Choosing the Perfect Beach Tent: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the Perfect Beach Tent

Everything You Need to Know About Choosing the Right Sun Canopy for a Summer Holiday

Are you planning a seaside holiday in the UK? Choosing the perfect beach tent or shelter can significantly enhance your beach experience, providing a comfortable, shaded place to relax and enjoy the sounds of the sea. Yet, with myriad options available, picking the perfect one can be challenging.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through choosing the perfect beach tent, whether you need a pop-up beach tent, baby beach tent, or sun canopy shelter.

best beach tent

Understanding Your Needs

Before diving into the sea of options for beach tents, it’s crucial to understand your specific needs to ensure you select the most suitable one for your UK holiday, beach days or picnics.

Size of the Beach Tent

The tent size you require is primarily dictated by who will use it. If you’re planning a family holiday or going with friends, you may need a larger beach tent or pop-up tent with multiple rooms to accommodate everyone comfortably.

Conversely, a smaller sun canopy or baby beach tent could be optimal for travelling alone or with a partner. You can get beach canopies to fit everyone from babies to full family gatherings. See our beach tent comparison guide for help choosing the perfect beach tent.

Weather Protection

Consider the level of weather protection the tent offers. If you plan to soak up the sun on the beach during the peak hours of the day, opt for a tent that provides ample sun protection. A beach shelter tent offering wind protection might be ideal for breezy days.

Ease of Setup

Finally, the ease of setting up the tent is an important consideration. A pop-up beach tent could be your go-to if you prefer a quick and easy setup, while a beach shelter might require more effort to erect properly.

Types of Beach Tents

Regarding beach tents for your UK holiday, several types are worth considering, each with unique features and advantages.

Pop-Up Beach Tents

Pop-up beach tents are a convenient option that can be assembled within seconds. Their lightweight, flexible frames fold into a compact size for easy storage and transport.

Baby Beach Tent

If you’re holidaying with a toddler, a baby beach tent provides a safe and shaded space for your little one to play or nap. Look for a tent with mesh windows for ventilation and a UV-protected canopy for sun protection.

Beach Shelter Tents

Beach shelter tents are more spacious and protective than traditional ones, making them ideal for larger groups or families. These tents usually feature sturdy frames and larger canopies for added weather protection. You can put them up with one person and add sand to the pockets to keep them sturdy.

Swish pop up beach tent....very easy to erect on beach

Beach Tent Pop Up

Beach tent pop-ups are a specific type of pop-up beach tent that can be assembled single-handedly. These tents typically come with an automatic pop-up mechanism that simplifies setup.

Size & Capacity Of Beach Tent

Choosing the perfect beach tent can significantly impact the comfort and enjoyment of your UK holiday. Consider the number of people in your group, the gear you’ll be carrying, and your personal preferences when choosing a beach tent or shelter.

Small Beach Tents

A small beach tent might be your ideal companion if you travel alone or as a couple. These compact and lightweight tents are perfect for one or two people, and these are also perfect for putting on a plane in its carry case.

Medium Beach Tents

Medium-sized beach tents offer ample space and comfort for small families or groups of friends. They come with spacious designs and UPF 50+ sun protection, often tall enough to allow you to sit inside a chair.

Large Beach Tents

For larger groups or families, a large beach tent provides enough space for everyone to relax and savour the beach. These can fit a table and chairs so you can picnic comfortably, with no sand in your butties or get changed in the beach cabana in private.

Beach Cabanas/ Sun Canopies

A beach cabana is a superb option if you desire more privacy and protection from the elements. These tents usually feature mesh windows and durable, waterproof fabric.

Weather Protection

When Choosing the perfect beach tent or sun shelter, the weather protection it provides is paramount. The weather is so changeable – one-moment rain and the next blazing sun or wind!

UV Protection

If your beach days are sun-soaked, opt for a beach tent or shelter that offers UV protection. These pop-up beach tents usually have a sun-protective layer that blocks harmful UV rays.

Wind Protection

A wind-protective beach tent or sun shelter can be indispensable on breezy days. Look for options with sturdy frames and wind-resistant designs.


Given the unpredictable weather, preparing for a potential downpour is always wise. Choose a beach tent or shelter with reliable waterproofing to keep you and your belongings dry.

All-in-One Protection

If you need a beach tent or shelter that offers all-weather protection, consider options with UPF 50+ sun protection, wind vents for added stability, and water-repellent canopies.

Ease of Set Up for your Sun Canopy

When on a beach holiday or enjoying a day at the seaside, the last thing you want is to spend precious time battling a complicated tent setup.

Pop-Up Tent Design

A beach tent or shelter with a pop-up design can save you time and effort. These tents are designed to spring into shape with minimal fuss.

Automatic Setup

Consider a beach tent or shelter with an automatic setup feature for convenience. These tents usually incorporate an automatic pop-up mechanism that simplifies setup.

Lightweight and Compact

Opt for a lightweight and compact design if you’re looking for a beach tent or shelter that’s easy to transport and set up.

Beach Tent Comparison Chart

Type of Beach TentNotable FeaturesRecommended Product as of 2021
Pop-Up Beach TentQuick and easy setup – fits four people; sit in chairs inside it easilyColeman Beach Shade Shelter
Baby Beach TentUV protection, mesh windows for ventilation and a comfy roll-around play pool for either a ball pit or water. The comfortable pad is at the bottom so the baby can sleep.Babymoov Anti-UV Tent
Beach Shelter TentMore space, weather protection, excellent ventilationHighlander Beach Shelter
Pop-Up Beach TentOne-person assembly, automatic pop-up mechanism, comes with an extra rainfly cover, fits four plus people inSwished Pop Up Beach Tent
Small Beach TentCompact, lightweight, ideal for solo/couple of people.WolfWise UPF 50+ Small Pop-Up Beach Tent
Medium Beach TentSpacious, UPF 50+ sun protection, Easy to pop up a double silver coating that effectively blocks 97.5% of UVA and UVB raysEasthills Outdoor Medium Beach Tent
Large Beach TentThere is ample space for larger groups, UVGuard sun protection and can add side curtains.Coleman Sundome Beach Shelter
Beach Cabana/Sun CanopyPrivacy and protection from elements, Gives a vast shade area; quick to erect with sand anchors for stability.Neso Beach Cabana/Sun Canopy

The products listed above provide these features for UV Protection, Wind Protection, Waterproofing, and All-in-One Protection.

For instance, the Coleman Sundome Beach Shelter offers waterproof UVGuard sun protection. The WolfWise UPF 50+ Pop-Up Beach Tent also provides UV protection.

For Ease of Set Up, pop-up designs like the Coleman Beach Shade Shelter and the Highlander Beach Tent and automatic setup designs like the Swished Pop-Up Beach Tent are recommended.


Choosing the perfect beach tent or sun shelter for your beach picnics or holidays can improve your comfort, safety, and beach enjoyment. By considering your specific needs, such as size, weather protection, and ease of setup, you can find the ideal beach tent or shelter to fit your preferences.

Don’t forget to browse different products and read reviews before finalising your choice. Use resources like Amazon UK to find high-quality, affordable beach tents and shelters. With these tips and product suggestions in mind, you can choose the perfect beach tent or sun canopy umbrella for your UK holiday and create unforgettable memories on the beach.

Beach Tent & Sun Canopy FAQs

Which tent is best for the beach?

The best beach tent depends on your specific needs and preferences. Pop-up beach tents are remarkable for their easy setup, baby beach tents provide a safe space for little ones, and beach shelters offer more space and protection.

Are beach tents a good idea?

Beach tents are a good idea for enhancing your comfort and safety at the beach. They provide shade from the sun, protection from the wind, and privacy.

Do beach tents get hot?

Beach tents can heat up, especially during peak sun hours. However, many have ventilation features, such as mesh windows, to maintain airflow and cool the tent.

Do beach tents have SPF?

Yes, many beach tents have a UV protective coating that provides SPF, often rated as UPF 50+, which blocks harmful UV rays from the sun.

Can beach tents go in the sand?

Yes, beach tents are designed to be set up on the s, and they usually come with sand pockets and stakes to keep the tent stable.

Are beach tents 100% waterproof?

While many beach tents offer a degree of waterproofing, not all are 100% waterproof. It’s essential to check the specifications of the pop-up beach tent to understand its water resistance level.

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About the author
Alexandra is a longtime party planner & event specialist who loves to host fun picnics, parties and events for friends & family.  She now uses her expertise to recommend the best products on the market for you to get out and enjoy life.

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