Sun, sea, sand, and surf. There are few things in life quite as good as spending time at the beach.
But what about the sunburn?!
That isn’t very pleasant at all.
We, humans, are pretty fragile creatures – especially the younger and the older ones among us – and we need all the protection we can get from that great big ball of fire in the sky.
And while it’s always advisable to make sure you and your family are well lathered in sunscreen, some extra defenses certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
That’s why I’ve put together this review of the best beach tents on the market – versatile, portable, pop up protection.
A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.
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- TOP 18 Best Pop Up Beach Tents 2021
- Monobeach Baby Pop Up Beach Tent
- AmazonBasics Pop Up Beach Tent
- G4Free Large Pop Up Beach Tent
- Multifun Easy Pop Up Beach Tent
- Coleman Beach Shade Shelter
- Sport-Brella Vented Sun and Rain Canopy
- Arcshell Extra Large Pop Up Beach Tent
- Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader
- Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent
- Zomake Pop Up Tent
- Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent
- WolfWise Easy Pop Up Beach Tent
- Lightspeed Outdoors Sun Shelter
- Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe XL
- Neso Tents Canopy Beach Tent
- Pacific Breeze Deluxe XL Beach Tent
- Pacific Breeze Sand & Surf Beach Shelter
- ABCCanopy Instant Canopy Tent
- How to Choose the Best Pop Up Beach Tent
TOP 18 Best Pop Up Beach Tents 2021
Monobeach Baby Pop Up Beach Tent
Review: First up we have this pop up beach tent that is specifically designed for the youngest members of the family.
Protecting your baby’s skin while at the seaside is vitally important, and this affordable shade for children under three years of age will give you extra peace of mind while enjoying a day at the beach.
It had a UV protection rating of 50+, is super-lightweight and portable with an automatic pop up system to have your child sheltered in no time.
It also includes a mini-pool you can fill with water to allow a precious one some splashy fun without the need to go near the sea. It also features a curtain, two-way zippers and storage pocket.
- Great price.
- Super-easy set up.
- Mini-pool keeps them cool!
- Peace of mind for you with your child.
- Not good in windy conditions.
- Active and energetic babies might get bored.
AmazonBasics Pop Up Beach Tent
Review: This is a seriously no-frills pop up beach tent from AmazonBasics, but it will certainly get the job done and for a fraction of the cost of other products.
Made from nylon, it sets up in seconds with a large mesh window to the rear for improved ventilation. It features a side sandbag anchor and tent pegs to keep it secure to the ground, with an extended front porch area for extra room to spread you or your belongings out.
It weighs just 2.55 lbs, and packs down into a compact, zippered carry bag for ease of transportation.
Given the size, I would suggest it’s more suitable for kids, teens or one adult – so it also makes a good shelter for watching your child’s sporting activities.
- Good price.
- Simple set up.
- Pop up option with poles.
- As basic as it gets.
- Not the best sun protection.
- Difficult to dismantle.
G4Free Large Pop Up Beach Tent
Review: This pop up tent offers an oversized design for more room inside which they claim is 20% larger than their competitors and spacious enough for three to four people.
It has a comprehensive wind design, with two built-in sand pockets, four detachable sandbags and four fixed tent pegs to keep the cabana tent steady in the wind.
The three widened mesh windows provide extra ventilation, while it’s made from a 190T Silver Coated fabric Anti-UV, UPF 50+, which will protect you and your family from the sun’s harmful rays.
It’s also water-resistant to 1000 mm ensuring that if there is a light shower you’ll be sheltered here.
- Great price for what you get.
- Larger size.
- Loads of features.
- Versatile use.
- Great choice of colors.
- Will need heavier weights in blustery conditions.
- Again, difficult to dismantle.
Multifun Easy Pop Up Beach Tent
Review: While there is a “normal” version of this pop up beach tent, who wouldn’t want to have the shark version?!
This is perfect for the young and the young at heart, with a really striking design that will make you the envy of every family on the beach.
It’s not just fun to look at though, with a factor 50+ protection, three large side mesh windows, a rear opening, an anti-soak base layer and suitable for two to four people (or a combination of loads of kids or a couple of adults).
It’s water and wind-resistant, with durable construction and a high-quality fiberglass frame that will never rust. It can be set up and folded down in seconds and is super-lightweight and portable.
C’mon though, the best thing about it is that looks like a shark.
- Fun design.
- Quality construction.
- Excellent heat protection.
- Rear opening.
- 360-degree ventilation.
- Smaller than it looks.
Coleman Beach Shade Shelter
Review: Coleman are one of the best camping tent brands around, and check out that link to see more of the highest quality tent manufacturers out there. You would have thought that having been in business since 1900 they would know a thing or two about making camping gear, so a beach shade is certainly within their skill set.
This offers 50+ factor sun protection, a large, zipped rear window for ventilation, extended front porch area that can be zipped up for privacy, and the nice touch of integrated storage pockets and a dry line to hang wet clothing – which is always an issue at the beach unless you want sand sticking everywhere.
It takes between five to ten minutes to erect, but that means it’s sturdier than your average pop up. For the price, it could well be the best beach shelter out there.
- Name to trust.
- Quality construction.
- Excellent features.
- Choice of colors.
- Spacious yet compact.
- Slow assembly.
- Not the most portable.
Sport-Brella Vented Sun and Rain Canopy
Review: Something a little different now with this ingeniously designed, versatile umbrella and sun canopy. It has a 50+ SPF rating, with side panels added for extra protection and flaps for ventilation.
The large, eight-foot canopy is made from a weather-resistant, tough 210 polyester and is supported by 4.5 millimeter steel ribs and a 5 millimeter steel stretcher.
It uses two anchor cords and heavy-duty ground stakes to prevent it from flying away in windier conditions, but it has the option of being filled with sand for extra stability.
Featuring side windows, wind gust relief vents, and an easy set up of around five minutes or less, this is versatile, durable protection that can be used in a variety of settings and conditions.
- Excellent features.
- Tough and durable.
- Nice windproofing.
- Choice of colors.
- Some beaches don’t allow this kind of product – so check first.
Arcshell Extra Large Pop Up Beach Tent
Review: Weighing in at just 6.55 lbs is this large beach tent from Arcshell, suitable for two adults to sit comfortably in deck chairs inside with two little people there too.
It’s made from 190T polyester wall conjoined with a 210 denier Oxford floor, tough and durable with a UPF factor of 50+ for protection against the sun’s rays. It’s water-resistant to 3000 mm, with three, extra-large mesh windows for ventilation and bug defense.
Privacy flaps can cover each, while five sandbags and six durable stakes can handle up to 25 miles per hour winds. It sets up within 60 seconds, and features storage bags for your belongings, with a fully sealable door for shutting the world out when required.
For the money, it could be the best beach shelter in the review. Decide for yourself.
- Packed with features.
- Total privacy available.
- Spacious inside.
- Might be too large for some people.
Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader
Review: With a promised set up of one minute or less, this Easthills Outdoors shader is made from 185T polyester coated with UPF 50+ protection that blocks 97.5% of harmful UV sun rays, providing all-day protection for your family on the beach or sports events.
It weighs a super-light 5 lbs, is water-resistant, durable and spacious with a large front porch area with room for two adults with children and pets.
It offers windows on three sides with privacy flaps, as well as a zippered front door should you wish to seal it up completely.
There are four internal mesh pockets, velcro sand pouch for extra anchoring, ten tent pegs and guy ropes, all packing down in a carry bag easily suitable for the trunk of your car.
- Fast set up.
- Sturdy, quality materials.
- Packed with features.
- Instructions sewn in for extra assistance.
- Not great in the rain.
- Might be a little small for some people who require more space.
Coleman 4-Person Pop-Up Tent
Review: This wouldn’t be a proper round-up of “beach tents” without actually including a proper tent.
I’ve gone for this Coleman pop up model, which is versatile enough to use anywhere and while it comes in a couple of different sizes, I think the four-person is ideal for family use. The pre-assembled poles make for a super-easy ten-second set up, while the flysheet and taped seams help keep you dry in the event of a downpour.
It has two, internal storage pockets for your personal belongings, a strong windproof frame, and it folds and packs down into a convenient flat pack for easy storage.
It’s easily the best pop up tent for beach camping – when you’re actually going to camp on the beach.
- A proper tent.
- Easy and super-fast set up.
- Name to trust.
- Practical features.
- Not really suitable for heavy-duty camping.
- Zipper isn’t the best quality.
Zomake Pop Up Tent
Review: Throw-in-the-air pop up tents have been all the rage for a while now – a huge favorite among festival-goers and those who don’t want to spend an age struggling with poles and pegs.
This Zomake tent is ready to go in seconds, can fit up to four people and is made from 190T PU-coated silver anti-UV polyester fabric, providing UPF 50+ sun protection with no odd smell inside the tent – which can sometimes be a real problem.
And while many of these tents tend to be impossible to pack up, Zomake offer an online video to show you exactly how to do it – which is a really nice touch.
It has excellent ventilation, with two mesh windows, two mesh doors and a mesh sky window. It easily rivals the Coleman as the best pop up tent for the beach – so you might have to toss a coin.
- Sets up in seconds.
- Excellent ventilation
- Choice of colors.
- No room for deck chairs.
- Definitely won’t fit four people.
Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent
Review: Pacific Breeze make fun recreational products for maximum enjoyment in the sun, and this is one of their first entries into the beach tent review.
It’s a really well-designed model, lightweight and durable with an SPF factor of 50+ for protection from those UV rays.
It features plenty of internal space with storage pockets for small items and belongings, a fiberglass frame and water-resistant PE flooring. It includes a carrying case, sand pockets and stakes for anchoring, while the whole thing weighs just 4.5 lbs.
It’s probably one of the better beach tents for actually being able to set up in seconds AND take down just as fast. This should be pretty foolproof for most people.
- Excellent design.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Easy to set up AND take down.
- Packed with good features.
- Extremely popular and well-reviewed.
- Let me know if you find one – maybe a choice of colors would have been nice.
WolfWise Easy Pop Up Beach Tent
Review: Another option that is a throw and pop up design, with super-lightweight construction that makes it really easy to transport in its own carrying bag.
It weighs just 4.6 lbs and folds down into a manageable traveling size. Inside it’s spacious, with the possibility of fitting three to four people comfortably (so long as one or two of those people are kids).
It offers high-density mesh windows with a large entrance and full-size rear door to deliver 360-degree ventilation, so it doesn’t get too hot and sweaty in there.
Like most good pop ups, it has an SPF factor of 50+, and is made from an anti-tear, 190T polyester for durability. The frame itself is made from galvanized steel – not as easy to break as fiberglass frames, which is a big bonus for this model.
- Excellent ventilation.
- Super-fast set up times.
- Durable construction.
- Steel frame.
- Tricky to pack down.
Lightspeed Outdoors Sun Shelter
Review: San Diego based Lightspeed Outdoors have created a pop up beach tent here with a patented hub opening system that is so fast it might as well be lightspeed.
Hyperbole aside, this pitches in double quick time and offers a tough and durable construction with a floor that is kid and pet-proof.
It has thick fiberglass poles that make up the frame, three large mesh windows for maximum ventilation, an extended porch section that can be clipped up if you need some privacy and has a rating of 600mm PU coating for wet conditions.
Featuring a standard SPF factor 50+, sand pockets, pegs and guy ropes for added protection and stability, this is a quality beach tent as we start to spend a little more on these products.
- Fast and easy set up.
- Highly durable.
- Clip up front porch.
- Funky color design available.
- Might get a little warm inside.
Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe XL
Review: You’ll be moving into some prime real estate if you set one of these up on the beach. This is a beautifully designed tent that has an SPF factor 50+ rating, with a special double silver coating that effectively blocks 97.5% of UVA and UVB rays.
This surface reflects heat so even when the beach is scorching hot, you’ll remain cool inside – even in direct sunlight.
It’s spacious enough to take four adults lying down inside, while it has huge mesh windows and double guyout points to make sure you all don’t get too stuffy inside.
You can zip up the front porch for added privacy if you need to change your clothes (or whatever else you might like to get up to) while it offers four storage pouches for your personal belongings.
There’s an added overhead mesh pocket for extra gear, too.
- Attractive design.
- Quality make and materials.
- Good storage options.
- Protective layer will keep you cool inside.
- Might be too large for some – especially for transporting.
Neso Tents Canopy Beach Tent
Review: Now for something a little different and just to mix it up, I’ve included this portable canopy style beach tent.
The most obvious advantage is the ventilation, as you’re all but guaranteed to stay cool under this – it’s like you’ve brought in your own bunch of trees to block the sun.
It weighs just 4 lbs, making it one of the lightest tents in the review, and is made with the highest quality nylon/lycra blend, rust-proof aluminum poles, and patented reinforced corners.
It’s water-resistant and will protect you from 98% of UV rays, and is anchored using sand or rocks.
It’s a really easy set up and doesn’t require any stakes, while being able to comfortably accommodate two adults and two children. If using it on a rocky beach, make sure you also select a pair of the best water shoes for rocky beaches – you’ll be really glad you did – and so will the kids.
- Super lightweight.
- Best ventilation possible.
- Easy to set up.
- Highly portable.
- Choice of amazing colors – and they can even print your own logo if required.
- No privacy at all should you need it.
- Not as stable as other designs.
Pacific Breeze Deluxe XL Beach Tent
Review: A similar model to the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe, this is the Pacific Breeze, extra large version which weighs just over 6 lbs.
The beach tent provides protection from the sun, rain and wind for all outdoor activities, with a UPF 50+ sun protection and three huge windows for ventilation and people watching.
It is made from breathable polyester and is water repellent, with internal pockets to store personal items, hooks for hanging wet clothing and a water-resistant PE floor that is tough and durable for kids and pets.
A carry case is included, as well as five sand pockets to keep it anchored and four stakes.
If you’re looking for a larger beach tent for the whole brood – you’ve come to the right place.
- Very roomy and spacious.
- Quality build.
- Good storage options.
- Fast set up considering its size.
- You need the extendable floor version if you want to be able to seal it for privacy.
Pacific Breeze Sand & Surf Beach Shelter
Review: Another offering from Pacific Breeze, and a breeze you will certainly feel if you opt for this beach shelter/tent. They once again utilize their easy hub system to make setting the canopy up is really fast and straightforward.
It’s highly versatile, and can be erected in a variety of ways depending on the conditions, so you can choose where the shade and protection is focused. As a result, it has excellent ventilation, while offering a factor 50+ SPF rating to protect your skin.
It features internal pockets to store personal items, an attachable shadow to provide extra sun protection and an ingenious zip out floor allows children to play in the sand while still having shade from the sun.
As far as beach shelters go, there really is a lot to like here.
- Super versatile.
- Zip-out floor.
- Eight sand pockets.
- Outstanding ventilation.
- Very spacious.
- Expensive for a sun shelter.
- No real privacy options.
ABCCanopy Instant Canopy Tent
Review: I include this offering from ABCCanopy purely to offer something a little different that has a variety of uses. It’s enormous inside, with 100 square feet of shade that can easily fit about 15 people.
It’s ideal for outdoor events, tailgating or those awesome summer beach barbecues, and should certainly be considered if you have a particularly large party or family.
It’s a top-quality construction, made from 300 denier polyester with PU lining, with 100% waterproof and 50+UV protection. The super-strong commercial grade frame is very sturdy, and can withstand 50 km/h winds with the help of the sandbags, ropes and stakes.
It’s a concertina-style set up that two people can erect in a matter of minutes – hence its inclusion here.
Three different height options are also available with this excellent portable marquee.
- Ideal for larger groups.
- Backpack-style bag for transportation.
- Easy set up.
- Quality build construction.
- Not really for quick beach trips.
- Very heavy.
How to Choose the Best Pop Up Beach Tent
Now you’ve had the chance to peruse the selection of beach tents in the review, it’s time to explore what you should actually be considering before making your purchase.
Don’t forget about the FAQ section to follow.
The fabric that makes up the main canopy of the beach tent should be tough and durable, and thankfully, for the most part, it will be.
It’s usually either nylon or polyester, with sometimes a blend of lycra other such fabrics.
Keep an eye out for a tent that says “Ripstop,” because you know it’s going to have added protection against tearing or puncturing.
If there’s a frame (and there usually is) it will be made from either a strengthened plastic, fiberglass, steel or other such metal.
You’ve guessed it, they go by strength in that exact order.
But having poles in a frame isn’t always a good thing, so check out these inflatable tents that would work just as well – if not better – on a beach.
A good beach tent – even though it’s primarily for use during the summer – should also have the ability to at least repel water.
Check to see the fabric waterproofing level – the higher the number of millimeters, the more water it can take before it’s forced through the material.
Always err on the side of caution here, you never know when the heavens will suddenly open.
You also might like to use the tent for other things, such as fishing or watching sports in less than sunny climes.
Now, this is a vitally important consideration and so the beach tent does the job that it was intended to do.
But not all fabrics have been treated to be sun-proof.
This can often catch people out – just because you might be in the “shade” doesn’t mean that you’re being fully protected from UV rays.
At the very least, a beach tent, canopy or shade should have an SPF factor of 50+. Luckily, most of them do.
It really is kind of essential!
Tent sizing always seems to fool people. You should always go for a size larger than you need.
Why manufacturers do this is beyond me, maybe they’re just trying to boast about their size but they can’t back it up?!
Consider both the numerical and physical size of you and your brood, too – so you can adjust accordingly if you have a giant in your family.
Remember – you’ll also need space for your gear, coolers, towels, games and other belongings. Make sure you factor those in as well.
How do you usually get to the beach?
If you’re simply chucking everything in the trunk of your car then the weight of a beach tent shouldn’t be much of a concern.
But what happens if you need to walk some distance, or perhaps you’re backpacking or hiking?
How heavy the tent is will definitely play a factor there – so keep an eye on those super-lightweight versions for extra portability.
Beach tents come in a variety of styles.
How important is the speed at which you can assemble your tent? Do you need it lightning fast so you can concentrate on the more fun things in life?
Are you that impatient you can’t manage to hold on for a few minutes?
Are you just super lazy and you don’t want to spend an age poking poles through holes?
Consider your personal preference here – it’s your life after all.
Does it really matter? Actually, it just might.
I spotted a beach canopy that was black. Who in their right mind would order a black tent for repelling the sun on a scorching hot day?
And that’s just it – some colors are better at doing that than others.
Make sure you do your research before choosing something you might bake in.
It’s also nice to stand out from the crowd – and if you’ve chosen a beach that is rammed, having a funky home base could save you and your family a lengthy search and a lot of panic.
It’s rare I get to review a product where the price range doesn’t vary that dramatically – and even the most expensive beach tents here aren’t that costly.
As ever I would say go with the best you can afford, but because they’re relatively close in price, you should be able to get the one you really want without cutting financial corners.
Why do I Need a Beach Tent?
Well, you don’t, really. But if you’re a regular beachgoer and especially if you bring your children with you, then you 100% need protection and shade from the hot sun.
Remember – it only takes 20 minutes in a moderate heat for your skin to burn – and the skin of your loved ones. Sunscreen can only do so much for so long – you need to be able to escape it.
And on an open beach with no shade – that’s not possible.
Oh, wait. It is. With a beach tent.
Are Beach Tents Sturdy?
It depends on which tent you choose and what sort of anchoring system is in place.
The number one problem with a beach tent is there’s a possibility it will blow away with even the slightest breeze.
This is why they incorporate sandbag anchors so you can fill pouches with sand to weigh it down.
Most will also offer durable stakes and guy ropes so you can secure it more firmly into the sand or whatever ground you happen to be on.
But you still might have to add a little more weight of your own, such as strategically positioning bags or other such belongings.
How do I Dismantle a Beach Tent?
Ahhh, the eternal question. For some, it certainly isn’t easy.
I would suggest you study the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter – and practice before you actually take out your new tent.
Try not to get too frustrated with it if you don’t succeed for the first time – I assure you, you will.
It seems to me that many people try to force it, and either give up or end up breaking the thing. This is when companies get bad reviews when it’s not even their fault.
Take your time and have patience. Once you’ve got it, you’ll be able to look like a pro and do it time and time again.
And for the love of all things holy – don’t ever just leave it at the beach. That’s called pollution and it sucks and you’ll suck if you do it.
What Else Can I Use a Beach Tent For?
Great question! There are actually loads of things you can use it for – not just at the beach.
Use it as a fishing shelter, for watching sports, as a play fort for the kids (or adults), a house for your pet…
The limit is your imagination!
It’s a mammoth article for a mammoth topic – the best pop up beach tent has been hotly contested, so let me know in the comments below what your favorite is and why.
I cannot stress how important it is to stay safe out there in the sun – especially for young children and the elderly.
A beach tent is a way to go if you’re spending any time enjoying the seaside.
Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
Happy (beach) camping people!
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