1. Types of Beach Tents
A beach tent can vary from a simple overhead canopy or sail structure to a full-sized beach house made with a frame and fabric. You define a typical beach tent by its construction.
Think of a gazebo style structure with an overhead fabric roof - the canopy style beach tent is one of the easiest to put up and takedown. You can gain extra privacy with roll down mesh or fabric walls or have a more open structure.
Canopy tents provide a large space for family gatherings, and you can get some with a seven-foot clearance to accommodate the tallest family members. Canopy beach tents don’t come with an integral floor, so if you want a sand-free floor space, you need floor mats or groundsheets.
1.1.1 Pole Canopy
A supporting pole gives more structure and support to the canopy beach tent. You get better wind resistance, but you need to work around a central pole.
1.1.2 Frame Canopy
This beach tent uses a stronger frame for a more durable structure with increased support. These beach tents are heavier to carry because the frame (even made with lightweight materials) adds weight and bulk to the pack.
A baby beach tent does not refer to the size, but the purpose. A baby beach tent provides tailored protection against UV ad other beach hazards for the softest, most vulnerable member of your party – a baby. Baby’s skin is super-sensitive, and if you have a baby in the family, it makes sense to pack a baby beach tent as well as the family one.
The baby beach tent provides valuable shade for your baby at the beach or any other outdoor family outing.
1.3 Cabana Style
A cabana-style beach tent suits the needs of a middle-sized family. You often get storage pockets and one open side giving you an excellent view of the water. The cabana-style is like a portable beach cave you can position anywhere on the beach.
The pop-up beach tent erects in seconds, providing instant shade. It would be best if you tethered it down to the ground to avoid a stiff breeze lifting it and carrying it away. These can be traditional tents with a closure or opening on one side open like a cave. The pop-up beach tent often comes with an integral floor as part of the structure.
1.5 Traditional Tent
You can use your family camping tent as a beach tent rather than a beach tent in theory. In practice, you are better with a beach tent for the beach because:
· A lighter and more compact design provides shelter for the day rather than a canvas home tent.
· Beach tents have sand pockets as an alternative stabilizing method.
· Beach tents take up less space on a crowded beach.
· You don’t want your family camping tent to be covered with sand next time you go on holiday – beach tents shed sand more quickly than traditional tents.
Beach tents are ideal for the beach because they are light, colorful, dry quickly, and shed sand easily.
2. How to Choose the Best Beach Tent?
The best beach tent will improve your beach experience, so it’s worth investigating the features you need to give you a durable investment in beach fun. The necessary features depend on your likely beach conditions and how you like to spend your day.
· Size – you need a beach tent that accommodates the number of people using it. Too large, and you won’t get enough space on a crowded beach to pitch it. A too-small beach tent leaves you feeling cramped and unhappy while struggling to change your swimsuit and tripping over your possessions.
· Weight – although you get to the beach by car, you will need to carry your supplies across the beach – that may be a considerable distance from the vehicle.
· Height – you need enough height for comfortable use by all your party.
· Design – what you need from your beach tent means some designs work better than others. You may want to store your possessions, or you might want to be able to stand up and change your clothing in a private space.
· Integral floor – gives you a beach-free space to keep your food, spare clothing and provides a clean changing room. It also means you don’t need to carry an extra item to the beach.
· Material and color – most beach tents use ripstop nylon because it is light, waterproof, and wind-resistant. Reinforced corners and double seams improve durability. A bright color or pattern makes a landmark on the beach so everyone can find the meeting point.
· Frame – steel for strength, plastic is rustproof and light, and aluminum is lightweight and corrosion-resistant. The frame material affects the ease of packing and durability.
· UV protection – some radiation still gets through the fabric, so look for a UPF rating of 30 to 50. One of the primary reasons for having a beach tent is to provide safe shade out of the sun’s rays.
· Ease of assembly – you don’t want to stress about dismantling a complicated beach tent when the tide is rushing in. Plus, when you get to the beach, you want to set-up quickly so you can relax and have fun.
· Waterproof – water repellant coatings are useful to deal with sea spray and the occasional shower. Look for beach tents with taped seams for improved waterproofing.
· Ventilation – mesh windows allow a breeze through the beach tent and stops the inside from getting stuffy.
· Heat reflective surfaces – a shiny lining material reflects the sun’s heat and keeps the beach tent relatively cool instead of producing dangerously high heat levels.
· Locking zips – necessary if you want to secure your positions while you go for a stroll or a swim.
· Extras provided – pockets for storage, lines to dry swimwear, tethering lines, sand pockets, and a carrying case are useful features.
· Warranty – accidents happen, and a warranty is an excellent guide to quality materials and construction.
You don’t get every feature in every beach tent, but if you know what elements are essential for your enjoyment of the beach, you can select the beach tent that fits your needs.