one of the best beach tents on the beach

The 10 Best Beach Tents to Stay Cool under This Summer

For family trips to the beach or weekend soccer games, nothing makes a hot day more enjoyable than some cool shade. Setting up a canopy or beach tent gives your family a place to stash their things and provides the shade you need to keep sensitive skin out of the sun. Beach tents are not just for small children, however! If you’ve ever tried to read a magazine on the beach or keep your towel out of the sand, you know how nice it can be to have a clean, cool spot out of the sun.

Take a look at this snap-shot of what your options are (more details on each in the best beach tents and beach canopies section), and then read on to find out what to look for in a beach tent that will keep you and your family chilled out all summer long.

ProductFeaturesType of tentCost
Kelty Shade Maker 2PortableCanopy$$$$
Big Agnes Three Forks ShelterRobust and durableCanopy$$$$
Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade TentInstant set upCanopy$$
Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun ShelterSpaciousTent$
KingCamp Beach TentFast set upTent$$
Coleman DayTripper Beach ShadeLightweightTent$
Pacific Breeze Easy UpInstant set up and lightweightTent$$
Kau Kohu 4 Person Easy Up Beach TentVery spaciousTent$$
Sport-BrellaGood in rain as well as sunUmbrella$
Neso Tents Beach TentLightweight and adaptableTarp$$

What to look for in a great beach tent or canopy

When it comes to figuring out which beach shade is best for you, here are three questions to consider:

How much time are you willing to spend on setup?

If you’re going to the beach for the day, the difference between 5 and 10 minutes isn’t much. If you plan to use your shade for quick trips or a short soccer or baseball game on the weekend, look for something that sets up in 5 minutes or less like the Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent. Along the same lines, if you will be traveling long distances with your shade, look for something small enough to fit in your trunk or carry-on luggage.

How much wind do you expect your shade to handle?

Beach umbrellas are notorious for blowing away in gusty wind. If you anticipate needing something that can stand up to wind, purchase a canopy or tent with stakes or weights to hold it in place. The KingCamp Beach Tent has both steel stakes and sandbags.

Where do you plan to use your tent?

Sandbag weights are extremely useful on the beach because they are designed to be filled with sand before each use; that way you do not have to carry the extra weight to and from the car. If your family trips are anything like mine, your hands will already be full with camping chairs and coolers. Anything that reduces the weight of the shade is a good thing. If you will use your shade anywhere else, however, sandbags are no longer helpful. Stakes or permanent weights are a much better option for sitting next to a football field or at a campsite.

Types of beach tents

Once you’ve answered these questions, the last thing to consider is what type of shade you need:

Tent

Beach tents offer the most privacy and protection from the sun, rain, or critters. Families with babies and small children often prefer beach tents for these reasons.

Canopy

Shade canopies usually fit more people than tents and are taller—meaning you can sit and often stand comfortably under the shade.

Umbrella

Beach umbrellas are the most portable option and usually cost less money than the other options, making them a good choice for occasional or individual use.

No matter which type of beach shade fits your needs, you are sure to find a great option below:

The best beach canopies:

Kelty Shade Maker 2 beach tent

Kelty Shade Maker 2

Kelty’s Shade Maker 2 is a tall canopy that easily fits 3 or more full-sized camping chairs and gear. Set up requires at least two people to be done easily, but the canopy is extremely portable thanks to a carrying bag with two shoulder straps similar to a backpack. At just over 26 inches when collapsed, the Shade Maker 2 is small enough to fit in checked luggage and car trunks. The lightweight poles can bend in strong wind, so it makes a better option for calmer locations.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Big Agnes Three Forks Shelter

Big Agnes Three Forks Shelter

Big Agnes is well known for making high-quality tents and camping gear. Their Three Forks Shelter is another example of durable construction with a polyester ripstop canopy, sturdy poles, and taped seams. Taped seams keep rain from seeping in, making the shelter waterproof even in heavy rain. As with most canopies, there is plenty of shade thanks to the oversized cover. In most conditions, you can expect 10’x10′ of shade. One wall insert comes standard with the shelter. If you want more privacy, additional inserts are available for purchase from the manufacturer.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry


Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent

Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent

If you want a canopy with some of the advantages of a beach tent, Lightspeed Outdoor’s Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent might be the perfect solution. The shade tent is tall enough for adults to sit under in camping chairs and open on three sides, giving it the expansive feel of a canopy. Pre-threaded poles mean the canopy pops up instantly, making it the easiest canopy on our list in terms of setup and clean up. Although it does not provide as much shade as the other canopies (8ft. square), the cost is less than half.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


The best beach tents:

Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter

Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter

Another option from Lightspeed Outdoors is their Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter. An oversized base and porch area provides plenty of room for kids and pets to spread out. With this in mind, the base is made from thick polyethylene to withstand poky paws without tearing. The thickness and color of the base material can cause it to heat up, however, which can be uncomfortable for crawling babies or bare feet.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


KingCamp Beach Tent

KingCamp Beach Tent

The KingCamp Beach Tent pops up from flat to ready to use in just a few minutes. Three zippered windows in the tent are made from mosquito netting to keep even the smallest critters out. Both sand pockets and steel stakes come standard, so you never have to worry about your tent blowing away. Another nice feature is the optional privacy door you can make by folding the extended porch up to cover the entrance, giving you the option to use the tent as a changing room as well.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade

Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade

Offering a great compromise between affordability and useful features, the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade is a great option for beachgoers seeking light-duty shelter. The unit packs into a tight 24”x5”x5” case and weighs less than a gallon of milk, making it easy to carry to your perfect spot on the beach. Six sandbags are sewn into the shade enabling it to conveniently withstand light to moderate wind, although for heavy winds you may want to bring along aftermarket weights. Extra features include a drying line, a large window, and the ability to zip the front panel completely closed for changing.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Pacific Breeze Easy Up beach tent

Pacific Breeze Easy Up

If portability and easy set up are important for you, consider the Pacific Breeze Easy Up beach tent. Two oversized mesh windows with roll-up shades keep the interior cool thanks to better ventilation. The tent can stand up to heavy wind as well with both sandbags and stakes included. Pacific Breeze guarantees this tent is the easiest and fastest beach tent on the market to set up, and there’s no need to worry about forgetting what to do between beach trips – the simple set up instructions are sewn directly onto the bag. At only 4.5 pounds, this is also one of the lightest beach tents on our list.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Kau Kohu 4 Person Easy Up Beach Tent

Kau Kohu 4 Person Easy Up Beach Tent

Kau Kohu’s 4 Person Easy Up Beach Tent offers 61 square feet of shade. That’s almost as much shade as you get with a canopy with the extra privacy of a tent! Ventilation windows run all around the back of the beach tent with roll-up covers on the outside of the windows. Because the covers are on the exterior of the tent, they do a great job of keeping sand out of this pop up beach tent. The base floor also folds up for privacy when you need it.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Other options:

Sport-Brella beach shade

Sport-Brella Portable All-Weather and Sun Umbrella

Offering more portability and versatility than the tents and canopies on the list, the Sport-Brella Portable All-Weather and Sun Umbrella is one of the most popular beach and sport shades on the market. The oversized sides can be staked down for stability, although you may want to purchase an after-market umbrella anchor for the center pole if you expect heavy wind. One feature that may make this umbrella a better fit for your needs is that two or more Sport-Brellas can be positioned in a line to make a longer shade for a large group or sports team.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Neso Tents Beach Tent

Neso Tents Beach Tent

The Beach Tent with Sand Anchor by Neso Tents is widely praised for its extreme flexibility. It can easily be moved and reconfigured to shade nearly any angle – a useful feature as every beach has a different slope and exposure. Offering a canopy of 7’x7’ water resistant Nylon/Lycra, a small family can enjoy the shade it provides. Yet at only 3.9 pounds, even the youngest member of the family can carry it. Anchor bags are present at each corner and can be filled with beach sand or rocks to help keep it steady on windy days.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI


Having a place to get out of the sun and cool off when you plan to be outside all day will make your trip to the beach way more enjoyable – especially with small children. Whether you spend all summer at the beach or need a shade for occasional tournament days, one of these superb beach tents or canopies is sure to meet your needs!

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