1. These Colors Don't Run. This Fourth of July, make waves with the Jeep Patriot Edition Series by DaimlerChrysler. Not willing to shell out $20,000 for a new model? Visit your local Jeep dealer and have the Old Glory decal attached to your current Jeep for about $200 (www.jeep.com).
2. Beat the Heat. Even rabid sun worshipers need time in the shade. The Beach Windbrella's Solartek fabric reflects 95% of the sun's UV rays, resulting in a 15-degree temperature drop under its six-foot canopy. Add the Sand Anchor, and the Windbrella stands up to stiff winds as well. The Beach Windbrella ($49.95) and Sand Anchor ($12.95) can be purchased on the Web (www.weatheraffects.com).
3. I'll Call You Right Back ... "Unlimited weekend minutes" means nothing if your cell phone dies while you're at the beach. Enter the Motorola FreeCharge, which uses a hand-cranked generator to provide a portable power source. The FreeCharge ($79.99) only powers Motorola phones, but versions that are due out by the end of the year will also work on other cell phones (www.motorola.com).
4. Picture Perfect. Looking for a camera that will make a splash? Pack the DC200 Digital by SeaLife ReefMaster. Underwater, its external-flash mode brightens low-light conditions to bring out intense colors. Its digital functionality lets you email photos of your scuba adventure. The DC200 Digital retails for $599.95 (www.reefmaster.com).
5. It Suits You. The Recordbreaker by Speedo is part of the company's Fastskin series, arguably the most technically advanced swimwear ever made. The fabric mimics the look and feel of sharkskin. The price? $100. The men's version retails for $60 (www.speedo.com).
6. Sand in Your Shoes? For kicks on the beach, try the Wraptor2 by Teva. These rugged sandals are made for running on sand, crossing rivers, and exploring rough terrain. Please resist the inner-geek urge to wear socks. The Wraptor2 retails for $89.95 (www.teva.com).
A version of this article appeared in the July 2002 issue of Fast Company magazine.