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Best beach tents for a sun-safe summer 2023

Make beach trips a breeze with the perfect portable shelter. Providing both UV protection and a convenient place for little ones to nap, this is our round-up of the beach tents Mumsnetters swear by.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Aug 18, 2023

best beach tents uk

A beach tent is a handy accessory for a family trip to the beach, and it's an essential for creating shade usring hot weather like the heatwave we're currently experiencing int he UK. A beach tent provides much-needed shade and protection from the sun's rays, allowing you and your kids to enjoy the outdoors without the risk of sunburn or overheating. The best beach tents are lightweight and easy to assemble, plus they offer a bit of privacy and a sheltered space to relax, change clothes or take a nap.

Not just for coastal adventures, a beach tent is just as useful at home. Picture the scene: you’re relaxing with a cuppa in the hammock, the kids are splashing in the paddling pool or showing off their best trampoline moves. With a handy UV tent, there’s no need to traipse inside to get a bit of shade or settle a toddler for their nap.

With a wide variety of options available, including pop-up designs, family-sized shelters and tents designed specifically for babies, we turned to the Mumsnet Talk forums to bring you the beach tents parents recommend most highly. We carefully considered the tents Mumsnetters have tried and tested with their own families, weighing up their reviews to bring you our pick of the best beach tents for summer 2023.

Best beach tents - at a glance:

1. Best beach tent overall: Wolfwise Sun Shade Tent with Extended Zippered Porch

Wolfwise Sun Shade Tent with Extended Zippered Porch

Price on writing: £69.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 12.5 x 11.5 x 21.5cm | Sizes: Large, XL | Weight: 2.7kg | Colour: Blue, Mint green | Material: 190T Water-repellent Polyester

What we like

  • Good quality

  • Very easy to use

  • Zippable curtains

What we don't like

  • Difficult to fold down

What Mumsnet users say

"We used a large beach pop up tent that had a door. It was ideal getting changed out of wet swimsuits, and if one of the little ones needed a potty." (Recommended by Mumsnetter Rockmeamaryllis)

"We have one which is big enough to store bits and pieces, it's half open so you can sit partially inside too and we make a kind of camp using windbreakers to the side of it." (Advice from Mumsnet user dappledsunshine)

Our verdict

Featuring a specially designed spring opening system, the Wolfwise Sun Shade Tent can be easily set up by one person in seconds. Reinforced by 9.5 mm thick fibreglass poles, the tent is really sturdy, plus it comes with 3 sandbags, 4 wind ropes and 10 stakes to make sure it stays put even in windy conditions.

Accommodating up to 4 people or two beach chairs, it offers room to relax, get out of the sun, get changed or settle little ones for a nap. When it's time to pack up, the tent folds down to an easy-to-carry 86 x 15cm.

Related: The best balance bikes for kids, according to Mumsnetters

2. Best budget beach tent: Glymnis Pop-Up Beach Tent

Glymnis pop-up beach tent

Price on writing: £29.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 185 x 140 x 115cm | Sizes: Small, large| Weight: 1.15kg | Colour: Blue | Material: Polyester

What we like

  • Good value

  • Spacious

What we don't like

  • Difficult to fold down

What Mumsnet users say

"We have one with a zip up door which is compact but we have once eaten sandwiches in there when we were on a wasp infested beach!" (Recommended by Mumsnetter gigchuckedout56)

Our verdict

With a mesh window providing a flow of fresh air, this bargain beach tent from Glymnis is a great all-rounder. It pops up easily,  and comes with 2 sandbags, 4 windproof ropes and 10 steel tent pegs to keep it nice and stable.

The front can be open or zipped closed, and it’s big enough for two adults to comfortably sit inside - plenty of room for changing a nappy, nap time or a little play area out of the sun. All for under £30, we think it’s a no-brainer.

Related: The best beach toys to take on holiday this summer

3. Best large beach tent: Sun Ninja Beach Tent with UPF 50+ Protection


Price on writing: £103 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 225 x 210 x 210cm | Sizes: 4-person, 8-person | Weight: 3.2kg | Colour: Turquoise, navy | Material: Not stated

What we like

  • Comes with a travel bag

  • Available in 4-person or 8-person sizes

What we don't like

  • Pricey

Our verdict

Perfect for providing shade at the beach in a big group, the Sun Ninja Pop-Up Beach Tent is a modern take on the gazebo. Designed with water-resistant fabric and offering UPF 50+ sun coverage, it’s perfect for the unpredictable British summer.

The setup process is quick and easy - simply fill the sand pockets, then prop the tent up with poles. Reviewers say it can withstand wind, and is easy to fold up and replace it in the travel bag.

Related: Best garden hoses for a lush green lawn

4. Best baby beach tent: Babymoov Pop-up Anti Uv Tent

babymoov pop-up anti uv tent

Price on writing: £35.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 98 x 90 x 85cm (Open), 60cm (Folded) | Sizes: One size | Weight: 235g | Colour: Blue, tropical | Material: Polyester

What we like

  • Breathable mesh curtain keeps out sand, wind and bugs

  • Blocks 99% of UV rays

What we don't like

  • May be difficult to pack it back in the carry bag

What Mumsnet users say

"I've got a babymoov one. We use it in the garden all the time and it is v lightweight. Not very easy to put back in bag though." (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter Bohemond)

"I found when mine was this age she went to sleep really easily on the beach due to the wave noise. I guess it’s like white noise. I miss those days!" (Recommended by Mumsnet user Ohshitiveturnedintomymother)

Our verdict

Designed with your little one in mind, the Babymoov Pop-Up Anti UV Tent provides the perfect spot for your baby to nap while you’re out in the sun. It’s nice and roomy, with plenty of space for babies to kick around or two toddlers to play inside.

The tent comes with 4 pegs, so you might need to weigh it down on a windy day. It pops up easily but some Mumsnetters found it tricky to fold back up again - although after a few practice runs they did get the hang of it.

Read next: The best cabin bags to buy for your next family holiday

5. Best family beach tent: LittleLife Family Beach Shelter


Price on writing: £56.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: ‎170 x 170 x 110cm | Sizes: Compact, family | Weight: 1.14kg | Colour: Orange | Material: Polyester

What we like

  • Big enough for a bit of privacy on the beach

  • Small enough to fit in the buggy

What we don't like

  • Fiddly to assemble and fold down

What Mumsnet users say

"We used a LittleLife family shelter as it was lightweight and it comfortably fit in the buggy and me when needed. (I did need to roll it up and shove in a carrier bag when the beach was rather breezy as it billowed out, as no way could I get it folded properly by myself to fit back into its bag, but it squished down easily and I found it fine to sort out myself when needed.)" (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter Glassesareneeded)

Our verdict

Whether you need a shady spot for your toddler’s nap time or a place to get changed in private, this family shelter from LittleLife strikes a great balance between size and portability. With a UPF rating of 50+ and a zip-closed door, this tent offers 360 degree protection from the elements.

Mumsnetters say it is a tricky one to assemble - especially if it’s windy and you’re juggling kids and a picnic - so it’s a good idea to do a trial run at home before you head out to the beach. Once it’s up, reviewers found it surprisingly spacious and very useful.

Related: Best kids' bikes, as recommended by Mumsnetters

6. Best beach tent for pets: Hacraho Beach Sun Shelter


Price on writing: £22.59 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 27 x 20 x 18cm | Sizes: Medium, large | Weight: 220g | Colour: Blue, pink | Material: Polyester

What we like

  • Simple to assemble

  • Great for small pets

What we don't like

  • Quality could be better

Our verdict

With no assembly required, this dinky little tent opens immediately and effortlessly. The tent's design includes 360-degree window ventilation, keeping things both cool and fragrant for your four-legged friend.

The tent is ideal for keeping dogs cool on the beach, at the park or anywhere shade is hard to come by. It comes in 2 sizes, so be sure to check measurements before ordering.

Read next: The best packing cubes to keep the family organised on your next trip

7. Best weather proof beach tent: Coleman Weatherproof Sundome Outdoor Shelter

coleman weatherproof sundome outdoor shelter

Price on writing: £32.29 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 118 X 216cm | Sizes: One size | Weight: 1.9kg | Colour: Blue | Material: Polyester

What we like

  • Sturdy

  • Aluminised groundsheet stays cool

  • Sand pockets

What we don't like

  • Small carry bag

What Mumsnet users say

"We have the Coleman beach shelter and it's brilliant. We had a foldaway one before but actually this one goes down so small it's much better. It's easy to go up and is nice and sturdy. You can zip up the front to hide in for a quick change if you need to." (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter LillyBugg)

Our verdict

This Sundome from Coleman is packed with brilliant features. The groundsheet won’t heat up even on scorching sand, and it zips up into a door if you need extra wind protection or privacy. The tent comes with both pegs for grass and sand pockets for the beach, and is made from waterproof, wind proof and UV-Guard coated fabric.

Unlike pop-up options, it does require some assembly, and poles can be fiddly - especially on a windy day with kids about. However, what you lose in convenience you make up for in quality and sturdiness.

Related: Best water tables for kids, according to Mumsnetters

8. Best pop-up beach tent: Banz Shelta

Banz Shelta

Price on writing: £30.52 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 195 x 195cm | Sizes: One size | Weight: 2.2kg | Colour: Blue | Material: Not stated

What we like

  • Generous size

  • Super light

  • Easy to pop up and pack away

What we don't like

  • Not as windproof as other options

What Mumsnet users say

"Definitely this one. Not cheap but so easy to pop up and pack away and so light too." (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter AsongforEurope)

"We have that and it's brilliant." (Loved by Mumsnet user kavv0809)

Our verdict

At almost 2m square, this is a great size beach tent that the whole family can sit inside together. Australian made, the tent provides excellent UV protection and comes with sand pockets to keep it in place.

The unique pop-up mechanism means it goes up effortlessly, and can be folded away easily by one person. It also comes with a carry bag with a long strap, leaving your hands free to wrangle assorted children, pets and other beach essentials.

Related: Read our in-depth review of the Bestway 8ft Fast Set Paddling Pool

9. Best beach tent for sun protection: Easthills Outdoor Instant Shader

easthills outdoor instant shader

Price on writing: £119.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 21.6 x 21.6 x 104.1cm | Sizes: One size | Weight: 2.7kg | Colour: Pacific Blue, Silver, Sky Blue, Sky Blue & Silver | Material: 180T polyester taffeta

What we like

  • Easy to set up

  • Keeps cool in hot weather

  • Spacious

What we don't like

  • Expensive

What Mumsnet users say

"We always take a pop up tent to the beach. Good to keep all the bags together safely. And it provides shade." (Recommended by Mumsnetter raffle)

Our verdict

The ultra-reflective exterior silver coating of the Easthills Instant Shader, combined with the dark interior blocks 97.5% of UVA and UVB rays, while the infrared reflection prevents heat buildup, ensuring the inside stays really cool. This family-sized tent has plenty of room inside, plus a front porch, accommodating up to 4 adults comfortably.

Setting up is a breeze thanks to the unique drawstring opening mechanism, which can be done easily by one person. Inside, the tent is well-ventilated thanks to large mesh windows. The tent's versatile design includes privacy features, wind protection, and lots of storage compartments, making it a brilliant choice for beach outings.

Related: Best UK beach holidays for families in 2023 

What is a beach tent?

A beach tent is a portable shelter designed specifically for use at the beach. It provides shade and protection from the sun, wind, and often bugs and rain too.

Beach tents are typically made of lightweight and durable materials such as polyester or nylon, and they usually feature UV protection to shield occupants from harmful sun rays. They come in various sizes and designs, ranging from compact pop-up tents to larger structures that can accommodate multiple people.

Are beach tents easy to fold?

Beach tents are designed to be easy to fold, but Mumsnetters say the ease of folding varies a lot between different tents. Beach tents typically feature a foldable and collapsible design, and often come with a travel bag.

With the right technique, it’s possible to fold a beach tent back into its carrying bag or case. The specific folding process may vary slightly depending on the tent's design, but most beach tents come with instructions or diagrams to guide you through the folding process. Overall, beach tents are designed with user-friendly features to ensure that folding and packing them up is a hassle-free task.

Things to consider when choosing a beach tent

  • Size and capacity of the tent: ensure it can comfortably accommodate the number of people you want to be able to sit inside.

  • Look for tents with a sturdy and durable construction, as they need to withstand outdoor conditions.

  • Check for UV protection ratings and consider tents with a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to shield you from the sun's harmful rays.

  • Easy setup and portability are also important, so opt for tents with simple assembly mechanisms and lightweight designs.

  • Ventilation is crucial to keep the interior cool, so look for tents with mesh windows or vents.

  • Additional features such as storage pockets, sand pockets, and guy lines for added convenience and stability.

What’s the best beach tent to buy?

We've picked the WolfWise Sun Shade Tent with Extended Zippered Porch as our overall winner. It's very easy to get out and put up, good quality and has mesh windows with zippable curtains for privacy. While it’s not the cheapest beach tent on our list, we think it offers a good balance of size, features and value for money.

How we chose our recommendations

Products tried and tested by real parents

Mumsnetters know only too well how a good quality beach tent can provide a shady haven during the summer months, so first up, we headed to the Mumsnet forums to read about genuine real-life experiences from our users. We researched the pools they have bought and loved, and features that Mumsnetters felt mattered most when purchasing beach tents. We also looked out for any bad experiences, including the tents they found hard to assemble or fold away, that tore or broke easily or were generally of poor quality.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.