Best Beach Umbrellas
If you like to spend your summers at the ocean, you have likely witnessed the sad sight of some poor vacationer chasing a beach umbrella that has decided to go rogue and wreak havoc on fellow travelers. Perhaps you have even played that part on a few occasions. There’s no reason to give up on this method of summer shade if you get the right gear. The sun can really be oppressive when you are camped out by the ocean, and sometimes you need just a little bit more protection from the sun than just sunblock and hats. Umbrellas continue to be the preferred method of keeping cool while lounging by the ocean because they are very easy to set up, and many of them can move and adjust as the sun creeps across the sky.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Comes with a carrying case
Easy to set up
Flaps fold down to offer additional weather protection
- Tommy Bahama
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Ten Beach Umbrellas
Comes with a carrying case
Easy to set up
Flaps fold down to offer additional weather protection
Some found that anchoring the flaps was a little difficult
Sport-Brella is the gear for those that aren’t held back by weather. If you are the type to head down to the water even if the temperatures surpass 100 degrees, or the winds are really howling, or even if it is raining. This product is incredibly tough and durable, it is easy to set up, and it comes with a carrying case to make travel incredibly easy.Read more
When you purchase this product, you will have three color options that you can select from- blue, red, and turquoise. Each color option has a sharp light grey interior. In addition to the panels, there are two flaps that fold down to give you a little bit of extra protection from the sun, but also from harsh winds. These panels have built-in plastic windows so that you can still enjoy the beauty of the shoreline without being hit with biting winds.
The panels of this unit are made up of 210 D polyester- which is an incredibly strong and durable fabric, and it offers a UV protection level of 50. It is held on place with 4.5 mm steel ribs and as well as a 5 mm steel shaft that extends out. Additionally, this unit only weighs about 9 pounds, so carrying it from the car to the shore shouldn’t weigh you down all that much.
Ease of use:
Staking this unit into the ground is simple enough, and doesn’t require much explanation. The flaps that fold down are just a little bit more complicated to affix to the ground and require the use of individual stakes. However, if you just want the extra shade and aren’t worried about the wind, there is no need to affix them to the ground, and you can just let them hang down.
The cost of this unit is pretty reasonable, and will likely set you back the same amount that you would spend filling up your tank with gas. While it isn’t the most affordable option out there on the market, it’s innovative design and willingness to hold up to most weather conditions makes it well worth the price point in our opinion.
If you don’t want to be holed up indoors when the weather gets a little iffy, this product will be able to keep the sun, wind, and rain off of your back so that you can continue to enjoy the great outdoors.
2. Tommy Bahama
Sand auger affixed to the unit for easy set up
Comes with carrying case
Some found that it doesn’t hold up very well to high winds
Tommy Bahama is a name that most travelers are familiar with when it comes to summer gear. Their product is topping our list because it offers superior shade without adding a lot of additional bulk. In fact, this is one of the more lighter options out there on the market.Read more
Users have the option of selecting a lot of fun design and color options that capture the mood of trips to the ocean. Colors options include red, red and orange stripes, multicolor stripes, blue, and navy and blue alternating panels. What’s great about this design is that it also comes with a carrying case that matches the patterns of the unit.
As we mentioned earlier, the best part about this design is that it is incredibly lightweight and easy to carry. It weighs in at just over 4 pounds, which is made possible by ribs made from fiberglass and a pole that is made from lightweight aluminum. The pole is able to be adjusted in the middle so that it will be able to shade the ground in the same spot as the sun moves across the sky. The panel material offers a UV protection level of 50 and has a wind vent built into the top to prevent high winds form catching it and sending it traveling down the shoreline.
Ease of use:
If you can pop a straw into your can of soda- you can set up this product. Simply punch the stake into the sand, and use the sand screw to lower it down to ensure that it is nice and secure. To adjust the pole, hold down the button and tilt the unit until it is in the desired position, and then release the button.
This unit cost just a little bit less than the Sport-Brella design, but only by a little. This unit will likely set you back about the same amount that you would spend to fill up your gas tank before hitting the road. However, we find that this is a really great deal for something that is made from high-quality materials that will hold up to weather as well as is able to be adjusted to suit your particular needs.
If you are in the market for something that is really lightweight to carry down to the shoreline, but is also incredibly durable and comes from a trusted brand that has been making great ocean gear since 1993- this is going to be an excellent choice.
Affordable price point
Users are able to adjust the canopy
Wind vent to prevent turning inside out
Users need to buy an additional sand auger for set up
This is a perfect option for those that want something that will be able to seamlessly transition from the shoreline to the patio to the campsite without skipping a beat. It has an innovative shaft design that makes it great for all types of weather, and it is made from high-quality materials that will keep you protected from the sun as well as cool in the shade.Read more
Users can select from one of two bright and sunny colors that include blue and red. Each color option has the accent of a white floral design over the wind vent along the top. All of the accents pieces such as the ribs and shaft, are coated in a polished white to make it really pop no matter where you set up camp.
This unit is just a little bit lighter than some of the standard options out there on the market and weighs in at just over 6 pounds. This lighter weight is due in part to the lighter weight polyester materials that have a offers UV protection of 50. It has 10 steel ribs and is supported by a steel pole that is able to be adjusted in the middle to adjust the angle of the canopy.
Ease of use:
The base of this model does not come with a stake to anchor it into the ground. The feature makes it perfect to bring along to other places than just the ocean, but it does mean that you will be required to buy an additional sand auger. Users report that this unit responds better to a plastic auger than metal, and plastic augers will likely set you back only a little bit of money (roughly the price you spend on lunch today).
The cost of this unit runs pretty par for the course. It isn’t the most expensive unit out there, but it is far from the least expensive. If you wanted something that is made of high-quality materials without setting you back a lot of money, this is going to be a great addition to your next family vacation.
AMMSUN provides users with great gear that will hold up in all kinds of weather and is offered at a really affordable price point. Keep in mind, however, you are going to suffer just a little bit of extra cost with the addition of a sand auger, but the absence of one built into the base makes this design just a little more versatile.
Easy to set up
Comes with carrying case
Some found that the sand anchor is too thick
This is the model that you purchase when you have exhausted all of your vacation resources on snacks and excursions. It is one of the most affordable options out there on the market, but it is still strong enough to keep you cool and comfortable- and protected- in the hot summer sun.Read more
Users don’t have the option to pick a color that suits their preferences. It is only offered in one color- royal blue. It is, however, accented along the edges with bright white trim, and the corners drape down a little bit to give you just a little bit of extra shade.
The Snail weighs just over 5 pounds, which is as heavy as carrying a bag of sugar down to the shoreline. It comes with its own matching carrying case to make hauling it just a little bit easier. The fabric is 100 percent UV resistant, and the pole is able to be adjusted to tilt the canopy.
Ease of use:
What’s great about his model is that the sand auger is built right into the base. The tip has a screw like construction, and there are handles in the middle of the shaft to allow users to screw it deep down into the sand to ensure that it stays put for the duration of your stay. When you are done, simply fold it up, unscrew it from the sand, and place it into your carrying case.
As we stated earlier, this is one of the most affordable options out there on the market. It will likely set you back about the same amount that you would spend ordering two large pizzas at the end of a fun day of swimming and surfing.
If you are looking to cut costs, but still want something that won’t turn inside out or blow away when an abrupt gust of wind comes your way, this is an excellent option.
Three-pronged anchor keeps it in place
Easy to set up
Limited color choices
The AosKe is a really great option for those that want something that is not only incredibly durable but is also able to be adjusted in a multitude of ways to accommodate any type of weather condition.Read more
There aren’t any color options offered for this design, so if you aren’t a big fan of the color orange you are going to be out of luck. It has a double layer orange exterior with an interior that is a charcoal grey for maximum protection from not only the heat and damage of the sun but also its brightness. All of the components are a polished silver, and the ribs on the interior are white.
The pole and the ribs of this unit are made from a high quality and lightweight aluminum. It weighs in at just over 4 pounds, which makes it one of the lightest options to make our list. The canvas is made from 100 percent polyester which is incredibly durable and offers UV protection of 50.
Ease of use:
The stakes that are included with purchase are not only incredibly effective at keeping this design firmly in place, but they are also really easy to use. It has a 3 prong anchor that is perfect for really windy conditions, and it just sticks right into the sand. When it is time to head back, simply fold the unit up and place it into the carrying case with a shoulder strap that is included with purchase.
This unit runs pretty par for the course. It isn’t the most expensive model out there on the market, but it is far from being the most expensive. It will likely run you the same amount that you would spend filling up your gas tank before the big road trip.
If you are in the market for something that is dependable and easy to use, and that also is able to be adjusted easily to move with the sun, the AosKe option is going to be an excellent choice for your next trip to the ocean.
Easy to set up and adjust
Comes with 2 types of anchors for various terrains
The Sunphio design is so sharp and innovative it looks as it if could launch right into space, but it absolutely won't because it offers a series of anchors to suit the needs of every weather and terrain condition. Users can select the type of anchor they need for each type of sand or grass condition, and it is able to be easily adjusted to move right along with the sun.Read more
There aren’t really any color options when it comes to this design, unfortunately. The good news, however, is that it the color option that is available is sharp and will make you stand out from the crowd. It has an aqua blue outside with a deep charcoal grey interior that will offer maximum shade when the sun is really beating down.
This unit has a telescoping pole that is made from premium metal and can be adjusted 360 degrees. It also has a layer of EVA foam on the handle to make adjusting it to fit your needs a little bit easier. It weighs in at just shy of 7 pounds, which is just a little bit lighter than of some of the other options making our list.
Ease of use:
Sunphio has done their best to make setting up, making adjustments, and tearing down as easy as possible. There are 2 different anchor attachments that users can affix to the base. The first one is just a solid stake that is perfect for a casual ocean breeze. The second is a three-pronged fork that is designed for when the winds are really starting to pick up. When you are ready to go home, simply fold everything up and place it in the matching carrying case that is included with purchase.
Due to the fact that there are some many innovative design features that make using this model simple and easy, as well as effective, the price tag is a little bit higher than the average cost that consumers seem to be willing to pay on these products. However, Sunphio offers a lifetime money back guarantee if you are not pleased with the performance of their product.
For those that want something that is incredibly easy to set up and adjust without the need of complicated instructions and has anchor attachments that will work in just about any terrain, the Sunphio design, in our opinion, is well worth the slightly padded price tag.
Can fit in a standard size suitcase.
Easy to assemble
Some users found the zipper on the travel bag broke
Perhaps you live in a part of the country where making your way to the ocean is a little further than a car ride away, and you will need to just on an airplane to recharge your batteries along the shoreline. Easygo makes it so that you can still pack all of your great gear, and it will fold down small enough that you will be able to pack it into a standard size suitcase.Read more
Users can select from one color design- and that’s a unit that has a different color for each panel. Sure, you might not get to pick the color that you wanted, but you will be sure to stand out from the others on the shoreline, and there will be no trouble spotting your stuff when you get up out of the water. It has a white interior, and the poles and ribs are also white.
When completely folded down and placed into a travel bag, this unit measures to be only 28.5 inches long- perfect for suitcases that are 30 inches long. It also weighs in at under 4 pounds, making it the absolute lightest option currently on the market. The canopy offers a UV protection level of 50, however, it is not able to be adjusted to sit at an angle.
Ease of use:
Putting this model together is simple and easy. Simply attach the two pole pieces together and lock them into place, stick it into the sand with help of the anchors, and then raise the canopy. When it is time to head home, simply disassemble all of the components and place it into the small carrying case.
This is one of the most affordable options out there on the market, and with its compactness and lightweight, you can take it everywhere! Plus, it comes with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee if you are not happy with its performance.
If you have to get to the ocean by plane and feel like you just don’t have the room to bring all of the best gear- the Easygo design allows you to bring along all of your gear right in your suitcase without taking up all that much room.
Easy to set up
Smart anchor system prevents it from blowing away
Comes with carrying case
This unit is the Cadillac of all of the other models- and it has the price tag to prove it. If you are in the market for something that will hold up to winds that cap at 35 MPH and something that you can take with you for years of family vacations, this unit may be worth the padded price tag.Read more
There aren’t any color options that users can select from, because this design is only offered in a rich blue color. It also comes with a carrying case that matches the material of the main unit. Included with purchase is a unit that helps keep it in place when high winds start to blow, and it is something that we haven’t seen in place on any of the other models out there on the market- making this design truly unique.
This unit weighs in at just 9 pounds, which is pretty standard for similar designs. The material that makes up the canopy offers a UV protection of 50, and users rave that the materials are incredibly thick and durable. The ribs are composed of 11mm fiberglass that hooks securely into the ends of the canopy, and the pole is made from a lightweight aluminum. Unfortunately, this unit doesn’t have a way of adjusting the angle of the canopy.
Ease of use:
What makes this product special is how it is anchored to the ground. While most units have a sand auger built into the base, this unit not only has a sand auger but it also as an additional tarped anchor that keeps it in place. Simply fill the tarp that is located at the base with sand, and sit back and relax as you unit stays firmly in place even when the winds begin to howl. When it is time to head back, dump the sand out and pack everything into its carrying case.
Hold on to your pina colada, because the price tag of this design packs a punch. In fact, the price of the BEACHBUB design is more than double of many of the other options found out there on the market. However, if you wanted something that was really going to be able to hold up not only in high winds, but will last you for years- this is the ticket. Plus, BEACHBUB is so confident that they will offer a money back guarantee if anything goes wrong- even if it was your fault!
For those looking for something that they are confident they will never have to chase down a windy shoreline- the BEACHBUB design is the perfect option if you are willing to pay the hefty price tag.
Great color choices
Easy to set up and pack away
Good customer service
Some have had trouble taking the pole apart
Perhaps you don’t need anything too fancy; you just want something that will give you a good deal of UV protection as well as shade, and a beautiful color. If that’s the case, the Coolibar design is going to be right up your alley. It offers users excellent sun protection and has proven to be sturdier than other umbrellas on the beach.Read more
Customers can select between two different color options- aqua blue or silver. The silver umbrella has a black trim and black underside, while the blue umbrella has a silver trim and underside. The logo is inconspicuous and followed by a small tree-like logo. The two-piece pole is white. Each design comes with a carrying case that has a durable shoulder strap for easy transport.
This unit weighs in at just 4 pounds, which is lighter than some of the standard designs out there on the market. It offers users a UV protection level of 50 and a generous 6-inch arc. The ribs and spreaders are constructed from lightweight fiberglass, the pole is made from powder-coated aluminum- which is rust resistant- and the canopy is made from a durable water repellent nylon with the added benefit of an air vent along the top.
Ease of use:
There is no need to read an instruction manual on the drive down to the shoreline because using this unit is pretty self-explanatory. Simply push the stake into the sand until you feel that it is secure enough. Some users feel they benefited with the added use of a sand auger to ensure that it is in there really good.
Not only is this one of the more affordable options to make our list (and also out there on the market), but it also offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee if you aren’t pleased with your products performance, within 90 days.
Vacationing can be really stressful, so it is nice to avoid stressing yourself out with the little things, such as an umbrella. The Coolibar design comes in at a slightly high cost, but it is dependable and made from high-quality materials that will keep you cool and comfortable no matter how hot that sun gets.
Multiple anchors to ensure it stays put
Easy to follow instructions
Perfect for sandy conditions as well as fishing, camping, or patio use
What’s great about the Dekero design is that it can transition from the shoreline to a campsite and even to your back patio simple and easy. It is made from high-quality materials that can not only stand up to the elements, but it is tough enough to be used daily. It’s going to cost you just a little bit more, but we feel that it’s worth it.Read more
There isn’t a variety of color choices that users can select with this design. It is offered in a lime green color that has a sharp silver lining that will keep the sun off of your back. It has sharp black metal accents that pop against the green materials. This design also has the feature of being able to adjust the canopy to move along with the sun.
This unit weighs in at just over 4 pounds, making it one of the lightest options out there on the market. It also comes with a sharp carrying case with a shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry from the car to the shore. Another feature that makes this design great is that has more than one method of anchoring it to the ground so that no matter what type of window conditions or terrain you are setting it up in, it will be sure to stay securely in place.
Ease of use:
It’s not as easy to set up as some of the other designs, but the addition of an easy to read manual makes set up a snap. All of the additional instructions are for ensuring that it is properly anchored with all of the materials and components that are included with purchase. When you are ready to head home, pack up all of the components into the traveling case and head back.
Due to the fact that this product uses such high-quality materials and has an innovative design that ensures that it will stay put- it costs just a little bit more than some of the other similar designs. However, if you want something that you know you won’t have to chase down the shoreline on windy days, you will be glad you paid just a little bit extra.
If you are willing just to pay a little bit more, the Dekero is sure to impress this summer. It does an excellent job of keeping the sun off of your back, it is incredibly lightweight, and can hold up in some really windy weather conditions.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
We have said it before and we will say it again- planning for any vacation is expensive. That’s why we made an effort to keep the costs as low as we could while still selecting products that used the best quality materials. If you are still considering renting your gear, we found that many of these options that are found on this list are actually just as expensive as renting gear at most resort towns for an entire week. That said, you will be paying the same price as a rental, but you will also get to take it home with you to use on camping trips, and on your backyard patio as well. There are, however, some options such as the BEACHBUB model that is quite more expensive than renting, but with that model, you know that it can hold up to just about any type of weather condition, and is made to last for a very long time.
An important aspect is whether it will make you look cool. We were drawn to companies that provided users options on what colors and designs that they wanted. Tommy Bahama offered up some really unique and colorful designs that will make you stand out from the crowd. Plus, when you are able to select a design that speaks to you and reflects your personal style, you will be able to spot it easily when you are looking for your gear after cooling off in a dip in the ocean.
When we were looking at a design, the very first thing that we zeroed in on was the materials that they used to make their products. We found that steel was typically considered to be the most resilient material when it came to holding up to high winds and staying in place, but it often made them a little bit heavier than some of the others. We determined that products that used aluminum to make up their shafts were generally preferred over anything else because not only did they hold up to higher winds, but they also were a little bit lighter than steel. As for the canopy, there were typically two different types of materials that many of the higher rated designed used, and they were canvas and polyester. Many users agreed that polyester is generally better because it doesn’t weigh as much as canvas, and it offers the same level of shade and UV protection.
Ease of Use
To ensure that it stays in place for the duration of your time down by the water, it needs to be set up properly. We liked designs that had sand augers built into the base of the product so that you could simply drill it right into the sand using your arms. These augers are going to require users to flex their beach muscles to really get it deep down into the firmer parts of the sand to ensure proper installation. The footprint of these units are pretty basic, so if there was ever any sense that users found they were too complicated to set up, we typically moved on to a different product.
If your travels take you to more places than just the ocean, you may want to consider a model that is made to be planted in more places than just sand. If you want something that you can set up on your patio, or that you can bring along with you on your next camping trip, you are going to want to make sure that you don’t purchase a style that has a sand auger bolted to the bottom of the unit. What you want is designs that have a flat base, and that come with different styles of anchors that affix to the flat base. This will allow you to use it on your patio, and will also allow you to stake it into a lawn or soil. For an additional cost, a sand auger can be purchased to use while you are at the shoreline. These typically do not cost very much money, and many users find that the more affordable plastic options are actually more effective than their more expensive metal counterparts.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Don’t get burnt this summer. Sunscreen will help provide you with a great amount of sun protection but sometimes it is difficult to remember to reapply after splashing around in the water. Additionally, an umbrella is a great way to keep track of your spot on the beach and keep all of your belongings together. After a few trips to the beach with your new umbrella, its value will be obvious and you’ll wonder how you ever spent your summers without it.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How to keep it from blowing away?
This is probably the number one question that people ask when it comes to these products. To keep it from blowing away, you need to ensure that it is not only anchored properly but anchored deep enough. While many companies offer a lot of innovative features when it comes to the integrity of the pole as well as the stakes holding it in place, you also want to consider the canopy. The canopy is the very thing that catches the wind to send these units airborne. To keep your gear on the ground, you want to ensure that the canopy has an air vent along the top. If it is just one solid piece of fabric attached to a pole, that means that Poseidon may inherit your gear when a strong gust of wind comes along.
q: What is a sand auger and do I need one?
We have talked about sand augers quite a few times in this guide, and you may still be a little confused as to what they are. Many brands come with sand augers attached right to the base, while others require that you purchase one separately. A sand auger has the shape of a wine opener, only it is used to stake gear into the sand. Users simply twist the unit down into the sand the same way you would twist a corkscrew into a bottle of wine. This unit allows you to dig deeper into the harder parts of the sand to ensure that your gear is nice and secure. While most models actually come with an auger installed on the base, there are some units that do not have them. If that’s the case, you might benefit from purchasing one to place into your carrying case. They are typically affordable and make the task of mounting your gear a lot easier, especially if the sand is really firm.
q: Do I still need to wear sunblock under a UV 50+ shade?
If you are sitting beneath a shade that has a UV protection factor of 50+, you will not need to wear sunblock. However, are you going to be sitting under the shade for your entire stay down by the water? Even short trips out into the sun can actually cause lasting damage to your skin, as well as subject you to skin cancer. It is always important to wear sunscreen even if you are taking short trips out into the hot summer sun, and especially if you plan on lounging in the shade. As our mom always says, it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
q: Can I take them anywhere other than sandy terrains?
Yes, you can! However, it depends on the base style of the model that you selected. Some designs out there have a sang auger that is bolted right to the base of the pole, which might make it a little bit more difficult to use on very firm terrains while camping, and difficult to use on an outdoor patio space. If you are looking for something that is going to be a lot more versatile for all of your outdoor adventures, you are going to want to ensure that you purchase a product that comes with multiple detachable bases that will work for most any and all types of terrain. We were a big fan of products that provided a flat base- perfect for patios- and then offered two different attachments that would work for sand as well as dirt. Plus, separate attachments are also safer and easier to use.
q: Are they safe?
Perhaps you are a bit reluctant to purchase one of these products because there have been horror stories of people dying from being slapped with a rogue flying beach umbrella. While these stories are true, there are some things that you can do to ensure that your gear won’t risk anyone’s safety, even if it does decide to go rogue. There can be danger in models that don’t have a stake that is separate from the main unit. If the stake is all one piece, when it decides to go airborne you have basically just released a spear with the power of wind gusts blowing around on the coast. Avoiding this occurrence is easy, just make sure that the stake that goes in the ground is separate from the main unit. When you do that, if your unit happens to get caught in a gust, the stake will stay in the ground and the canvas and dull metal pole will be the only thing blowing around.
q: How do I clean them?
If basic science teaches us anything, it is that the larger surface area that is exposed to the outdoors, the higher the probability that it will eventually get covered in bird poop. With that said, there are a few simple solutions to clean the exterior of your product. Since you can’t simply throw it into a washing machine, you will need to spot clean it. We suggest taking a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water, and wiping that along the top of the surface. Not only will this remove dirt and debris, but it will also help remove any mildew or mold that has collected if it got wet while sitting in storage, or was put away while still wet. Baking soda is also a great and gentle way of removing odors as well as pesky stains.