Best Beach Canopy

The summer is in full swing, and at beaches throughout the country, people are being smart and protecting themselves from the harm of the sun’s rays.  While sunscreen is essential, another way to keep yourself safe and cool is through the use of a beach canopy.  Not only do you not have to worry about the protection wearing off, but a well-made canopy can offer protection from the wind, rain, and other elements, no matter where you are.  So, without further ado, here are our top picks for your next beach canopy.

Our Top 3 Picks

WildHorn Outfitters Tent
  • WildHorn Outfitters Tent
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here
Otentik Beach Sunshade
  • Otentik Beach Sunshade
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easily adjustable
  • Easy setup
  • Price: See Here
Coleman Instant Shelter
  • Coleman Instant Shelter
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Durable
  • Spacious
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Beach Canopy Choices

 

QUICK-UP Cabana Style Beach Tent

QUICK-UP Cabana Style Beach Tent
When it comes to quality, versatility, and ease of use, this multi-functional tent and beach canopy from Wildhorn Outfitters is tough to beat. Add to that the very affordable price, and it’s no wonder why this one is at the top of our list.
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Size

This beach canopy measures a remarkable 56 square feet at its base, so there is plenty of room for your family and friends to enjoy themselves. Plus, at 4.8 feet tall, it’s inviting enough to set up your favorite beach chair and relax.


Materials Used

The canopy material is constructed of 210T Polyester Ripstop material, and the flooring is just as tough being made out of 300D Oxford flooring. Add to that a very sturdy fiberglass frame, and there is very little at the beach that will bring this canopy down.


Ease of Use

The people at Wildhorn Outfitters certainly know that their fans want something that is easy to use no matter the circumstances, and for the most part, they delivered. The automatic frame system is a breeze for a single person to set up in seconds, and the takedown is almost as easy as long as directions are followed. Plus, switching between the different uses is usually as simple as tying back a string or lifting a flap. And finally, the easy to use storage bag makes carrying it your favorite beach spot easy indeed.


Durability

With the quality of the materials being used, it’s little wonder that this beach canopy tends to last quite a while with proper care and use.

Overall Cost

Considering everything that you get in this particular entry on the list, the overall cost is more than reasonable, if a little on the expensive side. However, we would certainly love to see this beach canopy in a more affordable price bracket.

Summary

Wildhorn Outfitters has put together a great, user-friendly product with their Quick-Up Cabana Style XL Beach Tent. Not only can it protect you from the elements, but it also provides a few different ways to make your time outdoors that much more enjoyable.
Pros
  • Very versatile
  • Relatively easy to set up and take down
  • Extremely durable
Cons
  • A little on the pricey side

Otentik Beach Sunshade

Otentik Beach Sunshade
Where the first entry on our list was a lesson in being multi-functional, the Otentik Beach Sunshade shines in its simplicity. There is no doubt that this product is designed to protect the user from the sun at the beach, and particular beach canopy does it beautifully.
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Size

This entry is perhaps one of the more lightweight beach canopies on our list, weighing between 5 and 6 pounds, but down let that fool you. It can provide you and a few friends with ample sun protection, being able to stretch out to cover a respectable 10 x 12-foot area if needed.

Materials Used

Because the Otentik Beach Sunshade is designed to be able to stretch to fit your needs, the canopy is made of an Italian made Eurojersey material that is lightweight and stretchable. The material also has an Ultraviolet Protection factor of 50, which is one of the strongest in the industry. The fabric is also sand repellent, and dries in only a few minutes in the sun.

Ease of Use

While it doesn’t pop up in seconds, like some of the other examples on this list, the Otentik Sunshade is also very easy to set up and take down. All that is needed is to place the sandbags around you, secure the tie-downs, and stretch the canopy fabric to the desired size and shape. When the sun moves, you can easily adjust to make sure you stay in the shade easily.

Durability

Because of the relatively simple design, and quality materials used, this beach canopy is fairly durable and will withstand some of the harshest environments that you’d find on the beach.

Overall Cost

Surprisingly given its quality construction, the overall cost of this beach canopy is relatively moderate.

Summary

While the simple design doesn’t have many of the nicer features of some of the other beach canopies on this list, the Otentik Sunshade is a durable and easy to use way to keep the sun out of your eyes at the beach.
Pros
  • Simple to set up
  • Quality Construction Materials
  • Easy to adjust
Cons
  • Not as many features

Coleman Instant Sun Shelter

Coleman Instant Sun Shelter
Coleman is a brand that is known for their commitment to the outdoors and quality product. That commitment shines through in this product.
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Size

The base of this beach canopy measures 10 x 10 square, offering nearly 100 feet of shade for you and your companions to enjoy. In addition, the ceiling is vaulted, providing a bit more head room for those who need it.

Materials Used

The lightweight canvas materials and poles do leave a bit to be desired in the way of sturdiness, especially when used on a windswept beach, but for the most part the steel construction and fabric appear to be solidly constructed.


Ease of Use

According to the product description, the canopy can be set up easily in under 3 minutes, and taken down in only a few minutes more. Also this is one beach canopy that can be used in a multitude of locations from the sunny beach to the asphalt parking lot behind the store.

Durability

The poles used could be made a bit stronger, but other than that, Coleman offers a strong contender for a long lasting example of a beach canopy.

Overall Cost

This beach canopy is moderately expensive in price, and the overall quality could be improved to match the overall cost.


Summary

While not at the top of our list, the Coleman Instant Sun Shelter is still a very viable option when it comes to protecting the ones you love from the harmful rays of the sun.
Pros
  • Relatively easy to set up
  • Backed by the Coleman name
  • Offers 100 square feet of shade
Cons
  • Poles are somewhat flimsy
  • A but privier than most

June and May Beach Canopy

June and May Beach Canopy
If you’re looking for a classic, two person beach canopy that is designed to keep you protected from the sun without sacrificing your view of the sand and surf, the June and May Beach Canopy should move to the top your list.
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Size

Once this beach canopy is fully set up, it measures a respectable ten feet by six feet, making it perfect for two people to sit side by side, enjoying the views and the company. When it’s put away, it only weighs around 7 pounds, which makes transporting it a breeze.

Materials Used

The nylon canopy material and tie downs are both made of quality nylon material that is both water and UV ray resistant, making it easy to protect yourself from the sun and waves if needed. Also, the 9 inch stakes allow for a secure placement in nearly any environment imaginable.

Ease of Use

This June and May Beach Canopy is perhaps one of the easiest ones to set up and take down, not because of gadgetry, but because of simplicity. All it takes is to place the stakes and stretch the fabric and tie-downs into place. Chances are, two people working together can be relaxing under this canopy in less than five minutes.

Durability

While very protective against wind, water, and sun, the nylon fabric leaves a little to be desired when it comes to rips and tears. However, if the user follows the manufacturer’s suggestions as to care and maintenance, this beach canopy should last for quite a while.

Overall Cost

The price for this beach canopy falls easily in range of the moderate budget, and is often on sale, making it an even better deal depending on the price.

Summary

If you’re looking for a moderately priced, two-person beach canopy, this is a great choice. While the strength against rips and tears could be improved, the May and June Beach Canopy is still a great choice.
Pros
  • Very easy to set up
  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • Offers great protection from the elements
  • Moderately priced
Cons
  • A bit small – basically only fits two adults
  • Nylon fabric is known to tear.

Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy

Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy
This entry on our list might not be very well known, but that is bound to change once people learn how quickly and easily this beach canopy can be set up and taken down. Add to that the generous size and lightweight construction, the Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent is bound to become a favorite.
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Size

When this beach canopy is fully set up, it provides approximately 64 square feet of shade, and measure about 5 feet at its peak. While a large adult male would be hard pressed o stand under it, lounging under it at the beach is no problem at all.

Materials Used

The material used for this beach canopy is fairly sturdy, being designed to stand up to kids, adults and pets alike. The umbrella portion is 450 millimeters thick, and is rated to offer the maximum UPF sun protection of 50.

Ease of Use

Despite its appearance, this particular beach canopy is fairly easy to set up and take down, provided that the directions are followed. It also includes an over-sized bag for storage and transport, which makes things so much easier in the long run.

Durability

While for the most part this beach canopy will withstand normal use, the material and the tent poles could be a little bit more strong. This beach canopy is great for someone who goes the beach on occasion, but it is not as sturdy when it comes to frequent use.

Overall Cost

When you factor in the minor durability issues, this moderately priced beach canopy is reasonably priced, but definitely not a steal compared to other examples on this list.

Summary

The Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent provides a good deal of shade and protection at the beach for a very reasonable price. It is fairly easy to set up and take down, but does have some minor durability issues.
Pros
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Moderately priced
  • Lightweight and easy to store
Cons
  • Materials used could be stronger and made to be more durable

Easy Go Portable Backpack Tent

Easy Go Portable Backpack Tent
If your trip to the beach has you walking for a short while, this beach canopy may be a great choice. Easy to set up and easy to use, it is also fairly easy to transport via a backpack that one adult person could easily carry.
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Size

This beach canopy or tent is a moderate size, measuring 6 by 6 feet at the base once everything is said and done. It measures approximately 4.5 feet at the edges and nearly six feet in height at the center, so most adults will have duck down when first entering it. When it is packed away, it weighs around 14 pounds, which makes it fairly easy to carry.


Materials Used

The legs supporting this beach canopy are made of aluminum, and the steel scissor frame and the nylon top not only protects from the sun it is also rated to be fire resistant.

Ease of Use

The canopy is fairly easy to set up and take down with the help of one or two more people, but where this particular beach canopy shines is in the transportation. The storage backpack is very easy to use, has padded straps, and is lightweight enough that nearly any adult can carry it without breaking a sweat.


Durability

The lightweight aluminum legs have been known to bend in strong winds, but for the most part, this canopy measures up well against normal use during the summer vacation.

Overall Cost

While not as expensive as some of the other entries on this list, the Easy Go Products Portable Backpack Tent’s moderately high price might make it a thing to budget for instead of an impulse buy.

Summary

While not the most durable example on this list, the Easy Go Products Portable Tent outshines the others when it comes to portability, and relative ease of setting up.
Pros
  • Very portable
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • May be too expensive for some.
  • Minor durability issues reported

E-Z Up Sierra Canopy

E-Z Up Sierra Canopy
When it comes to the classic looking canopy, whether at the beach or the park, this E-Z Up Canopy is probably the style that comes to mind. Simple and dependable it is a great choice for those who just want a bit of shade.
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Size

The base of this beach canopy measures approximately 10 x 10 feet, and offers a little under one hundred square feet of shade. In addition, the eight-foot high cathedral ceiling makes it easy to stand up in and move around comfortably.

Materials Used

The steel frame of this beach canopy is well built, and the fabric top not only easily blocks harmful UV light, but it is also fire and water resistant, so just about anything you can throw at it can be handled.

Ease of Use

Because of its relatively simple design, setting up the E-Z SR9104BL Sierra II is an easy process. It usually only takes a few minutes, or even less if you have someone to help. Another great feature that makes set up and take down a breeze is the folding steel frame. No need to search for that other part of the pole, or ropes to tie things down. Just expand it out, and watch out for pinch points.


Durability

While fairly easy to set up and take down, the steel frame and fabric canopy cloth does leave a little bit to be desired when it comes to durability. While it will certainly last through a few summer vacations, the potential pinch points in the framing does lead to the eventual tearing of the canopy fabric after a few years.

Overall Cost

This is one of the more expensive beach canopies on our list, surprisingly enough. While the overall ease of use and roominess make it a great canopy, many of our readers would be advised to wait for a sale for this investment piece.


Summary

Set up in the classic beach canopy style, the E-Z Up SR9104BL Sierra II is a great choice for keeping a fairly large ground of people cool at the beach for at least a few vacations.
Pros
  • Simple design makes it easy to use
  • Provides a great deal of shade
Cons
  • A bit pricey
  • Lasts only a few years

Rhorawill Automatic Pop-up Beach Tent

Rhorawill Automatic Pop-up Beach Tent
If your looking for a good beach canopy for a small group of people and your on a tight budget, the Rhorawill Automatic Pop Up Beach Tent should certainly be on your list. Relatively compact and easy to use, this is a great cost effective way to bring a bit of shade to the beach.
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Size

This beach canopy is sized large enough to provide all-day sun protection for two or three adults. It is also very lightweight, and can easily be carried by an adult or even a strong child.

Materials Used

The canopy portion of this entry is made of durable nylon material and the metal stakes used in the set up will easily withstand even the harshest of winds.

Ease of Use

Like other “pop up” beach canopies on this list, the Rhorawill Beach tent is a great example of how easy things can be with good design. While it can be somewhat confusing to use the first time or two, once you get the hang of it, the setup and tear down at the beach will be accomplished in no time flat.

Durability

Made of durable nylon material and strong framework, chances are this tent will last through quite a few summers of normal use.

Overall Cost

This is perhaps one of the most economical choices for a beach canopy on this list. If all you need is a little shade for you and your friends or family, this is certainly one to consider.

Summary

The Rhorawill Automatic Pop Up Beach Tent is a great economical choice for many casual beach goers. Not only is it simple and easy to set up with practice, but it offers exactly what the other contenders offer at a fraction of the cost.
Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight and durable
Cons
  • Relatively small size
  • Limited visibility to the outside.

Happy Summer Beach Tent

Happy Summer Beach Tent
The last entry on our list is by no means a slouch when it comes to protecting your loved ones from the sun. This particular beach canopy is not only fairly easy to use and set up, but it offers superior protection by being UV, sand, wind, and tear resistant.
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Size

The Happy Summer Beach Tent measures 6.5 by 6.5 feet, providing over forty feet of cool space for your loved ones to enjoy. While it isn’t as big as some of the others available, it is still a respectable amount of room to enjoy.

Materials Used

This beach canopy is made with lightweight aluminum poles and a high-quality lycra material tent that easily stretches to accommodate the roominess of the tent.

Ease of Use

Based on the simplicity of the design, and the lightweight materials, the setting up of this beach canopy is fairly easy. While the take down is a bit more complicated, in most cases a single person can get the job down without any trouble.

Durability

While the beach canopy is easy to use, it does lack a bit in the durability department. The thinner aluminum poles have been known to bend in very windy conditions, but for the most part they stay true to form through summer after summer.

Overall Cost

While not the most expensive example on this list, the Happy Summer Beach Tent is moderately expensive given its durability issues and overall materials used.

Summary

The last entry on this list may not be suitable for all situations and all environments, but it is still as solid contender for your favorite beach canopy this summer. The Happy Summer Beach Tent is fairly easy to set up, provides a fair amount of shade, and easily repels water and sand to keep them from ruining your day at the beach.
Pros
  • Relatively easy to set up and take down
  • Offers superior UV protection
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
Cons
  • A bit small for a family to use at the beach
  • Poles could be a bit stronger.

TuTu Outdoors Beach Tent

TuTu Outdoors Beach Tent
When it comes to finding a truly portable outdoor sun shade and beach canopy that can comfortably fit a small group of people the Tutu Outdoor X-Large 4 Person Beach Tent is certainly a viable option.
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Size

This beach canopy is large enough to provide four average size adults with adequate shade and sun protection, and amazingly will fold down to 32 inches by 5 inches for storage. It weighs only four pounds when packed away, so it can be easily carried by just about everyone.

Materials Used

This particular beach canopy not only uses 8.5 millimeter fiberglass poles for added stability and strength, but it also offers protection from the hot beach sand through the use of 150D PE flooring material that resists rips and tears easily. Add to that the water resistant, yet breathable canopy, and chances are you, your friends, and even your pets will enjoy spending time in it.

Ease of Use

This beach canopy and domed tent is fairly easy to set up, and easy to clean with a simple water rinse. No need to scrub this canopy to get rid of the dirt and grime from the day – just rinse off and allow to air dry.


Durability

The materials used in this beach canopy are of good quality, and they are designed to withstand the rigors of normal use. While it’s certainly not suitable for use in the scorching desert sand, it is more that adequate for a few summer vacations.

Overall Cost

The price of this beach canopy is actually very budget friendly, considering all of features it has.

Summary

This beach canopy is fairly easy to set up and take down, and offers quite a bit of room for small group of people to relax in and enjoy the day at the beach .
Pros
  • Very budget friendly price
  • Relatively easy to set up
Cons
  • May not be adequate for beaches with significant amounts of wind or blowing sand.

Criteria for Evaluation

What is the Size?

Perhaps one of the most important, and easy to ascertain characteristic of the beach canopy is the overall size.  In most cases, the size is determined by the footprint created by the structure on the ground, not necessarily the size of the canopy itself when it is opened up. The canopy size is often a few feet less than what is advertised as the overall size.  Why is this important?  Well, for starters, the overall size will tell you approximately how many adults, children, or pets can fit under the canopy.  Some beach canopies, such as the June and May Beach Canopy can fit two adults comfortably and not much more.  The Portable Backpack Tent by Easy Go Products has enough room to fit four people quite easily.  Choosing the right beach canopy to fit your needs often starts with knowing how big it actually is once in use.

The Materials Used is Critical

The beach is a surprisingly harsh environment.  There is usually a constant wind, sand and salt from the sea beat against your skin and clothes and equipment, and there are plenty of animals and people that can wreck havoc on your beach canopy.  That’s way taking a look at how the canopy is made, and what materials are used is so critical for finding the right one for your next outing.  Not only do you have to consider the strength of the material, but it still needs to be made of material that is light enough to keep the Ease of Use manageable.  Thankfully the examples provided here are great at finding the balance between strength and being light. Ease of Use.  The materials used, such as aluminum poles, rip-resistant jersey materials, and strong hinges and sturdy sand bags, all contribute to the balance.

Ease of Use

Whether you use the beach canopy at the actual beach or in the backyard, how easy it is to set up and take down is certainly an important consideration. After all, if you’re getting frustrated even before the canopy is in use, chances are your day at the beach won’t be much of a picnic.  So we took a look at how easy, or hard it was to set up, and take down each of these beach canopies.  Some of them, like the Rhorawill Pop Up Beach Tent and the Lightspeed Quick Canopy Instant Pop Up Shade Tent go up easily with a single deployment, while others like the Coleman Instant Sun Shelter may take a little more work.

How easy the beach canopy is to take down is also important.  The last thing you want at the end of the day to have to fight with your canopy to put it away.  Thankfully, these examples are fairly easy to take down and put away, provided that you follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Durability

A quality beach canopy should be designed to not only be easy to use, but to be used many different times.  The durability of the canopy is a great measure of this ability.  While nothing can last forever, many of these canopies can provide many summers of use with proper care and maintenance.  By taking a closer look at the materials used, and the quality of the workmanship, we’re confident that the examples presented here will last through many summer vacations.

Overall Cost

After considering how easy the beach canopy is to use, and the quality of the materials, it’s also important to consider the overall cost of the canopy itself.  There are a wide array of prices, available, and thankfully, there are quality examples in nearly every price range imaginable. So be sure to use these examples as a benchmark for finding the best beach canopy for you at the price that fits your budget.

More to think about when purchasing your next beach canopy

How and when will you use it?

This may seem like a fairly straightforward question, and a simple one to answer, but it should be given some thought.  If you plan to use the beach canopy only at the beach itself for a few summer outings, many of these examples will fit your needs beautifully.  However, if you’re expecting to use it multiple times, in many different environments, something like the Otentik Beach Sunshade or the Quick Up Cabana Style Beach Tent by Wildhorn Outfitters may be a better fit based on the stronger materials used and quality construction.

How many people will be using it?

A beach canopy, by its very nature, is designed to be used by a group of people.  Whether you’re talking about a relatively small set up for just you and your partner or using the canopy to keep shade on a family of five, it’s important to know on average how many people are going to be using it at one time.  Remember, it’s not always the largest canopy that is the best choice for your needs.

What kind of care and maintenance does your beach canopy require?

Like any other quality piece of equipment, it’s important to make sure that it is properly cared for.  Thankfully, the manufacturers of these beach canopies understand that most people don’t have the time or inclination for complicated maintenance plans.  Often a quality beach canopy is designed to be simply rinsed off with water and allowed to air dry after an outing.  How simple is that?

FAQs

Q: What size beach canopy do I actually need?

A:  The answer to that question depends greatly on a few factors.  First, how many people do you want to fit under it at one time, and second, how much area you want to cover by shade.  On average, an adult needs at least four square feet of space to sit comfortably underneath something such as a canopy, so if you have two adults who will be using it, a canopy that is measured to be about 10 x 10 feet would be enough.

Another factor to consider is that in determining the size of the canopy you need is that the canopy that provides the shade is actually smaller than what is measured at the base.  Generally speaking it is about two feet square less.  So if a canopy is advertised as being 20 x 20 feet, the shaded area is probably closer to 18 x 18 feet square.

There are exceptions, of course, but in most cases the poles used in beach canopies are angled outwards to help maintain their stability in the beach sand or dirt, so the base is usually bigger than the top.

 Q: What kind of maintenance does a beach canopy need?

A:  Actually, a beach canopy really doesn’t need very much maintenance at all.  It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions, but generally speaking, there are a few things to keep in mind.

It’s important to make sure that sand and dirt are kept out of the hinges and joints.  While it’s impossible to always keep the hinges and joints dirt free, a quick rinse with water at the end of the day is usually enough to get the dirt out before storage.

Second, it’s very important to make sure that the beach canopy is able to air dry after use and cleaning.  This is to make sure that no mold or mildew starts to form – both of which require moisture to get the ball rolling.  The easiest way to do this is to rinse it off with a hose and then allow it to remain standing for a few hours before taking it down.

And finally, be sure to check for, and replace broken or missing pieces. It’s important to remember that your beach canopy is often out in the elements, so there is a potential for breakage at any time.

Final thoughts

A beach canopy is a great way to provide shade, a place to gather, and protection from the elements during your next summer outing.  Choosing the right one for your needs means thinking about quite a few factors, such the overall size, the number of people who will use it, and the overall cost of the canopy you want.