Few things ruin a beach day like a burning, peeling, crying kid. A pop-up beach tent provides a welcome, semi-sheltered place to take a break from the waves and the rays, especially for young kids who can’t take much sun. The best beach tents serve as a portable baby changing space, a shady spot for naps, or even an impromptu shelter from any inclement weather that rolls your way. Baby beach tents, in particular, are especially designed to keep the smallest members of your family safe and happy.
A good shelter should be easy to set up and take down, sturdy enough to not fold over when a stiff wind blows in, and made of fabric with at least a 30 UPF, which means it only allows 1/30th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. It should have stakes or sand pockets to anchor it to the ground and a bag that makes it easy to carry as you scope out the perfect spot.
The Best Beach Tents
You literally pop this tent out of its carry bag and it's ready to go. It weighs less than four pounds, so shlepping it around is easy. It comes with sandbags and wind ropes so it remains in place. Best of all are its large front entrance and the full-zippered rear door, which give you ample ventilation. It comfortably fits an adult and a kid, or two big kids.
The floor is water-resistant. The windows provide plenty of ventilation. There are interior pockets to store phones and sunscreen. And the tent provides UPF 50+ sun protection. It's a solid, easy option for families, because it's spacious, simple to set up and break down, and weighs roughly 4.5 pounds when you carry it. There's room for two adults.
At just 4.2 pounds, this highly portable beach tent works well when babies are in the picture. It fits three adults, has 360-degree ventilation and has rear double pull sliders, so it's easier to enter and exit the tent. Say, when you put the kid down for a nap. You just unzip the cover and the tent pops open.
Big enough for two adults, or a multitude of kids, and pets, the six-pound tent has three mesh windows with shades for maximum ventilation or privacy; a durable PE floor; and a porch area sizable enough for two beach chairs. You pull and click the poles to set it up.
Small and compact, this tent weighs only five pounds. It's made of ultra-light, water-resistant 185T polyester coated with UPF 50+ protection. It has enough space for two adults, plus a kid or two, and has three mesh windows, and four internal mesh pockets to store your phone and sunscreen. You just pull up the drawstrings to open the tent.
Because sipping lukewarm beers on the beach just plain sucks. You hold this tent up, toss it, and it pops open. Is it fancy? No. But it will protect you from the sun's rays while you and a buddy toss back a drink, eat a sandwich, and read a book. It folds flat into a disc when you're done, and it weighs just five pounds.
One of the easiest tents to both set up and take down, this one is made of UV-resistant ripstop polyester fabric with a UPF 50+ rating. It has three nylon pockets that can be filled with sand to keep the tent in place. You can hang the floor extension over the front of the tent for privacy, and the screen windows with privacy panels roll down for ventilation. You open it as you would an umbrella.
If bugs are the bane of your existence, this is the tent of your dreams. It's designed specifically to keep out mosquitos and other critters, thanks to its mesh walls. It has a bottom drape that basically seals up any openings. Because this tent weighs 20 pounds, it's definitely not something you haul around. The floor area is 100 square feet in diameter.
This tent comes complete with a floor and windows and sets up in less than a minute, allowing parents the ability to establish a home base quickly and efficiently. The large front floor patio also acts as a wall when needed, letting you close off the front if it’s time for naps or changing. The wraparound windows mean you can always keep an eye on the kids. This beach tent is airy and breezy, but not waterproof, so it's probably not the best tent in areas prone to sudden rain showers.
This hybrid umbrella-beach tent is the ideal item for families who are looking for a spot to escape the mid-days rays, but don’t want to set up a larger shelter. It’s super portable; just strap it to the side of a small pack and voila: instant shelter when needed. It’s made from durable polyester fabric and its large roll-down side panels can drop for extra protection, and its zippered windows allow for airflow. It only offers shelter for two, or three if you don’t mind squeezing together, and does not have a floor.
This hybrid shelter from an industry leader has extended front floor zips for privacy, plus storage pockets for sand toys, sunscreen, and other essentials. It has a large front door that acts as an extended floor when open and easily closes when you need privacy. There's even a dry line inside to hang wet bathing suits and towels. It offers 50+ UPF sun protection, though there aren't any mesh windows on this tent, so ventilation can leave something to be desired.
The Best Baby Beach Tents
A sweet and practical pop-up tent, this one also brings the comfort because it has a self-inflating sleeping pad that comes with washable cotton cover. It folds down to close and you literally just throw it in the air to open it. The larger size fits kids up to five years of age. It's a great escape from the heat and sun.
Think of this as the Tesla of kiddie tents. To open it, you just ... pop it open. And it folds down just as fast. It comes fully assembled, is made from water-resistant polyester with mesh sides and roof, and has a removable UPF 50 cover. It's roomy enough for three kids, and weighs just seven pounds, by far one of the lightest ones on the market and so easy to tote around from the house to the car to the beach and back. The height limit is 35 inches.
Part tent, part nap space, part playhouse, this beach tent pretty much does it all. It has UPF 50 sun protection, three hanging toys to keep the kid entertained, and a removable mattress for alfresco naps. There's also a handy zip-around mosquito net to keep the bugs out.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.
This article was originally published on