Beach Tents for Beginners
First up, we’re looking at beach tent camping for beginners. Beach tents are a great resource for families with young children who’ll need regular breaks from the sun, but young children come with so much luggage and cost on their own, you need to be sure you’re getting everything that you need at a good price.
Our best pick for beach tent camping for beginners is the Coleman Road Trip Beach Shade. Rated 4.2 stars on Amazon, and priced at only $54.99 it’s hard to beat on value for money. This tent offers a sun protection factor of 50+, a maximum height of 57” and includes sand bags, extra long stakes, floor mat and a handy carry bag.
This tent has received 879 reviews on Amazon thus far, and of these 526 are 5 star ratings. It receives praise for how light and compact it feels when packed away, making it great for local or overseas beach travelling. Unlike some other beach tents, this tent comes with the option to close the front panel so to offer privacy for changing.
The vast majority of reviewers praise this tents sturdiness in even moderate winds, suggesting it remains upright and continues to offer protection from most weather.
Most of the lower ratings find fault in the assembly process. Although most reviews suggest it’s a fairly quick and easy process, which gets easier and quicker as you get used to it, some report that it requires more than one person and around 15 minutes for at least the first attempt.
However, because of it’s reliability against wind and sun, it’s portability and privacy, and the huge number of reviews supporting it’s relative ease of assembly we think this tent is fantastic value for money for beach tent camping for beginners.
If you’re a beginner, it can help to know how to fold a beach tent before heading to the beach. Click here to see out tutorial on how to fold a beach tent.
Best Beach Canopy
There are several alternatives to the beach tent when it comes to beach shade, so, to help, we’ve selected two top buys in two different styles. Here’s our shortlist for the alternative best beach canopy.
Firstly we’ve chosen the Sport-Brella Umbrella. At $54.94 and with 84% of it’s 1128 reviews 4* and above on Amazon it’s reliable and great value for money.
Unlike a regular parasol, it offers a sun protection factor of 50+ with wind vents and zippered windows to offer a good level of ventilation. The sides can be pegged down to allow for a better shade coverage, with reviewers suggesting it can withstand moderate weather conditions well. The manufacturer suggests that the whole family will fit comfortable underneath the shade, with reviews agreeing with this.
This shade can be set up and taken down in a matter of seconds by literally popping it up much like a regular umbrella. It comes complete with a beach umbrella carry bag with a handle, and weighs around 9lb.
Some of the reviews state that the older version, manufactured with plastic fittings, was potentially unreliable, but it seems to have been updated so that the frame is mostly metal and has been received more positively.
On the whole, given it’s capacity, price, beach umbrella carry bag for portability and overall positive response, we think this makes a fantastic beach canopy.
But if an umbrella style shade is not what you’re looking for, how about a something a little bigger? The Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Beach Canopy Tent offers the ease of the “pop-up” style assembly integrated with a pole system. Again it features an SPF of 50+ and can easily fit the whole family underneath.
At $99.99, it’s at the higher end of the market but offers more space for belongings, 270 degree views, and weighs in at a light weight 7lb.
This canopy has received 127 reviews on Amazon, with 70% of these being 5*. It is praised for it’s ease of assembly, with suggestions that one person could easily put it together. Reviewers were delighted with it’s light weight, compact portability and with how well it withstood moderate weather conditions.
However, there was some suggestion that those sitting closer to the edges would struggle to retain full sun protection at certain times in the day.
However, with an overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5, it’s ease of assembly, and it’s space, we had to include this in our top buys.
Modern Retractable Awning
What about regular sun protection at home? We think modern retractable awnings offer a great, reliable sun shade all year around.
The ALEKO® Retractable Patio Awning offers 10x8ft of sun shade in your back garden all year around. Once fitted, it can be opened in less than a minute and requires no electricity, so to keep costs low. At $329, modern retractable awnings are a pricier option in comparison to the likes a tent or umbrella, but you get the convenience of not having to continually assemble, take down and store. This option also offers maximum movement and capacity allowing full families to sit at a regular height table and eat without the restriction of low roof or limited space.
This product is rated 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon, with 86% of these at 4* or above with the huge majority praising it’s reliability in wind and rain, it’s ease of installation and it’s convenience, with one person claiming it felt like they’d added another room to their home. And as retractable awnings go, this product is a fraction of the price of some of the advertised alternatives.
We think this style of sun shade is great value for money if you live in a sunnier climate that requires a more permanent sun shade solution. With it’s great reviews and choice of sizes and colours, we think the Aleko retractable patio awning is a great choice.