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Under a Hundo: The Best Beach Gear for Under $100

Get ready to discuss tyrannical open container beach laws with affordable picks from YETI, Anker, Birkenstock, and more.
Ian Burke
Brooklyn, US
June 15, 2021, 7:40pm
beach gear

Welcome to Under a Hundo, where your faithful VICE editors find the best versions of anything and everything you're desperately seeking—all for under $100. Whether it’s fancy knives, instant-vacation-vibes patio furniture, or suspiciously underpriced ghost-hunting equipment, we’ve got your thrifty needs covered.

Ah yes, summertime: leaky AC units causing New York baptisms, oppressive heat and humidity that make every corner store run a sweat-scapade, and gnarly sunburns—even though you reapplied. (Gotta love it!) Might as well gear up and go to the beach. 

Before you hop in the car, catch a bus, or jump on a train, make sure you have your effects in order. Got your cooler? Your speaker? Your chair? These are all integral parts of the puzzle that is the elusive reading-on-the-beach Instagram post. How are you going to leisurely leaf through your nightstand book if you don’t have a sandy throne? You simply can’t. 

But wait, you’re probably thinking. I haven’t been to the beach in a looong time. What if my *NSYNC beach umbrella is out of style? (Pro tip: It’s always in style.) Fear not, beachgoer. We've got you. Most of us aren’t going to be trekking to the beach every day this summer, so don’t blow tons of money on expensive beach gear that you’ll barely use. Instead, check out this lil’ list we put together, full of our favorite beach gear for under $100. You want the best affordable coolers, towels, speakers, canopies? Look no further.


Now slather on that sunscreen and have a beachin’ summer. 

Defeat open container laws

“You’re telling me, a taxpayer, that I can’t guzzle cans of beer on the beach?” Sound familiar? That’s because most public beaches in the US don’t allow the open consumption of alcohol. (Which, we know, is a Bad Law.) Thankfully, you can fill up this half-gallon YETI jug with whatever boozy concoction you’re in the mood for, and no one will know.


RAMBLER Half Gallon Jug

CAN you believe it?

In another crushing blow to Uncle Sam, wrap your cans in a metal sheath to skirt open container laws and get crunk on the beach. These YETI models come in 12oz, 12oz slim (Claws and the like), and 16oz tallboys.  


RAMBLER 12oz Colster Can Insulator


RAMBLER 12oz Colster Slim Can Insulator


RAMBLER 16 oz Colster Tall Can Insulator

24 cans is probably enough, Randy

First of all, Randy knows what he’s doing. Secondly, even though all 24 cans fit perfectly into this portable cooler, they’re not all for him—one is for the ribs, which he’ll be cooking on the communal beach grill. (He doesn’t scrape the grates either, since he claims leaving the caked-on drippings from the people before him “seasons the metal.”) 


Collapsible Cooler Bag

Is this beach level? 

There’s only one way to find out. [Breaks out plumb bob.] This rugged cooler by Milwaukee holds ice for 24 hours and literally comes with an attached bottle opener—which doubles as a tape measure clip. Has anything ever screamed “I change my own oil” more? 


21 Qt. Soft Sided Jobsite Lunch Cooler

Throw some shade

The only way to make a reclinable beach chair more appealing? Give it a visor. This model also has a convenient, detachable cup holder tray for your drink, book, Kindle, CPAP machine, and whatever else you need for a nice day at the beach. 

Arlmont & Co.

Gaviota Reclining/Folding Zero Gravity Chair

Stake your claim 

You don’t care what these “State Police” nerds say—you’re never leaving the beach! They’re going to have to scrape you off the surf with an industrial-sized paint chipper. To protect yourself from being seen by helicopter (and for throwing a great beach bash in the shade), pick up this affordable tailgating tent. 

Ozark Trail

Ozark Trail 6' x 6' Instant Sport Canopy with Sun Wall

Only slightly less cool than an *NSYNC umbrella 

This big ol’ shademaker is a perfect addition to your beach ensemble. It’s also sun-safe, with a UPF 50+ coating that protects you from more than 99% of UVA and UVB rays. You can always tape a picture of Justin Timberlake to it, if you want. (You do.) 


6.5' Beach Umbrella

In the name of the barley, the hops, and the holy yeast

We don’t know about you, but we never go anywhere without our portable beer altar. (Or any of our other portable altars—of which we have many.) This boozy pedestal comes with a built-in bottle opener “so you never have to do the picnic table pound.” The picnic table pound? TMI, dude. 

Michael and Ania Shepler

Outdoor Beer Table

Sand: not even once

Just say no! Nobody under the age of 12 actually enjoys being covered in sand. In fact, it’s a lot of folks’ primary reason for avoiding the beach. (We have zero data on that, so please don’t fact check us.) This big beach blanket is waterproof and made of material that doesn’t let sand stick to it, so you’re covered on that front. It also folds up into a little pouch, making it super portable.


Large Sandfree Beach Blanket

Be the most on-trend person at the beach 

Brooklinen. You know it, you want it, you have to have it. Whether it’s the company’s linen sheets (which are totally worth it, by the way) or this big, beautiful beach towel, you know you’re going to have #NoRegrets. 


Scenic Beach Towel

Literally defeat the sun

You ain’t so tough, sun! Show our solar system’s main character who’s boss with the Beach Day Set from Supergoop. The kit includes three of the cult-fave sunscreen purveyor’s water-resistant best-sellers—all of which are reef-safe, cruelty-free, and in the most environmentally-friendly packaging possible, according to their website.


Beach Day Set

Your final form  

To be honest, there are worse final forms. Eventually, we all gripe about how all the kids frolicking on the sand is really getting in the way of our treasure hunting. (Where are their parents?) This metal detector features individual tones for specific metal types and an arm rest for operator comfort. 

Harbor Freight

9 Function Metal Detector With Arm Rest

Guerilla mixtape marketing 

Everyone knows the best way to get people interested in your latest release is to blast it super loudly on the beach. Or, you could play your usual playlists at a regular, respectable volume, and avoid angry glares. Up to you! At any rate, Anker is the most cost-effective way to go in terms of quality, and they’re built to last.


Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

… Or perhaps you’d prefer this waterproof model by JBL? You can clip it to your bathing suit for some background music while you hit a quick beach-training montage. 


JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

“Surfing is easy,” they said

The ocean can be cold, depending on where you’re surfing, so don this insulating body-condom to keep chilly water out and warmth in. 

A very secure purse 

Lock up your wallet, cell phone, keys, and veneers using this handy-dandy portable lockbox. It has a heavy-duty, flexible steel cable that securely locks around almost any fixed object. Tie it to your mortgage! 


Portable Indoor/Outdoor Lock Box Safe with Key and Combo

We like the ‘stock(s)!

C’mon, what else are you going to wear with your socks? Plus, if you’ve ever driven with flip flops, you know it’s a pain in the ass. These are a little more secure, and give you a little more ~look~ when you’re lugging all your beach gear through the sand. You can also dress these up if you’re hitting Karma after a long day of GTL-ing. 


Mayari Vegan Birko-Flor

A large, blue hot dog  

This easy-to-set-up air lounger is the ticket to falling into a deep, deep slumber on the beach and waking up with “Fuckface'' written in sunscreen on your stomach. Or maybe we just have mean friends? Either way, you’ll get a good snooze. 

Enjoy the waves, knaves. 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. VICE may receive a small commission if you buy through the links on our site.