Upgrade your beach gear with these rugged, stylish, or eco-friendly choices

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August, considered the last breath of summer, is near. If you’re still rounding out your beach gear kit or haven’t started, consider these picks for durability, style, or more eco-friendly manufacturing methods.

Tupelo Freight Loading Wagon$249

If you’re bringing umbrellas, chairs, a shibumi, as well as drinks (wine, of course) and snacks to the beach, you need a sturdy cart to carry it all. The wagon market has been flooded with choices, but many feature cheap parts that will rust or fail within a year or two. If you want a wagon meant for long hauls, consider the Tupelo Cargo Wagon.

Yes, it’s cute and comes in lovely pastel colors (Tupelo was founded by and markets to parents). At first, you won’t want to expose it to mud and dirt, but don’t let looks fool you. This cart is designed to be sturdy. A powder-coated metal frame can carry up to 165 lbs of coolers, sports gear, and more, while the 600D polyester fabric is both tear-resistant and easy to clean. Large one-piece tires are puncture resistant while providing quiet handling. The cart folds and folds to an 8-inch width, so it fits most trunks and storage closets. A 3-year warranty and free returns backs up the Tupelo brand promise.

Dimensions: L31″ x W20″ x H30″ (folded to 8 inches wide), 10″ interior depth with 165 lb capacity

Shibumi lampshade$250 Original, $190 Mini

The wind, long the enemy of junky parasols, becomes an ally when you raise a Shibumi Shade. Harnessing the slightest breeze for hurricane gusts (okay, if a storm has a name, please go home), Shibumi’s fluid design works with the wind, not against it. Shibumi was founded by 2 brothers, Dane and Scott, and their friend Alex, who all grew up visiting Emerald Isle, NC during the summers. Frustrated with flimsy umbrellas that contribute to large volumes of annual beach litter, they brainstormed a prototype beach shade.

Weighing less than 4 pounds, the Shibumi setup couldn’t be simpler. A single bag contains a collapsible tent pole and a shade. Unroll both, threading the pole through the canopy channel to create a rainbow-like arch. Insert both ends of the pole into the sand, then fill the carry bag with sand to create a counterweight. Do. What makes this cobalt and aqua color shade so appealing – and popular – is its clean, light simplicity. The sand doesn’t even stick to the bag. While the price ($250) may seem steep, the Shibumi Original provides 150 square feet of shade for up to six people and replaces the annual hunt for umbrellas. Although it may take a few years to break even, keeping plastic and metal waste out of landfills, for many these days, is priceless.

LowTides Ocean Productsbeach chairs ($99-$169), towels ($39) and blankets ($59)

(Prices shown include summer sale items)

LowTides Ocean Products was born out of a bid to reduce ocean plastic pollution. Citing a disturbing statistic that 3 plastic bins end up in the oceans every minute of every day, the founders set out to create a beach chair and gear company working with recycled ocean plastics.

Co-founders Elizabeth Ackmann and Brenton Hutchinson launched their business idea on Kickstarter in June 2019, earning 100% of their desired funding in 30 days. Today, LowTides Ocean Products originally partners in key hotspots including Java (Indonesia), Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) and Haiti, to ensure that 100% ocean-bound traceable plastic goes into their products.

LowTides offers a range of high and low back beach chairs for adults and children with designs featuring recent design collaborations with Laura Ashley, Thomas Paul and Molly Hatch. For example, the Dune High Backpack Chairs feature colorful sea animals, flamingos, stripes, solids, and a blue-hued chair dotted with buoys from the recent Laura Ashley collab ($169.99). Chairs aren’t just eco-friendlyliar but are also elegant. Each chair is made from 100% aluminum, towel hooks, arms and toe kick are made from recycled HDPE plastic, and the seat and back are made from high quality REPREVE® fiber. quality made from 100% recycled materials.

The eco-friendly beach towels ($39.95) and blanket ($59.95), which match different chair designs for those looking for a set, are made from recycled plastic water bottles. Spun from recycled PET yarns, the soft waffle texture holds twice its weight in water and can dry in half the time of standard towels. Do good, look good, as their motto goes.

Sunday Supply Co., Umbrellas ($156+), Chairs ($119+)

(Prices shown include summer sale items)

Born from the beaches of Australia, shipped from the sunny state of California, Sunday Supply Co. is perhaps the most stylish beach gear company on the market. Although brand credibility does not derive from sustainable manufacturing methods, the quality, design and price of the products mean that the chairs and umbrellas will last longer in your collection than seasonal purchases from mass retailers.

While the flaws of cheap umbrellas have already been recognised, there is plenty of room on the beach for chic and sturdy versions. Sunday Supply Co. fills that niche with its retro-glamorous fringe umbrellas ($249+) that complement the season’s high-waisted bikinis and oversized sunglasses. You can pick up a discounted matching set ($499) that includes 2 lightweight beach chairs or go a la carte, mixing a sunny yellow vintage striped umbrella ($259) with the yellow checkerboards of a gold oasis chair ( on sale, $149.)

The umbrellas weigh 12 pounds, so it takes real gale force to knock one over or flip one upside down. (Pack it in your tupelo!) The wooden poles feature powder coated aluminum alloy hardware and a tilt mechanism for the changing sun. The polyester canopy provides a UPF of 50+ over its 6.5 feet of shade. Each umbrella comes with a protective cover.

The chairs have a slim profile and are lightweight at 5.7 pounds. They come with a protective cover and a removable carrying strap. The machine washable cushion covers are made of quick-drying, fade-resistant fabric and are filled with foam. If you want to show off your beach setup on Insta, Sunday Supply Co. provides the looks.

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