Relaxing down by the beach can be a beautiful way to spend a summer day.
The issue is, the sun is pretty powerful, and can be incredibly harmful on your skin.
Canopies give you the ability to have shade without all the disadvantages of a beach tent.
You get a lot more airflow since beach canopies aren’t enclosed, keeping you nice and cool, and these canopies are also much bigger, making them perfect for families or larger parties.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the best canopies out on the market and what makes them so great.
Top 11 Beach Canopies
Top 5 Most Popular
Our #1 Pick – Best Overall: CORE Instant Shelter Pop-Up 10’ x 10’
The CORE Instant Shelter Pop-Up really lives by its name, as it truly only takes about 2 minutes to set up once you pop it out of the bag. In just two minutes, you get 100 square feet of 50+ UV protected shade to keep you and your family safe from harmful rays. Even on days where it’s raining a bit, the CORE H2O Block technology give you full protection thanks to the fully-taped seams.
On the top of the Instant Shelter, you get dual canopy vents that help circulate the air a little more, perfect for those sweltering days. You’ll love the unique, pinch-free buttons that help you to adjust the height as well. As for the build, you have a heavy-duty 150D polyester paired with the durable steel frame. From beach camping to music festivals to parties in the backyard, this thing will last you forever. Thanks to the size, high-quality build, and top-tier weather and sun protection, this is just about one of the best canopies you can buy.
Best Beach Canopy For Family: Crown Shades Slant Leg 11’ X 11’
If you’re looking for a canopy that can fit the whole family, the Crown Shade Slant Leg might be right up your alley. This 11’ x 11’ canopy is massive can fit up to 8 people comfortably and can be set up in just a few minutes thanks to the user-friendly design. At almost 9’ tall, you’ll also get plenty of air circulation. As for the build, the Crown Shades Slant Leg is made with a high-grade steel frame that is powder coated to prevent it from chipping, rusting, or corroding. The canopy portion is just as tough, built with 150D Oxford Fabric that is completely water resistant and gives your family UPF 50+ UV Protection.
Many people don’t like buying large canopies for fear of transportation. Luckily, the people from Crown Shades supply you with a wheeled bag for storage and transport. They also supply a few guy ropes and stakes for those less-than-ideal days.
Best Pop Up For The Beach: AbcCanopy Instant Pop Up
If you’re looking for a great canopy for the beach, we highly recommend the ABCCANOPY Instant Pop Up. The reason being is that it comes in a wide array of colors. If you’ve ever been to the beach on a crowded day, you know how difficult it can be to find your spot if you wander off, or tell your friends and family where to meet you if you’ve been saving a spot. With the bright colors of the ABCCANOPY, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. It has a solid coverage of 10’ x 10’ and is made with a heavy-duty, silver coated fabric that is both UPF 50+ and 100% waterproof.
As for set up time, this thing only takes minutes with a few people. It also comes with a convenient little rolling bag that helps you to store and transport it without hassle. Lastly, if you are using this to host an event or run a business, you’ll love the banner loops that are included up top.
Best Budget: Coleman Instant Canopy 10’ X 10’
Not all of us want to spend an arm and a leg on a good canopy. This is where the Coleman Instant Canopy comes into play. The Coleman Instant Beach Canopy is another canopy that is incredibly easy to set up in just minutes. It is made with Coleman’s high quality UVGuard material that gives you the best in terms of sun protection. There are also 2-way roof vents that keep air circulating inside, great for when you’re dealing with those gnarly summer days.
What we love about the Coleman Instant Beach Canopy the most is that it is incredibly lightweight. This is great when you have to bring on a ton of other gear and don’t feel like hauling a massive canopy too. It comes complete with a convenient carry bag that fits nicely inside most standard vehicles.
Best Portable Beach Canopy: Ezyfast W/ Wheeled Carry Bag 10’ X 10’
The coolest and most prominent feature with the EzyFast is the anti-pooling technology. The top is designed with an 8-rib umbrella style roof construction, essentially giving the roof so much support that it is close to impossible for water to pool. Basically, it’s not only a solid sun shelter, but great for rain as well. The steel frame canopy is incredibly strong as well with it powder coated, anti-rust design, and can even hold up pretty well in strong winds.
The material up top is a 150D Oxford Fabric, sealed with tapes for total protection no matter the weather. As for setting this thing up, it is incredibly easy thanks to the heavy-duty nylon sliders and pinch-free push mechanisms. All of this, and EzyFast gives you 4 sand bags, 8 pegs for extra stability during windy days, and a tough roller bag for easy transportation.
Top 2 Compact
Our #1 Pick: Quik Shade Go Hybrid Compact 7’ X 7’
If size isn’t your main priority, we highly recommend going with something like the Quik Shade GO Hybrid Compact. At only 7’ x 7’, you get enough room for about 5-6 people on the inside. It is made with a construction that is both stable and lightweight, making it not only tough, but also easy to carry. The frame is made out of a powder-coated steel too, giving you the peace of mind that it won’t rust after time, and the fabric at the top is a 170T material with Aluminex coating, great for UV protection.
As for transporting this thing, it comes with a super convenient 600D polyester backpack that is both tough and comfortable to wear. Unlike most of the other shades on our list, this one comes with a nice little half panel wall. This offers a bit more sun protection, as well as a little bit of privacy. Both easy to set up and colorful, this is a great canopy for those short beach trips.
#2 – Easygo Cabana 6’ X 6’
Looking for a cabana-style canopy that gives the feel of a traditional and tropical canopy that you would find at a 5-star hotel. Check out the EasyGo Cabana, a lightweight and easy-to-transport cabana that is incredibly lightweight and perfect for smaller parties with the 6’ x 6’ design. The canopy portion is both durable and gives you ultraviolet protection, as well as resistant to stronger winds.
The coolest part about this canopy is that it comes in a wide array of unique colors and designs. You can get tropical flower, zebra stripes, pineapples, or a standard blue. The top is raised a bit higher to give you a bit more circulation and has an umbrella-style design with the pole in the middle, helping to stabilize the canopy more. As for keeping it safe from wind, they have conveniently included pockets at the bottom corners that you can fill with sand, leaving no need for stakes or guy ropes.
Top 3 Tarp Style
Our #1 Pick – Neso Tents Grande 9’ X 9’
The Neso Tents Grande is easily one of the most unique looking canopies on our list with the curvy, tarp-style design. It comes in an array of different colors and patterns from solid colors to flamingo print and beyond, and is made with a high quality Nylon/Lycra fabric. The reinforced corners and rust-proof aluminum poles make this canopy both durable and long-lasting.
As for transporting this bad boy, you’ll be happy to know that it only weighs 6.5lbs! All you have to do is throw it in the convenient shoulder bag along with your drinks and snacks that can fit inside the cooler pocket. Even with the slim and lightweight design, it is still rated for UPF 50+ protection and is completely water repellent, making it perfect for both rain and shine. This is the true #1 adventurer canopy, and we highly recommend it to the avid traveler, nomadic surfer, or lightweight packer.
#2 Neso Tents Portable Canopy Sun Shelter 7’ X 7’
Made from the same company as the Grande listed above, the Neso Tent is a little bit bigger and comes with a different, yet just as unique, design. It comes complete with two poles and is held steady with guy ropes, making it incredibly lightweight at only 4lbs. You can easily toss this thing over your shoulder with the included bag to bring with you on your next adventure. It is made with a durable nylon / lycra blend, rust-proof aluminum poles, and tough, reinforced corners with 98% UV Protection and water-resistant properties.
Like the Grande, the Portable Canopy Sun Shelter comes in a wide array of designs and colors to fit your vibe. Whether you’re hanging at a game, kicking back at the beach, or setting up in some wild area outside the bounds of society, the Neso Tents Portable Canopy Sun Shelter is a great choice.
#3 Best Beach Canopy For Wind – Oileus Super Big W/ Sand Bags
If you live near a coastal area where the wind is constant, you’re going to need a canopy that can withstand it. The Oileus Super Big is awesome when it comes to wind because of the unique way that it is designed, as well as the included sand bags and guy lines. The massive 16’ x 16’ tarp has a beautiful curvature that provides you and your friends and family with protection from the sun, wind, and rain. It is made with a high quality 210T polyester material, complete with 99% UV Protection and PU water-proof coating for up to 3000mm water resistance.
When it comes to transport, you’ll be happy to know that this only clocks in at 6lbs, making it almost effortless to toss over your shoulder with the convenient carrying bag and take down to the water.
Quick Set Escape Shelter Gazebo Bug Canopy Bug
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you need a fully enclosed design. If you’re hanging at a beach or camping in a forest where there are tons of bugs, the Quick Set Escape Shelter is amazing. For the amount that is going on with this thing, it still only takes less than a minute to get set up. You have a total of 94 square feet with 90” of height inside, perfect for and 8-person party. You can easily fit a standard picnic table on the inside.
The mesh screen is easily the most prominent feature of the Quick Set Escape Shelter, providing you with bug protection, as well as proper air circulation for those hot days. As for the build, this thing is tough as nails. It comes with 210 Denier Poly-Oxford Fabric and 600 Denier Fabric in the Center Section. All of this and you get a water-resistant roof and 50+ UV Guard Protection.
How To Set Up & Anchor a Canopy
When it comes to setting up and anchoring a canopy, you have to keep in mind that all of them are a bit different. Though that is true, there are a few general steps that you can keep in mind when setting up your own.
Secure Your Canopy While Assembling
First off, make sure that you plant your canopy in a place that is level. The best way to lose your canopy to wind is to set it up at an angle that wind can get under it. Once you have found the ideal spot, follow the directions that you have been given with your canopy to pop it up. Typically, it will take at least two people to pull it apart and raise up the legs.
Once you get it to the ideal height, make sure your buttons are secured to the “click” so that they don’t fall. Canopies will usually come complete with a few Velcro fasteners. You should attach these to make sure the roof portion stays on tightly.
Securing Your Canopy With Different Types of Weights
Canopies can be set up on just about any surface that you can think of. From the sand to the dirt to the tile in your backyard, you’ll always need a way to make sure that your canopy is weighed down. There are a couple ways you can do this. One of the most common is to use sand bags. Many canopies come with included sand bags that can be filled up with either sand or rocks. These bags can then be tied to the legs to stop your canopy from flying away in the case of wind.
Some canopies even come with sand pockets already attached to the bottoms of the legs, meaning you can just fill them up without using any other kinds of bags or devices.
If both of these options aren’t right for your canopy, you can also purchase pop up weight plates. These are essentially heavy cement blocks that you can place atop the feet of your canopy to keep it in place.
Securing Your Canopy With Anchors
Many canopies come with some type of anchoring system. Essentially, these work by extending guy lines from the fabric of your canopy and hammering them into the ground. If your canopy comes with one of these systems, always make sure to set it up first. There is no reason to stake your lines in if you have to move them once you get adjusted to the proper width and height. These are really only necessary if you expect wind to pick up during your time out.
Things To Consider When Buying
There are three types of canopies that we’ve discussed in our article: Traditional, Tarp, and Fully Enclosed. You have to first decide which one of these types of canopies you want, as they all each have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking to get a canopy that is perfect for a party on a summer day at the beach, we recommend that you go with your standard traditional canopy. If you’re looking to travel a lot and need something that is lightweight and portable, we recommend that you go with a tarp-style canopy. If you are afraid of bugs getting at you or your food, or just want a bit of extra privacy, we recommend that you go with a canopy that is fully enclosed.
Size is the next thing that you will likely consider. How many people are usually in your beach party? Are you looking to use it for the whole family or just you and a loved one? You should consider not only how many people you want to fit under it, but pieces of gear, food, coolers, and other things, as well. You should also consider how much room you have to transport it. Canopies can take up room in your car or truck quick. Many people can’t sacrifice that kind of space when travelling, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not a large canopy would work for you.
Material is the next most important factor to consider when you are purchasing a beach canopy. For starters, you want material that is both durable and long lasting. Because you’ll likely be spending a lot of time using it in the sun, you want the material to be coated with something that is UV protected. There’s nothing worse than getting a nasty sunburn after standing in shade all day that you thought was keeping you safe from dangerous UV radiation. Do you live in a place where it is constantly raining? You might want to get material that is water-repellent as well.
Sometimes Mother Nature is not so forgiving. Wind can pick up on the beach in an instant. If your canopy isn’t protected from the wind, there’s a good chance that you’ll spend some of your relaxation time trying to chase it halfway down the shoreline. Instead of having to go through that, why not try and get a tent that is wind-resistant. These types of tents will not only have a frame that is much stronger, but will also come complete with guy lines, heavy-duty stakes and sand bags, or tightly wrapped material that won’t allow wind pockets to pick up inside of it.
You’ll find that canopies either come with straight or slant leg designs, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Lots of people love slant legs because of their unique and visually appealing qualities. Unfortunately, slant legs also take up a ton more room, sometimes spreading out a foot beyond the actual canopy itself. While straight leg designs aren’t the prettiest looking, they are definitely the sturdiest, and they also remain very true to their size.
Having a fire retardant beach canopy is INCREDIBLY important no matter where you are. It’s not uncommon for people to have bonfires at the beach or campfires when camping out in the wilderness. If you were to get some rogue sparks or embers on your cheap canopy, it could light up in seconds and really hurt someone. Make sure that the material on your canopy has been sprayed or coated with some sort of fire retardant material, so that you can ensure the safety of you and your family.
Number of Ribs
If you decide to spend some time with your canopy out in the rain, you’ll definitely want it to have many ribs on top. The reason being is because a canopy without many ribs can leave room for pooling. This is because the fabric on top is not as tight. When you have more ribs, the fabric is pulled tighter, allowing water to run off. Do yourself a favor and get a canopy with more ribs so you don’t get a surprise shower with a bunch of dirty, cold water when you decide to pack up.
While it isn’t the most important thing in the world, there is definitely a reason that many people consider color when buying a canopy. For starters, think of a beach on a crowded day. There are hundreds of canopies spread across the coastline. If you’ve made you way far from basecamp, it can be difficult to find your way back if you have a small canopy. It can be even more difficult trying to explain to your family and friends that are meeting up with you, just where exactly your canopy is, especially when service is spotty. This is where having a bright color or unique design/pattern can come in handy. Not only will it be easier to find, it’ll also be more special for you to have a canopy that is different from all the others.
If you plan on taking your canopy into the woods or camping, this is where having a darker color may come in handy. Brighter colors are more prone to attracting insects and animals. They are far less inconspicuous.
Ease of Set Up
While most canopies are built with an easy pop up design, this isn’t true for all of them. The reason many people switch from tents to canopies is that they are much easier to set up thanks to their simple designs. If that’s true, there’s no reason anyone would vie for a canopy that is a total pain to get propped upright. In this case, look for something that can be set up in minutes with just a few people. Try and make sure that the buttons at the top are pinch-proof so that you don’t hurt those little fingers, and make sure that the legs extend easily. Lastly, you’ll want the Velcro at the top to be easy to attach onto the frame without tons of stretching and pulling.
If you’re hanging out on days when the weather is hot, it may be in your best interest to have some sort of ventilation to help circulate the air through your canopy. Different canopies have different designs, though many incorporate mesh windows and openings on the tops or sides. These make sure that hot air doesn’t get trapped inside, leaving you and all your guests sweating.
You might think that weight goes hand-in-hand with the size of your canopy, though for the most part, that isn’t true at all. There are huge canopies that provide tons of shade and only weigh a few pounds, while there are smaller canopies with serious steel frames that can easily weigh up to 50lbs or more. Consider first how much you can actually carry on your back or load into your car, and then consider how much you’ll actually want to carry as you hit the beach or find your camping spot.
Some canopies come complete with sidewalls, whether all the way around or only on one side of the canopy. Sidewalls are great for giving you both a little bit of privacy and extra protection from the elements. You’ll typically find that these types of sidewalls are either made out of the same fabric material as the roof, meaning polyester or nylon, or are made out of a mesh material. While fabric might be more protective from the elements, it doesn’t offer any circulation. On the other hand, mesh offers tons of circulation and protection from bugs, though no privacy or element protection.
Most canopies come with some sort of carrying case, though these cases can be pretty different from one another. For starters, you’ll want a case that is just as strong, if not stronger, than the actual canopy itself. All too often we see expensive canopies placed in cheap bags that rip and tear after only a few uses. Would you ever put your new laptop in a grocery bag? Probably not, so why would you put your quality canopy in a cheap bag.
If you have a larger canopy, you should look for one that comes with a carrying case that has wheels. These wheels should be able to move easily over different types of terrain as well. Trying to trudge through the sand with small wheels is next to impossible. If you get a smaller canopy, having a lightweight shoulder bag will do you just as well.
Does your canopy provide you with everything that you need to get started? When you purchase a canopy, you’ll hopefully get a few included accessories such as stakes, sandbags, pockets, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I Get A Beach Canopy?
Beach canopies are great for a number of reasons. They offer you protection from the sun and rain all day long, they’re big enough to host large parties of people, though small enough to still be portable, and they come in an array of shapes and sizes. Unlike tents, they are better suited for day outings, as they aren’t totally built for sleeping in, though that does give them much better circulation, perfect for hanging out when the sun is beating down.
What Kind of Fabric Material Should You Look For?
When you start sifting through the hundreds of beach canopies on the market, you begin to notice that most of them are made out of nylon, polyester, or Oxford. This is because these types of materials are tough, resistant to water, and offer a solid amount of UV protection, extremely important when you are spending a lot of time in the sun. Honestly, we wouldn’t recommend getting any other type of fabric except the ones mentioned above, as that usually means the canopies are cheap.
What Kind of Material Should I Look For In a Canopy Frame?
Next to the fabric, the frame is close to, if not just as important. It is what keeps your canopy standing up straight and holds it in place when the wind begins to pick up. This is why it is important to get a frame that is durable. Typically, you’ll find that canopy frames are made with either some sort of steel or aluminum material.
Aluminum is typically much cheaper than steel, though still fairly strong and well suited for travel, as it is much more lightweight. Aluminum is also protected against rust and corrosion. If you plan to take your canopy out in conditions that are a little more hardcore, such as heavy rains or winds, we would go for a steel frame. Not only is it protected against rust and corrosion as well, it is also far more durable. That being said, steel is heavier, so keep that in mind that it may not be as good when it comes to transporting.
How Much Are Beach Canopies?
The price of a beach canopy can range pretty greatly. Depending on the size, the materials, and the added features, you can end up spending quite a lot, or much less than you initially thought.
Most of the canopies on our list hover around the 10’ x 10’ range, and don’t go any higher than $500. This is because we felt it was necessary to show off some of the ones that were great, though ones that most people can afford as well.
Any larger than 10’ x 10’ in size and you’ll find that you can easily spend up to $1000 or more. If you’re looking to host massive parties or events, we would consider looking elsewhere, as these aren’t really the proper canopies for those types of occasions.
Are There Beach Canopies That Are Made For Babies?
Though we don’t have them listed in this article, there are many beach canopies and tents that are perfect for holding just your baby. These are nowhere near as big, though are equipped with a lot of the same features. For starters, it is important that you get a baby canopy that utilizes UV protection, as the sun’s rays can be far more harmful for your baby.
Final Thoughts – Which Canopy Should I Get?
We hope that after reading our Best Beach Canopy guide, you have a better idea of what to look for in a canopy, as well as which canopy might be best for you. To get the most from your time spent on the beach, you should definitely be equipped with a solid canopy. From protection to privacy and beyond, it can really make or break a beach trip.
Overall, we would highly recommend that you go with the CORE Instant Shelter Pop Up. It is high quality, large enough to host a family, easy to set up, and is made with materials that will protect you from sun, rain, and wind. If you don’t decide to go with the CORE Instant Shelter Pop Up, make sure that you consider all of the things that we have mentioned above so that you can make the best purchasing decision possible. A good beach canopy should be an investment that will last you a long time to come.