We spent 45 hours researching and testing 15 different types of beach tents and found that ease of set up, shade protection, and size were the most popular features consumers looked at when shopping. The Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. The Pacific Breeze beach tent is super lightweight and provides excellent protection from wind, sun, and rain when you are enjoying time at the beach with your family or friends. This water repellent beach tent offers UPF 50 sun protection and has windows for ventilation. The Pacific Breeze beach tent weighs only 4 ½ pounds and is super compact.
Beach Tent Buying Guide
When you are first getting started on this journey to find the best beach chair there are a few questions that you should ask yourself. These questions will help you figure out what you are looking for in a beach tent and will prevent you from wasting your money on a tent that won’t work for your needs and preferences.
Do you want a beach tent for the whole family or just your baby? – Baby beach tents are much smaller than beach tents for adults or several people. Make sure that the beach tent you choose has plenty of room for the people who will be using it. If you have a larger family, you may want to consider choosing two beach tents.
Do you want a tent that offers UV protection? – Beach tents provide shade but they can also provide UV protection. This allows you and your family to stay at the beach longer since you can get the kids and yourself out of the sun to avoid burning or sun headaches.
What kind of features are you looking for? Lots of ventilation? Inside pockets for your belongings? Think about the kind of features you want and make sure that you look at beach tents that offer those features.
How many people is the tent for? – Making sure that you have chosen the right sized beach tent will allow everyone to use it. If there is not enough room in one tent for your whole immediate family, consider getting another one so everyone can be protected.
Beach Tent Benefits
There are many benefits that come from using a good quality beach tent. We have listed these benefits below.
Better protection from the elements – Umbrellas and clothing can provide a little protection from the sun but when you have a beach tent you don’t have to worry about the areas of skin that are not covered in clothing. They are roomy and provide full UV protection. Perfect for those who have kids or babies.
Protects your belongings – Even with the best of intentions it can be easy to lose keys or other important items when they are just set on a beach towel or under a chair. Beach tents have interior pockets that are designed specially to hold your important belongings safely like cell phones, wallets, keys, jewelry and anything else you have stashed in your tent. Your personal belongings are not on display for everyone walking by to see. In addition, you don’t have to worry about your stuff overheating, fading in the sun, or getting wet.
Gives you privacy – Privacy is nice, especially at a public beach where people are walking by all the time. A beach tent gives you a barrier from prying eyes so you can relax without feeling like strange eyes are on you. They’re perfect for taking naps in as well without worry of getting major sunburn.
Types of Beach Tents
There are four basic types of beach tents on the market for you to choose from. We have listed the four types below along with their differences so you can differentiate between them and choose the right type for your specific needs:
Baby – There are several different designs of baby beach tents available. If you have a young baby, the last thing you want is for their tender skin to get burned. Baby beach tents provide them with full protection from UV rays and the hot sun. They are extremely portable and give the baby a place to safely lie without getting covered in sand or being exposed to too much heat and sun.
Cabana – A cabana beach tent provides plenty of protection for you and your family while still allowing you to see the ocean and people watch. Because there is a lot of space in a cabana beach tent they are popular choices with larger families and groups. There are also models that offer pet doors and plenty of pockets for belongings. Cabana beach tents also often have extra coatings of anti-UV protection to keep everyone safe. The front opening of a cabana beach tent typically has a zipper so you can even privately change clothing if you need to without anyone seeing.
Canopy – Canopy beach tents are the perfect style for families with young children and for those who like to have parties at the beach with several people. They offer a lot more space for people to use and can even be used for other things like barbecues, festivals, backyard parties and more. Canopy beach tents are simple in design with four corner poles that support a colorful cloth that is stretched above the poles.
Pop – up – This is the perfect style for you if you hate setting up the beach tent when you go to the beach. A pop up beach tent is SUPER easy to set up. Some you can just toss in the air and they will unfold. Others you can set up by just taking out of the carrying case and they do all the work. Kids love to set up pop up beach tents because they are so easy to use. They can be taken down with the same amount of ease as well.
Things to consider when buying a Beach Tent
There are many different shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and styles of beach tents on the market today. Because there are so many choices it is easy to get overwhelmed or confused as to which one is the right one. There are certain things you will need to consider when you start shopping around. We have listed these important points to consider below.
Quality and Materials Used – Most quality beach tents are made of polyester or polyurethane fabric because of the weather resistant properties it has. The type of fabric used to make the beach tent will play a huge role in the atmosphere that is inside the beach tent. Coatings are important for lots of UV protection but tend to cut down a little on ventilation. Look for beach tents that are made with quality materials and that offer this important UV protection without sacrificing comfort or ventilation. You want fabric that is strong, durable, and long lasting while still being lightweight and breezy. The frame is also important to the quality of the beach tent. Better quality poles or frames will ensure a beach tent that will stand up to the sea breezes and keep its shape with frequent set ups and take downs.
Ease of Set up – If you tend to be challenged when it comes to setting things up, look for a beach tent that will help you by being easy to set up and take down. No one likes to arrive at the beach and have to fumble around for 30 minutes trying to set the beach tent up. You also don’t want to mess the tent up by setting it up wrong. Look for beach tents that offer easy setup such as a pop up variety or other type that specifies ease of set up and you will be a lot happier. This type of easy up beach tent will allow you to save time and concentrate on socializing and having fun.
Size – Choosing the right sized beach tent is very important. If you have a larger family you are better off choosing two beach tents where everyone can get underneath them or finding one that is large enough to handle all the people that will be underneath it at one time. Buy the right size for your specific needs. If you have a baby and want a tent for the baby you will not need the same sized tent as you would need for large gatherings. Don’t try to save money by stuffing everyone one underneath a tent that is not designed for larger groups.
Weight – Taking your kids to the beach is already an exercise in moving the house along with you especially if you have a baby or very young toddler. You’ll already be carrying snacks, drinks, diapers, spare clothing, toys, and much more so you don’t want the beach tent to add weight and bulkiness to the load. Choose a beach tent that will be lightweight and super easy to carry. Those that have carrying bags with straps are great if you usually take the contents of the baby’s room with you on your outings. Keep in mind that if you choose a tent that is too lightweight, it can easily blow away in a strong sea breeze. Use the stakes offered to secure the tent and bring more for additional safety.
Easy to keep Clean – If you will be using your beach tent a lot it is safe to assume that it is going to get dirty. With children using it you can almost guarantee spills inside the tent, etc. The fabric of the beach tent should be washable so you can get rid of spills, dirt, and other problems. Look for material that is resistant to stains and that can be washed off easily. Some beach tents even have fabric that offers fast drying features.
Safety – Pay attention to any age tags that are associated with the beach tent you are interested in. If you are choosing a beach tent for the baby, look at design, quality of material, ease of set up and more before purchasing one. Look for breathable cloth that allows plenty of ventilation while still providing the baby with the optimal amount of sun coverage. Make sure you choose a tent that will provide the most protection for your family and friends without worry of safety issues causing problems. Even if you choose the safest beach tent you can find, keep in mind that babies and toddlers should never be left unattended in the beach tent. It’s okay to step outside the tent and even toss the ball with another person but part of being safe is making sure your kids are supervised. This will prevent any danger of the child pulling the tent down onto themselves or others.
Budget – Setting a budget for your beach tent purchase is a good way not to over spend. Beach tents come in a variety of price points depending on brand name, quality of materials, the size of the beach tent, special features it has, and even color choices. Set a price point that you want to stick with and then find the best quality beach tent you can afford while still staying inside your budget. Beach tents are not ridiculously expensive but you don’t want to go with the cheapest one you can find because you will only end up buying another one quickly. Cheap items are usually made cheaply which means they can tear easy, the poles can be bent or broken or the beach tent is useless because the slightest wind knocks it down.
Warranty – Warranties are always a good idea for many reasons. It shows that company stands behind its products by offering warranties on them against defects and problems. Many high quality beach tents offer 1 or 2 year warranties that will protect your purchase and provide some piece of mind for you that you have purchased a quality item that is going to last. Look over the warranty and make sure that you know what it covers.
Satisfaction Guarantees – This is not the same as a warranty which covers problems with the item. A satisfaction guarantee states that if for ANY reason you don’t like the beach tent they will refund your money. This is a good feature to look for if you are brand new to the beach tent idea and have never tried one before. If the beach tent isn’t big enough or sturdy enough you can rest assured that you will get your money back so you can try again.
Customer Comments – One of the most important things you can do when researching different types of beach tents is to look at the comments that other customers have left. People are typically happy to give their opinion about a subject they have experienced with. Reading customer reviews from others who have purchased and are using the product is an excellent way to get inside looks at how the product is in use that you can’t get from the sales sites. If there are problems or things that people have not been happy with you will get to hear it as well as hear all the good things about the product. Although all reviews are not on the up and up, if the beach tent has a good star rating and there are a lot of reviews listed, chances are the product is going to be a really good one.
As you can see, there are many different styles and choices of beach tents on the market. Sorting through all of them would take hours and days and is not the least bit enjoyable.
Once you have determined what you are looking for in terms of size, colors, style, and price, you can sort through them pretty quickly, eliminating the ones that don’t meet your needs at all. Even with the knowledge of what you are looking for, choosing one beach tent can still be quite a challenge.
The three top rated beach tents we have featured above are all quality beach tents that offer all the features you could want including easy set-up, bright color options, pockets for storing personal items, plenty of space for your family, and they are affordable too.
Take a look at all three of these choices if you are looking for a high quality beach tent but don’t want to have to search around. If you are not quite set on one of the three top rated beach tents we have reviewed, take a look at the remaining beach tents listed. There are many terrific styles and brands available so you can find one you like.
Now that you have gone over the buying guide, you can begin the search with confidence and focus on what you want. There is definitely a beach tent out there for your specific needs. The information we have provided for you will help you understand the different types of beach tents available, the factors to consider when researching and shopping, and the benefits to having a beach tent for your family.
If you love the outdoors and want to be at the beach for hours at a time, purchase a beach tent that will accommodate your whole family (or get two!) and watch how different your beach trips will be. No more having to leave because the sun is too hot or it rained for a short period like tropical places are known for. You can go in the morning, set up the beach tent, and enjoy the whole day with plenty of opportunity for shade to keep the kids and yourself safe from getting burned.