If you have children, one of the smartest things you can do is bring a tent with you when you visit the beach. While umbrellas will protect you and your children from harmful sun rays, a beach tent provides even more protection from the sun and other harmful shore hazards. Because a beach tent has a floor mat, it will ensure both you and your children don’t have to step on hot burning sand. It also will ensure that you have protection from flying particles of sand on extra windy days.

I’ve put together a detailed guide to help you determine which type of beach tent would work best for you, your family, and your circumstances. Once you’ve finished reading this helpful guide, you will be able to purchase the exact right tent for you without any hesitations.

Top 5 Beach Tents

Prices accurate as of:

What to Look For in a Beach Tent

Before purchasing a beach tent, you need to know exactly what to look for while on the hunt for one. There are several different things you should consider. I’ve listed them for your convenience:

  • Floor Space: Before purchasing a tent, check out the dimensions of the floor and not just the square footage. Taller people end up needing a longer layout, whereas if you’re using the tent primarily for children, you can get away with a shorter layout.
  • Headroom: Of course, you want to make sure everyone can fit comfortably in the tent without having to slouch. Check out the wall slope before purchasing a beach tent. If adults will be in the tent, the higher the slope of the wall, the better! Also, consistent headroom is important if you’re planning on spending a lot of time inside it. This will ensure that the ceiling of the tent is the same height throughout the entire vestibule.
  • Shape: If you’re stuck on the beach on a rainy and cloudy day, you will want a high-roofed rectangular shaped tent. This will provide enough space so you can cook inside the tent, play games, or do whatever activities you enjoy with your family.  However, if you’re only going to be using the tent every so often, you needn’t concentrate so much on the shape.
  • The Fabric:  For the best protection from sun rays, the heat, flying sand, and insects, stick with nylon based tents. Many tents are also made from cotton, felt, and polyester. However, these particular fabrics are not as reliable and durable as nylon is.

Beach Tent FAQs

Because beach tents are gaining in popularity, I’ve put together a simple FAQ section for you. Read on to gain some helpful insight and knowledge about beach tents, what they’re used for, and other pertinent info.

What is a beach tent?

A beach tent is much like a regular camping tent. It is a portable shelter than provides extra protection from the sun. However, unlike camping tents, beach tents really shouldn’t be slept in overnight. Most beaches do not allow you to sleep overnight, anyways.

How much are they?

Beach tents vary in cost. However, much like with anything else, you will get what you pay for. For higher quality beach tents, you should expect to pay more. There are some that are over 1K. With smaller sized beach tents, expect to pay less. There are some that are as inexpensive as $30.00. Believe me, you will be able to find a decent beach tent within your budget if you do a bit of shopping around and price comparisons.

Besides the sun, what does a beach tent protect you from?

A good, durable, and reliable beach tent should be able to protect you and your family from high gusty winds. It also should be able to protect you from insects, light rain showers, and irritation from hot sand touching your skin.

Types of Beach Tents

Pop-Up Tent

Pop-up beach tents are the most popular type of beach tents, mainly because they are effortless to put together and disassemble. They are also smaller in size; therefore, they can be stored practically anywhere.

Advantages:

  • Minimal effort to put together and pack away
  • Inexpensive
  • Comes in a variety of shape and sizes

Disadvantages:

  • Usually tiny in size, can’t fit a group of people
  • Need to be weighed down by heavy items such as rocks or sandbags.

Cabana Beach Tent

Cabana beach tents are often used by families more so than pop up tents. This is because they are more spacious. They offer shade, protection from UV rays, and privacy if zipped up. Because one side is often left open, it also gives beach goers a great view of the ocean.

Advantages:

  • Great view
  • Simple to assemble- self erecting
  • Can be zipped up for privacy
  • Usually comes with extra SPF coating for additional sun protection

Disadvantages:

  • Generally more expensive than a pop-up tent
  • Heavier to carry

Canopy Tent

A canopy beach tent is the best type of beach tent if you intend on housing a group of people inside it. These are the perfect tents to use for eating, cooking, and playing fun card or board games at the beach. While they provide UV protection, they lack side protection. Therefore, they aren’t recommended for inclement weather conditions.

Advantages:

  • Great for larger groups/eating/cooking
  • Assembly time is usually less than 20 minutes
  • Provides great shade

Disadvantages:

  • Lacks privacy (sides are open viewed)
  • Larger, therefore, heavier to carry
  • Generally quite expensive

Baby Beach Tent

Because your baby’s skin is delicate and sensitive, a baby beach tent is the perfect ray protection for your small fry. A baby beach tent usually only provides enough space for your baby and a little bit extra space for toys, napping, or feeding time.

Advantages:

  • Convenient
  • Gives baby his or her own space for sleeping, eating, playing.
  • Protection from bugs, wind, sun rays
  • Easily put together / put away
  • Inexpensive
  • Comes in a variety of different colors, designs, and shapes

Disadvantages:

  • Can’t usually fit an adult inside

Benefits of a Beach Tent

Now that you know the types of beach tents out there, what to look for in a beach tent, and some tricks of the trade, I will clue you in on the advantages of owning a beach tent:

  • Maximum protection: Besides the sun, a beach tent will protect you from many other elements. For example, spray from the sea, rain and showers, wind, and sand. A beach tent can also come in handy if the weather gets a little cooler as being inside a tent can warm you up real fast.
  • Protection of valuables: If you place your electronics inside the tent, you needn’t worry about them being water logged or damaged with fine sand particles. As much as we think the beach is safe, there are sometimes people out there with bad intentions. A tent also shields valuables from potential thieves on a beach.
  • Protection of food: Ever eat a sandy ham and cheese sandwich or a snack that has been sitting out in the sun all day? Doesn’t taste so good, huh? Keeping your foods and drinks inside a tent will spare them from melting and becoming contaminated with sand and ocean water.
  • Privacy: While you know the beach is one of the least private places in the world, at least with a tent you can dress and undress with ease. All you need to do is cover the sides or zip up the front, and you’re good to go. It’s also perfect for families who want to spend some time hanging out having quality time together whilst not being bothered by everyone nearby.

The Best Beach Tents

We’ve gotten a lot of the very important information out of the way. The last thing I need to do is tell you all about the very best beach tents that are currently being sold. Check these bad boys out; they just may be a perfect match for you!

Best Beach Tent for a Couple

Coleman Beach Shade
  • Portable pop-up beach tent with 50+ UPF sun protection
  • Extended front floor zips for privacy; back window unzips for ventilation
  • Integrated storage pockets and a dry line to hang wet clothing
  • Measures 7 feet 6 inches by 4 feet 5 inches with 4-foot 9-inch center height
  • Easy setup in about 5 minutes; ground stakes and pre-attached guy lines included

Prices/Images/Reviews pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Colors: Pink, Orange, Green, Blue/Lime

Brand: Coleman

The Coleman compact shade shelter is the perfect choice for you if you’re spending a romantic day at the beach with your partner in crime. This cozy tent gives you just enough space for two people to fit comfortably. The Coleman compact shade shelter also features a floor so you’re not getting your toes burned by scolding hot sand, a front closure so it can be used as a changing room, and a typical ‘tent’ design to ensure you’re safe from any elements.

  • 7.5’x4’5′ footprint; 57″ center height
  • 2 zippered doors for privacy — use it as a changing room
  • 4 hanging pockets inside
  • UV Guard Protection for SPF 50+
  • Includes carry bag, sandbags, extra-long stakes, handy dry line and floor mat

Best Beach Tent for the Beach Bum that Burns

WolfWise UPF 50+ Easy Pop Up Beach Tent Sun Shelter Portable Baby Canopy Quick Instant Automatic Sport Umbrella Sun Shade
  • ✪ POP UP DESIGN & UNIQUE SAND BAGS - No assembly required, the automatic pop-up design allows you to set up and fold down the tent in seconds. Compared to other sand bags in the market, all 4 of our sand bags are more stable and fitted with a tightening string that allows you to keep the sand inside the bags. These sand bags enable you to pour sand in and out within seconds.
  • ✪ FOUR SANDBAGS WITH WINDPROOF ROPES - This beach tent is designed with four sandbags in four corners to enhance its stability. The extra four sandbags with windproof ropes fasten the tent so its not blown down by the breeze. Our beach tents have stronger windproof function when compared to other brands in the market.
  • ✪ COMPACT SPACE & PORTABILITY - The tent is 78.7 L x 51.1 W x 55.1 H providing a spacious interior shelter that comfortably fits 3-4 people (3 adults, or 2 adults with 2 kids). Weighing just 3.3 lbs and folds down to a travel size of 23.6 L x 23.6 W x 1.4 H for easy transportation with an included carrying bag - easy to fit in the trunk of a car.

Prices/Images/Reviews pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Colors: Light Blue

Brand: Wolfwise

Okay, so you burn a little too easily and you end up looking like a lobster after only spending an hour in the sun! No need to fret, there’s a perfect beach tent for you light skinned folks too. The Wolfwise beach shelter with UV protection is a wise choice for those of you who need extra protection from the harmful rays. This cozy little piece instantly pops up with one pull of a cord, zips for ventilation, and has additional SPF protection coated on the exterior.

  • Instant pop up beach shelter. Setup in seconds
  • UPF 50+ Coated for sun protection. Zips for ventilation.
  • Lightweight and rugged, carry bag included.
  • 4 hanging pockets on outside for sand to add weight.

Best Beach Tent for the Entire Family

Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent
  • Easy up and down hub system with prethreaded poles makes this cool cabana as refreshing as a gentle pacific breeze with maximum UPF 50+ sun protection (see video)
  • Lightweight at 7 lbs; This shade tent gives 8 x 8 x 5 of generous space a sun protection; Packs down to 50 x 5
  • Built-in sidewall provides extensive protection from sun and wind for the entire family and your gear; Wide open views of the park or beach; Kid and dog durable PE floor; Umbrella rated 450mm PU coating for wet conditions
  • Easy to pack oversized carrybag, sand pockets, stakes, and guylines are included
  • Customer friendly 1-year warranty on all sun shelters and beach shade canopy tents

Prices/Images/Reviews pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Colors: Blue and Yellow

Brand: Light Speed

Bringing the entire family on a beach vacation? Then the Light Speed Outdoors quick beach canopy tent provides just enough space for four or five of your favorite people. The Light Speed Outdoors quick beach canopy tent is lightweight, compact, has a 270 degree view, and provides additional space for chairs or any other necessities like coolers or radios.

  • Lightweight, compact beach canopy-style pop up sun shelter sets up and tears down instantly thanks to the beach umbrella-style hub and pole system
  • UPF 50+ sun protection from your beach canopy for all-day shade outdoors at the beach, park, festival, sporting event or even the backyard
  • Beach tent is large enough to fit a family of four with lots of gear and chairs with 270 degree views
  • Built-in side wall provides extra sun and wind protection; Includes carrying case with shoulder strap, sand pockets, stakes and guylines
  • Canopy tent measures 95 x 59 x 59-inches (LxWxH); peak height: 56-inches; weighs 7-pounds

Best Beach Tent for Children and Babies

SUNBA YOUTH Beach Tent, Anti UV Beach Shade, Instant Portable Tent Sun Shelter, Pop Up Baby Beach Tent, for 2-3 Person (Blue)
  • ⛱ Anti UV - The special silver coated fabric around the full coverage to ensure the best Anti-UV Effect. The UV rating of 50+ (UPF 50+) - protect you and your family from the sun harmful rays.
  • 🔝 Humanized Size - The diameter of our beach tent after folded is 17.72 inch, The size after set up is 65 x 59 x 43.5 inches (L x W x H). It is made from breathable polyester. Comfortable & Spacious for 2-3 person.
  • 🏡 No Assembly Required - Our beach tent adopted automatic pop up design. It pops up within 3 seconds. its also easy to fold back up. The frame is made from elasticity metal material which is able to withstand thousands of times bending.
  • 🌴 Wind-resistant & Ventilated - There are 2 bags on both sides of beach tent. Heavy duty frame together with 8 strong metal ground stakes, our beach shade will be steady enough even in a windy day. The mesh window will allow you to enjoy the sea breeze.
  • ✈ Easy To Carry - Weights only 2.2 pounds. Easy to fold back up into the carry bag. Portable& Compact. Sunba Youth pop up tent is the best choice to travel with.

Prices/Images/Reviews pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Colors: Light Blue/Green

Brand: SUNBA YOUTH

Make sure your children and babies are protected from the humidity, heat, and insects by using the Sunba Youth Beach Tent on your next shore trip. This tent is easy to put together, take down, and easy to store away for future use. This inexpensive cabana shelter has side windows for a nice breeze to creep in and also features double coated UV protection to make sure baby does not get harmful sunburn.

  • Double UV layer protection. UV 50+.
  • 170T silver coated fabric
  • Four 8″ inch plastic stakes and carrying tote bag.
  • Dimensions: 59″ x 56″x 43.3″ (150 x 142 x110cm)

Best Beach Tent for the Party Animal

Coleman Instant Beach Canopy, 12 x 12 Feet
  • Beach canopy sets up in 3 minutes in just 3 steps
  • Made with UVGuard material for exceptional sun protection
  • 2-way roof vents keep air circulating inside the tent
  • Lightweight pre-attached poles feature comfort grips that lock shelter into place
  • Included easy-pull wheeled carry bag fits inside most cars

Prices/Images/Reviews pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Colors: Multicolor

Brand: Coleman

Let’s face it; some of us come to the beach to relax whereas some of us come to the beach to enjoy some fruity cocktails and cold beer with our very best friends. If you’re a young adult, chances are you aren’t looking for superior sun protection and you’re not worried about being seclusion for nap taking. More than likely you’re looking for a simple place to place your bum after you’re worn out from an energetic game of volleyball. For those of you who just need something simple and plain, the Coleman instant wide base canopy is the choice for you.

  • Sets up in three minutes and three steps
  • 12 x 12 ft., 81 sq. ft. of shade
  • Square canopy, vaulted ceiling
  • Welded steel feet keep poles steady on asphalt
  • Steel stakes to secure shelter on soft ground
  • Wide, slanted legs for added stability
  • Lightweight, telescoping poles
  • Comfort grips lock shelter into place with pinch-free adjustability
  • UVGuard(TM) material helps block the sun’s harmful rays
  • Wheeled carry bag for compact, easy carrying and storage

Tricks of the Trade

To ensure you do not have to spend countless hours repairing and putting together your tent at the beach, follow these simple tips and spend that time doing things you actually enjoy such as tanning, swimming in the waters, and showing off your sand castle building expertise:

  • Give it a Go at Home: Do not get to the beach and then remember that you have no idea how to put the tent together. This will end up being a complete waste of your precious time. Instead, spend an hour or so before your seaside trip and put together the tent. If you do one or two dry runs, then set-up at the beach will become second nature.
  • Seams: Before you arrive at your shore destination, make sure the seams of the tent are in proper working order. If there’s any damage to the seams, apply a seam sealer.
  • Stakes, Stakes, Stakes: Always bring extra stakes if you have a beach tent that uses stakes. The more stakes you end up using, the better weather protection you get.
  • Protect Your Toes: Some beach tents do not have a padded ground. If this is the case with the tent you pick, just make your own ground cloth. The best material to use for the ground on a tent is Dupont Tyvek material. This is a rugged, cheap, and light material and perfect for your footsies.

Additional Resources:

Still haven’t got enough beach tent information?  If you want to venture to these helpful little links, feel free to:

Want to learn how to maintain, clean, seal damages, and reproof your beach tent? Check out this handy little link for additional information:

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/expert-advice/caring-for-your-tent

Setting up a canopy tent can be difficult, especially if you’re a first timer. Learn how to quickly and efficiently assemble a canopy tent by visiting this link:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4828875_set-up-canopy-tent.html

You’re at nature’s ocean side; boredom shouldn’t even be an issue. However, if you find that you or your children are getting restless, check out this link for some extra fun games to play while tenting at the shoreline:

http://www.trails.com/list_3488_games-play-tent.html

Picnicking, barbecuing, or cooking at the beach? It actually be fun and allows you to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones. Check out this site for some simple, healthy, and delicious beach-time recipes:

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/beach-food-ideas.html

Do you enjoy a tropical and fruity cocktail while you’re sitting in your cozy beach tent? If you do, be sure you don’t miss this site for the very best nautical adult beverage recipes:

http://www.food.com/slideshow/15-must-try-tropical-cocktails-110

Thank you for reading my beach tent guide. I hope you’ve gained some insight while learning. What beach tent do you have? Do you recommend a certain brand? Have a story where a beach tent helped you stay safe and comforted during your trip to the shore? If so, let me know. I love hearing stories from my readers.