LAST UPDATED: February 10, 2021

The Best Beach Shades (Review and Buying Guide) in 2021

Best Choice Coleman Beach Shade Shelter Coleman Beach Shade Shelter
Best Value iCorer Automatic Pop Up Portable Beach Sun Shelter iCorer Automatic Pop Up Portable Beach Sun Shelter
Premium Pick Red Suricata Beach Sun Shade Red Suricata Beach Sun Shade
A trip to the beach means you’re spending a day under the sun. While that’s part of the fun of heading to any beach, the sun can pose some seriously frustrating problems after just a few hours. Constant sunlight can make you hot and uncomfortable, and it can leave you desperate for a bit of shade. Even worse, if you aren’t on top of your sunscreen application, it can also cause dangerous sunburns. If you’re tired of relying on ineffective umbrellas, it’s time to invest in a beach shade. These portable, easy assembly overhead covers allow you to create your own shade at the shore. With a beach shade, you’ll have a place to rest, relax, and even reapply sunscreen in mere minutes. Discover the products we’re calling the best beach shades you can buy right here.

The Best Beach Shades

The Coleman Beach Shade Shelter has all of the attributes you need when you’re at the beach. It’s convenient and simple, protective and built for the outdoors, and offers plenty of room for you and anyone else who’s with you. Measuring 7 feet 6 inches x 4 feet 5 inches when fully set up, this beach tent offers 4 feet 9 inches of height so you can place beach chairs inside or create a place to escape from the sun. The tent’s material offers 50+ UPF protection to prevent sunburns and other sun-related conditions, and the extended front floor will zip into a door for extra privacy. A back window unzips to let in a beach breeze, helping you stay cool too. Relatively simple to set up in just five minutes, this beach tent will keep you covered even in unpredictable outdoor conditions.

Key Features
  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Made with UVGuard material
  • Keeps out sand, rain, and more
  • Includes ground stakes and pre-attached guy lines
Specification
  • Brand Coleman
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 2.8 kilograms
PROS

Very compact

Quality material

Can close it completely

CONS

Takes time to set up

Can get hot inside

If you’re looking for an affordable beach shade solution, you’re going to love the iCorer Automatic Pop Up Portable Beach Sun Shelter. This beach tent sets up so quickly and so simple it’s almost instantaneous — all you have to do is take it out of its storage bag and it’ll pop itself right into place. There’s no special assembly required at all. Made with steel and nylon fabric plus double type b dense interwoven mesh, you’ll get protection from the sun’s rays when you’re inside the shelter. It’s coated to provide you with total UV protection. A large mesh window allows for breezes and ventilation. Worried about this affordable shelter blowing away? A series of sand pockets on the sides allow you to weigh it down for increased stability. It also includes six metal stakes you can use.

Key Features
  • Made with nylon and mesh material
  • Measures 65 x 59 x 43.5 inches when open
  • Includes carry case
  • UV-resistant coated exterior
Specification
  • Brand iCorer
  • Model 11-Parent
  • Weight 2.2 pounds
PROS

Setup is almost instantaneous

Roomy for adults and kids

Very compact when collapsed

CONS

Can be challenging to re-pack

A bit short in height

The Red Suricata Beach Sun Shade is one high-quality choice if you’re seeking shelter on the beach. This large, portable canopy cover will provide you with a large area of shade wherever you’re headed. Featuring an overhead tarp that’s made out of polyester material, you’ll enjoy UPF 50 protection when you’re underneath its shaded area. It’s big enough to offer beach coverage for up to seven adults. Even better, you can adjust the poles to get as much height as you’d like, meaning you can easily set up some beach chairs beneath this sunshade. Easy to set up even if you’re alone, this canopy cover features lightweight, hi-tech aluminum poles with pointed stakes right at the end — and the poles are rust-resistant to offer long-term durability. This beach shade solution will even withstand strong shoreline winds so you never have to worry about chasing it down the beach.

Key Features
  • Polyester tarp material
  • Includes stakes, sandbag anchors, and pole anchor screws
  • UPF 50 sun protection
  • Includes waterproof carry bag
Specification
  • Brand Red Suricata
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 10.25 pounds
PROS

Sturdy even in the wind

Versatile setup options

Breathable, stretchy material

CONS

Can be heavy to carry

If you’re always heading to the beach with family and friends, you need more shade — and the Oileus X-Large Beach Tent Sun Shelter is the perfect solution. This very large and very roomy shade solution provides enough coverage for everyone, and it’s highly protective too. Made with polyester material that’s waterproof and covered in umbrella-rated polyurethane coating, this beach shade offers an impressive 99 percent UV protection when you’re under its cover. It even features a durable tent floor made out of 150D PE material. Designed with an automatic patented pop-up mechanism, you can set the entire beach shelter up in less than 30 seconds. It stays stable and in place with thick fiberglass poles, stakes, and guy rope. You’ll get extra beach-friendly perks with this sun shelter too, like an awning, two windows, and interior pockets for convenient storage.

Key Features
  • Measures 92 x 45 x 45 inches
  • Packs down to 32 x 5 inches
  • Sets up in seconds
  • 99 percent UV protection
Specification
  • Brand Oileus
  • Model SY-38
  • Weight 4 pounds
PROS

Very easy to set up and tear down

Lightweight

Fits up to four people

CONS

Setup instructions are unclear

While the best beach shade products protect from the sun, the Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Sun Shelter takes its protection even further. This outdoor shelter will keep you covered from all kinds of outdoor elements — and it’s built to be extra durable so it can survive just about anything and everything. Made with advanced water-resistant fabric, you’ll enjoy UPF 50+ sun protection so you don’t have to worry about sunburns or other sun-related woes. It’s also fade-resistant so the material won’t break down over time or get damaged by the sun. Available in three different sizes, you can opt for a shelter that’s roomy enough for four, six, or even eight people. Its pop-up design allows you to set it up fast, getting shade in just seconds. You can even bring this beach shade shelter with you on camping trips, picnics, fishing trips, or into your backyard.

Key Features
  • Advanced water-resistant fabric
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Includes travel bag
  • Available in three sizes
Specification
  • Brand Sun Ninja
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 4.99 pounds
PROS

Very easy to set up

Sturdy even in strong wind

Easy to adjust as sun moves

CONS

Some sizes may not be very stable with just two poles

If you’re worried about sunlight sneaking in through whatever kind of beach shade you use, you’re going to want to opt for the Gorich Beach Sun Shade. Designed to block out as many rays as possible, this tent offers coverage when you need a break from the sun, the heat, or even potential sunburns. Roomy enough to fit three to four people inside, the tent measures 82.7 x 55.1 x 47.2 inches in size. It’s made with polyester fabric that’s specially coated with silver UV-resistant protectant, and it can offer UPF 50+ protection when you’re underneath the tent material. Well-ventilated inside thanks to three mesh windows that you can open or close, this tent offers a combination of privacy and open airflow right on the beach. Easy to set up and lightweight enough to carry anywhere, this shade offers shelter without weighing you down.

Key Features
  • Polyester material
  • UV-resistant coating for UPF 50+
  • Waterproof
  • Fits 3 to 4 people
Specification
  • Brand Gorich
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 2.4 pounds
PROS

Folds down very compactly

Roomy inside

Well-ventilated and breathable

CONS

Included stakes are flimsy

Setting up a shady spot at the beach doesn’t have to involve multiple people or take up a ton of space — the Nxone Beach Sun Shade makes it very easy. Designed for portability and even packing along on your travels, this beach shade offers enough coverage for two to three people without requiring a ton of effort. When open, the shade shelter measures 83 x 55 x 46 inches, giving you enough room to lay out, pop open a beach chair, or even change clothes. Built with premium 210D sunproof fabric and 8-millimeter fiberglass rods, this shelter is designed to take very little time to set up. Inside, you’ll find three mesh roll-up windows and three sand pockets so you can weigh the shelter down and prevent it from blowing or rolling away. Just keep in mind that the fiberglass poles are prone to easy breakage.

Key Features
  • 210D sunproof material
  • Measures 83 x 55 x 46 inches
  • Includes plastic and steel stakes
  • Collapses compactly
Specification
  • Brand Nxone
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 4 pounds
PROS

Simple assembly

Sturdy once set up

Easy to pack and carry

CONS

Fiberglass poles can break easily

Fiberglass may also cause splinters

The WhiteFang Deluxe XL Pop Up Beach Sun Shade is bigger and better than many competing shade solutions. This pop-up tent structure can deliver a wealth of shade in just seconds, giving you convenience and protection from harsh sunlight anytime you need it. It’s a perfect beach companion, offering 99 x 55 x 59 inches of room under its high-quality 210t sun-proof material that’s specially coated with a silver layer of material that keeps UV rays away. You’ll have enough room for kids and adults inside this sun shade, and three roll-up openings will keep everyone cool inside. An extended front floor gives you even more room — and if you need more privacy, you can zip that floor up into a door to block out everyone else on the beach. The shelter comes with everything you need to make a secure shady area, including stakes, sandbags, and tie-down strings.

Key Features
  • Covered in 210t sun-proof fabric
  • Measures 99 x 55 x 59 inches
  • Three ventilated windows
  • Includes sandbags, stakes, and tie-downs
Specification
  • Brand WhiteFang
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 6.4 pounds
PROS

Very lightweight

Easy assembly even for one person

Cool inside

CONS

The material can develop holes

One common woe of beach shade shelters is they get extremely hot inside with the sun beating down overhead — but with the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent, you may be able to avoid this problem entirely. This specially designed tent features a unique hub system that makes it quick and simple to set up alone, and it’s designed for compact carrying. When closed, it measures 38 x 6 x 6 inches; when open, it offers 95 x 52 x 51 inches of shaded space. Made out of breathable polyester material, you’ll get UPF 50+ sun protection as well as coverage that protects against rain and wind. The lightweight material allows ocean breezes in, preventing hot air from getting trapped inside. And you don’t have to worry about sand or water causing problems inside; the water-resistant PE floor keeps everything clean and free of mold.

Key Features
  • Measures 95 x 52 x 51 inches
  • Fits 3 to 4 people
  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Backed by a one-year warranty
Specification
  • Brand Pacific Breeze
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 6 pounds
PROS

Fits up to four people

Easy-to-use sandbag anchors

Fits beach chairs inside

CONS

Not well-ventilated

Can be difficult to use in windy conditions

If you’ve ever wished you could adjust and adapt beach shade shelters, you’ll love the OutdoorMaster Pop Up Beach Tent. You can zip and unzip different aspects of this tent to achieve the right temperature, amount of sunlight, and even the right level of privacy while you’re hanging out at the beach. Able to be assembled in just seconds thanks to its pop-up design, this beach tent covers whoever and whatever is inside with protection against the sun, rain, and wind. A built-in zippered door plus three windows allow you to change how much of the outdoors you let in, and a removable zippered skylight even lets you let in sunlight if you’d like. With a carry bag and everything you need to secure the tent to the sand included, it’s a convenient and versatile solution for the beach and beyond.

Key Features
  • Measures 53 x 95 x 51 inches
  • Polyester sun-proof material
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Six-month satisfaction guarantee
Specification
  • Brand OutdoorMaster
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 8.15 pounds
PROS

Zipper closure offers privacy

Very easy setup

Fits beach chairs inside

CONS

Gets very hot

Fabric is thin and may wear quickly

Best Beach Shades Buying Guide & FAQ

Bringing a beach shade along on your next trip to the beach can offer you a whole host of benefits. From preventing sunburns to keeping you cool — or even providing a place for you to shelter from wind — these handy portable shade products quickly become must-haves. Once you give a beach shade a try, you won’t want to sit in the sun all day any longer.

Whether you’re seeking shade for yourself or your friends and family, there are plenty of different beach shades available to choose from. The tricky part, though, is determining which is the best of the bunch. If you’re searching for a convenient, portable way to achieve shade, follow our beach shades buying guide to find the perfect product.

Do You Need a Beach Shade?

A beach shade is convenient and handy. With one of these compact, portable, and lightweight items in your beach bag — or even the trunk of your car — you can pop up shade anywhere. And they’re built for the beach, meaning you don’t have to worry about the outdoor elements you’ll encounter. Flexible and versatile, you can get many uses out of these shade-providing structures.

Family enjoy on the beach under the beach shade
A beach shade canopy is a great choice for larger groups or for those who don’t need complete sun protection.

But the perks of using a beach shade don’t end there. The following are just some of the benefits you’ll reap when you buy a quality beach shade.

  • The ability to bring shade anywhere, setting up a temporary shelter whether you’re at the beach, in a park, or even your yard.
  • Enough room to shade yourself and others, with space under the shade for up to four.
  • A shade provides a cool, convenient place to have kids play or even nap while you’re outdoors.
  • An easy place to reapply sunscreen or take a break from the sun’s rays with UPF protection.

Popular Types of Beach Shades

Beach shades come in many forms, sizes, and even materials. While they all do the same job, each beach shade has different features and a different setup and tear down process. And they can offer shade in different ways. Discover some of the most popular types of beach shades below.

Tents

Beach shade tents, or beach tents, look pretty similar to the kinds of tents you’d use for camping. These types of beach shades offer the most comprehensive coverage from the elements — they can block out the sun, rain, wind, and even bugs. They’re closed on three sides and open at the front; some even have “front doors” that can zip up to give you total privacy. You can also open the door and let in air.

A beach tent typically features a built-in groundsheet that works to keep out sand. It’s also common for these shade-providing tents to have windows so the interior can stay nicely ventilated. Beach tents are best for those who need more shade and a bit of privacy, like families with babies and small kids.

Canopies

Beach canopies are another option, offering less shade than a beach tent but providing great coverage overhead. A beach shade canopy is roomy and spacious, open on three or four sides. The canopy stands overhead on poles, and you can adjust the height and angle depending on where the harshest sunlight is coming from. These shades are typically tall enough to stand under and sit in beach chairs beneath.

A beach shade canopy is a great choice for larger groups or for those who don’t need complete sun protection. With the ability to fit more people underneath, you can welcome a large group. However, because they’re so open, canopies aren’t great at block out the wind.

Umbrella Tents

Umbrella tents are a mix of a traditional beach umbrella and a beach tent. The slimmest and most portable option, umbrella tents easily open and collapse just like any other umbrella — they just include extra flaps of material and stakes. This kind of beach shade is essentially a large umbrella that can be placed upright for overhead shade or at an angle for three sides of coverage. When angled, you can attach the side flaps of the umbrella to the ground to create a makeshift tent.

The biggest disadvantage of an umbrella tent is it isn’t very sturdy or secure. In strong wind, it can easily blow away. However, with the ability to provide solid shade, they’re a great option for solo beachgoers. 

What to Consider When Buying Beach Shade

When you’re trying to pick out the perfect beach shade, you want to consider the type of shade above all else. Some shades are more difficult and time-consuming to set up — like beach tents — while others are easier and simpler. You want a shade that goes up quickly and easily, especially if you visit the beach frequently.

Another important detail to consider is the size of any beach shade. Think about how many people you’ll have with you typically; do you need room for friends and family? Are you a solo beachgoer? You can find shade options in any size, but it’s a good idea to find one that’ll comfortably fit a few people for increased versatility.

And you can’t forget about durability. A long-lasting, highly durable shade will survive many trips to the beach, along with elements like sand, water, wind, and more. Increased durability gives you better value for your money.

The girl is lying on the beach under the beach shade
With a beach shade, you’ll have a place to rest, relax, and even reapply sunscreen in mere minutes.

Best Beach Shades FAQs:

Wondering what beach shade is the best investment? Trying to decide between different shade structures and solutions? You’re going to have questions. Discover some of the answers to commonly asked questions below.

Q: What is the best pop up canopy for the beach?

We like the Red Suricata Beach Sun Shade, our premium pick. This pop-up canopy can easily be adjusted and tied down at the beach, giving you great flexibility.

Q: How much does Shibumi Shade cost?

A Shibumi Shade costs approximately $250.

Q: What is a beach tent?

A beach tent is a lighter-weight, slimmed-down version of a traditional tent. It’s typically open on one side or features an optional door. It’s like a sun shelter you can use at the beach rather than a lone overhead shade.

Our Top Pick

The Coleman Beach Shade Shelter is our top choice because it’s so comprehensive and durable. This beach tent is tough enough to withstand all of the outdoor elements at the beach, from strong winds to high heat levels. The material of the tent can handle UV rays, keeping you and anyone else inside well-protected from sunburns and heat. It’s also pretty straightforward to set up and tear down, and it offers valuable privacy for families and little ones.  

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the ultimate level of shade at the beach, the Coleman Beach Shade Shelter is our favorite product. However, as an affordable pop-up beach sun shelter, the iCorer Automatic Pop Up Portable Beach Sun Shelter is another excellent option with great value.

Sources:

  1. Pop Up Canopy – Wikipedia