5 of the Best Beach Tents and Shelters - Australia 2019

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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

Caribee Rapid Pop Up

110w x 140d x 100h cm

Yes

Zomake Pop Up

180w x 240d x 100h cm

Yes

Otentik

2.1 m along each side*

Yes

Easthills Outdoors  Easy Up

208w x 119d x 127h cm*

Yes

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

1. CoolCabanas - Best Overall

Coolcabanas

PROS:

  • Easy set up and take down 
  • No walls that hide the view and prevent air flow
  • Completely stable in the wind

CONS:

  • Some buyers have had trouble with customer service but most users are delighted with this beach shelter
  • On the expensive side

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.

Money saving tip: There’s a much cheaper version you can get at Kmart that’s called Beach Cabana. It does a good job too apparently but I’m not sure how well it does in the wind.

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

Check the price here.

2. Otentik Sun Shade - Best Portable 

PROS:

  • Easy to set up
  • Super lightweight (1.9 kg)
  • Withstands strong wind if set up properly

CONS:

  • On the expensive side
  • Takes a fair bit of space on the beach

Weighing only 1.9 kg and measuring 55 cm when packed, Otentik is ideal for travel or carrying to the beach. 

This beach shade performs very well, is easy and quick to set up and withstands strong wind. 

If you'd like to learn how to set up the tent watch this video or continue reading below. 

To set up the tent first open and spread the shade. Then fill the four bags with sand until they're completely full and pull the bags as far as possible until the fabric is really stretched out.

Finally put up the two poles at the corners of the tent facing the wind. You can bury the sandbags in the sand for extra stability. 

There are two sizes available: The original accommodates a family of 4 and the big accommodates 6 people. 

UPF 50+ UV protection rating

3. Zomake Pop Up Tent - Most Versatile

PROS:

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

CONS:

  • No sand pockets

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.

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. 

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

Check the price here. 

4. Caribee Rapid Pop Up Beach Tent - Best Value

PROS:

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

CONS:

  • Won’t fit a large family

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

Check the price here. 

5. Easthills Outdoors Easy Up Beach Tent - Best for Privacy

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Good ventilation
  • Closes up for privacy

Cons:

  • You need upper body strength to be able to pull the two cords hard enough to click the tent into place
  • Rods break easily
  • Set up is not intuitive

Easthills Outdoors Easy Up Beach Tent has many useful features...

Set up takes a minute or two! But it’s best to practice a couple of times at home before taking it to the beach. Watch this video if you'd like to see how it’s done...  

The tent also provides excellent ventilation... there are 3 large mesh windows. 

Plus you can get changed in and out of swimmers in total privacy. The front of the tent can be zipped up and the windows can be rolled up and fastened with toggles. But keep in mind that if there’s wind the windows may flap open a little.

The sand pockets are also great… you can open them fully with Velcro and the sand will just slide off! Pegs are also included for extra stability.

And the mesh pockets inside the tent are very useful for storing items like sunscreen and keys.

The tent is spacious. It has enough room for 2 chairs, cooler and beach bag. The tent’s interior measures 208w x 119d x 127h cm, it packs down to 99 x 22 x 22 cm and weighs 2.3 kg.

There's also a larger size which measures 252w x 135d x 145h cm. 

UPF 50+ UV protection rating

Check the price here. 

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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› Best beach tents and shelters