For avid beachgoers, a pop-up beach tent is a must. When you're spending all day outside in the sand and the sun, having a shady retreat can help prevent sunburns, block wind, and keep you cool in the heat. The more private beach tents can even be used for midday naps, changing clothes, and keeping valuables out of sight.
We put together a list of the top 10 best pop-up beach tents for families, friend groups, and solo beachgoers. Our number one pick is Pacific Breeze's Easy Setup Beach Tent, which weighs a mere 4.5 pounds and features built-in sandbags to anchor it against ocean gusts. Keep reading to see the rest of our picks and check out our buying guide for tips on how to choose the right tent for your beach needs.
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Choosing a beach tent can be difficult because there are so many different options out there. In this guide, we'll walk you through what to look for depending on your group size, privacy needs, and beach environment.
One of the main concerns at the beach is protecting your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. A beach tent can help keep the sun off of you while you relax. For the best protection, look for a tent with UPF 50 protection, which blocks 98 percent of the sun’s rays.
Some tents have UPF protection built into the material of the tent, while others have a protective coating.
Beach tents vary in how much privacy they provide, from simple canopies with no walls to four-walled shelters you can zip up completely.
Canopies provide coverage above and are fully open on all four sides with no floor. Because they have no walls, they don’t offer a lot of privacy or protection for your valuables.
However, they’re ideal for large groups or parties where people will be coming and going from all directions. They also allow for plenty of ventilation and won’t get as hot as a standard tent will.
If you want more privacy, look for a more classic tent style with walls and a floor. You can find beach tents with two, three, or four walls. Often, one or two of the walls can be fully unzipped to leave the side of the tent open.
While tents provide more protection, they also tend to trap more heat, so make sure to look for one with ventilation holes or mesh windows.
In order to make sure everyone has shelter and protection, find a tent size that can accommodate your group. In addition to the number of people, take into account other items like personal belongings, food, coolers, and beach toys.
Also, consider whether people will want to lay down in the tent or whether you want to use chairs in the tent; both will take up more room than if people sit on the ground.
The height of the tent matters, too. Most beach tents have a center height between four and five feet, which allows for sitting on the ground or in a low chair. If you need a taller chair or want to be able to stand up, a canopy may be a better option since they often have a center height of six feet or more.
At most beaches you won’t be able to set up right next to your car, so you’ll need to carry your beach tent across the sand. When choosing a tent, check its packed dimensions and weight to ensure that you can carry it comfortably.
Since you’ll probably be holding other beach items too, a tent bag with handles will make your life easier. By design, pop-up beach tents are easy to set up, but also consider how easy it is to pack the tent back up at the end of the day. Reviewer comments are a great place to find information about this.
Most tents are made from polyester and nylon, both of which are strong and lightweight. If you live in a rainy area, you can also find fabric that has been treated to be waterproof. For wet environments, look for fiberglass tent frames that won’t corrode, or opt for steel or aluminum that has been treated to resist rust.
In addition to moisture, wind can also be an issue at the beach. Fiberglass can stand up to light wind, but if you need something heavy-duty, aluminum or steel are your best bet. Aluminum is often more expensive but is super lightweight, while steel can be quite heavy but is more affordable.
To keep your tent in place, look for stakes, weights, or sandbags. While traditional stakes work well for camping and backpacking tents, they tend to be less effective in the sand. Look for wider stakes designed specifically for sandy or loose soil. You can also purchase stakes separately if you don’t like the stakes that come with your tent.
Some beach tents have weights to help keep your tent secure. While they’ll add extra weight to your bag, they can be more reliable and effective than stakes. If you’re using your tent solely for the beach, sandbags are an excellent option. These are empty bags or pockets that you fill with beach sand to secure your tent to the ground.
The bags are usually attached to the tent, so when you're ready to pack up, just dump the sand out and put the tent back into its carrying bag. If you want a multi-use tent, sandbags may not be the best option. But for avid beachgoers, though, sandbags a great way to keep your tent secure without adding any extra weight to your beach bag.
You can always choose a tent color based on personal preference, but you may want to consider some practical reasons as well. For one, a unique tent color can be easier to locate on a crowded beach.
Also, consider how the color of the tent will reflect or absorb sunlight. Dark or dull tent colors will absorb the sun and are more likely to heat up inside. On the other hand, light colors will reflect the sun away, keeping you cooler.
In addition to the basic shelter above your head, some beach tents go above and beyond with additional features. Many tents have pockets on the inside, which can be helpful for keeping items off of the ground where they may get lost or dirty.
You can also find tents with hooks on the inside, which can be helpful for hanging lights or fans. Some beach tents even come with a drying line for wet clothes.
Porch-style beach tents have a groundsheet that extends past the front of the tent to create a porch area. This creates an additional playing space for kids or extra room to stretch out your legs without needing to lay down a towel. Most of the time, this material can be zipped up to fully close the tent for more privacy.
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Pacific Breeze Products
Easy Setup Beach Tent
A Portable Tent to Protect From All Elements
Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter
Opens up Like an Umbrella
Instant Shelter Pop-Up Canopy Tent
Get 100 Square Feet of Shade
Deluxe XL Pop Up Beach Tent
A Mint Green Tent for Summer Beach Days
A Tent for Two With a Porch
Easy Pop Up Beach Tent
A Tent That Requires Zero Assembly
Premiere XL UPF 50+ Umbrella Shelter
More Protection Than Your Average Beach Umbrella
XXL Beach Tent
Multiple Flaps for Customizable Privacy
Pop Up Sun Shelter
A Pop-Up Canopy for Groups
Automatic Pop Up Beach Tent
Set Up and Tear Down in Seconds
Bring this easy setup tent with you on your next beach trip and you'll be protected from sun, rain, and wind. The polyester material is water-repellent and provides UPF 50 protection, while the water-resistant polyethylene floor keeps your feet dry. An open front lets you enjoy the view and two mesh windows allow for ventilation.
Built-in sandbags help anchor the tent on the beach, but you can also use the included stakes for extra security. Plus, there are pockets near the top of the tent to keep your small items safe and sound.
Be sure to check the dimensions of this tent, as some reviewers were disappointed by its small size. Some mentioned that the tent got quite hot in the sun, although others said the mesh windows help regulate temperature if your beach has a breeze. Overall, reviewers said this tent is lightweight and super easy to set up.
This tent from Lightspeed Outdoors features a compression hub system with built-in poles to make setup a breeze; just pop it open like an umbrella and you're ready to go. A water-resistant coating and polyethylene floor add extra durability and there's a 40-inch porch area as well.
Three mesh windows allow for a nice cross breeze and three pockets can hold small items. This tent is the ideal size for two adults, plus kids and beach gear.
Some reviewers warned that the floor gets hot and recommended laying out a towel to protect your feet. Others liked the design but wished the materials were stronger. When it came to ease of use, reviewers agreed that this tent is simple to set up and pack up. They also said it's easy to carry, thanks to the large bag and shoulder strap.
Set up the Instant Shelter Pop-Up Canopy Tent in just two minutes for quick shade at the beach. The heavy-duty steel frame and 150D polyester top are designed to withstand sun, wind, and rain, with fully taped seams to prevent leakage.
Two vents in the canopy allow for ventilation and the whole thing packs down into a wheeled bag for easy transportation. In addition to beach days, this canopy can do double duty for camping, festivals, and other outdoor events.
Some reviewers warned not to use this canopy in the rain, saying the tent easily collapsed. But for the most part, reviewers found it to be sturdy and able to withstand wind. They also said it's easy to set up and provides plenty of shade for beach days, sports games, and more.
This tent is fun for the whole family, with enough room to comfortably fit two adults and two kids. The quick pop-up mechanism means it's simple to set up and it comes with five sandbags, six steel stakes, and six sand stakes to keep it securely anchored.
The extended floor gives you room to stretch your legs; use the attached Velcro to close it up and turn your tent into a private changing room. Three large windows keep things cool and can also be closed up when needed.
This tent may be best suited to calm weather, as some reviewers found that it broke in the wind. Still, most users were pleased with how lightweight and easy to assemble it is. They said it provides a good amount of space and said the ability to have complete privacy is an added bonus.
For some quick shade on a sunny day, try Easthills Outdoors' Instant Shader. It's designed to fit two adults with beach chairs, with some extra room for a child or a pet. The groundsheet extends an additional 43 inches to create a porch space, or you can use it to close the front of the tent for some privacy.
Three mesh windows allow for a nice view and breeze, while four interior pockets help keep your belongings organized. In addition to stakes and guy lines, the tent has built-in external sand pockets to help keep it anchored.
Reviewers don't recommend this tent for rain due to the design of the windows. Some also found that the beige fabric lets in too much sun. On the other hand, many loved using this tent at the beach. They said it's convenient to carry, quick to assemble, and easy to break down at the end of the day.
Multifun's beach tent makes assembly foolproof with its pop-open design. Simply pull the tent out of its carrying bag and it will open up into an instant shelter that can fit three to four adults or five to six children. The polyester top is water-resistant and the floor is made from waterproof polyethylene.
There are three mesh windows, plus a rear opening that can be left open or zipped down, allowing for 360-degree ventilation. When you're done, just fold the tent back up and slide it into its circular carrying bag.
Some reviewers felt that the construction was a bit flimsy. Others noted that it takes a few tries to learn how to fold the tent down. But overall, users loved that this tent can be ready to use in seconds. They said it's lightweight, roomy, and makes an excellent beach tent for both kids and adults.
Most beach umbrellas only provide protection from the top, but this isn't the case with the Sport-Brella! The XL version features a nine-foot umbrella top that can fit multiple people underneath. Side panels provide additional privacy and can be clipped up when not in use.
There are two windows for ventilation and small internal pockets for your phone, food, and other items. To keep the umbrella from flying away, use the auger bit to anchor the pole into the ground and use the included stakes and guy lines for extra security.
As with regular umbrellas, this product can break if the wind catches it the wrong way and some reviewers thought it was too flimsy. Despite this, many others said the Sport-Brella kept them protected from wind and sun at the beach. They added that it packs up nicely and doesn't take up too much space in the car.
With enough room for four people, Ko-on's XXL Beach Tent is perfect for families and friend groups. It protects from water, wind, and UV rays, with three roll-up windows to keep you cool. Four sandbags keep the tent anchored in light wind, but you can also use the stakes and included rope for gusts up to 25 miles per hour.
Inside, there are mesh storage pockets and a hook at the top so you can hang lights or a fan. The floor extends out to create a porch area and can be folded up to close the tent completely. Plus, there's an optional flap you can use for shade or privacy.
Reviews for this tent were largely positive, with people praising its roomy interior and lightweight construction. They said it's easy to set up in a matter of minutes and found that it holds up well in windy environments. Reviewers also liked the multiple options for privacy.
This large canopy from Sun Ninja can fit up to eight people under its 10 by 10-foot shade. The fabric is water-resistant, protects from UV rays, and comes in three different shades of blue. Fill the sandbags at the bottom, then stretch the fabric out over the poles.
Four poles are included, although you can opt to use just two to create an angled shelter. The canopy also comes with a sand shovel, bungee cord ties, and pegs so you can use it on grass.
This canopy does seem to have a learning curve. Multiple reviewers said that it took them a few tries to get the setup right and some recommended watching a video tutorial first. However, once the canopy is secure, reviewers said it can withstand wind with no problem.
This travel-friendly tent weighs only 2.2 pounds but can provide plenty of protection for your days at the beach. The nylon fabric is coated to keep you safe from UV rays, with a large mesh window at the back for ventilation. At the front, the floor extends to create a porch so you can stretch out comfortably.
No assembly is required for this tent. Just pull it out of the carrying bag and it will expand on its own. For extra insurance against the wind, fill the sandbags on the sides of the tent and use the included stakes to anchor it to the ground.
The main complaint reviewers had was that this tent is hard to fold up and repack. However, many were able to get the hang of it after watching a video. Most reviewers were pleased with how lightweight and compact it is and said it's excellent for travel. The size was just right for one to two adults.
It's time for some fun in the sun! Whether you like to frolic in the waves or relax in the sun with a good book, check out some more of our must-have beach buys.
No. 1: Pacific Breeze Products｜Easy Setup Beach Tent
No. 2: Lightspeed Outdoors｜Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter
No. 3: Core｜Instant Shelter Pop-Up Canopy Tent
No. 4: WhiteFang｜Deluxe XL Pop Up Beach Tent
No. 5: Easthills Outdoors｜Instant Shader
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