December 17, 2021


Hitting the sand and surf with the family means fun in the sun, as well as chilling in the shade. And that’s where a beach tent or shelter is a must.

A beach tent protects you from the sun’s harsh rays, and is the perfect place to store sunscreen, towels and toys. Depending on the type of beach tent you invest in, it can also provide a private place to change the kids, and enjoy lunch.

But the most important job a beach tent or shelter has is to keep your family safe from UV. So always make sure you check that the beach tent you choose has a high level of sun protection. If you want to know what else to consider before buying a beach tent, head to the bottom of the article for some handy tips.

Best Beach Tents and Sun Shelters

Get the whole tribe safe and out of the sun this summer with a beach tent or shelter that fits into your family budget.


BCF Beach Shelter


CoolCabanas Beach Shelter, $189.99

A poly canvas beach gazebo with UPF50+ protection and plenty of room for the whole tribe to chill. It even has sneaky internal pockets to keep your bits and bobs, and it’s a pretty compact fold so you can throw it in the boot easily.


  • Cotton poly canvas fabric providing 50+ UPF protection
  • Compact fold up design
  • 8 internal pockets n
  • Measures 2m along each side, 1.55m to roof edges and 1.8m to roof peak
  • Weight 5.3kg

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Kmart Pop Up Beach Shelter

Pop Up Beach Shelter, $16

An inexpensive pop up beach tent that blocks out the sun. No frills, no fuss, easy and quick to set up and take down.


  • UPF50+ fabric blocks out 98-percent of UV rays
  • Pop up design, no assembly required
  • Lightweight and easy to transport in carry bag
  • Comes with tent pegs and sand pockets to secure the shelter

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The Iconic

The Iconic Beach Tent

Byron Bay Beach Tent, $199

If you’re after an Insta-worthy beach set up, this gorgeous beach tent is the must-have summer accessory. But it’s not just a pretty face, it’s compact and easy to carry and made of premium outdoor canvas so nice and durable too.


  • UPF50+ premium outdoor canvas
  • Anti fade and water repellent
  • Marine-grade fixtures
  • Internal pocket with lockable zip close

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Beach cabana

Life! Cabana, $89

This option works as a beach tent, or in grass for a picnic or sports. And here’s the kicker – it also converts into a patio umbrella. With a compact, quick fold it’s also super easy to store.


  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • 2-in-1 Dual Purpose: Umbrella or Cabana

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St Kilda Beach Shelter

Wanderer St Kilda Beach Shelter, $99.99

Get instant sun shelter with this fibreglass frame beach tent that’s a cinch to put up and pack down. It also includes a PE floor to keep sand at bay, and window panels to let in the breeze.


  • Roll up window panels
  • 185T polyester with UPF50+ sun protection
  • PE flooring with extension to pin up for privacy
  • Sand pockets for stability
  • Sand pegs and carry bag included

Shop now

Red Suricata

Red Suricata Family Beach Sun Shade Canopy

Red Suricata Family Beach Sun Shade Canopy, from $214

Ok, this may look like a strange beach shelter, but it’s actually incredibly clever. It’s like a modern tarp, and it’s able to throw off a heap of shade so the whole family is out of the sun. Depending on which size you get it can shade up to seven adults laying down.


  • UPF50 UV Sun Protection
  • 4 Folding Aluminum Poles
  • 4 Sand Bag Anchors
  • 4 “bungee” elastic cords
  • 4 Tent Pegs – Provides extra stability and support for your canopy tent
  • Spacy Waterproof Carry Bag with Handles

Shop now

Cotton On

Cotton On pop up beach tent

Pop Up Beach Tent, $39.99

This is a sweet little shelter perfect for the kids to have their own little play and rest space. It also has UPF 30+ sun protection, so it’s a great spot for a nap.

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Lovin’ Summer

Cape Cod Beach Tent

Cape Cod Beach Tent, $198

This dreamy beach tent is super simple to put up, it takes one person just a few minutes. The open design means the breeze can cool everyone on a scorcher. and it’s lightweight, under 4kg all packed up in its carry bag.

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Business And Pleasure Co

Business and Pleasure Co Premium Beach Tent

Premium Beach Tent, $299.99

A stunner of a beach tent, the block-out coating on the underside reduces glare and UV rays. At a height of 1.5m and a width of 1.8m there’s plenty of room for everyone to relax.


  • World Forestries registered, reclaimed laminated wood poles
  • Aluminium fittings and cross bar
  • Includes 4 pegs

Shop now

What to look for in a beach tent and shelter

When it comes to choosing a beach tent or shelter, there are a few key things to consider to make sure you choose the perfect option for you family of beach lovers.

Size: There are two things to consider here – the size when the beach tent or shelter is erect, and when it’s packed up.

Firstly, make sure it’s large enough when open to house your whole family comfortably. Nobody wants to be squished together on a really hot day!

Secondly, check the size when it’s packed up. Will it fit in your boot along with everything else your family takes for a beach trip? And where will you be able to store it at home?

Type: There are a few different types of beach tent, all with their own pros and cons.

Gazebo style beach tents are roomy and breezy, but they don’t offer much privacy.

Pop-up beach tents with doors are a great option if you want to be able to get the kids changed. They’re also great if it’s a windy day and you don’t want to whipped by hot sand!

Canopy options cast lovely large shade, and don’t block your beach view.

There’s also the traditional beach umbrella, which is easy to set up, but can be awkward to lug around.

Portability: Think about how easy or difficult the whole kit and caboodle is to lug around. If your family takes an esky, food, toys, inflatables and towels as well, how easy is it to tote. Also consider the weight – are you able to carry it for large distances over sand?

Ease of use: While some beach tents may look complicated to set up, most are actually really simple. The more elaborate or larger gazebos may take more than one person to set up, while the pop up beach tents are usually the easiest.


Best Beach Trolleys And Carts

Best Beach Trolleys and Carts Australia


Looking for a beach trolley to help tote your family’s gear onto the sand? Head to our MoM Guide Best Beach Trolleys And Carts next!


Have you tried a beach tent that’s worth including in our list? Let us know in the comments below.



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  • We have one and my kids loves playing in it at our backyard.


  • It’s so good that manufacturers have come up with a great way to keep us safer at the beach.


  • thanks for posting this and covering a range of styles and prices. Some look kinda complicated tbh! I like the instant pop up ones for practicality, and also , how about consideration of that not everyone drives to the beach?!


  • Thanks for the post and suggestions with the various options available. We need these, these days to protect ourselves even more from the sun.


  • Cool Cabanas are the best – purchased a medium one and have not regretted it.


  • I purchased an awesome sunshade from Anaconda a few weeks ago at 60% off & it’s awesome! We’ve set it up in our backyard for my toddler to play in the shade.


  • The beach cabana looks great. Some of the other ones look hard to setup.


  • The pop up tent from Kmart is in my price range and looks like it would do the job.


  • I like the pop up beach shelter from Kmart that looks great and the price is fantastic! I will have to look into getting one


  • A mix of prices, there’s a lot of options there. We live at the beach so we just head down and then home, but I will be looking out for all of the new tents this year.


  • We have a pop up one like the kmart one. They are great to take anywhere, not just the beach


  • I have been checking these out at the beach this weekend. Most have blown away. I still use my trusty beach umbrella. It seems to work the best.


  • Great tents and sun shelters and great tips about them too. Thanks for the share of these.


  • I love how this list includes a variety of prices. Some are so affordable


  • Although it really takes next to no time to set up. Another tip is to use a fitted sheet underneath to keep sand out


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