BeachFamily Recreation

The 5 Best Beach Shade Canopies Reviewed For 2019

When you need some shelter at the beach for your family or an event, having the best beach canopy will give you the shade you need.

While some sun is good for us, overexposure can happen quickly at the beach so having a good beach canopy for some shade is a necessity!

With the shade provided by one of these canopies, you and your family can relax in comfort.

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Beach Chairs, Beach Coolers, Beach Blankets.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Beach Shade Canopies For 2019

  1. CORE Instant Beach Canopy Tent
  2. Coleman Instant Beach Canopy
  3. Neso Tents Beach Canopy Sunshade
  4. CROWN SHADES Instant Beach Canopy
  5. Freeland Pop up Beach Canopy

Here is a feature comparison of my 3 favorite top rated beach canopies with a comparison table and buying guide below.

Best Beach Canopies

 CORE Instant Beach Canopy TentCROWN SHADES Beach CanopyNeso Tents Beach Canopy Sunshade
editors choice
Dimensions:10' x 10'9’x 9’7' x 7'
Shade Area:100 sq feet80 sq feet49 sq feet
Weight:43 Pounds29 Pounds4 Pounds
Setup Time:2 Minutes1 Minute2 Minutes

Beach Shade Canopy Reviews

#1 CORE Instant Beach Canopy Tent

CORE Instant Beach Canopy Tent

CORE Instant Beach Canopy at a Glance:

  • Size: 10’ x 10’
  • Square Feet: 100 sq. ft. of shade
  • Weight: 43 Pounds
  • Setup Time: 2 Minutes
  • Carry Bag: Yes, Wheeled

The fully-taped seams of the CORE Instant Shelter aren’t for keeping out the sun’s harmful rays, the canopy as a whole does that very well.

These seams are reinforced to make it sturdier in light winds as well as to keep out water whether it is a quick shower and a heavy rain storm. This canopy is constructed of heavy-duty, 150D polyester fabric to block 97% of UV rays while protecting those under it from the elements.

The frame, made of durable steel, is designed with oversized buttons to both lock and unlock the straight legs. Being bigger allows for easier set up and take down without the risk of being pinched.

The frame also allows you to set the instant canopy at 3 different heights depending on the position of the sun and what you are using it for.

Video: See how easy it is to setup the Core Instant Beach Canopy.

The CORE Instant Shelter comes complete with the canopy and frame, along with ground stakes and tie downs. Included is a wheeled carrying bag to make it easy to both store and transport one of the best beach shelters!


#2 Coleman Instant Beach Canopy

Coleman Instant Beach Canopy

Coleman Instant Beach Canopy at a Glance:

  • Size: 10’ x 10’
  • Square Feet: 100 sq. ft. of shade
  • Weight: 37 Pounds
  • Setup Time: 3 Minutes
  • Carry Bag: Yes, Wheeled

Coleman is a well-known brand when it comes to outdoor tents and canopies such as this one.

The instant beach canopy by Coleman is an ideal size for a small family and includes everything you need to enjoy the beach: 10’ x 10’ canopy top and structure, eight stakes, 4 wind ropes, and a wheeled carrying bag. This wheeled carry bag is designed to fit easily into most vehicles.

There are vents designed into the canopy for 2-way airflow. This keeps the air under the canopy from getting stale. A cool breeze is always welcomed on a hot day, and the combination of shade and fresh air from the Coleman Instant Beach Canopy makes it ideal for hot summer days.

The telescoping poles are lightweight which makes this pop-up canopy easy to set up. They are attached to the canopy so it all goes up at once.

This makes it easy to put up even with only one person. The welded steel feet give the canopy a solid foundation no matter what surface you are attaching it to. If you want the best beach canopy at a good price, this is your best bet!


#3 Neso Tents Beach Canopy Sunshade

Neso Tents Beach Shade w/ Sand Anchor at a Glance:

  • Size: 7′ x 7′
  • Square Feet: 49 sq. ft of shade
  • Weight: 4 Pounds
  • Setup Time: 2 Minutes
  • Carry Bag: Yes, Shoulder carry

This beach tent is a little different from others we have featured. It doesn’t have the traditional square, folding canopy design. It is also anchored to the ground with bags that you can fill with rocks or sand.

These bags are used to anchor the rope connection points. Those rope connection points are constructed for rugged durability with a patented design. It takes just 5 steps to take this beach canopy from luggage to shady relaxation.

The canopy is made from a durable Nylon/Lycra blend material that not only blocks nearly all harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun as well as inclement weather such as quick-passing storm or light winds.

Video: See how easy it is to setup the Neso Beach Canopy.

Because it can be folded up to travel in the smallest spaces, this makes it the best pop up canopy for the beach for those who already have a lot to pack or don’t have room to carry a large canopy around.


#4 CROWN SHADES Instant Beach Canopy

CROWN SHADES Instant Beach Canopy

Crown Shades Instant Folding Canopy at a Glance:

  • Size: 9’x 9’ canopy, 11’ x 11’ base
  • Square Feet: 80 sq. ft of shade
  • Weight: 29 Pounds
  • Setup Time: 1 Minute
  • Carry Bag: Yes, Wheeled

The four legs of the Crown Shades Instant Folding Canopy are slated outward. This helps to give the base more structural support so if you’re looking for the best beach canopy for wind, this is the one for you!

This may also take up more room so keep that in mind when choosing the perfect instant canopy for your needs. Just like the two canopies listed above, the canopy top of the Crown Shades Instant Folding Canopy is made of high-quality and very durable 150D polyester.

This fabric has been treated to keep out both harmful UV rays and water. The top itself if 9’ x 9’ while the width at the base is 11’ x 11’. It is just about 8.5” in the center when fully assembled.

The powder coated steel frame of this pop-up canopy is resistant to chipping and peeling as well as rust or corrosion, giving it a long life. It can be set up quickly by just one person which makes it ideal for those with small children or if you set up a vendor booth on your own.

The 1-year limited liability warranty helps to cover the purchase in the event of any manufacture defects or missing items.


#5 Freeland Pop-Up Canopy

Freeland Pop up Beach Canopy

Freeland Pop-Up Beach Canopy at a Glance:

  • Size: 8’ x 8’ canopy, 10’ x 10’ base
  • Square Feet: 64 sq. ft. of shade
  • Weight: 22 Pounds
  • Setup Time: 2 Minutes
  • Carry Bag: Yes, Shoulder carry

If you like the idea of the slanted legs for stability but don’t have the room for the Crown Shades canopy above, this one is ideal. The Pop-Up Canopy Tent from Freeland has a sizable canopy at 8 feet square, but the legs slant outward to make the base 10 feet square.

The legs can be adjusted to two height levels depending on your needs. The tallest one puts the peak of the canopy at approximately 8’ 9”. The canopy is designed with rounded corners so it doesn’t look so boxy and square.

The canopy is made of fire-resistant material that meets or exceeds the standards of the CPAI-84. Not only that, but it reflects nearly 99% of all harmful UV rays making it one of the best sun-safe beach canopies available.

The Freeland Canopy is supported by a frame constructed of high-grade steel that has been powder coated to resist chipping and peeling as well as rust and corrosion.

This pop-up canopy comes complete with the canopy and frame, plus 8 stakes and 4 wind ropes. The handy carrying bag makes travel or storage a breeze for the best beach sun shade under $100!


Beach Sun Shelter Canopy Comparison Table

Beach Canopy DimensionsShade AreaWeightSetup TimeRating
CORE Instant Beach Canopy Tent10’ x 10’100 sq ft43 lbs2 Min4.1 / 5.0
Coleman Instant Beach Canopy10' x 10'100 sq ft35 lbs3 Min4.0 / 5.0
CROWN SHADES Instant Beach Canopy9’x 9’80 sq ft29 lbs1 Min4.3 / 5.0
Neso Tents Beach Canopy Sunshade7' x 7'49 sq ft4 lbs2 Min3.9 / 5.0
Freeland Pop-Up Canopy8’ x 8’64 sq ft22 lbs2 Min4.1 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Beach Canopy Shelter – Buying Guide

When you need something bigger than a beach umbrella and a beach tent is not appropriate a beach canopy is the solution! Need some ideas for what to do at the beach? See 10 Fun Things To Do At The Beach.

There are several factors that go into choosing a good beach canopy from how you will use it to how it is set up plus everything in between.

We want to see you make the right purchase the first time, so here are some considerations before deciding on the right one for you.

Material

Nearly all of the pop-up beach canopies we’ve featured have a top made of durable 150D polyester. The reason is because this is very high-quality material that can stand up over time, but it is also very easily treated to make it weather resistant.

The Nylon/Lycra top of the Neso pop-up canopy is unique but also weather resistant, but the difference in fabric also makes it as portable as it is. It is important to look at the material but also how that material is used.

Structure Type

Four of the pop-up canopies we’ve featured have an accordion top on the frame that allows it to be pulled and pushed into the right size and shape, with four attached legs that telescope out for height. This basic structure is so popular because it really works to make a strong frame for the canopy.

The different “frame” of the Neso canopy isn’t really so much a frame as a support for the canopy itself. This is one other reason why this canopy is so portable. However, this type of structure may not be ideal for tailgating events or vendor shows due to the lack of height.

Size

There are three measurements you will need to look at when choosing the right pop-up canopy for your needs. The first two are the width and depth of the canopy top as well as the base.

As you can see from the Crowd Shades and Freeland pop-up canopies we’ve listed, sometimes the size of the canopy top might be smaller than the footprint due to having slanted legs for added stability.

If you know you only have a limited area to set up the canopy, you need to look at the size of the base before anything else. Size is also important when you factor in how many people will be using  and transporting to and from your vehicle. See our reviews of beach carts to help you transport it.


UV Rating

A pop-up shade canopy is most often used for creating shade in an area where there usually isn’t any, such as at the beach or at an outdoor event. However, just providing shade isn’t enough in most cases.

By choosing an instant canopy that deflects harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun, you can also help to minimize the damage that sun exposure can cause both you and your family.

Seam Construction

The seams of many pop-up canopies are designed just to keep it together in the proper shape once set up. Some canopy tops are also designed to keep it stable during light winds. Still others are designed in such as way as to make it weather-resistant.

Many of the easy-setup canopies in our guide are designed for durability and weather-resistance but also stand up to the harsh environments that can sometimes wear away at the stitching.

Beach Tent vs Beach Canopy

Beach Canopy vs Beach TentDepending of how many people and if you need privacy will determine what type of shelter you should purchase.

Beach Tent: A shade tent is primarily for 2 people and a small child or two. With a tent, you not only get shade but privacy should you need to change a diaper or into or out od a bathing suit.

Beach Canopy: On the other hand is more for an event where you will have a group of people who need some shelter from the sun. Since the canopy doesn’t come down very far you will not get as good of sun protection in the morning or later afternoon hours.

FAQs About Pop-Up Beach Canopies

Still have questions about pop-up canopies and how to choose the right one for your needs? Do you have questions about how to take care of your pop-up canopy once you have one? Let’s take a look at the answers to the questions that are most common.

Q: What size beach canopy do I need?

If it is only you and a few kids that need to step out of the bright sun for a bit while visiting the beach, a smaller canopy may suit you just fine. However, the more people that will be using it, such as if it’s being used above a vendor table and you will have several shoppers browsing at one time, you might want to look for something bigger.

For outdoor events, be sure you are purchasing a canopy that isn’t bigger than what they recommend. You should also look at the size of the vehicle that will be transporting the canopy so you know you can get it there and back.

Q: How easy is a beach canopy to store and set up?

Every canopy is different in how it is set up. The ones we’ve listed here are either a typical, square shape with an accordion top to support the canopy. The Neso top is a little different but is just as easy to set up.

All of these come with storage bags, some with wheels, that make it easy to get the canopy to the car, from the car to the setup area, and back again. Being able to store the canopy, closed, in these bags keep the canopy clean and safe from rodents, sun exposure, dust, and more.

Q: How do I keep my beach canopy clean and ready for use?

Keeping the canopy collapsed in the proper way and inside its own storage bag is the first step to keeping it ready to use at all times. Before putting the canopy up, whether it is just for a short time or an entire season, make sure you’ve wiped it down and it is folded correctly.

Make sure the storage bag closes and it is zipped all the way. When putting it up, be sure it is accessible but not somewhere it will be kicked or knocked over.

Q: How important are maintenance and warranty?

Most warranties on pop-up canopies only cover for manufacture defects and missing parts. You will usually notice these things right away, within the first two or three uses, and this is most likely also within the retailer’s covered return window.

If a pop-up canopy doesn’t have an extended warranty, you probably aren’t missing out on much. However, a long-term warranty may not be necessary as long as you maintain the canopy by keeping it clean and stored properly.

Tips For Using Your Pop Up Beach Shade Canopy

We have some great tips to help you not only purchase the right pop-up canopy for your needs but also how to make sure you get the most out of your purchase.

Tip #1: Choose a Canopy with a UV Rating

Not all canopies help to block harmful UV rays. In fact, some may even magnify their effect. All of the canopies we’ve reviewed here have an SPF rating of at least 50+ which means that in addition to providing cooling shade, the damage from the sun is minimized.

Excessive sun exposure can cause premature aging or even skin cancer so having a shady spot to relax away from UV rays is important.

Tip #2: Take Great Care of Your Investment

Keeping your instant canopy clean as well as stored properly is essential to getting the most out of your purchase. Make sure it is wiped down before storing it. You should also ensure it is folded properly before placing it in the storage bag.

Whether you have it stored in your garage, the shed, or a closet be sure it is easily accessible but that it won’t get damaged by falling over or being crushed by other stored items.

Tip #3: Invest in a Quality Product

Whether you only plan on using your new pop-up canopy a few times during the summer for beach vacations or you will be using it every weekend for vendor events, you want to invest in one that will stand up over time.

We’ve featured high-quality canopies here that can stand the test of time even with regular use. The higher the quality, the longer it will last.

Tip #4: Practice Before You Use It

Before taking your new pop-up canopy out for its first use, you need to make sure that it is in perfect shape and that you know how to set it up and take it down properly.

If there are any defects in the canopy you will want to know this before you take it to the beach or the park so setting it up in the yard certainly helps. It also helps in making sure you know how to set it up once you get to your location, making setup even easier.

Tip #5: Pack for Trips Properly

Most of the time, a canopy is one of the largest items you need to pack when going on a trip or heading to an outdoor event. Because of this, you will want to make sure the canopy fits in your vehicle. If you put it in first, it will be the last thing you take out and it will be set up after everything else.

While this ensures you will have room for it, setting it up last isn’t ideal in most situations. You will probably want to set it up first. Try practicing how you will pack everything you need so you can get to the canopy easily.

Ready to Enjoy Some Shade?

Whether taking a beach vacation or grilling up some brats at a tailgating party, a pop-up canopy helps to provide shade from the hot, harmful sun. Canopies like the ones we’ve featured here are easy to set up and take down and provide maximum protection from UV rays. Protect yourself and your family by providing quick access to shade no matter where you are.

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Rich Remick

I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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