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The 10 Best Beach Tents of 2023: Buying Guide

Apr 03, 2023

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Recently, I visited Rosemary Beach, Florida, a coastal town with exceptionally soft sand and a gentle, crystal-clear waving ocean. Reclining with a novel in my beach chair one afternoon, there was nothing between me and the blazing sun but a thin layer of sunscreen. I was feeling fully cooked and desperate for shade.

It didn't have to be this way. All around me were families and groups totally contented, basking in the shade of billowing beach tents. They were protected, comfortable, and enjoying the salty breeze. I vowed to never again hit the sand and surf without one.

The best beach tents, as I have come to find, are lightweight, easy to carry and assemble, and offer significant coverage from the sun—either in terms of square feet or with UPF 50+ incorporated into the fabric. Depending on the size, you or your whole beach crew can fit comfortably under a tent. It should also anchor securely to the ground with no risk of taking flight down the shore.

We’ve rounded up the best beach tents to buy this summer, from party-ready cabanas to innovative new designs to ones that pack small enough to fit in your carry-on suitcase. Below, consider some of the most important factors when shopping for a beach tent, and find the style that's right for your next seaside escape.

Size: There's a lot to consider when it comes to the size of your beach tent. With most models, the more shade you need, the larger the packed-down size will be—and the harder it is to transport. Smaller pop-up styles are easy to assemble but may not shade everyone in your party, or even your whole body if you’re sharing the shade.

Material: Most of the beach tents on our list are made from polyester or recycled plastic. These fabrics are both strong, lightweight, and durable. They also allow for UPF 50+ protection to be woven in, which is ideal for when the sun is blazing.

UPF Protection: UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor, telling you how much UV radiation can get through a fabric. Most of the tents in our roundup have UPF 50+ protection, which blocks 98 percent of the sun's rays, which is excellent. Fabrics woven with UPF protection block both UVA and UVB rays, while sunscreen's UPF protection only defends against UVB rays.

This beach tent gets top marks from reviewers due to its easy setup, lightweight design, and spacious interior. Plus, with the option to secure it to the ground with sand bags and stakes, it's steady and reliable even in windy conditions. Mesh pockets along the walls allow for a convenient place to stash wallets, keys, and phones. What's more, we love the extended tent floor that stretches beyond the tent covering.

Dimensions: 51 x 52 x 95 inches. Materials: Polyester.Weight: 6 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on Amazon: $84

A cabana-style beach tent is great for groups and parties. There's room to stand up and walk around underneath the canopy, and without walls, there's constant air flow. And this one from Sunnylife creates about 78 square feet of shade. Plus, it packs down into a bag that can easily be carried over your shoulder, and we love the cheerful scalloped details along the canopy.

Dimensions: 78.74 x 78.74 x 90.55 inches. Materials: Polyester.Weight: 9 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on Neiman Marcus: $170

I saw several of these unusual beach tents while in Florida, and they looked amazing in action. The arched design, with the shade blowing in the natural ocean breeze , created just as much shade as a typical beach tent. This is especially great, as many tents end up fighting the wind, while this one provides more shade with more gusts. The Shibumi Shade packs down into a narrow bag with a shoulder sling and weighs just four pounds. Plus, it's made from 40 percent ocean-bound plastic bottles.

Dimensions: 26 x 5 inches (packed).Materials: Plastic (40 percent recycled bottles).Weight: 4 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on Amazon: $290

Buy Now on Shibumi Shade: $270

If aesthetics take top priority for you (over maximum shaded space), you’ll adore the pretty, patterned canopy and decorative fringe of Business & Pleasure's St. Tropez beach tent. Reclaimed wood poles anchor each end, with the tent corners held in place by small metal stakes. Best of all, you can match this tent to chairs, towels, and more—perfect for a whole Instagram-ready beach setup.

Dimensions: 72 x 37 inches. Materials: UV-resistant canvas.Weight: 9 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on Pottery Barn: $299

The topline highlight of this beach tent? It fits inside a carry-on suitcase! It's also water-resistant and weighs just four pounds. This is a no-wall tent: It creates shade from above but allows air to circulate below. It's anchored with two poles and four bags meant to be filled with natural resources near your setup, such as rocks or sand.

Dimensions: 45.5 square feet.Materials: Lycra and nylon blend.Weight: 4 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on Rei: $100

A beach tent that's easy to set up, incredibly spacious, and packs down into a bag you can carry over your shoulder? The Veer Family Basecamp tent has a pop-up design and comes with ventilated windows, a floor mat, and all-important UPF 50 protection. The subdued color scheme is also nice compared to a lot of the technically functional tents out there and is designed to match with the brand's family-oriented collection of outdoor goods.

Dimensions: 78 x 60 x 108 inches.Materials: Polyester.Weight: 10 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on Veer: $379

The setup instructions for this tent couldn't be more simple: Hold it away from you and give it a little toss. This tent pops into place instantly! Cute and compact, this is a great tent for a solo or two-person beach day if everyone wants a slice of shade. Otherwise, it's a fantastic shelter for tucking away a picnic while you bask in the sun. Reviews mention that it's critical to watch the brand's video on packing the tent away, as it's not quite as simple as giving it a toss and might take a few tries to get right.

Dimensions: 47.5 x 39.5 x 86.5 inches.Materials: Polyester with metal stakes.Weight: 3.5 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on Target: $64

Buy Now on Food52: $79

We lean on L.L. Bean as a purveyor of reliable outdoor goods and apparel, and this cheerful, striped pop-up tent doesn't disappoint. Reviewers rave that both the setup and take-down of this tent is simple, taking about a minute each! Windows on the walls allow for air flow, and included sand bags provide extra stability in the wind.

Dimensions: 7.11 x 4.6 x 4.11 inches.Materials: UV-resistant ripstop polyester.Weight: 7.6 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on L.L. Bean: $139

This hybrid beach tent looks like an umbrella tipped on its side, with walls. But don't let the unusual design deter you. The Sport-Brella Vented Sun and Rain canopy has over 7,000 reviews on Amazon and ticks all the boxes we look for: UPF 50+ protection, portable design, and relatively easy set up. As with all umbrella-style beach accessories, it's important to note which way the wind is blowing when securing your anchors and poles in the sand.

Dimensions: ‎56.3 x 3.35 x 3.35 inches.Materials: Polyester.Weight: 9 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on Amazon: $90

If you’re looking for the teeniest, tiniest beach tent that provides effective UPF 50+ protection for your little ones, look no further than this adorable pop-up tent we found from Babymoov. It includes a screen-like curtain that will also protect kids from sand and bugs. Adorable in design, this portable little tent is also great for parks and backyards.

Dimensions: 100 x 100 x 80 centimeters. Materials: Polyester.Weight: 2 pounds.UPF 50+ Protection: Yes.

Buy Now on Maisonette: $48

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