10 Best Baby Beach Tent and Canopies of 2021 Reviewed!

There’s nothing quite as exciting for kids as a fun family day at the beach. For parents, these trips to the seashore are a mixed bag; it’s wonderful to build new memories with your family, but let’s face it—trips to the beach can be a lot of work!

You have to remember to pack towels, changes of clothes, sunscreen, snacks, and your kid’s favorite toys. If you have an infant, there’s the additional diaper bag full of goodies to worry about, plus finding a place to change diapers and put the little one down for a nap.

There’s also the issue of the sun—infants aren’t supposed to be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time, so you’ll need to find a shelter of some sort. Baby beach tents and canopies are designed to protect your baby from those harsh UV rays, giving you one less thing to worry about. These tents can also double as places for your little one to play, nap, or eat, helping the baby enjoy beach time as much as everyone else.

Baby beach tents and canopies can solve a lot of beach-time stresses, letting you get back to enjoying your time with your family. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best baby beach tent and canopies options on the market, from simple pop up beds to more elaborate shelters with mini pools included. As our baby beach tent and canopy reviews prove, these tents are durable and easy to set up, so you and your baby can make the most of beach days.

The Best Baby Beach Tent and Canopies Reviews | Editor’s Picks

Let’s check out reviews of the best baby beach tent and canopies picks available. Our reviews are in no particular order, but numbered for organization.

1. Overcrest Portable Pop Up Baby Beach Tent

At just 42” L x 27” W x 20” H, the Overcrest Portable Pop Up Baby Beach Tent is the ultimate minimalist baby beach tent. Designed for providing your infant a place to nap or escape from the sun, this popup bed weighs less than a pound and is easy enough to set up that you can pop it up using just one hand.

The bed is fully enclosed in mesh, so you don’t have to worry about bugs. The flaps on all four sides close to protect your little one from the elements, but they leave about 20% of the mesh exposed to allow airflow and allow you to see in. 

Overcrest thought of everything when designing this popup baby bed—they were even thoughtful enough to include an inner toy loop so you can hang your baby’s favorite toy or mobile and keep them entertained for hours.

Pros

  • Ultra-portable
  • Weighs less than a pound
  • Full mesh protection from bugs
  • Inner toy loop
  • UPF 50+

Cons

  • Only large enough for nonmobile infants
  • No tent pegs included
  • Doesn’t provide privacy for nursing
  • No padding

2. SUNBA YOUTH Baby Tent

If you want a minimalist pop up baby bed, but the Overcrest model is too small, then the SUNBA YOUTH Baby Tent is just what you’re looking for. It’s 53” L x 35” W x 24” H, making it just tall enough for your baby to sit up in. At just over a pound, it’s still light enough to add to your beach gear without it being too much hassle.

The tent is fully enclosable, offering 50+ UPF and protective mesh to keep insects away. It also includes two tent pegs for protection against wind.

The main downside to using this tent for your infant is that the flooring isn’t padded, so you’ll need a mat, cushion, or blanket to keep the baby comfortable. Most families bring armloads of towels to any beach outing, though, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Pros

  • UPF 50+
  • Eco-friendly material
  • 2 tent pegs included
  • Full mesh protection from insects
  • Pops up in 3 seconds

Cons

  • Only large enough for nonmobile infants
  • Doesn’t provide privacy for nursing
  • No inner toy loop
  • No padding

3. Trendy Pop Up Shark Tent

The Trendy Pop Up Shark Tent is so cool, your kids will want to take it wherever they go, whether they need sun protection or not! This fun tent is large enough to accommodate three or four small kids comfortably. Adults can fit laying down, but it’d be a struggle to sit up.

The door, or mouth of the shark, isn’t closeable, and there are large mesh panels on either side which don’t have optional flaps for coverage. This is great for visibility and ventilation but not ideal if sun protection or privacy are priorities.

This tent is a fun option for babies and kids of all ages, but keep an eye on little ones to make sure they’re positioned in a way that they’re actually being shaded.

Pros

  • Fun shark design
  • Large enough to accommodate 3-4 children
  • Sandbags, ground stakes, and travel bag included

Cons

  • It doesn’t protect against bugs
  • Offers minimal privacy
  • Minimal sun protection

4. Tent World Beach Tent

The Tent World Beach Tent is probably better suited to the term “cabana” since it offers protection on only three sides instead of four. That won’t be a problem as long as you position it correctly and as long as privacy for changing or nursing isn’t a concern.

This tent is 74.9” L x 39.4” W x 41.7” H, which is just large enough to fit an adult and a couple of kids or several babies or toddlers. The material is waterproof, making this a good choice for families looking for a multi-use tent and no more getting wet during sports games with this portable shelter!

The cabana includes sand pockets, pegs, and guide ropes to ensure a stable set-up that won’t go anywhere when the wind blows.

(We’ve also compiled a list of Best Beach Tents for Families)

Pros

  • Large enough for adults
  • UPF 50+
  • Waterproof
  • Tent pegs and sand pockets included

Cons

  • It doesn’t protect against bugs
  • No door—only protects on 3 sides
  • It can be confusing to fold and pack

5. Pacific Play Tents Portable Play Tent and Sun Shelter

If you’re looking for a fun and colorful sun shelter for your baby, then the Pacific Play Tents Portable Play Tent and Sun Shelter are worth a look. It comes in four bold patterns to suit any style, and at 36” x 36” x 36”, it’s the perfect size to go from baby to toddler.

One side of this cheerful tent is solid, two are half solid and half mesh, and one side is a closable mesh door. This means that visibility and ventilation will never be a problem, and you’re able to seal the baby away from pesky insects, too.

The walls are UPF 30, but you’ll have to be careful about positioning since so much of this tent is mesh, which won’t protect from UV rays. The tent is easy to assemble and disassemble, but you won’t be able to do it while holding your little one, so keep that in mind when planning your beach trip.

Pros

  • Well ventilated
  • UPF 30
  • Closable door to protect against bugs
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Limited privacy
  • Limited sun protection
  • Can’t set up one-handed

6. Schylling UV Play Shade

The Schylling UV Play Shade looks more like a traditional camping tent than any other items on this list. All three sides are solid, with the fourth side being the entrance, which can be closed with two solid flaps. The rear wall has a mesh panel covered by a flap that you can open for ventilation and visibility.

This play shade is ideal for providing ample sun protection and a dark place for naptime. At 51” L x 39” W x 31” H, there’s enough room for mom to pop in when it’s time to nurse or pump.

The tent comes with stakes to keep it in place and is easy to set up. It compacts into a small bag that’s easy to fit in with all the rest of your family’s beach time gear.

(Finding a traditional camping tent with latest design, read our article on Best Beach Camping Tents)

Pros

  • Excellent sun protection
  • Large enough for nursing
  • Ground stakes included
  • Door flaps close for privacy

Cons

  • No sand pockets
  • No interior pockets for toys or snacks
  • Not completely bug-proof

7. Bend River Pop Up Covered Playpen

If you want something roomier than a popup bed but aren’t quite ready to go for one of the full-sized sun tents, you might look into the Bend River Pop Up Covered Playpen. This mega playpen provides total protection against bugs, thanks to the mesh sides and zippered mesh door.

The top holds a removable sun cover that offers UPF 50+ sun protection. The sides of this playpen are completely meshed, though, so there will be limited sun protection even with the cover on. Keep this in mind, and keep an eye on your little one to make sure there’s not too much sun exposure happening.

The playpen is 63” L x 53” W x 39” H, so it will be large enough for your baby to play in for years to come.

Pros

  • Large play area
  • Well-ventilated
  • Complete bug protection
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Limited sun protection
  • Limited privacy
  • Can’t set up while holding a baby

8. Babymoov Babyni Playpen

The Babymoov Babyni Playpen is a perfect choice for nonmobile babies who are alert and want to be entertained while on the beach. It’s larger than a popup baby bed at 37” L x 37” W x 24” H and comes with three hanging toys.

Half of the top of this playpen is covered to provide sun protection, and the other half can be left open or covered with a mesh panel to keep bugs out. This is one of the few baby beach products that take comfort into account, going so far as to include a soft cushion for the baby to lie on.

This playpen is quite a bit smaller than the Bend River model but is still large enough for twin infants to enjoy comfortably.

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Cushion included
  • Toys included
  • Fully bug-proof
  • Easy assembly and disassembly

Cons

  • Not for older children
  • No full coverage for naps
  • No room or privacy for nursing

9. NEQUARE Baby Beach Tent With Pool

If your baby is too young to join the rest of the family in the ocean, the NEQUARE Baby Beach Tent With Pool will provide all the water-based fun any kid could hope for! The bottom of this baby beach shelter includes a pocket that you can fill with water to form a sort of mini pool for your baby.

But if you’re more interested in providing a sheltered place to nap and stay dry, you can just leave the bottom flat or put a blanket, towel, or cushion in the pool area for extra padding. As far as sun protection goes, your baby will be protected on three sides, with the front side open.

This baby beach cabana is the right size for babies up to two years old and can be set up in a few seconds.

Pros

  • Fun optional pool feature
  • UPF 50+
  • Two colors: blue or pink
  • Back panel for ventilation

Cons

  • No bug protection
  • Minimal privacy
  • No padding

10. Bend River Automatic Instant Baby Tent with Pool

The Bend River Automatic Instant Baby Tent with Pool is a combination of sun shelter and a fun wading pool for children. Like the NEQUARE mode, the floor on this sun shelter contains a pocket that you can fill with water, allowing your baby to get wet without the intimidation of the ocean.

This tent is 43” L x 43” W x 37” H, so it’s large enough for mom to nurse in. The mesh door provides protection against insects while allowing full visibility and airflow. Two side panels allow you to let air in or keep the sun out as needed.

The easy two-step set up and tear down makes this tent extra convenient for busy parents trying to fit in a quick trip to the beach. It also comes with its own carrying case so that you can sling it over your shoulder and head to your next beach adventure.

Pros

  • Fun optional pool feature
  • Complete bug protection
  • Well ventilated
  • Excellent sun protection
  • Large enough for nursing

Cons

  • Mesh door limits privacy
  • Difficult to set up while holding a baby

Baby Beach Tent and Canopies Buyers Guide—Your Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Product

When it comes to buying anything for your baby, you want to make sure to take the time to do your research and get the best product for your needs. Baby beach tents are no different—it’s important to find a reliable model that will last through multiple beach trips and do what you need it to.

Getting the most out of your baby beach canopy also involves making sure you set it up properly on a beach day and take care of it in between trips so it can last as long as possible.

Below, we’ll cover the benefits of baby beach tents and canopies, how to select the right one, and how to get the most out of your purchase. First, let’s start with the benefits of these lightweight sun shelters.

Benefits of Baby Beach Tent and Canopies

If you’re reading this guide, there’s a good chance that you already know how beneficial baby beach tents can be. But just in case you’re on the fence, let’s take a look at some of the biggest pluses to adding one of these canopies to your next beach outing.

Sun Protection

The most obvious benefit of baby beach tents is the sun protection they offer. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping babies out of direct sunlight until they’re at least six months old, which can be difficult to do if you’re outdoor at the beach.

A convenient popup tent can be just the thing to keep your baby protected while you work on your tan (although adults should limit sun exposure, too, of course).

Portability

If most of your family will be running around or catching some waves, you might not want to lug a huge tent or beach umbrella around. This goes double if you’re vacationing on a crowded beach with little room to spread out.

Baby canopies take up very little room when set up or broken down and weigh next to nothing, making them super portable. And if you’re in charge of a family beach trip, you’ve probably already got enough to carry, so at least this one thing is easy to handle!

Bug Protection

People who don’t spend a lot of time at the beach often forget that the beach isn’t a bug-free zone. Far from it—biting insects like mosquitoes and horse flies love the beach, so investing in a baby beach tent with securely closing mesh sides can protect the baby from nasty bites and irritation.

Privacy

Baby tents can offer a bit of privacy during diaper changes and breastfeeding if the tent is big enough for an adult to share space with the baby.

Sleep Spot

Every parent knows the difficult decision that comes when it’s time for baby’s nap, but everyone else is having fun—do you make everyone shut it down so you can all go home, or do you stay where you are and mess up your baby’s delicate sleep schedule?

Baby beach tents solve this problem by giving your baby a sun-free place to nap, so beach day doesn’t have to end early.

Increased Enjoyment

A baby who’s able to nap on schedule is a happy baby, which is a major benefit of baby beach canopies. But slightly older babies will also enjoy being able to play at the beach while feeling secure in a safe, partially enclosed area.

Many babies and toddlers are scared of going into the ocean, finding the beach’s noise and activity overwhelming. A baby beach shelter with an included pool gives your little one a chance to be safe without feeling left out.

How to Select the Right Baby Beach Tent and Canopies

If you took a look at a few of the selections on our list, you undoubtedly noticed that not all baby beach tents are created equal. And that makes perfect sense when you consider how different every baby and family is—this wide selection to choose from means that there’s something for every need.

Unfortunately, the wide selection also means that it can be hard to make a decision. You can make it a little easier on yourself by considering the following before making a purchase.

Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)

If your primary concern is sun protection, make sure to choose a canopy with a high UPF. UPF 30 blocks 96.7% of the sun’s rays, while UPF 50 blocks 98%.

Don’t assume that all fabric that creates shade blocks UV rays. A t-shirt, for example, only has a UPF of 7. Keep an eye out for the UPF rating on the tent’s tag.

Portability

Baby beach tents are, by nature, meant to be portable. But some collapse down so much you can throw them into a duffel bag with your other beach gear, while others require their own carrying case.

Depending on how much space you have in your trunk and how much you’re planning on carrying, even a few inches or ounces can make a world of difference.

Ease of Set-Up

Most baby beach canopies are easier to set up than traditional full-sized ones, but set-ups can vary widely. Some require driving stakes into the sand or filling side pockets with sand for stability, while you can pop others up with one hand.

Wind Protection

If you’re expecting a lot of wind, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a tent with stakes or pockets that you can fill with sand to keep the tent from blowing away or collapsing. These tents can take a little more effort to set up, but they’re less effort than chasing a blow-away tent down the beach.

Shelters with walls that roll down and close completely can help keep sand and other debris from blowing into your little one’s face during strong gusts.

Air Flow Options

Sun shelters keep the sun directly off your baby, but if it’s a hot summer day, you’ll also want to make sure there’s plenty of ventilation to keep your little one from overheating. This is especially important if you’re using a popup bed for naptime.

Make sure to check on your baby every few minutes when they’re in a sun tent, whether the walls are open or closed.

Return on Investment

Something that many new parents forget to think about when shopping for baby items is how quickly babies grow. There are baby shelters for nonmobile infants up to toddlers and older kids, so keep that in mind when shopping.

If your baby is in between sizes, it’s usually a good idea to size up so you can use it for a longer period of time.

The general return on investment is another factor—if you’re planning to use it all summer long, it might be worth paying a little extra for a deluxe sun tent. But if it’s for a two-day vacation, the budget model might be just fine.

Bugs

As we mentioned in the “benefits” section, biting insects like mosquitoes and horse flies love hanging out near the shore. If the beach you’re visiting is infested with these pests, make sure that the shelter you choose has mosquito netting that covers all sides securely.

Durability

If you’re going to invest in a baby beach tent to keep your little one safe and comfortable, you want to make sure it’s durable enough to withstand:

  • Baby or toddler antics
  • Sun, sand, and wind
  • Multiple packing and unpacking

If you only need the shelter for a short while, durability might not be the most important factor in your decision-making process. But if you’re hoping to get a lot of use out of the tent, make sure it’s well-made.

Appearance

As with all baby and kids products these days, baby beach canopies come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. When choosing a tent, remember that it’s probably going to make it into all your family’s Instagram photos, so get one you love.

Choose colors that compliment your own beach items or fun, funky kids’ designs—whichever reflects you and your family the best.

Extra Features

Are you only looking for sun protection in your baby beach tent, or do you want to provide a fun place to play? This will determine which type of shelter you get and whether you need extra features like a pool or pockets to hold beach toys.

How to Make the Most of Your Baby Beach Tent and Canopies

Now that you’ve narrowed down your baby sun shelter choices, let’s make sure you know everything you need to in order to make the most out of your new baby beach tent.

Pay Attention to Positioning

The two things you need to worry the most about when positioning your baby tent are the movement of the sun and the direction of the wind.

Figure out the sun’s trajectory before positioning your sunshade, so you won’t have to keep moving it all day as the sun moves across the sky.

Also, be aware of the direction that the wind is blowing. Try to position the door of the tent away from the wind, which will make it less likely to blow over while shielding the baby from sand and debris that are blowing around.

Secure the Tent

If your tent comes with stakes, drive them deep into the sand at a 45-degree angle and cover them with rocks if you feel like it needs added stability due to wind.

Some tents have sand pockets along the sides, which are designed to be filled with sand to give the tent added weight and prevent it from blowing over.

If your shelter doesn’t have stakes or sand pockets, try weighing down the corners with rocks, water bottles, or something similar.

Use Sunscreen

If your baby is going to be at the beach all day, make sure to apply generous amounts of baby sunscreen every few hours. Even if they’re under a sunshade most of the time, they’re going to be getting some UV rays, and it’s better to be on the safe side.

Stay within Sight

Baby beach tents provide convenient areas where your baby can be set up for the day. But they’re not babysitters, so always keep your baby in sight at all times. Even ducking out of view behind the tent for a minute can send your little one into a fit if they can’t see that you’re still there.

Add Some Toys

Being at the beach is plenty of fun as it is, with all the things to see and hear. But adding a few beach-appropriate toys to your baby beach tent will keep your baby from getting bored, allowing you and your family to spend that much more time at the beach without any tantrums.

Wash as Needed

It’s always a good idea to hose beach gear off when you get home from a trek to the sea. The sand alone gets everywhere, of course, but it’s also loaded with bacteria that it’s best to get rid of.

Plus, if the baby had a snack or got their diaper changed in the tent, who knows what got spilled and will be extra unpleasant if you don’t clean it off before the use.

Keep It Accessible

If your family enjoys impromptu joints to the seaside, it’s not a bad idea to keep your baby beach tent in the trunk of your car so it’s accessible no matter where you are. They can also protect your little one during picnics, sports days, and park outings.

Best Baby Beach Tents and Canopies Comparison Chart

ProductPriceSize (LxWxH)Item Weight (pounds)Unique Features
Overcrest Portable Pop Up Baby Beach Tent$42" x 27" x 20"0.9Light in weight, easy to set, fully protected from bugs and easy to fold
SUNBA YOUTH Baby Tent$21" x 21" x 0.5"1.8Fully protected from insects
Trendy Pop Up Shark Tent$71" x 33" x 35"0.04Easy to accommodate for more than 2 person
Tent World Beach Tent$51" x 32" x 24"0.8Large enough for more than two persons, water proof
Pacific Play Tents Portable Play Tent and Sun Shelter$36" x 36" x 36 "0.6Fully protected against bugs, easy assembly
Schylling UV Play Shade$20" x 15.7"5 x 15.75"2.2Have sun protection, door can close easily, protected from rays
Bend River Pop Up Covered Playpen$63" x 53" x 39"5.8UV protected, fully protected from bugs
Babymoov Babyni Playpen$37" x 37" x 24"12.8UV protected, have playmat for kids
NEQUARE Baby Beach Tent With Pool$41.5" x 30.5" x 22.5"2.2Have feature of pool, have UPF up to 50
Bend River Automatic Instant Baby Tent with Pool$43" x 43" x 37"4.4Fully bug protected and sun protected

Wrap Up

The right baby beach tent can work wonders to keep your baby protected from the sun and ensure everyone has a fun time at the beach. Whether you’re looking for a simple sun shelter or a more elaborate shaded play area, there’s a baby beach canopy to fit every need and budget. Find the one that works best for you and go make some wonderful family memories at the seaside!

Scroll to Top