Fully updated for 2022!
Trips to the beach in the summer can quickly turn out to be a bad idea if the sun stays out and you need some form of shelter. Whether it’s shelter from the sun and it’s UV rays, a quick rain shower or the wind blasting sand at you, a beach tent is one thing I think every parent should have.
While it can do the obvious and provide shelter from the weather it’s also good for having your own little area on the beach. When it’s busy with other families, having your own space to retreat to can be a lifeline and kids can find you after heading off playing and rock pooling!
I used to use ours in the garden constantly too. If I wanted the kids to be outdoors more, having a shelter really helped them to have somewhere to ‘be’.
When looking for the best beach tent for babies, kids or even for your whole family you’ll want to consider a few things.
- 1 What to look for when buying a sun tent
- 2 Best beach tent for babies, kids and families
- 3 Coleman Sundome Beach Shelter
- 4 BabyMoov Pop Up Anti UV tent
- 5 Little life family beach shelter
- 6 Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Outdoors Advanced Deluxe XL
- 7 Mountain Warehouse Automatic Beach Shelter
- 8 Homened Pop Up Baby Beach tent
- 9 Sport-Brella – Umbrella sun shade
What to look for when buying a sun tent
The things that you’ll likely want to bear in mind when choosing a beach sun shade is:
- Sun protection – does it have any and what UV rating. Not all material has a SPF number.
- How easy is it to put up
- Ease of putting it away – honestly, this is the one that I think is so important!
- Can you zip it up? some shelters do this and it makes a great changing area for kids and adults!
- Size – can you fit everyone in your family under it if need be?
- How big is it packed up and can you transport it easily
Best beach tent for babies, kids and families
Thankfully many of these UV sun tents are budget options, with most costing under £50. They can all pack up small and can be carried easily or stored in the boot of a car for an impromptu trip to the beach. Here are 7 of the best beach shelters around in the UK at the moment.
Coleman Sundome Beach Shelter
This is the sun shelter that we had and used many times in the past. It’s a really spacious canopy that all can sit under if need be (there were 4 of us), although it was a bit of a squeeze. We had the large size but it also comes in an extra large size as well which I think I could even stand up under (Although to be fair, I’m very short – 5ft 0!).
It can be used in a garden or on the beach with both normal pegs and guide lines or the sand pockets to weigh it down. What I like about this version is that you can take the groundsheet and zip it up into the canopy so perfect to store your towels etc if you want to walk for an ice cream or if you need to get changed.
It’s really easy to put up, although a little fiddly while you’re getting the hang of it and it’s really sturdy once it’s upright.
I love that it also has a UPF of 50+. It was one of the best things we bought when our kids were little!
- comes in a blue or green colour
- also comes in two sizes – large or
extra large(the XL doesn’t seem to be available any more- I’ll update if i can find it for sale anywhere)
- fibreglass poles
- Dimensions: L – w 248cm, h 118cm; XL – w – 320cm, h 165cm
- weight: L – 1.9kg; XL – 3.3kg
great for – small or big families
See latest price of the Coleman Sundome on Amazon UK
BabyMoov Pop Up Anti UV tent
If you’re looking for a baby sun tent that is small and can suit just one child this one is a really good option.
It’s a pop up design, lightweight and designed specifically for babies. It has a mesh sides and so is good for also keeping bugs and flies off your baby. It keeps your baby in one spot too so if you’re worried about them moving around too much this will help you.
- small and light – ultra portable
- only big enough for babies
- non toxic baby safe material
- filters up to 99% of UVA and UVB rays
- UPF rating of 50+
- dimensions when opened – 98 x 90 x 85 cm
Perfect for when you want to make sure your baby is super protected from the harmful UV rays!
See the Babymoov Pop Up Anti UV tent on Amazon UK
Little life family beach shelter
This is a super simple and easy to put up beach canopy that’s big enough for the whole family to sit inside if need be and has a zip up door if you want some privacy when changing at the beach etc.
It has a sun protection level of UPF 50+, only has 3 poles to fit in to the shelter and also has sand pockets to fill up to weigh it down. It’s a great shelter that has more of a tent feel than just a canopy like the Coleman sun dome. It is also on the pricier side of most of these shelters.
- UPF rating of 50+
- all round shelter so good for very windy days
- dimensions – 150 x 130 x 88cm
- weight – 1.45kg
perfect for: those who like a choice of a bit more privacy on the beach or for when kids need quiet time
See the Littlelife beach shelter on Amazon UK here
Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Outdoors Advanced Deluxe XL
This is a large and wide beach UV family tent so if you’re looking for a shelter suitable for a big family I’d take a look at this one.
It’s got all that you need, it’s easy to put up and it has the SPF protection of 50. Not only is it good for large families but if you had dogs that needed a lot of space or even if you’ had some teens or bigger kids and you wanted to make sure it was big enough to grow with you.
- Blocks 97.5% of UVA and UVB rays with 50 SPF rating
- 145 cm at highest point
- 252 cm wide
- can zip up
- has mesh windows
See the Easthills XL Beach Shelter on Amazon UK
Mountain Warehouse Automatic Beach Shelter
What I like about this one is that it’s a bright orange colour – so many of the shelters seem to be a bright blue so I quite like that this one is different.
It’s a basic shape and size, nothing too special about it. It’s major plus point is that it is very light – just 1.2kg in weight so easy to take along to the beach with everything else you have.
- Bright orange tent
- basic shelter shape – easy to put up
- super light weight – just 1.2kg
See the Mountain Warehouse sun shelter tent on Amazon UK
Homened Pop Up Baby Beach tent
If you just need something suitable for a baby to spend time in then a small pop up tent like this one is a good idea. It’s inexpensive, easy to put up and fold away and great to have on hand.
Importantly it’s got a high UPF rating of 50+ so it’ll keep your little one protected from the sun.
See the Homened Pop Up Beach Tent on Amazon UK
Sport-Brella – Umbrella sun shade
Finally we have something different for you on your search for a family beach shelter. This is just a basic umbrella design with some extra panels that can be pegged into the ground.
It’s probably better for camping or for in a garden as it would be tricky to peg down in sand.
I like it because it’s something that could be used for many different opportunities and not just for a family day out – could be good for fishing, camping or event days out.
It’s a little on the heavy side compared to others on this page though at 4.8kg.
See the Sport-Brella sun shade on Amazon UK