Don't go to the beach without one of these sun shades

By Rena Behar
Updated June 06, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Beach people are always talking about the beach. The sun! They insist. The waves! The lovely breezes! Meanwhile, their less-enthusiastic counterparts are giving them the side-eye, thinking less about cool drinks in hammocks between palm trees and more about sweating sunscreen into their eyes and trying to figure out how it’s even possible to get sand inside a grape.

If you’re a beach person surrounded by skeptics, consider introducing a beach canopy into your arsenal. These convenient sources of shade will create a cool oasis for your friends to hide in when they've forgotten just how oppressively bright the sun can be. Some beach tents even come with floors so you can launch a valiant effort against the ever-encroaching sand.

Even the most devoted beach-worshippers can benefit from a canopy. The American Academy of Dermatology would probably prefer you minimize your tanning time in general, but if you’re going to be outside, they recommend staying in the shade when the sun is strongest (generally between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). And stashing your food and drinks in the shade will help keep them cool longer rather than re-frying your potato chips.

Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm

Here are some of our favorites that we found during our browsing as we longingly dreamt of warmer days.

Sport-Brella Vented SPF 50+ Sun and Rain Canopy

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Looking for a multitasking option? Wirecutter’s favorite beach umbrella and one of the top-selling sunshade on Amazon comes with fold-down flaps to transform it into an 8-foot canopy

To buy: amazon.com, from $44

Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The Strategist raves about the Pacific Breeze tent enough to convert even the staunchest anti-beacher.

To buy: amazon.com, $70

Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Going full beach party? Upgrade to the Pacific Breeze XL. You can even opt for an extendable floor to really try to keep the sand out. (It will definitely still sneak in there, but at least you tried).

To buy: amazon.com, $100 ($105 with floor)

Zomake Pop Up Tent

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re not feeling confident in your assembly skills or are looking for something a little more tent-like, opt for a pop-up model like this one from Zomake that can also be used for backyard camping excursions.

To buy: amazon.com, $67

Coleman Beach Shade Shelter

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Classic camping gear company Coleman goes on vacation with this beach shade that includes 50+ UPF sun protection and a back window.

To buy: amazon.com, $42

Neso Grande Beach Tent

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

If you just want a simple beach-only slice of fabric and some poles, go for the Neso. It’s light, highly portable, and comes in a variety of easy-to-spot hues, but just keep in mind that it may blow away if the wind picks up too much.

To buy: amazon.com, from $125

Otentik Beach Sunshade

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

TripSavvy votes for the Otentik for its quality fabric and ease of assembly. It comes in medium and large sizes and a variety of color options.

To buy: amazon.com, $125

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