Updated on April 12, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
Whether you spend a lot of time at the beach or are just planning a vacation, having sun protection for your baby is essential. Babies’ skin is extra sensitive to temperature and the sun’s harmful rays, so finding a beach tent is a great solution for keeping your child safe and cool.
There are many different types of beach tents on the market. Finding one that will work best for your family can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created this list of the top 7 baby beach tents that all offer different kinds of protection for your child.
Best Baby Beach Tents
(Most compact — $$)
Why it’s great: This is the perfect little beach tent for babies. It’s just the right size for your little one, giving them room to play or nap. The zippered opening has two flaps that open completely and allow you to check on your child at any time. One flap offers complete shade and protection for naptime. The other is netted and keeps your child secure, while still allowing them to see you and the rest of the beach. This tent comes with stakes to secure it to the ground, so you don’t have to worry about it blowing away. It also comes with a carrying case and this tent folds up very small and compact.
Keep in mind: There’s no padding on the bottom of this one, so you may want to bring a blanket or something soft if you want your little one to sleep comfortably in it.
Good for: Parents that want something small and convenient to take with them to the beach.
(Easiest to use — $$)
Why it’s great: This tent pops up and folds up in seconds for easy portability. It’s a great size and gives your child plenty of room to play. It’s even roomy enough for multiple children. It has a regular flap or mosquito net to keep out bugs and pests. It even has a little built-in pocket to store the net and flap when you roll them up. This one has a little window on the back side too, so your baby can check out what’s going on on either side. This tent has SPF 50+ to keep your child protected from the sun while still allowing them to get outdoors and play. It also comes with 3 stakes to keep it in place.
Keep in mind: This one has a play pool that fits inside it perfectly, but you’ll have to purchase it separately.
Good for: Parents that want a tent that goes up quickly and easily.
(Most versatile — $$$)
Why it’s great: This beach tent can be used in so many different ways, making it the most versatile choice on the list. It can have one or both ends completely open or be closed completely like a real tent. It’s big enough that your baby will have plenty of room to nap or play and will even work for older children. It has mesh ventilation, so even when it’s completely closed your baby will be able to feel a breeze and stay comfortable. It’s also water repellant and has UPF 50+ sun protection. This tent even has pockets, so you can keep your essentials stored away from the water and sand.
Keep in mind: This one doesn’t come with any stakes to hold it down, but it does have four small, outer pockets on the corners that you can fill with sand to add some weight and stability.
Good for: Parents that want a tent that will grow with their baby and can be used in different formations.
(Most fun — $)
Why it’s great: This beach tent comes in a super cute pattern and is available in two different color options. It also includes a built-in play pool, so your baby can safely enjoy splashing in the water while you’re at the beach. The shape and design of this tent allow for lots of ventilation to keep your child cool. It also has a mesh window at the back for more airflow. The material has UPF 50+ sun protection and pops up quickly for easy set up. It comes with stakes to secure it to the ground and a carrying bag for easy portability.
Keep in mind: This one doesn’t have a front flap, so it can’t be closed completely.
Good for: Parents that want a tent that will protect their baby, but also allow them to play and have fun.
(Most durable — $$)
Why it’s great: This tent is made with plastic poles to give it a more sturdy, tent-like shape and durability. The polyester taffeta offers UPF 50+ sun protection and will last for years. There are mesh windows on both sides to allow air to flow through and keep your baby cool. It also has a mesh flap for the entryway, so you can keep your child contained and still be able to see them. This tent comes with a built-in play pool, so your baby can splash and play in the safety of their tent. It also has 4 stakes to keep it secured to the ground.
Keep in mind: This one takes a little more time to set up than the popup versions, but it’s still fairly quick and easy.
Good for: Parents that want a tent that will last them multiple summers.
(Best budget option — $)
Why it’s great: This little beach tent is great for anyone on a budget. It has UV protection and will keep the sun off your baby’s head. It comes with a little play pool and the shade is completely detachable. With no front or back flap, your child will be able to enjoy the view from any direction, while also staying nice and cool with maximum airflow. The shade hooks to the pool with velcro and it comes with stakes to keep it from blowing away. It also folds up flat and comes with a carry bag.
Keep in mind: It’s recommended that you dig a hole in the sand for the play pool, so it takes a little longer to get it all set up.
Good for: Parents that want an affordable shade for the beach.
(Best for the whole family — $)
Why it’s great: This beach tent pops up quick and easily and folds down just as fast. It’s big enough to fit the whole family and offers plenty of space and shade. You can set up an area in the back for your baby to nap and still have plenty of space for other family members to relax in the shade. It has mesh windows on all 3 three sides to allow plenty of air and ventilation. It even has an extended floor for an extra play area. This one isn’t going anywhere as it has 6 stakes and 4 pockets you can fill with sand to make sure it’s completely secured against the wind. The tent is waterproof and offers UPF 50+ protection.
Keep in mind: This one doesn’t have a front, so it can’t be completely closed up.
Good for: Parents looking for a beach tent that the whole family can use.
FAQs about baby beach tents
1. Is it safe to take a newborn to the beach?
Newborn babies can’t regulate their temperature properly and have much more delicate and sensitive skin that can sunburn very easily. You can still take your baby to the beach, but you need to keep them properly covered and shaded. You’ll also need to make sure they stay cool.
2. Why do I need a baby beach tent?
As mentioned in the previous question, it’s important to keep your child shaded if they’re going to be outdoors all day. A beach tent provides that necessary protection from the sun. It can also keep your baby or toddler contained, so you don’t have to worry about them wandering away from you. A beach tent offers a place for your baby to rest or nap as needed too.
3. How do I secure a baby beach tent?
This will vary based on the tent you purchase. Most tents come with some way for you to keep them secured to the ground. Some come with stakes that attach to the tent and can be pushed into the ground. Others have pockets that you can fill with sand to add some weight to the tent. If you find you bought a tent without any of these features, you can always just put some of your heavier belongings inside the tent to hold it down.
4. What features should I look for in a tent?
This will vary based on your family’s personal needs and wants. However, things like proper ventilation and enough shade are essential. Look for things like mesh sides or windows to allow airflow and check if the material has UPF protection. Otherwise, things like size, storage pockets, popup capability, and built-in play pools are all personal preferences.
5. What size tent do I need?
This again will vary based on your own preferences. If you want something small where your baby can nap and have a small area to play, some tents are very compact. You can choose a medium size that will allow your baby a little more room or even multiple children to get some shade. If you want something the whole family will use, you’ll need to find an extra-large tent or consider a canopy of some sort.
Beach tents are a great way to keep your baby protected from the sun and other elements while your family enjoys a day at the beach. They can also provide a safe space for your child to take a nap or have some quiet time, without having to make the whole family leave for an hour or two.
Overall, choosing a beach tent that will work for your baby should be fairly easy. Take some time to consider the features you want or need ahead of time and the whole process will go much smoother for you. Then you can spend your energy enjoying your day at the beach!