Last updated: November 18, 2021
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, to make your day at the beach that much more enjoyable.
In this guide, we have shortlisted 8 of the best beach tents and shelters, plus some practical tips on how to get yourself a suitable model that offers the best value.
Oztent Malamoo Beach Tent
OZtrail Resort Beach Dome
|3.3 kg||3.2 kg|
|200 x 175 cm||245 x 230 cm|
|Check Price||Check Price|
Top 8 Beach Tents and Shelters:
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Top 8 Beach Tents and Shelters
Here is our top 8 beach tents and shelters, ranging in price from around 60 to 400 Australian dollars.
1. 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|
2. 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 further below, 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|
3. Zomake Pop Up Beach Tent
This pop up tent by Zokame is designed with convenience in mind. There is no need to deal with poles, covers or other accessories to get this beach tent up. All you need to do is throw it out and the tent will quite literally just pop up on its own.
The tent can acccommodate up to 3 or 4 people inside, and has openings on both ends. The bottom section is made with durable tarp materials and is super easy to keep clean and tidy. A handy carrying bag is also included. In short, this is a great sun shelter for at the beach.
|Zomake Pop Up Beach Tent|
|External dimensions:||240 x 180 cm|
|Head height:||100 cm|
4. Oileus X-Large 4 Person Beach Tent
This Oileus beach tent is also super easy to set up with its automatic pop up mechanism, and taking it down and folding back up for storage shouldn’t take more than one minute either. It’s a generously sized beach tent that can easily fit two adults and two children inside.
Six sand bag pockets and four steel pegs make sure this beach tent is well anchored. The tent has a large and high front opening and comes with two windows on the sides for extra air circulation and ventilation. The awning can offer extra shade when needed.
|Oileus X-Large 4 Person Beach Tent|
|External dimensions:||240 x 180 cm|
|Head height:||102 cm|
5. OZtrail Beach Dome Pop Up
You will notice straight away that this OZtrail beach tent is shaped very differently from other models in this list of best beach tents and shelters. 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 moments. 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|
6. FE Active Pop Up Beach Shelter
This FE Active beach shelter tent is shaped like a half dome, and is very easy to set up and take down with its pop up mechanism. The fiberglass poles, upgraded aluminum stakes, and clip-on hooks make sure it stays up nice and stable throughout your day at the beach.
It’s also one of the lightest beach shelter tents in this list, so if you’re planning on taking a tent on your hiking trips, this FE Active model is a good choice. Also included is a convenient portable carry bag that is very compact in size.
|FE Active Pop Up Beach Shelter|
|External dimensions:||230 x 150 cm|
|Head height:||125 cm|
7. Night Cat Waterproof Beach Tent
This versatile Night Cap tent is an automatic set up and take down camping style tent that can be used on various different occassions, including for a day well spent at the beach.
Designed to accommodate up to three people, the tent has two doors on each side for easy access and extra air ventilation. It also comes with an extra rain fly that can be separated and used as a beach shelter by itself.
|Night Cat Waterproof Beach Tent|
|External dimensions:||200 x 180 cm|
|Head height:||120 cm|
8. Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Shelter
The last model in this list of best beach tents and shelters is a bit different in the sense that it is a pure shelter designed to provide shade at the beach. It is not a tent that you can go in, rather it’s a canopy that you can sit under to find relief from the strong sun.
Just like most tents and shelters in this list, the Sun Ninja is super easy and quick to set up so that you can spend more time enjoying your day at the beach. The stability poles and anchors help to stabilize the shelter. It even comes with a little sand shovel to help with digging.
|Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Shelter|
|External dimensions:||228 x 213 cm|
|Head height:||176 cm|
Beach Tent Buying Guide
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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