The 8 Best Beach Canopies of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

Pacific Breeze's Easy Setup Beach Tent Is Our favorite

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Best Beach Canopies

Tripsavvy / Chloe Jeong

TripSavvy's Pick

The Pacific Breeze Easy Set Up Beach Tent is our best overall pick. It is easy to carry, set up, and take down while providing ample shade and is at a more accessible price point. If you're looking for an even more affordable option, our testers liked the WhiteFang Beach Tent, which is an excellent item for its price.

For frequent beachgoers, a shade structure is a worthy investment. Depending on your needs, you might choose a small and light beach canopy or a highly practical and portable option for a solo or couple’s day at the beach. From there, options include extra-large canopies and tents that can provide shade for a whole family and any gear and coolers. You can find beach canopies in all colors and styles, ranging from umbrellas to staked sunshades to tents. To help narrow your search, we researched and tested 19 top options for different needs, considering their weight, usability, and fabric.

Here are the best beach canopies available.

Best Overall: Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent

5
Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to carry

  • Easy setup and provides plenty of shade

  • Thoughtful features and designs to increase comfort

What We Don't Like
  • Would be a bit cramped for more than two adults

The Pacific Breeze Beach Tent can survive your beach day, no matter what the weather conditions are. It has a lightweight polyester shell that repels water, wind, and sun. It also features a durable fiberglass frame and a water-resistant floor. This tent comes with five sand pockets and four stacks for added stability. Measuring 87 x 47 x 49 inches, we found that this tent can fit two adults comfortably.

"The Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent is the truly easy setup solution for trips to the beach, lake, or even outdoor concerts and festivals," product tester, Kimberly Holland said. "You don’t have to keep track of frame pieces or anchors; everything is easily carried inside the drawstring bag."

Our testers also enjoyed the thoughtfulness of features for added comfort inside the tent. "For example, the two mesh windows on either side can be secured in place with hook-and-loop fastener strips in the event of strong winds or even a light shower," Holland reported. "If you want to enjoy the breeze, you can roll the windows up and secure them with elastic ties. At the top of the center section, there are two mesh pockets for storing cell phones or anything you want to keep out of the way of sand and water."

Two issues our testers had with the canopy: It required a bit more force than expected to actually snap the canopy in place, and while it says it can fit up to three people, our testers reported that it's more likely to fit two adults and a small child or two if you leave out your beach chairs.

Price at time of publish: $62

Capacity: Up to three people | Dimensions: 87 x 47 x 49 inches | Sun Protection: UPF 50+ | Weight: 4.5 pounds

Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent

TripSavvy / Monica Aguinaga

Best Overall, Runner-Up: SUN NINJA Pop Up Beach Tent

5
Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Tent
Amazon photo.

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fits up to eight people in the largest size

  • Canopy style, so ample shade and breeze can pass through

  • Easy transportation with the included bag

  • Easy setup

What We Don't Like
  • More expensive than the Pacific Breeze

If you're looking for a little more room in the shade or prefer a more traditional canopy feel, we recommend the Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Tent. This three-step-setup tent was very simple for our testers. They loved that the canopy fit easily into a bag, which could, in turn, fit easily into a beach wagon or tote bag. The poles snapped easily into place, and the testers liked the included scoop to shovel sand into the pockets to help secure the tent. Overall, they reported a less-than-five-minute setup.

Lastly, our testers loved that the canopy had great coverage from the sun—and a high UPF rating to boot—with the total breeze able to blow through. Yes, this tent is quite a bit pricier than the Pacific Breeze Easy Set Up Tent, but the Sun Ninja also has greater capacity. If you anticipate needing a tent to fit a few more people, we highly recommend this one as it comes in three sizes, going all the way up to an eight-person capacity.

Price at time of publish: $160

Capacity: Four, six, or eight people (three sizes) | Dimensions: 120 x 120 inches | Sun Protection: UPF 50+ | Weight: Not listed

Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Tent

TripSavvy / Jamie Griffin

Best Budget: WhiteFang Beach Tent Anti-UV Portable Sunshade Shelter

4.4
WhiteFang Beach Tent

Amazon

What We Like
  • Very lightweight

  • UPF 50+, mesh windows, storage pouches

  • Will fit easily into carrying bag that packs down small enough to fit in tote bag or beach wagon

What We Don't Like
  • Floor material can get hot if not shaded

  • Not the easiest setup

This classic beach tent from WhiteFang boasts many features and materials of a premium tent but at a much more approachable cost. It's got steel stakes, guylines, fiberglass rods, and UV-resistant material. It also has three large mesh windows with zippers, some storage pouches, a hanging hook, and two-way zippers, allowing beachgoers to open the tent from the inside or outside.

Our testers reported that it also fits easily into its carry bag and packs down small to fit in a cart or tote bag. They also liked the mesh windows, which created excellent ventilation. However, it did have a few quirks that our testers weren't super-fond of. While the setup wasn't overly convoluted, it did take more time than expected, especially on windy days. The material on the ground did get hot when unshaded, but for its cost and lightness (weighing just over three pounds), our testers thought this tent was very much worth the purchase.

Price at time of publish: $40

Capacity: Three people | Dimensions: 83 x 55 x 46 inches | Sun Protection: UPF 50+ | Weight: 3.3 pounds

WhiteFang Beach Tent

TripSavvy / Jamie Griffin

Easiest to Set Up: Qipi Beach Cabana

5
Qipi Beach Cabana

Qipi

What We Like
  • Very solid cabana, even in wind and harsh sun

  • Storage pockets on the poles

  • Sandbags at the base of the poles for stability

What We Don't Like
  • Could be taller; our tall testers had to duck their heads

This lightweight beach cabana from Qipi was one of our testers' favorite canopies. "This was easy, quick, and straightforward to set up," one tester said. "This cabana served us very well on our beach day. It was a windy day, and the cabana never worried us. It protected us from harsh sun and provided a space to store our things so they wouldn't overheat."

The cabana comes with sandbags at the base of the poles to help with stability. And some storage pockets along the poles help keep your items off the sand and organized. Our testers also loved how easy it was to take down the cabana at the end of the day, roll it into its carrying case, and transport it back to the car and back home. The one criticism was that our testers over six feet thought it could be a bit taller.

Price at time of publish: $121

Capacity: Two to three people | Dimensions: 54 x 4 x 4 inches | Sun Protection: UPF 50+ | Weight: 10.3 pounds

Qipi Beach Cabana

TripSavvy / Kaya Abrahamson

Best for Kids: Sunba Youth Beach Shade

5
Sunba Youth Beach Tent

Amazon

What We Like
  • Pop-up design is easy to set up and take down

  • Carrying case has handles for easy transport

  • Lightweight and packs down small for storage

What We Don't Like
  • The three-kid size rating might be a bit too small for bigger kids

This pop-up tent is the perfect beach shade for your little ones (including dogs). It takes up very little space when stored, will easily fit into a tote bag, and has handles of the carrying case for easy travel. Our testers loved the pop-up design and how this tent folded back down into itself. They also reported that the tent provided a good amount of shade, especially for a child and could handle the typical beach breeze.

We also like that this tent comes with UPF 50+ sun protection and some sandbags for added stability. It's also lightweight and relatively inexpensive.

Price at time of publish: $40

Capacity: Three kids | Dimensions: 65 x 59 x 43.5 inches | Sun Protection: UPF 50+ | Weight: 2.2 pounds

Sunba Youth Beach Shade

TripSavvy / Jamie Griffin

Best Extra-Large: Oileus XL Beach Tent

4.8
Oileus XL Beach Tent

Amazon

What We Like
  • Very simple setup

  • Packs down to a small size and is easy to transport

  • Six sandbags help stability

What We Don't Like
  • Could use an extra window for ventilation

  • Could use heftier stakes

Despite its extra-large size, our testers found the Oileus X-Large Tent one of the easiest to set up. Oileus says that it designed this tent specifically for that purpose. The tent also features a polyester fly sheet with water-resistant coating, fiberglass poles, guylines, stakes, and six sandbags for boosted stability.

Besides its easy setup, our testers enjoyed how it packs down into a small bag that fits over the shoulder for easier transport. And while the stakes could've been a bit heftier, our testers reported that the sandbags help the tent handle the wind. One thing to consider with this tent is that it only has two windows, compared to other tents on this list that are totally open or have three windows. Not having that extra window cut down on the tent's ventilation just a bit.

Price at time of publish: $100

Capacity: Four people | Dimensions: 92 x 45 x 45 inches | Sun Protection: 99 percent ultraviolet light protection | Weight: Four pounds

Oileus XL Beach Tent

TripSavvy / Jamie Griffin

Best Multi-Use: E-Z Up Sierra II Canopy

4.6
E-Z Up Sierra II Canopy

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes with a heavy-duty carrying case with wheels

  • Holds up well in the wind

What We Don't Like
  • Takes up a bit more space than other tents when packed

We recommend the E-Z Up Sierra II if you're looking for a multi-application canopy. It worked well on the beach but would work just as well at the park for a birthday party, picnic, tailgate, or other sporting event. Our testers liked that this was the one tested tent that came with a case with wheels. And while it didn't pack down as small as the other tested tents, it was still compact enough to lug around.

The testers were impressed by how well it held up in the wind and how easily it set up. "We felt for the quality, construction, and multi-use capabilities, this tent has a great value for the price," one tester noted. While the tent is on the heavier side at 35 pounds, it has a peak height of just over 8.5 feet.

Price at time of publish: $129

Capacity: Two four people | Dimensions: 120 x 120 inches | Sun Protection: 99 percent UV protection | Weight: 35 pounds

E-Z Up Sierra II

TripSavvy / Izzy Seely

Best Splurge: Shibumi Shade

4.6
Shibumi Shade

Shibumi

What We Like
  • Extremely lightweight and compact

  • Holds up well in the wind

  • Taking it down was easy

What We Don't Like
  • A bit of a learning curve setting up

  • Cost makes it a bit inaccessible

Let's get it out of the way from the get-go. This canopy costs almost double the next most expensive canopy on our list. However, if you're willing to spend the money, our testers think it's worth it. Simply put, this high-end beach canopy was a favorite among our testers. At less than four pounds, the shelter is exceptionally lightweight and compact. "You could throw it in any beach bag and easily bring it with you to the beach," one tester noted.

While there was a bit of a learning curve in figuring out which way the canopy was supposed to face and where the sandbag was supposed to go, our testers thought it was much easier to set up after doing it once. It performed better than others in the wind. "I would absolutely recommend this beach canopy. It was effective and soothing, plus setup and teardown were a breeze," concluded our tester.

Price at time of publish: $270

Capacity: Six people | Dimensions: 150 square-feet | Sun Protection: UPF 30+ | Weight: Four pounds

Shibumi Shade Beach Canopy

TripSavvy / Lindsay Boyers

Other Beach Canopies We Tested

Sport-Brella Super Brella Rain and Sun Canopy: This canopy looks like an oversized umbrella and tested well. It's lightweight and compact. Our testers' one nitpick, which ultimately kept it out of the list above, was how hot it got after an hour and a half.

Neso Tents Grande Beach Tent: Simply put, our testers did not enjoy this tent. It was easy to transport but did not provide adequate shade and was tough to set up.

Coleman Beach Sun Shelter: Our testers liked everything about this tent except the setup. It was durable, lightweight, and compact, and provided ample shade. But it was just tough to set up compared to others. Still, this is a good choice if you're looking for a relatively budget option that does a lot.

Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader: This canopy was reasonably easy to set up, had adequate shade, and was easy to transport. It's a solid option for beachgoers who are looking to spend a bit less on a quality tent.

WolfWise Easy Pop-Up Beach Tent: Like the Coleman and Easthills Outdoors canopies directly above, this canopy performed well in our testing. Overall, our testers thought this tent was just a bit too pricey, compared to others on the list that performed just as well or better but cost less (like the Coleman and Easthills Outdoors tents above).

Outdoor Master Pop-Up Beach Tent: This tent was good, just not great. It performed well in our testing and is at a decent price point. There was just nothing that wowed our testers.

Venustus Beach Tent: This budget option had a more arduous setup, and our tester thought it was a bit lower in quality than the others tested, but they said that if you're looking for a budget option for small children or a single beachgoer, it's a decent-enough pick.

Red Suricata Family Beach Canopy: This canopy has a unique look and style compared to others we tested. But a complex setup and higher price tag caused our testers to give it lower ratings than others on the list.

Otentik Beach Sunshade: Our testers had two problems with this tent. First, the setup was a bit tougher and more complicated than other tents. Second, perhaps more importantly, this tent's material took on water and sand instead of repelling them.

Coleman Instant Canopy: The Coleman Instant Canopy was a bit heavy for our testers. If you're looking for a multi-use canopy that could work at the park, tailgate, or beach, it's not a bad option if you don't mind a heavier canopy or have a wagon to carry it with.

G4Free Large Pop-Up Beach Tent: Our testers liked a lot about this tent but were concerned with its quality and durability. After many uses, they were concerned this tent might not hold up as others tested.

Beach canopy and tent testing

TripSavvy / Jamie Griffin

Product Selection

We wanted to emphasize various price points and functions when selecting beach canopies and tents to test. We also considered a variety of beachgoers, from the solo adventurer to couples, families, and pet owners. To help narrow the list of potential products to test, we looked at what other reputable online sources have featured canopies and tents. And we looked at the highest and most-rated canopies and tents on online retailer sites like Amazon and Walmart. We included only products with high ratings and thousands of reviews.

Lastly, we considered products and brands our editors, writers, testing team, and testers had experience with. Many involved in the process live near beaches and are frequent beachgoers.

Beach Canopy and Tent Testing

TripSavvy / Jamie Griffin

How We Tested

Once we narrowed our product list, we sent the canopies and tents to our network of testers that live near a beach. We created a testing methodology asking testers to rate the following attributes on a five-point scale: portability, ease of use, performance, quality, and value.

We asked our testers to transport the beach canopies and tents to the beach like they usually would, set up the canopies or tents, and let them stand for at least an hour. We asked them to do it as often as possible over the few weeks they tested the products. Testers assessed how easily the canopies and tents were transported, how easy they were to set up and take down, and how well they performed in the sun and wind.

Beach canopy and tent testing

TripSavvy / Izzy Seely

What to Look for in a Beach Canopy

Size

Consider your group size when selecting the right canopy, and be sure to factor in the space you’ll need when you’ve got your chairs, cooler, and towels arranged. When in doubt, opt for more space rather than less. Also, consider the “pack” size—the space the canopy takes up when compressed.

Weight

If your typical outing to the beach doesn’t involve lots of walking or if you plan to use a beach wagon, a more rugged (read: heavier) canopy might be worth considering as it will prove more durable and is often easier to set up. But lighter models can make things a lot easier for air travelers or long walks to the beach without sacrificing too much performance. How you can transport the pack—with backpack straps, for example—should also be considered.

Fabric

Canopy materials can vary from stretchy fabrics that give you a lot of shade for little weight to weather-proof protection to those treated with UV or UPF protection. Some also keep sand at bay or are machine washable, which can extend the life of the canopy.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you anchor a canopy on the beach?

    It's easy not to overthink how to anchor a beach canopy if conditions are incredibly mild. But any amount of wind can turn a canopy into a sail—even sending it tumbling down the beach if it's not secured.


    There are several ways to anchor a canopy, depending on the style or structure. The canopy might come with stakes; these might look like corkscrews, pins with a bent or looped top, or horseshoes. Push or hammer them into the sand at the anchor points. If the canopy didn't come with any (or they've been lost), purchasing tent stakes separately is an option.

  • What if you don't have stakes to anchor your canopy?

    Other anchoring options exist if the canopy doesn't have or accommodate stakes. Use tent weights designed for this purpose—or sandbags. Fortunately, sand is plentiful at the beach! Some canopies come with pockets for this purpose. If not, bring bags to fill with sand to make some. It's also possible to use heavy rocks found nearby to weigh down a canopy to keep it securely on the beach. (But, be careful putting rocks on the material as it can rip it. This is where using guylines from your tent or canopy to a rock is helpful.) Another way to mitigate the risk of a beach canopy flying away in high wind is by removing sidewalls if the style of structure allows it.

  • What's the difference between a beach tent and a beach canopy?

    Though these terms are often used interchangeably, a beach canopy generally has a shade cover or perimeter, and it typically requires stakes so it cannot be used on hard surfaces. Whereas a beach tent typically has a more substantial cover with sidewalls and can usually be staked or assembled on hard surfaces and weighted down to stay in place. We included both in this roundup.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Nathan Allen is the Outdoor Gear Editor at TripSavvy. He's based near the Pacific Ocean in southern California's Ventura County and frequents the beaches often for paddleboarding, surfing, birdwatching, and relaxing. He knows the importance of a solid beach canopy for protecting large groups, families, small children, and dogs from the sun and wind.

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