What We Like
Travel-friendly carrying bag
Mesh windows provide excellent ventilation
“Front porch” acts as a fourth wall
Mesh pockets hold electronics off the floor
UPF 50+ material
What We Don't Like
Setup could require two people
Not easy to roll on sand
Easthills Outdoors is an outdoor company with a lot of experience in making tents for the beach, campsite, and more. The brand has harnessed its passion for outdoor living and adventures with a smart design approach to making collapsible shelters that are lightweight and easy to build yet strong and protective.
To see if one such beach tent worked in its intended environment, we recently tested the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shade Deluxe XL for ourselves. We set up the tent and sat with it for an hour on an oceanfront beach on a windy day and then for another hour on a lakefront beach on a hot and humid day. We evaluated it for factors like durability, cooling capabilities, comfort, and design. With a higher price point (about $100), this tent would be an investment for families. So does the easy-up frame and extra-large size make the cost worth it? Read on to find out.
Setup Process: Simple, but might require two people
The tent comes disassembled and packed neatly in a travel-friendly carrying bag. Once erect, it’s a hexagonal structure with three mesh windows and an open front. But like all tents, it takes a little work to get it there.
Because the top of the hub system sits in the middle of the tent at 57 inches high, it can be a bit hard to set up for people who don’t stand over 6 feet.
We started by removing the tent from the carrying bag, sorting the plastic stakes, and separating the guylines. Next, we held the pulley system upright and fanned the fabric and fiberglass legs out around it. To make setting up the tent easier, it’s a good idea to go ahead and pull the center of the tent up as high as you can. This removes pressure on the legs and hub system. Forcefully pull the ropes from the center of the hub, and let the fiberglass frame pop into place. Tie off the ropes at the top and secure the clips attached to the fabric.
The tent has three sewn-in sandbags on either side. You can quickly fill them to help secure the tent, and each bag is sealed with hook-and-loop fasteners so you can easily pull the bags apart to empty them before packing the tent away. If the wind is blowing or you need additional support, the tent comes with 10 plastic stakes and four guylines. On a low breeze day, four stakes on each corner were enough to keep the tent in place.
The Easthills Outdoors tent comfortably fits four and a pet, child, or cooler (or perhaps all).
Because the top of the hub system sits in the middle of the tent at 57 inches high, installation can be a bit difficult for people who don’t stand over 6 feet. We found it important to fully assemble the hub system, tie off the ropes, and clip all supporting elements in place before extending the tent’s legs. Otherwise, you might have to roll the tent on its side to finish setting it up.
Design: A bit bulky, but fits a crowd
While a bit bulky, the extra height and width of this polyester tent does allow for plenty of room for a family; it can easily fit four adults, four beach chairs, and a cooler.
The “front porch” provides extra play space or an area for napping in the sun. Be aware that the polyethylene flooring can get hot in the sun; a beach blanket or towel may be necessary. The porch can also be zipped up to make a fourth wall when you need privacy to change, nurse, or nap. Four built-in pockets just below the vented windows provide a safe place for storing electronics or books.
The ‘front porch’ provides extra play space or an area for napping in the sun.
Sun Protection: Stays cool even in the strong sun
Easthills Outdoors says the UPF 50+ material blocks 97.5 percent of the sun’s UV rays. The material will get warm to the touch, but you’ll notice a discernible temperature difference between the tent’s shade and the outside. Small breezes will blow through the vented windows to cool you off, even when they’re secured with cable ties.
You’ll notice a discernible temperature difference between the tent’s shade and the outside.
Durability: Be cautious with the legs
The tent’s legs fold in on themselves for storage, but the joints aren’t doubly supported by any elements. If you bend the pole the wrong way, the joint could snap. While this didn’t happen to us, it’s easy to see how the wrong angle on the thin poles could do damage. Still, the tent stood in sustained winds of 15 miles per hour with gusts up to 25 miles per hour the first day we tested it, and the frame didn’t budge.
Safety: Watch your hands when taking apart
The pulley system and interlocking hubs separate and disassemble when you push gently on two marked portions of the tent frame at the top. The separation is sudden, so watch that your hands don’t get caught between pieces of the frame and pinch your skin.
Price: An investment but with a reward
If you’re not a regular at the beach or lakeshores, you might not want to pay $100 for a tent. But if you spend more time by the water in the summer, you can easily cover the cost of renting an umbrella in just a few visits.
Easthills Outdoors Instant Shade Deluxe XL vs. Alvantor Coolhut Beach Tent
We tested each of these two beach tents. Both promise a quick setup—and both deliver in different ways. The Alvantor Coolhut Beach Tent pops up independently when it’s untwisted. To finish setup, you take apart the legs and secure the tents with sandbags and stakes. The Easthills Outdoors beach tent is also easy to set up, but it might involve a two-person crew.
The key difference between these two, then, is size. The Alvantor tent can seat a maximum of two people, while the Easthills Outdoors tent comfortably fits four and a pet, child, or cooler (or perhaps all). If you are toting a crew with you to the beach, the larger tent will pay dividends in keeping everything cool and shaded, but if it’s just you and a friend or you and your child, the Alvantor is sufficient.
- Product Name Easy Up 4 Person Beach Tent Sun Shelter Deluxe XL
- Product Brand Easthills Outdoors
- MPN EH015030216US
- Price $99.99
- Weight 8 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 99 x 53 x 57 in.
- Color Sky blue, beige
- What’s Included Beach tent, carry bag with shoulder strap, 8 plastic stakes, 6 guylines, storage pouch
- Material UPF-coated polyester fabric, fiberglass frame, plastic anchors, PE floor