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Best Beach Tent Reviews – 2018 Buying Guide

A beach tent is very similar to a regular tent used for camping, but most feature one main difference: an open front to let you easily enter and exit the tent while enjoying your day at the beach. Below you will find all the information you need in order to purchase the best beach tent for your needs.

Reasons to buy the best beach tent

While laying out on the beach and getting a tan is great for some people, for others, it’s a dangerous pastime.  For some, being out in the sun for even a short period of time is a great way to get a painful sunburn.  For others, skin cancer is a constant worry on people’s minds.  While sunblock can go a long way’s in preventing skin damage from the sun’s UV rays and umbrellas can keep you in the shade, the undeniable best way to hit the beach and stay out of the sun is a beach tent.   If you want to be safe with your sun exposure, there’s really no better way than to invest in a top quality product.


Why should you choose a beach tent over a beach umbrella?  For most, both are a good choice.  They both offer a necessary way to get out of the sun while enjoying a day at the beach, but they are designed with different groups in mind.  For only a few people, or a small family with older children, a large beach umbrella may be all that’s required to keep your kids out of the shade.  For those with smaller children, or larger families, it may be necessary to get a one.  They provide more consistent protection and it’s easier to keep your family entertained and under a watchful eye.  You don’t want your children running off while they’re a few minutes away from a dangerous sunburn.

Beach Tents vs Umbrellas

Tents also offer privacy that an umbrella simply can’t.  If you need to change into some dry clothes, a tent can give you the privacy that you need.  You can store your important items, such as phones, wallets, and anything else safely inside of a tent, where no one else can get to it.  For these reasons, beach tents are an excellent alternative to umbrellas.  They are more versatile and offer more than just shade.

If you think that a beach umbrella will be all you need, by all means, buy a top beach umbrella.  But if you see yourself needing either the privacy, security, or just the protection of a beach tent somewhere down the line, it’s always a good purchase.  They’ll keep you private, cool, and most important, safe.

Things to consider before purchasing a tent or an umbrella

One of the best reasons to use a tent is to get out of the weather.  For most, tents are used when camping and offer protection from wind, rain, and snow.  In these situations, they can be a lifesaver.  However, there is a use most people don’t realize a tent provides: protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.  If you’re out on the beach, enjoying the waves, but hating the sun, a tent is a great way to beat the heat.  Umbrellas and sunscreen help, but they’re often not enough.  To truly be safe, investing in a beach tent is the best choice.

Unfortunately, not every tent on the market is going to be good enough to take to the beach.  Some are too small and others don’t offer adequate sun protection.  Most tents designed to take to the beach are specially made to offer more protection from the sun’s UV rays.  This is extremely important, as there is nothing to stop the sun beating down on you except for the tent itself.  Plus, tents used for camping are not designed to offer extreme amounts of ventilation, like most of these we review are.  Tents big enough to fit your whole family will often be much heavier than a beach tent, as well.  However, the main reason that most tents aren’t practical on the beach is that, simply, they’re too much of a pain to use.  Most tents feature at least one, if not two, flaps that zip closed.  While out in the rain, this is excellent.  It keeps you warm and dry.  While on the beach, however, this is nothing more than a major annoyance.  Because of this, most beach tents have one major feature that other tents don’t: an open front, complete with no flaps.  Some even offer an extendable floor, perfect for when you do want to lay out in the sun, but not in the sand.  Obviously, these types of tents would be useless while camping.  They simply don’t provide enough protection from the other elements.  But while on the beach, there really isn’t a better choice.  Beach tents and regular tents, while both tents, couldn’t be more different.  Because of this, don’t punish your family by bringing your regular old camping tent with you.  It’s simply too heavy, too much work, and doesn’t offer adequate sun protection.

When looking for a beach tent, there are a few considerations to keep in mind before you jump in and decide to buy one.  The first, obviously, is to find that perfect tent style that you want.  As said above, it’s not necessary to buy one that has an open front, though they are certainly recommended and make your trip to the beach that much more enjoyable.  Look for extra features some tents may offer.  Some have a closed back, while others have an open back that lets a breeze come through.  If you’ve ever spent a hot day inside of a tent, you know how hot they can get.  A tent with a breeze flowing through it can be the difference between a nice, cool day and a blazing hot one, especially on the beach.

While the design of the tent is the most important part when looking at a tent, keep in mind that your beach tent’s main purpose is to protect you from harmful UV rays.  Look for tents with a high UPF sun protection rating.  After all, if it’s not going to block the sun’s rays, then there is really no point in buying it.  Most beach tents will be adequate for this, and many will excel in offering sun protection, but it’s always something to keep in mind while shopping.

Also recognize that you’ll be on the beach and there is usually plenty of wind out there.  You’ve probably seen a gust of wind pick up someone’s beach umbrella before, and you certainly don’t want that to happen to your tent.  Look for models that have tent stakes and tie downs to keep your investment firmly in place.  If the tent you are looking at doesn’t, then it may be a good idea to find another model.  If you think you can simply hunker down in the tent and use your weight to keep it in place during a high wind, think again.  It’s uncomfortable, loud, and can ruin your relaxing day at the beach.

Most of these beach tents are going to be extremely lightweight and portable.  While this is good for taking them to the beach, recognize that lightweight and portable often equal less durable.  Make sure you find a tent that is both tough, yet lightweight enough to move easily.  Most commercially manufactured beach tents are going to be just fine.  After all, you’ll be putting them up on the beach in sand, not in some forest full of rocks.  Still, keep an eye out for the materials that make up your tent.

Also keep in mind how many people you’re expecting to take with you.  Some of these products can fit up to four people.  Others are tall enough to set up beach chairs inside of them, still leaving plenty of room to sit in.  Size isn’t everything, but you really don’t want to be packed into your tent like sardines on a hot, sunny day.
Finally, check out the extra features each tent offers.  Some offer detachable backs.  Others offer a roll out floor.  Even more offer windows and places to store your gear.  These normally aren’t deal breakers, but it’s nice to have some extras when lounging around.

While looking for the best beach tent, it’s important to buy one that is going to make your day on the beach easier, not harder.  For this reason, it’s highly recommended to buy one that has an easy open front, though by no means is it necessary.  Plus, when you undoubtedly track sand into your tent, it’s a breeze to just flip it up and let the sand leak out.  If you want to relax on the beach instead of fighting with your gear, choose a beach tent.

In general, most beach tents are going to do the same thing: keep you and your family out of the harmful UV rays of the sun.  There are many different styles, materials, and designs of these beach tents, but they all are functionally the same.  Find a design that suits your needs and know that on a basic level, every one of these tents is going to provide you with the bare necessities.


Best Beach Tent Reviews

Shade Shack Instant Pop Up

The Shade Shack Instant Pop Up Family Beach Tent and Sun Shelter is a great choice for those looking to easily set up their shelter with minimum fuss.  Priced around $70 for the extra-large size, this tent has everything you need to hit the beach.  Featuring no assembly, this product’s pop up design makes setting it up and relaxing under it a breeze.  It’s large enough to fit two adults and two children sitting down and is rated to repel UV ways up to 30 plus UPF.  Two windows on either side allow for privacy or a cool breeze to flow through.  Plus, the back wall also ties up, perfect for those who don’t want to feel enclosed while still staying cool in the shade.  Unfortunately, this tent doesn’t have a bottom, so you’ll have to bring towels or something else to sit on if you don’t want to get sandy.

Don’t let that stop you from checking out this tent, though.  It’s going to keep you cool, out of the sun, and is completely portable.  Included stakes and pockets to collect sand keep the tent secure even in the harshest winds, so relax knowing that your tent is not going to blow away.

EasyGo Shelter

If you want the best beach tent in terms of reliability that also features a floor, the EasyGo Shelter is the only choice.  It sets up instantly with a pull string, so there’s no loose parts you’ll have to worry about losing.  The EasyGo features a unique half tent design with a canopy.  This design lets you set it up in areas without a lot of space, while still getting as much shade as possible.  Plus, it’s easy to get into and out of, as well.  It also has three closeable windows, great for letting a breeze in or looking out at the beach.  The EasyGo also holds up to four people, so it has plenty of extra space.

It’s also not going anywhere in the wind, either.  Stakes are included, as are sand bags to hold the tent down even more securely.  It weighs in at just over six pounds and comes with a carrying case, so anytime you decide to go to the beach, it’s simple to grab the EasyGo.  And since it has UV coating, know that you’ll be safe from the sun’s harmful rays while using it.  It’s quick, reliable, and only costs around $50, so what’s not to love?


Pacific Breeze EasyUp Beach Tent

The EasyUp Beach Tent by Pacific Breeze is a bit more expensive than the EasyGo, priced at $65, but the extra cost may be worth it for some beach goers.  To begin with, it weighs just under four and a half pounds and boasts the fastest and easiest set up and take down on the market currently.  Pacific Breeze even boasts that the EasyUp provides protection not only from the sun (with its UPF 50 plus sun protection), but also rain as well.  So what else sets this tent apart from the others?


To begin with, the EasyUp has a durable and lightweight fiberglass frame that gives it its shape.  It’s tough, while remaining extremely lightweight.  If you were worried about your tent not being able to take a beating outdoors, then this tent is for you.  You’ll also be able to set up your beach chairs inside of it and store any extra suntan bottles, towels, and anything else you can think of in mesh pockets.  It also has two extra windows, perfect for getting ventilation when your tent gets too hot.  While the EasyUp doesn’t have a removable back wall, it has just about everything else you could ever need in a beach tent.


Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana

Lightspeed Outdoors offers a competitive alternative to the EasyUp tent with their Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter.  Priced around $65, just like the EasyUp, this beach tent offers a few differences that may have you looking to buy this model.  To begin with, this beach tent has three roll up windows for extra ventilation and privacy.  It also comes in a carrying case with a shoulder strap.  To keep it safe in high winds, the Cabana shelter has sand pockets, stakes, and guy lines.  If it’s windy, this tent is staying put.

Most importantly, it offers UPF 50 plus sun protection.  If you’re in this tent, you’re not going to get a sunburn.  It’s also large enough to hold two adults and two children comfortably.  It’s a bit heavier than the EasyUp, but offers a roll out floor that extends past the tent itself.  This lets you really stretch out in your tent, making the Cabana feel much roomier than it actually is.  It’s tough, big, and easy to set up.  With the Cabana, you’ll have to lock the upper and lower hubs together to set it up, but it’s an easy affair.  In short, it’s another great choice if you’re looking for a new beach tent.





A beach tent is another piece of essential gear if you’re hitting the beach, especially if you’re going with your family.  No one wants to spend all day outside in the sun, especially with how damaging the sun’s rays are.  It’s important to pick a tent that’s large enough for your whole family and gives you adequate sun protection.  Plus, some tents, like Shade Shack’s, offer smart extras that make their tents even more accessible.  No matter which model you choose, you’ll be getting a tent that keeps you cool, keeps you private, and keeps you out of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

All of these tents are great choices and each offers special features.  No choice is better than the other.  Pick the best beach tent for you and your family.  If you’re going out to the beach, you need to take a beach tent with you along with your favorite beach chairs.