Top Tents & Beach Canopies Reviewed In 2018

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Nowadays we are much less inclined to laze around for long hours in the sun. Instead, we take every precaution to stay in the shade because of skin cancer and photoaging. We slather on sunscreen and wear hats or other types of protective clothing. Unfortunately, the sun is everywhere, which is why you should consider a portable sun shelter for your outdoor activities.

For your extra protection, we have compiled a list of the best tents, gazebos, and sun canopies for sun protection. Almost all of the models on our list have added SPF benefits, which is great especially if you have little ones. Read on for our beginners guide to portable sun and shade canopies.

best overall rating
  • Easy Setup
  • 3 Extra large windows
  • 4 Stakes and 5 Sand pockets
premium choice rating
  • No assembly required
  • Extra wide skirt
  • No-see-um Mesh
great value rating
  • Pop-up design
  • UV 50+++
  • 190T Nylon Material

Buyers Guide – Top Beach Tents and Beach Canopies

Do you enjoy the outdoors? Are you an adventurist and love expeditions to the beach and camps? These beach tents are not quite restricted to their usage at the beach only. These can be great for camping, out in your backyard, taken to a nice picnic spot, and at various other camping trips. Hence a worthwhile investment, not just for the seaside. If you’re looking for large family camping tents, check out our review.

These tents are available in a huge variety, in different shapes, sizes, colors, and made from different materials to suit your unique requirements. So, no matter what you need them for, these are helpful to keep you safe, provide shade, and as a resting spot whenever you need a break from civilization. Let’s have a look at the main features of a basic beach tent/shade shack:

Material

Just as all other types of tents, these beach tents are made from the polyester or nylon material. More water-resistant and durable, most companies prefer these materials for their tents. Another thing these tents have is good UV protection from the harmful rays of the sun.

They may have a single opening or up to three large zippered openings for ease of access. Which may be closed when not in use.

The sun canopies have frames that are made from either aluminum or steel. The frames made from aluminum are more compact and portable and can also be assembled quickly with minimal workforce required. It is also quite durable and resistant to rust and corrosion.

However, aluminum is more suited for the beaches where the wind is minimal. Steel is stronger and tougher, and hence more suited in the heavier rains and against the wind pressures. It can last for a very long time but will take significantly longer to set up.

The Size

Usually, these tents are large enough to fit a complete family – two adults and three or four children – and also small enough for just two; it all depends on your requirements. You will even find the larger ones in which you can fit a whole table and beach chairs, for a completely shaded and protected dinner or picnic with friends.

Color

The tents and sun canopies are available in a variety of color options. They may be the brightest ones on the beach, which in fact are very useful, and easy to locate especially by little kids.

You may also buy the subtle or pastel colored ones, such as the whites and lighter tones of gray and blue, as per your preference.

Ease

You should also consider the weight of the tent, particularly if you are looking to carry one to great distances. There are various types available in the markets. You should try to find a light weighted, easy to set up and strong sort of tent, especially if you have kids. It should be erect and should hold steady, for ensuring maximum safety.

Advantages of Owning a Beach Tent/Canopy

Now, why exactly do you need a beach canopy or a tent? Here are a few of the benefits of actually owning one and using it every time you go out:

A Safety Spot for Valuables

These tents and outdoor beach canopies offer a great spot for keeping all your valuables safe. At places like the beach, campsite, etc. the problem we usually face is the lack of a place to keep our belongings, and finding them where we left them.

The tent keeps them hidden from catching anyone’s eye and also, any uninvited person entering or exiting your tent has a good chance of getting caught. You can also rest assured, your belongings wouldn’t get washed away with the waves, ever again.

A Protective Place

You can stay safe and sheltered from the undesired weather effects, the wind, sand sprays, and even the harmful sun rays, and yet have all the fun relaxing inside your very own place. Also, in the case of weather extremities, especially in the case of dire cold, you can always keep yourself and the children warm and safe.

Privacy

Enjoy all the privacy you need in your own private shade shack on the beach or anywhere you desire. This gives you a place to change, relax or just lie down comfortably, as you desire.

Storage Place for Food

You can keep your sandwiches, and other food items you take along, to the seaside safe and well protected from the sun rays, water, and sand, and hence, have it ready and clean when needed.

Safe for Kids

Small babies or the toddlers need a place to nap or just lie down to have milk, which can be a bit of a hassle when you set out for a picnic. Again, comes the role of a tent! Just go in and let the little ones have their rest and food when they require. While you can jump in on all the fun too with your heart at peace.

Very Easy to Assemble

These tents are super easy to set-up. Often they just take a few minutes to anchor on the ground and can be done with minimum effort required on your part.

Kinds of Beach Tents and Sun Canopies

Cabana Tents/Beach Cabanas

This type is great for the whole family. They give you the sun shelter and shade you need as well as a great view. These are the best for privacy, yet let you have all the fun with one side completely open (You may zip it up if needed). These are self-erecting and also give you a good shield from the sun’s harmful rays.

The Pop-Up Beach Tents

These types are the easiest to set-up. Small and compact to be carried around with ease, these tents may be slightly more expensive than the other sorts but are very convenient to be carried around anywhere.

Since these are very light in weight, you will have to use sandbags to weight them down at the corners, so that the wind doesn’t blow them away.

Baby Tents

These are very small, light and very easy to put up on the beach. They give you the shade and space you need for the small children on the beach and other camping sites. You can let them sleep, eat or just play in their own safe and private space. Click here to read further about baby tents and their utility.

Canopy Types

These tents are good enough for a company of two, but you can buy a larger sized one for a full-time party or for holding any other event, to fit in more friends or family. It may require two or more people to set up the tent, however, these work great for the outdoors, even for setting up a camp or a barbecue for your friends.

So, this was all about beach tents. What about the canopies? Well, canopies are either the sturdy heavy-duty ones or the lightweight types or having different types of frames or tarps.

The Heavier Sun Canopies

These are built from the stronger materials that are more durable and can stand in the same erect position in even the windy days. However, the only downside is the weight of these types. These are heavier and cannot be carried around with much ease. They require proper assembling by two or more people and often require special instructions for the complete setup.

However, these are the very best for most weather conditions and can endure all extremities. For instance, if you are looking forward to an adventure up the mountains, these types are the best to take along.

The Lighter Beach Canopies

These canopies are very easy to set up and manufactured from very light material. Very easy to be placed in your car and be taken wherever you go. These usually weight around 20 kg or even less and just take a few hours to assemble. However, these canopies are the best for the non-windy days.Here are a few additional points to keep in mind, before you setup out to buy your tent or shade shack.

What’s The Best Beach Tent For Babies?

You may have visited the beach alone on and off, without any worries. But, once you have a baby to take care of, going to the beach is a whole new story. You need to carry along all the baby essentials, make sure the baby is completely wrapped up, you need anti-rash creams, high chairs, a carry cot and most essentially a tent!

Fortunately, there are a number of options you can choose from for your baby. A good tent for the baby must give you all the protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Since the baby’s skin is quite sensitive, and usually, you wouldn’t want to put sunscreen on it, a tent has to give your baby the cover he/she needs.

Since you will be already overloaded with all the baby accessories and the stuff you have taken for yourself for the beach, you will need a tent that is portable and considerably lighter in weight. Usually many of the baby tents are light in weight, however keeping this point in mind will help you narrow own your final choice.

Schylling UV Play Shade, SPF 50

Another attribute of a good tent for babies is that it should be very easy to set up and in the shortest possible time. Strength and sturdiness are other factors, you would want the tent to hold and not fall under any circumstances right? Buy a sturdy one!

Lastly, there should be good provision for ensuring proper air flow and ventilation through the tent; the baby needs to breathe even when sleeping. Here you have it, these are all the qualities of a good tent for babies.

How to Anchor Beach Canopy?

To fix your tent by the beach, you need to have a canopy with line attachments. These may increase the weight, but are very strong and give a good grip to the tent. You will also need sand anchors and attach them to the guy lines with a cord or rope. Stakes work well with the sandbags too.

Just use a shovel to dig a bit (approx. 2 feet into the ground) and place the anchor, covered in the wet sand into the hole. Cover the space with more sand.

Then, attach the guy line with the anchor and use all your strength to pull it and tighten. You will need a bit of a practice to get it right, but once you do, it will provide you the maximum protection from the tent getting blown away or collapsing under the wind pressure.

How Much Are Beach Tents?

The prices of these tents and canopies are not fixed. These vary per the quality, type, size and location of all buyers. As a general view, you can keep in mind: If you are looking for a 20’ by 30’ sized tent or canopy, it can cost you somewhere from $150 to $400.

If you need a bigger tent, of say, size 30’ by 50’, you will have to bear a cost of $500 to $1400. For the even bigger lots, like 40’ by 120’, you need to have from $1700 to $4200, with you.

However, fortunately, many of these tents are available at great discounts at amazon right now. You can avail these discounts during the holiday sales and other seasonal sales too.

How to Keep a Beach Canopy from Blowing Away?

You will find lots of ‘E-Z Up’ bags on Amazon, these can easily be filled with sand and you can just clip them to the side of the tent’s legs. A bit pricey to purchase, but these work amazingly well against the wind. Also, quite portable to be carried along with the tent wherever you go, the size is very compact and can easily fit anywhere! Other do-it-yourself types of things you can do, include tying some weights to the legs on top or hanging, to keep the tent in place.

You can even use PVC pipes and attach them or just simple plastic jugs filled with water for more convenience. You can take 4-5 jugs and just attach them for support. These are even better than the sand bags, as they are heavier and hence, keep the canopy in place, no matter how strong the winds. Tent Stakes are another option. These can be driven into the holes you make at the end of the legs of the tent. Keep a margin of eight stakes for a good, sturdy support.

What to Look for When Buying a Beach Canopy?

Type of Beach Tent

A beach tent closely resembles the kind of tent you would use for camping but there are a few subtle differences between the two. Beach tents have protective floors which act as a layer between you and the sand. They have either three or four sides to shield you from the elements, and one opening which serves as an entrance. Beach tents are usually on the small side which makes them great for kids to play in.

Canopy

This is a hybrid of a cabana and beach tent. It usually has a pop-u type of set up and can be anchored using four sand pockets. Canopies are quite sturdy although they are lightweight and compact. A canopy is larger than a beach tent and can fit more people underneath depending on the dimensions.

Gazebo

Beach gazebos are the sturdiest sun shelters available although they do take more time to set up. This is generally a steel frame with four steel legs and has a material cover which provides shelter. The legs can be staked down and anchored with sandbags for extra stability.

Dimensions

The dimensions of your preferred sun shelter will depend on a few factors. If you are a family of four, then you will need to go for something larger, like a gazebo for instance. If you are mostly adults, then you should choose a outdoor beach shelter canopy that is tall enough in the center. Some shade shelters have adjustable legs designed especially for this purpose. Beach tents are perfect for the kids and offer enough space for them to play or nap in while keeping them out of the wind and sun.

Weight

Luckily, most outdoor beach shelters are lightweight and compact, thanks to their quick set up designs. However, a sturdier shade shelter canopy such as a gazebo with steel frame and legs might be a bit heavier. Almost all sun shelters come standard with their own carry case, but those that don’t, are able to fit into a hold-all.

These shade shelters are light enough to carry over your shoulder and some fold up small enough to be carried on your back. This is a great design since you already have enough baggage to worry about when going on an outing.

View The Best Beach Canopy Tent, For The Family

best overall rating

1. Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL

Pacific Breeze Easy Up Beach Tent Deluxe XL

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This beach tent is easy to setup and take down thanks to the specially designed hub system. Because of its larger size, setup is a two-man job. It features 3 extra large windows to accommodate any cross breezes and has built-in pockets to keep your valuables sand-free. 4 stakes and 5 sand pockets ensure that this beach tent has extra stability in windy conditions.

See more information on Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL.

Why We Like It

  • Easy Setup
  • 3 Extra large windows
  • 4 Stakes and 5 Sand pockets

Type
Beach Tent
Dimensions
95 x 51 x 52 inches
Weight
6.5 lbs
Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. Clam Corporation 9281 Quick-Set Escape Shelter

Clam Corporation 9281 Quick-Set Escape Shelter

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This is a gazebo canopy with 6 sides and is ready to use straight from the box. No assembly is required and it only takes 45 seconds to set up. The no-see-um mesh and extra-wide skirt protect you from those pesky bugs. Not only is this pop up gazebo great for camping, it is the ideal shelter for picnics and other family activities.

See more information on Clam Corporation 9281 Quick-Set Escape Shelter.

Why We Like It

  • No assembly required
  • Extra wide skirt
  • No-see-um Mesh

Type
Gazebo
Dimensions
140 x 140 x 90 inches
Weight
34 lbs
Editor Rating
great value rating

3. ihoven Automatic Pop Up Beach Tent

ihoven Automatic Pop Up Beach Tent

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Another quick and easy pop-up design, this beach tent is ready to use in seconds. It features durable water-proof 190T nylon, which is coated with silver material. An effective UV Protection of 50+++ helps to protect you from the sun. A Zip screen provides privacy even in open spaces.

See more information on ihoven Automatic Pop Up Beach Tent.

Why We Like It

  • Pop-up design
  • UV 50+++
  • 190T Nylon Material

Type
Beach Tent
Dimensions
17 x 17 x 2 inches
Weight
2.2 lbs
Editor Rating

4. Sport-Brella Portable All-Weather and Sun Umbrella

Sport-Brella Portable All-Weather and Sun Umbrella

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This portable sun umbrella or sport shelter is packed with all of the features you need to enjoy the outdoors. It is made of rugged 210 D Polyester material and is 2.44m wide. Additional side flaps provide extra sun protection and efficient airflow, while the dual canopy is reinforced with 4.5mm steel ribs.

See more information on Sport-Brella Portable All-Weather and Sun Umbrella.

Why We Like It

  • 2.44m wide
  • Weighs 4.077kg
  • UVA and UVB Protection

Type
Canopy
Dimensions
54 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches
Weight
9 lbs
Editor Rating

5. Schylling UV Play Shade, SPF 50

Schylling UV Play Shade, SPF 50

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Specially designed for the little ones, this tent is equipped with pegs as well as sand pockets. Measuring 31" x 51" x 39", there is no assembly required thanks to the patented pop-up design. Made from waterproof polyester, this tent has a high SPF 50 + rating to keep the kiddies safe from the sun.

See more information on Schylling UV Play Shade, SPF 50.

Why We Like It

  • Easy set-up
  • Waterproof Polyester
  • SPF 50+

Type
Beach Tent
Dimensions
31 x 51 x 39 inches
Weight
2.87 lbs
Editor Rating

6. EasyGo Shelter Instant Easy Up Beach Umbrella

EasyGo Shelter Instant Easy Up Beach Umbrella

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As far as pop-up canopies go, it does not get any easier than this. By simply pulling a string, you can have an 8-foot wide tent which is big enough for two people. This tent is great for wind protection on the beach because it can be anchored with sandbags. It comes with a storage bag and over the shoulder strap for easy storage and carrying.

See more information on EasyGo Shelter Instant Easy Up Beach Umbrella.

Why We Like It

  • Fast and easy setup
  • Sandbag anchorage
  • Convenient carry bag with over shoulder strap

Type
Beach Tent
Dimensions
48 x 48 x 96 inches
Weight
8.4 lbs
Editor Rating

7. OutdoorMaster Pop Up Beach Tent

OutdoorMaster Pop Up Beach Tent

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This pop-up beach tent is rain and wind resistant, with UV Protection SPF 50+. It doubles as a portable changing room thanks to the built-in zippered door. Stakes and sandbags give extra anchorage, whether you are on the beach or in the forest. It is great pop up tent for those sunny days.

See more information on OutdoorMaster Pop Up Beach Tent.

Why We Like It

  • Stakes and sandbags for anchorage
  • Built-in zippered door
  • Rain & wind resistant external shell

Type
Beach Tent
Dimensions
53 x 95 x 51 inches
Weight
8.15 lbs
Editor Rating

8. FreeLand Pop-Up Canopy Tent

FreeLand Pop-Up Canopy Tent

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The Freeland Pop-up Canopy Tent is round in shape, with slanted legs that provide extra stability. This canopy offers 64 square feet of shade and is perfect for outdoor uses such as camping, sports meetings or events. It has a high-grade steel frame with a white powder coat finish, which prevents chipping, peeling and corrosion.

See more information on FreeLand Pop-Up Canopy Tent.

Why We Like It

  • Two adjustable heights
  • Slanted leg design
  • CPAI-84 Fire resistant fabric top

Type
Canopy
Dimensions
120 x 96 x 96 inches
Weight
24.4 lbs
Editor Rating

9. FUNS Portable Stakeless Beach Sunshade and Gazebo Tent

FUNS Portable Stakeless Beach Sunshade and Gazebo Tent

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This well-crafted gazebo has been designed to withstand big gusts of wind. The gazebo is stakeless but can be anchored by filling the four plastic sandbags with sand or rocks. It is Portable and lightweight, measuring only 2.2 meters and light enough to be folded up and carried as a backpack.

See more information on FUNS Portable Stakeless Beach Sunshade and Gazebo Tent.

Why We Like It

  • Stakeless
  • Windproof
  • Portable and lightweight

Type
Gazebo, Canopy
Dimensions
118.1 x 78.7 x 118.1 inches
Weight
4.5 lbs
Editor Rating

10. Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade

Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade

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With a center height of 4 ft. 9 in., the Coleman Instant Day-tripper has a privacy door and front awning for extra shade. Built-in mesh pockets can hold small items such as keys, mobile phones and water bottles and the versatile back converts into a wall, window or door.

See more information on Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade.

Why We Like It

  • 4 ft. 9 in center height
  • Sandbag anchorage
  • Front Awning for extra shade

Type
Beach Tent
Dimensions
14.7 x 6.6 x 6.6 inches
Weight
5 lbs
Editor Rating

11. E-Z UP SR9104BL Sierra II Canopy

E-Z UP SR9104BL Sierra II Canopy

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This is an economic, lightweight portable canopy with an angled leg design. Its steel fold up frame makes setup quick and easy and the canopy folds out to 10' x10'. The top is made from CPAI-84 fire resistant material and blocks 99% of harmful UV rays. We recommend staking or weighing down in windy weather.

See more information on E-Z UP SR9104BL Sierra II Canopy.

Why We Like It

  • Angled leg design
  • CPAI-84 fire-resistant top
  • 10' x10' footprint

Type
Gazebo, Canopy
Dimensions
96 x 118 x 118 inches
Weight
32 lbs
Editor Rating

12. Lightspeed Quick Canopy

Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy

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This 5-foot tall canopy by Lightspeed Outdoors has enough room for four people seated in their chairs. The solid back wall provides sun and wind protection and a bottom-pull; drawstring hub system makes setup quick and easy even in windy conditions. When the wind picks up, you can simply fill the anchor bags or use the strategically placed guy lines to stabilize the canopy.

See more information on Lightspeed Quick Canopy.

Why We Like It

  • 5 foot tall
  • Sandbags and guy lines for anchorage
  • 7'10" wide, f' tall

Type
Canopy
Dimensions
94.9 x 59.1 x 94.9 inches
Weight
7 lbs
Editor Rating

13. Neso Tents Portable Beach Tent with Sand Anchor

Neso Tents Portable Beach Tent with Sand Anchor

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This portable beach tent is designed to last you a lifetime, with its high-quality Nylon/Lycra blend material and rustproof aluminum poles. It has patented reinforced corners and is water and UV resistant. Weighing in at 4lbs and 19.5 inches, this tent is light enough to carry over your shoulder or in your carry-on.

See more information on Neso Tents Portable Beach Tent with Sand Anchor.

Why We Like It

  • 4lbs and 19.5inches
  • Durable design
  • Water and UV resistant

Type
Canopy
Dimensions
81.9 x 78 x 66.1 inches
Weight
3.97 lbs
Editor Rating

14. Mad Grit Best XL Portable Beach Shade

Mad Grit Best XL Portable Beach Shade

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Weighing only 6 lbs, this portable beach tent is the perfect travel companion. It is made from 100% Lycra Elastic Nylon material with a high quality 220 GSM thickness. The material is stretchy yet durable and measures 2m x 2m. This shade comes standard with 2 metal poles, 4 sandbags, and 4 extra stakes.

See more information on Mad Grit Best XL Portable Beach Shade.

Why We Like It

  • 100% Lycra Elastic Nylon
  • 2m x 2m
  • Can be used on grass and sand

Type
Canopy
Dimensions
79 x 79 inches
Weight
5.8 lbs
Editor Rating

Conclusion

To get the most out of your picnic or beach time, it is the best to ensure you are well-equipped. A good tent or a canopy are a great addition to your gear, to get all the convenience and make the most out of your beach time.

It offers you the protection and privacy you need while enabling you to enjoy and have fun all the way! We hope the above buying guide will give you a good idea of buying the right type of tent/canopy, which will be with you for all your camping, beach, and other excursions in years to come.