Sunscreen, shades and a raft of gear to keep the kids safe – and amused – on a summer vacay. Here’s our essential countdown of the 20 best water-friendly must-haves:


Aquasphere Vista Junior Swim Mask

Aquasphere Vista Junior Swim Mask, £20.50
Aquasphere Vista Junior Swim Mask, £20.50

The generously sized and comfortable seal won’t dig in like some goggles but is still watertight. These are good for children aged six years plus, but there’s also a Seal Kid 2 model made for kids from the age of three. £20.50, uk.aquasphereswim.com


Liewood Miguel Water Blaster

Liewood Miguel Water Blaster, €26
Liewood Miguel Water Blaster, €26

A brilliant back-to-basics suction-powered water blaster, made even better when you have a pair of them for parent and child. €26, liewood.com


Business & Pleasure Co The XL Beach Blanket 

Business & Pleasure Co The XL Beach Blanket, £118
Business & Pleasure Co The XL Beach Blanket, £118

This generously sized 2.2sq m cotton blanket has a central umbrella hole so you can pair it with a shade. It’s also quick-drying, machine-washable and rolls up neatly into a carry strap. £118, businessandpleasureco.com


Veer Cruiser

Veer Cruiser, £532
Veer Cruiser, £532

With a carrying capacity of over 150kg and passenger seating for two kids, this all-terrain wagon will carry all the gear needed for a day out, and as it’s a robust premium model – designed for clocking up hundreds of miles of trouble-free use – it’s capable of tackling sandy beaches before collapsing down to fit the boot of a car. £532, goveer.com


Yeti Camino 35l Carryall

Yeti Camino 35l Carryall, £150
Yeti Camino 35l Carryall, £150

Not only pleasing on the eye – particularly in the new Alpine Yellow – this tote is also hugely practical: it’s made from a tough and waterproof material with an EVA moulded base, so you can hose out sand and debris after use. £150, uk.yeti.com


Liewood Florence Beach & Garden Set

Liewood Florence Beach & Garden Set, €64
Liewood Florence Beach & Garden Set, €64

This complete beach set is made from silicone, which not only has a wonderful tactile finish but makes the pieces all slightly malleable, giving them an extra-long life. €64, liewood.com


Quut Scoppi

Quut Scoppi, £25
Quut Scoppi, £25

When your child is determined to dig the biggest hole on the beach, this is a great choice – and it’s made from sustainable plastic. £25, kidly.co.uk


Terra Nation Rua Kiri Plus umbrella 

Terra Nation Rua Kiri Plus umbrella, €98.90
Terra Nation Rua Kiri Plus umbrella, €98.90

A contemporary umbrella with a two-metre span and some rather nifty under-canopy storage – good for stashing valuables, sunscreen and sunglasses. There’s a tilting mechanism for adjustability and the lightweight, aluminium, three-pole system breaks down easily to fit into the convenient carry bag. €98.90, terra-nation.com


Cébé Bloom sunglasses

Cébé Bloom sunglasses, £30
Cébé Bloom sunglasses, £30

Ideal for five- to seven-year-olds, these child-specific sunglasses are made from impact-resistant and lightweight polycarbonate, sit securely on the face, and are fitted with high-quality, 100 per cent UV-filtering lenses. £30, cebe.com


Jan & Jul cotton floppy hat

Jan & Jul cotton floppy hat, from £16.99
Jan & Jul cotton floppy hat, from £16.99

Available in four sizes – fitting newborns up to 12 years of age – this hat has an adjustable head drawstring and chin-strap for a secure fit, and the brim is well proportioned to provide shade from the sun. From £16.99, amazon.co.uk


Mini Boden Surf Suit

Mini Boden Surf Suit, from £17.40
Mini Boden Surf Suit, from £17.40

This two-piece swimsuit, made from recycled materials, provides UPF40+ sun protection, and the elasticated waistband ensures each size will fit well with room for growth. From £17.40, boden.co.uk


Fatboy Miasun portable beach tent

Fatboy Miasun portable beach tent, £119
Fatboy Miasun portable beach tent, £119

This Swallows and Amazons-style cotton-canvas canopy creates the perfect beach base camp with three square metres of shade (enough for two adults and two kids). It’s very simple to set up and packs down easily for transport. £119, fatboy.com


Konfidence The Original Konfidence Jacket

Konfidence The Original Konfidence Jacket, £24.99
Konfidence The Original Konfidence Jacket, £24.99

Made for use from 18-months-old, this buoyant, snug-fitting swim vest is available in three sizes (up to the age of seven), is warming, and is UV protective. £24.99, konfidence.co.uk


Crocs Toddler Classic clog

Crocs Toddler Classic clog, £24.99
Crocs Toddler Classic clog, £24.99

The ideal, go-anywhere summer footwear that can be worn as slip-on sandals or with the heel strap for a secure fit. Customise with your kid’s favourite Disney character or animal with these Jibbitz Charms. £24.99, crocs.co.uk


Zoggs Zoggy Dive Sticks

Zoggs Zoggy Dive Sticks, £12 for three
Zoggs Zoggy Dive Sticks, £12 for three

These sticks are thrown into the water and slowly sink to the bottom where they stand to attention to be retrieved by diving children, keeping them occupied for hours. £12, zoggs.com


Hydro Flask 28oz insulated food jar

The Brokedown Palace 28oz insulated food jar, £45
The Brokedown Palace 28oz insulated food jar, £45

At 828ml, this one is the largest food jar option, which will store a main dish for a couple of kids and keep it warm for hours. £45, thebrokedownpalace.com


Dryrobe kids organic towel

Dryrobe kids organic towel, £40
Dryrobe kids organic towel, £40

This thick-cotton towelling robe is perfect for a child to change behind or curl up in after splashing around. For colder and more windswept beaches, the brand also has a waterproof and fleece lined Advance version. £40, dryrobe.com


O’Neill Reactor II 2mm back zip spring wetsuit kids

O’Neill Reactor II 2mm back zip spring wetsuit kids, £39.95
O’Neill Reactor II 2mm back zip spring wetsuit kids, £39.95

A stretchy and durable shorty kids wetsuit that is wholly suitable for Britain’s chillier summertime waters but is easy on the pocket – and ideal for fast-growing toddlers. £39.95, uk.oneill.com


Vango family windbreak 

Vango family windbreak, £62
Vango family windbreak, £62

This 4.35m windbreak has sturdy steel poles and a high-quality waterproof fabric for screening and privacy. £62, vango.co.uk


Hydro Flask 20l insulated tote

Hydro Flask 20l insulated tote, £55.75
Hydro Flask 20l insulated tote, £55.75

This cool bag can be thrown over the shoulder like a tote. It doesn’t do the job of heavy-duty alternatives but is easily adequate for a day out on the beach, and its wipe-clean fabric is very practical. £55.75, absolute-snow.co.uk


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