Most of us probably won’t be going abroad this summer, but we do have staycations planned. Are you heading somewhere with a beach? Then a beach tent or shade is an absolute essential.
If you’re going to be spending the day by the sea you need something to protect you from the sun’s UV rays. Plus they can also make sand and insects less bothersome – not to mention providing a nice place to sit and chill or have a picnic or a snooze! On windy days they’re an absolute saviour too!
This is a beach item that you’ll get plenty of use from beyond the beach – they’re great for hiking, camping, festivals, or even just sitting out in the garden. As long as there’s grass where you can fit some tent pegs, job's a goodun!
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Best beach tents to buy in 2021, according to reviewers:
Best beach tent for families: Neso tents grande beach tent
Best beach tent for toddlers and kids: Active era pop up beach tent
Best umbrella-style beach tent canopy: SKLZ Unisex’s Sport-Brella
Best instagrammable beach tent: Fatboy Miasun shade
Best beach tent for dogs: MyDeal Pop up pet house beach tent
Best XL beach tent: Easthills Outdoors XL beach tent
Best beach tent for high winds: Neso tent beach tent with sand anchor
Best value beach tent: Wolfwise 3-4 person pop up beach tent
Best beach tent for families
Neso tents grande beach tent, £99.99, Amazon
Why we love it? It’s super easy to carry, weighing only 2.95kg and when it’s packed away it easily fits into a carry-on suitcase. It’s UPF 50+ and is water repellent so rainy days are covered too. You can put it up in a couple of minutes and the fact it’s open means the fresh air blows through keeping you all cool. This tent fares well in strong winds too.
Top review: “We live in Malta and make use of the beach for nearly 4 months every year. This tent is absolutely perfect - the setup is easy and a family of 6 ppl will find comfortable shade within minutes. A highly recommended product.”
Best beach tent for toddlers and kids
Active era pop up beach tent, £34.99, Amazon
Why we love it? This ‘pop up’ style beach tent is super-fast to set up and put away, it’s the perfect size for little ones and is extremely lightweight – less than 1 kg in its carry bag. The long porch is good for toddlers to sit and play when they’re just getting used to the strange feel of sand.
Top review: “Liked everything about this tent. It is so easy to put up, as soon as you pull it out of the little bag it pops straight up. It takes a little while to get the hang of putting it back away but once you have done it a couple of times it's easy. We have used it loads over the past couple of months, on the beach, in the park, in the garden even on holiday. It is ideal if you have little ones and need some shade.”
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Best XL beach tent
Easthills Outdoors XL beach tent, £98.99, Amazon
Why we love it: It’s the zippered front part that’s the USP of this spacious tent – great if you need a bit of privacy for changing or breastfeeding, or if someone wants to have a nap. Of course, it’s ultra-lightweight and water-resistant (and UPF 50+ too). We love the front porch too – good if you can’t stand the sand getting everywhere!
Top review: “This tent kept us very sheltered from the sun and wind to the point where it was too good at stopping the wind. Opening the windows allowed a nice breeze to flow through and control the temperature. We had several comments on a quiet beach, asking where to buy and how much. The size is brilliant. We honestly have had not just looks, but long lingering stares (could be my wife in her bikini, but I reckon it's the tent!)"
Best instagrammable beach tent
Fatboy Miasun beach tent, £119, Vilebrequin
Why we love it? It just looks gorgeous, and you can put it up in just 90 seconds! The Miasun sun shade weighs just over a kilo and fits in any bag or suitcase. The size is great too and it’s big enough to fit two adults and two children. You can put it up in three different styles giving you three different shade options, and it’s totally possible to put it up alone.
Top review: “Every time I use this, I get compliments and questions about where I got it. I love the beach but my other half does not – but he feels comfortable for hours under this without the closed-in feeling of a tent.”
Top beach tent for pets
MyDeal Pop up pet house beach tent, £31.97, Amazon
Why we love it? Sometimes your pooch just needs his own space, and this is perfect. It pops open and assembles in seconds and the best thing is you can put it between car front seats to create a pet barrier to keep pets safe in the back seat.
Top review: “Love! I've got two cairn terriers that I bought one each for and the second they popped upon they were inside. Zero effort to set up and it's great for travel and home alike! Collapsing isn't too hard either just take a front corner and push back to fold in half then take each long and twist till it folds into 3 circles which then fits perfectly back in the pouch! Would definitely buy again and only wish there were more colours to choose from!”
Best umbrella-style beach tent canopy
SKLZ Unisex’s Sport-Brella, £54.78, Amazon
Why we love it? The Umbrella action really does make this the easiest sun shelter ever to set up. The umbrella structure also gives it an edge when it comes to shade and wind protection – the side straps mean you’re fully covered and the structure is nice and sturdy.
Top review: “This was a last-minute purchase before a trip to Italy. And boy was I glad we got one. This came in handy on so many occasions. My children are all fair-skinned, so with this in the boot of the car, we always had sun protection and a safe shaded space for them. It’s quick and easy to use, basically a large umbrella that conveniently packs away in the case with a shoulder strap. This is without hesitation one of the most useful products I have bought. And will no doubt be using it for years to come. Brilliant!”
Best beach tent for high winds
Neso tent beach tent with sand anchor, £90.36, Amazon
Why we love it? This great lightweight SPF50+ tent is available in a rainbow of colours, it’s easy to put up and has a unique anchor system – fill up the sandbags (or use rocks) prop the tent up with the poles and you’re all set. Super easy
Top review: “If you don’t like to bring a big parasol like me, this is your solution. I love using this kit at the beach it gives me a big area of shade. You can easily prop it up by yourself. You don’t need to worry even if gets a bit windy. It stays in place with the help of a very clever design sandbag.”
Best value beach tent
Wolfwise 3-4 person pop up beach tent, £69.99, Amazon
Why we love it? If you’re a family of four (or just a couple who likes plenty of room in their beach tent) this is the best you will get for under 70 quid. It’s UPF50+, ultra-light and durable – plus it's water repellent and has mesh windows and a large entrance for 360 degree ventilation.
Top review: “I am so pleased with this product. It is a fantastic size- adults can comfortably sit or lie fully inside with plenty of space. Our family of 5 are all able to fit inside comfortably. The tent pops up and collapses with ease and when in the carry case the product is very lightweight and easy to carry.”
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