This post about the best beach shelter Australia has been updated for 2021!
I love spending time on the beach with my family. The sun in Australia is fierce, so you need to be prepared with your own beach tent, beach umbrella or beach shade. We wear sunscreen, long-sleeved rashies, hats and sunglasses for our beach days but if you plan on spending a few hours on the sand you need to find the best beach shelter so you can spend all day enjoying the fun. It can sometimes be tricky finding the best beach shelter for large groups but I’ve found lots of options for you no matter how big or small your family. It’s also worth saying that the best beach shade in Australia suits the type of day out that you’re going to have – sometimes you’ll be wanting a quick pop up beach shelter or a beach umbrella tent that goes up and packs down instantly, other times you won’t mind spending the time putting up a more solid sun shelter for your full day out.
This best beach shelter buying guide for 2021 will tell you about the best beach tents for families, the best pop up tents, the best beach umbrellas and the best beach umbrella tents (which are a combination of a beach umbrella and a beach sunshade). Hopefully by the end of the article, you’ll know which is the best beach shade for your family and you can start enjoying some fun on the sand! And you may even find that you need to own a couple of different options of beach shades in Australia to cope with the different occasions.
Love days out at the beach? Find the best beach wagon here. A beach wagon makes carrying your beach tent to the sand a breeze!
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Introduction to buying the best beach shelter Australia has to offer
So you love spending time on the beach but you want to do it from the comfort of the shade of a beachside tent (so sensible!). Investing in some kind of beach shade tent is a great investment for your health, wellbeing and your enjoyment. There are all kinds of options of beach shelters in Australia depending on your needs and the size of your family. Here are the different types of beach sun protection tents you can choose from when it comes to selecting the best beach shelter:
Choosing the best beach shade Australia
A sun shade tent is a framed beach tent. Tents for beaches sometimes take a little more effort to put up so it’s worth reading beach tent reviews to find a sun shelter tent that goes up easily. Summer shade tents are great for medium and large families as you can get them in larger sizes. Beach tents have a few more parts to them compared with a simple sun umbrella or sail shade, so there is potential for more to go wrong with them. It’s worth investing to buy a quality beach tent for Australia this summer. A sun tent is an amazing option for a large family wanting something they can put up in the morning and leave up all day. Like regular tents, sun shelter tents tend to come with a carry bag. The best beach tent also acts as protection from all weather conditions – a sturdy beach tent will be a great place to hide out in a short rain or hail storm. Plus sun tents for the best make a great place to get changed as these beach shelters have sides on them (and sometimes even zip up fronts).
Pop up tents for the beach are the easiest beach shelter to put up – you literally unpack a pop up beach tent and they do all the work for you. This makes it really easy if you’ve got little kids and don’t want to waste time struggling with tent poles (when we get to the beach our kids are itching to run into the water so if we have to pause to put up a tent it drives them crazy!) The only downside is pop up beach tents tend to be smaller so might not work for large families, but if you’re just looking for a kids’ beach tent or a beach sun shade for your baby then this is a great option. A pop up beach shelter or pop up sun tent is generally light and easy to carry and it usually folds into its own pop up sun shade carry bag.
A beach sun shade (or sail shade/sun shelter as they’re sometimes known) is an adjustable beach shade with material, cords and usually a few poles – these sun shades are very portable as they are mainly just fabric and you can usually arrange the angle to suit where the sun is facing. Beach shelters come in a range of styles. You can get lots of portable sun shelters in Australia and they are a really easy option if you want something that is fast to put up and that gives you flexible shade. They’re also handy to use as a kids’ beach tent as there is no groundsheet – this means little ones can sit on the sand underneath it to build sand castles, and you have a visual all around for keeping an eye on them too (I speak from experience – beach tents block your view to the sides and back!) These beach sun shades are usually vibrant colours too which make you very easy to spot on a crowded beach – this is very handy when your kids want to go off and play and know where you are in a crowd.
A beach umbrella or sun parasol is an easy option if you’re looking for an easy sun shelter in Australia. A sun parasol takes seconds to pop it up and dig it into the sand. The best beach umbrella is an adjustable beach umbrella as this allows you to angle your sun protection. You can also get a regular, unadjustable umbrella-style sun parasol. Australia has the strongest sun, so the bonus of a large beach umbrella is you can put it up the second you arrive on the beach – it isn’t as complicated as sun tents can be. The downsides to a beach umbrella can be its size (it is more suited for couples or as a baby beach shade to keep a baby or small children out of the sun). They do work well over beach beds though so are great to have by the side of your pool or as a patio umbrella. Another downside is they can be long and awkward to carry to the beach – a fold up beach umbrella is still quite large to carry along with the rest of your beach gear. Also be aware that you need to stake your beach umbrella into the ground well as they can easily get caught in a gust of wind!
We have one which we use if we are only planning on being at the beach for an hour or two and we love it – a beach umbrella is a really convenient beach shade. I think finding the best beach umbrella is a handy addition to your Australian beach kit as it’s so portable.
A beach umbrella tent combines the shape of a beach sun umbrella with the versatility of a beach tent as it has sides which wrap around down to the ground. It is basically a large beach umbrella with side panels – you have the curve of a beach umbrella at the top but with more substance, as it attaches to the ground and isn’t going to blow away in heavy winds like a large beach umbrella might. These also come in much larger sizes than regular beach umbrellas and can sometimes provide shade for three or four people. This makes them a good option as a family beach shelter.
A beach gazebos tend to be more structured and they need a firm ground so aren’t usually ideal for using on sand (you can put them up on the grass at the top of the beach instead). They can be flexible as shade for an outdoor bbq but they work better at parks or for get togethers outdoors on solid ground. They aren’t usually quick and easy to put up like a pop up sun tent and take a bit more effort (often needing more than one person). Beach gazebos often come with a number of poles which can make them harder to put up and heavier to carry. But for big events, special occasions and long days at the beach they’re a great option.
A beach cabana tent is similar to a beach gazebo but it’s easier to put up and is made for putting up on sand. A beach cabana has a covered roof and legs but is usually open at the sides. The parts come in a carry bag and they’re usually quick and easy to put up. It gives you more shade than a beach umbrella and is a great option for long days on the sand. You can’t, however, adjust the angle of the shade – you have to move around underneath depending on where the sun moves. They do look very cool though and often come in beautiful designs that make you easy to spot on the beach for your kids.
Availability of the ultimate beach shelters in Australia
I’ve looked at the best beach shelters in Australia, but unfortunately, I can’t guarantee the availability of all of these products. Amazon’s offers change regularly, their stock in different countries changes and also the availability of products that are available from other countries with free delivery through Amazon Prime is also subject to change. If these exact items aren’t available from your local store, have a look around as there are usually other similar options available.
The best beach shelter in Australia: Beach tent comparison chart 2021.
Read this at-a-glance comparison chart to help you choose the best beach shelter Australia has to offer.
|Product||Image||Type||Check prices on Amazon|
|WhiteFang Deluxe XL Pop Up Beach Tent||Beach tent||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|SGODDE Large pop up beach tent||Beach tent||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|G4 pop up beach tent||Pop up beach tent||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|Lovin’ Summer beach shade tent||Beach shade||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|Ninja Beach Shade||Beach shade||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|ZiggyShade family beach sunshade||Beach shade||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|Ammsun beach umbrella||Beach umbrella||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|Sport Brella Super Brella||Beach umbrella tent||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|Instahut beach gazebo||Beach gazebo||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|EasyGo beach cabana||Beach cabana||Buy from Amazon Australia|
|Lazy Dayz Beach Cabana||Beach cabana||Buy from Amazon Australia|
Find the best beach tent for a family in Australia
Here are some of the best beach tents on the market.
WhiteFang Beach Tent, Pop Up Instant Family Tent with UPF 50
This WhiteFang Beach Tent is smart little family beach shelter. It is listed as being ‘extra large being suitable for two adults and two kids’ but be sure to check the sizing as it’s not enormous but would be good for a small family wanting some beach shade for the kids.
It takes seconds to put it up effortlessly – you simply lift the tent and press the fiberglass rods and it automatically installs.
The mesh windows give this beach tent ventilation and allow you can see all around (this is important – the beach tent I bought when we arrived in Australia didn’t have this and I used to hate losing sight of the kids when they moved to the side of the beach tent where I couldn’t see them.)
The beach tent material is UPF 50+ and it blocks 97.5% of the harmful UV rays from the sun. I love that the front door can act as either extended floor covering or you can lift it up and velcro it closed when you want to get changed in the privacy of your own beach shelter.
It comes with a carry bag which has a shoulder strap making it easy to carry from the car. There are also sand pockets, steel stakes and sand stakes so you can set it up securely even on windy days.
Pros of the WingFang beach tent:
It’s very easy to put up.
Windows all around for visibility.
The front can be closed for privacy.
Cons of the WhiteFang beach tent:
It’s not large enough to suit larger families.
The SGODDE beach tent shelter fits larger families and has a good head height. The new 2020 design has a two way entrance which allows great ventilation. The large mesh windows allow ventilation and give you a view of your surroundings. There is a hook at the top so you can even take your own fan to hang and cool off! It offers UPF 50+ sun protection and is made of eco friendly fabric. It pops up easily
Pros of the SGODDE beach tent
It pops up easily.
It is larger than some others on the market.
It is very lightweight to carry.
Cons of the SGODDE tent:
The material is thin.
It’s doesn’t stand up well in wind.
Find the best pop up beach tent Australia has to offer
Pop up beach tents are even easier and faster to put up than regular beach tents! Pop up beach shade tents are great if you’re looking for a pop up baby beach tent as there is no effort to get them up and when you have a baby you want something that is as easy as possible when you visit the beach.
G4Free Easy Set up Beach Tent Pop up Sun Shelter
The G4Free Easy Set up Beach Tent Pop up Sun Shelter is an option for smaller families (check out the pics on Amazon for pics of real people sitting in it for a size guide). Comfortably fitting two adults and two children, this shelter offers UPF 50+ sun protection and the material keeps the temperature under the sun shade lower than the outside which means it’s great for those with babies or toddlers. This beach shelter pop up is easy to set up and put away, utilising a pop up system. For stability, this sun shelter tent has built-in sandbags and ropes to hold it down with stakes. It weighs 3.1kg.
Pros of the G4Free pop up beach tent:
It is a pop up tent making it easy and fast to put up.
This beach shelter tent packs up small.
Cons of the G4Free pop up beach tent:
No zip up front meaning it might not be the best beach tent if you want to get changed in it.
Not quite big enough for larger families.
Find the best beach shade Australia has to offer
While I love beach tents for long, lazy days on the sand, I think beach shades offer so much flexibility. Beach shades in Australia are easy to put up, they are lightweight to carry and easy to pack up again.
Lovin’ Summer Beach Tent Shade
Lovin’ Summer’s beach shade takes minutes to put up and it provides 5.9m² of sun protection, with UPF 40 and blocking 97.5% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. It’s an Australia designed products that was created with our harsh environment in mind. You can use it at the beach or the park.
The item weighs 3.8kg and is made with durable material. It also comes in its own carry bag and lightweight mallet which is really handy and makes putting it up a breeze.
Pros of the Lovin’ Summer beach shade:
It is easy for one person to assemble the beach shade.
The beach shade comes in a range of vibrant patterns and looks very smart on the sand.
It offers full airflow as it doesn’t have sides and it allows you to see your kids from all angles with no restrictions from walls.
It is quite compact and doesn’t take up a huge amount of space on the beach.
Cons of the Lovin’ Summer beach shade:
You can’t stand up under it or use it to get changed in.
Sun Ninja Sun Shelter
This all purpose beach shade tent offers UPF 50+ sun coverage. It’s fast and easy to set up and it comes in a range of sizes to suit all families. It pops up and comes with stability poles and large sand bags. It also has anchors so you can use it on grassy areas or even rocky areas too. It comes with it’s own handy carry bag. (I like the extra large 10ft x 10ft with four poles). It even comes with it’s own little sand shovel to fill up the sand bags! And it has a one-year warranty too for peace of mind (which is really handy as I’ve previously broken some of my beach tents on their first use so at least you know you are well covered with this one).
I’ve literally just bought the Sun Ninja beach shade for myself so am really excited to give it a whirl and update this post with some more details!
Pros of the Ninja Beach Shelter:
It’s lightweight and easy to carry.
It is great for large groups.
It has good head height at the front.
The sand falls right off it when it comes to packing it away.
It copes well in the wind.
Cons of the Ninja Beach Shelter:
It doesn’t have sides so isn’t great for getting changed under.
Ziggy Shade Beach Sun Shelter
The ZiggyShade beach sun shade is a lightweight UPF 50+ beach tent designed in Australia. You can use it at the beach, park or any outdoor space. It comes in two sizes – standard and family. It weighs 2.2kg. This is a great option for larger families as the family size is an extra large beach canopy that fits up to 6 people under it and the standard is a 4 person beach shelter. The outdoor sun shade can be set up in less than five minutes by one person. The sunshade is held firm by sandbags and ropes. It stays stable in a breeze as the wind can pass over and through it – it’s like an open tent for the beach! As the sun moves, you can adjust the sun shade by moving the sandbags. If you are using your Ziggy Shade beach tent at the park or camp ground instead of the beach, you can use the included tent pegs instead which gives it total flexibility as a camping shelter in Australia too. It’s like a big open tent for the beach giving you a really flexible beach shade.
Pros of the Ziggy Shade beach shade:
As far as beach canopy shelters go, it is very lightweight.
It is easy to put up.
It comes in bright colours which makes it easy for your kids to spot on the beach.
It offers full airflow as it doesn’t have sides and it allows you to see your kids from all angles with no restrictions from walls.
Cons of the ZiggyShade beach shade:
It takes up a large space on the sand (which could be an issue if the beach was busy but then this is Australia so not likely too much of a problem!)
It doesn’t offer total privacy for getting changed like a zip up beach tent would.
Find the best beach umbrella Australia has to offer
Beach umbrellas are a simple and practical option for providing beach shelter. They’re a great option if you’re just popping to the beach for an hour and want a small amount of beach shade. You can get large beach umbrellas or compact beach umbrellas and pop up sun umbrellas with sides. The best beach umbrellas are adjustable and come with a beach umbrella stand or a beach umbrella anchor so that it won’t blow away in the wind.
AMMSUN 2.1m Outdoor Patio Beach Umbrella Sun Shelter
The AMMSUN 2.1m Beach Umbrella is a fabulous portable beach umbrella. Australia has some stunning beaches and a beach umbrella allows you to arrive at the beach and begin enjoying the sand and the view instantly as you just need to open the beach umbrella to benefit from the beach shade. A beach umbrella is a bit old school compared with all of the modern beach shelter options on the market right now, but a classic beach shade umbrella like this is so easy to use and it is practical in the right situations.
This AMMSUN beach umbrella comes with a bright, vibrant design and has an air vent designed to allow air flow for stability. You can tilt this high-quality beach umbrella to ensure you are always in the shade – it’s much more than just a sun parasol. It is quite light at 2.8kg and it comes with a beach umbrella carry bag for protection. There is an optional beach umbrella anchor available (sold separately) which is a wise investment along side the main beach umbrella as it will hold your portable beach umbrella steady. It can get windy at the beach in Australia and you don’t want your large beach umbrella blowing away!
As lightweight beach parasols go, this is a good option as it has the tilt feature and the ability to anchor it so it offers a lot of flexibility as well as durability as it is made with quality materials.
Pros of the AMMSUN beach umbrella:
Easy to put up and put down.
Tilt option means you can adjust your sun umbrella it for the sun.
The anchor holds your sun parasol in place (sold separately).
Cons of the AMMSUN beach umbrella:
The best large umbrella is great for couples or for a baby or toddler but doesn’t work for big families unless you buy a few of them.
Find the best beach umbrella tent
Not quite an umbrella or a tent, this hybrid beach tent offers the best of both options. It’s like a big sun umbrella with sides.
Sport Brella/SKLZ Super-Brella Portable Sun Umbrella
The Sport Brella beach tent umbrella is the best buy beach umbrella with sides. It combines the best features of the best beach umbrella with the best features of the best pop up beach tent. It provides UPF 50+ protection and is extra large to allow a family to sit under it on camping chairs. The wrap around sides give extra coverage from the weather.
It has windows in the sides so you can see your kids even if they’re playing at the side of the beach umbrella tent. It is water repellent and is the perfect spot to wait out a rain shower whether you’re at the beach or watching your kids play sports. It weighs 4kg and takes just a few minutes to put up. If you’re looking for large outdoor umbrellas to use as sunshades then this product is definitely worth checking out.
Pros of the Sport Brella Portable Sun Umbrella:
This super brella wraps around so gives more protection than even the best beach umbrella.
Cons of the Sport Brella Portable Sun Umbrella:
It takes a few minutes to put up.
It can fit small groups under but for larger families another option of beach tent would be better.
It doesn’t offer any privacy as no zip up front.
Find the best gazebo for the beach
Beach gazebos offer a different type of beach shelter. Often, portable gazebos are a heavier structure that need to be put up on solid ground but they do offer shade that works well as a party gazebo or a a bbq tent. A portable gazebo is practical and functional for large get togethers or big days out. Things to consider when choosing your outdoor pergola is how easy it is to put up, how heavy it is when it packs down and where you are likely to use it.
Instahut Pop Up Beach Gazebo
Instahut offer a range of portable gazebos in different sizes that are suitable as a beach gazebo or camping gazebo or party gazebo! The Instahut beach gazebos are a sturdy structure with an anti-rust powder-coated steel frame that makes it strong and durable. This does make them heavier than your average pop up beach tent but as a brand they may some of the best beach gazebos.
The roof of this camping gazebo is made from durable PVC coated oxford fabric which protects from the UV rays and is also weather-proof. You can change the height to suit your location – if you’re just looking for a shade gazebo you can set it up lower to lay under it but if you’re after a bbq gazebo for the side of the beach or the park then you can set it higher. As far as gazebo designs go, it is sleek and smart. The product is to be used on solid ground, so set it up on the grassy area at the side of the beach rather than directly on the sand.
Pros of the Instahut portable gazebo:
A portable gazebo is practical as you can use it for lots of occasions like as a camping gazebo or a bbq gazebo.
A gazebo like this will last you for years and is great to get out for parties, get togethers or as additional shade for a camping trip.
Instahut offer beach gazebos in lots of different sizes so you can choose a size that suits your family.
Cons of the Instahut portable gazebo:
It doesn’t have sides so isn’t great in bad weather.
It isn’t adjustable as the sun moves around.
It is really heavy at around 30kg so you wouldn’t want to move it far!
It’s not the best gazebo for the beach if you want something to go on sand.
Find the best beach cabana Australia has to offer
EasyGo Beach Cabana
(At the time of updating this post this product is listed as unavailable but I’m hoping it comes back in again soon! Click through to Amazon to check)
The EasyGo Cabana gives you a bit of luxury for your day on the beach. This lightweight beach cabana tent can be set up on the sand or the grass. It is portable and comes with a carry bag. It is large enough for a family and is very easy to put up and take down. There are lots of vibrant colour choices.
Pros of the EasyGo Beach Cabana
The beach cabana has been tested to withstand strong winds.
It has pockets to store your phone and keys.
You have visuals from all sides which is handy for watching the kids.
It’s brightly coloured which makes you easy to spot on the beach.
Cons of the EasyGo Beach Cabana
The shade isn’t adjustable so you will need to move around as the sun moves.
Not having sides means you don’t have an option of privacy to get changed.
It weighs 5.4kg which although is light for a gazebo/cabana is heavier than the beach tent and shade options.
Lazy Days Portable Beach Cabana Tent
The Lazy Dayz Beach Cabana is a smart beach cabana that provides a large beach shelter for a family. This sun shelter is kind of like a large beach umbrella but it offers even more shade (it’s 1.8m x 2m!). It comes with a carry bag. It has a vibrant design which makes you easy to spot on the sand. The powder coated steel pole can be height adjusted to suit.
Pros of the Lazy Days Cabana
It offers a large shade.
Cons of the Lazy Days Beach Cabana
It doesn’t mention the sun protection it offers.
It isn’t as study as some of the other products on the market.
Why invest in the best beach shelter in Australia?
If you love the beach in Australia as much as I do, you’ll love spending time there. Investing in the best beach tent or the best beach shade will mean you can enjoy your beach days in Australia so much more and spend more time there. A beach shelter or pop up beach sun shelter is a great place for kids to have a rest, a place to enjoy a picnic or even a place for a relaxing snooze without the worry that you’re going to get sunburnt.
Before you invest in the best beach shelter: Things to consider when choosing the best beach sun shelter
Portability: How small does your beach sun shade pack down for transport in the car? How easy will it be to carry to the beach? Does your beach canopy come with its own sun shade tent carry bag to make carrying it easy? When you take down your pop up beach tent, beach gazebo or sun shade tent, does it go back into the carry bag easily for storage? Will you be able to carry it to the beach along with your other beach gear?
Durability: Are you looking for a heavy duty beach umbrella or a quality beach tent that will last you for years. Think about the materials the sun shelter is made from – both the material of the sun shade and the poles and connectors if you’re looking at beach gazebos and beach frame tents. It’s easy to pick up cheap beach umbrellas and cheap pop up tents, but think about the environment – what a waste to buy something you’re only going to use once or twice before it snaps and has to go into landfiill. If you buy the right beach shade, you can use it for decades. How heavy and strong is the beach shelter – will it withstand wind at the beach? The weather is an important consideration for your beach shade – you want something you can use in all weathers.
Size: The size of your beach shelter is an important one. Know how many people you want the beach shade for. Are you looking for something that creates beach shade for your entire family, is it something you’re going to use at parties or maybe it’s just a baby beach tent to keep the youngest member of your family out of the direct sun on beach days, or it could just be a kids’ beach tent. Be clear how big a beach shelter you want to buy and only look at brands that offer that size. When it comes to size of your beach tent, you want to think about both the floor space and the height – do you want to use full size beach chairs in it or are you happy sitting on the sand or tent groundsheet? Or will you be using low set beach chairs? The size of your sun tent is really important to make sure you get the best use out of it.
Shade coverage from your beach tent: The sun moves around – think about how flexible the beach tent or beach umbrella is. Can you adjust the shade to suit the location of the sun? Do you want your beach shelter to have sides? If so think about how the wind is going to pass through these (you don’t want a big gust to make your tent or beach umbrella take off – I’ve had that happen a few times and it’s not fun!)
Ease of use: This is a top priority for your beach shade in Australia, although again it depends on a few things. If you only intend on using your beach shelter during big family events, you might not mind putting up a sturdy beach shade that takes a bit of effort. However, if you just want something you can throw up at the beach quickly then finding something that isn’t fiddly to put up is important. Think about how many adults will usually be around when you put it up – if you go to the beach with your kids without a friend or partner, will you be able to put it up on your own? A complicated beach shade is fine for occasional use but ideally, you want something you can put up quickly.
What kind of things can you use a beach shade for?
The best beach shelter will make your days out at the beach a lot more fun and comfortable. You can use a beach tent or beach shade for all the following (depending on the type of beach shelter you go for):
- To give you shade on the sand during beach days
- As somewhere out of the sun to enjoy a picnic
- As a shade while watching sports events
- At a festival or live events so you have a base to come back to
- As somewhere undercover during rainy weather or cold weather
- As somewhere to cook a bbq on rainy days (this is more suited to large open-sided beach gazebos as it’s not safe to cook in a pop up beach tent!)
- As somewhere to keep buffet food in the shade during get togethers (again, this is more for beach gazebos)
Best beach sunshade, Australia
As you can see, there are lots of things to consider when you’re searching for the best beach shelter in Australia. I hope you’ve found this guide to the best beach tents and the best beach umbrellas in Australia useful! I hope it has inspired you to pack up your portable BBQ. your mosquito repellent and zinc sunscreen and head out for a day on the sand!
See you at the beach!