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If you enjoy hanging out at the beach, you know the trip will be more comfortable if you have the proper gear. In addition to a swimsuit, sunscreen, towel, and snacks, it's helpful to have some shade to avoid damaging UV rays. One of the best ways to protect your skin is by using a beach cabana. Available in a wide range of colors and designs, they are great for cooling off and relaxing if you need to get out of the sun for a while. High-quality beach tents and shelters also provide privacy and let you store beach essentials, including blankets, chairs, coolers, and toys. If you're not sure which beach cabana is the best, check out our buying guide below.
Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent
This extra-large beach tent accommodates up to four people and folds down super compactly for easy storage and transportation.
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- Lightweight and portable
- Specially designed hub for quick and easy pop-up assembly
- Can be tough to pack up in the carrying bag
- Carrying strap may break
WhiteFang Deluxe XL Pop Up Beach Tent Sun Shade Shelter
This tent comes in mint green or blue and is 99 inches long by 55 inches wide and 59 inches tall. It fits two adults and two kids.
- Quick and easy to set up
- Sunproof with UV protection
- Three windows for airflow
- Can be hard to roll up in the carrying bag
- Materials are a little flimsy
Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Dark Shelter Deluxe XL
This light blue beach tent is 99 by 53 by 57 inches and can fit four adults, children, and pets.
- Sets up in one minute or less
- Three windows for ventilation
- UV and waterproof protection
- One-year warranty
- Packing into the carrying bag is challenging
- Roll-up windows tend to fall down
Benefits of a Beach Cabana
- They provide shade. Even the most ardent beach lovers need some time out of the sun every once in a while. A beach cabana gives you some much-needed shade when the sun is especially hot and bright.
- They keep damaging UV rays out. It's a good idea to avoid direct sun exposure, particularly between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., because that's when the sun's rays are the strongest and the most dangerous.
- They provide privacy. Some beach tents are designed to give users a little privacy should they want to change into their swimsuits or relax without prying eyes.
Types of Beach Cabanas
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A traditional-looking beach cabana or canopy tent features a square design with four legs and a roof. Many brands include at least one detachable wall, which provides added sun protection. This type of shelter typically includes stakes and sandbags to secure it to the ground and prevent it from blowing away in the wind.
Pop-up beach tents can accommodate anywhere from two to five people or more. Some are very easy to use and can take under a minute to set up. They resemble camping tents, except they are often open in the front, allowing users to see what's going on around them. Some also include a "porch" area that extends out from the tent that can zipper up to provide privacy.
This type of beach shelter features a telescoping pole that you stake in to keep it from moving. It's shaped similarly to an umbrella, but many also include side flaps for added protection against the sun. Many have wind vents and windows that provide airflow, which is helpful on sweltering days.
Based in California, OutdoorMaster was created by a group of outdoor enthusiasts who connected while skiing in the French Alps. The company produces gear for snow sports and water sports, as well as accessories such as the OutdoorMaster Pop Up 3-4 Person Beach Tent.
This San Diego-based company was founded in 2009 by people who are passionate about adventure. The company aims to create products that are durable, functional, and easy to use outdoors, including the Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent.
Beach Cabana Pricing
- $60-$100: Beach cabanas range in price based on how large they are and the number of people they can accommodate. Some provide more shelter with privacy doors, while others come with added accessories such as storage pockets, stakes, and tie-downs. Items on the higher end of this price range tend to be more durable.
It's important to determine how many people will be using the beach cabana before you make a purchase. If you have a large family, you'll need a larger tent. Smaller options, however, are just fine for one or two people. Also, think about the items you want to store in the shelter and whether it will have space to accommodate them.
Most beach cabanas are made of either polyester or nylon, which provide UV protection. This is important as one of the main reasons for using a beach cabana is to avoid damaging rays from the sun. Also, you want the material to be strong enough to be resistant to rips and tears.
Nothing's worse than a beach shelter blowing around because it can't stay in place when the wind hits. Instead of wasting your time chasing a rogue beach tent, find one that comes with stakes and sand pockets. This will keep it grounded even when an offshore breeze threatens to scoop it up into the air.
- Ease of Use. Some beach cabanas are easier to set up than others: at best, it should take around five minutes to install one on the beach. Plus, it should be easy to take down, fold up, and carry. And you don't want it to take up a lot of space when it's in storage. The easier it is to set it up and transport it, the more likely you will use it.
- Privacy. Many people use beach tents to change clothing or to relax without interruptions. If you're the type of person who enjoys a little seclusion, look for brands that provide a little bit of privacy. Some beaches are very busy, so a tent that conceals some of your activities can be very beneficial.
Best Beach Cabanas Reviews & Recommendations 2021
We like the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL because it doesn't require any assembly and sets up in just seconds, thanks to its specially designed hub system. Plus, it provides UPF 50+ sun protection for up to four people, along with three windows for ventilation. This extra-large shelter is lightweight and protects against sun, rain, and wind. Plus, it's compact and weighs just over six pounds, so it's easy to carry and store. It comes with a carrying case, stakes, and built-in sand pockets to keep it grounded. Even better, it has a one-year warranty. The tent measures 95 x 52 x 51 inches.
It’s important to keep in mind that, even with the windows for extra airflow, this tent can get very hot inside on days with higher temperatures. Furthermore, fitting the maximum capacity of four adults was reported to be challenging so you may want to limit it to two plus your belongings.
Consider the WhiteFang Deluxe XL Pop Up Beach Tent Sun Shade Shelter if you want to spend a little less money. This tent is available in mint green or blue and is 99 inches long by 55 inches wide and 59 inches tall. It can fit two adults and two children. It features a pop-up mechanism, so it's quick and easy to set up. It also comes with five sandbags, six steel stakes, six sand stakes, and tie-down strings. Overall, it's lightweight and easy to transport in the carrying bag. Made of a polyester blend that's sun-proof, it also features UV protection and three roll-up openings for airflow. The extended front floor also zips up for privacy.
Keep in mind that it can be hard to stuff it back into the storage bag. Also, customers have said that the material is a little flimsy.
The Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Dark Shelter Deluxe XL is 99 by 53 by 57 inches and has a 53-inch front porch that can be zippered closed for privacy. It can fit up to four adults, children, and pets and weighs eight pounds. Directions are sewn on the carrying bag, and it takes a minute or less to set up on the beach. It has three-sided roll-up windows for airflow as well as four internal mesh pockets for storage. The shelter is made of polyester and provides UPF 50+ protection that blocks 97.5 percent of UV rays. It even blocks up to 90 percent of direct sunlight for added protection. The tent is also coated in 300mm waterproof coating to keep you dry when an unexpected shower pops up. For increased stability against the wind, this shelter comes with an extra guyline.
Like other tents on this list, it can be tricky to fold up into the storage bag. Also, the window shades can fall down after you roll them up.
If you're in the market for a more traditional-looking beach cabana, check out the EasyGo Cabana. This 6-by-6-foot canopy (which measures 8 feet, 4 inches diagonally) can be used on the sand or grass and is excellent for both beach and pool use. Made of premium-grade waterproof materials, this lightweight shelter is easy to carry in its included storage bag. It is also durable and wind-resistant. This cabana is quick and easy to set up, which is helpful if you're in a hurry. Also, it stays stable and steady in the wind.
One downside is that it may not fit into the trunk of some cars, so you may need to transport it in the back seat. Also, it doesn't come with a drop-down sidewall, and depending on the sun's position in the sky, you may lose some of the shading properties.
Users love the Oileus X-Large 4 Person Beach Tent Sun Shelter because it sets up and folds down in just 30 seconds using an automatic pop-up mechanism. This extra-large, breathable polyester shelter is 92 by 45 by 45 inches and shrinks to 32 by 5 inches for storage. It can accommodate two adults and two children and is lightweight, at just 4 pounds. One of the best things about this tent is that it prevents 99 percent of UV rays from penetrating. It includes an awning, two windows for air circulation, and an internal pocket for storage purposes. It also comes with six sand pockets, eight steel stakes, four guylines, a storage pouch, and a carry bag.
One complaint users had with this beach cabana is that the stitching appears to be a little flimsy, and when you fill the sand pockets, it appears as though they may tear.
The Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent allows cool breezes to flow through while providing UPF 50+ sun protection. This seven-pound canopy is 8 by 8 by 5 feet when in use and packs down to 50 inches by 5 inches, making it easy to carry. It features an easy up and down hub system with pre-threaded poles and a built-in sidewall for added protection against the sun. The shelter has a durable PE floor, while the canopy itself has a PU coating for wet weather. It also comes with a carry bag, sand pockets, stakes, guylines, and a one-year warranty. Users love how easy it is to set up and that it won't topple over when a strong gust of wind blows nearby.
However, this canopy does not provide any privacy. Also, the stakes aren't the best quality, so you may need to purchase additional ones.
Honorable MentionWolfWise UPF 50+ Easy Pop Up 3-4 Person Beach TentCheck Latest Price
This beach cabana weighs just 4.2 pounds and measures 86 by 57 by 47 inches when in use—it packs down to 29.5 by 29.5 by 1.6 inches for storage. It pops open and folds down in seconds and can comfortably accommodate three adults or two adults and two children. There is 360-degree ventilation made possible by the mesh windows and a large entrance. The shelter is also water repellent and features UPF 50+ protection, which blocks 98 percent of harmful UV rays. It's made of polyester with a strong, galvanized steel frame that is anti-corrosive. This tent's unique feature is that it has rear double-pull sliders so that you can enter or exit from two sides. It also has two storage pockets, stakes, and four sand pockets.
However, it can be a little tricky to fold it for storage, especially without the assistance of another person.
- To prevent a beach cabana from blowing away, make sure to set it up as recommended by the manufacturer. You can also secure a strong tarp over it or remove the sidewalls to minimize wind pressure.
- Most beach tents and shelters are water-resistant, not waterproof, and they're not designed to be used in harsh conditions. You can, however, put a rain tarp over the tent to stay dry in inclement weather.
- Beach tents tend to get warm. Consider using a battery-powered fan to hook on the canopy to make it more comfortable inside.
Q: What is the best shade for the beach?
If you want some shade while spending time at the beach, look for beach canopies, tents, or cabanas that are large enough to cover your whole body and are made with material that provides UV protection.
Q: What are the best beach cabanas?
There are various excellent beach cabanas and tents, and we include several examples in this buying guide. The best cabanas will provide you shade and privacy and will be easy to set up and take down.
Q: How do I choose a beach cabana?
First, pick one that will accommodate the number of users. Ensure it protects against UV rays, is easy to set up and transport, and stays securely grounded when the wind blows.
Our pick for the best beach cabana is the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent. It provides UV protection and is compact and lightweight. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the WhiteFang Deluxe XL Pop Up Beach Tent Sun Shade Shelter.
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