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The 7 Best Beach Umbrellas of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Oct 17, 2023Oct 17, 2023

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As much as you may love the sunshine, it's always a good idea to have some shade at the beach for protection. Plus, not only does it keep you comfortable in the heat, but it also helps chilled beverages and snacks stay at a refreshing temperature all day long.

The question is, what kind of shade should you go for? There are beach umbrellas with just enough room for you and a friend, clip-on designs that provide the perfect amount of shade for individuals, and canopy, tent, and cabana options that have sufficient space for the whole family to enjoy a picnic.

To see which beach shades are worth your money, we tested over 20 different options, looking at stability, portability, ease of setup, and more. After clocking many hours at the beach, we’ve narrowed it down to our favorites, with high-performing options for a single person as well as bigger groups. Keep on reading to learn why these are our top choices and to choose the right one for your next beach outing.


Pros: You don't have to worry about this highly portable beach umbrella toppling over in the wind thanks to its innovative anchoring system.

Cons: It can take a bit longer to set up the umbrella for the first time.

This sturdy, windproof beach umbrella couldn't have scored any better in our tests, earning the highest possible rating in each category. First, it's very lightweight, even with all its accessories, and even easier to transport thanks to its carrying case with a padded shoulder strap. Once you’ve chosen your spot in the sand, you lay the base tarp down, dig a hole with the included sand gopher tool, and fill the tarp with sand to create a heavy, stable base. After setting it up ourselves, we noted that it's not going anywhere once it's in the ground.

Because of this unique way of anchoring the umbrella, it may take time to understand the instructions. Once you figure it out, though, it takes less than five minutes to assemble for your next outings. Overall, we found that you get what you pay for with this one in the best way possible. It is very high quality, and if you go to the beach often, it's worth it.

Price at time of publish: $156


Pros: It doesn't weigh very much but it offers a secure hold in the sand, and its adjustable pole is super convenient.

Cons: You’ll want to fill up the sandbag anchor as much as possible to prevent the umbrella from toppling over.

High quality and a low price come together in this lightweight beach umbrella. Aside from its attractive cost, one of its best features is that it comes with a sandbag that you place and fill around the base of the pole for extra security against gusts of wind. The pole and fabric are durable, but the sandbag makes the whole umbrella extremely sturdy. Just make sure you fill that sandbag to the top to get the best performance out of it.

Another great feature? We love how this one is adjustable at the top, so you can tilt it as the sun moves throughout the day without taking it down and setting it up in a different spot. One of our editors even said, "I'd buy it now and even pay more for it — I've never said that about a tested product before!"

Price at time of publish: $60


Pros: It's an extremely lightweight, free-form canopy that works with and can withstand the wind.

Cons: You’ll need at least a little bit of wind to use it.

Featuring a big canopy anchored to the sand by a curved pole and a sandbag, it looks almost like a flag or wind sock. With this one, you don't need to worry about it blowing away in the wind, because the wind is actually what keeps it up in the air to create your shade. The manufacturer says it can work in as little as 2 to 3 mph of wind, but that also means if you’re out on a day when there's no breeze at all, you’ll need a different umbrella.

One of the big draws is how little it weighs — it's the lightest option on our list. When you are going to the beach, the last thing you need is another heavy item to carry. During testing, we found it easy to pack and carry while also hauling a cooler and towels. Another plus is that 40% of this shade is made from recycled plastic bottles, so you can feel good about making a more environmentally-friendly purchase.

Price at time of publish: $270


Pros: This family-friendly option has quality fabric, is easy to set up, and offers more shade than other options.

Cons: It's not that stable on super windy days.

When beaching with multiple people, we recommend a canopy-style umbrella that offers more coverage. This one is our favorite because even though it fits eight people underneath it, it's compact enough for smooth transport. During testing, we appreciated how small the carrying case was and how light the overall product was given its large size when open.

The four pole and anchor system is a cinch to assemble, so much so that we didn't even need to read the instructions. Unfortunately, we found that when there's a high amount of wind, the canopy can have some issues standing up with its thin poles, so depending on where you want to use it, it may not be the most suitable. Remember, it can also be used in the grass for future camping trips!

Price at time of publish: $160


Pros: Great for those beach naps, this high-quality tent has storage, offers excellent shade, and is very simple to set up and put away.

Cons: Anyone who wants complete shade should know that there's one open side of the tent.

If you struggle with building camping tents, don't worry, this one couldn't be much easier. It took us less than five minutes to set up. There are no poles to put together, no bags to fill. You just pop it open and then pop it closed when you're done.

We loved how securely the tent stayed in place on the beach, how roomy the inside felt, and how much sun coverage it provided. Speaking to the last point, if you’re looking for complete coverage, this tent doesn't have shade in the front. A bonus is the multiple pockets inside the tent, where you can place extra beach gear, like sunscreen and reading material.

Price at time of publish: $60


Pros: It's not as heavy as comparative products, and the quality is there.

Cons: It's best to remove the side sunshade panel if a lot of wind is coming your way.

You’ve enjoyed those shady cabanas at poolside resorts, but now you can get your own little cabana situation going with this waterproof option. We appreciate how thick the canvas material is and how sturdy the pole feels. Compared to other canopies, we liked how light this one was and how it was possible to set up by just one person.

Along with sandbags for stability and small pockets for storage at each corner, this cabana has a detachable wall if you need extra shade from one side. We don't recommend using this if there are strong winds, though, because it can push there and may cause the canopy to fall to one side.

Price at time of publish: $121


Pros: You can adjust this highly portable personal umbrella in many directions and use it at other places than just the beach.

Cons: It's only suitable for one person, and you’ll need a chair to hook it onto.

You can also opt for an umbrella that clamps onto your beach chair. It isn't the best choice if you want to lay next to someone and share some shade, but if it's just you chilling in a lounge chair, it's a practical, no-frills accessory to have on hand. With its 360-degree swivel and two hinges for easy adjusting, we found it amazingly functional.

Compact, light, and durable, you could easily throw it in your suitcase when traveling or carry it on your shoulder if you’re commuting. As simple as it is to transport, it's also a breeze to set up since you just have to click it into place. Suitable for more than just the beach, you can attach this umbrella to your patio chairs and read in the shade of your own backyard.

Price at time of publish: $54

The beachBUB All-In-One Beach Umbrella claimed our top spot because of its high-quality construction and smart anchoring system. For a more affordable option, we love the OutdoorMaster Beach Umbrella with Sand Bag and Cup Holder because of its adjustability and how its performance far exceeds its price.

To assess the best beach umbrellas, we tested 21 different umbrellas, canopies, cabanas, and tents. Before assembling them, we examined the overall quality and construction of the products, noting their weight and durability. Then, we set them up at beaches all over the country.

We paid attention to how easy they were to carry, whether any special tools were necessary for assembly, and how long it took us to put the umbrellas together. We left them up for at least two hours to check their stability when anchored, ability to withstand wind, and amount of coverage. Lastly, we noted how easy it was to break down the product into a portable size.


Beach umbrellas are the standard option where you have an umbrella shade connected to a long pole that fixes into the sand. These vary in terms of height, width of shade coverage, and adjustability. It's particularly convenient to have a beach umbrella that you can tilt from the top so that you don't need to move the whole pole to block the sun as it moves across the sky.


A canopy has a shade stretching across the top, has four poles fixing it into the ground, and is open on the four sides. These types of beach shades may also be referred to as cabanas. Generally, a canopy offers wider coverage that's more suitable for multiple people, but the trade-off is that they can be heavier and less easy to transport.


Similar to tents you’d camp with, a beach tent provides shade from above and on at least three sides. Unlike other beach umbrellas, it also has a bottom surface, so you’re not seated directly on the sand and don't necessarily need a towel or picnic blanket to lay on. They’re a good option if you want better storage and protection of your belongings. Many beach tents are designed to pop open, so you don't have to fuss with poles and stakes.

When looking at the material of a beach umbrella, check how sturdy the fabric feels or how durable the frame and poles are so you can get the most life out of your investment when enduring all that sun, sand, and sea. On top of that, you’ll definitely want to look at the UPF rating. The UPF rating, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor rating, indicates how much UV radiation the fabric blocks. A higher UPF rating means more blockage. We recommend going for something with UPF 50+ to ensure your skin is as protected as possible from UV rays.

Depending on what type of beach umbrella you go with, the setup might mean digging a single pole into the sand, staking four poles and filling up sandbag anchors, popping open a tent, or something else. Regardless of the procedure, you’ll want to choose a product that takes minimal time to put together so you can spend less time working and more time relaxing in the shade. A few extra minutes of setup can feel much longer under the scorching sun or quickly become bothersome if making frequent trips to and from the beach.

Stability is key to a good beach umbrella. What good is your shade if it keeps falling over or blowing away in the wind? The anchoring system of a beach umbrella has a significant effect on how stable the product is. The most basic kind of anchor is when you dig the screw-like base of an umbrella pole into the sand. These days, many beach umbrellas come with bags, pockets, or tarps that you fill with sand to anchor everything down.

You may have an umbrella that's extra stable in the sand and offers an incredible amount of shade, but if it's not portable, chances are you won't be inclined to bring it with you to every beach trip. When considering the portability of a product, check how much it weighs, how compact it is when it packs down, whether it comes with its own storage bag, and how comfortable the carrying strap is, if there is one. Having a beach umbrella that you can easily take on the go and carry from the car to your desired beach spot will prove extra useful during your outings.

One thing that's certain to ruin your beach relaxation is an umbrella that continually falls over because it's not secure enough in the sand. Thankfully, beach umbrellas are designed with a variety of anchoring methods. Some have a screw design (plastic or metal) at the end of the pole that you twist into the sand. Some have sandbags that you fill to weigh down the umbrella along with a screw or extra stakes. We’ve found that sandbags and pockets help a lot with creating a solid anchor. It's always best to follow the manufacturer's instructions for anchoring your beach umbrella to ensure the most stable hold.

You may think that as long as you’re sitting under the cool shade of your beach umbrella, you’re protected from getting sunburn, but it's a little bit more complicated than that. Yes, using an umbrella offers better protection than no umbrella, but some umbrellas have low UPF ratings. That means they aren't efficient at blocking all of the sun's UV rays, and some can still pass through the fabric to your skin. You can compare this to how some sunscreens have a higher SPF rating than others. Plus, a beach umbrella may not block the UV rays reflected off the sand.

When choosing a beach umbrella, it's a good idea to go for one with a high UPF rating — like 50 or higher — to get the most sun protection possible. Even if you’re using a beach umbrella, it's advised that you still apply sunscreen regularly in order to protect your skin from sunburn.

Before we get to the answer to that question, there are a few more you have to ask yourself: Is it just you sitting under the beach umbrella, or do you want something your whole family can fit under? Are you planning on just lying under the umbrella, or do you want to be able to stand comfortably under it? Will you transport the umbrella mainly by car or hand (meaning you need something smaller and more portable)? These are all factors that affect what size beach umbrella you should get. A beach umbrella with a canopy 5 to 7 feet in diameter is standard, but you can find one on either side of that range if you want something personal-sized or extra large.

Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter ($100 at Amazon)

We liked how this durable beach tent offered good sun protection without feeling stuffy, but it's not the easiest to put away when done using. We found it takes a minute to roll it back up so it's compact enough to stuff into its bag.

Oileus XL Beach Tent ($100 at Amazon)

This well-priced beach tent is bigger than you’d think for the size of the storage bag, and we really like the inner storage pockets. However, we found that only two people can fit comfortably inside if their legs are sticking out. Otherwise, it's good for one person to be fully protected from the sun.

WhiteFang Beach Tent Anti-UV Portable Sun Shade Shelter ($50 at Amazon)

We found this beach tent provides great sun coverage, airflow, and durability in the wind. The main problem was that it was difficult to set up, especially in the wind, since it was designed like an actual tent with poles, stakes, etc.

Tommy Bahama Fiberglass Beach Umbrella for Sand with Integrated Anchor ($110 at Amazon)

This beach umbrella from Tommy Bahama was intuitive to set up and take down, and we love the built-in table with cupholders. That being said, it's pretty big, so people who are shorter might find it more unwieldy to port around.

Sport-Brella Sun and Rain Canopy and Umbrella ($65 at Amazon)

We appreciated how sturdy this shade's fabric feels and how durable its poles seem. There were two reasons we couldn't rank this product higher: The unpadded carrying strap can start to get uncomfortable, and we wish there was an option to stand it upright, not just use it at a tilt.

The lowest-performing beach umbrellas we tested let us down in different ways. Some of the main issues we couldn't overlook were if the umbrella didn't feel sturdy when placed in the sand or didn't provide a significant amount of shade. Looking at a few specific products, we were surprised with the Easierhike Family Beach Sunshade Tent by how difficult and cumbersome it was to set up with its multiple components and how flimsy it felt. Then, there was the ONIVA Portable Beach Umbrella, which felt cheaply made, didn't provide much shade, and blew away several times during testing. Some other issues we encountered with other products included bulkiness, difficulty when disassembling, and requiring too much space to set up.

Cindy Brzostowski is a freelance writer with previous experience in cookbook publishing and an avid beachgoer. Her writing has been featured in Allrecipes, Blue Apron, The Kitchn, and EatingWell among other publications. For this article, she used our in-depth, in-house testing insights to review the best beach umbrellas you can buy.

Pros: Cons: Price at time of publish: $156 Height: Weight: Anchor: UPF: Pros: Cons: Price at time of publish: $60 Height: Weight: Anchor: UPF: Pros: Cons: Price at time of publish: $270 Height: Weight: Anchor: UPF: Pros: Cons: Price at time of publish: $160 Height: Weight: Anchor: UPF: Pros: Cons: Price at time of publish: $60 Height: Weight: Anchor: UPF: Pros: Cons: Price at time of publish: $121 Height: Weight: Anchor: UPF: Pros: Cons: Price at time of publish: $54 Height: Weight: Anchor: UPF: Umbrella Canopy Tent Lightspeed Outdoors Quick Cabana Beach Tent Sun Shelter Oileus XL Beach Tent WhiteFang Beach Tent Anti-UV Portable Sun Shade Shelter Tommy Bahama Fiberglass Beach Umbrella for Sand with Integrated Anchor Sport-Brella Sun and Rain Canopy and Umbrella