when exposed to seawater. Keep your smartphone safe with a clear, watertight pouch that seals shut without sacrificing any touchscreen capability. This universal smartphone holder can fit phones up to six inches long, and is easy to use, too: Simply toss your phone in, close up the case, and hit the shore. The pouch even floats, so in the event it slips from your hand, your phone won’t be consigned to the briny deep. We definitely suggest testing the seal at home, using a tissue, before putting your expensive phone on the line, though.
Lifeproof FRĒ Waterproof Case
If you’re a beach regular, it might be wise to invest in a case that protects your phone beyond the simple splash. Made from polycarbonate and silicone, the LifeProof FRĒ is waterproof up to 6.6 feet and also protects your phone from snow and dirt. The case, available for almost all iPhone and Galaxy models, resists scratches and absorbs shocks, too.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
While it’s typically tough to read on screens against the sun’s glare, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite’s display is designed to work in a variety of lighting situations. When we tested it in direct sunlight, the page was still easy to read. Long battery life and water-resistance (up to 60 minutes of submergence in 6.5 feet of water) makes it the obvious e-reader choice for the beach.
CGEar Outdoor Mat
We can all agree about the most annoying part of the beach: sand. Everywhere. The CGEar outdoor mat is about a close as you can get to creating a sand-free experience. Two patented dual-weave layers keep your belongings clean and UV-resistant technology guarantees long-lasting quality.
SAFEGo’s mini-locker gives you peace of mind when you get up for an ocean dip or bathroom break. You can lock this safe using either a three-digit code or a key, and the codes are reprogrammable. The safe is water, sand and salt-resistant, and has a 17-inch steel cable you can use to loop and lock your valuables around your chair or umbrella. The safe's shell is made of high-impact acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic and nickel-plated zinc alloy, and is available in a variety of colors.