beach tent vs umbrella which is better

Beach Tent vs Umbrella or Canopy – Which Is The Best For The Beach?

I love going to the beach, but after a while the sun in my eyes gets to be just a bit too much. Which leads to the question of what do I bring: a beach tent vs umbrella (or what about a canopy)? What will best shelter me from the sun at the beach? Each item has its own set of pros and cons, so it can be tough to decide which is the best option for you. In this article, we will take a look at each type of beach shelter and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each one. Hopefully this information will help you choose the right gear for your next trip to the beach!

What To Keep In Mind With Beach Tent vs Umbrella

A few things to think about while deciding if you want a beach tent, umbrella, or canopy, include:

  • Does the beach you are heading to have regulations against bringing any of these to the beach?
  • How many people are you trying to shade?
  • How far do you have to walk/how easy is it to carry this item?
  • What kind of weather does this beach usually have?
  • How easy is it to set up, take down, and store?

Now that we have these questions in mind, let’s look at umbrellas, tents, and canopies so you can decide on one!

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Why You Want A Beach Umbrella

Umbrellas are usually the go-to shade cover for most beachgoers. They’re lightweight and easy to carry, as well as typically more affordable compared to beach tents or canopies. A beach umbrella is also great at blocking out the sun.

Most beaches don’t usually have regulations against bringing umbrellas to the beach, since they don’t take up too much space on the beach or hinder other beach goers beach use. They are also easy to move if the tide comes in, or as the sun shifts.

Beach umbrellas typically only shade two people, depending on how it’s positioned and what size of umbrella you have. Find our favorite beach umbrellas here.

Why You Don’t Want A Beach Umbrella

Umbrellas don’t provide much in terms of wind protection and shelter from rain – you’ll be exposed to the elements with an umbrella. They can also be difficult to secure in beach sand, so there is a possibility it will blow away if you don’t have the right equipment.

Another issue is that umbrellas also have to be turned with the sun moving overhead, since they only provide localized shade. This means you will have to get up and move it every few hours.

Keep reading: how to use a beach umbrella to get the most shade

Why You Want A Beach Tent

Beach tents are arguably the best beach shelters because they provide great wind and sun protection. Plus, beach tents provide much better coverage – depending on the type, a beach tent can comfortably fit 3-4 people. You won’t have to move it when the sun shifts overhead, as beach tents usually have multiple sides that open and close as needed.

Beach tents are also easy to set up and take down. Most beach tents use poles that fit into pockets, so you won’t need any extra tools or equipment to get it ready. Beach tents can also be secured in the sand with stakes or beach weights, so they will stay in place even when strong winds come through. They also offer more coverage if it starts raining.

Another perk of having a tent on the beach is that they often have an attached tarp to cover the sand, keeping all of your items (and you!) less sandy while at the beach.

If you’re considering a tent, also consider these Orange Screw Ground Anchors.

Why You Don’t Want A Beach Tent

Beach tents are usually more expensive than beach umbrellas and canopies, so it may not be the best option for those on a budget. They also don’t offer as much portability – beach tents can take up considerably more space at the beach, so if you’re sharing the beach with many other people, you might want to consider another beach shelter.

Beach tents also take longer to set up and take down, so if you’re on a beach vacation with limited time, it might not be the best idea. Although you can look into pop up beach tents for easy setup.

And if you need to bring beach weights, that’s a lot of extra weight (literally) that you have to carry with you.

Keep reading: Can you bring a tent to the beach?

Why You Want A Canopy

Beach canopies are usually the best beach shelters for larger groups or families. They offer great sun and wind protection and can often comfortably fit 10 or more beachgoers. They are also very easy to set up, since most beach canopy tents come with pre-assembled poles that just have to be connected, and usually come with sand bags to fill with sand once you reach the beach.

Canopies are usually much more lightweight than beach tents and provide a lot of coverage, although only from the above sun. They do not offer much protection if the sun is low in the sky.

Find our favorite pop up beach canopies here!

Why You Don’t Want A Canopy

If it’s just two of you going to the beach, a canopy may be overkill. These also take up a lot more space than the other options, so they may be a nuisance to other beach goers, or may not even be allowed on the beach.

Canopies also don’t provide any wind protection, so it’s best to look for beach canopies with side walls if you’re looking for some protection from the elements.

Which Wins the Battle of Beach Tent vs Umbrella?

In this battle of beach tent vs umbrella vs canopy, the winner is really the one that you think is best for your needs. I choose an umbrella, because I don’t need that many people covered, and also like to be in the sun most of the time I’m at the beach, and can easily see all of my beach surroundings.

If you’re looking for more protection from the sun (and people) in all directions and a built in tarp for the sand, choose a beach tent. These offer more privacy, can often be comfortable for 3-4 people to share, and can be secured in the beach sand.

If you’re looking for a beach shelter for a larger group with lots of coverage from the sun and minimal effort to set up, beach canopies are your best bet. They offer great coverage from above and are usually lightweight and easy to set up with pre-assembled poles.

No matter which beach shelter you choose, make sure to check beach regulations before bringing any beach shelters. Enjoy your days in the shade at the beach!