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Best Pop-Up Beach Tents

These beach tents will keep you and your baby cool and protected this summer.

A day at the beach with kids is not far from camping by the water, and taking inspiration from camping equipment can be surprisingly helpful. A pop-up beach tent provides a welcome, semi-sheltered place to take a break from the waves and the sun, especially for young kids who can’t take much sun. Few things ruin a beach day like a burning, peeling, crying kid, and sun protection isn’t all that beach tents are good for. They provide 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 specially 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. These seven beach tents check all the right boxes. 

The internal frame in this tent is one of the sturdiest on the market. It's more than capable of standing up to harsh winds and waterproof to boot. The three large windows offer ample ventilation and ocean views, and its spacious overhead roof offers ample shade. But as one of the taller tents out there, it can be tough for shorter people to set it up without help. It's ideal for the family who likes to hit the beach often and does not want to have to deal with the headaches of not having enough room or no foundation underfoot to keep the sand out. Opt for the model with an extendable floor for to create an even bigger space for you and your family.

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 is an affordable option for parents that offers solid sun protection and an internal floor to keep you above the sand. It weighs less than three pounds, so carrying it to the beach from faraway parking lots is painless, and its internal frame sets up simply and also comes down easily when it’s time to go. But convenience doesn't translate to durability. The fiberglass poles are not the best in high winds, so this tent isn't the best option for breezier beaches. It also doesn't come with a door, so families who want a little privacy should look elsewhere.

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.

The silver-coated fabric of this tent has the robust sun protection (rated UPF 50+) that you want in a waterfront shelter. The mesh window in the rear keeps your tent open to a nice breeze, while the sand pockets on each corner and four included metal stakes work together to make sure that the breeze doesn't blow your tent away. It can be a bit of a pain to fold down this tent, as the process involves folding the spacious tent together and wrapping an elastic band around, actions that require a bit of strength and a generous enough wingspan. But it pops up easily, and at just 2.2 pounds, even kids can carry it.

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.

High-quality materials including a nylon-lycra blend and rust-proof aluminum poles add up to a beach tent that's built to last. This tent is secured using bags filled with rocks or sand, so it's easy to break down. It's also water-resistant and has reinforced corners so it won't go flying away. The downside is you'll need to use this tent a lot to make its price worth it. There's also no sides to this tent, so privacy and UV protection is limited

Going to the beach for the first time is a magical experience for a baby, but the risks of sunburn and drowning make it harrowing from the parent. This compact baby tent, specially designed for infants, addresses both issues. The mini pool lets babies play in the water without facing the big bad ocean, and the roof is made of silver-coated fabric that ensures strong protection from UV rays. The downside is it won't be useful after the infant stage.

 

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