All you need for a beautiful day on the beach is yourself, some togs and a few hours of unburdened, gloriously free time. But wouldn't it be an even better day if you had these movie-set perfect beach and pool accessories with you? Yes. Yes, it would. Read on and cast your mind forward to a time when your aqueous outing is framed by the style, ingenuity and inflatable Pegasus-ry here collected.
THE BEACH MAT: BEACHILL SMART MATTRESS
Barely out of development, the Beachill can be a tough product to get your hands on — at the moment, the company's Facebook page asks that you get in touch via email to order. Nevertheless, the bubblegum-bright beach mat is so good that it's already moderately internet-famous. That's because it actually solves three common beach trip dilemmas: how to support your back (i.e. the usual beach mat mandate), how to keep your drink cool and how to charge your dwindling phone battery. It accomplishes the latter by way of a 7 watt solar panel on the back of the cushion. High five, Beachill.
Throw away your old rectangular towel (read: leave it in the linen cabinet for a bit), because this season everyone's drying off with a whole new shape. That shape? The circle. Luxe and oversize, this new breed of towel is an extravagance, but one you'll be thankful for when you're wrapped in its embrace from head to fringe-tickled toe. Byron Bay company The Beach People do them best, in bold, monotone prints inspired by beach cultures from all over the world.
What's going on on that nose bridge there? Well, that would be a brushed metal architectural detail inspired by New Orleans' French Quarter's iconic 1800s cast iron balconies. Swoon. Krewe Du Optic are a brand you want to get in on — started in 2013, they handcraft all their frames using premium acetate, lenses and hinges. The sunset-hued mirrored pair above is a 'Bengal', but the St Louis style alone comes in 11 different colourways, each more fetching than the last. Just look.
THE BEACH BALL: SUNNYLIFE INFLATABLE WATERMELON BALL
If you're anything less than impressed right now, it's only because the full significance of Sunnylife's inflatable watermelon ball is yet to hit you. This ball is not just a toy to be tossed; it is a trompe l'oeil that will turn heads in wonder at your ability to keep a half-watermelon aloft with a few blasé taps. Not only that, but have you played with any beach ball lately? The things run away from you at the slightest suggestion from the wind. Hours of active fun right there.
The game of inflatable animal one-upmanship has gone so far it's crossed into mythical creature territory. Following summer after summer of the swan, the flamingo and the toucan, we now have in our midst the Pegasus, from LA brand Funboy. You know you want it. Though it's definitely not for open ocean beaches, take along Peggy to a pool, harbour beach or lake as desired.
THE BEACH GAME: MEN'S SOCIETY ALOHA PADDLE BEACH BALL GAME SET
What's with all the dude-centric brand names in the beach toy industry? Remedy this, someone. But for now let's plough ahead and appreciate this neat paddle tennis set anyway. It's designy, but not too designy. You could probably leave it unattended while you went for a swim and nobody would steal it. Note the colour palette; it seems to invoke the Pacific islands, the Rene Lacoste days of tennis and your primary school athletics uniform all at once. A real achievement.
The Shake Tote is okay-looking, but where it wows is on its bottom. Open the flap and all the sand that's inevitably made it into your bag during a day at the beach will just fall straight through the mesh lining and out of your life. Whataworld. The Shake range also comes in a small backpack and clutch, in two different colourways.
THE BEST SUN PROTECTION: INVISIBLE ZINC 4HR WATER RESISTANT SPF50+
What's this guy doing here? Well, if your best accessory is the skin you're in (and let's say it is), then you're going to want to take care of it. Invisible Zinc makes it into our beach bags year after year because it's super effective at reflecting UVAs and UVBs, low irritant, Australian owned and a real leader in the physical sunscreen game, with a natural Zinc Oxide formula that rubs in nearly as well as chemical sunscreens. The latest addition to their product line is 50+ and 4 hours water resistant.