The Best Beach Canopies (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Consider these beach canopies to provide some shade while enjoying a day at the beach.
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
BY Zach Faulds / LAST UPDATED ON July 12, 2021
Many people love spending a day at the beach. There's something about the sound of the waves, fresh air, and the warm sun that brings out the magic of a summer day. If you’re fortunate enough to enjoy a hot dog or lobster roll, it’s that much better. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, though, especially when it comes to sunshine. A sunburn can cut a beach day short and cause lasting skin damage. It’s best to bring along some protection, so you can enjoy the sun and waves all day without fear.
Sunscreen is a must, but we also recommend a beach canopy, so you can catch some shade in between swimming and playing in the sand. You can find a beach canopy for individual use or large groups. Some fold up as easily as an umbrella, and some are sturdy enough for an all-day cookout. We list some of the top options in the list below. Pack a cooler, grab your favorite pair of sunglasses, and hit the shore with one of these beach canopies.
Durable fiberglass frame sets up easily and stretches the canopy tight for a sturdy structure. External sand pockets can be filled to anchor the canopy, even on loose beach sand.
- Polyester shell is breathable, water-resistant, and rated at UPF 50+ sun protection
- Three large windows let you soak in the view
- Durable floor keeps your belongings out of the sand
- Not recommended for use on extremely windy days
- It offers great protection from a light breeze, but during times of heavy wind, the tent poles have been known to bend inward
Lowest-priced option offers features like SPF 50+ UV protection and a one-year warranty. This canopy can be set up in as little as five minutes.
- Sturdy tent poles, ground stakes, and tie-downs keep this canopy in place
- An extended outer floor area can be zipped over the opening to create a private changing area
- Not quite as durable as other beach canopies
- Some customers have reported that the seams have come unstitched during heavy wind or extreme weather conditions
Ten-foot square canopy stands tall with a center peak height of 112 inches. Polyester canopy is waterproof, vented for cooling airflow, and provides SPF 50+ UV protection.
- Setup and tear-down can be accomplished in as little as two minutes, thanks to large, pinch-free buttons on each collapsible leg
- Entire tent folds into a rolling case
- Advertised as fully waterproof, but some customers have reported that water will begin to pool on the edges of the canopy, causing it to collapse during heavy rain
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Beach Canopy
- Protection: Perhaps the most obvious benefit of beach canopies is that they protect against the sun, rain, wind, and other elements while at the beach. Some models are even made from a UPF-protected fabric to avoid getting sunburnt while using your canopy.
- Safety: Beach canopies also improve your safety so you can enjoy a day at the beach. If your canopy features walls and a bottom, they protect against young children from wandering off or eating sand inside the canopy. A colorful or vibrant design on your canopy also allows your family or group to easily find your tent on the beach and not become disoriented.
- Privacy: Beach canopies can provide a decent amount of privacy for yourself and your group while at the beach. If your canopy features sides or a zip-up door feature, it can easily be used as a private changing room or used to change the diapers of your young children in private.
Types of Beach Canopies
Pop-up beach canopies are the easiest type to assemble. This type of beach canopy can be set up in just a few minutes. Pop-up beach canopies provide more than enough shade for a large group of people. This type of beach canopy is extremely convenient, featuring a lightweight structure that is easy to travel with or carry when collapsed.
Pole beach canopies feature cord-supported poles that provide an extremely strong structure and sturdy framework. This type of beach canopy is also fairly easy to set up and can usually be transported quite easily. Pole canopies come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, but typically provide more than a sufficient amount of protection and shade at the beach.
Frame beach canopies differ from pole beach canopies in that they are supported by a built-in framework. This type of beach canopy is perhaps the most stable of all beach canopies. It is ideal for not only protecting you from the sun, but it also provides excellent wind protection during strong gusts or large storms. Frame beach canopies are typically more difficult to set up and harder to transport due to their heavier size.
Pacific Breeze is a reputable company that specializes in camping equipment and beach products. The company has built a reputation for its quality outdoor equipment and delivers across the United States. In addition to beach canopies, Pacific Breeze also produces beach shelters, lounge chairs, as well as other accessories.
Core has made a name for itself as a leading camping and outdoor equipment brand. The company specializes in products to enhance all your outdoor activities. In addition to beach tents, Core produces flashlights, camping chairs, sleeping bags, apparel, and more.
Founded in 1900, this reputable brand of outdoor recreation products and camping gear is currently headquartered in Chicago, Ill. It has over 4,000 employees and other factories in Kansas and Texas. In addition to beach tents, Coleman produces sleeping bags, grills, coolers, lanterns, and other camping accessories.
Beach Canopy Pricing
- Under $70: Beach canopies in this price range provide excellent value. These beach canopies are typical of the pop-up variety, which provide more than adequate sun protection but are not quite as stable as other canopies.
- $70-$100: This is the most common price range for beach canopies. Products in this price range are available in a variety of different types and sizes, providing quality protection for families and small groups.
- $100 and up: This is the premium price range for beach canopies. Canopies in this price range offer the highest quality protection and special features such as walls, zippered doors, windows, and bottoms.
The size of your beach canopy can be a very important factor. Depending on whether you are intending to use this product for a small group or family, or a large group of people, can determine the size you will need. Larger sized beach canopies offer great protection, but they are often not as compact or as portable for traveling as smaller sized canopies.
The type of fabric that your beach canopy is made from is another important feature. To make sure your canopy is of the highest quality, look for it to be constructed from polyester, nylon, or Oxford fabric that is completely waterproof and tear-resistant. The best beach canopies will also protect you from the sun's UVA and UVB rays.
The type of metal that your beach canopy's frame is made from should also be considered. Most beach canopies are made from aluminum frames that are lightweight enough to carry around easily. Other beach canopies are made from stainless steel, which provides better support, but it is heavier and more difficult to carry. Some canopies even include sides and zippered doors, windows, and a bottom for ultimate wind protection.
- Convenience: It is important to look for a model that is convenient and the best option for your specific needs. If you are worried about carrying your canopy, then look for a lightweight pop-up type of canopy that can easily be set up within a few minutes. If you are worried about wind protection, then you may want to opt for a more heavy-duty option. You should be aware that these types cannot be set up as quickly and may take two people to carry.
- Comfort: To remain as comfortable as possible, you'll want to find a beach canopy that offers the best protection from the sun, while also providing ample wind protection. Some of the best canopies will feature sides to protect against extreme wind and harsh weather, but make sure the model you choose also provides ample air circulation or ventilation so that you do not overheat.
- Warranty: The length and type of warranty is another important consideration when looking for the best beach canopy. The most reputable companies usually offer excellent customer service and some type of warranty. Make sure to check your canopy upon delivery for any manufacturing issues or defects. Most companies will offer a refund or replacement for any issues that you find or occur within the first few uses at the beach.
Best Beach Canopy Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Make sure that you follow the proper instructions for assembly. Failure to secure your canopy properly could result in breaking or structural damage during windy conditions.
- If you're having trouble keeping your canopy staked down into the sand, you may want to consider using weights or sandbags so that your canopy does not blow away during heavy winds.
- If your canopy is getting too hot during peak hours, you may want to consider removing the side walls if it has them or opening the windows if possible for added ventilation.
- If you are worried about taking too much time to set up your canopy, you may want to consider purchasing a pop-up canopy for extremely easy installation in as little as one minute.
- If you will be carrying your canopy a long distance to the beach location, you may want to make sure to purchase a lightweight option or one that folds into a carrying bag with wheels.
Q: What is the best beach canopy?
A: Our best overall beach canopy is the Pacific Breeze Beach Tent Deluxe XL, which includes external sand pockets and excellent sun and water protection, but there are several other high-quality options available. Make sure to read our reviews to determine if another option is the best fit for your needs.
Q: Which is better: straight leg or slant leg canopy?
A: Slant leg canopies are a more affordable option and provide a more modern look when compared to straight-leg canopies, but slant leg canopies are not as stable as straight leg canopies. Straight leg canopies will typically be more stable and will provide a greater coverage area while taking up less space than slant leg canopies.
Q: What is the size of a canopy?
A: Beach canopies come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, depending on the type and construction material. A standard sized canopy can range from 10 feet by 10 feet in size to as large as 13 feet by 25 feet in size.
Q: How do you keep a canopy from blowing away at the beach?
A: To keep a canopy from blowing away at the beach, make sure to secure any included guy ropes and tent stakes according to the instruction manual. If you are still worried about tent stability, some canopies come with sand pockets that can be filled with sand from the beach. Other options include purchasing separate sandbags or weights to help secure your tent during heavy winds.
For a high-quality beach canopy, consider the Pacific Breeze Beach Tent Deluxe XL, featuring a durable fiberglass frame, or the Coleman Beach Shade Shelter, which is extremely easy to set up and available at a great price.
Drop us a comment and let us know what your favorite beach canopy is and what you love about it.