You’re taking your first trip to the beach with your little one, and you want them to have a great time. You also don’t want to spend the whole of your day panicking about them getting in the sun too much, or worrying about where they can sit and play or nap if they want a little downtime.
An infant beach tent is a great piece of equipment to take with you, along with the other usual suspects (i.e baby sun hats and baby sunscreen). Most baby beach tents are also relatively inexpensive, light and easy to carry, and easy to pop up.
Choosing the right tent could make all the difference between an exhausting day that leaves you feeling stressed out, and a joyful day full of memories to cherish for years to come.
Sounds like something you’d like to learn more about? Read on! Before we get into all of that, though, here’s a list of what we believe to be some of the best baby beach tents of today.
Best Baby Beach Tents – A Quick Look At Our Top 6 Recommendations
*Note: Upon clicking on any of the links in this section, you will be redirected to the respective product listings on Amazon.com where you can learn about the product’s price, customer rating & customer reviews.
- Schylling UV Ultra Portable Play Shade
- Monobeach Baby Beach Tent Pop Up With Pool
- Pacific Play Tents Lil Nursery Tent
- Aiernuo Ultralight Baby Beach Tent
- Babymoov Pop Up Anti-UV Tent
- OutdoorMaster Pop Up Beach Tent For Kids & Family
Best Baby Beach Tents – A More Detailed Look At Our Top 6 Recommendations
In the following section, we go into more detail regarding why we chose these 6 options as the best beach tents for babies today.
Schylling UV Ultra Portable Play Shade
What We Like About It:
First things first, this portable beach tent for babies is extremely easy to put up, and extremely easy to take down and fold up. It’s a popup beach tent in every sense of the word.
It’s not the biggest of tents on this list (we’ll talk about extra spacious options below), but there’s enough space in there for two babies to enjoy at once, or if you (an adult) want to go inside with just one child at a time and breastfeed or change a diaper in private.
It’s one of the best tents for laying low from the public.
There’s enough space in there for your little one to lay down with you in there, or you could sit up and hold them if you prefer.
It also has a great design for letting airflow in, to ensure that your little one doesn’t overheat when spending time inside. Some parents still find that they need to make use of a small clip-on fan inside the tent when it gets extra hot, though.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
This isn’t really the best option if you’re looking for something your baby can sleep in when on the beach. This is especially true if it happens to be extra windy at the time, as it might not hold up the best in windy conditions.
For such circumstances, you’ll want to look for something that holds its ground better.
It also might take a little bit of getting used to at first, as far as folding is concerned. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize how incredibly easy it is. It might just require a bit of experimentation and getting used to at first.
As for parents who want to lay down inside the tent – regardless of whether there’s a little one in there next to you or not – you’ll likely have to keep your legs bent or put them outside of the tent. If this doesn’t sound like your definition of a comfortable time at the beach, then you might want to consider something that covers a larger area.
Monobeach Baby Beach Tent Pop Up With Pool
What We Like About It:
If you want your little one to enjoy the water when on a trip to the beach but aren’t sure how, whether that’s because you’re afraid for their safety or they’re old enough to go for a dip but are afraid of the ocean, don’t let that ruin your fun day!
This product offers a mini pool inside a tent – which makes for safe fun in the water and protection against sun harm at the same time. Coupled with a nice set of baby water toys, your little one will be in for loads of fun.
According to the manufacturer, it can hold around 6 liters of water at once, which is more than enough for a fun experience.
As always, remember not to over-fill the baby pool with lots of water to avoid any drowning risks. As a rule of thumb, your little one should be able to sit in the pool with their head out of the water. You should also keep an eye on your little one when they’re in the pool, as proper supervision ensures you’re there to act straight away in case anything goes wrong.
It’s also very easy to detach the pool from the canopy, in case you wanted to do that for whatever reason.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
The mini pool isn’t exactly “out of the box” for your little one to enjoy as soon as you set this tent up on the beach. There’s still some work you’ll need to do on your own, but it’s nothing too demanding, so don’t be put off by this.
All you’ll need to do is dig a small hole in the sand and setup the tent over that hole to properly accommodate the baby pool and fill it up with water. Other than that, your little one’s all good to go for some splish-splashing!
The instructions for closing it and folding it back up aren’t the most helpful, too. Thankfully, though – and because lots of users noticed this – there’s a helpful YouTube video that walks you through the process step by step to ensure you get the hang of it. Still, though, it’s not the easiest nor least time-consuming task to fold it back up.
Pacific Play Tents Lil Nursery Tent
What We Like About It:
This is an awesome (and very suitable) beach play tent for your little ones to take a break from all that beach fun, sit back, relax and play around with their toys somewhere away from the sand.
If you’re looking for something to take along with you in frequent trips and possibly for flights, this is an excellent option because of how little space it takes up and how small it becomes when you fold it up.
It also has excellent mesh-side walls on each side of the tent, as well as a mesh roll up door, both of which do an excellent job at preventing sand from making its way inside – even if it happens to be a bit windy at the time.
The mesh windows also do an excellent job at keeping air flowing in and out of the tent, which means there’s less risk of your little one overheating.
The beautiful thing about this tent is that it doesn’t have to only be used outside of the house, whether that’s on the beach or in the yard – you can perfectly set this up inside the house and have your little one use it as a play area too.
You have to be mindful of where you’re setting it up, though, since it can easily scratch your wooden floors if you’re not careful.
Supposing you manage to put something heavy inside to keep it from flying away in the presence of strong wind, your little one will have a blast taking a nap in this tent. There’s extra cushioning on the pad that makes all of this very comfortable for them.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
Even though it does a great job at preventing sand from getting inside the tent on windy days without you having to do much on your own, you’ll still need to give the tent some extra support to keep it weighed down, or else it might literally be a case of “gone with the wind”!
It’s nothing too overly complicated, though – just put something heavy inside to keep it anchored to the ground, and you should be all good to go.
Speaking of having some fun out on a windy day, be careful with the poles this tent has. If it’s more windy than usual, the poles can break, as some parents have noted happened with theirs.
Aiernuo Ultralight Baby Beach Tent
What We Like About It:
This ultraviolet protection tent is very simple to use, making it an excellent choice for those looking for something pretty basic (yet very effective) for their babies.
There’s not much you have to do to set it up, it’s almost setup all on its own.
Not only is it a very suitable option to protect your little one from sand and sun when at the beach, but it’s also our favorite option for when you’re going on a hiking or camping trip and want to have a suitable place for little baby to stay in.
The two sides can be rolled up so your little one gets to enjoy the breathtaking views you’re looking at (except they’re not old enough to know or appreciate the beauty they’re experiencing yet … Or are they? We’ll never know if they can’t speak to us yet!).
Speaking of a safe place for your baby to sleep in, this tent is also mosquito-proof, so you won’t have to worry about any of these bugs or insects interrupting their quality time catching some Zzz’s.
This option is also as lightweight as they come, so it won’t prove to be much of a hassle – if any at all – when carrying it around. Because it’s so small and lightweight, you can easily fold and pack it in your diaper bag to take along with you.
It can also easily double up as a play house when not being used as a tent, and has a useful hook inside for you to hang your little one’s toys.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
Even though it’s one of the easiest and straightforward tents to setup, it’s not as easy and straightforward to fold back up and put away. As is the case with several other options discussed in this list, though – once you figure out how you should fold it the right way, it all becomes second nature soon enough.
Aside from that, it can feel a bit on the smaller (and shorter) side for some babies, so make sure you get your measurements right before buying one of these to use.
Babymoov Pop Up Anti-UV Tent
What We Like About It:
This is one of the easiest baby beach tents on the market to unfold – it’s literally a 3 second job once you get the hang of it. You don’t even need both hands to unfold it in case you’re busy with something else, one hand will get the job done just fine.
It might take a little bit of getting used to at first, and it’s not unheard of to take around 3 to 5 minutes trying to figure out what you need to do and how you need to do it when just starting out – but when you get the hang of it, it’s literally a job done in mere seconds.
It’s also an excellent option if you’re looking for something that can accommodate twins (or two babies close in age). There’s perfect space in there for two babies to play with their toys and move around freely inside.
It’s very easy to transport and take along with you no matter where you’re headed to as well, so it gets a very high mark from us as far as portability is concerned.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
If you’re specifically looking for a baby sun shelter for the beach that excels at keeping mosquitos away, this might not be the best option for you to consider.
There’s a mosquito net feature you can make use of that does a pretty solid job keeping mosquitoes out, but it’s not the best in that department.
The mesh screens have holes that aren’t small enough to prevent all mosquitos, insects and ticks from making their way in and ruining your little one’s fun day at the beach – unless you already have their back covered with mosquito repellent! (Not literally! Figuratively … You know what we mean).
Also, and very much depending on where you have it setup, you might notice that it’s not the best at providing your little one with the most possible shade.
You might find yourself having to re-adjust the position you have it setup in a few times, or possibly making use of something else in addition, such as an umbrella for extra shade as well.
OutdoorMaster Pop Up Beach Tent For Kids & Family
What We Like About It:
If you’re looking for a beach tent you can use for the whole family, as opposed to something smaller where your little one(s) can only enjoy their time inside on their own, this option from OutdoorMaster ticks that box.
There’s plenty of comfortable room inside for two adults in addition to a little one or two – which is impressive, to say the least.
You can also setup your own beach chairs while sitting inside comfortably, resting assured that your little ones are all safe and happy right next to you as well. There’s plenty of space inside for two adults to sit in full-size chairs, but you might want to consider smaller beach chairs to save up on valuable space (if need be).
We especially love the shade of blue this tent comes in, as well as how it looks in general – since it’s very easy to spot it from afar, even if it happens to be exceptionally busy on the beach that day. If you’re looking for a beach tent that stands out like a sore thumb, this is one of the top options for you to consider.
When positioned at the right angle and in the right spot, you can forget about having to make use of an umbrella to use at the beach for the entire family – assuming you’re all in the tent at the time, of course.
All in all, this is an excellent option as a family beach tent that offers everyone privacy all at once – something not a lot of beach shelters out there can offer.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
This tent can feel a bit bulky at times and a bit heavy to carry (at least heavier than some of the other tents on this list), but that’s only normal, given the fact it’s designed to provide space for the entire family and not just one or two little ones inside at once.
Remember that you’re carrying everything you need in a beach tent for the entire family in this product alone – as opposed to carrying something for only your kid(s) and having to carry something else for you.
A quick note on setting this tent up on a windy day: you’ll need to fill the attached sandbags that sit on each side and anchor the tent before you attempt to pop it up.
If you don’t do this before, you won’t have time to say your last goodbyes – it’ll be gone with the wind before you know it. Other than that, you should be all good to go! No need for pegs to try to keep this tent secured down as well.
Why Does My Baby Need a Beach Tent? Can’t I Just Use An Umbrella?
You might think that a regular beach umbrella will do just fine for keeping your little one in the shade, but that’s not exactly the case.
An infant beach tent is a much safer option for keeping your little one safe, and here are the key benefits you need to know about.
Sun shade tents have a groundsheet that your baby can sit and play upon (hopefully without too much sand getting involved).
If you rely on a beach umbrella and a rug as your go-to setup, your baby can very easily crawl or roll into the sand.
Protecting Against the Wind
A beach tent will also protect your child from the breeze as well as the sun.
If sand is blowing around, you definitely don’t want it getting in your little one’s eyes. You don’t want them to get cold, either.
Obviously, if it’s a really windy day, it may well not be safe to put up your beach tent – even if you choose one of the absolute best on the market – so do check the manufacturer’s guidance on this.
Protection From The Sun
Most beach shelters – and certainly all good ones worthy of your consideration – protect your child against harmful UV rays. This is something that a sun umbrella won’t do.
With an umbrella, it’s also very easy to find that you’ve positioned your baby in the shade (for now), only for the shade to move as the sun moves across the sky. You’ll be spending all your time making adjustments, and that doesn’t sound like fun to me!
You’ll find that most beach shades also offer ventilation so that the inside temperature doesn’t end up too high. Even if you’re only going to the beach in the cooler hours of the day, an unventilated tent can still end up very warm and cause your little one to overheat.
Let’s face it, the beach is so exciting that your little one may well not want to nap at all.
However, if they’re starting to get tired and cranky way before you’re ready to call it a day and go back home, a beach tent is a great place for them to sleep safely and comfortably.
If you’re assuming you could just push them up and down the beach in their stroller until they drop off, you might find yourself rethinking that when you realize how hard it is to push a stroller on the sand!
It doesn’t have to be complicated – a beach tent takes care of all of that for you, while you have some actual fun yourself.
Insects Can’t Easily Get In
If there are flies, wasps, or other insects at the beach, a tent is a must for keeping these away from your baby.
The fine mesh ventilation panels will be close-woven enough to keep any insects out, and to keep your baby safe and unbothered inside.
Oh, and don’t forget to take a baby mosquito repellent with you!
Why You’ll Find a Beach Tent Invaluable
Not only are beach tents awesome for babies and older children, they’re also great for parents and caregivers as well.
They could make your life a whole lot easier, and here’s how.
Somewhere Private to Change
Have you ever struggled to change on a busy public beach with a towel wrapped precariously around you?
While your beach tent may be a little cramped, it’s probably going to be a whole lot easier to get changed in and out of your swimwear in there!
If you have older children, they may particularly value the extra privacy of the tent when they’re changing as well. Younger children won’t care, not that they have anything to care about at that age!
Somewhere to Keep All Your Stuff
Babies don’t tend to travel light, and you’ll probably be taking several bags to the beach with you, containing wipes, spare clothes, diapers, and so on.
Keeping these inside the tent means that they’ll be away from the sand, and they’ll be trickier to accidentally leave behind or knock over.
If you’re sick of ending up with sand in everything, or if you always find it a struggle to fit your bags plus yourself onto the picnic blanket you take to the beach, then a beach tent could be just as handy for you as it is for your baby.
Older Kids (and Adults) Can Easily Find You
If you choose a fairly distinctive or large tent, then it’ll be easier for your older kids (or any adult friends and family) to locate you on a busy beach.
This is especially true if lots of other families come equipped with baby beach tents to setup themselves.
When everyone’s excited and running in and out of the sea, it’s really helpful to have a clear, visible “base camp” that kids and adults can find without having to hunt up and down the sand among umbrellas and sun loungers.
Not Limited to Using it On the Beach
If you’re reluctant to purchase a beach tent because you think you might only use it once a year during your vacation, keep in mind that there’s no rule saying you can only use a baby sun shelter tent on the beach!
Many parents find sun tents a useful way to keep their child safe and comfortable at just about any outdoor event, such as festivals or even picnics at the park.
If you have preschoolers or slightly older children, they might love to play in the tent in your own back yard, too. They’ll still need adequate sun protection in any of these cases and more, you know.
At What Age Should I Buy a Beach Tent for My Baby?
You can use a beach tent for babies on your very first trip to the beach, no matter how young your baby is.
Obviously, you’re not going to want to take a days-old newborn to the beach, but if you do take a very young baby, a baby beach canopy could be a very safe and fairly comfortable place for you to sit and feed them.
There’s no age limit on beach tents, either. Many families with older children continue to find a beach tent an essential piece of kit for easy changing and easy storage of clothes, picnics, and so on.
However, once your children are school age, you don’t necessarily have to use the infant beach tent anymore if you don’t want to. Just make sure they have plenty of sunscreen applied, at regular intervals, and that their swimming costumes have UV protection.
What Should I Look for When Choosing a Beach Tent for Babies?
There are a lot of different beach tents out there for you to choose from, and you may feel unsure about what it is exactly you need to look for.
Whatever exact type you opt for, make sure that it has the following features.
Easy to Assemble
Word to the wise: always look for an easy setup beach tent!
Whether it’s a pop up tent or one with poles, you want something that you can put up with a minimum of fuss. You don’t want to spend ages struggling with the tent rather than enjoying the beach!
Look for one that’s simple and easy to assemble. If you’re unsure about this, it’s often worth asking other parents or looking at reviews to get a good idea about how easy or tricky a particular model will be.
Strong UV Protection
One of the most crucial benefits of a beach tent is that it should protect your baby from harmful UV rays. Remember, you shouldn’t put sunscreen on a baby under six months old.
Most tents do that just fine, but read the fine print carefully to make sure you’re getting what you’re looking for.
You’ll want to look for UPF 50+ protection – anything less could leave your baby vulnerable. Some tents go further and give statistics on exactly how much UVA and UVB radiation they block, so if you’re particularly concerned about sun exposure, you may want to opt for one of these.
Beach shelters can feel a bit like ovens on hot days, and you don’t want to put your child inside something that’s stiflingly hot.
Make sure that you choose a model that’s well ventilated so that air can flow into and out of the tent.
Even with adequate UV protection, tents can become very warm inside when they’re in direct sunlight, so ventilation is a must.
Secure, Even on Windy Days
No parent wants to risk their child blowing away inside their beach tent!
You’ll definitely want a tent that can peg into the sand and one that isn’t too flimsy, if there’s even the slightest chance that you’ll be using it in windy conditions some day.
You might want to look for a tent with sand pockets which, if you hadn’t already guessed from the name, are pockets that you fill with sand to help weigh the tent down and prevent it from blowing away.
Large Enough for Your Needs
If you simply want somewhere that your baby can safely nap on the beach, then a tent sized for a single baby might be just fine.
If you’re looking for a tent to use when breastfeeding, though, or one where older children and adults can get changed, you’ll need way more space than that.
Make sure that you look carefully at the dimensions of the tent and consider whether it’s going to be roomy enough for you before you make a purchase.
What Types of Baby Beach Tents Are There To Choose From?
Most beach shades fall into one of the following categories, though you may find some that have features of more than one of these.
Standard Beach Tents
Standard beach tents generally have poles that hold them up (normally external to the tent) and that peg into the ground.
They’ll usually have a front that fully zips up, but one that can be unzipped to form an extra groundsheet on top of the sand.
Many are designed for “easy setup” so that you can get them in place quickly and easily (remember the important of a minimal-fuss-setup we discussed above?).
They may weigh a little more than pop up tents, but are still very portable, nonetheless.
Pop Up Tents
Pop up beach tents don’t have external poles or pegs. They’re very easy to set up: they automatically pop into shape once you release them from their bag.
They sometimes take a little bit of practice to put away again, but once you’ve got the hang of it, they should be straight forward to use. You don’t need to thread poles through the tent or hook the tent to the poles, or anything else like that.
Some pop up tents, like standard ones with external poles, have cords and pegs so you can anchor them to the sand.
Small Baby Tents
Some sun shade tents are very much designed for young babies, and they definitely won’t fit an adult who wants to get changed with a modicum of privacy!
They’re large enough for a young child to sit and lie down in, but there won’t be space inside to store your belongings.
These baby tents often come with extra features like pockets to hold baby essentials or even a paddling pool insert. Others act more like a portable baby crib.
If you’re looking for a small tent to only safely contain your baby, these might be ideal for you. If you’re looking for something for the entire family (baby included), though, then this isn’t going to be the best option for you.
How Many Beach Tents Should I Buy?
You’ll want to buy at least one beach tent, and possibly two if you’re able to.
It’s unlikely that you’ll want to carry multiple tents to the beach at any given time, but you might want to buy a larger one and a smaller one so that you can pack light if you’re only taking a relatively short trip with your baby.
If you start off with a tent designed for a single baby or toddler, you may well find yourself upgrading after a few years, especially if you have another child or two in the meantime.
Wrapping it Up
Whether you’re taking your baby on their first ever trip to the beach or you’re a veteran beach-goer, a baby sun tent could become just as invaluable as your collection of sand toys.
There are lots of different types and models you can choose from, with something that suits every family and budget, so do shop around to find the perfect beach tent for you and your little one.
One final tip before you go out there and have yourselves some much needed fun in the sun: practice putting up and putting down your tent in your back yard (or even in your living room if there’s enough space for it) before doing it for real at the beach.
That way, you’ll be able to get it set up on the sand in no time at all, and you’ll be a pro at it when the real test comes around!