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Great gear for a hassle-free day at the beach

In her latest edition of 'Today's Brilliant Buys,' style expert Charla Krupp shares a look at gear that will make your beach-bum days less of a hassle and more of a breeze — without compromising style
/ Source: TODAY

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of beach season. And after a long, cold winter everyone’s ready for some fun in the sun. “Today” contributor Charla Krupp was invited to appear on “Today” to discuss some of the brilliant buys she found for those lazy days at the beach. Learn more about those items here: The shopping challenge for today: How to make your day at the beach less of a hassle and more of a breeze — without compromising style. Last year, we were talking about girly surfboards, pop-up tents, the round towel and pj bottoms as cover-ups. What’s new for the beach this year?
The objective is to be good to yourself. Don’t lug so much heavy artillery that you kill your back, your fun and your look. Going to the beach has never been easier because there’s so much new gear that is portable. Your grill comes in a backpack. Your table and chair are on wheels. I love barbecuing at the beach, but I don’t love lugging a grill. I think most people just bring cooked food because the grill is just not worth the trouble. And clean up — those hot coals you have to bury in the sand — is such an ordeal.
My best find at the housewares show in Chicago was a grill in a backpack from Thane. I’ve never seen anything like it. Tote this backpack, and leave your hands free. The Q grill runs off of a one-pound propane bottle, so there is no charcoal to be lit — and you know how tricky that is on the beach. Because it runs on gas, there’s no charcoal to clean up. Once you get to your beach spot, simply pull out the side legs, unhook the handle, pop out the grates and get cooking! How much is that baby?
Thane’s portable BBQ grill is $99. The backpack is $39 and you’ll find them at or 1.800.982.4405HANE. There’s been a strong consumer desire for high-end portable grills, especially for those serious tailgaters. And about that propane tank: You’ll find one-pound bottles of propane at stores that carry grill or camping equipment.

And you can even buy a picnic table on wheels?
Leave it to Crate & Barrel. They have come out with a rolling picnic table that doubles as a carrier for chairs, tables, towels, your water gun, etc. Now you won’t have to eat on your lap and get sand all over everything. It’s nice to have chairs for older people who can’t easily get in and out of sand chairs. Find this lightweight rolling table at Crate & Barrell stores through August, or go to, $79.95 or call: 1.800.996.9960 But you have low-tech ideas for portability, too. Even canvas bags can get very heavy when filled with cans of soda.
For a lightweight carryall, you can’t beat this nylon tote from Target. It’s a brilliant buy at $9.99. Love the colors, and it won’t get destroyed by sand or surf. Feel how light it is! Hot pink or orange nylon tote at Target, $9.99. And you don’t think lying on an old sheet is chic?
No, sheets are an instant style killer. This year, try lying on a beach mat instead. It’s big enough for the whole family. Shake it out, and you won’t transport half the beach into your car trunk. Here’s a smart shopper tip: Once the season is over, you can still use this. I put this lime stripe in my bathroom — and I love it. Indoor/outdoor patio rug: $14.99 at Target stores through June. What’s with the lime green? It’s everywhere.
It’s the fashion color of the summer and you’ll find it on chairs, towels, tables and swimsuits. Green hasn’t been fashionable since the '70s and here it comes, drum roll: Green is the new pink. At least for the summer. Every year, there’s news in flip flops. What should we buy now?
Gold! Gold is the preferred metallic and will be going into fall, too. We have three gold flip flops at different price points that will make you feel like a goddess. Gold actually complements green rather nicely.

Our brilliant buy is the GAP flip flop for the nice price of $14.50. Gold leather straps wrap around your toe, the sole is straw and the heel slightly raised.

For $85, you can add some pink jewels! Love these gemstone Mystique flip flops handmade in Bali. Buy them at Kitson in LA (310-859-2652, style 670).

And for pure entertainment, there are the world’s most glamorous — and expensive — flip flops from H.Stern: They are the hottest flip flops from Brazil, Havianas, adorned with 18K yellow gold feathers and over 2.5 carat diamonds. They’re available for a limited time only, so run to H. Stern, on 51st and Fifth Avenue in New York or call: 1800H7STERN. Are those real gold and diamonds?
Yes. They're $17,000 worth of razzle dazzle. What’s with the Tiki Hut?
From Frontgate’s Splash catalogue, this exclusive bamboo and palm thatch hut gives you the feel of the islands without leaving your backyard. It was redesigned this year to include bottle racks for storage and will keep you 5-10 degrees cooler than any canvas awning. Frontgate Poolside Tiki hut  $4,695. Call 1.800.533.7502 or go to