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Best Beach Tents

Updated July 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 39 Models Considered
  • 9 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 63 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best beach tents

    Last Updated July 2018

    Spending time at the beach is a blast, but it is possible to get too much sun. If you find yourself getting hot and bothered, a beach tent can provide all the shade you need.

    Perhaps you’ve already decided to buy a beach tent, but you still need to choose the best one for you out of the hundreds of available options. It can get confusing, especially if you're not sure what makes a good beach tent or what you want from one.

    The good news is that we at BestReviews aim to provide detailed reviews and buying guides to help you with your purchasing decisions.

    Read our shopping guide to learn all you need to know about beach tents and how to find the right one to fit your requirements. Once you're ready to buy, check out our top five choices in the chart above. Before you know it you'll be enjoying some cool shade on those hot summer days.

    Despite the name, you don't have to use your beach tent at the beach. You can use it for picnics at the park or shelter in your yard.

    Beach tent benefits

    First thing's first. Why would you want a beach tent? Here are some of the benefits of owning one.

    • Cool off on hot days: The beach might be fun, but it can get hot when you're not in the water. Sitting in the shade of a beach tent will cool you down.

    • Protect against sunburn: If you're worried about sunburn or skin damage, a beach tent can be the answer. You might like the sun, but it's no secret by now that it's bad for your skin. Too much sun exposure will damage your skin and could ultimately lead to skin cancer. Beach tents that provide UV protection can help you avoid this danger.

    • Change your clothes: You can use your beach tent as a changing room. Some beach tents can be zipped up at the front, providing you with your own personal space – perfect for a day at the beach.

    • Stay dry in the rain: Some beach tents provide protection from rain. If you like visiting the beach in wetter seasons, or you simply experience some unseasonal weather while on holiday, a waterproof beach tent can keep you dry.

    • Provides place for kids: Ideally, children should have some shade at the beach. Young skin is more delicate, and sun damage early on in life could cause problems down the line, not to mention the immediate discomfort of sunburn. A beach tent provides a shady spot for your little ones to play or rest when they're not in the water.

    Large and in charge

    Thanks to its generous proportions, this Pacific Breeze beach tent can comfortably house three or four people, and even more if you're willing to squeeze. It’s notable for protecting against both the sun and the rain – it's completely waterproof and rated UPF 50+.

    Beach tent features to consider

    UV protection

    Some beach tents provide shade without any special UV protection, while others use materials specially designed to help block out UV rays. To determine the UV protection capabilities of the materials, check the beach tent’s ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating.

    UPF refers to how much of the sun's UV rays a material lets through. A UPF 50 fabric lets through just 1/50, or 2%, of UV rays, meaning it blocks out 98%. We'd recommend looking for a beach tent with a UPF of at least 40 – your skin will thank you for it.

    • Beach tents without any additional UV protection have a UPF of around 15 simply due to the protection offered by the fabric.

    • Beach tents with extra UV protection generally have a UPF of 40 to 50+.

    Size

    Just because you're at the beach, it doesn't mean you want to be packed in like sardines. That's why you need to make sure your beach tent is large enough to fit your needs. Look at the length, depth, and height of any models you're considering because all three are important.

    • Length: Your beach tent needs to be long enough to fit everybody inside comfortably.

    • Depth: Your beach tent should be deep enough so that you'll be in full shade when sitting inside it (even when the sun is directly overhead).

    • Height: Your beach tent should be tall enough for you to sit up in. Some extra-large beach tents may even be tall enough for you to stand up in, which is a bonus if you want to get changed inside.

    Ease of assembly

    Some beach tents are easier to assemble than others.

    • Some beach tents are pitched much like a standard camping tent, which means you have to assemble the poles separately and thread them through the fabric of the tent, which can be awkward and time consuming.

    • Many newer beach tents are quick to set up, thanks to "pop-up" or similar mechanisms.
       

    The last thing you want is to get stressed out trying to assemble your beach tent when you're supposed to be having a relaxing day by the ocean. We'd definitely recommend selecting a model that's easy to assemble, so you can get busy having fun!

    Ventilation

    Beach tents provide shade, but it can get extremely hot – even dangerously hot – inside one that doesn’t have proper ventilation. Look for a model with mesh windows and pop-out vents to helps the air flow through the tent. It will feel cooler inside and prevent any buildup of condensation.

    EXPERT TIP

    Some beach tents come with extra-long ground sheets with zippers to double as a front door, for some privacy when needed.


    EXPERT TIP

    Some beach tents have convenient interior pockets for storage, which is handy for keeping your belongings off the sand.


    EXPERT TIP

    To use your beach tent near a barbecue or open fire, we'd recommend looking for a model made of flame-retardant material.


    Beach tent prices

    You don't have to spend a lot on a beach tent, but those with a greater number of features and easy setup tend to cost more. You can expect to pay between $20 and $150 for a beach tent.

    • Basic

    Budget beach tents cost around $20 to $40. Most of the tents in this price range don't offer extra UV protection or instant setup, and some may be fairly compact.

    • Mid-range

    At $40 to $70, beach tents have more features, with most offering 50+ UV protection, and many having pop-up or other easy setup options.

    • Premium

    The beach tents that cost between roughly $70 and $150 tend to be very large, extra durable, or have other notable features that make them worth the extra cash.

    Throwing shade

    If you're looking for a reliable beach tent at an affordable price, the Coleman DayTripper is our top choice. Not only is it surprisingly large for the price but its pop-up design also makes setup a breeze. And don't worry about sunburn because this model provides UPF 50+ sun protection when you're sitting inside.

    Tips

    • Check whether your chosen beach tent has a groundsheet. Most do, but some don't. If your preferred model doesn't offer a groundsheet, you'll need to make sure you bring something to sit on.

    • Consider the weight of any beach tent you're considering. Lightweight options are much easier to carry from your home or car to your spot on the beach.

    • Think about how many people will use your beach tent. If you have a large family or tend to visit the beach with lots of friends, opt for the biggest beach tent you can afford.

    • Select a beach tent that's durable enough to fit your needs. If you know you’ll be using your beach tent often, choose a more durable model than if you only plan to use it once or twice a year.
    A beach tent with a bright color or interesting pattern is much easier to spot on a crowded beach, so you're less likely to have trouble finding your party after a dip in the sea.

    FAQ

    Q. What are beach tents made from?

    A. Most beach tents have lightweight poles made of fiberglass and canopies made from a durable, weatherproof material like polyester. Those that offer extra UV protection have a closer weave to stop more UV rays from getting through.

    Q. How do you stop a beach tent from blowing away?

    A.  Pretty much any unsecured beach tent will blow away at the slightest breeze if nobody’s sitting in it. Beach tents generally come with either stakes, guyline and pegs, or sandbags to keep them in place. That said, some tents are better than others at withstanding a strong wind.

    Q. Are beach tents waterproof?

    A. Some, but not all, beach tents are waterproof. If you think you might be using yours in adverse weather conditions, carefully check the manufacturer's specifications to make sure it will keep the rain off you and your gear.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Amy
      Amy
      Writer
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor