Welcome to another episode of “What’s in Tracey’s bag?”! With as many beach days as I could squeeze in (not enough), 2 lake visits and some pool time, my beach bag has been put to work these past 2 months. And there are a few items that have stayed in my bag all summer that I highy recommend you check out!
First let me tell you about the bag itself. I first posted about finding it last September, and I have to tell you that it looks as good today as it did then! That’s really saying something as it has traveled on planes, been thrown in the car for many a beach day and long days on the lake, and it has held up beautifully. The bags are splashproof (fabric is waterproof though the zippers are not), super easy to clean and the prints are just so pretty (I have the one pictured as I love me some vintage tropical). The Day Tripper is the perfect size for a day in the sun, but also terrific as a carry-on…inside and outside zippered pockets make it easy to keep things separate and organized. I actually bonded with a gal that was carrying one of the smaller pouches as her clutch (now on my wishlist), and she shared that she really loves the hip packs for hands-free no-worries travel…brilliant!
You can find Aloha Collection on Amazon as well as their own site (shopping tip: you can score retired prints on Amazon).
Love me a baseball cap or a visor, but for long days at the beach or pool, I need additional ear, hair, neck and chest protection. I’ve had this Wallaroo Scrunchie Sun Hat for several years, and if it ever dies I’ll repurchase again in a heartbeat. It has built-in SPF 50, is super light and breathes well (hot head + hot flashes = no bueno), provides great coverage as it’s big and floppy (though thanks to a bit of wire in the rim it holds shape), rolls up and packs beautifully, looks great and handwashes easily. I’ve tried many a sun hat, and this is my favorite. And after 4 years of use, it looks just as good as it did new. Lots of colors/prints to choose from. Can’t recommend it enough!
I’m a longtime fan of Ripskirts Hawaii quick wrap cover-up skirts (lengths 3 and 4 are my all-time faves in case you’re wondering…flattering/sexy, POCKETS, and can dress up with a tank or tee). So when they came out with the RipWrap travel towel, it went right in my cart. The print is just lovely (I got the Palm Leaves one, no surprise there), the microfiber material is so soft, love the secret pocket, it dries VERY quickly, sand falls right off, and it packs up super small so it doesn’t take up any room in my bag (unlike a traditional beach towel). Also makes a great sarong! A must-have for any beach/pool bag.
Again, buy direct, or get it quicker via Amazon.
My friends will tell you that I’m the girl that heads to the beach with her giant S’well bottle filled with some sort of clean cocktail + cups to share with my peeps. But this summer I fully embraced the ease of throwing a few vodka or gin seltzers in the cooler and rolling out (soooo many options now, amiright?!). But on a hot day, a canned beverage gets warm fast. And my traditional koozies were too big for the slim can-ness of it all. Enter the Zak! Designs Slim Can Cooler! This little gem is BPA-free, can double as a tumbler, has several colors to choose from and most importantly keeps your drink cool even if it’s sitting in the sun. She’s been the envy of all my friends this summer. Grab one at Target or Amazon.
The Lip Balm
One thing I’ve been on the hunt for this summer is a clean lip balm with a minimum SPF of 30. Most SPF lip balms sit in the 15 range, and while that’s ok for the average day it doesn’t cut the mustard for serious sun time. I tested any clean lip balm that I could find that had the higher SPF, and I must say there’s not a lot of options. My guess is the high concentration of zinc presents a challenge for makers: offsetting drying effects, whitecast and the scent of zinc that some folks are adverse to. Most I tried were more of a liquid lip balm, and while lovely and glossy, don’t have the staying power I need for serious protection.
Luckily I came across Salt & Stone’s Sunscreen Lip Balm, and it became the one-and-only in my beach bag. SPF of 30, very little whitecast (not that I care on the beach), water resistant, reef safe, moisturizing, the price is right ($10), organic and goes on like a lip balm should (think good ole chapstick). One of my favorite finds of the summer!!!
You can get it from their main site, but I recommend grabbing via Amazon as it comes next-day!
While I still adore Kokua sunscreen (wow bit of a theme here, eh? Why yes, I do love me some Hawaii!), I figured I might as well give Salt & Stone’s a try when I was grabbing the lip balm. I’m happy to share that it’s a fantastic option for a clean, mineral-based body sunscreen! The spf 30 version is lightweight (rubs in REALLY easily) with very little whitecast, water and sweat resistant, reef safe, and the additions of Hyaluronic Acid and Ashwagandha provide great moisture to offset the non-nano zinc. And the fragrance is nice and light, though not your typical fruity or tropical scent…it’s more of a walk through the forest. I dig it.
Full disclosure, I still used my beloved Kinfield Daily Dew for my face so I can’t speak to sensitivity or finish there, but for the bod it was wonderful and kept me free from sunburn!
Again I recommend grabbing from Amazon for quick (and free for Prime members) delivery.
Another favorite find of the summer, this conditioning spray is particularly great for long days in the sun and water. After dunking myself in the ocean/lake/pool, I spray Briogeo’s Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture 3-in-1 Leave-In Spray on my hair to provide UV and color protection, moisture and hydration. We spend always spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer, and I can tell my hair is faring much better this year.
I love an aftersun spray that WORKS, and CV Skinlabs Rescue + Relief Spray is the goodies! This milky, water-thin spray is so refreshing (smells very lightly of cucumbers), the bottle and sprayer are both well-designed, and not only does it work on sunburned skin, I’ve found it brings great relief for razor burn and any other dry, irritated areas. When I traveled it was in my beach bag, but at home I keep it in the fridge (which is why there’s condensation on it in the pic ;) ). My teens are not always great about reapplying their sunscreen when I’m not around, and when they came home a little toasty, this brought immediate cooling…and sunburns lessened very quickly. Definitely a new staple in our house!!
So there you have it! What’s taken up residence in your beach bag this summer? Be sure and share your favorite finds in the comments below, I’d love to know!
Tracey is the founder and writer of Life in the Happy Medium. She’s also a freelance graphic designer, Mom to 2 teens, Wife, and Friend to a tribe she holds dear, who’s prone to some fairly serious car singing and dancing much to her family’s chagrin (old school R&B is where it’s at!).
From cleaner beauty to healthy-ish eating, she’s blogging here to share favorite finds that keep her happy in the middle.
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