The idea of a beach day sounds perfect, hypothetically. But when you get there, the reality of wind, sand, and the glaring sun can change that experience drastically. Protect yourself from the elements with a beach tent, which can prevent sunburns, overheating, and loose sand grains in your brand new pair of swim trunks. When selecting the ultimate beach tent for your needs, there are several factors to consider.
Ventilation and UV protection are important considerations unless you want your tent to turn into a blistering sauna. It will maximize your enjoyment of that cool shade by letting a breeze in. Size is also something to research in order to ensure that your area doesn’t feel cramped or too low. Keep an eye out for stakes, as some means of grounding the tent will also be essential to prevent it from moving. If you bring along several accessories on your beach trips, think about choosing a tent with interior pockets.
Finally, be mindful of ease of use — there are pop-up options, and ones that you can manually set up. Lightweight options will be less of a hassle to carry around and transport, especially considering that many of us travel with beach chairs, beach towels, coolers and more.
These beach tents are popular for beach usage, but they’re not limited to just that. You can bring these portable sun shades to music festivals, the local park, or even your own backyard. Create a cool sanctuary wherever you go with the most in-demand beach tents of 2021.
1. WhiteFang Deluxe XL Pop Up Beach Tent
This useful beach tent by WhiteFang can provide shade and shelter for up to four people. It offers UV protection and has a pop-up mechanism, with no assembly required. Looking for more space to spread out or a sand-free area to keep all your belongings? WhiteFang’s tent has an extendable floor. If family members are changing or breastfeeding, the tent can easily be zipped up for added privacy. Users love how easy it is to set up, and how the ventilating windows allow for breezy air circulation.
2. Venustas Beach Tent
BEST RUNNER UP
Venusta’s beach tent is here to make sure you never get sunburned again with its UV 50+ silver coating. Unlike other pop-up models, reviews comment on how easily foldable the tent is, simplifying storage and pack-up time. The frame is made of durable fiberglass, which prevents rust, while included stake pegs and sandbags stop your tent from blowing away Taller individuals (6 feet or more) can comfortably sit in a chair without their heads touching the top, which is an issue with some tents.
3. Sunbuster Striped Folding Shelter
BEST PRINTED PICK
If you’re searching for a beach tent that stands out from the crowd without being tacky, consider L.L Bean’s folding shelter by Sunbuster, which comes in an attractive blue and white striped pattern. Unlike bulky, additional sandbags, three nylon fill pockets line the perimeter of the tent, and when sand is placed inside, it will keep your shelter still. On the inside, interior pockets can keep your valuables and other accessories safe, and easily accessible.
4. Big Agnes Three Forks Shelter
BEST OPEN CONCEPT
If walls feel suffocating to you and you want a 360-degree view of your surroundings, a wall-free beach tent might be up your alley. This is also an effective alternative to those who get overheated in a walled tent. Big Agnes offers a versatile shelter (sidewalls can be bought separately) that has unusually wide entry points so that you never have to duck. This unique silhouette also allows you to fit it over a picnic table if you’re sick of sandy sandwiches.
5. L.L. Bean Acadia Family Screen House
BEST FOR MOSQUITOS
If you’re desperately in need of a bug-free beach experience, a mesh-walled beach tent will ward off mosquitos with ease. Say goodbye to sticky bug sprays and bites with the Acadia Family Screen House. One buyer calls it “airy” and comments that it’s large enough to hold a small table with two chairs, and two additional beach chairs. For the price, this offers a reasonable solution to a frustrating problem that many of us face.
6. Gorich Upgrade Beach Tent
BEST BUDGET PICK
If you’re not willing to shell out over $50 for a sun shelter or don’t attend the beach too frequently, get the best bang for your buck with Gorich’s lightweight sun shelter. It’s not the fanciest on the market but does check all our boxes, with ventilated mesh windows, an extendable floor, and a privacy curtain. Unfortunately, due to the price point, this design can only be used in light rain and not in a heavy downpour.
7. BOTINDO Family Beach Tent Sunshade
BEST FOR WINDY DAYS
For those who live in a particularly windy area or are sensitive to anything more than a gentle breeze, consider investing in this durable beach tent by BOTINDO which doubles as a canopy. Unlike other pop-up models for sale, this sunshade has large, fillable sandbag anchors and reinforced poles with an elastic cord that prevents movement. Just be sure to fill the bags up all the way. Amazon customers appreciate that it covers a large surface area, but collapses into a small size.
8. Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Beach Tent
BEST EXTENDABLE SHADER
Many sun shades have extendable floors to protect from the hot sand and provide more space, but not too many have adjustable top shades that can be extended, for additional shade coverage. Easthill Outdoors sells one that includes this extra top shade, and also has an extendable floor. Its sand pockets contain velcro and can easily be shaken loose for easier cleanup, unlike other fillable pockets that take more time to empty when you’re packing up. This beach tent is best for two people or a couple with a young child.
9. Alvantor Screen House 4-15 Person Pop Up Tent
BEST FOR LARGE GROUPS
Four is the standard capacity for most beach tents, but if you have a larger group, invest in a more spacious choice, like this behemoth of a canopy beach tent (available in various sizes) that can house up to 15 people. Although it’s advertised for patios or outdoor camping, multiple reviewers have taken it to the beach, and while it looks intimidating once it’s up, it has a pop-up mechanism that doesn’t require any assembly. With mesh walls and a big, zippered entrance, bugs will stay away, letting you fully relax.
10. Gorich Large Pop Up Beach Tent
It’s hard to find a pop-up beach tent that houses more than two people but isn’t a hassle to carry around. Especially if you’re hiking to your destination or don’t have the luxury of a vehicle to carry all necessary equipment for the ultimate beach day, you’ll want a convenient and light beach tent. This model, however, is light as can be, but can still hold up to four people. A reviewer on Amazon even says: “it was easier to carry than my beach tote.”
11. MANP Beach Tent For Kids
BEST FOR KIDS