Picture this – it’s a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and you have just finished a long swim and polished off a hot dog on the beach.
With your stomach full and your body tired, you stretch out on the beach for a long nap. When you awake, you feel well-rested – but also burned to a crisp. After your siesta in the sun, you look like a lobster!
Unfortunately, if you spend any amount of time on the beach without the proper protection from the sun, you run the risk of getting a sunburn. One of the best ways to prevent a burn and other longterm sun damage (besides lathering yourself up on the hour with sunscreen and wearing proper eye protection,that is) is to provide yourself with a little shade.
The best beach tent will not only keep you cool and out of the sun, but it will give you a canopy beneath which to nap, make food, and relax, too. Here are some tips on what to look for.
1. Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL
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Your day on the beach just got more comfortable. This deluxe, extra-large tent by Pacific Breeze is not only easy to set up, but it’s compact and lightweight, too.
At roughly six pounds, this tent folds down to a portable travel dimension of 38” x 6” x 6”. Small when packed yet mighty, the tent offers great protection from the sun with UPF 50+ sun protection and three large windows for ventilation.
To add to its breathability, the tent is made out of polyester and is also water-repellent. It can comfortably fit up to four people and, when enclosed, can be used for things like changing and sleeping. It comes with interior pockets that can be used to stash all your gear along with hooks for hanging clothes and other accessories.
The floor is water-resistant, too, making this tent a good option for babies. It comes with five sand pockets and four stakes for added stability, along with a convenient carrying case.
- Easy to assemble
- Has excellent ventilation and waterproofing
- Can fit several people at once
- Can be tough to pack away
2. Lightspeed Outdoors Sun Shelter with Clip-Up Privacy Feature
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As the name implies, this tent by Lightspeed is one of the best beach tents you can buy if you want to get your tent set up – faster than the speed of light! It has a patented side-pull hub system that makes it easy to use and easy to set-up.
At less than eight pounds, this tent has generous dimensions that pack down to 43” x 5” x 5”. It’s great for storage and carrying and even comes with three large mesh windows for extra ventilation.
The floor is resistant to both kids and pets with its durable polyxoford nature. You’ll also get thick 8.5 mm fiberglass poles to add stability along with an umbrella that is rated at 600mm PU for extra wet conditions.
When you’re ready to load the car and leave the beach, you won’t have to take long to tear down this tent. It comes with an oversized carrying bag so you can stash everything inside. It’s also shipped with sand pockets, guylines, and extra-large stakes so you don’t have to worry about it blowing away in the wind. What’s not to love?
- Has interior storage pockets
- Comes with great portability and UPF 50+ sun protection
- Can be set up in mere seconds
- Not the best for rainy weather
3. Neso Tents Grande Beach Tent
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This tent by Neso Tents is a superior product that is available in dozens of different colors and designs, including teal and red.
It comes with corner anchor bags that can easily be weighed down with rocks or sand. The corners are reinforced to add to their durability and equipped with rust-proof aluminum poles. When erect, the tent stands are seven feet tall. There’s plenty of headspace, even for the tallest person in your group.
The tent fabric itself is made out of a high-quality blend of lycra and nylon. Lightweight and easy to carry, this tent comes in at six and a half pounds. It can be packed into the included carrying case so that it can be stored with ease – altogether, it measures less than 20 inches.
This tent even comes with a cool project! What better way to store all your favorite snacks and drinks?
With UPF 50+ protection and good water repelling features, this tent will keep you protected on sunny and rainy days alike. You will have everything you need to withstand the worst of Mother Nature.
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- More than 7 feet tall for excellent headspace
- Constructed with nylon/lycra blend that is reinforced and water repellent
- Does not provide full coverage on all sides
4. ZOMAKE Pop Up Tent 3 4 Person, Beach Tent
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This pop-up tent by Zomake is a great option if you have babies or small children. It can be used for camping in clear weather, but on the beach, it is ideal as a play house and a shelter from the sun.
It pops up in mere seconds. All you have to do is open the package and unstrap the tent. The tent will open itself in seconds with no need for you to read complex instructions or to fumble with poles.
The tent comes with two mesh doors and windows for added ventilation – but with the ability to block mosquitoes. It also has a sky window so you can continue to take in the beauty of the great outdoors.
The tent can fit three to four adults and can be folded down into an easy-to-pack disc. It is made out of durable polyester fabric and offers UPF 50+ sun protection.
- Good insect and UPF protection
- Has its own carrying case
- Both portable and versatile
5. Sport-Brella Vented SPF 50+ Sun and Rain Canopy Umbrella
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This phenomenal tent by Sport-Brella is less of a tent – and more of a canopy umbrella! With its rugged 210 D polyester material and UPF 50+ sun protection, you can call it whatever you want – either way, it’s one of the best beach tents you can buy.
The tent can block out more than 99.5% of the sun’s harmful rays. The canopy itself is supported by durable steel ribs and stretchers and is equipped with a telescoping pole to hold things in place. The dual canopy has upper wind vents along with side zippered windows that offer excellent airflow.
You’ll get everything you could ever want with this tent. It will keep you cool and protect you from the harshest rays of the sun – yet is also easy to set up and to store. It comes with tethers and ground stakes so you don’t have to worry about it becoming a sail when you’re relaxing underneath it.
- Water-repellent and good UPF protection
- Has its own carrying bag
- Offers great shade protection
- May require extra staking to weigh it down
6. WolfWise UPF 50+ Easy Pop Up 3-4 Person Beach Tent
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Last but not least on our list of the best beach tents is this option by WolfWise. It’s another pop-up tent that is perfect for children and babies.
The WolfWise tent pops up and folds back down in mere seconds, with zero assembly required. It’s ultra lightweight construction makes it easy to carry – plus, it comes with a convenient carrying case. It weighs less than four and a half pounds and has all the space and 360-degree ventilation you could ever want.
The fabric of the tent is made of anti-rip 190T polyester. It’s wrapped around a galvanized steel frame that is just as durable and also resistant to corrosion.
You’ll get all kinds of bonus features when you invest in this tent, including read double-pull sliders for easy entry and exit, two storage pockets to organize all your gear, and four corners and pockets, too, for added stability.
- Comes with its own carrying case
- Durable galvanized steel frame
- Equipped with tear-resistant 190T polyester fabric
How to Find the Perfect Beach Tent for Your Needs: A Buying Guide
Sure, you can pop out to the drugstore and buy just any beach tent that happens to be for sale. However, you’re going to have much better luck if you choose a tent that will meet all the needs of you and your friends and family. Here are some tips on what to look for.
First things first, you’ve got to consider what kind of tent will best meet your needs. There are three major types, each of which is accompanied by its own set of pros and cons. A basic beach tent is most similar to a camping tent. It offers privacy and sun protection.
However, if you want something that’s easier to set up and a bit less restrictive, go for a pop up canopy. These can be set up in just a few minutes, even by just one person, and are the most convenient when it comes to lugging it around on the beach.
A compromise between a pop-up canopy and ab each tent is a pole canopy. It’s sturdier than a pop-up tent, since it uses cords and poles. Another option is a frame canopy, which has a built-in frame to increase its strength and resilience to the wind (but it is also heavier and more challenging to move, too).
Look at the sun safety rating on your beach tent of choice. Although most tents provide UPF protection of 50 or higher, it’s always a good idea to double check that rating before you buy.
This is one of the most important features to consider when you are shopping for a beach tent. The material your tent is made out of will determine how long your tent will ultimately last. Nylon and polyester tend to be the most common materials. They will protect you from the sun without being too hot or poorly drying.
If you plan on frequenting the beach in a windy area, check the durability of your tent. Some come with fillable sandbags or rock-solid stakes to improve your tent’s resistance to the wind.
Beach tents come in all sizes, heights, depths, and widths. If you’re going to seat multiple people under your beach canopy, make sure you take the time to see what dimensions are recommended for your party.
Most tents are around 100 square feet, but there are options that are smaller or larger. Some provide shade only, so these tend to be smaller, while others are designed for quick changing into a bathing suit.
Portability is a key factor when it comes to finding the right beach tent, too. Look for one that’s lightweight (some tents can weigh ten pounds or more!) and that comes with features to make it easier to haul around, like a storage bag and handle.
Closed or Open Bottom
You will also want to consider whether your beach tent of choice comes with a closed bottom or an open bottom. One with a bottom is a good choice if you have a baby or small child that will by lying on the ground, as it offers protection from the sand. It will also keep you dry. It can protect you from biting sand fleas and gnats, too.
Look for a beach tent that is well-ventilated. Although any beach tent will protect you from the scorching rays of the sun, you’re going to feel it if you have a tent that is stuffy and poorly ventilated.
Ease of Care
Most beach tents are durable and easy to care for, but you’ll want to invest the extra time and money in finding a tent that can be used at the beach and around saltwater, if you’re headed to the ocean.
Even with those features included, do take the time after every trip to the beach to rinse sand out of the poles and hinges so that it continues to work well. You’ll also want to let the tent air-dry before you pack it up.
There are other features you can look for in your beach tent, all of which are optional – but could make your day on the beach a bit more comfortable! For example, exterior pockets that you can fill with sand to weigh your tent down can be helpful, as can drying lines to hang up your sodden towels and clothes.
Some beach tents come with sandbags to make your tent sturdier, while others have floor mats or are fully waterproof. There are options to make your tent enclosed, or you can have them in a lean-to style with a few walls. Some beach tents even come with windows!
With all the options out there, it’s important to choose the ones that are most important to you.
Why You Need a Great Beach Tent This Summer
A beach tent not only will protect you and your family from the harmful UV rays of the sun, but it will also give you your own personal, private space while you’re at the beach. From napping to changing out of a quick bathing suit, a great beach tent is essential.
Not sure which of these beach tents will be the best for your needs? All of them should hit the mark. However, we like the Pacific Breeze tent best – it offers all the versatility and functionality you need to enjoy any day at the beach, no matter how hot or how drizzly it might be!
When you’re in the market for the best beach tent, consider this list – you really can’t go wrong!