Going to the beach is great, but one of the hardest things to do is find some decent shade when things get hot.
Rather than taking a dip in the sea to cool down, it’s nice to jump into a beach shade and relax for a while.
Also, when you want a little privacy at lunchtime, and you want to stop the sand from blowing all over your food, then a beach sun shade makes an excellent windbreak.
There is no question about it, but having a way to get out of the sun can make your beach day much more enjoyable.
- What are Beach Tents
- Types of Beach Tents
- Top Beach Tents Reviews
- 1. Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent
- 2. Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter
- 3. Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade
- 4. Sport-Brella Portable All-Weather and Sun Umbrella. 8-Foot Canopy
- 5. Genji Sports Instant Beach Star Tent
- What to Look For When Buying Beach Tents
- Final Verdict
Here are a few of the best portable tent options you can find.
What are Beach Tents
The design of a beach tent goes way back. Similar shade tents were used in the desert by the Arabic nomads. The more modern alternatives are designed to pop up quickly and to block out harmful UV emissions.
You might have seen some individuals on the beach erecting full-sized tents. Although they can give privacy and a means of getting out of the sub, it doesn’t mean a regular tent is suited for the beach.
To make things much more comfortable, a number of companies have taken the nomadic designs and converted them for those enjoyable days on the beach.
A pop-up tent isn’t as bulky or as cumbersome as a regular tent, while they do still offer all, if not more protection than their counterparts.
Types of Beach Tents
A sun shade tent can come in four different designs, each of which is suited to specific scenarios.
You can choose from baby beach tents, cabana beach tents, pop-up tents and also canopy tents.
type you decide upon is as important as the things to look for further in the article, but to simplify this, you can say you don’t want to buy a baby beach canopy while you are arriving on your Harley.
Here are the four types of sun tent you can choose from.
Baby Beach Tents
Once the market for beach shades started to expand, so did the range that was on offer. One group of individuals that was crying out for a way to get out of the sun was, of course, babies or very young children. If they aren’t comfortable, then none of the other family members will be comfortable.
Baby sun shelters are smaller than the other types and will be made out of more reliable materials. Because they are small, they can be used in many more areas than the beach.
Pop-Up Beach Tents
have the advantage of erecting themselves, All you have to do is remove them from their carrying bag, and stand back to watch them spring into life. All you need to do is and ballast to the edges or to stake them to the ground to stop them from blowing away.
The secret of this type of pop up shelter is in the way their internal poles are constructed. This allows them to be flexible enough to be stuffed back into a carry bag when you are finished but also will enable them to be sturdy enough once they are erected.
Canopy Beach Tents
This type of beach tent is often on the larger side. They are intended for families with children or the beach partygoers who want some shelter with their friends.
They are in fact great to use anywhere there is space, such as in the back garden when you are having a get-together.
The design of these is somewhat more simplified and consists of upright poles supporting the canopy from each of the corners.
Cabana Beach Tents
These beach tents are designed for large families or friends. They can offer a great view of the ocean while providing plenty of protection and privacy.
They are well kitted out and have pockets everywhere for stashing beach gear or toys. They also come with kid-friendly floors.
Because this type is made to be sued by every family member, they will come with UV insulation built in as standard. They also come with a large zipper for the one said, so if you are changing you can have complete privacy.
Although they are on the large side, some newer models are starting to come with self-erecting mechanisms.
Top Beach Tents Reviews
1. Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent
The name of the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent says it all. It is the fastest pop-up tent on the market, so there is no wasted time when you get to the beach or wherever you decide to use it.
You only have to remove it from the simple carrying bag and grab the convenient string on the top for this pop-up beach tent to open.
Once this has been done. You can use the included stakes to keep it secure and use additional sandbags if required for when the wind really picks up.
Pacific Breeze products are built by one of the industry leaders, and you can see this from the design features you might take for granted.
From the high UV resistance to the many interior storage pockets, and the mesh windows that can be covered when you want to block out the light or need some more privacy.
For a sun pop-up tent that is in the price range of around $70, there is no better option, they are so affordable, you could even buy 2 rather than opt for a larger type, this could easily give you the best canopy tent option for a large family.
- 2 Large mesh windows with covers
- Very Quick and easy set-up
- Water resistant covering
- Super small and light to carry
- Internal storage pockets
- Robust fiberglass frame
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Not as wide as some alternatives
- Only 1 color
- Size: 87″ W x 47″ H x 49″ D when erected. 40 L x 5 W x 5 H when folded
- UPF: 50+
- Weight: 4.5 lbs.
- Bottom/ Floor: Attached
- Special designed hub system (fastest set-up on the market)
- Breathable Polyester material
The Pacific Breeze beach tent is more than large enough for two adults to relax in comfort. It can also be used as a larger area for young children to be safely out of the sun.
With the built-in floor, it can stop any wind or sand blowing up underneath or for any stray bugs to be attracted to your lunch. It is also ideal to be used as a baby beach tent.
This company also has one of the very best customer’s services, so should you find you need to contact them, you will be greeted by a friendly and professional voice. This shows the signs of the best pop-up canopy company.
2. Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter
This Lightspeed quick shelter has been designed to be easy to erect. It does, however, require a medium strength adult to do so.
It is a little heavier than some alternatives, and much of this is to do with the thicker 8.5 mm fiberglass poles.
The fabric is the same material as used in umbrella manufacture which helps the Lightspeed beach tent protect from those sudden downpours.
The Lightspeed sun shelter does have more plus points than bad points, and it does offer some decent affordability. It can be found for a little under $100, and for this, you do get lots of sun protection and space in this portable beach cabana.
- 3 large mesh windows
- UPF 50+ protection
- 1-year warranty
- Easy to erect
- Various color options
- Lightspeed shelter fold out porch area can get hot to the touch
- User reports of weak poles
- The beach cabana tent is hard to repack into the bag
- Needs a strong adult to erect
- Size: 8’ W x 4’5 H x 4’ D feet when erected. 40 L x 5 W x 5 H when folded
- UPF: 50+
- Weight: 6.1 lbs.
- Bottom/ Floor: Attached
- Special designed hub system (fastest set-up on the market)
- Umbrella rated 450mm PU coating for wet conditions
Lightspeed tents are manufactured to some of the most stringent standards, so it is hard to understand why they have made a fold out area which isn’t suitable for small children when it heats up.
One other drawback is, the Lightspeed quick Cabana uses thicker poles, but these don’t really help it stand up to gusts of wind like other alternatives.
There was one strange user report from City Beach in Florida. The colors of the Lightspeed outdoors quick shelter apparently attract a particular type of yellow fly. If you opt for this sun shelter, be sure to change to a different color.
3. Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade
Coleman canvas tents are renowned for their durability. This Coleman Instant Sun shelter takes a leaf out of their book and requires poles to be threaded through sleeves when erecting.
This can quickly make it into a two person job rather than the pop-up shade tent type of alternatives that are on the market.
It doesn’t come with added windows, because the one door is the window, but when you are inside with both doors zipped up, it can quickly appear on the small side compared to other screen tent with floor.
- Full-length window
- Extendable front floor
- Steel poles
- Can zip the front up for privacy
- Good for families
- 2 doors
- Limited size
- Long setup
- Small when zipped up
- Hard to erect in windy conditions
- Poles can poke through the material
- Small inside when the front is zipped up
- Coleman Sun shade set-up time long compared to alternatives
- Size 90” W x 57” H x 53” D when erected, 24”x5”x5” when folded
- Heavy Duty Polyester
- SPF 50+
- 7.36 lbs.
The Coleman beach shade can be secured by either just using sandbags, or for extra strength in high gusts, you can use the extra-long stakes.
For extra air-flow, the rear door can be opened, but this does restrict to privacy. Value wise, the Coleman sun shelter comes in just under $60 which can make it a cheap solution.
The Coleman beach tent can be a good option, but if the rear door is open, it is better not to be used when you have young children or valuables. It is much safer to have windows where access is somewhat restricted, and children are unable to find their way out of the instant pop-up tent.
4. Sport-Brella Portable All-Weather and Sun Umbrella. 8-Foot Canopy
There are lots of Beach umbrella reviews that praise this umbrella tent for its overall portability and versatility.
This can’t be denied because it is in fact just an oversized umbrella with a few added extras, and could be the simplest and best beach canopy.
The portable shade umbrella comes with drop down sides that can be staked for extra stability. However, because of its design, the Sport-Brella umbrella might need additional anchorage in high gusts of wind. This would require an aftermarket anchor to be purchased.
There are two side windows, but because of the beach umbrella tent design, you still have plenty of light coming in naturally into this portable sun shade.
- Highly Durable
- UV protection
- Easy set-up
- Comes with lots of stakes
- Center pole can turn out to be restrictive
- Takes a lot of securing in windy conditions
- Traveling beach umbrella is still long when folded up
- Offers no privacy for changing
- No built-in floor
- UPF 50+ protection against UVA & UVB rays
- Made from 210 D Polyester
- 8 Feet wide. 54” x 4” x 4” when folded
- Built-in wind gust relief vents
- 4.5 mm ribs
- Water repellent
- Weight 9 lbs.
This sun screen is not a small beach umbrella, and it can offer lots of protection from the sun while you can still be cool. However, for what is essentially an umbrella, it is expensive compared to what else is on the market.
Prices for the beach shade tent start just under $100, but you do miss out on privacy and built-in floors.
The beach umbrella canopy does have its uses, but for all-round family protection and privacy, there are better alternatives out there for easy pop-up canopy.
5. Genji Sports Instant Beach Star Tent
For a mid-range canopy, the Genji tent offers plenty to a small family for prices of around $50. It might not be the best pop-up tent for height, but adults can comfortably lie down inside if they so wish.
Comfort is pretty much guaranteed with the lower mesh vents that allow a breeze to blow underneath rather than over the top of the easy pop-up tent.
The Genji beach tents are one of the easiest and fastest to erect and pack away when finished. They are waterproof and stop all of the UV rays so your family can keep out of the wet and stay in the cool shade.
- Very fast set-up and pack up times
- Ideal size for a small family
- Meets fire standards
- Around 3ft long when folded
- Sturdy design
- Low height
- No front door panel for privacy or when the sun changes direction
- Window flap on the inside, rain can leak in
- SPF UV 50+ protection
- Weight: 4.8 lb.
- One piece quick set-up tents design
- 190T Nylon fabric
- Fiberglass frame
- Waterproof PE floor
- Size: 84” W x 53” H x 48’” D when erected.
- Fire retardant fabric
The Genji sports pop-up sun shelter has received lots of praise for its robustness, but with the absence of a zip up front, it does lose a little of its effectiveness to provide a secure area.
The Genji sun canopy can be a great addition to beach use, or any other area when you just need to get out of the elements and have little need for overall privacy. If this is the case, it could easily be one of the best instant tents.
What to Look For When Buying Beach Tents
When you are looking for one of these great beach tents, there are a few things you need to consider. Here is a breakdown of some points which might help you to decide which is the best beach shelter for you and your family.
What size of Beach Shade do You Need?
There are varying heights, widths, and depths in beach shades, and like a regular tent, the space can quickly be eaten up without realizing.
If there are only a couple of people who will ever use the beach canopy, and you will be using chairs, then height might not be too much of an issue.
This should offer more than enough space to stash all your gear and also lay down your beach blankets when you fancy a lie-down.
On the other hand, if you are on a family outing, and there will be multiple people around, you might be wiser looking for a wider beach shade to accommodate everyone.
This can include lots of things. From external or internal pockets that will allow you to store items off the floor, or other pockets that are designed to be filled with sand to stabilize your beach shade in the case of wind.
There is also the design, you can have fully enclosed, two o three walls and windows that will let in a crosswind to keep things cool and fresh.
There is also one factor a lot of people might not consider. Does your beach shade need to be waterproof?
On occasion when a sudden shower hits, you don’t want to find you are huddled up inside, and water is seeping through you beach canopy.
Some sun beach shades come with floor mats while others just get fastened directly to the sand. If you want a clean area to stand on, then this option will be a godsend.
Does a Beach Canopy Block UV Rays?
This can be crucial. It doesn’t matter that you are in the shade, because if your sun canopy doesn’t offer any UV resistance, then you might as well still be under the sun. UV rays can still cause damage without anyone getting sunburned. These cause problems later on and aren’t noticeable at the time.
Beach Shade Setup
Depending on the size and model will affect how easy your beach canopy is to erect and to pack away once you are finished.
There are many which are pop up and takes seconds to assemble. This type has poles that spring into place when the beach canopy is opened to a certain level.
Other models take longer to erect with the most extended being around 5 -10 minutes.
Lightweight Beach Sun Shades
Not all beaches are accessible by car. If you are in a remote area, you don’t want to be hauling a super-heavy beach shelter up a track to a distant beach. Some are designed to be rolled up and to have handles stitched into the sun cover for ease of carrying.
Sun Screen Budget
Like anything, this can affect the overall size and type of beach sun shelter you can purchase. You do get what you pay for, but you can also find, a more expensive beach shelter isn’t ideal for your purposes.
All of the above top-rated tents have something to offer. From the smaller sized that is suitable for small children, to larger ones which are ideal for a larger family. However, during testing, everything was looked at in close detail. All the results were then compared on what was on offer against the price.
One sun shade stood out from all of the others, and it isn’t the cheapest, nor is it the most expensive.
The beach is all about enjoyment, and when you are looking to buy a beach tent, you need it to cover all angles. Partial shade is no good if you want to get changed from wet clothes, parts of the tents which get too hot for young children to touch are not safe.
So, with all this in mind, we came up with one winner. This was the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent.
Within a couple of minutes of arriving at the beach, you can have this lightweight tent erected. With its lightweight construction, you can quickly move it into another location that is better suited.
Ventilation is well catered for, and safety from the heat of the sun is second to none. For all those family beach trips, or to use in the garden or when camping. The Pacific Breeze tent will provide many hours of use.