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Kristina Cappetta

Best Baby Beach Tents to Block the Summer Sun

Finding the perfect baby beach tent is anything but child's play. Keep your cool this summer with our list of best tents around.

Now that summer is here, we’re betting you and your family can’t wait to head out for a fun day in the sun. If you’re hitting the beach, sunscreen, hats and towels are likely on your packing list—but don’t forget a baby beach tent. When it comes to summer sun safety, a baby tent that provides ample shade can be just as essential as sunscreen. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants under 6 months old avoid sun exposure. Plus, the best baby beach tents offer not only a cool spot away from the sun, but also a (relatively) sand-free place to put baby down for a nap, change a diaper or enjoy a snack.

What to Look for in a Baby Beach Tent

You don’t want to run out to the store and just pick up any old baby beach tent. As with all the other baby gear you have in your house, you want to be thoughtful about what you buy, considering safety and quality above all. Here are some questions to keep in mind as you shop around for the best beach tent:

  • Is it easy to assemble? Sure, it looks nice in the box, but is baby going to be a teenager by the time you manage to get it up? You may want to consider a pop-up beach tent for baby to minimize assembly time. Otherwise, look for a baby beach tent that’s quick and easy to assemble.
  • What sun protection does it provide? One of the main reasons you’re even buying a beach tent for baby is to gain some protection from the sun. Look into what type of UV protection the baby beach tent offers. Check whether it has enclosure options on all sides, but also ventilation. A baby tent is not meant to be an oven!
  • How durable is it? Ocean breezes can become quite brisk. Consider the materials the sun tent is made of and how durable it is. Choose a high quality product to avoid a baby beach tent disaster. A tent collapsing on baby = epic fail!

Best Baby Beach Tents

Now that you know what to look for in a baby beach tent, how do you find the best tent for your family? Take a look at our list of awesome baby sun tents to help narrow your choices.

Photo: Courtesy Pacific Breeze

Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent , $70, Amazon.com

This baby beach tent is a favorite of beach-going families because it’s roomy enough for baby to roam, but still leaves enough space for a parent to squeeze into. More importantly, it offers SPF 50+ to protect baby from the sun’s harmful rays, and also has large windows for ventilation. As an added bonus, the beach shade tent comes with internal pockets for storing sunscreen, snacks and toys. When you’re ready to head home, the special design will help make packing up as quick and painless as can be.

Pros:

  • Provides SPF protection
  • Sandbags ensure the sun tent stays in place, even in gusty winds
  • Can easily set up and take down in as fast five seconds

Cons:

  • Can only fit one adult with baby
  • Pieces must be handled with care to avoid damage
Photo: Courtesy Babymoov

Babymoov Anti-UV Tent , $45, Amazon.com

This easy-peasy baby pop-up beach tent is a favorite because it’s hassle-free. Moms on Amazon rave about how they’re able to set it up with one hand, while baby is on their hip. It pops open in about three seconds to provide a cozy hideaway and UV protection for baby. Close it up in another three seconds and store it in its compact carry bag.

Pros:

  • Ventilation net allows for air to come through while protecting against bugs
  • Anti-UV rating of 50 offers ultimate sun protection
  • Made up of durable and easy-to-clean material

Cons:

  • Tent instructions aren’t very helpful
  • Ventilation net allows lots of sand to enter on a windy beach day

Shade Shack Instant Pop Up Sun Shelter , $50, Amazon.com

There’s room for mom, dad and a sibling in this family beach tent. It offers an easy pop-up setup and sand pockets and stakes for stay-put comfort, plus three fold-up sides for breezy ventilation while providing plenty of shade from the sun.

Pros:

  • Offers sun protection and ventilation at the same time
  • You can put sand in side pockets to weigh tent down
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Difficult to fold back up
  • Provides SPF 30+, not SPF 50+
Photo: Courtesy Pacific Play Tents

Pacific Play Tents 20315 Kids One Touch Beach Tent *, $86, Amazon.com Baby will have plenty of space to roam in this colorful and roomy baby cabana. With just one touch, the baby beach tent sets itself up and will stay in place all day long. Zip up the mesh doors to keep your family safe from the sun and beach critters. Plus, the baby tent is UV-treated and has a waterproof floor.

Pros:

  • Durable enough to last a few years
  • Can withstand strong winds
  • Fits up to 4 toddlers

Cons:

  • Velcro tabs to keep the front doors open don’t always stick
  • Doesn’t come with stakes to hold it down

Pacific Play Tents Seaside Beach Cabana , $43, Jet.com

Did somebody say beach party? This baby tent’s got enough space for an infant, toddler and more. The fun ocean-inspired graphics are perfect for a day at the beach, and the baby tent’s two mesh sides and full vent windows will keep your little one cool.

Pros:

  • Solid back keeps sun out for baby naps
  • Easy-to-clean floor
  • Large enough for more than one child

Cons:

  • No SPF protection listed
  • Does require assembly that could take time

Coleman RoadTrip Beach Shade , $43, Amazon.com

You’ll hear a lot of “where did you get that?” when you roll up to the sand with this family beach tent. Lightweight, portable and UV-resistant, it’s large and sturdy enough for the whole family to hide away from the sun, sand and wind. Can’t decide if you want the back of the baby tent to be a wall or a window? Both are doable! And did we mention there’s also a UV guard to block harmful UV rays?

Pros:

  • Easy setup; usually takes less than five minutes
  • Comes with bags to weigh tent down with sand
  • Easy to take down and store in bag
  • Optional front privacy door is ideal for baby diaper changes

Cons:

  • May be hard to assemble on a windy day

Pacific Play Tents Lil Nursery Portable Dome Tent for Infants , $19, Amazon.com

Baby can be the boss in this pint-sized and portable baby beach tent! If your little one doesn’t feel like having guests in their pad, just roll down the door for a little privacy. They can still see all the other beach babies through the mesh sidewalls that let in the sea breeze. Available in four different colors and styles.

Pros:

  • SPF 30 walls for sun protection
  • Washable floor
  • Folds up compactly

Cons:

  • Assembly required
  • Poles may break easily
  • Poles become difficult to use in the sand
Photo: Courtesy Pottery Barn

Navy and White Stripe Family Pop-Up Tent , $100-$129, PotteryBarnKids.com

Fashion meets function with this trendy baby beach tent. Not only is it super-cute, but it easily pops up into place. And with a UV protection of 50+, it’ll provide a safe haven to keep kids out of harm’s way.

*Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • UV protective fabric
  • Has large handles to easily grasp

Cons:

  • Since there’s no front closure, it won’t keep pesky bugs or sand out

Pacific Play Tents Baby Suite I Deluxe Lil Nursery Tent with Pad , $24, Amazon.com

We all know beach days with an infant in tow can end just as soon as they start. When you need to make a quick exit, this baby beach tent is just as easy to take down as it is to assemble. Another bonus is the removable soft pad with a washable cover, for when those diaper changes don’t go exactly as planned.

Pros:

  • Two mesh side panels with Velcro closures allow for ventilation
  • Keeps sand out well
  • Can hold more than one child
  • UV-treated fabric for sun protection

Cons:

  • Poles may not be sturdy
  • Sand can get in Velcro closures, making it hard to close over time

Sunba Youth Pop Up Beach Tent , $27, Amazon.com

This baby beach tent is so easy to put together, your tot can practically do it themselves. Just pop it up and fold it down. Just tell baby they can’t invite all their friends—its cozy size makes it ideal for just one child at a time. This baby tent turns into a mini pool by just adding a little water inside the attached baby pool. Shade plus water equals one cool kid!

Pros:

  • Back has flap for ventilation
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Add water inside to make a baby pool

Cons:

  • Zipper may break easily
  • May become difficult to fold after multiple uses
Photo: Courtesy iCorer

*iCorer Automatic Pop Up Instant Portable Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent *, $30, Amazon.com

If you’re looking for an easy-to-assemble baby beach tent at a price that won’t break the bank, look no further than the pop-up beach tent from iCorer. This cabana will automatically pop up and self-expand in the blink of an eye, and folds back flat in mere seconds. It comes with stakes to hold in place, but for an extra-windy day, you can fill the outside pockets with sand to ensure it stays put.

Pros:

  • UV rating of 50+ UPF
  • Weighs 2 lbs.
  • Easily opens and closes

Cons:

  • May become more difficult to close after frequent use
  • Metal frames may snap after use
Photo: Courtesy Nequare

NEQUARE Baby Beach Portable Pop Up Tent , $33, Amazon.com

Hitting the beach with baby will be easier than ever before. Designed specifically for your tiny human, this baby beach tent provides a snug and shady space for your little one. Use the zipper to open the side of the tent, or close it up to offer baby beach shade for their mid-day nap.

Pros:

  • UPF 50+ will block up to 99 percent of the sun’s rays
  • Mesh windows provides ventilation for baby
  • Weighs less than 1 lb, making it super-easy to take on the go

Cons:

  • May not withstand wind when baby isn’t in it
  • Initial folding may be difficult

Updated May 2019

Photo: iStock