When you’re out relaxing at the beach, the most effective way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is by using a beach canopy.
We’re not saying you needn’t bother with sunscreen, by all means slather yourself, but if you’re in the shade, no harmful ray gets so much as look in. Besides you have to be really careful not to get a patchy look when you rely solely on sunscreen. And with a canopy in place, you won’t be so hot that you have to jump in the sea every couple of minutes just to cool down.
Beach canopies that are weighed down by sand bags/anchors are much better than their beach umbrella counterparts that swirl about in the wind (they do that no matter how far down you shove the pole). Not only do they stay in place until you want to move them, but they generally provide more shade too. They’re a great option for those whose skin is particularly sensitive to the sun.
The good news is that there are some great beach canopies with sandbag anchors available on the market today. And better yet, we’ve shortlisted some of the best ones to show you.
And after a few short reviews, we’ve also got a handy buying guide, which we think completely covers everything you might want to think about before you buy.
Top 4 Best Beach Canopies
OUR TOP PICK
This is a great little beach tent from Neso, and is available at a great price too.
It measures 2.1m by 2.1 m, and is available in a range of 6 different colors. They’re all nice but our favorite is the coral color.
It’s built to last with rust proof aluminum poles, and the highest quality fabrics (a Nylon/Lycra blend) designed to protect you from an impressive 98% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, with an SPF rating of 50+.
You can anchor the poles and canopy in place using the included sand anchors which can be weighted down with either natural resources such as sand or anything else that you might have to hand.
In order to avoid any damage from being stretched, the corners of the fabric have specially designed patented reinforced corners. This is it’s really stand out feature, and what sets it apart from other beach tents with sand anchors on the market.
It’s water resistant too, so you don’t have to worry about a bit of excessive splashing.
It comes complete with it’s own bag into which it can be rolled up really compact and then carried over your shoulder. And it’s lightweight too, coming in at just 1.8kg.
It’s super easy to set up too, and the set instructions are actually laid out on the Amazon page (we like Step 6 - enjoy your Neso).
Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. On the Amazon page for example over two thirds of customers rated it at a full 5 stars out of 5. And it’s been selling really well there too, with well over 850 customer ratings.
The price point we also think is pretty reasonable if you know you’re going to get good regular use out of it. In fact it earned the title of “Amazon’s Choice for beach canopy”, a title only earned when a top quality product is available at a good price.
- Nice color options
- Rust proof poles
- Great sun protection
- Reinforced corners
- Easy to set up
- Lightweight & portable
- Positive customer feedback
- Good, reasonable price
- It’s not infallible and a strong wind can drag a bag of sand, so the more sand you use the better or use wet sand if you can.
What we love about this beach canopy is the sheer size of it. The family size one measures 7.2 by 7.9 feet, or alternatively you can go for the jumbo size which measures 8.8 by 8.8 feet. (If you can afford the latter, that would be the better option.)
The canopy offers SPF50+ UV protection from the sun’s rays, and is available in 3 quite striking colors, violet, red and orange. All of which would be easy to spot on a crowded beach (nothing worse than kids getting lost on holiday).
The canopy uses 4 rust proof aluminum poles, and they have rounded foam on the upper ends, so that they don’t wear the canopy’s fabric. The canopy itself is a strong Lycra blend. It’s sand repellent and wind resistant.
It’s super easy to set up, and the set up instructions are available on the Amazon page. You could get the kids involved in filling the sandbags up.
It’s lightweight to carry and comes with a matching carry bag with handy pockets including a cooler pouch.
Although you can keep the canopy in place with it’s sandbag anchors, Ziggyshade have also thrown in 4 plastic pegs for good measure.
Customer feedback has been really positive, with well over half its Amazon customers rating it at a full 5 stars out of a possible 5.
- Jumbo size available
- SPF50+ UV protection
- Striking color options
- Quality build & materials
- Sand repellent & wind resistant
- Super easy to set up
- Lightweight & easy to carry
- 4 free plastic pegs
- Positive customer feedback
- Premium product at a premium price
This sunshade has also won the Amazon’s Choice title, this time for Beach Sunshade.
We love it’s price point, and it’s the most affordable one of our Top picks.
It’s available in 2 colors, light blue or red, and is a nice size for two people, measuring 1.45 by 2.43 meters.
The canopy offers fantastic protection from the sun’s rays, thanks to it’s Italian Fabric with a special weave that adheres even to strict Australian standards.
You only need one person to set it up, and you’ll find the instructions right on the Amazon page.
And when you’re ready to pack away, you’ll find the lightweight aluminum poles simply fold up, and the whole kit fits into it’s over-the-shoulder carry bag.
There aren’t too many peer reviews for it on the Amazon page, but we think that’s simply because it has only recently been made available.
- Really good price
- Easy to set up
- Nice color options
- Excellent protection
- Good quality materials
- Comes with a carry bag
- Not many peer reviews around
- It’s not too big, as it’s only designed for 2 people
If you already have your own canopy or pop up beach tent, then you could decide to pay a little less money and invest in weight bags like these instead.
And since it costs little more than $20 it works out a far cheaper option than buying yourself a new canopy.
It comes as a set of 4, and each bag can hold up to 20 to 25 pounds of sand (or other substances). And they’re super durable. In fact the manufacturer says that they’re a whopping 300% stronger than their competitors.
They’re easy to use, you simply velcro the bag around the pole, and the pole will stay in place. (The velcro used is stronger than traditional velcro.)
It’s been flying off the shelves at Amazon, and customer feedback has been super positive, with about 3 quarters of Amazon customers rating it a full 5 stars out of 5.
- Very affordable
- Flying off the shelves
- Strong and durable
- Positive customer feedback
- Some customers have said that the velcro straps are too short
Best Beach Canopies Buying Guide
Before we go any further, there’s a distinction to be made between beach canopies with sandbags and beach canopies with sand anchors.
If you already have a beach umbrella system, or a pop up canopy tent, then you well feel it could do with some added wind resistance. In this situation what you need are sand anchors to hold the system in place.
However, alternatively you could get a beach canopy which comes with it’s own sandbags integrated into the system. Many people find this latter option far more convenient. They usually fold down almost flat and are very compact to carry with your beach things or to stuff into a suitcase.
As to which one to go for, that my friend comes down to you. But we would argue that a canopy with sandbags has more to offer than its counterpart measures. Now, let’s talk about what to look for in your beach canopy with sandbags.
You will need to suss out what kind of size you need for your canopy. Many manufacturers claim that their canopies are ideal for a family of four. But translated what this usually means is it can potentially keep four people in the shade if they are sitting. If you all wanted to lie down on your beach towels however you may find your hands or feet creep out the edges.
That said you can get larger beach canopies that can comfortably accommodate up to six people. But if there’s just two of you, then just about any beach canopy will suffice.
The whole idea of a sun canopy is that it should protect you from the sun, so if the info is available, check out the SPF rating. You don’t need any fancy materials, a simple polyester fabric will do the trick.
You may also be interested in canopy that’s waterproof, particularly if one of your numbers is a mischievous splasher. Also the weather isn’t always 100% predictable, so you may want protection from the rain too. You can forget about any protection from the wind though.
More often than not, you’ll find that the sandbags anchoring the canopy are made from the same material as the canopy itself, a polyester blend. And while the durability of the fabric is important you’ll also need the sandbags to feature quality stitching, since the weight of the sand together with the power of the sea breeze could cause poor stitching to tear open.
You should also be mindful of how the sandbags are attached to the canopy. If they’re attached as one piece, then you’ll find them far more durable than any counterparts where the sandbags are attached with string.
Sometimes a beach tent will come with other anchors besides sandbags. This can help because beaches can sometimes be windy, and that can be enough to drag a light sandbag.
You may also want to give thought to the number of poles. Having more poles means more versatility, since it means you can put the canopy up in a wider choice of configurations.
With regards to the poles’ material, you’ll need poles that are both durable and at the same time lightweight. Popular materials that meet this requirement include fiberglass, carbon fibre or coated aluminum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better: Beach Tent or Umbrella?
A beach tent is usually better than an umbrella, as it is more convenient for a variety of different reasons. However, umbrellas do have their own benefits, which some people may prefer. On a windy day at the beach, an umbrella may not be the most suitable option as it can easily get caught in the wind. You can get beach tents that are resistant to the wind, which makes them the superior option on a windy day at the beach.
As well as this, beach tents are not as bulky as umbrellas, and they are usually easier to transport with you on the go. You can stash a beach tent in your bag or carry it with ease. An umbrella is likely to be heavier and more difficult to carry with you. If you were going on holiday, a beach tent would also be your only option when it comes to transporting abroad.
If you just want a little bit of shade for you and your belongings, then a beach umbrella will be more than capable of doing the job. However, if you are a couple or are going on a beach adventure with your family, then you are probably going to benefit more from a beach tent, as it has a better shade footprint. A beach umbrella is not likely going to offer enough protection for all of you.
What Makes a Good Beach Tent?
A good beach tent should be able to offer you efficient UV protection, and the majority of beach tents will offer UV protection of 50 or higher. This will ensure that you are safe from the sun when you are in your shelter. You will still need sunscreen, but you will be protected from direct sunlight.
It should also be stable and secure when you set it up, as the last thing that you want is for your tent to blow away in the wind. Some of the better quality tents will have pockets that you can fill with sand to help to make your shelter even more stable.
You will also be looking for ease and convenience when you are paying for a good quality beach tent, as nobody wants to spend half their time at the beach putting up their shelter. It should be quick and easy to put up, and just as easy to put away once you have finished. As well as this, you will be looking for a tent that is lightweight and easy to transport to the beach. Many great quality beach tents will come with handy carrying bags to make things even more convenient.
Is a Black Canopy Hotter Than a White Canopy?
Yes, a black canopy will be hotter than a white canopy. This is because black will absorb the heat, whereas white will reflect the heat.
How Do You Keep a Canopy From Blowing Away at the Beach?
If you are trying to keep your canopy from blowing away at the beach, then you will need to use things like tent pegs, leg anchors, and even sandbags to keep it from doing so. You can also place it in an area that breaks the wind to increase your chances of staying put.