Whether your family is visiting the ocean or a nearby lake, there’s one thing for sure – babies love the beach! Visiting the beach with a baby is an ideal family activity, either at home or on a family vacation. Before you head to the beach with your baby, pack along all your baby beach gear, including one of these amazing baby beach tents and you’ll be able to relax knowing your baby’s sensitive skin is safe from the powerful sun.
For a successful family outing to the beach, be sure to bring all the baby beach essentials. With the sun’s harmful rays, educate yourself on how to keep your baby safe from the sun, and then be sure to provide some sun protection for your baby’s skin. Keeping your baby’s skin healthy will make for a much more enjoyable family trip to the beach. While it might seem extreme to pack a baby tent for the beach, you’ll be glad you have the easy UV protection (UPF 50+) when you spend hours on the beach.
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10 Things to Look for in a Baby Beach Tent
When looking for the best baby beach tent, here are the top 10 things you need to consider:
1. UV Protection
Whether you are planning an all-inclusive vacation with a baby or a week at the lake, a beach tent is an invaluable baby and toddler beach essential to protect your baby from the sun’s harmful rays. The baby or toddler beach tent you purchase should have UV protection of at least UPF 50+ to keep your baby’s skin safe. Effective sun protection is one of the most important features of a baby beach tent.
What is UPF? According to SkinCancer.org, “UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate fabric and reach your skin. UPF measures both UVB and UVA rays, while SPF measures only UVB.”
It can get windy on the beach. If you use your beach shade for baby primarily near the ocean, you’ll want to make sure it comes with fillable sand bags and stakes. If your baby beach tent doesn’t have stakes then it should have some sand pockets to help keep it down on a windy day.
While providing sun protection is very important, you also want your baby to be comfortable and not overheat while on the beach. Many of the baby beach tent options have 360 degree ventilation or at a minimum a back window you can open to let the air flow and circulate. A portable fan will help keep your baby cool too.
4. Compact for Travel
If you plan to fly with your toddler beach tent, you’ll want it to fit in a suitcase. If your family primarily drives to the beach, then size is less of a factor for your beach tent.
5. Ease of Set-up
There are so many pop-up tents for the beach that make setting up a shade tent for babies a breeze! The frustration comes when it’s time for folding the baby beach tent. Many of them use a twist & fold method to get them back in a circular form to fit in the carrying bag. It’s best to watch a video and practice folding your baby tent at home before your trip to the beach.
Check out all these baby beach hacks and don’t miss our favorite baby-friendly all-inclusive resorts.
The price of tents for babies at the beach is always a factor and how much you spend will depend on how much use you plan to get out of it. Consider how often you’ll use your baby beach tent, or buy one that isn’t just for the beach.
Do you need a baby sun tent for multiple children or just your baby. Will you want enough room for 2 adults in the beach tent as well? Thinking about this will help you decide what size tent will work best for your family.
Beach tents for babies don’t have to be just for the beach. You can get even more use out of it by using your baby beach tent as a place for your baby to play while in the yard or camping with a baby. Travel tents like the KidCo PeaPod and Joovy Gloo can be used as both beach shade for baby and later as a toddler travel bed.
9. Full Sun Coverage
Too much sun exposure is harmful to your baby’s sensitive skin. The best beach tents for your baby will provide full coverage to provide the best sun protection for your baby’s sensitive skin.
10. Age of your Baby
The age of your baby will also be a big factor. An infant beach tent can be small enough to give your baby a place to sleep with proper UPF 50+ UV protection from the sun. For older babies and toddlers, you’ll want a larger space where your toddler can sit and play.
Best Baby Beach Tents
Give your baby all the space to play and nap on the beach! This Pop n’ Go play yard works equally well indoors as it does outdoors! From picnic to an afternoon on the beach, your baby will have plenty of room to explore. The California Beach Co Pop N’ Go is an easy pop-up baby beach tent that comes fully assembled and unfolds in seconds. Their patented technology makes this baby beach tent one of the lightest and strongest in the world.
There’s plenty of ventilation on this pop-up baby beach tent with six large mesh windows on all sides. up on all sides. The front mesh door can be closed with a zipper giving your baby protection from insects.
It comes with a shade cover for UPF 50+ protection and only weighs 7 lbs. With a compact fold and a carry bag with shoulder strap, you’ll have no trouble getting it to the beach. A soft padded mattress is also included.
The Summer Pop N’ Play is a similar great beach tent for a baby and toddler.
Use code BABYCANTRAVEL10 for a discount on any purchases.
The Sunba Youth beach shade couldn’t be easier to set up: open the bag and it will pop right open. This pop-up beach tent for baby will fit 2-3 people, meaning an adult should easily fit inside with a baby or toddler.
The front flaps are held open on each side and the back flap can be rolled up leaving a large mesh window on the back. Having both front and back open on this baby beach shade tent should offer plenty of ventilation. It also has an extended front flap which gives a baby or toddler more room to play.
One nice feature of this beach tent for baby is it folds up to just under 18 inches in diameter and it weighs only 2.2 pounds, meaning it should easily fit in a large suitcase.
This baby sun tent also features a sand bag on each side and can be staked down at all four corners, for those extra windy days. Most importantly, the UPF 50+ V rating will help protect your baby from harmful rays.
The biggest complaint about this baby pop-up beach tent is getting it folded back up. It’s going to take some practice and we recommend watching the video to get the steps down. One other downside we can see with this tent is while it’s nice the front zips and it can be closed up, it only has ventilation with the front and back open rather than a 360 degree ventilation. Just be sure your baby or toddler isn’t getting overheated in the baby beach tent.
On the flip side, without mesh windows along the bottom of each side, you won’t need to worry about sand blowing in on a windy day.
A similar item to the Sunba Youth Beach Shade is the iCorer Baby Beach Tent. The iCorer beach tent is identical in almost every feature except there are no front or rear flaps, leaving no option to partially close the tent.
The WolfWise AquaBreeze A10 is another pop-up baby tent for the beach that will fit 2-3 people. It’s similar to the Sunba Youth beach tent in shape and features. It has an extended front and with its UPF 50+ rating, it will block 98% of the sun’s harmful rays. It also has stakes and sand bags. The 4 sand bags are easy to fill and unfill. Additionally, it has wind ropes for those extra windy conditions on the beach.
Where it has some huge improvements over the previously mentioned beach tent is that it has two doors and two mesh windows, offering a 360 degree ventilation to keep your baby or toddler comfortable. The front and rear doors have zippers, making them easy to fully close. The sides have flaps that roll down and can be secured out of the way.
This sun tent for baby is slightly heavier at 3.8 pounds and it folds up to a diameter of 20 inches, which should still fit in a large or x-large suitcase.
Similar to all tents of this shape and size, there may be some difficulty in folding the tent. Take the time to watch the video and practice before heading to the beach.
For anyone looking for a large beach tent to fit 3-4 people, WolfWise makes the AquaBreeze A20 which is an almost identical tent that’s larger at a diameter of 24 inches folded and 4.96 pounds. It also has a internal pockets to organize your beach essentials and a hook at the top for a portable fan or lights.
The Gorich Beach Tent with a UPF 50+ rating is a great option for anyone looking for a larger beach tent to fit the whole family. It fits 3-4 people, so 2 adults and 2 children should fit comfortably in this baby cabana for the beach.
We like the Gorich beach tent because it still gets great reviews and it also comes at a good price compared to other sun tents for babies of its size. It will still fold down to a size that will fit in luggage, where many of the other larger baby tents for the beach would be too big.
This beach shade for baby has an extended floor in the front and 3 large mesh windows for 360 ventilation. The Gorich Baby UV sun tent also comes with attached sand bags and stakes for those windy days.
The main issue with these larger sun tents for babies that fit 3-4 people is that they aren’t going to pop open, there will be some set up required. Given that this one has a set of poles, it will be more difficult for one person to set it up on their own without some help.
The KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Tent is a pop-up tent that can be a toddler travel bed for toddlers over 12 months old. While it’s not rated for babies under 12 months old, many parents use the KidCo PeaPod on the beach as an infant beach tent. It has UV protection and mesh surrounding it, to protect babies from the sun and insects.
The benefit of using the KidCo PeaPod as a baby beach tent, is that you’ll get plenty of use out of it. It’s lightweight and packs small. In a supervised situation, your baby can nap on the beach in this tent. As your baby transitions to a toddler, you can use it as a travel bed for toddlers.
One downside of these types of tents is that they have mesh along the bottom for safe sleeping, but that mesh won’t do much to protect against sand entering on an extra windy day. As parents with infants aren’t likely to spend too much time on the beach on a terribly windy day, it’s just something to keep in mind.
The KidCo PeaPod or PeaPod Plus fold into a circular travel carry bag that can easily be packed in a suitcase and brought along anywhere.
The Joovy Gloo is very similar to the KidCo PeaPod. It also comes in two sizes and offers the same sun and insect protection. The Joovy Gloo is rated for babies 6 months and older for sleeping.
Read more about the KidCo PeaPod for travel and how it compares to the Joovy Gloo in our full KidCo PeaPod Plus review.
We specifically recommend the KidCo PeaPod Plus or the Joovy Gloo Large as infant beach tents because they can also be used as a travel bed when your baby gets older. The higher price is worth it if you’ll get many years use out of it. There are cheaper versions of these tents like the Sunba Youth Baby Sun Tent, but we would only recommend using those as beach or outdoor tents where your baby is supervised.
The Nido baby play tent is another option for parents looking for a pop-up baby beach tent. It has a canopy constructed of fabric with UPF 50+ to protect against the sun’s rays and a retractable mesh to protect against insects.
It has a removable mat for easy cleaning and a spot to tie up toys to help keep babies entertained. The sides of the Nido aren’t mesh. With that and a removable mat, we wouldn’t recommend the Nido for overnight sleeping but it would work on the beach for your baby to have a supervised nap.
The folded dimensions of the Nido are 16x16x6.3, which would fit into a medium or large suitcase.
Like many baby beach tents, they are made with lightweight fabric and poles that can easily be folded up and light enough to travel with. But unfortunately that does make them less durable. Knowing how to fold it properly without forcing it will help extend the life of your portable baby beach tent.
The Babymoov toddler beach tent is the perfect place for your toddler to play or nap anywhere outdoors, including on the beach. It’s a large pop-up tent that blocks 99% of the sun’s rays with UPF 50+ protection.
While a tent like the KidCo PeaPod Plus is great for infants and babies to nap on the beach, this one is a dome tent giving toddlers more room to sit up and play while protected from the sun.
The front of this beach tent has mesh curtains with a zipper, so it will also provide some protection against insects. When open, each side can be tied out of the way. With two back windows, this tent would offer plenty of ventilation to keep baby from overheating.
Given its size, this beach tent for babies would also work well for a day at the beach with a baby and a toddler.
At less than 2 pounds and folded in it’s travel carry bag, this baby beach shade should fit in a large suitcase making it easy to pack.
Like many of these pop-up tents, the folding can seem complicated but watch the video and practice a few times at home when you have the time to practice without the pressure.
Similar to the Babymoov, is the Schylling toddler beach tent or outdoor play tent. The Schylling toddler tent is larger than the Babymoov. It’s dimensions are 51” wide by 39” deep and 31” high, compared to the Babymoov which is 39” x 39” x 31.5”.
This beach tent for toddlers also has a large front opening and a window in the back to let the ocean breeze pass through for ventilation. It has both sand pockets and pegs to stake it down, intended to help on windy days. Most negative reviews on this toddler beach tent are that it’s not able to withstand those extra windy beach days even when it’s staked in.
Other features of this beach sun shade for toddlers include sun protection with a SPF 50+ rating, a lightweight size of 2.2 pounds and a folded size small enough to fit in a suitcase.
The Schylling will also fold into a circle to fit in the travel bag. Give this a try before heading on your beach vacation.
If your baby is sitting up and wanting to play on the beach rather than spend most of the time napping, a baby beach tent with a mini pool is a fun option. Your baby can splash along under this sun shade while being protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The tent portion is made of a coated fabric that protects baby from sun exposure with a UV rating of UPF 50+. The back has a net to help protect against insects and can also be open to allow more airflow through the baby beach shade.
This portable baby beach tent with mini pool will pop up by itself in seconds. Pop up beach tents are exactly what parents need! Even better, it folds into a carry bag that can be packed in a suitcase.
Another fun option for your baby at the beach is this splash play mat. It has both a backrest and a canopy to give your baby a fun and comfortable place to play on the beach. For babies who are 6 to 18 months old, this inflatable play mat has stackable rings and can be filled with water for splashing. It’s like your baby’s own private baby pool!
The removable canopy has UPF 50+ protection.
Don’t forget pool time. This pool float for babies has a seat for baby plus an adjustable sun shade canopy to provide UPF 50+ sun protection.
Recommended for babies who are 6 to 18 months old, this floating inflatable seat will be the perfect spot to have your baby in the water.
Another fun pool float for babies is this SwimWays Infant Pool Float. This infant pool float is recommended for babies 3 to 9 months old. It has extra safety features like a 3-point harness, handles for parents and the a reclined seat that your baby can lie down on.
The removable sun shade canopy has UPF 50+ sun protection and is adjustable to provide appropriate sun protection for your baby in the pool.
Don’t Forget These Baby Beach Accessories
Now that you’ve found the best baby beach tent for your family, here are a few other items to add to your baby packing list for the beach: