We live in the Raleigh area and make occasional day trips to the beautiful NC beaches.
And for the longest time, we’ve been hunting for the best beach shade- each time we went to the beach, I’d take a look at what worked and what didn’t, especially in the wind.
See, when we first moved here, we got one of those cheap umbrellas from Walmart. They didn’t last for long.
Then we got one of those popular cabanas since we wanted something sturdier for our family. While they offered a good amount of shade, they wouldn’t stand up to 25 mph of wind, and they blew away on us several times.
So, after a bit of inquiry, we were recommended the beach tents.
At first, I didn’t see any sense in acquiring a beach tent because I thought they would be bulky and challenging to use, especially considering we had to travel far every time we visited the beach.
But as it turns out, the beach tents are what we needed for our beach trips.
Sure, they may not be as portable as the beach umbrellas, but there’re some compact and easy-to-use options.
For example, we’re big fans of pop-up tents because we can set them up in under a minute, and they’re extremely stable in the wind.
While everyone is taking their umbrellas down and their shades getting flattened by the wind, our Costco tent beaches stay in place perfectly.
But more importantly, they provide the needed shade and shelter from the wind on the less sunny days.
And depending on the design, some will even keep out stray dogs, flying frisbees, and other intrusions.
Now, if you need one of these nifty contraptions, you’re in the right place.
Here, I’ll share some of my favorite Costco beach tents in the market. They’re ultra-light, protective, durable, and practical solutions to your needs at the beach.
Table of Contents
The Best Costco Beach Tents For The Money
#1 Pacific Breeze Easy Set-Up - EDITOR'S CHOICE
We purchased the Pacific Breeze beach tent to take with us on NC beaches.
And since we’re city dwellers without a car, we wanted something portable, lightweight, and readily folds up for schlepping on the subway.
The Pacific Breeze seemed to check on all those boxes easily.
It’s lightweight and comfortable to carry, perhaps, more than your regular beach umbrella.
I can effortlessly throw it over my shoulders and still manage to carry my favorite beach chair and cooler.
Setting this bad boy is also a breeze, and though I practiced setting it up at home, it couldn’t have been easier at the beach.
It took me less than a minute to unpack, lay it out, and pop it all by myself. Collapsing it after use was equally a walk in the park. Even better, this full-on tent comes with an included backpack carrier that is large enough to accommodate the tents after folding.
The Pacific Breeze Easy Setup was also the perfect gear to keep us shielded from the elements. It provided the UV rays, rain, and wind protection we needed for hours.
And the good thing is it arrives with sandbags, and when filled, they keep the tent in place even in fairly strong winds. I also love that it comes with four aluminum stakes and sandbags for extra stability.
The overall quality of the tent also feels quite good, and nothing about either the tent or carry bag feels cheap or throwaway.
For example, the floor, made out of tarp-like fabric, crisscrossed with nylon reinforcing threads, feels solid and will stand up to the abrasive beach sand.
Pacific Breeze Easy Setup lasts, whether on the beach or in storage. We’ve used ours for several seasons now and didn’t think it would last, given what we take it through daily.
On top of that, the tent has a unique dome-style design, which I find quite handy for the space offers. It’s spacious and to give you an idea of how big it is, I usually put two folding chairs inside. It can also fit three users, but two would be the best comfort-wise.
Finally, you can tell the manufacturer has spent a lot of time thinking through the small details that help to enhance the overall user experience.
For example, the tent arrives with large and nice windows to help with better ventilation and breeze during the hot summer days.
There’re also easy access pockets, which I use to store my frequently-used items such as suntan lotion, snacks, and phone.
I also have to admit I’m a big fan of the Pacific Breeze colors.
#2 Quik Shade Expedition EX100 Instant Canopy – Spacious Pick
After an unfruitful search of the best beach tents, we came across the Quik Expedition and were impressed by what it had to offer.
For one, it was lightweight. Only 15 lbs.!
It weighs no more than your regular beach umbrella and about as much as a half-gallon carton of milk, so if you’ve a small car trunk or plan to carry the tent on your shoulders, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Still, this bad boy offers much more privacy, UV & rain protection, and comfort.
For the size and lightness, I feared that it wouldn’t hold up in the wind.
I was mistaken.
It offers great protection and isn’t easily swayed by the +25mph wind we frequently have at the beach.
Some days, it’s so windy that I can’t even wear my hat, yet, the beach canopy tent stands strong.
Quik canopy also assembles really fast and disassembles just as easy too.
Setting this thing up was a breeze, and I did it on my own.
However, the Quik Shade canopy Expedition isn’t something to be banged around. It does indeed take some TLC to open and close.
In my opinion, the canopy is good as you take care of it. The frames are made of plastic and not metal like most other best canopy tents in our bundle.
That said, it’s not impossible to get many years of service from it.
The other slight flaw I find with the Quik canopy is the space. We use it with my girlfriend, but it’s definitely a tight fit.
In fact, we had to move with the shade much more often than we did with our other larger canopies.
Still, it was enough for use, but a third person or kids couldn’t have fit.
Besides that, I really love this canopy tent and plan to use it for many more seasons in the future.
#3 Sport-Brella Extra-Large Umbrella – Most Versatile Shade
I purchased the Sport-Brella for a beach vacation and for use in our camping site and backyard to shade our sandbox and kiddy pool.
We use it frequently, sometimes up to three times a week, and so far, it has held up well, with no signs of wear or tear. Excellent design and high-quality construction.
Along with the solid construction, this umbrella is lightweight and easy to carry.
In fact, it really doesn’t feel any worse than carrying your typical school backpack, and in comparison, to my other tents, it’s nearly a third of their weight.
Setting up this tent is also a breeze.
And this is particularly essential for me because I have two kids; it’s important to have a tent that is easy to set up because one eye always has to be on the kids.
Yes, the tent is relatively large, but I can open and take it down in less than a minute. It’s as simple as opening an umbrella.
Meanwhile, it also remains quite practical at offering a better solution against the wind, UV rays, rain, and dust.
It has been the only umbrella on the beach a few times as I watch others blow away.
On top of that, it’s pretty windproof even without the anchors. And when the windows are unzipped and the tent angled slightly away from the direction of the oncoming winds, it effortlessly shades our kiddy’s pool and sandbox.
We don’t have to wait until the sun moves behind the trees.
The final reason why I considered the Sport-Brella is because of its large size.
It’s one of the few umbrellas that we can actually both fit under with my girlfriend. It’s really big, and two people with large chairs can fit under it easily.
#4 Coleman Pop-up Beach Tent
I simply love the Coleman Pop-up beach tent.
It feels good to use it at the beach where there’s no shade.
Plus, it’s so deep inside that it feels like having your private room.
The only disclaimer is that it’s not exactly a pop-up tent like its name suggests.
Sure, it’s easier to set up, but not like an umbrella or other best beach tents on our list. It takes 5-10 minutes to assemble, and it’s easier to set up with two people.
Yes, it’s doable with one person, but it will require some elbow grease.
However, Coleman beats the umbrella hands down once it’s set up. You can set your stuff in, and there will be no more fiddling around as with the umbrellas. See, an umbrella constantly needs to be readjusted and can blow over. Not the Coleman Tent.
It remains sturdy and will take on the strong winds without blowing over.
Plus, we were at the beach, and we were caught in a heavy rainstorm. While everyone ran for cover, we remained out and waited out in Coleman. It was great to watch the rain and have the beach to ourselves!
The tent is also super-sturdy and will take on anything you throw at it without breaking down. For our case, we’ve used it for several seasons now, and it doesn’t show any signs of wear or tear.
Remember, we frequently put it through a lot, including rinsing the tent and the hardware after each trip and even sun-drying the tent after use. Yet, it hasn’t color-faded and remains as new as we acquired it.
Another incredible addition to this Costco tent is the window at the back, which can be opened to expose the screen and allows the wonderful ocean breeze to flow through.
Alternatively, you can close the shade when the sun begins to set behind the tent. Win-Win.
The Coleman is also the perfect tent and a must, especially if you’ve kids that need to take a break from the water.
It’s quite spacious for two adults and two kids. And when I’m alone, I can fit my chair in the front and other accessories such as a cooler, bags, and a snack bin with plenty of room left.
Overall, the Coleman makes full days at the beach more comfortable and enjoyable. I’ve even taken numerous napes in the tent.
My only complaint is the material used on the base is coated with a rubber-like coating that tends to attract and stick fine sand all over.
And because it’s tacky, fine sand can’t be shaken off, so you need to wipe, brush or wash it off.
#5 Neso Tents Grande Beach Tent - Most Spacious Costco Tent
I was so sick of the bad umbrellas and the tacky department store canopies at the beach, and the Neso Tents seemed like the ideal solution.
Fortunately, it hasn’t failed me so far, and here’s everything you need to know about this purchase.
First off, I was attracted to Neso because of the size.
The smaller Neso tents are smaller, but the Neso Grande Tent works perfectly and should be the “standard” size for a family of four.
I can comfortably fit inside with my entire family (better half and two kids.)
And the good thing is the canopy will accommodate everyone even if I extend my legs.
Plus, it’s tall enough for me to stand under in almost any windy conditions. I can fit four people inside and even stretch it a little bit up to six people.
Of course, for such a larger size, expect it to flap a lot to the wind.
But the good thing is that it doesn’t buckle. For example, in one of our stays, we were interrupted by winds and several showers. Rather than taking the tent with us to the hotel. We decided to leave it there.
The storms came through, and even then, our Neso canopy stayed right on the beach, and all we had to do was put the poles back up.
But keep in mind it’s not water-resistant, so don’t make the mistake of leaving your valuables.
Overall, I’ve never had a problem with sandbags dragging or moving, and the poles do a decent job of staying where they’re supposed to, even in the wind gushes.
The other plus with this purchase is that it only takes a couple of minutes to setup.
You don’t have to mess with the fiddly sandbags because it has a piece of flat fabric cinched into a sack.
So, you simply need to lay out the fabric, and put some sand on top of it, and then cinch the sack up around the sand.
And the good thing is once you’re done for the day, you simply shake the fabric and get all the sand off of it before packing up.
Overall, I’d highly recommend this product because it feels ultra-light and portable for easy transport. It won’t disappoint.
Best Costco Beach Tent Buying Guide
In the guide below, I’ll share everything you need to know about selecting the right Costco tent for your needs.
But first, let’s see why you need a Costco tent in the first place.
1) Protection from the sun
Staying for a while in the sun is a good source of Vitamin D, but too much exposure is dangerous.
The best Costco beach tent can help avoid the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can lead to sunburns or skin cancer.
2) Burglar Proofing
Some Costco tents can be zipped and locked.
So, when you take a dip on the water, you won’t have to worry about burglars accessing your items.
On top of that, the tent shields your items from water and dirt.
It’s challenging to have some privacy on a public beach.
But with a tent, you can enjoy a time of your own, even in a crowded space.
You can change into your swimming costume, and even into your dry clothes after a swim.
4) Good for Kids
Your kids will definitely get tired after spending hours on the beach, and they’ll need a safe place to relax.
Adults, too, will require a nap to replenish and rejuvenate their lost energy before heading to the beach again.
A beach tent offers a nice spot for relaxing and sleeping.
Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Costco Beach Tents
The number one thing you need your Costco tent to do is to shield you from the sun.
The best beach tent should protect you from the sun’s rays from multiple angles, so you can use it at any time of the day.
You can also consider tents with UPF50+ material to help in blocking the harmful UV rays.
The material of choice for a beach tent should be functional and durable.
Nylon and polyester are popular fabrics used on tents because they’re waterproof, puncture-resistant, and durable.
Don’t forget the poles. I’d recommend the aluminum poles because they’re lightweight and durable.
Airflow is important for a perfect day in a beach tent.
See, a tent can get pretty hot under the glaring sun, so you need an option with a mesh window, wide opening, or flaps that can be rolled for extra ventilation.
Easy Set Up
You don’t want to waste time setting up a tent on the hot sand, so pick a quick and easy option to set up.
Pop-up tents are the fastest to set up.
Consider how many people you plan to accommodate in your tent.
This will give you an idea of the size of tent you need.
Bear in mind that larger tents are heavier.
Beach tents come in different styles.
For example, some options are designed with three walls and an opening, while others only come with a roof and are completely open on the sides.
You need to assess the style that meets your needs and preferences.
Beach tents are available in a variety of colors, and this allows users to choose the one they like.
I love those with bright summer colors as they’re easy to spot.
Storage and Accessories
Apart from the tent itself, there’re a couple of other good features to look for in a tent, such as integrated storage pockets for holding your water bottles and other regularly-used items.
A built-in tarp floor will also help to protect you from the sand and let you stay comfortable.
You can also consider tents with a bag, a handy dry line to dry your wet clothes, and an extended front floor for open-space sunbathing.
Best Beach Tents Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What else should I bring with me to my Costco beach tent?
A: The two most important accessories to your tent are the tarp that serves as extra flooring and mallet for your stakes.
Q: How do I clean my beach tent?
A: Always consider cleaning your beach tent immediately after use.
If it has a lot of sand, use a hose of water. If used in salty conditions, use soapy water.
Then after cleaning, use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe off all the water.
Q: How do I set up a Costco tent?
A: As with regular tents, there’re numerous ways of setting up a beach tent. It depends on the specific make.
Q: How much does a tent protect me from the sun (UV)?
A: The level of sun protection depends on the UPF, Ultraviolet Protection Factor of the fabric used.
All of our picks have a UPF rating of 50+, so they score high, and means they allow less than 2% of UV transmission.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best tents is the Pacific Breeze tent.
It ticks on all the boxes for the best beach tent.
This offering is ultra-light, easy to use, reliable, and an all-around option.
Plus, it comes with a carry bag and doesn’t come at a crazy price tag.
I’d recommend it.