5 of the Best Beach Tents and Shelters - Australia 2021

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I’ve been researching the best beach tents and shelters to buy in Australia.

best beach tents and shelters in Australia

A good beach shade is essential if you’re going to spend a lot of time at the beach.

Spending too much time in the sun is not a good idea… it can damage the skin and cause melanoma later in life.

But of course in Australia we want to be able to enjoy the beaches as much as possible. So a good beach shade will protect you and your family from both UVA and UVB rays.

Below you’ll find some of the best beach shades you can buy in Australia…


Comparison Chart

Read the chart below to compare the best beach tents and shelters. You can read more about each tent and shelter in the review section below.

  Tent

Dimensions

Easy set up?

CoolCabanas

2 m along each side*

Yes

Neso Grande

270w x 270d x 168h cm

Yes

FE Active Pop Up Beach Shelter

230w x 149 x 126h cm

Yes

Zomake Pop Up

180w x 240d x 100h cm

Yes

Caribee Rapid Pop Up

110w x 140d x 100h cm

Yes

* Dimensions of the smallest shade – you can also buy a larger size. 


1. CoolCabanas - Best Overall

Coolcabanas

CoolCabanas are great and very popular. You can spot them everywhere on the beaches. CoolCabanas are very popular for good reasons…

They look great, they give a lot of shade and they’re stable in the wind.

No matter how strong the wind blows, the CoolCabanas don’t seem to be bothered by it the slightest… they hardly move.  

It’s definitely a great design.

CoolCabanas are easy and quick to set up and take down.

There are four sand pockets you can fill with sand and internal pockets for storing bits and pieces.

The medium size measures 2m each side, 2.82m diagonal, 1.80m to roof peak and 1.55m to roof edge when opened. When it’s closed it measures 80cm x 13cm x 13cm and weighs 5.3kgs.

The large size measures 2.4m each side, 3.4m diagonal, 1.85m to roof peak and 1.6m to roof edge when opened and 97cm x 13cm x 13cm when closed. It weighs 6.1kgs.

UPF 50+ UV protection rating

What we like:

  • Easy set up and take down 
  • Completely stable in the wind

What we don't like:

  • Some buyers have had trouble with customer service 
  • Expensive

2. Neso Grande - Best Portable 

If you have carried cumbersome umbrellas or tents in the past you know how annoying that is. Especially if you have to walk a fair distance to the beach with kids in tow.

The Neso Grande solves this problem. At 2.9 kg, it’s lightweight, compact and super easy to carry and set up.

The Neso Grande performs well in the wind, but you have set it up correctly...

The trick is to place the tent facing the wind, fill the four bags with sand until they’re the size of a volleyball, stretch out the tent tight and bury the bags completely in the sand. 

Watch how the tent is set up in this video...

Neso Grande provides UPF 50+ protection from harmful sun rays, which means it protects from 98% of UV rays.

It’s water-resistant so you can stay dry and comfortable even if there’s a bit of rain.

And the reinforced corners ensure that the poles won’t damage the fabric.

The Neso sunshade also comes in a smaller size for about two people...

Read our full review of the smaller size Neso Tent

What we like:

  • Lightweight (2.9 kg) and easy to carry
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Stays up in the wind (if set up properly)
  • Sleek design

What we don't like:

  • Takes a lot of space on the beach
  • Not good if the wind changes direction constantly
  • Expensive

3. FE Active Pop Up Beach Shelter - Best Least Expensive

FE Active Pop Up Beach Shelter is a great bang for your buck. It’s easy to set up, roomy, and the quality for the price is great. 

Measuring 49cm x 12cm when folded, weighing 1.8 kg, and comprising a carry bag, the beach tent is easy to carry everywhere.

This half dome is also perfect to use for the kids in the garden or at the park. 

FE Active Pop Up Beach Shelter is built with a water-resistant 190T Ripstop polyester PU 600mm and contains fibreglass poles and four aluminium stakes.

What we like

  • Good quality for the price
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

What we don’t like:

  • The material is thin, so it may not provide optimal protection against the hot Australian sun

4. Zomake Pop Up Tent - Most Versatile

It’s a super useful tent particularly if you have a baby or a small child...

You can use this tent at the beach, at the park or even as a play house.

Keep in mind though that it's not waterproof so it's best suited as a sun shade—not as a camping tent. 

Zomake Pop Up Tent provides great ventilation! The four sides and the roof can open up to let the air in. And the mesh windows keep the insects out.

This tent is so easy to set up... it pops up instantly!

Like I mentioned before you may need to practice folding the tent before you take it to the beach...

The tent closes up completely for privacy as well.

It measures 180w x 240d x 100h cm when opened (fits 2-3 people) and 80 cm in diameter when folded. It weighs 2.3 kg.

UPF 50+ UV protection rating

What we like:

  • Instant pop up
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Mesh windows and doors keep insects out

What we don't like:

  • No sand pockets

5. Caribee Rapid Pop Up Beach Tent - Best Value

Caribee Rapid Pop Up Beach Tent is a small but no-fuss tent. Set up couldn’t be easier... the tent pops up straight away!

To fold it back you must fold and twist the sides in a specific way. Once you know how to do it it’s very quick... 

The window at the back helps with ventilation and there are sand pockets you can fill with sand to anchor the tent down. Pegs are also included for extra stability.

The tent measures 110w x 140d x 100h cm when opened (it's the smallest tent featured on this post) and 73cm in diameter when folded.

It weighs 1.5 kg. It can fit 2 persons. 

UPF 50+ UV protection rating

What we like:

  • Instant pop up
  • Rear window lets the air flow through
  • Internal pockets to store belongings

What we don't like:

  • Won’t fit a large family

What to Look for in a Beach Shade

Ease of Use

The last thing you want is to spend too much time setting your tent up. Most beach tents nowadays are really easy to set up... some even pop up instantly!

But folding back a beach tent is not that intuitive. So it’s a good idea to practice taking down a beach shade before you head down to the beach.

That's why I have included a link to a video for each beach tent above so you can learn how to set it up and take it down. 

Sun Protection

A good beach shelter will have adequate sun protection. All beach tents listed above provide UPF 50+ sun protection which blocks 97.5% of harmful UV rays. 

Stability in the Wind 

A shelter that withstands strong wind is essential. The wind often blows strong at the beach. 

Most beach shades and shelters have integrated sand pockets and come with pegs and guy lines.

Ventilation

Beach tents can get very hot under a sweltering sun. Look for a beach tent with windows.  

Size

How many people are going to need shade? Some shelters fit only 2 persons whereas others can fit larger families. 


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Hi! I'm Christine.

When we moved to the Central Coast from Sydney 15 years ago, we struggled to find thorough information about the beaches, bushwalks and hidden gems, so we set out to explore as best we could. Now that we have visited every town, beach and secret spot, I'll help you discover this stunning region! 

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