Ereader on beach with waves behind

2024 Best Ebook Readers for Outdoor Reading in Sunlight

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If you’re still enjoying your paperback books on the beach, good for you! In the past I too was a great advocate for physical books over e-readers, so I often packed a few titles for beach vacations. Today, I rely heavily on my Kobo Clara HD, which is filled with books and easy to carry everywhere. If you’re considering transitioning to an e-reader, here’s a comprehensive guide to the top ebook readers for reading outdoors in sunlight.

Best Ebook Readers Canada Kobo vs. Kindle

As a Canadian, my pick for the best E-readers for the beach is the new Kobo Forma. The main reason is that as of the time of publishing this post, Kindle did not have access to Canadian Libraries through Overdrive.

For Canadian Libraries and Easy In Device Syncing – Choose Kobo

The newer Kobo devices make it very easy to borrow books from libraries and download them straight to your device by syncing over WIF with Overdrive. Kindles, you will have to download your library book to your desktop and sync the device manually.

woman on chair reading on beach best e-readers for the beach and the outdoors

What are the Best e-readers for reading in Sunlight?

Choosing Between Kindle vs. Kobo Best Beach-Friendly Models

For those of you researching which e-readers are the best e-reader for the outdoors, here are some details on the latest models out there and which bells and whistles you may not want to pay the extra cost.

To make this easier, here is a handy chart comparing the best for the beach Kindle with Kobo models; if you would like to see details on each company’s model, then scroll down.

Best Kindle for Reading in SunlightBest Ereader for Canadians!
Kindle PaperwhiteKobo Libra (Colour!!)
Size similar to Kobo. Harder to read other book formats with the Kindle models which focus on .mobie. Book Prices are lower. Good battery life. New light and brightness controls.E-ink now has a colour model with no glare in sunlight! Purchase books at more places as it supports more formats than Kindle. Easier to read other book formats. Good battery life. Use the Kobo Stylus 2 to make notes, journal or highlight messages within your ebook.
Best for Amazon Book Buyers.Best for access to Canadian Libraries and people who get books from multiple sources.
Best E-readers for the Beach and the Outdoors

Best Kindle Devices for Outdoor Reading in Sunlight (2024 Descriptions)

Here I outline all the current models of e-readers best for outdoor reading. I will start by comparing the best Kindle for beach reading.

If you would like to jump down to Kobo models, click here.

2024 Kindle Ereader Options

I have a library of epub books, so researching a Kindle is not the best option as its e-reader doesn’t read epub files easily. If you are looking for the best Kindle for reading outside, there are a few models to choose from at various price points. If you are a die-hard Amazon shopper then consider these models for outdoor reading: 

 Base Kindle most affordableOnly waterproof Kindle model! Best Kindle for the beach.Notepad and Ereader Model
ModelKindleKindle PaperwhiteKindle Scribe
Screen Display6″167 PPI6″300 PPI10″ 300ppi
Weight174 g (6 oz)182 g (6.4 oz)433g (15.3 oz)
Storage Capacity4 GB8 or 32 GB16 GB, 32 GB or 64bGB

Supported Formats: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion. NOTE DOES NOT SUPPORT EPUB!!

Read more: Gift Guide of Best Devices for Creating a Smart Home.

Kindle (basic model)

The latest generation basic Kindle has added a few improvements, which include it is lighter weight and has the addition of a front light for low light reading. It will store thousands of books, and when WiFi is off, the battery will last about four weeks. This model is also the most affordable Kindle readers.

Kindle Paperwhite (only waterproof model)

The latest generation Kindle Paperwhite is the mid-range model of Kindle also stores 1000 books. However, it has a bit better resolution and front light for reading in the dark. In 2020, the Kindle Paperwhite introduced the waterproof model. So for those looking to take it with you on a beach vacation, or to read while taking a long bath this is a great model. Get more with Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition – Everything in the Kindle Paperwhite, plus wireless charging, auto-adjusting front light, and 32 GB storage.

Kindle Scribe (Notepad and Reader)

Kindle has now shared its read-and-write model the Kindle Scribe. Now you can read books or take notes on this glare-free paperwhite display outside while you enjoy the outdoors. Note this model is not waterproof for those wishing to take it with you to the pool or in the bathtub. Create notebooks, sketches or lists with the pen provided.

Accessories for your Kindle

If you invest in a Kindle eReader, here are some favorite accessories to consider. I would recommend a good case to protect your investment. They range in style from plastic smart covers to high-end leather covers. These also make great gifts for travel lovers.

Kindle Unlimited – Netflix for Book Lovers

One of the perks of buying a Kindle is its Kindle Unlimited program. You’ll have an unlimited reading from a selection of over 1 million ebooks and unlimited listening to thousands of audiobooks. You can read and access your Kindle Unlimited books on any device.

Woman holding reader with text Best eReaders for the Beach and the Outdoors

Best Ebook Devices for Canadians – Kobo e-Readers Canada

2024 Kobo E-Reader Options

I think Kobo has edged out Kindle to produce the most models at different price points. Also, they now have the game changing colour e-ink readers which are waterproof and glare free in the sun, making it hands down the best eReader on the market.

 Stylus IncludedStylus sold separatelyColour ModelColour ModelKobo Original
ModelKobo Elipsa 2EKobo Sage Kobo Libra ColourKobo Clara ColourKobo Clara BW
Screen Display10.3” E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen8″ HD flush E Ink Carta 1200 screen7″ colour E Ink Kaleido™ 3 touchscreen6″ colour E Ink Kaleido™ 3 touchscreen6” E Ink Carta 1300 HD touchscreen
Storage Capacity32GB = 24,000 eBook32GB = 24,000 eBooks32GB = 24,000 eBooks16GB = 12,000 eBooks16GB = 12,000 eBooks

Kobo vs. Kindle Canada

Kobo e-readers can process a variety of ebook formats:

  • eBooks: EPUB, PDF, and MOBI
  • Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG, and TIFF.
  • Text: TXT, HTML, XHTML, and RTF.
  • Comic Books: CBZ and CBR.

Note Re: Kobo Model Battery Life: An interesting note about Kobo e-readers is they no longer have detailed descriptions of battery life. They all say “weeks of battery life” now with a disclaimer that states “depends on individual usage.” My older model did not have a great battery life, but these newer models, which include backlighting and other bells and whistles, will drain depending on if you keep the WiFi on, use the backlight a lot, etc. 

Kobo Elipsa 2E

With its latest models, Kobo has now pushed its e-readers into the tablet zone. Think of the Kobo Elipsa 2E as a tablet without a shiny screen that you can read in the sun. You don’t have all the fancy apps, but if you need to mark up PDFs and create notes and notebooks then this ebook reader might be something to consider. The Elipsa comes with a stylus and cover giving you everything you need out of the box.

Dropbox support allows you to easily import and export your documents and notebooks to store in the cloud and share with anyone when needed. Like all the Kobo readers you have all the great features including a light for night reading, storing thousands of books, longer battery life and if you like a larger screen you can rotate and read vertically and horizontally on this one.

Kobo Sage

If Elipsa’s price point is too steep for you then the Kobo Sage might be a better option. It is a more basic ebook reader but it does support the Kobo stylus, is waterproof, and also includes Dropbox support. You can capture notes, highlight text in your books, and store notebooks in Dropbox-like the Elipsa pack. The Sage is also smaller making it more comfortable in my opinion for use as an e-reader and because I love reading outdoors at the pool or the beach having a waterproof reader makes this the Kobo of choice for 2024!

Kobo Colour Content – Graphic Novels, Manga and Comics

Kobo Libra Colour

I’m so excited to see the day a glare-free colour option for an e-reader is finally here! The  Kobo Libra Colour is the tablet version of e-reader with a more moderate price point than the Elipsa and Sage models. Book covers, illustrations, note-taking and more can now come to life in colour. There is no glare in sunlight, and yes in case you were wondering this model is waterproof!

Kobo Clara Colour

If you’re looking for a straightforward e-reader that isn’t a tablet, the Clara has always been the ideal choice, but now it comes in colour! Surprisingly, the Kobo Clara Colour is priced similarly to its black and white counterpart. Embrace a vibrant alternative to e-ink screens on this compact, lightweight device packed with features. Dive into a world of colour with illustrations and visuals that enhance your reading experience like never before.

Kobo Clara BW

This upgraded model of the original Clara is a great choice if you are in the market for a black and white, lightweight e-reading device. The Kobo Clara BW allows you to read in bright sunlight without reflection. Updates include faster page turns, deeper contrast and a new Dark Mode for nighttime reading.

I own the original Kobal Clara model and it is still my go to reader! It is compact and lightweight, and while it is not waterproof, it is an excellent e-reader for sunlight and outdoor reading. You can also use the Overdrive app directly with the reader, which means you can now download library books directly to your ereader without having to download and sync like older models.

Colour your worldview with a Kobo Plus subscription. Start your free trial today.
person holding reader with coffee with text Best eReaders for the Beach and the Outdoors

Tips for Buying an EReader for the Beach and the Outdoors

What you Need to Know about ereaders for Reading in the Sun

Lightweight Store Loads of Books

The pros of packing an e-reader are simple. They are small and thin, and they store hundreds of books. So if you are like me and don’t know which books to take from your collection and sometimes go through more than one book on a vacation, then an e-reader is a great option. It takes up no room in your suitcase, and you will never run out of reading material or lug around books that you don’t get to read.

Easy Access to More Books and Easy Technology

On the beach, you only need one hand and a tap of a finger to turn the page, leaving your other hand available for a drink! If you have a 3G or data-enabled reader, then you can download a new book right off the beach (the con of which would be the roaming charges you will incur). Most e-readers come with WiFi, so you can download books using that connection.

Check if your e-reader model has access to Overdrive and the Libraries in your Country. The newer Kobo models now have a direct connection with your Overdrive account, which allows you to connect to your public library without having to use a desktop. Simply link your account, and books you check out from the library will automatically sync with your Kobo.

Canadians should note that the current Kindle models (at the time of this publication) did not have access to Canadian libraries.

Don’t worry if you get it, Wet.

There are now waterproof e-reader models on the market, which make them the obvious choice for beach reading! So you can take your ebook with you into the tub or pool! If you have an old e-reader, the solution to this problem is covering it with a waterproof case or zip-lock bag, but if you travel to water often like me and love taking your e-reader with you, then you may want to upgrade.

Beware of the glossy colour tablet.

My only advice here is the obvious do not buy an LCD tablet or e-reader, thinking it is going to be ideal for the beach. Sure tablets and LCD e-readers are great as they have internet access, and store music, and some games which make them great for vacations, but on the beach or out in the sun, they fail miserably.

Here are a few models you should take off your list if you are considering an e-reader for outside reading. Kindle Fire, Nook Color Tablet, Samsung Galaxy, Kobo Arc, iPad, or smartphones like iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.

Read more: Ultimate List of Best Travel Gifts for Men

Woman holding reader with text Best eReaders for the Beach and the Outdoors

What You Need to Consider When Buying an E-reader for Outdoor Reading at the Beach

Make Sure it has E-ink Technology.

The best ereader for the beach starts with the right technology. If you are planning on reading outdoors (on the train, in the car, in the backyard or by the pool or beach), the first and most important thing on your list should be, does the e-reader have e-ink technology?

What is e-ink technology? Well, the simple explanation is that it is a digital format of a paper. It displays words on the screen, but it looks like words typed on paper. Since these screens don’t have a glare and are matte finish, they are easy to read under many different shades of light. This technology is excellent at mimicking your book, and once you start to appreciate the added benefits of an e-reader, the die-hards who say they like to hold a book or read from paper will be swayed.

Also, I recommend the newer models of e-ink technology, which offer colour, and a “Dark Mode” or backlight screens. Backlit readers allow you to read in the dark or when you have limited lighting. When the power goes out or you are in a dimly lit room, you turn on the light or dark mode and read on!

Know which E-book Formats it can read

If you are a die-hard Amazon shopper, then obviously the Kindle is for you. The catch is that if you want to buy or borrow e-books from your library, you may run into problems.

Amazon has its format for e-books known as the Mobi format, while other e-readers use epub as their format. You want an e-reader that can read multiple formats so you can get material from other sources other than the store you bought the e-reader.

For the average user, this means it should read epub, pdf, HTML, jpg, and png. If you get a Kindle, it doesn’t read epub the most standard book format, and if you get a different model of e-reader, it likely won’t read Mobi files, and we all know that Amazon has the best prices on books. Hopefully, this will change in the future, and e-readers will eventually have a standard format that wins out.

Review its Battery Life

Your next concern should be the unit’s battery life. With most e-ink readers, this is not a problem, your battery will likely last up to a month on one charge. Since they don’t display colour or play music, their batteries last much longer. Unlike your tablet, you can take your reader to the beach and not be concerned with the charger or run out of power mid-day.

Read more: Ultimate List of Best Travel Gifts for Women.

Do you have a favourite e-reader that you take with you on your travels? Let us know what you recommend in the comments below. 

15 thoughts on “2024 Best Ebook Readers for Outdoor Reading in Sunlight”

  1. Thanks for sharing another Informative article, very well written and presented in a simple way. I’ll definitely follow your advice. It is a comprehensive article.

  2. Good advice. I’m mentioning this because you write frequently. The word “it’s” means “it is”. When you are trying to show possession, use its, not it’s. For example: It’s a fact that its front light feature is superior.

  3. It’s an interesting article. in today’s time the trend of E-readers is increasing day by day and all of the travellers wanted to read it on e-reader so that they can spend a good time on beach. Thanks for sharing this type of information!!

  4. Golden Triangle Tour 4 Nights 5 Days

    Nice information on the blog and choice of destination. Thanks again for sharing these wonderful post.

  5. Same day Agra Tour by train

    Such a awesome article you wrote up! This post is really very good and nice information. Thank you so much for sharing a wonderful post.

  6. Barbara Dodson

    This is an amazing Gear for all the travelers. The popularity of adventure lovers and E-readers is increase day by day. The e-reader is the best thing for spending a wonderful time in beach and outdoors. You selected the best of all of them. All the beginner will get the best information and travel gear from here.

  7. Thanks for the review Sharon. I love my Kindle Paperwhite. I bought it a couple of years ago because of the weight of books in my suitcase. Now I use it exclusively – goes everywhere with me in my purse.

  8. Hi,

    All super solid options here.

    I’m a Nook guy for now. As we hop around the world uploading a book or 2 in each location helps us keep our reading and writing chops and we also have a form of entertainment in more remote areas, like here in the jungles of Fiji.

    I like the beach explanation too. I fear getting water or sand on the Nook but knowing that more durable, weather resistant models are out there it may be time to do some shopping, at least when I head home to NJ in 2 months.

    eBooks really do rock and e-readers are the ultimate convenience. Carrying so much info at one time to any spot on earth is a real blessing.

    I do the paperback thing here and there but am largely an e-reader guy. Too convenient for me.

    Thanks for reviewing.

    Tweeting soon.


  9. I don’t know why it took us so long to get a Kindle as well. I guess we liked the idea of carrying books around and how you could trade as you go but with the Kindle it is so much better. No more worrying if the next hostel will have something worth reading. :)

  10. I don’t know why I debated for so long over buying a Kindle, but as soon as I bought it I was glad I did. I have an older version (the one with the keyboard) but it has served me well. Saved me from utter boredom in foreign countries with no English bookstores. Gave me entertainment when I just wanted to close my eyes and relax with earphones (yes!) and let me play games on a plane. I’ve debated buying a newer version, but mine has a feature they’ve deleted: I can turn pages back and forth on BOTH sides of my Kindle. So I’m not going to switch until it dies. It’s served me well for three years. Hope it lasts for a whole lot more.

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