When you want to enjoy a trip to the beach, it helps to have a little shelter to protect you from high winds, direct sun, and the occasional raindrop. Beach tents are the perfect option, and they really help take relaxation to a new level. They provide a cool, shaded area for your family, friends, and pets to safely relax in. Beach tents also shield you from harmful sun rays and sandy gusts of wind. This way, you can enjoy the beautiful ocean view without the unpleasant side effects!
However, heading to the beach with a standard camping tent is not the best idea. In fact, it is a good way to lose rainflys, tent poles, and your patience — and that’s just during the setup process. When it comes to the beach, the best options are quick-open tents and lightweight, instant pop-up tents. Here are a few of our favorites!
Ready for some fun in the sun? Let’s take a look at the five best tents for the beach.
The 5 Best Beach Tents
5. Multifun Pop Up Beach Tent
The Multifun Pop Up Beach Tent is a fantastic tent to bring along on your trips to the beach. It provides shelter from the sun and wind, as well as a bit of privacy. While it is compact, it’s also pretty spacious, providing enough room inside for 2-4 people. Utilizing a spring action fiberglass pole structure, the tent features a quick and easy pop-up design that can be set up in just a few seconds.
When fully expanded, the Multifun Beach Tent has a footprint measuring 49 inches by 81 inches, with a center height of 40 inches at its peak. Due to its collapsible design, it is also very easy to break down and pack away. The tent folds down into a completely flat disk with a 24.8 inch diameter. The flat design takes up almost no room and is incredible for storage and transport.
To help protect you from the sun, this tent features a layer of sunshade fabric which provides a UPF 50+ barrier against the sun’s harmful rays. The fiberglass poles are rust resistant and built to hold up through exposure to saltwater. On the base of the tent, additional waterproof protection prevents any water from seeping in from the ground. Additionally, the waterproof and windproof canopy can also act as a quick shelter option if you need to get out of the rain in a hurry.
Pros and Cons
4. Zomake Pop Up Beach Tent
The Zomake Pop Up Beach Tent takes instant pop up tents to another level, with a larger footprint and closable vents. The footprint measures 71 inches wide and 95 inches long with a center height of 39 inches. Similar to the Multifun Beach tent, this tent also features a quick-open, instant pitching setup. In addition, it can also be collapsed and packed away using a simple one step fold-and-twist action. When packed up, the tent becomes a flat disk, which measures about 31 inches in diameter. The tent’s ability to be completely flattened is fantastic for storage and transport.
Another great feature that sets the Zomake Pop Up Beach Tent apart from similar models is the zipper closures on the front, back, and sides. The mesh doors and windows can be sealed to keep mosquitos and bugs out while still letting air fresh flow in from all sides. In addition, the tent features a coverable ceiling vent, which is perfect for letting direct sunlight in during the day. At night, the ceiling vent becomes an awesome window, making this the perfect tent for stargazing.
When the weather takes a turn, all vents and doors can be closed with the tent’s second layer of polyester fabric, which will keep out wind, water, and sun. The bottom is made of a water-resistant 210D oxford material and the roof features a 50+ UV protective coating.
Pros and Cons
3. Abco Tech Pop Up Beach Tent
The Abco Tech Pop Up Beach Tent is another fantastic choice for summer camping or trips to the beach. This tent combines a zippered pop-up design with a small compact size, which is perfect for you and your significant other. It comfortably fits 1-2 people inside at the same time. Inside of the tent, you will find zipper mesh enclosures, along with zippered nylon doors and windows for ventilation.
In terms of size, the tent measures 47.2 inches wide by 88.6 inches long, with a center height of 37.4 inches. Access is provided through both sides via large zipper doors which can also be opened for additional ventilation. Featured on the outer layer of fabric is a moderate UV 30+ protective coating to help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. This compact, zippered tent is a great choice for outdoor camping during the summer, and is also suitable for use indoors or in the backyard.
For a quick instant set up, the Abco Tech Pop Up Beach Tent utilizes a spring-open fiberglass pole structure that quickly pops into place. For stability, the base of the tent can be anchored into the sand or dirt, which provides protection against high winds.
Pros and Cons
2. Pacific Breeze Beach Tent
The Pacific Breeze Beach Tent provides a tall, open-faced shelter from wind and sun. The tent measures 49.2 inches deep, 86.6 inches wide, and 47.2 inches tall. Its spacious interior provides enough room to set up a few folding chairs inside. The wide open front creates an unobstructed view, while also providing privacy on the sides and back. The setup is a bit different than a spring-action pop up tent, but it can still be set up in three quick and easy steps, forming a structure similar to an umbrella.
For storage and portability, the Pacific Breeze Beach Tent collapses and packs into a compact 5 by 5 inch carrying case with a 40 inch length – which is just a little longer than a standard camp chair. It weighs less than 5 lbs, which is fairly lightweight and easy to carry.
One unique feature that we love about this tent is the added material at the base of each side, which allows for secure tie downs or anchorage with sandbags or coolers. Additionally, the Pacific Breeze tent is water repellent, featuring a breathable polyethylene shell and a water-resistant floor.
Pros and Cons
1. Pacific Breeze Beach Tent Deluxe XL
The Pacific Breeze Beach Tent Deluxe XL is our favorite tent to bring along on our trips to the beach. This is the larger version of the Pacific Breeze Beach Tent, featuring a taller, wider frame and additional headroom and elbow room. It also has an option that includes an extendable floor. This version is taller, wider, and deeper, measuring 95 inches wide, 51 inches long, and 52 inches tall. The tent offers a ton of interior space, providing a relaxing area of shade for the whole family.
The Pacific Breeze XL Tent features three large windows for side and back ventilation as well as a fully open front, which provides an unobstructed view of the ocean. The walls are made of polyethylene, which is very breathable while still providing UPF 50+ sun protection. In addition, the extendable water-resistant polyethylene floor allows you to enjoy the beach and sun without getting sand or moisture all over you or your gear.
One of our favorite features of the XL Pacfic Breeze Tent is that it can be anchored without the use of stakes. Instead, the included sand pockets allow you to easily and securely anchor the tent to the beach ground. For easy storage and transport, the tent collapses down to 6 by 6 inches with a 38 inch length.
Pros and Cons
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in a Beach Tent
A beach tent is a great investment, providing years of summer fun for you, your family, and your friends. When it comes time to choose a new tent for the beach, there are a few factors and features that it is important to consider.
The hot beach and beaming sun can quickly turn an enclosed tent into a sauna. To prevent overheating, you should make sure your beach tent has enough ventilation and air circulation to keep you and your family cool. Zippered vents or full openings allow cool air to circulate through the tent, while still providing shade and shelter.
In addition, breathability will also help keep the tent from blowing away during high winds. Instead of blowing directly into the walls, the wind is able to pass through the tent, which also helps keep it securely anchored to the ground.
Another important factor to consider is how easy a tent is to store and transport. Typically, portability is determined by the size and weight of the tent when it is all packed up. This can vary between the two main types of beach tents: instant pop up tents and traditional tents.
Pop up fiberglass tents are lightweight and easy to set up, but can sometimes be a bit bulky when packed. However, they are typically very lightweight, which makes them a great choice if you have to walk a far distance to your campsite, or if you plan to use the tent for backpacking.
Traditional, heavy-duty tents are often a bit heavier, which can make backpacking or far walks more challenging. However, these tents typically pack neatly into a nice cylindrical carry case with a shoulder strap, so many models are not too difficult or awkward to carry.
Regardless of the type of tent you opt for, it is very important to consider what size and weight is best for you.
Weather resistance is a very important factor to consider. If the weather looks nice and calm, just about any beach tent will do just fine. However, weather can often be unpredictable and heavy rain can roll in at a moment’s notice. To be safe and properly prepared, you should consider the water resistance of your tent.
First and foremost, you should opt for a beach tent that has a waterproof coating on the outer layer. Next, you should consider whether you need an open-faced tent or a tent with zippered doors and windows. If you only intend to use the tent on the beach on sunny days, an open-faced tent will usually be just fine.
Depending on the tent model and manufacturer, there may be additional waterproofing features such as welded seams and bath-tub style floors. When it comes to camping on the beach, these features are probably not necessary.
For people who camp in areas where heavy rain is common, we recommend considering a waterproof camping tent. Alternatively, if you regularly camp in areas with different climates, you may want to opt for a four season tent.
Beach tents provide excellent shade. Keep in mind how much protection from the sun you are actually getting from your tent. Some provide no protection beyond the open-faced threshold, and some even feature an open top.
Even when closed off, sunlight will still come through the fabric of many tents. Some tent models can provide protection between 30+ to 50+ UPF. This can be very helpful to prevent sunburns, exposure, and overheating. Depending on what area of the world you are located in, the amount of UV protection may be a very important feature to consider.
For use in a shaded backyard, the sun protection won’t be as important as other factors like water resistance or enclosure.
Enclosed or Open
An enclosed tent provides a visual barrier and some protection from bugs without cutting into beach time. The ability to open and close certain portions of the tent via zippers can also help to control air movement and ventilation. To ensure a safe space for infants and toddlers, this is a key option to consider.
However, being zipped up inside a tent with a full beach in front of you may entirely defeat the purpose of your beach trip! In that case, an open-faced tent provides a great view and allows easy access for anyone who wants to get some more sun or go for a swim in the water. Additionally, beach tents require regular cleaning to remove sand, and open-faced tents are easy to wash.
Most beach tents are made of either nylon or polyester. In some cases, heavier materials are used for the bases to protect against pet claws or small punctures. Zippers and mesh material are important to consider as potential weak spots. Water resistance, UV protection, air flow, durability, and weight should all be considered when determining what materials will best suit your needs on the beach.
Beach Tent FAQs
How easy is it to set up a beach tent?
The typical beach tent sets up in just a few seconds. This saves time and energy so you can focus on having a good time. Some beach tents are pop up tents, which instantly form their shape via spring tension poles, while other beach tents use an umbrella-style skeleton. We recommend choosing a pop up style tent because the instant set up feature is quick and very easy.
Can a beach tent be anchored down to the ground?
A beach tent can be anchored to the ground by using standard tent stakes at the base. Like on dirt surfaces, the tent stakes are pushed or hammered into the sand. In areas with high winds, you may also need to use sandbags to provide additional anchoring weight.
Are beach tents well ventilated?
Yes, the amount of ventilation in the tent can be increased or decreased via zippered windows and screens. However, the amount and size of the windows and doors can vary depending on the model of the tent.
A trip to the sunny beach does not mean you have to swelter all day in the heat. Beach tents allow you to enjoy the water, beachside air, and outdoor environment while still providing shade and comfort. When natural shade is unavailable, a beach tent is the perfect solution.
Beach tents are easy to set up and can quickly be taken back down. They are lightweight, easily stored, and are great for any daytime trip to the beach, ocean, or lake. So, the next time you find yourself shaking sand out of your gear, or waking up with a mean case of sunburn, consider how a seaside shelter can put the fun back into your adventures in the sun. Get yourself a tent for the beach!
Is there a beach tent that you love and think we should have included? Let us know, we would love to try it out! Feel free to leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.