Since they’re designed more for short-term use than for camping, beach tents are usually smaller, simpler, lighter, and cheaper. You’ll typically be carrying yours to and from the beach, setting it up, and taking it down all within the same day, so you’ll want a good beach tent that’s easy to carry and deploy while still being sturdy enough to stay stable in a sea breeze and provide adequate shade for a sunny summer day.
Best Overall: Pacific Breeze Beach Tent
The Pacific Breeze beach tent utilizes poles for support like a camping tent and its four “legs” quickly deploy much like a camera tripod, so setup is a simple one-person job. It provides cover on three sides with a sun protection rating of UPF 50, but two mesh windows allow for ventilation (although you can cover these if needed). With both stakes and sand pockets, the Pacific Breeze tent is stable on the ground and in moderate winds. The whole thing weighs just 4.5 pounds, and at 86 inches across the front and 49 inches deep, you’ve got room for a few people to sit comfortably.
Also Great: Coleman Beach Shade
Coleman makes a lot of great camping tents, so it’s to be expected that you’d find at least one beach tent bearing this brand’s name. It has a similar overall design to the Pacific Breeze tent (right down to its overall shape and built-in sand pockets), but the Beach Shade also has a zip-up front that gives you a place to change clothes or put the kids down for a shaded nap.
Most Versatile: Sport-Brella
The Sport-Brella is easily the most unique beach tent of all of our picks, and it’s also the most versatile. It’s basically a large beach umbrella with dual side flaps that form walls when the Sport-Brella is placed down at an angle and staked to the ground, but you could even use this “tent” as a regular beach umbrella if you want to. It’s taller than most beach tents as well, so you can comfortably sit in chairs underneath the canopy. Just note that the Sport-Brella lacks a floor panel – you’ll be sitting directly on the ground.
Best Canopy: Neso Beach Tent
For larger beach get-togethers, a wide canopy-style beach tent like this one from Neso offers a lot of flexibility and versatility. It’s made of a stretchy, durable UPF 50+ nylon/lycra blend that’s held up with two collapsible seven-foot poles and four anchor bags you can fill with sand or rocks. The Neso canopy tent is a more “premium” design than our other picks, but it’s worth it.
Best for Kids: Multifun Pop-Up Tent
If you want something just for the kids that’s durable and super easy to set up, then it doesn’t get much easier than the Multifun pop-up beach tent. Another benefit of a pop-up tent like this is that you can take it pretty much anywhere (when folded up, the Multifun tent fits into a flat 25-inch carrying bag), and there’s no reason the kids can’t play with it right at home.