Australians have had a long love affair with beaches, but the hardest part is dealing with the searing Australian summer sun—and the stuffy heat that comes along with that. Sun so hot you could cook an egg on the hood of your Ute. Beach shelters, tents and shades have turned from a hot, sweaty debacle to a luxurious experience. With the quickly-advancing technologies in beach tents, vast improvements have been made in the realms of heat, comfort and ease of setup.

No longer do we suffer in silence about the onslaught of sunny and muggy summer heat. Beach tent makers heard our cries (and cursing) about the difficulty of ‘that frickin bloody heat’ and created a plethora of technologies to beat the heat. Below we will look at a bunch of the best beach shelters, and the myriad of technologies now available to help avoid sun damage, heat stroke, sleepless nights,UV protection, overall comfort, and more.

Keep in mind while deciding the best beach tent to buy that you don’t have to only use it at the beach, they can be great for parks, outdoor rugby matches, and more.

A few things to consider when purchasing a beach tent/pop up beach tent/sun shade:

  1. Size/Dimensions: do you want a larger tent, or a smaller one due to the availability of beach space and the size of your family/mates?
  2. Price: beach tents have a varied price range, but like with most things you get what you pay for. If you’re an avid beach tent user then going for a higher end one might be right for you, if you won’t use it much and you don’t have a big budget, then a more cost effective one may be enough.
  3. Durability: the more durable tents will be made from heavy-duty materials like high-grade polyester, so if you want a long-lasting one look for durability features.
  4. Capacity: What will it mainly be used for, a single person, couple, family, or a group of mates?
  5. Type: will you be sleeping in it? If yes, you’ll probably want a fully enclosed one (or the option to do so), if it is just used for an afternoon an open one that provides shade and a beautiful view might be better.
  6. Weight: do you have to trek to the beach? The weight is critical for portability.
  7. Setup: some beach tents are pop up beach tents and easy to setup, some are more intricate. The setup determines the time and difficulty to set it up, which is important because you don’t want to be spending tons of time in setup and takedown for a short beach visit—however it may affect durability and other elements that make it worth it.
  8. Other Features: UV protection levels, ability to block wind, pop-out shades, elements of comfort, water resistance/waterproofing, sand pockets to help keep it secured in place, if there is a canopy and is it pop-out or standalone, etc.

So, let’s get started!

Best beach shelter - Zempire Aerobase

The Aerobase 3 is a true kick back and enjoy yourself type of sun shelter. Its inflatable air-system tubing and myriad of deflation points make setup a breeze. The large space and mesh windows help create a beach experience with less condensation (nobody wants that dropping into their lager) and blocks some wind—allowing just enough in to feel refreshed. The Aerobase 3 uses a UV-treated fabric that is part of their Pro-Series fabric.

One of its best features is in its waterproof window covers and anti-bug screens—because as bad as the heat can be on the beach, rain and flies if the weather turns foul is truly the worst.

Let’s look at the top features of this beach shelter:

  • Stabilization poles
  • Attachment for a lantern—perfect for those who stay into the dusk and beyond
  • Its inflatable airframe, providing an easy but effective setup
  • Multiple external inflation and deflation points that make not only setup but takedown a breeze
  • Durable ripstop and UV treated fabric
  • A large amount of internal space, the perfect size for a family
  • Mesh windows for airflow and works as bug-keeper-outers
  • Its 2-year warranty shows the company stands behind its product (most come with a 1-year warranty)
  • Somewhat lightweight at 17.9kgs
  • Expulsion vents in its roof that allows warm/hot air to escape and keep the tent from lifting
  • Its zip-on wall attachments, ensuring you can keep everything organised and at-hand
  • Its dimensions: External: 350L x 350W cm, packed: 74L x 37W x 33H cm
Best beach tent - Coleman Event 14 Deluxe

The Coleman Event 14 Deluxe is a must-have for large families or multi-mate fun in the sun events, with its 426L x 426W cm external dimensions and can fit even the tallest mates and family members as it is a whopping 2.3m tall! Truly spacious indeed. It also comes with a sunwall, perfect for keeping the rays away as the sun moves through the sky (and without having to move the tent), provides some privacy and blocks the wind.

It’s functionality is impressive as it not only protects you during drizzly spells, it has a UPF50+ rating—AND meets the CPAI-84 fire retardant standard, so even if your BBQ gets too close to the walls it won’t go up in flames.

Let’s look at the top features of this beach shelter:

  • It’s UPF50+ rated
  • Uses 150D/185T waterproof fabric
  • It offers a wheeled carry case making it easy to transport when carrying multiple items from the car
  • It comes with one sunshade but more are available to be purchased separately
  • External Dimensions: 426L x 426W cm; Packed Dimensions:102L x 29W x 25H cm, 2.3 meters of head height and weighs 21.4Kgs
  • Strong steel frame
  • 1-year warranty

This is a great sun shelter for large families and groups, offering protection from all the elements, and is easy to setup with its 8 shock-corded poles.

Best beach shelter - Coleman Event 14

What can we say about the Coleman Event 14 that was mentioned above…ditto? It offers many of the same features and the same size as the Deluxe model, but it is water resistant not waterproof like the deluxe version, which has taped seams. It is a few kilos lighter—which is handy, at 17.6Kgs (opposed to the deluxe, which is 21.4Kgs. It is also easy to setup like the deluxe model with the same 8 shock-corded poles.

Let’s look at the top features of these beach shelters:

  • It offers 75D/185T fabric that is UPF50+ rated
  • Includes one sun wall (more can be purchased separately)
  • External Dimensions: 426L x 426W cm; Packed Dimensions:102L x 29W x 25H cm, 2.3 meters of head height and weighs 17.6Kgs
  • It comes with a 1-year warranty

This tent is great for those looking for a lighter option but the same size and features (except waterproofing) as its deluxe cousin.

Hollie & Harrie Sombrilla

This Hollie & Harrie Beach Shade is great for a couple or small family and is ultra lightweight at just 3.6Kgs. Despite its competitive price point and ultra lightweight design, the 100% cotton fabric can block 95+% of UV rays.

Let’s look at the top features of this beach shade:

  • Comes with a patterned, zippered shoulder carrier
  • Offers 95% UV ray protection
  • It has rust-resistant aluminium poles and pegs and 4 ropes
  • External Dimensions:330L x 180W cm; Packed Dimensions:100L x 20W x 10H cm; maximum head height of 180 cms
  • It weighs just 3.6Kgs
  • Has a 1-year warranty

This easy-to-carry, fashionable sunshade is a handy thing to have for a day at the beach.

Best beach shelter - Oztrail Deluxe 3.0 Gazebo

The Oztrail Deluxe 3.0 Gazebo is lovely for a day at the beach, or even a short time as it is quick and easy to setup. It can also be used in backyards, at the park, outdoor sports, market stalls, family gatherings, etc. The size is good for a family at 3x3m.

The only downside to this gazebo beach tent is that it isn’t waterproof, but it does have Hydro-Flow Anti Ponding Bars to keep pools of rain from forming, and a heavy-duty strut system so it won’t buckle under strong winds.

Let’s look at the top features of this beach gazebo:

  • Available in two colours: black and blue
  • Heavy-duty wheeled carry bag with an internal peg pocket
  • Triple-reinforced corners to prevent tearing from normal wear and tear
  • It has wall kits and accessories available to be purchased separately
  • External Dimensions:300L x 300W x 335H cm; Packed Dimensions:157L x 27W x 22Hcm
  • It has 3 height settings − 193cm, 208cm, and 223 cm
  • Is made of 300D UVtex polyester material
  • Has a powder-coated steel frame
  • Weighs 23Kgs
  • Offers a 1-year warranty

This gazebo tent from OZtrail offers a 3x3m canopy which is quite large and can fit a family easily, the only downside is that it is water-resistant but not waterproof.

Best beach tent - Malamoo 4-Hub Beach Shelter Tent

The Malamoo is such a sleek and stylish tent, but it certainly isn’t fashion over function! It is perfect for a couple or small family with its 2m-wide frontage, albeit it’s a sit/lay down and relax tent as its max height is 1.5m (but who wants to stand at the beach anyways…beaches are for swimming and relaxing). It provides 3 sides to give you some privacy and protection from the wind—without blocking your view of the crashing waves. It was also carefully designed to allow for super-quick setup, with setup and takedown taking under a minute! It also offers UPF50+ protection from Australia’s piercing sun rays. Its base-wall meshing ensures you stay cool at the beach. And best of all—weighs just 3.3Kgs.

Let’s look at the top features of one of the best beach tents on the market:

  • Rapid hub framing
  • Extra-large entrance
  • Windows and meshing to block the sand stirred up by winds while providing great ventilation
  • UPF50+ UV protection from the sun’s rays
  • Comes with the beach shelter, 3 attached guy ropes, 9 pegs, 4 sandbags and one carrying bag
  • External dimensions: 200 x 175 x 155cm; Packed Dimensions: 110 x 16 x 16cm; Weight: 3.3kgs
  • Its flooring is 105g Polyethylene—providing a comfortable place to rest
  • Its frame is 8.5mm fibreglass poles (part of the reason it is so lightweight)

Excellent UV protection, ultra lightweight, sleek modern design—if those things appeal to you then this may be ‘the one’.

Best beach shelter - Caribee Long Reef Beach Shade

Caribee’s Long Reef Beach Shade is a stylish little sunshade that is also ultra lightweight—and a price point affordable to pretty much everyone. On top of the style, it performs true-to-function with its easy setup (can be done by just one person) and range of shade options to move as the sun tries to sneak in as it wanes in the sky, without compromising your beautiful view of your favourite beaches.

Let’s look at the top features of this beach shade:

  • It offers UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Can be setup in a multiple positions
  • One-person setup is a breeze
  • Multi-functional for more than just the beach
  • It includes: a carry bag, sun awning, pre-tied awning roping, aluminium poles and crossbar, pole supports and plastic sand pegs and steel grass pegs (making it perfect for parks and outdoor games)
  • External Dimensions:330L x 180W cm; Packed Dimensions:76L x 15W x 20H cm; Maximum Head Height of 175 cm
  • Polyester awning and aluminium framing
  • Weighs just 3.3KGs
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

This lightweight, stylish sunshade truly is ‘function meets fashion’ with its myriad of perks.

Explore Planet Earth Speedy Pop−Up Sun shelter

Available in Medium size and Family size

Best beach tent - Explore Planet Earth Speedy Pop-Up Beach Tent

The Explore Planet Earth Speedy pop up beach tent comes in two handy sizes: medium and family-sized, making it perfect for couples, small families and larger families. The family-sized sun shelter offers about 15cms more in length and width, but the medium sized one weighs about 1Kg less. Another difference is that the family-size comes with a detachable floor (the medium has no floor—but nothing a big beach blanket can’t fix). Size, weight, and floor are the main deciding factors here as they have similar price points with the family coming at around just $5 more.

Let’s look at the top features of this beach sun shelter:

  • Medium size dimensions: External: 230L x 135W cm; Packed: 56L x 56W x 10H cm; Maximum Head Height of 125cms
  • Family-size dimensions: External: 245L x 150W cm; Packed: 65L x 65W x 7H cm; Maximum Head Height of 145cms
  • The Medium weighs just 2.3KGs, and the family just 3.4Kgs
  • Both offer UPF50+ sun protection
  • Both include: a zippered back panel, sand and storage pockets, pegs and sandbag anchor and a carrying bag
  • Both offer a 1-year warranty

These affordable, lightweight and easy-to-setup beach shelters are great bang for your buck.

OzTrail Multi Shade Tent

The Oztrail Multi Shade 4 is aptly named as it fits four people. Its cross-brace design offers solid strength and is super easy to setup and takedown. It’s a sturdy little sun shade from a great brand that has a very comfortable price point (especially for OZtrail). It offers meshing to block the sand but provides a very comfortable place to rest (and it is a sit down/lay down tent as its max head height is 150cms.

Let’s look at the top features of this beach shade:

  • It is water-resistant (but not waterproof)
  • Its cross-brace and anti-shear shock corded fibreglass pole design provides solid strength and ease of setup
  • Offers UVtex sun protection
  • Includes: a heavy-duty puncture-proof floor, side and rear meshing for cross ventilation, sand pegs and pockets and a compact carrying bag
  • Comes in a blue/grey-coloured design
  • Dimensions: the tent floor area is 210cm x 150cm; the tent’s head height is 150cm; packed size 65x14cms
  • Weighs just 2.3Kgs
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

    This is a great little shade from a company known for features and durability.

    Best Pop Up Beach Tent

    The Coleman Shoreline Instant Shade is quite cost effective for a globally-recognised brand. Despite its low cost point it packs a wallop of features, like the extended floor that can be closed up to create a private change area and overall privacy. A true summer must-have with other features too, like its UPF 50+ sun protection. Oh, and it can be setup and taken down in 30 seconds, and is ultra lightweight at just 2.6Kgs. And as with most Coleman tents and shades it comes with at-hand pockets, to keep your sunnies (but not your coldies as it isn’t insulated, but a good esky will do the trick). It comes with sandbags and pegs for the beach—and the pegs work on hard ground too, so you can use it in parks.

    Let’s look at the top features of this beach shade:

    • It uses UVGuard material, which provides UPF 50+ sun protection
    • Ultra quick setup with its pre-attached steel and fibreglass poles
    • A closeable extended floor for added privacy
    • It has an auto-roll window that provides excellent ventilation
    • The carrying bag is extendable, making it easy to pack up
    • External Dimensions:240L x 120W cm; Packed Dimensions:78L x 11W x 11H cm; Maximum head height of 120 cms; weighs just 2.6Kgs
    • The flooring is made of polyethylene material, making it luxuriously comfortable
    • Comes with a 1-year warranty

      At the price point, quality and myriad of features you simply can’t go wrong with this stylish little pop up beach tent.


      This list of 10 of the best beach tents and best beach shelters loved by ozzies everywhere covered some of the most important deciding factors—differing greatly in price points, sizes, weights and features. The important thing is to pick the one that fits your budget and covers your specific needs, so that you can chill comfortably at your favourite Australian beaches in style, comfort, ventilation and safety from the sun.

      The decision is now up to you to create the perfect beach-going experience for you and your loved ones.

      Disclaimer: The above links are affiliate links, meaning I will be given a percentage of all purchases. This doesn’t mean you pay anything extra and doesn’t influence the opinions I have presented in this article in any way.

      Got yourself a great beach tent? Which model did you buy? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.

      If you’re looking for ideas on where to take your next family camping trip, check out our Travel Inspiration section. Need hikes to do on your camping trip? Try The Trail Finder.

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