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The sun is harsh during certain times of the day and can turn your fun day at the beach into a nightmare. Beach tents offer a solution to this problem because they give you the shade you need.
They come in different shapes and sizes, materials and colors, so choosing one might not be as easy as you think. Let us help you find the best beach tent for your needs.
- What Are Beach Tents And How Will They Benefit You?
- What To Consider When Buying a Beach Tent
- Top 5 Best Beach Tents
What Are Beach Tents And How Will They Benefit You?
Beach tents are not very different from normal camping tents since they usually use the same material. This means polyester and nylon. Unlike camping tents, however, beach tents aren’t intended for overnight use.
They are designed to give you extra protection from sun, wind, sand, and rain. Though it’s called a “beach tent,” you can also use it for parks, campsite, your garden, and picnic areas.
There are different kinds of beach tents: canopy or cabana style, pop-ups, and baby beach tents. The pop-up type is quite common because they are portable, easy to set up, and easy to pack away. You only need to unfold the tent, and then extend and lock the poles.
A cabana or canopy type are quite similar, except the cabana may have walls or curtains. Canopies usually have one side open. Both offer a bigger shade and usually has more standing room.
Another advantage of beach tents, aside from protection, is that they provide you some privacy. You can change in and out of your swimwear, have naps, or relax, without worrying about people looking. If you have a baby, beach tents can double as extra protection and as a diaper changing station.
Last but not the least, beach tents give protection to your personal belongings. Beach tents give you a little more peace (though you should never leave items unattended). It also prevents animals from getting your food and protects it from the sun.
What To Consider When Buying a Beach Tent
As I’ve mentioned, there are many types of beach tents. Some may have floors, while some will not. You can find beach tents that are completely open on all sides, or with three walls.
You can also find tents with no flooring or with extended flooring. If you have a child who wants to build sand castles, a tent with the detachable floor is very useful.
Tents come in different sizes and usually have recommendations as to how many people it can fit comfortably. You should also take into account whether you are putting tables and chairs inside and whether you want to be standing in it.
The size also affects portability. Obviously, the smaller it is, the easier to carry around. Check how it packs and if it’s easy to move around and to keep.
The tent material affects how it can protect you from the sun’s rays, sand, rain, and from strong winds. Some may also have special SPF coating for extra protection from the sun.
For good air circulation, consider a canopy, which has all sides open. For tents with sides, you may also want to consider mesh windows to allow some air to circulate.
Ease of Use
A tent that doesn’t involve assembly is ideal for the beach, and pop up tents offer this feature. You will only need to unpack it, extend the poles, and secure them. Most will probably include pegs so you can secure them even more.
While pop-up is ideal, it is not always available, especially for larger tents. Many large canopies will require assembly.
At the end of the day at the beach, you’re probably going to be tired. How to disassemble and keep the tent is also a factor to consider. The easier it unfolds and keeps, the better. The pop-up tents are usually almost as easy to keep than it is to assemble.
The tent pole is also important to consider because it reflects durability and strength. It also affects the price of the whole tent. For instance, fiberglass poles are the cheapest kind, but also because they are the least durable.
Most tents use either fiberglass, steel, or aluminum. The highest quality type of poles is made of carbon fiber. It’s the strongest, lightest, and most durable. It’s no surprise that it’s the most expensive as well.
Steel is strong and durable, but they are heavier than other pole materials. They are usually used on large canopy tents. Aluminum, on the other hand, is durable, light, and rigid. They are common in small and normal camping tents. However, it is more expensive compared to the other options.
Top 5 Best Beach Tents
1. Pacific Breeze Easy Up Beach Tent
Pacific Breeze specially designed the EasyUp beach tent to be easy to put up, to take down, and to take around. It also comes with a bag for easy portability. There are five sand pockets and four stakes which help stabilize and keep tent down during windy situations
The tent uses a polyester fabric which has SPF 50 for extra sun protection, while the poles are lightweight fiberglass. There are pockets inside the tent for personal items like sunglasses and sunblock so that you can keep them off the sand. There are also two windows to allow more air circulation.
To set up the tent, spread it out, making sure that the poles are extended. Pull the drawstrings, so the poles connect and until it will click into place. Then, tie the drawstrings to secure the tent and to prevent accidental unfolding. You can stabilize it with the stakes or with the sand pockets.
- Setting up is very easy to do, and it clicks when the poles are in their places.
- The carry bag is not too tight, like most other tents. It makes it easier to take out and put in the tent.
- The sand pockets are very useful because the stakes still get loose in the sand sometimes. They’re usually enough on most summer days. If you put in chairs and a cooler, you won’t need to use the sand pockets or stakes.
- I like that the tent fabric is SPF 50.
- The inside pockets are very practical and useful.
- The fabric is hot to touch and even with the windows, it gets hot.
- It doesn’t have an extended floor flap to zip up when you want more privacy.
- The tent is quite small. It can fit two people but not so comfortably.
2. Pacific Breeze Easy Up Beach Tent Deluxe XL
A larger version of the Pacific Breeze EasyUp Beach Tent is the deluxe XL version. Setting up is similar, but may require more hands since it is big. It uses the same material as the Pacific Breeze EasyUp, which is a water-repellent polyester and fiberglass poles. The tent also comes with a carry bag, like the standard tent.
The difference, aside from the size, is that it has three large windows for better ventilation. The tent is more spacious and can fit 3-4 people.
- It may only be a little bigger than the standard EasyUp tent, but the difference has a significant impact. It’s more comfortable and spacious.
- The size is much better for air circulation. It doesn’t keep heat in as much as the standard size because of space and the three windows.
- For the size, it is still very lightweight.
- It’s not as easy to unfold and put away into the bag.
3. Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter
The Quick Cabana is one of the best sellers of Lightspeed Outdoors. It features Lightspeed’s hub system which allows for a very quick setup and takes down. It comes with an oversized carry bag for easy portability.
For support and stability, the tent uses fiberglass poles and has three sandbags, eight plastic stakes, and guy lines. The walls are polyester with a water-resistant coating. It also offers UPF 50+ protection. Inside the tent, there are three pockets for your personal items.
For more floor space, the tent features an extended floor mat. It helps keep the main shelter free of sand since it’ll be easier to sweep away.
- The peak height is 1.25 meters, which is very comfortable. You can also fit two people comfortably, together with your cooler and other beach essentials.
- Air circulation inside the tent is pretty good with the three mesh windows. If you want privacy, you can even cover it up.
- The compression hub system makes the setting up easy.
- There are only three sand pockets, but you can use the stakes for more stability.
- The ceiling doesn’t extend forward enough to block the sun at certain times of the day. I had to reposition the tent many times just to block the sun.
4. Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade
Of course, Coleman makes a list! They’re a very reliable brand, not just for tents, but for any outdoor need. The Coleman Daytripper beach shade is a portable tent with two zipper doors so you can use it for privacy. Open the doors up, and you’ve got yourself a nice breezy tent.
The tent uses three fiberglass poles, and the fabric features a UV guard protection for SPF 50. It comes with a carry bag for easy transport and long stakes in addition to the sandbags. It’s not a pop-up tent like the others on the list, so it requires assembly.
- It’s not the typical three-sided beach tent. Instead, it has one door on the front and a back door which converts to a mesh window. You can use the tent as a changing room and not need towels to cover up.
- The front awning provides more shade.
- There are four built-in pockets for storing personal items.
- There’s a line where you can hang light things like a shirt or hat.
- The pole system is not built in, so setting up is trickier than the others on this list.
- Packing away is, even more, hassle since you have to fold the fabric.
- The walls don’t have windows that promote more air circulation. Even with the two doors, it can get hot.
5. Shade Shack Instant Pop Up Family Beach Tent and Sun Shelter
This tent by Demco Incorporated is probably the easiest tent to set up. It’s as easy as taking out of its bag and unfolding it in place. To keep it secure and from being blown away, fill the sand pockets on the side of the tent. It also comes with stakes for support and grass use.
- The pop-up design doesn’t need assembly or even extending poles.
- It’s ideal for kids who want to build sandcastles all day because the floor is open and the shade is perfect.
- The polyester material also offers extra protection because of the zinc coating.
- The tent is very portable. It packs into a flat bag.
- Works as a great toy for children.
- Folding it and putting it back in the back in the bag is not as simple as the setup.
- It’s quite a hassle, but once you get the hang of the folds, it’ll be easier.
- The tent is a little unstable and sways a lot, even with a little wind.
- Taking the sand out of the pockets can be frustrating.
Beach tents are a lifesaver, especially at certain times of the day when the sun is extra hot. The perfect tent is hard to find, and you usually have to sacrifice one thing for another.
For instance, the Coleman Day Tripper is great. However, it takes long to set up. The Pacific Breeze EasyUp Beach Tent is spacious, but not as easy to put away as it is to set up.
For a more versatile tent, I would choose the Coleman Day Tripper because it can close up. The Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana, on the other hand, would be perfect for music festivals and picnics.
The best beach tent, in our opinion, would be the Pacific Breeze EasyUp Beach Tent. It serves its purpose in protecting from the sun while being easy to set up and providing enough space for comfort.