As the temperatures warm and the days start to get longer, many of us get excited for our upcoming trip to the beach. There, we can soak up the sun and have some fun in the water all while enjoying our time in the great outdoors.
That being said, the beach can be a hot and windy environment, which can easily turn a lovely day outside into an uncomfortable affair. The answer? A beach tent.
Modern beach tents are perfect for providing some shade from the heat of the midday sun or for protection from the gusting wind. They also give you a private place to change or simply relax without feeling exposed or uncomfortable.
However, a quick google search of beach tents will show you that you have a whole lot of options to choose from. While having a lot of options is certainly nice, it can feel a bit overwhelming when you need to make a decision and get that new beach tent before summer arrives.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. Coming up, we’ve got your ultimate guide to the best beach tents around, complete with a step-by-step buyers guide to all of the different features of these awesome shelters. Plus, we’ll even wrap things up with a quick review of ten of our favorite beach tents on the market today. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- How to Choose a Beach Tent?
- Best Beach Tent Brands
- Types Of Beach Tents
- Best Beach Tent on the Market Reviews
- 1. Coleman Beach Shade Shelter - Best for Baby
- 2. WolfWise Easy Pop Up Beach Tent - Best for Toddlers and Kids
- 3. OutdoorMaster Pop Up - Best Instant Pop Up Beach Tent
- 4. Lightspeed Outdoors Sun Shelter - Best for a Large Family
- 5. Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe - Best for Relaxation
- 6. Pacific Breeze Easy Setup - Best Portable Beach Tent
- 7. Sport-Brella Premiere XL - Best Beach Umbrella Tent
- 8. Sport-Brella Vented Canopy - Best Beach Umbrella Tent
- 9. Kelty Shade Maker 2 - Best Beach Canopy Tent
- 10. Quick Canopy Instant Shade Tent - Best Beach Canopy Tent
- How to Anchor a Tent on the Beach?
- How to Fold a Pop up Beach Tent?
- How to Set up a Beach Tent?
- The Verdict
How to Choose a Beach Tent?
With so many different models of beach tents on the market today, you need to be meticulous about how you choose just one to accompany you on all of your future adventures. So, here are some of the top things you should keep in mind when you shop for a new beach tent:
Let’s be honest: There are a whole lot of people out there that struggle with pitching tents, so it’s understandable if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up a tent everytime you go to the beach. However, the good news is that there are plenty of instant pop up tents out there to take with you to the beach.
If you’re not a fan of pitching tents, we recommend opting for a pop up tent. These tents simply need to be removed from their carrying bag and they’ll spring up nearly automatically, relieving you of your tent pitching duties. Then, all you have to do is anchor the tent down and you’re ready to go. Not bad.
The size of the tent you need for the beach is going to greatly depend on who you generally go to the beach with. If you’re looking for a tent for your family, you’ll probably want to invest in a bigger model than someone that’s just looking for a small shelter for solo trips to the beach.
Especially if you have young children, you’ll really want to consider getting a larger beach tent so that you have plenty of space to store their toys and other items, in addition to having plenty of room for them to play and have fun. On the other hand, if you just need a tent for you and your partner, you might opt for a smaller beach umbrella tent instead.
Modern beach tents come packed full of different features, so you can really customize your space. For some people, having pockets is very helpful for organizing gear, while for others, this is just an added hassle.
Plus, you can even choose a beach tent that has a fully enclosed space or a removable privacy shield so you can get changed without having to find the showers and restrooms. These are ideal for families, especially as your kids get older and start to demand more privacy in public.
No one likes buying a new piece of gear, only to have it break after a few outings. So, when shopping for a new beach tent, you’ll want to be sure that you’re investing in a durable model that will last for years to come.
In general, the most durable tents are made of thicker ripstop nylon and have robust aluminum poles. However, these days, many beach tents are made from lightweight nylon and thinner poles to help save weight. So, we sometimes have to choose between durability and portability in our tents.
Most tents are made from a collection of different materials. Generally, a tent body will be made from some sort of ripstop nylon and mesh to help with breathability. The rainfly will usually be made with water-repellant ripstop nylon that is often thicker than the material in the tent body. Plus, you’ll often have tent poles that are made from aluminum or even steel to keep the tent upright.
When you head to the beach with the whole family, you often bring a whole lot of gear with you. Towels, beach toys, lounge chairs, snacks, and a change of clothes are just some of the many things we bring to the beach. However, we usually have a limited amount of space in our vehicles and don’t want to make our lives any more difficult than we have to.
That’s why a beach tent with a small packed size can be a true lifesaver when you have a family beach outing. The larger the tent when it’s packed into a carry case, the more room it takes up in your car and the less convenient it is. However, tents with a small packed size often compromise with lower-quality materials that are less durable, so you need to prioritize either packability or durability here.
Although you might not be backpacking with your beach tent, you will likely have to carry it for a substantial distance from the parking lot to the beach. So, it’s in your best interest to invest in a beach tent that’s relatively lightweight. As you can imagine, having to carry a brick of a tent over a long distance from your car to the beach every time you want to enjoy some fun in the sun is a surefire way to make you want to make you grumpy before you even see the ocean.
Generally speaking, we try to only go to the beach on sunny days, but sometimes we can get caught out in a rainstorm. Thankfully, if you have a good quality beach tent, you can shelter from the rain without even leaving the beach.
However, many modern beach tents aren’t meant to handle bad weather, so if you live somewhere with unpredictable conditions, it might be worth finding a beach tent that’s durable enough to keep you dry in the wind and the rain.
Best Beach Tent Brands
We know that choosing a beach tent can be a challenging process and that you want to be sure that you’re investing in a good product. So, finding the right tent brand can
Kelty is a well-known tentmaker that’s been in the game since 1952. Their camping tents are no-frills, simple, and easy to use, which is precisely what you can expect from their line of beach tents.
Coleman has been in the business of making quality camping gear since the early 1900s and their equipment is consistently revolutionizing what’s possible in the outdoors. Although they’re perhaps best known for their camping stoves, Coleman’s beach tents are reliable and comfortable for frequent use.
Sport-brella is perhaps the best-known umbrella tent manufacturer. They make a wide variety of umbrella tents, each of which has its own unique features and designs. Sport-brella prides itself on functionality and convenience in all of their products.
This San Diego-based company has been making top-of-the line durable beach tents since 2009. With an emphasis on fun and functional designs, Lightspeed’s beach tents make it easy to get outside and enjoy the world around you.
Types Of Beach Tents
It turns out that there are many different kinds of beach tents out there, each of which serves its own unique purposes. Here are the three main types of beach tents and their advantages and disadvantages:
A “tent” style beach shelter is pretty much what it sounds like. Taking the traditional model of a camping tent, a beach tent provides shelter from above and from 3-4 sides. Unlike camping tents, however, beach tents are rarely fully enclosed, which makes it easier to pop in and out throughout the day, especially for families.
Beach tents are ideal for people who want ample protection from the sun and wind. However, they are generally heavier and bulkier and can be trickier to set up if you don’t buy a pop up model. But, they provide more protection, and sometimes even a floor to sit on, than the other models.
Canopy-style beach tents provide just a top covering to keep the sun off of your face. They don’t do well against the wind but, rather, provide a large, open space in the shade that you can often stand under. Canopy beach tents tend to provide a lot of UV protection in a lightweight, compact package.
Umbrella-style beach tents are basically up-scale large umbrellas that are designed to protect you from the sun, much like a traditional beach umbrella would. Unlike a traditional beach umbrella, though umbrella tents don’t get stuck into the ground, but rather sit on one side to provide a large shelter for you to sit under. These umbrella tents tend to be light and very easy to pitch but don’t provide much protection from the wind.
Best Beach Tent on the Market Reviews
Here are our reviews of 10 of the best beach tents on the market today, so you can find the one that’s right for your needs!
1. Coleman Beach Shade Shelter - Best for Baby
Shade, shelter, and privacy, the Coleman Beach Shade Shelter is a simple, yet effective retreat from the elements when you’re by the ocean. This compact tent comes with a large front awning for ample shade while the adjustable privacy door makes getting changed on-the-go a breeze, which is perfect for new parents with babies.
Plus, setting up the Beach Shade Shelter is a no-brainer thanks to the tent’s built-in sandbags that help keep it in place, even on windy days. This tent comes with a 4ft 9in center height for maximum comfort, as well as a large floor area so you can relax in the shade without getting covered in sand. It’s also one of the best affordable beach tents out there, which is great for a growing family.
2. WolfWise Easy Pop Up Beach Tent - Best for Toddlers and Kids
The WolfWise Easy Pop Up Beach Tent is an instant sun shelter for any beach outing. Built with a quick pop up design, the WolfWise is simple to pitch so you can spend more time enjoying the great outdoors. Plus, the tent weighs just 4.2 pounds so it’s easy to bring with you on any adventure.
The WolfWise Easy Pop Up Beach Tent is spacious enough for a family with small children and can even fit three adults inside at once. This tent has a built-in floor for comfort and also provides 360-degree ventilation for extra breathability on those hot days Oh, and thanks to its UP 50+ and water-repellent materials, there’s nothing the WolfWise Easy Pop Up Beach Tent can’t do.
3. OutdoorMaster Pop Up - Best Instant Pop Up Beach Tent
The OutdoorMaster Pop Up XL Beach Tent is a fan favorite, thanks to its spacious design. With enough space to house 3-4 adults, the OutdoorMaster Pop Up XL Beach Tent is a simple solution to all your beach day needs.
This tent can be pitched in just seconds and can be used to protect you and your family from the sun, wind, and rain. Its durable nylon and polyester fly offer UPF 50+ protection while three removable windows and a sunroof offer plenty of ventilation. You can choose to pitch this tent with the included stakes or sandbags, so it’s truly useful in any conditions. The OutdoorMaster Pop Up XL Beach Tent even has a zippered built-in door to quickly convert it into a changing room for the whole family to use. What’s not to love?
4. Lightspeed Outdoors Sun Shelter - Best for a Large Family
Lightspeed Outdoors’ Sun Shelter is one of the best rated beach tents out there for a large family, thanks to its intelligent and spacious design. Lightspeed Outdoors’ proprietary side-pull hub system makes it quick and easy to set up the Sun Shelter, so you can get right back to hanging out with your kids.
The tent even features a front porch that rolls up for privacy so the whole family can quickly and easily change out of their wet bathing suits right on the beach. Plus, the Sun Shelter has roll-up windows for maximum ventilation, as well as a large overhang and UPF 50+ fabric to provide ample shade and sun protection on those hot summer days.
5. Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe - Best for Relaxation
The luxury Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe XL is one of the best quality options for people looking to truly relax during their time on the beach. Large and comfortable, the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader offers UPF 50+ protection. The tent has a spacious interior size as well as a sizable front porch, that provides plenty of space for up to four adults to kick back, relax, and lie down.
This beach tent even provides a whole lot of airflow, thanks to its huge mesh windows, but these can even be covered up to provide more shade. You can also fold up the Instant Shader’s front porch for added privacy on the beach. If that wasn’t enough, this massive tent packs down tight into a relatively small bag, which makes it great for traveling.
6. Pacific Breeze Easy Setup - Best Portable Beach Tent
Specifically designed to be one of the most portable beach tents on the market today, the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent makes it quick and easy to enjoy your fun in the sun. The Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent is light and compact but still provides rain, wind, and sun protection.
Made out of a water-resistant and breathable polyester, the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent even has UPF 50+ fabric to protect you against sunburns. Plus, it weighs just 4.5 pounds so it’s super convenient for throwing in the back of your car as you head to the beach. With a spacious interior and a lightweight fiberglass frame, the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent is the perfect buddy for beach getaways and for traveling.
7. Sport-Brella Premiere XL - Best Beach Umbrella Tent
Large and spacious, the Sport-Brella Premiere XL Beach Umbrella Tent is a 9-foot wide shelter for use on the beach, the soccer field or wherever life takes you. The Sport-Brella Premiere XL is made with a heavy-duty 1.25” center pole that provides ample durability in the wind.
It also features a large zippered window for ample airflow and natural light. Plus, the Sport-Brella Premiere XL has a few internal pockets so you can store and organize your personal items when you’re out and about. What could be better?
8. Sport-Brella Vented Canopy - Best Beach Umbrella Tent
The smaller, more compact version of its Premiere XL cousin, the Sport-Brella Vented Canopy Umbrella is a portable instant shelter for any situation. On the beach, the Sport-Brella Vented Canopy Umbrella can protect you from the sun and the rain, thanks to its UPF 50+ rating.
It has two windows for plentiful airflow and ventilation, as well as an 8-foot diameter for comfort on the beach. The Sport-Brella Vented Canopy Umbrella even comes with a convenient carrying bag so you can load up and go to maximize your time outside.
9. Kelty Shade Maker 2 - Best Beach Canopy Tent
Spacious and effective, the Kelty Shade Maker 2 is the ultimate beach canopy tent for large groups. This simple to set up canopy tent provides users with a 100 square foot area for lounging and relaxation. There’s enough room under the canopy to stand upright, so it’s even great for those barbecues on the beach.
Plus, even though it provides an exceptional amount of shelter, the Kelty Shade Maker 2 packs down into a small backpack-style carry bag for easy transport and weighs just 9 pounds. What’s not to love?
10. Quick Canopy Instant Shade Tent - Best Beach Canopy Tent
The perfect small group canopy tent, the Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Shade Tent is a great option for those beach getaways. The Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy is easily pitched, thanks to its quick up and down hub system and pre-threaded poles
The fabric of the Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy features UPF 50+ sun protection and even comes with a floor so you don’t have to lie down in the sand. It also packs down into a small carry bag and weighs just 7lbs for maximum portability.
How to Anchor a Tent on the Beach?
Anchoring a tent on the beach is a bit trickier than anchoring one elsewhere. Indeed, sand is not the ideal surface for anchoring tent stakes, but it is possible, if you know what you’re doing.
If you’re trying to anchor your tent in firm sand, it might be possible for you to simply use large sand-specific tent pegs and place them in the ground as you normally would in dirt. However, most of the time you’ll need to use the “deadman” method. To use this method, do the following:
How to Fold a Pop up Beach Tent?
Folding a pop up beach tent can be tricky. Here’s what you need to do:
How to Set up a Beach Tent?
How you set up a beach tent is going to vary greatly depending on the kind of tent you bought and the individual model. The premise, however, of pitching a tent is generally the same, regardless of the type of tent in question. Here are some guidelines:
Here are our answers to some of your top questions about beach tents:
Why Do You Need To Get A Beach Tent?
Simply put, beach tents are a great way to get some quick shelter from the sun and the wind when you’re at the beach. Since most beaches are devoid of trees and shrubbery, sitting out in the sun for too long can be uncomfortable, especially because there’s nowhere to hide for a few minutes of shade. That’s where a beach tent comes in handy. These portable, lightweight shelters provide instant protection from the elements so you can stay comfortable and happy at the beach.
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How Do I Know What Size I Need?
The size of the beach tent you need is wholly dependent on the number of people you think you’ll regularly go to the beach with. If you have a large family, you’ll probably need a larger tent than a single individual or a couple. Plus, families with young children often need more space as the little ones often like to play inside the tent.
What Is The Difference Between A Beach Tent And A Beach Canopy?
A beach tent is just like a lightweight beach-specific version of a regular camping tent with four walls and a roof. On the other hand, a beach canopy doesn’t have any walls. And is just a large dome that protects you from the sun. Thus, beach tents are better for providing privacy and wind protection, while beach canopies offer a lot of shade and more space for larger groups of people.
How Do I Keep Dry When Tent Camping On The Beach?
If you’re planning on camping out on the beach, you may be wondering what you can do to stay dry, even when you’re in a fairly moist, damp environment. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to stay dry while tent camping on the beach:
What Do I Need To Do To Care For My Beach Tent?
Caring for a beach tent is just like caring for any kind of tent. To keep your tent in working condition for years to come, you’ll want to ensure that you’re always pitching it properly. Then, at the end of your beach day, you’ll want to hang up your tent in the backyard or the garage and let it dry for at least a day, even if the tent doesn’t seem very wet. Once the tent is as dry as possible, you can carefully pack it into its storage bag and place it in a cool, dry, dark location until you need it again.
If we had to choose just one of these great tents to take with us on our next beach vacation, we’d have to go with the OutdoorMaster Pop Up XL Beach Tent for its great mix of versatility, simplicity, and spacious interior. That being said, it’s important to find the best beach tent that’s right for your specific needs by researching all the best models out there.