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7 Best Beach Tents of 2021

7 Best Beach Tents of 2021

Beach tents are a popular addition to any vacation arsenal, and for good reason. They can help protect you from harmful UV rays, give your eyes a break from all the brightness, shelter you from the elements, and offer some seclusion from other beach-goers. But what are the best beach tents? Let’s find out!

Our Top Picks: Best Beach Tents

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick overview:

  • Best Overall: Pacific Breeze Easy Up TentEverything a beach tent should be — easy to set up, compact when broken down, roomy for the whole family, weather-resistant, and reasonably priced!
  • Best Eco-Friendly: SunBear ShadeMade from 100% recycled fishing nets, you can enjoy the beach and clean it up at the same time!
  • Best Budget: iCorer Quick CabanaiCorer is here with a tent that gets the job done with all the features you want in your beach tent without the price tag.
  • Best for Wind: Sport-Brella Super-BrellaNot all beach tents are created equal when it comes to heavy wind, but the Super-Brella proves you can have your shade and enjoy it too, no matter how strong the wind blows!
  • Best Pop Up: Shade ShackWhen we say this tent sets up in mere seconds, we mean it literally sets up in just a few seconds.
  • Best for Beach Camping: Easthills Outdoors Instant ShaderIf you’re looking to extend your day at the beach to an overnight trip, you’ll appreciate this beach tent’s “front porch” that zips up into a fourth wall to enclose your tent. 
  • Best for Babies: Monobeach Baby Beach TentBringing your baby to the beach doesn’t have to be a nightmare, not with this beach tent’s mini pool!

1. Pacific Breeze Easy Up Tent

The best beach tent overall

Pacific Breeze Easy Up Tent

Brand: Pacific | Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 86.6” x 49.2” x 47.2” | UPF: 50+ | Price: 💰💰

This easy-up tent is genuinely easy to set up and tear down, letting you enjoy the outdoors a bit more. For families on the go, the quick installation and deconstruction lets you get on the road faster at the end of the day, meaning you can spend more time in the sand. When broken down, the tent fits compactly into a convenient carry case, making it easy to transport to and from the car, and saving trunk space for longer journeys. 

This beach tent offers UPF 50+ against harmful UV rays (though sunscreen is still a must), making it one of the best beach shade tents around. Additionally, it helps protect against rain, wind, and all the elements, so you can stay comfortable no matter what the weather has up its sleeve.

And don’t feel confined to just the beach — this tent is an excellent addition to picnics at the park or an evening at the drive-in! The strong fiberglass frame can withstand years of abuse and stands firm against your average beach breeze. The polyester material of the tent itself is also very durable and designed to withstand hours under the hot sun. It’s also conveniently waterproof to protect against summer rain and the salty beach spray.

Large windows on either side of ventilation options. When both open, you can even create a mini wind tunnel to help keep you cool. The spacious interior is big enough to fit the whole family for lunch or lounging. Dual internal pockets offer convenient, private storage space to keep things like your phone, a magazine, or spare headphones.

This tent comes with a carrying case, stakes, and sand pockets. And at such a reasonable price, this versatile and durable tent with easy setup is our top recommendation.

  • Set-up and take-down takes about 60 seconds
  • Carrying bag is actually large enough to fit the tent back into
  • Weighs less than five pounds and carries comfortably over the shoulder to keep your hands free

  • Smaller than many anticipated
  • Long-term storage may corrode the tent material if it’s still wet/sandy, so be sure to dry it out before you put it away for the season

2. SunBear Shade Beach Tent

The most eco-friendly beach tent

SunBear Shade

Brand: SunBear Co | Material: Recycled Fishnet | Dimensions: 72″ x 60″ | UPF: 50+ | Price: 💰💰💰

For those more environmentally-conscious, the SunBear Shade is a great way to not only enjoy a day at the beach, but also to clean up beaches around the world! SunBear proudly makes all of their products from recycled fishing nets that would either clog up landfills or be left to rot in the sand or drift out to the open ocean. Fishing nets can harm all kinds of aquatic life since different nets have different mesh sizes. SunBear has made it their mission to purge the beaches and oceans of these hazards by turning them into something functional again — a UPF 50+ rated sun shade!

The spread-eagle design utilizes lightweight poles that fold down for easier transport and storage. All four corners of the tent act as sandbags that you fill to anchor the canopy in place. If you’ve brought your SunBear Shade to the park for a picnic, never fear — you’ll also get four corkscrew stakes. 

  • Super lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Attractive design shades large area for the whole family
  • Great for the beach, the park, and everywhere in between

  • Though the sandbags help, the tent won’t stand up to heavy winds
  • A few reviewers noted that their initial purchase arrived damaged, but they seemed to have excellent customer service and speedy replacements

3. iCorer Quick Cabana

The best beach tent on a budget

iCorer Quick Cabana

Brand: iCorer | Material: Nylon | Dimensions: 65” x 59” x 43.5” | UPF: 50+ | Price: 💰

There are all kinds of beach tents out there, ranging from a canopy you string up over your head to an elaborate “glamping” situation that costs an arm and a leg. But quality beach tents that serve their purpose don’t have to break the bank. iCorer took this idea and came up with their Quick Cabana.

This tent has all the basics you need in a beach tent: roomy coverage from the sun, 50+ UPF protection, a large mesh window for ventilation, a “front porch,” and both stake and sandbag anchoring options. The entire thing packs down into a convenient carry case about the size of a laptop, and weighs in at just 2.2 pounds. Set-up takes little time thanks to the pop-up design. The aerodynamic shape helps prevent wind drag, which keeps your tent secure against the ocean breeze. Choose from three color options!

  • Folds down compactly and weighs basically nothing
  • Half the price of fancier beach tents with all the same great features
  • Withstands steady wind when anchored with both stakes and sandbags

  • Size-wise, it’s really only made for one, maybe two adults, or a few children
  • Getting the pop-up mechanism to fold down properly may take a few tries to figure out, but is easy once you get the hang of it

4. Sport-Brella Super-Brella Sun and Rain Canopy

The best beach tent for wind

Sport-Brella Super-Brella Sun and Rain Canopy

Brand: Sport-Brella | Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 56.2” x 4” x 3.6” | UPF: 50+ | Price: 💰

Nothing is better than a cool beach breeze on a hot summer day — but unfortunately, your beach tent might not agree. Many beach tents just aren’t built to handle anything stronger than a whisper, but the Super-Brella is here to change that.

The telescoping main pole lets you adjust the angle and depth of anchorage so that you can get a sturdy position for stronger winds. Between eight steel ground stakes and three 8-foot-long tie-down cords, you have all the additional security you need to ensure the tent stays in place. 4mm steel ribs give plenty of structural support, so the umbrella-style canopy doesn’t collapse under pressure. Dual mesh ventilation windows can allow a cross breeze, further reducing drag against the tent with the bonus of cooling you off from the safety of your personal shade.

The tent itself is a 190D polyester that offers UPF of 50+ to protect you against UVA and UVB rays. This material is also waterproof to protect you from rain and the salty ocean spray.

  • Ventilation windows zipper closed, keeping out water if it starts raining
  • Genuinely stands up against the constant ocean breeze when staked properly
  • Roomy interior leaves plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the shade together

  • Set-up and take-down can take a solid chunk of time
  • The entire thing weighs in around nine pounds, making it one of the heaviest options on our list

5. Shade Shack Instant Beach Tent

The best pop up beach tent

Shade Shack Instant Beach Tent

Brand: Shade Shack | Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 51” x 91” x 53” | UPF: 30+ | Price: 💰💰

While a few of the tents on our list definitely fit the pop-up tent criteria, no one does it better than the Shade Shack Instant Beach Tent. Pull it from the convenient carry case and pop it up to its full form in literal seconds.

To anchor it down, you can either fill the sandbags, bore in the stakes, or try both for windier days! Dual ventilation windows help keep things from getting to stuffy inside the tent, and the entire rear wall can draw back. The tent material is rated UPF 30+, helping protect you and your family against harmful UV rays. This material is also waterproof to stand up to gentle rain. Weighing just about four pounds, and thanks to the convenient carry case, the tent is easy to haul around and doesn’t take up too much space.

  • Durable, sturdy construction 
  • Genuinely only takes a few seconds to set up
  • Decent size for storing personal items out of the sun and enjoying some shade with the whole family

  • The ventilation windows only Velcro closed rather than zippering closed, which lets water leak through if it’s raining hard
  • There’s no floor, so if you don’t want to sit on the sand or put your towels on the sand, you’ll have to bring a tarp or other mat

6. Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader

The best tent for beach camping

Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader

Brand: Easthills | Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 47” x 82” x 50” | UPF: 50+ | Price: 💰💰

A day on the beach is great, so why not stay the night? Lying under the stars in the sand doesn’t require a full tent set up like you’d want for actual, multi-day camping. Instead, an overnight beach stay needs the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader. This uniquely-shaped tent looks a little like a wave, or maybe a sail, and offers four walls and sturdy construction to keep out the sun, the weather, and unwanted night critters.

The front wall of the tent unzips and can lay down as a 43-inch “front porch” for easier access and a sand-free platform to use during the day. You can easily zip it up for a quick wardrobe change or a bit of privacy. The other three sides have roll-up mesh windows for added ventilation. 

Made using 185T polyester fabric covered with UPF 50+ protection, this tent shields you from 97.5% of sun rays. The ultra-lightweight design weighs five pounds, making it easy to carry around. It compresses down into a compact carry case, so it takes up minimal space in your trunk. Four internal mesh pockets offer plenty of storage space for your personal items, be it your phone, your shoes, or an eye mask. 

  • Shelters from the sun, wind, and rain (with windows closed)
  • Large enough for a couple to sleep comfortably, or even to sit on beach chairs inside
  • Dual-functioning “front porch” that zips up to enclose the tent for privacy and nighttime

  • Set-up is pretty easy, but take-down can be difficult, especially if the material is wet or sandy
  • Some reviewers noted that, even with the windows open, the tent gets pretty warm inside when zipped up

7. Monobeach Baby Beach Tent

The best [blank]

Monobeach Baby Beach Tent

Brand: Monobeach | Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 47.5” x 30” x 32” | UPF: 50+ | Price: 💰

Most babies love the beach… for about fifteen minutes. Then it’s too hot, it’s too loud, it’s too wet, and it’s way past nap time. The Monobeach Baby Beach tent will help make beach outings more enjoyable and comfortable for your baby so that you can have a good time, too!

The pop-up design means you can easily set everything up with one hand (since the other will likely be glued to your child). It also folds down simply, so you don’t have to wrestle with the tent on top of your screaming toddler. The UPF 50+ material offers protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays, for some additional peace of mind on top of the baby SPF. 

But the crowning jewel of this beach tent is the “mini pool” built into the bottom of the tent. With a few kicks to create an indent in the sand, this recessed area creates a play spot for your baby that helps them sit upright. You can fill the “pool” with water (from a water bottle if you’d rather not risk them getting salt in their eyes) so your baby can spend the day enjoying the water without all the hassle of trying to corral them in the actual ocean. If your baby wants to enjoy some playtime in the sand, though, the bottom of the tent can detach easily.

  • Automatic pop-up design requires little to no effort and sets up in mere seconds
  • Ventilation window helps prevent any overheating and offers additional engaging sights and sounds 
  • “Mini pool” is perfect for keeping the baby occupied while the older kids splash in the shallows, and detaches if it’s time for sand play

  • Lightweight design isn’t suitable for intense wind
  • Most reviewers had trouble closing the tent at first

What to Look for in the Best Beach Tents

Couple Relaxing Near One of the Best Beach Tents
Image by Canva

Beach tents are a pretty simple invention when you get right down to it. However, there are still a few features you’ll want to keep in mind as you pick out your new favorite toy:

  • Size. Some beach tents are big enough for the whole family, while others are really only tall enough for toddlers to crawl in.
  • Anchorage. Some beach tents use tent stakes you bury in the sand, while others use sandbags you fill with beach sand to weigh them down. Whatever anchors them to the ground is what holds your tent from blowing away in the wind, so be sure these are strong and sturdy.
  • Windows. Most tents come equipped with zipper or Velcro windows that can open and close for ventilation. The cross breeze can help keep you cool and reduce the wind’s drag against the tent.
  • Style. Some beach tents come with a floor, or even a “front porch,” while others are more of a canopy. Some may only have two walls, while others might enclose all the way around. 

Our Process

For this guide on beach tents, our team spent 4 hours researching the most popular options from over 35 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each tent. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 beach tents on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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Further Reading

The 7 Best Family Tents for Bad Weather
Best Family Tents for Bad Weather
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10 Winter Camping Tips for a Successful Trip
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How to Insulate a Tent for Winter Camping
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Best Winter Sleeping Bags
The 7 Best Winter Sleeping Bags
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