Picture this: you’re relaxing on the beach with your feet in the warm sand and a cold drink in your hand, nary a care in the world. Is it because you have your own private beach? No, it’s something far more affordable: a beach umbrella. With one purchase you can establish your own personal oasis, sheltered from oppressive heat and potential harm. The best beach umbrella provides you an epic sunshade that’s easy to unfurl and that won’t blow away on windy beach days. Whether you’re riding solo or bringing family or friends to enjoy a day at the shore, we’ve selected the best beach umbrellas that will soon become part of your fun-in-the-sun essentials.
The best beach umbrellas offers shade, stability, and fun designs
Let’s face it—the summer sun is strong and can be pretty unforgiving. Whether you’re beaching in South Beach, Tulum, or Coney Island, you need to protect yourself from those harsh rays. Nothing replaces the importance of applying sunscreen and wearing a sunhat, but the best beach umbrella gives you added protection from sunburn and heat exhaustion, offering you a place to cool down after, say, a competitive game of Kadima. And if you’re shopping for a heavy-duty umbrella to last you many summers, you might as well make it the best beach umbrella while you’re at it. When you do invest in a great beach umbrella, you’ll be able to enjoy it summer after summer.
When looking to add an umbrella to your beach essentials, one thing to consider is the size of your beach crew. How many people you will have sitting under the umbrella will determine the dimensions you should look for; in general, however, a diameter that’s typically anywhere between 70 inches and 95 inches (and a height that’s similarly 6 feet to 7 feet) should be perfect. And if you’ve got kids and critters to wrangle, you might want to consider the best beach umbrella tent.
Another thing to consider is how portable your beach umbrella is. You’ll want it to be light enough to carry, yet have enough weight to be durable and stable during windier days. Typically, the best beach umbrellas will come with a carrying case to make the trip to and from the beach, as well as seasonal storage, simple and easy.
What to consider when selecting beach gear
So, what features make up the best beach umbrella? Well, firstly, in order to protect against the sun, you’ll want a UV umbrella. Typically, a UV umbrella will have a UPF rating of 50+, meaning it will protect against 98 percent of harsh UV rays. Secondly, to ensure you have the best beach umbrella for wind and it won’t blow away while you’re lounging under it, you’ll want a durable, stable, anchorable umbrella because no one wants to be that person running after a rogue umbrella careening down the beach. Thirdly, you’ll want a heavy-duty umbrella but one that’s an easy set-up. Lastly, a fun and unique printed umbrella is like a festival pole, keeping you from getting lost on those packed beach days because, truth be told, it’s easier than you think.
Best heavy-duty: OutdoorMaster Beach Umbrella
The OutdoorMaster Beach heavy-duty umbrella is easy to carry, set up, break down, and adjust with the two-way rotation tilt mechanism. The pole base includes a twist anchor and a small metal crossbar to hold as you dig it into the sand. If needed, you can attach the sandbag with metal hooks to create an extra sturdy base. The umbrella is made with 160g polyester that contains a layer of PU silver coating, which offers better UV protection, while the fiberglass pole is corrosion-resistant, so you can relax under this umbrella summer after summer.
A chair umbrella will have you sitting pretty
Whether you’re taking a solo trip to the beach, use a wheelchair, or want to cover your toddler in their stroller, a lightweight chair umbrella will keep you shady without needing to lug a larger umbrella to the dunes.
Best chair umbrella: Sport-Brella Versa-Brella Adjustable Umbrella
Offered in two sizes, this chair umbrella’s UPF 50+ UV protection blocks 99.5 percent of the sun’s harsh UVA and UVB rays. Available in eight fun prints and colors, this umbrella uses a universal clamp that can attach to both square and tubular surfaces so you can carry and attach it to your seat no matter where you go! With two push-button hinges, you can easily adjust the umbrella to any angle to block out the sun. There is a carrying case included for easy transport and storage.
Resist the wind, not this excellent umbrella option
If you’re going to be out on a blustery day, a beach umbrella with vents will facilitate airflow, lowering the chance of a strong gust collecting enough force underneath the canopy and carrying it off.
Best for wind: Abba Patio Beach Umbrella with Sand Anchor
This beach umbrella with sand anchor was thoughtfully designed with beach-goers in mind. Eight ribs made with flexible fiberglass move with the wind, making this umbrella durable enough to withstand windy days. To ensure an easy and comfortable set-up, the telescoping steel pole, powder-coated for rust resistance, and integrated sand anchor allows you to twist the pole into the sand at any height you please. You can even adjust the umbrella as the sun moves with the push-button tilt. With the 7-foot canopy, made from outdoor-rated oxford polyester UPF 50+ fabric, you can be sure your beach crew will stay cool and protected during the hottest hours of the day thanks to the best beach umbrella for wind.
A pop-up sun shelter offers a cool space for the whole family
A beach tent is perfect for family outings to the beach, lake, park, or backyard, as it fits up to four adults, as well as children and pets. It’s a great way to be communal—and keep those little ones in a semi-enclosed space—while relaxing in heavily populated areas.
Best tent: Leedor Beach Tent
The Leedor Beach Tent’s patented automatic open-hub structure allows for easy setup and comes with four stakes and four sandbags for extra stability against wind. The UPF 50+ UV-resistant fabric of this beach umbrella tent protects you and your loved ones from harsh rays while the three adjustable gauze windows allow the breeze to flow through. And should the bottom of the tent get wet or dirty, don’t worry—it’s waterproof and easy to clean. This beach tent comes with a carrying case and a one-year limited warranty should it not be up to your standards.
Can I get full coverage for a fractional price?
You don’t have to spend a ton to get beach essentials that have all the bases—and faces—covered. Find the best beach umbrella even when you’re on a budget!
Best budget: AMMSUN Outdoor Patio Beach Umbrella
With six bright prints to choose from, you’ll never lose your umbrella on the beach again. Not only is this a cute umbrella, but it’s also super high-quality. Designed for the beach or backyard, this umbrella is stable and durable with its fiberglass ribs and steel pole. The umbrella position can be easily adjusted with the push button so you can enjoy shade and sun protection throughout the day. With vents in the 6.5-foot canopy to prevent it from being blown over in the wind, this affordable umbrella is a win all-around.
Q: What is a good size beach umbrella?
A good-sized beach umbrella will depend on how many people you have in your beach crew. Typically, anywhere from 6 feet to 7 feet of canopy will provide shade for two to four people, and possibly more if your group includes little ones or four-legged friends. If you need protection for one, you might consider a smaller chair umbrella or if you have a larger group, a beach umbrella tent will do the trick. No matter the size, you want to be sure it is lightweight and compact enough to transport to and from the beach.
Q: What is the difference between a beach umbrella and a patio umbrella?
While beach umbrellas and patio umbrellas may look and act similarly, they are two very different umbrellas. Patio umbrellas tend to be way heavier as you aren’t moving them around as much and their poles fit into a table hole and floor base. Beach umbrellas don’t need a base and often feature a pointed bottom to dig into the sand while patio umbrellas have a flat bottom, which would make digging difficult. It may be tempting to use one umbrella for your backyard and beach outings but, unfortunately, they don’t work the same.
Q: What type of umbrella is best for sun protection?
The best type of umbrella for sun protection is one that specifically says it has a UV protection rating of UPF 50+, as it will block 98 to 99 percent of the sun’s harshest UVA and UVB rays. UV umbrellas that don’t have aluminum undercoating will only have an SPF rating, so be sure to read all of the small details!
The final word on the best beach umbrellas
Once you find the best beach umbrella for your summer needs, your days will be cooler, shadier (in a good way), and more health conscious. You already have enough to deal with packing lunch, towels, sunscreen, and toys for your beach trip, so your beach umbrella should be easy to transport, set up, and store, yet sturdy and durable enough to withstand strong winds. Once you find your beach essentials, your summer will get a whole lot brighter and your stress a whole lot lighter.