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The Best Beach and Pool Toys for Kids and Adults

Updated Dec 10, 2022
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Playing in the water should be fun, not frustrating. But too many beach and pool toys don’t survive a day’s use, let alone till the end of the summer. We spent more than 40 hours researching and testing pool noodles, water guns, snorkel sets, and more to find the best toys for kids and adults. Unlike the disposable-quality stuff in most big-box stores, our picks are built to last. That means more playing and fewer cracked-shovel-induced tantrums.

Wacky Noodles, the best pool noodle for kids

Wacky Noodles

The best pool noodle for kids
These won’t hold the weight of an adult very well—we have a pick for them, too—but for kids, they’re a great value.
We recommend
Stream Machine TL-750, the best water gun for the pool

Stream Machine TL-750

The best water gun for the pool
As long as you have access to an endless and immediate ammo supply, these long shots are tough to beat.
We recommend
Nerf Super Soaker Squall Surge, a water-saving reservoir pick

Nerf Super Soaker Squall Surge

A water-saving reservoir pick
This neat little soaker features an air-pump-pressurized chamber like those found in Super Soakers from the ’90s, allowing continuous fire.
Another good choice
Green Toys Sand Play Set, the best sand-castle toys

Green Toys Sand Play Set

The best sand-castle toys
Green Toys items are BPA-free and made from recycled milk jugs. The plastic is solid and clearly built to last. Plus, in our tests these were a hit with the kiddies.
We recommend
Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe, the best pool floaties

Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe

The best pool floaties
The Stearns product is a lot like water wings, only better and safer in every way because it supports your child's arms and chest with foam. It doesn't deflate for easy packing, but we'd happily trade convenience for added safety.
We recommend
Aqua Sphere Kayenne Jr, the best goggles for kids

Aqua Sphere Kayenne Jr

The best goggles for kids
With an excellent seal, superior comfort, minimal fogging, simple adjustments, and minimal visual distortion, these classic yet thoroughly modern goggles are tough to beat.
We recommend
Cressi Palau Short Fin Set, the best snorkel set

Cressi Palau Short Fin Set

The best snorkel set
The design of this classic Palau “Onda” mask (included in the set) hasn’t changed much in 20 years—and that’s a good thing.
We recommend
U.S. Divers Lux Snorkel Set, a good backup option

U.S. Divers Lux Snorkel Set

A good backup option
This snorkel set has a plethora of features at a solid price.
Another good choice
DaFiN, the best fins for swimming


The best fins for swimming
The DaFiNs are the undisputed champs. They offer a bit of buoyancy, allow you to accelerate quickly, and seem to mold to your feet. It’s the closest you’ll get to being a dolphin.
We recommend
Big Boss, the best pool noodle for teens and adults

Big Boss

The best pool noodle for teens and adults
Robelle’s pool noodles are big enough for adults to use and durable enough to survive several summers of abuse.
We recommend
Aqua Sphere Kayenne, the best goggles for adults

Aqua Sphere Kayenne

The best goggles for adults
The same durable, comfortable, low-fog goggles we like for kids—but for adults.
We recommend
Discraft UltraStar, the best flying disk

Discraft UltraStar

The best flying disk
For around $10 you can get a flying disc that fits perfectly in most people's hands and remains easy to grip and balance. Plus, it's the preferred disc of professional Ultimate Frisbee player Nathan Hurst.
We recommend
Morey Mach 7 42-Inch Boogie, the best bodyboard for adults

Morey Mach 7 42-Inch Boogie

The best bodyboard for adults
Personal preference and style play a part, but after 12 hours of research and testing, we think the Mach 7 will please first-timers and leave room for growth into more advanced surfing.
We recommend
Churchill Makapuu Fins, the best fins for bodyboarding

Churchill Makapuu Fins

The best fins for bodyboarding
The Churchill fins allow you to accelerate quickly—which is what you want when bodyboarding—and usually cost less than the next-quickest pair we tried.
We recommend
Saltwater Canvas Whale Bag, the best bag for wet or dirty items

Saltwater Canvas Whale Bag

The best bag for wet or dirty items
If you want a mesh bag for carrying wet or dirty items, the Whale Bag is of much higher quality than cheap imitators. It’s great for traveling with kids, and sand easily falls through the mesh.
We recommend

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