Once you’re out on the lake, you need to make sure you have all your gear dialed. Photo: Brady Ferdig

There’s something special about packing your bag, grabbing a towel and hopping into a ski boat for a full day out on the water. From wakeboarding and wakesurfing to idly bobbing around the lake with good tunes, good friends and refreshments … a day on the boat is about as relaxing as it gets.

We recently met up with a product specialist from MasterCraft for a full day of water activities at Lake Elsinore, California. We were thrilled at the chance to climb aboard their latest boat in the XT lineup, the MasterCraft XT25.

But a day on the boat requires certain gear to make the experience as good as it gets. From keeping your beverages and food cold, to keeping your skin from frying in the sun, we needed to make sure our packlist was dialed.

Here’s what we packed for our day on the water in the XT25.

Otterbox Trooper LT 30 Soft Cooler ($300)

Rule #1: Beverages must be cold. Photo: Brady Ferdig

Otterbox has recently entered the high-end cooler game with their bear-proof line of premium coolers, the Venture Series. But even more recently, the company most notably known for their waterproof smartphone cases and accessories has released their top-of-the-line soft cooler, the Trooper. We opted for the larger Trooper LT 30, seeing as we had seven people coming out, and we were all certainly going to need refreshments throughout the day.

With a 30-quart capacity, the Trooper LT 30 fit everything we needed, with room to spare. It strapped comfortably to my back, leaving my hands free to haul everything else I packed for the trip from the car to the dock, easily in one trip. While my journey with all the gear wasn’t strenuous or too far, this cooler is capable of much longer treks into the bush, without stressing out your back muscles.

The Trooper kept everything icy cold the whole day (it’s rated to keep ice for over three days), not to mention packing and unpacking all the food and drinks was a snap with the Trooper’s large-mouth opening. This thing is built like a tank, and is sure to handle whatever intense excursions you’re willing to put it through with its TPU coated nylon exterior that’s water, puncture, UV and chemical resistant.

RVCA Go-Be II Backpack ($74)

When you gotta keep your gear dry, RVCA has you covered. Photo: Brady Ferdig

When you’re surrounded by water, you need to make sure you have the stuff you want to keep dry somewhere that is guaranteed to stay dry. A solid dry bag would typically do the trick, and RVCA’s Go-Be II Backpack is a prime example of precisely what you need when drenched gear is simply not an option.

With its heat sealed waterproof construction, you can stuff whatever you like into the main compartment, then roll and snap it closed to keep any (and all) moisture out. It also has a water bottle compartment and towel-holding straps, as well as a handy zippered pocket on the front that’s perfect for small accessories like sunblock and chapstick.

Volcom Plasm Plus Mod Boardshorts ($80)

These trunks combine form and function so well. Photo: Brady Ferdig

A solid pair of trunks is probably the most important piece of gear you’ll need for a full day on the lake, and Volcom’s latest Plasm Plus Mod Boardshorts are just the ticket. Made from four-way Stone Shield stretch material, they provide just the right amount of flex, without feeling thin and flimsy. And the material is oh-so soft and comfy with what Volcom calls a “soft pillow like inner facing.”

Adding to the quality feel of these boardshorts are heat sealed and welded seams, much like a high quality wetsuit. The durability factor of the Plasm Plus Mod is next level, meaning that you certainly shouldn’t worry about trunk malfunction while doing what you do in the water. These are the only trunks you’re going to need.

Patagonia Men’s RØ Sun Tee ($45)

UPF 50 is the ticket. Photo: Brady Ferdig

Sun protection is key on an excursion like this, and the Patagonia RØ Sun Tee kept us covered all day with its UPF 50 designation. It’s very refreshing to be wearing something light and breathable when the boat is idle and the sun is baking down, and it also provides a bit of wind resistance when the driver hits the throttle and the wind chill bumps up a few notches. The RØ Sun Tee was the perfect balance we needed.

You could easily wear this shirt in the water if you chose to do so, even if it’s to take a dip to cool off or to bob around in an inner tube and kick back a couple of beverages. This shirt does its job well, and has a subtle, simple design that we can appreciate.

Raw Elements ECO FORMULA 30+ Lotion Tin ($19)

Photo: Brady Ferdig

Continuing along with the sun-protection theme, you obviously need to protect the rest of your body from the sun any time you spend extensive time outdoors. With many brands putting hard-to-pronounce, mysterious ingredients into their sunblock products, we typically like to opt for the more natural approach.

Raw Elements has a variety of sunblock products in their fleet, but we decided to pack our Eco Formula 30+ for this trip. Made from Non Nano Zinc Oxide (23 percent), sunflower oil, green tea, black tea, coffee bean, hemp seed oil, cocoa butter, mango butter, beeswax, rosemary oil extract, and good ol’ Vitamin E (all of which are either USDA Certified Organic or Certified Natural), it’s very refreshing to be able to pronounce every single ingredient in a product that you rub all over your face and body, isn’t it?

It goes on smooth, rubs right in, stays on for hours (in and out of the water), and smells like it’s made from natural ingredients (which it is). What more could you ask for out of a sunblock?

Reef Fanning Low ($55)

The bottle opener is the cherry on top of a great sandal. Photo: Brady Ferdig

Choosing the proper footwear for a day on a boat can be tricky. On one hand, you want something that won’t get damaged if it gets a little wet, and the other hand, you want something that you can kick on and off each time you hop into the water. Flip flops are the natural choice, and knowing Reef’s reputation as one the leaders in the flip flop game, we decided to go with the Fanning Low.

Equipped with a bottle opener on the outsoles of the sandals and a 360-degree airbag under the heel, the Fanning Low was cushy and and comfy, and ever-so handy when it came time to crack open another cold one. You’d be hard-pressed to find a flip flop with more function than the Fanning Low.

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