Having a great beach tent can greatly enhance your experience when you hit the beach.
Who doesn’t like soaking in the summer sun down by the shore?
You get to kick back, pop open a cold one, and listen to the sounds of crashing waves.
It’s all fun and games until you come home with a nasty sunburn.
This is where having the best beach tent can come in handy.
It can provide shade and shelter from the harshness of the summer sun or winter wind for your and your family.
In this article, we’re going to be discussing some of the ultimate beach tents on the market right now so you can get to the beach and enjoy yourself without worry.
Quick Answer: Top 10 Best Beach Tents
Our #1 Pick - Best Overall: Pacific Breeze Deluxe XL
The Pacific Breeze Deluxe XL is easily one of the most popular beach tents around. We rated it #1 because of how easy it is set up, and how great the quality is. The Pacific Breeze Deluxe XL is incredibly lightweight and easy to transport around, as it only weighs about 6lbs. Thank to the included carrying bag, all you have to do is bundle it up and throw it in the back of your car or truck.
Whether you’re looking for protection from the wind, sun, or rain, the breathable polyester with UPF 50+ protection, paired with the fiberglass frame, will do the job. You can comfortably fit up to 4 adults on the inside, and you also get a bit of extra storage with the pockets on the inside.
Best Beach Umbrella Tent: Sport-Brella 8-Foot Canopy
The Sport-Brella is an excellent umbrella-shaped tent that is great for protecting you and your family against harmful UVA and UVB rays. It’s different from a regular umbrella in that it comes with wind flaps on the side. These can be put down for extra protection or put up for ventilation. It’s 8 feet tall, giving you plenty of room on the inside, and is made with tough 210D Polyester and thick steel ribs for all-around protection.
Worried about days when it gets a bit rainy? You’ll be happy to know that the material on the Sport-Brella is totally water resistant as well. As for transport, this thing weighs only 9lbs, allowing you to take from home to the beach and back with ease. If the wind begins to pick up a little bit, you can use the included Anchor Cords and Heavy-Duty Ground Stakes.
Best Beach Tent For Family: EastHills Outdoors Easy Up 4-Person XL
If you’re looking for a beach tent that can fit your whole family inside, look no further than the EastHills Outdoors Easy Up. Even with the massive size, it packs down into a tiny bag and only weighs 8lbs, meaning it is incredibly easy to carry around. As for setting it up, it only takes about 1 minute and is very user friendly. The storage in this tent is solid with 4 internal mesh pockets that are great for things like cell phones, wallets, keys, etc.
Because it’s made from a strong 185T Polyester with UPF 50+, you get absolute protection from harmful UV rays, so that you don’t have to worry about your family being safe. If you need some extra protection, or some privacy, you can close up the front of the tent. This can be great if you need to change, breastfeed you baby, etc. As for accessories, you also get 1 carrying bag with a comfortable shoulder strap, 10 plastic stakes, 4 guy lines, and 1 storage pouch.
Best Pop Up Beach Tent: Pacific Breeze Pop Up
Next to the Pacific Breeze XL, this is one of the easiest tents to set up. It has a lot of the same designs, though it just comes in a size that is smaller and more portable. It’s very easy to travel with, as it only weights about 4.5lbs when taken down and wrapped up. When it comes to the actual protection that this tent provides, it works great for almost any conditions. The UPF 50+ Protection provides you with protection from harmful UV rays. Luckily, that material doesn’t make the tent one big heat bag, as the polyester material is extremely breathable.
Worried about rain or wind? The tent is completely water repellent. Thank to the fiberglass frame, you don’t really have to worry about the winds getting too crazy either. All of this and you get a carrying case, some sand pockets for extra stability, and a few heavy-duty stakes. If you want a tent that you can pop up on the beach in a matter of seconds, this one is the most reliable out there.
Best Beach Tent For The Wind: Oileus Sun Shelter
If you visit beaches that have strong wind, it is important that you get a beach tent to combat that. The Oileus Sun Shelter is one tough cookie. The wind is no match for the 8.5mm fiberglass poles and strong 210T polyester. The floor is just as durable as well with the 150D PE material. Besides the wind protection, the 3000mm PU Coating will help to protect you and your family from harmful sunrays.
Many families love this tent because of how spacious it is on the inside. It is far big enough to fit 4 adults inside comfortably. If it starts to get a bit too hot, you can open up the 2 large windows to get a bit more ventilation and circulation. Oileus has even provided an extra awning if you need more shade, as well as some internal pockets in the case that you need to store away some of your personal items when you hit the water. All of that and you also get 1 carrying case, 6 sand pockets, 8 steel stakes, 4 guy lines, and 1 storage pouch.
Best Beach Tent For Kids: Schylling UV Play Shade, SPF 50+, Ultra Portable
If you’re looking for a little beach tent for your toddler or child, the Schylling UV Play Shade is awesome. It provides a little hideaway for your little one to play, hang out, relax, or take a nap, pretty much anywhere you are. The material on the tent is SPF 50+, meaning it is protected from the harmful rays of the sun. You even have the front flaps on the tent, which not only provide extra protection, but also a bit of privacy if your little one needs to change or take a nap.
The best thing about this tent is that you literally just throw it out and watch it pop up in a matter of seconds. When you’re all done, fold it down and fit it into the included travel bag for easy transportation. Though it’s not really built for the windiest of days, it’s helpful that they have included the tie down pegs and sand pockets to help add a bit more stability. Other than that, this is the perfect little tent for your child to use on his or her own outdoor adventure.
Best Beach Tent For Shade: Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade
If you don’t care too much for all the thrills and frills of the other tents on our list, and just need a little bit of shade for your day at the beach, the Coleman DayTripper might be perfect for you! It’s a little beach tent with a pop-up design that can keep you protected from the sun with its UPF 50+ Sun Protection Material. If you’re looking for a little bit of privacy to change or nap, you can zip up the front floor and back window. When you’re all done changing out of your bathing suit or wetsuit, you can open the back window for extra ventilation and hang your clothes up on the unique little dry line.
Coleman was cool enough to include a couple integrated storage pockets on the inside to keep your valuable safe as well. All in all, the tent is very lightweight and easy to set up. It even comes with a few ground stakes and some pre-attached guy lines for extra stability if you need it.
Best Budget: Amazon Basics Beach Tent
Some of us don’t go to the beach that often, and because of that, we don’t see the point in spending a ton of money on a tent, especially one that we’ll maybe use once a year. For the budgeters out there, the Amazon Basics Tent is a great alternative to the many pricey beach tents on the market. It is made from a tough nylon material and is designed to pop up easily like many of the tents on our list. The front of the tent is open for air circulation, and you also get the massive mesh window at the back to let air run through for a cool experience like no other.
As for stability, the Amazon Basics Tent comes with a side sandbag anchor and ground stakes. While it’s not the strongest or toughest tent on our list, it can certainly do the job for those who want something simple for their relaxing beach day. All of this and you even get a mini carrying bag so you can transport easily from home to the beach and back.
Best w/ Cabana: Quick-Up Cabana Style XL
If you’re looking for a beach tent that is unique and multi-functional, the Quick-Up Cabana Style XL is the first one that comes to our mind to recommend. Whether you want to use it as a beach tent, canopy, cabana, or camping tent, is totally up to you. There’s truly no other beach tent like it. It’s also great for the whole family, as you get a whopping 56 square feet of flooring to share with whomever you choose.
If you were worried about setting it up, you’ll be happy to know that the tent is made with an automatic system that really only takes seconds to set up. This means more relaxing with the waves for you! As for the durability, this thing is tough as nails. You have waterproof 210T Polyester RipStop, an incredibly thick and durable 300D Oxford Flooring, and a 9.5mm Fiberglass Frame that the wind is no match for. Pair that with the heavy-duty zippers and this is a tent that you’ll be rolling with for a very long time.
Best Beach Tent With UV Protection: OutdoorMaster Pop Up w/ SPF 50+ UV Protection
Though pretty much all beach canopies and tents provide shade from the sun, you’d probably be surprised to find out that not all of them actually provide you with true UV protection. This is because the materials that tents are made with have a huge impact on how well they can protect you from the sun. Bring in the OutdoorMaster Pop Up. The material on this tent is complete with SPF 50+ Protection so that you don’t have to worry about your or your little ones getting nasty burns.
As for the durability, this things is constructed from PU3000 polyester and Oxford fabric, making it an extremely tough tent that will last you for years to come. It’s even waterproof to give you extra protection on those rainy days. If privacy is a necessity, you’ll be happy to know that the built-in zippered door comes to a complete close, allowing you to change if you need to. All of this and you also get some included stakes and built-in sand bags.
Features and Factors To Consider When Buying
There are a few basic kinds of material that many beach tent manufacturers use in their products. The two most popular that we often see are polyester and nylon. Not only are both of these materials very tough and durable, they are also resistant to water, a necessity for a beach tent, or any kind of tent shelter in general. We would recommend going for polyester if you can, as it is a bit longer lasting.
If you have a tent without any windows or opening, you’ll find yourself sitting in a sauna within the first 15 minutes of being inside, especially if the sun is out. Having the ability to open up windows can do a few things. For starters, it can help to cool down your tent by allowing air to circulate through it. If the windows have mesh, which they absolutely should, you’ll also have protection from pesky bugs or animals that might want to wander inside. These windows should also be able to close up tightly to protect you from the wind in case it picks up.
Tough and Lightweight Frame
A lot of the durability from a beach tent comes not only from the tent material itself, but also from the actual tent poles. Typically, you’ll find that these tent poles are constructed with aluminum, steel, or fiberglass, as these kinds of materials are resistant to corrosion and rust, an important factor considering that you’ll be using them at the beach. We highly recommend fiberglass, as it is the lightest material. You’ll be wishing you had them after your second time hauling your heavy steel poles down to the water. Alternatively, if wind is your biggest worry, steel poles might actually be in your favor, as they hold up well when conditions get windy.
You must think about how many people you want to have in your tent. Some beach tents are made to fit entire families, some are made to fit two people, and some are made to just fit your little ones inside. You also must consider that when you buy it with the size of your group in mind, what you will want to do inside. Do you want room to be able to move around and play games? Do you need extra space inside to store some extra food or gear for the day? You may even want to be able to put in a few chairs tor table to kick back. Size is important, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
This will truly depend on what you’ll be using it for. If you’re using your beach tent strictly for the beach, it may be in your favor to get brighter colors. This will make it easy to spot when the beaches get a little bit crowded. On the other hand, if you decide that you want to also use it when you go camping up in the wilderness, you may want to get a color that is a bit more inconspicuous, such as a tan or dark green.
Ease of Set Up
Have you ever struggled for an hour or more trying to set up a complicated beach tent with tons of different poles, pockets, and other unnecessary features? We have, and from experience we can tell you that it’s a great way to get off to a bad start on your beach trip. Many beach tents these days are made with pop-up designs so that you don’t have to break a sweat trying to set it up. Some pop-up designs are better than others though. We always recommend reading reviews to see how long it took others to set up a tent of your choice to help give yourself an idea of what your experience will be like.
When you have all of your other gear in hand, towels, coolers, etc., the last thing you want is a heavy beach tent to haul down to the shore. Instead, you’ll want one that can fold up nice and neatly into a small bag with a comfortable shoulder strap that you can toss over your shoulder and transport with ease. For this, consider the weight of the beach tent when it is all packed up with everything. Do remember though that you don’t want to get a tent that is too light, as that may mean it is made with very cheap materials.
Pockets are one of those beach tent features that are often overlooked. Being able to have spaces inside to stow away important items such as your phone, keys, or wallet, is very important. This is especially true if you want to be able to leave them with your stuff if you go out for a swim or surf. Tons of beach tents come with small waterproof pockets that do just that! Not only is it a great way to store your things and keep them safe from the elements, but it is a great way to keep them safe from the chance of sneaky hands coming around and snatching them.
Just because a beach tent provides you with shade, doesn’t mean that it will actually provide you with legitimate sun protection. This is why it is necessary to look for beach tents that have material that is either reflective or absorptive of harmful UVA and UVB rays. Many of the tents on our list say that they are rated with UPF 50+ protections, so we highly recommend looking at those if the sun is your main concern.
Deciding whether or not you want a floor with your beach tent is really up to you. If you have a baby or little one, we highly recommend getting a beach tent with an integrated floor. This is important if you don’t want a bunch of sand getting in contact with their eyes, or your little ones getting in contact with hot sand. On the other hand, if you have older kids who want to dig around or build sandcastles, getting a beach tent without a floor might be your better option. Floorless beach tents are also much easier to clean as well.
When we say portability, we beg you to ask yourself how you will be carrying your beach tent down to the shore. Does it fold up nicely into a portable little design that you can carry with ease? Does the beach tent come with a little carrying case that you can pack up everything in, including your poles, stakes, and any other extra accessories? Does that carrying case come with a comfortable shoulder strap to help you carry it hands-free? Portability is very important, especially if you’re a lover of the convenient.
If you’re using your beach tent, you’re most likely using it at the beach. With the sand, salt, dirt, food, drinks, and other elements, your tent is likely to need a good cleaning after a few uses. If you want to make sure you can give your beach tent a good clean, try and find one with washable fabric so you can get rid of dirt and grime with ease. There are some beach tents out there with fabric that dries quickly as well, so that could be another thing to consider.
If you’re buying a beach tent and you are thinking about having your baby inside, you must definitely think about whether it is safe or not. Is the material that is used safe for your child? Is it breathable enough that your baby won’t overheat if sitting inside? Make sure to always read the fine print to see if the beach tent you are considering is safe for little ones. You don’t want a tent with possibly unsafe extensions or lines that could be a choking hazard.
Privacy can be very important for many. If privacy is a concern for you, look into a beach tent that comes with a front flap or zipper. Whether you need to change, take a nap, breastfeed your kid, or just take a break from the world outside, having a bit of privacy with your beach tent can be really nice. You’ll never know you needed it until you have it.
Not only do you want to make sure that your beach tent protects you from the sun, you also want to make sure that it can protect you from the wind and water as well. If you live around beaches that get rained on a lot, you might be better off getting a beach tent with full closure rather than an open face one. You’ll also want to make sure that all of the material on your beach tent is completely water resistant. Even if it doesn’t rain much, ocean spray can creep up onto the beach and hit your tent, creating nasty mildew inside. Do your best to deter this from happening and get a water-resistant tent.
If you bring your cooler or any kind of food to the beach, you might want to consider getting a beach tent that can keep all of it out the elements. After all, there’s nothing worse than a bunch of soggy food or cold food and drinks that are hot because they’re sitting in the sun. If you’re considering keeping your food inside, you should probably get a beach tent without a floor, or at least one that is water-resistant and easy to clean. If not, you’ll find that your cooler sweat or spilled drinks will be a burden to try and clean up after.
Height is a very important thing to consider when looking for your tent. You might want to be able to stand up when you enter it, though one that is 4’ tall probably won’t do the job. Being able to set up chairs and maneuver around more easily can be a big deal and can give you a bit of added comfort.
As with everything else in life, it is important to consider your budget and use when buying a tent. For starters, there is no reason to buy an incredibly expensive beach tent if you’re only going to be using it once or twice a year. Also consider the fact that many of the beach tents on the market use the same materials and have the same features, though some are more expensive than others. In that regard, you’re playing for brand name. Ask yourself if that extra cash is worth it.
Some beach tents have extra unique features that are built on to heighten your beach experience. Some of these features include hidden pockets for valuable storage, extra walls for splitting the inside, drying lines that you can hang your wet clothes from, floor mats to wipe your shoes off on, or sand bags to keep your tent down when the wind picks up. Many of these features don’t come included on all beach tents, so it is important to look into the details and see if any of them catches your eye.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should You Get A Beach Tent?
A beach tent can help to offer some of the best protection when it comes to harmful UV rays. This is because most quality beach tents are design with UPF 50+ protection on their fabrics. Even with all the sunscreen in the world, you are still susceptible to burns. If you find yourself sitting out on the beach for an hour on a hot and sunny afternoon, you’ll most likely get a little bit red. Instead, prop yourself up under the tent for a bit end enjoy the beach without the fear of sunburns, both for you and your family.
How do you care for your beach tent after your trip?
After every beach trip, you should make sure to shake and clean it out before putting it back in the case. If you have a bottom on your tent, we recommend taking a broom to it to help sweep out all the sand, dirt, and other debris. If it is wet from anything, make sure that you dry it out completely before putting it away. Folding your tent away while it is still wet is a good way to get mold and mildew, which will basically leave your beach tent smelling horrible, and may even ruin it for good. A thorough cleaning in every small corner of your beach tent can help increase the longevity of it ten fold.
How Do You Anchor Your Beach Tent?
When your ready to set up your beach tent, most of the beach tents on our list come with a set of stakes so that you can safely stabilize it into the sand. These are great, though they can be hard to actually secure unless you can drive them into denser and wetter sand. If you’re only dealing with stakes, try to dig small holes before driving them in to better secure them.
Typically, you’ll find small pockets on the bottom corners of these tents as well. These are put there so you can fill them up with sand. This is incredibly as, well, sand is pretty much everywhere on the beach. You can also help anchor it to the ground by putting rocks or dirt in the pockets as well.
Can’t I just get a beach umbrella?
Umbrellas are probably the most popular forms of beach shade and are easily the most portable. That being said, there are certain disadvantages of having an umbrella instead of a beach tent. For starters, beach umbrellas have a limited protection from the elements. As the sun moves, you have to move your umbrella so that you stay shaded. As for the wind, there is pretty much no protection, and umbrellas are very notorious for blowing away when the wind picks up. They also don’t provide you with any sort of privacy, a factor that can be important to many.
On the upside, umbrellas are typically cheaper than beach tents, making them a good choice if you’re not planning on going to the beach much.
How Are Beach Canopies different from other kinds of beach shelters?
Beach canopies are typically built for larger parties of people, though there are some obvious outliers. However, if your goal is to bring along family or friends for a little day party at the beach, a canopy is your best choice. You can even use most of them at other events like tailgates or group camping. While older canopy models were difficult to set up, many incorporate the pop-up design.
You also have cabana-style tents. They are typically the most expensive of the bunch, offer tons of shade, and have large openings on one side that are perfect for getting solid views of the water. Most cabanas are purchased because they offer tons of privacy. You can take naps, change, or spend time with your significant other, all without worry about the wandering eyes around you. Cabanas are also very protective against the elements too.
If you just need to get a beach tent for your baby, there is a big market of baby beach tents for that exact reason. These are convenient little tents that can expand without the need for extra set up. These kinds of tents are very important, as babies need sun protection more than any other group. Baby beach tents are typically very small and are made out of UV protective materials. They’re not the best if you want to be able to actually hang out with your baby, but if you need a place to put them for a nap, it can be helpful. Baby beach tents also provide little places for your baby to play without you having to worry about them getting into any trouble.
Pop-up beach tents are very popular too, and many beach canopy manufacturers have been incorporating the pop-up design into their own products. If you don’t want to have to worry about assembly every time you hit the beach, getting a tent that pops up in a matter of seconds can be very helpful. This is all made possible by the technological advancement known as stability poles. These are flexible and extremely easy to deploy.
Lastly, you have camping tents. Camping tents can come in all shapes and sizes and are great if you decide that you want to sleep or camp on the beach as well. Tents are usually much lighter than canopies and cabanas, easier to carry around, very easy to set up, and have the most stability. On the downside, many traditional tents do offer as much room, so that could be a consideration if you’re looking to have a little party.
Final Thoughts – Which Should I Get?
Different kinds of beach tents provide different kinds of features.
Many of them come in different shapes and sizes, helping to suit different needs. Though the choice is pretty subjective, we have to recommend the Pacific Breeze Deluxe XL.
It’s large enough for the whole family, it’s incredibly easy to set up, it’s very versatile, and it is packed with tons of cool little features.
That being said, whatever you choose, it is important that you find one that protects you from all of the elements, as that is why you are getting it in the first place right?
We hope that our Best Beach Tent Guide was helpful in your search for your own personal sandy shelter. Have fun at the beach this summer and stay safe!