Inside the Beach Bag: The Dad Edition

July 25, 2013    |    By +
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When it comes right down to it, a day at the beach is no day at the beach if you’re not prepared. Since trips to the beach are often most-of-the-day affairs, the key to preparation is bringing everything you may (or may not) need, but to pack it efficiently! I always get a chuckle when I see family beach invasions that include the wheeled cargo wagon being dragged along the sand to their spot. My guide will help you create a gift of a beach bag of dad essentials. It would be a great host gift if you’re visiting a friend with a beach house. With this bag, dads can have a great day surfside, without having to hire a pack mule.

The Stash Duffel by Gregory is ideal because it fits a ton of stuff, and the duffel’s straps configure so it can be worn as a backpack. Hands-free makes it so much easier to help others and herd wayward kids. There are also helpful side pockets and the bag is crazy durable.

Gregory bag

The Sunbuster beach shade is an easy to set up shelter from the sun that doubles as a place to stash gear. I’ve had one of these for years and recommend it. The shade also kind of marks Dad’s territory at the beach, so his family can spot him from afar.

LL Bean sunshade

The other got-to-get gear is the Sand-Free Mat by CGear. This beach mat is made of an ingenious material that allows sand to flow down through it, yet does not allow sand to come up from beneath it. The result is a sand-free area that’s great for eating and changing. No more SAND-wiches!

sand free rug

Of course, you want to add some toys to the gift bag. My favorite beach game by far is bocce. I can play for hours because it’s so simple yet gets so competitive. A good bocce set is a great family entertainment investment (and a great gift!) because it’s fun and will last a really long time. The Tournament Bocce set from L.L. Bean is a high quality set and you can get your giftee’s name embroidered on the carrying case!

bocce set

 Dad will also enjoy torturing, uh, I mean, playing with, his kids using the Super Soaker Arctic Shock. It shoots cold water up to 30 feet. And I mean COLD. The Ice Drum holds 25 ounces of water and can fit ice cubes for chilly blasting.  super soaker water gun


Dads will also appreciate stashing their precious iPhone in a LifeProof case . LifeProof cases are sand-, water-, and drop-proof so they’re ideal protection at the beach. The LifeProof case also allows for some pretty cool under-water shots and videos too.

Lifeproof phone case

Top off your gift with a hat. I once thought big brimmed hats were dorky, but a few sunburns later it dawned on me that a big sun hat probably looks a little cooler than a lobster red complexion. The Helios hat by Outdoor Research is ideal for long stretches in the sun.  Made of breathable, moisture-wicking, and SPF-protectant materials, the Helios hat also makes a great standalone gift for those summer birthdays.Helios sun hat

Could a gift bag like this get any better? Sure, if you tuck in a few salty snacks, like chips. And a babysitter to watch the kids while Dad relaxes. But I guess that’s wishful thinking!

See what else we think is hot this summer.

See our other beach bag gift ideas for the whole family.

Beach bags for dads



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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.