Best Beach Tents

It’s a sunny day, so you’re trying to make the most of it by visiting the beach. But as the day sets in, the temperature rises, and you start to feel uncomfortably hot. Even a trip to the water doesn’t seem to be cooling you down!


As an Amazon Associate, BE Family Travel earns from qualifying purchases. Learn More

The hot sun might make you feel sticky and uncomfortable, but what it’s doing to your skin is even worse. To avoid sunburn blisters, you need to find some shade — and fast! Plus, plenty of high-factor sunscreen (but you knew that already)! Have you tried this Sunscreen Hack For Kids – Using A Brush Applicator?

Beach tents provide secure shade and offer vital protection against the strong sun. They also give your beach trip a little extra privacy and can protect you from sandblasting on a particularly windy day!

We’ve rounded up some of the best beach tents — from large family canopies to portable youth tents — for a happier, safer beach trip.

📌Pin it for later📌

Best Beach Tents for Families

The Top 5 Beach Tents

1. Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent

Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent, SPF 50+ Beach Tent Provides shelter from The Sun for 3+ People

Best Overall

If you’re after a tent that will become an essential piece of equipment for any beach trip, look no further than the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent. This offers an excellent all-around performance with a setup you can master in minutes.

The Pacific Breeze Easy Setup uses a central hub to make assembly quicker than ever. All you need to do to get the tent up is pull it into place with the handy pulleys.

Secure everything in place, and you’re ready to enjoy your tent. Even on a windy day, you can get it set up quickly.

With UPF50+ protection, a water-resistant PE floor, and sand pockets for added security, the Pacific Breeze tent provides excellent protection from the elements. Large ventilated windows prevent the interior from becoming heated. 

Measuring 87 L x 47 H x 49 D, this is a spacious tent that’s good for families and couples. Want a little more room? Pacific Breeze offers a similar tent in an extra-large size

Pros

  • Easy Setup – Simply pull the tent into place, and secure it.
  • Carry Case – Folds down to just 40 x 5 x 5 and weighs just 4.5 pounds.
  • Internal Pockets – Safely store your personal items.

Cons

2. Sunba Youth Beach Shade

Beach Tent, Sunba Youth Anti UV Beach Shade, Instant Portable Tent Sun Shelter, Pop Up Baby Beach Tent, for 2-3 Person (Blue)

Best For Kids

One of the most important things that a beach tent can do is protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. This is important for everyone, especially young children, who might not recognize the necessity of rigorously reapplying sunscreen!

The pop-up assembly of the Sunba Youth beach tent makes it a top choice for families heading to the beach. It takes just three seconds to get the tent up, with limited messing about.

When you’re done for the day, it’s just as easy to pack it all away. Weighing just 2 pounds, it folds into a loop for no-fuss transportation.

The Sunba tent measures 65 L x 59 W x 43.5 H, giving room for a baby and parent. If you have younger children, this will provide a secure place for them to play. And with a UV rating of 50+, you’ll know they’re protected from the sun.

If you want a tent for even younger kids, we recommend checking out the Monobeach Baby Beach Tent Pop Up. This is a little more complicated to set up but comes with a mini pool for safe beach play. 

Pros

  • Mesh Windows – Air can flow around the tent, for comfort even on a hot day. 
  • 17.72 Inch Folded Size – Super compact when folded.
  • UPF 50+ – Protection from the sun.

Cons

  • Size – Two parents and a baby might be a tight fit.
  • Also available for purchase from Walmart.

3. Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Tent Sun Shelter

SUN NINJA Pop Up Beach Tent Sun Shelter UPF50+ with Sand Shovel, Ground Pegs and Stability Poles, Outdoor Shade for Camping Trips, Fishing, Backyard Fun or Picnics (10x10 FT 4 Pole, Torquoise)

Best For Families

A canopy-style tent is an excellent choice for families. With a ceiling but no walls, it protects from the sun without enclosing. It gives everyone a little breathing room, which you sometimes need on vacation!

The Sun Ninja Sun Shelter is a pop-up beach tent for families and groups. It’s available in multiple sizes, including a 10’ x 10’ canopy that can fit up to 8 people!

Even big groups can shelter comfortably from the sun. As a canopy, it’s taller than traditional tents, offering more headroom.

You might need those seven other people to put the Sun Ninja up, although it isn’t difficult, just unwieldy. Simply lay the tent out, fill the sand pockets, unfold it, and pop it into place. With stability poles and anchors, it can be secured to a variety of surfaces.

The Sun Ninja beach tent offers UPF 50+ protection and is made from water-resistant fabric. Be aware that it’s resistant, not waterproof. In a downpour, you will get wet.

Pros

  • 10’ x 10’ – A larger tent, with extra room for groups.
  • Portable – For a big structure, it’s easy to carry when folded.
  • Stability Poles And Anchors – Can be used on multiple surfaces.

Cons

  • Canopy-Style – There are no sides, so reduced protection from winds.
  • Also available for purchase from Sun Ninja and Walmart.

4. Shibumi Shade

Shibumi Shade® - World's Best Beach Shade. Designed and Sewn in America. The Original Wind Powered Beach Shade.

Best For High Winds

On a particularly warm day, a consistent breeze can be quite pleasant, cooling you down when the sun gets too much. But as nice as a breeze on your back can be, when it blows your beach tent away, you’ll be less than happy.

The Shibumi tent works with the wind rather than against it. It consists of two pieces: a pole that forms the frame and a canopy.

Thread the strong aluminum pole through the canopy (made from 40% recycled plastic bottles), and secure it to the ground. When the wind hits the canopy, it will bloom into shape, providing up to 150 square feet of shade.

The tent requires a breeze of at least 3 mph to work, but this is rarely hard to find on the beach! Even in high wind, the tent shouldn’t break or blow away.

Really strong winds can cause some slight damage, but you should find it fixable. The entire tent is made from highly durable materials.

There is one big issue with the Shibumi Shade — if there isn’t any wind, it won’t work. But if you know the beaches you visit are frequently windy, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Pros

  • Works with the wind, not against it.
  • UPF 50+ Sun Protection – Stay safe from the sun.
  • Lightweight – At only 4 pounds, it’s easy to carry.

Cons

  • The Shibumi shade is expensive, and if there’s no wind, there’s no tent.
  • Also available for purchase from Shibumi Shade and Shop Outside.

5. Sport-Brella Premiere XL UPF 50+ Umbrella Shelter

Sport-Brella Premiere XL UPF 50+ Umbrella Shelter for Sun and Rain Protection (9-Foot, Blue)

Best Versatile Beach Tent

Combining a beach tent with a beach umbrella, the Sport-Brella Shelter provides a versatile shading option. Used as either an umbrella or a tent, the strong auger bit allows the Sport-Brella to balance in the sand, the grass, or the dirt.

The Sport-Brella is essentially an oversized umbrella, and we mean oversized! This has a 9-foot canopy, so there’s plenty of space to shelter underneath.

The Sport-Brella can be used as an umbrella, with the heavy-duty 1.25” center pole securing the structure to the ground. When you want more shade, the side panels fold down and can be staked and secured.

Internal pockets can be used for storage, while the zippered windows increase airflow and can improve stability. 

The Sport-Brella offers impressive versatility, making it a good option if you need a tent for beach trips, sporting events, and concerts. It works well wherever you go, with UPF 50+ sun protection.

Pros

  • Umbrella Design – Can be used as a tent or an umbrella.
  • Large Auger Bit – Secure anchoring in sand, grass, and dirt.
  • Internal Pockets – Store your valuables close to hand.

Cons

  • Bulky – Even when folded, this is not a compact design.
  • Also available for purchase from Walmart.

Buyer’s Guide

Sunscreen, swimwear, towels, snacks, drinks, and beach toys. There can be so much baggage required for a trip to the beach! When trying to relax, the last thing you want to deal with is a heavy and cumbersome tent. But even that’s better than sunburn!

The solution, of course, is to buy an easy-to-assemble tent that fits everyone and offers protective shade. But finding that tent isn’t as easy as it sounds.

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll look at all the features you need to consider when choosing a beach tent. Never waste a beach day struggling with poles and spikes, and cords, thanks to this handy guide.

Sun Protection

The general shade of the tent does offer protection from the sun, but you can build this protection with a UPF fabric. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Fabric, and a UPF rating determines the amount of UV radiation a fabric can absorb.

UPF 50+ is the highest rating a fabric can receive, so look for this when choosing a tent. This is particularly important when choosing a tent for children, but it’s a feature all beach-goers should consider.

A UPF 50+ does provide protection, but you should always wear sunscreen as well. You can’t be too safe from the sun. Check out our Sunscreen Hack For Kids – Using A Brush Applicator.

Ease Of Assembly

There are few worse ways to start a lovely day on the beach than struggling with a complex set of instructions and innumerable poles. You want to be relaxing, and instead, you’re trying to decipher diagrams better suited for an engineering textbook.

Pop-up tents are probably the easiest tents to put up, as they require almost no assembly. They are a little harder to put away, however. Other easy-assembly tents use sand pockets and minimal poles to create a secure structure. 

Size

Avoid playing a game of “who sits in the shade” by carefully checking the tent size when making your choice. 

Compact beach tents are better for one to two people, although sometimes they can fit three at a push. These tents are a good choice for couples and couples with young children. They can also be used to give kids some safe privacy away from the adults.

Bigger tents are necessary if you’re traveling with a group or have a large family. You want enough room for everyone to get some shade without feeling crowded.

Don’t forget you want space for all the rest of your beach day gear, such as coolers, bags, towels, and even chairs. However, the bigger the tent, the harder it is to transport.

Portability

Getting the tent to and from the beach can be a hassle if you haven’t considered portability. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the tent on vacation. Can it go on an airplane? How will it fit in a rental car?

Also, remember that few of us ever find a spot on the beach right away. You might have to carry the tent a long way across the sand. Tents with good portability are lightweight, fold into a compact shape, and include a carry case.

Ventilation

Sitting in the glare of the sun, it can quickly get hot inside a beach tent. Especially as beach tents are typically made from synthetic materials, which aren’t very breathable.

Best Beach Tents

To counteract this problem, many tents are built with ventilation windows. These often zip open or are covered by flaps so you can control the level of ventilation inside the tent.

Wind Resistance/Stability

We’ve all seen it: someone running frantically along the beach, trying to catch hold of their rapidly departing tent. One big gust of wind and a poorly secured tent will be halfway across the beach.

Stakes and sand pockets are often used to stabilize the tent and keep it in place even when the wind picks up. Some brands, such as Shibumi, work with the wind, and the canopy takes shape in the breeze.

Pockets And Other Features

A basic tent is essentially a piece of fabric over a pole structure. This is fine for keeping the sun off your skin, but if you’re heading to the beach, you might want something with a little more functionality.

Beach tents often come with interior storage pockets that can be used for protecting the essentials.

Some include zippered windows, which add a breeze and allow you to enjoy the beach view. Some tents even have a washing line for drying off swimsuits after a splash in the sea!

Price

Are you looking for a tent that you can use for years and take on regular beach trips? Then it’s worth paying for quality because beach tents can suffer from a lot of wear and tear.

A good quality tent can withstand wind, sun, and sand without losing integrity. It can also stand up to over-enthusiastic children (and over-enthusiastic adults)!

Or do you want a tent you can take for a few weeks away and leave in your vacation rental? In this situation, you can find decent budget tents that protect you from the sun and won’t break the bank. Consider how often you plan on using the tent when deciding on a budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is A Beach Tent Worth It?

A beach tent offers vital protection against the sun, by providing a secure shaded area. They’re more stable than beach umbrellas, and the level of shade is constant. A good beach tent will be made from UPF 50+ materials, which add an extra layer of protection. 

As well as shade, a beach tent also offers privacy. On a crowded beach, the tent shelters you from the rest of the beachgoers. Better for changing into your swimsuit, and better when you just want to relax.

Do Beach Tents Get Hot?

We use the beach tent to keep the sun off our skin, but that means the fabric of the tent has to absorb a lot of sunlight. Inside the tent can get pretty hot if the air can’t circulate.

For that reason, many beach tents include ventilation, such as windows or vents. This allows the air to circulate, so you can return to enjoying the shade. 

Which Tent Is Best For The Beach?

The best beach tents are made from a fabric with 50+ UV protection, are easy to assemble, and have enough space for everyone you plan on sharing the tent with.

We love the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Tent, which meets all the criteria, and is affordable. We also like beach tents from Sunba Youth, Sun Ninja, Shibumi, and Sport-Brella.

Final Thoughts

A beach tent provides vital protection against UV rays, creating a consistent shade for relaxing. They’re particularly important for families, but they’re beneficial for anyone who likes to relax on the beach. 

Our top choice is the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup, thanks to its ease of use and affordability. But there are many great beach tents out there! We hope this guide has helped you discover the best!

For more about family travel, check out these posts:
Simple Family Beach Hacks
Sunscreen Hack For Kids – Using A Brush Applicator
When Can You Take a Baby to the Beach?
Beach Essentials for Kids
Family Beach Vacation – Ultimate Guide & Packing Lists
How To Treat Sunburn Blisters
Best Beach Blanket for Families

BE Family Products Inc., or (BE Family Travel) participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links on this website does NOT cost you anything but does help us continue to create content on this blog. Thank you so much for your support and for partnering with us. Let’s BE Family.

Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The BE Family Travel Team writes articles to help parents travel with children.