With redheads in our family portable shade is ALWAYS top of on our picnic packing list. As wearing an umbrella on our head would look so uncool we are massive fans of beach tents!
When we are buying a beach tent we look for something thats small and lightweight to carry, easy to put up and fast to pack away (a pop up beach tent)! I do like the Neso Beach Canopy for lightweight and easy to carry as it fits in my Picnic Backpack easily. However we want it to be large and roomy when unpacked and able to fit the four of us in as the day grows hotter!
It also has to fit in our electric cool box (or cool bag rucksack), luxury picnic baskets and foldable picnic table (yes there are sun tents which have the height to have you seated at a picnic table). And add in a beach trolley to carry it all!
We need them to have the best SPF (sun protection factor) and be waterproof if possible so we can shelter if the UK weather goes wild. Another thing I look for in my beach canopy is a built in groundsheet (add a nice picnic blanket for comfort). These are always a huge help as it adds to your overall picnic eating space if you have not brought a folding picnic table!
When you are choosing the best beach tent, shelter or picnic canopy for your trip consider the following:
SPF protection: Safety from the suns harsh rays is paramount – never choose a tent with a UPF protection rate lower than 50!
Sandbags or stakes: In the heaviest winds you want your beach tent to stay put! so choose a tent include durable stakes to dig in or better yet sandbags you fill up (no sand use water bottles!)
Portability: With beach tents weighing up to 5kg and enough to carry already on a picnic look for lightweight tents that come with a storage bag and handle for easy carrying.
Size: Buy the right size tent for the number of people and SIZE of the people who will be using it (i have a 6ft 8in hubby so size matters!). Buy something to grow with the family if you can. And consider are you taking pets as well? if so maybe get a pop up pet tent too!
Below are the best beach tents of 2020 according to the reviewers (me and my family and friends). We have not included reviews on Decathlon beach tents, Coleman beach tents (But I do recommend a Coleman Sunshade/Gazebo) or any sun tents from argos so if you have used any of those please leave reviews in the comments below: Th (
Best Beach Tents & Sun Canopies
- Best Baby Beach Tent See Current Price
Love this Homened Pop Up Baby Beach Tent & Shade Pool Tent (50 SPF UV) Sun Shelter Canopy for Indoor and Outdoor Use
- Best 2 Person Beach Tent See Current Price
Asteri POP UP Beach Tent 2 Person Anti-UV 50+ Sun shelter. Great for instant shelter at beach picnic
- Best Large (4 Person) Beach Tent See Current Price
Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Deluxe XL Easy Up 4 Person Beach Tent Sun Shelter - Extended Zippered Porch Included
- Best Sun Canopy See Current Price
Coleman Gazebo, Event Shelter for Garden and Camping, Sturdy Steel Poles Construction, Large Tent, Portable Sun Shelter with Protection SPF 50
- Best Beach Umbrellas See Current Price
Sport-Brella Unisex's Sport Bella Premiere Portable All-Weather & Sun Umbrella, 8-Foot Canopy, Blue, 1 Size
I recommend these pop up beach tents and sun canopies as the UK’s best beach tents based on their:
- UV Rating
- Fixing mechanism (tent pegs or sandbags)
Best Baby Beach Tent
These are 2020´s best baby beach tents. We have chosen these baby sun tents and pop up baby tents for having the best Sun Protection Factor, built in paddling Pools etc. We prefer pop up baby tents as they are far easier to erect whilst holding baby.
Best Two Person Beach Tent
These are 2020´s best beach tents for 2 people (or kids). You want to be sure that the beach tent you choose is long enough and wide enough to fit in two grown adults comfortably, so check any product images and reviews!
I love the Zenph Pop Up tent as its waterproof as well and literally is a POP UP BEACH TENT in seconds. However my top pick was the Asteri Beach tent for 2 as its got that height as well as depth to be super comfy and i love the colour.
Best Large (4 Person) Beach Tent
These are 2020´s best large beach tents which should fit four people in them. Once you get to a tent of this size they are not normally pop up beach tents. So pick something lightweight and easy to put up with the minimum amount of pools, stakes etc.
For us the easiest to put up was the RBX Quick Set Up Family Sun Tent – it took moments to erect once out of hand carry bag and just needs a few poles interlocking. It also has window flaps for air vents too and waterproof fitted groundsheet.
However for sheer size the best beach tent for four persons would have to be the Easthills Outdoor Instant Shader Deluxe. In this sunshade you could actually have a table and four chairs for a picnic.
It weighs less than 4kg and can be put up in less than a minute using a drawstring technology! Best of all it has a closable door for privacy for changing or if your little people fancy a nap.
Portable Sunshade Canopy
These are 2020´s best sunshade canopies – with the shade of the beach tent but without the tenty feels…very cool and more like a bedouin camp I feel! The difference between the beach tent and sun shade canopy is the lack of sides so the air circulates.
In the main whilst the fabrics may say they are waterproof they are honestly more shower proof! Without sides as well the rain can bounce in…however for a more relaxed shade these work a treat!
Best Beach Umbrellas
These are 2020´s best beach umbrellas chosen for their high spf factor and shade cover. Several of them were chosen for the fact they can convert very quickly into a two person size beach tent.
My personal pick from these is the Sport-brella – I love how easy it converts into a sun tent with zipper panel for airflow (and to stop umbrella blowing away. It has an auger for digging the beach brolly in however its plastic and only good on sand.
Have you used any of these Pop Up Beach Tents, Beach Umbrellas or Sun Canopies? Then please leave your review in the comments box below. Is your favourite Beach Tent not on the list? Be sure to let me know in the comments below so I can review it.
Buyers guide to buying the Best Beach Tent
When you are choosing a the best beach tent, shelter and picnic canopy for your trip consider the following:
- SPF protection
- Sandbags or stakes
Beach Tents - SPF/UVF Protection
Safety from the suns harsh rays is paramount – never choose a tent with a UPF protection rate lower than 50! Read the reviews to be sure what your been sold is as tried and tested by shoppers.
Beach Tents - Stakes or Sandbags?
In the heaviest winds you want your beach tent to stay put! so choose a tent include durable stakes to dig in or better yet sandbags you fill up (no sand use water bottles!). We prefer the sanbag picnic tents and beach blankets as well as they are lighter to carry with no pegs, and if you forget the pegs you wont blow away!
Beach Tents - Portability/ Weight
With beach tents weighing up to 5kg and enough to carry already on a picnic look for lightweight tents that come with a storage bag and handle for easy carrying.
Beach Tents - Size of Tent/ Number of People
Buy the right size tent for the number of people and SIZE of the people who will be using it (I have a 6ft 8in hubby so size matters!). Buy something to grow with the family if you can. And consider are you taking pets as well? if so maybe get a pop up pet tent too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers on buying pop up beach tents and sun canopies
How do I fold-up a pop up beach tent
How do I to fold up my pop up tent is one question i do get asked quite often. I will get round to making a video for you soon however for now (until i get over stage fright) here is my fav video on the best way to fold a pop up beach tent up: https://youtu.be/cTBICMNhnJE
Where can I buy a baby beach tent?
There are lots of suppliers to buy quality baby beach tents from including Argos and Amazon. The best way to buy a baby sun tent is to consider the UV rating and age range it caters for (normally 0-3 years). And does it have any added fun extras like a pool in it or storage for suncream etc!
I advise for easy of portability you get a pop up baby tent like the one pictured above. Make sure you get a carry bag, pegs etc with it as well!
Where can I buy a beach tent?
You can buy beach tents from Argos, Decathlon sell pop up beach tents and many other high street stores sell sun shades for the beach.
For the best in pop up tents that can also be sun shades I recommend you try Alpine Trek as they are always outstanding quality for the real outdoorsy person.
How do I secure a beach tent correctly?
Take a shovel and dig down about two feet deep (easy to do in sand).
Go fill a bucket with water and grab couple of handfuls of wet sand and put it on the fabric.
Then put the anchor in the sand then cover anchor and hole back with sand. Attach the guy line to the anchor and pull tight.
Or if using sandbags to secure i say go get bottle of water, wet sand and pack into the sandbag pockets on side of your pop-up beach tent or sun canopy.
More Picnic Essentials
Quickly before you leave this Best Beach Tents page here are quick links to our other picnic essentials on the site. If you have all these you are sure of the perfect picnic!
- Best Electric Cool Boxes
- Top Cool Bag Rucksacks
- Strong Beach & Festival Trolleys
- Luxury Picnic Baskets
- Easiest Folding Picnic Tables
- Waterproof Picnic Blankets
- Best Picnic Seating & Chairs
- Top Picnic Flasks
Can you think of another essential picnic items I need to include? If so drop me a line in the comments.