What We Like
Untwists for almost instant setup
UPF 50+ protects against sun
Lightweight and easy to carry with bag
Large window for ventilation
What We Don't Like
Putting away isn’t intuitive
Only big enough for two people
Alvantor knows tents. The company designs and produces a multitude of hideaways in various sizes, from play tents for children to camping tents for the whole family. We tested the Alvantor Coolhut Beach Tent to see if it worked well enough for trips to the shore. The mid-range beach tent (about $45) is light at just 2.5 pounds, and it includes its own carrying case with a shoulder strap that’s convenient for those toting carts and coolers on their beach vacations.
We put the top-rated beach tent together on a windy day with a bright, glaring sun and evaluated it for factors like each of use, portability, durability, and sun protection. Should you spend the money to convert from beach umbrella to tent this summer? Read on to find out.
Setup Process: Completed in seconds, but takedown takes longer
Many manufacturers claim their shelters are simple to set up, but Alvantor created a product that genuinely couldn’t be much easier. One person could easily complete the task alone.
We removed the folded tent from the carrying bag and tossed it into an open area. The fiberglass frame popped into shape. If it’s windy, the wind could capture the tent and carry it away, so stay close by.
Setup is completed in seconds, which saves a lot of work and worry if you’ve got to keep an eye on the kids.
Next, we disconnected two joints on either side and stuck the four corners of the tent into the sand. The tent comes with four plastic stakes. We used them to secure the tent into the soft sand. Two sandbags are attached to the outside portion of the tent on the side walls, and five detached sandbags are included. We filled the three attached sand pockets with sand to help secure the tent; there are also four extra sandbags in case the wind is brisk. With every step counted, this tent was up in less than three minutes.
When we were finished with the tent, the takedown was trickier. Empty the sandbags and unhook the anchors. Next, reconnect the joints to create a circular frame on both ends of the tent. Then—and this was the most difficult part of the whole experience—you need to twist the frame into a figure eight. Once it’s folded over itself, you can store the tent right back in its carrying case.
Design: Easy to assemble, but small for a family
We like that the tent is designed so that setup is completed in seconds, which saves a lot of work and worry if you’ve got to keep an eye on the kids. However, the tent is on the small side, so a larger family might need more than one. As is, two adults or one adult and two kids could fit, but the smaller tent will get crowded quickly.
The tent is on the small side, so a larger family might need more than one.
A large opening in the back of the tent allows for full airflow and room to extend behind the tent with your belongings. The floor extends 53 inches from the back of the tent to the front, which may be short for some taller people, but nearly four feet of clearance keeps heads from bumping the top.
Sun Protection: The inside stays cool and comfortable
The water-resistant fabric (which feels like standard polyester to us) has a UPF 50+ rating, which is as strong as many sunscreens. For a day under the sun’s rays, you and your skin may appreciate a break in the tent. We can confirm that the fabric keeps cool, even under the sun’s constant shine, especially the bottom that’s pressed against the sand.
Durability: Frame is sturdy but could bend
The fiberglass poles of the frame are sturdy enough for repeated use and won’t rust. However, bending the tent back into its circular shape puts a great deal of pressure on the frame. If you don’t allow the frame to bend naturally, you could warp or break it.
Safety: Wind-resistant to a point
The tent’s manufacturer says it is windproof up to 25 miles per hour. The day we tested this tent, winds were steady at 15 miles per hour with gusts up to 25. The tent did bend in the gusts of wind, but it never felt insecure. As long as it’s well anchored, it will be safe.
The tent did bend in the gusts of wind, but it never felt insecure. As long as it’s well anchored, it will be safe.
Price: Reasonable for the convenience
The simplicity of this tent is worth your money. For around $45, you can have the tent up and down in just minutes. With its small size, it’s especially ideal for a couple or small family so you don’t have to invest in one of the larger, more expensive options that can be bulky, to say the least.
Alvantor Coolhut Beach Tent vs. Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent
Another well-known tent manufacturer, Pacific Breeze, also offers a medium-sized beach tent they describe as having an “easy setup.” Though a bit larger than the Alvantor tent, the Pacific Breeze tent was incredibly easy to assemble. However, a second person may be necessary if it’s windy, as holding the tent and securing it is difficult on your own. For two adults with a few small children that need a bit more room to get out of the sun, we think the Pacific Breeze tent is a better option over the Alvantor Coolhut.
- Product Name Coolhut Beach Tent
- Product Brand Alvantor
- MPN 7014
- Price $47.99
- Product Dimensions 70 x 53 x 48 in.
- What’s Included 1 tent, 5 sand pockets, 4 stakes
- Material Fabric and fiberglass