Last updated: December 2, 2020
If there is one thing you need in your beach kit, then it would be a beach tent or sun shelter. This is especially true in Australia where the sun can be so powerful.
Bringing a tent to the beach might sound like a hassle, but there are so many light and affordable options available out there.
In this guide, we have shortlisted 5 of the best beach tents and shelters, plus some practical tips on how to get yourself a suitable model that offers the best value.
Caribee Guardian UV Beach Shelter
OZtrail Beach Dome Pop Up
|Check Price||Check Price|
Best beach tents and shelters:
Top 5 Beach Tents and Shelters in Australia
Here is our top 5 beach tents and shelters, ranging in price from around 80 to 200 Australian dollars.
1. Caribee Guardian UV Beach Shelter
The Caribee Guardian UV beach shelter essentially has everything you want from a beach tent. It’s lightweight, it’s easy to set up and pack down, it offers UV protection, and it’s spacious enough to accommodate two, or even three, people.
Setting this beach shelter up is very easy. It’s a pop up tent so it basically sets itself up when puling the ropes at the top. There’s no fiddling around with poles and pegs, although it does come with sand pegs and pockets for extra stability in case of windy circumstances. Packing up this tent after your beach session is just as easy.
What’s great is that this pop up tent has a zippered door at the back that you can open up for ventilation or otherwise close for extra privacy. Also important to note is that the Caribee Guardian offers UPF50+ sun protection rating.
|Caribee Guardian UV Beach Shelter|
|External dimensions:||190 x 190 cm|
|Head height:||140 cm|
2. OZtrail Beach Dome Pop Up
You will notice straight away that this OZtrail beach tent is shaped very differently from the Caribee above. It’s a dome tent that is large enough to fit two beach-goers, spacious at the front and narrower at the back.
It has ventilation pockets on the sides as well as at the back, and also a strong heavy duty and waterproof polyethylene floor.
Since it’s a pop up tent, setting up the OZtrail Beach Dome tent can easily be done within one minute. And with a UPF50+ sun protection, the OZtrail Beach Dome pop up tent is a good choice for the beach.
|OZtrail Beach Dome Pop Up|
|External dimensions:||235 x 115 cm|
|Head height:||115 cm|
3. Oztent Malamoo 4-Hub Beach Shelter Tent
The Malamoo 4-Hub beach shelter by Oztent is a particularly spacious and sturdy beach tent solution with a super easy setup mechanism. It’s a good quality beach shelter tent that can accommodate up to four people.
This tent basically sets itself up when pulling out the four hubs, or sides, of the tent. Packing up is as simple as collapsing and inverting the hubs. It does come with metal pegs though, which is useful for when you want to set up this beach tent on tougher surfaces or when there is a bit of wind. It also comes with guy ropes and sand bags for that extra stability when needed.
Just like the other beach tents in this list, the Oztent Malamoo also offers the necessary UPF50+ sun protection. Also worth mentioning is the three small mesh panels in the walls that take care of the ventilation.
|Oztent Malamoo 4-Hub Beach Shelter Tent|
|External dimensions:||200 x 175 cm|
|Head height:||155 cm|
4. OZtrail Resort Beach Dome
The OZtrail Resort Beach Dome is an affordable and roomy beach shelter that can fit up to three people. Similar to the OZtrail above, this one is also a dome shaped tent with a spacious opening at the front.
The dome design makes this tent easy enough to set up, with three fibreglass poles and extra sand pegs to add more stability. It also has sand compartments along the sides of the shelter to help anchor in the tent in windy conditions.
The entrance to the tent can be closed should you need some privacy, and the mesh windows on the sides of the tent create that much needed ventilation.
|OZtrail Resort Beach Dome|
|External dimensions:||245 x 230 cm|
|Head height:||100 cm|
5. Hollie and Harrie Sombrilla Beach Shade
The last option in this list of beach tents and shelters is not a tent but more of a canopy that can provide a good amount of shade on the beach. It’s made from 100% cotton, which has been tested to block up to 95% of UV rays.
Setting it up is quite a straightforward affair, with two aluminium poles on the side and a crossbar at the top, supported by a set of pegs and guy ropes.
Depending on where the sun is, the crossbar can be placed in three different positions so that you will always have enough shade when sitting underneath.
|Hollie and Harrie Sombrilla Beach Shade|
|External dimensions:||330 x 180 cm|
|Head height:||180 cm|
Things to Consider When Buying a Beach Tent
There are several important things to look for in a beach tent or shelter:
- Good sun protection
- Ease of setup
- Size and capacity
- Storage and accessories
The number one thing that you need a beach tent to do is to protect you from the sun. What makes a beach tent a step up from an umbrella is that it should protect from multiple angles at any time of day. Beach umbrellas can be great, but you end up having to adjust the umbrella throughout the day to follow the sun.
A beach tent has at least two sides as well as the roof to protect you. Some tents even have extendable roofs to provide you with extra shade. The tent material also has to be certified to at least UPF50+ sun protection to block those UV rays.
Read more about the importance of UPF in fabrics here.
Airflow is also important for a beach tent. Under the glaring sun, a tent can get pretty hot, so you need one that has windows or flaps that you can roll back to provide good ventilation.
You don’t want to waste time setting up a tent on the hot sand, so get a beach tent that is quick and easy to set up. You can get tents with flexible poles that just pop-up into place. These are usually lightweight and easy to carry.
You also need a way to stop your beach tent from being blown away in the wind. Most tents either come with ropes and stakes to plug into the ground, or have pockets you can fill with sand to weigh the tent down.
Make sure you get yourself a tent that is the right size for your needs. You need to make sure that your tent will accommodate everyone sitting or lying down comfortably for a few hours.
If you are planning to use a tent to get changed, you will want one that can be closed for privacy. This is also a nice feature if you want to have a quick nap.
Storage and Accessories
A couple of other good features to look for in a beach tent include a built-in plastic floor to protect you from the sand.
Storage pockets are also a nice feature in a beach tent, especially for items like water bottles that get used regularly.
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