Beach Tents

Going to the beach is one of the most popular summer family vacations, and for good reason. Everyone in the family has something to do at the beach. Young children can play in the sand with reckless abandon, older kids can swim and play in the water, while Mom and Dad relax in the sun, read a book, and maybe get a tan. Beach barbeques and campfires are also favorites as the day wears on, and depending on the facilities families can sail, kayak, or play volleyball all day.

Though the ideal day at the beach is sunny and clear, rainstorms aren't the only things that can ruin a day at the beach. Too much wind, sun, or sand can also put a damper on the day, especially if there is no convenient shade or shelter. That's why beach tents have become popular with beachgoers, especially families with young kids. Beach tents are lighter weight and easier to set up than standard backpacking tents, and they're easy to toss in your beach tote on your way from the car. They assemble quickly; some designs are even self-erecting, so you can toss the tent onto the sand and it'll set up itself.

Beach tents offer some respite from the sun for those with sensitive skin, and they're a boon to young families with infants. With a beach tent, infants and toddlers can stay in the shade without being restricted to a child carrier or stuck under and umbrella; they're free to play in the tent while the rest of the family enjoys the sun. Beach tents are also handy for those needing a place to change into bathing suits while at the beach, allowing them to avoid awkward changing sessions in the car or trying to find a convenient restroom or changing room somewhere along the sand. For those wanting to catch a nap, these tents provide a handy place to get away from the noise and sun usually associated with beach trips. Lunch is no longer a sandy mess either, since families can get out of the wind much more easily.

Beach tents come in all shapes and sizes, from full-sided family affairs to simple half-shells which protect from the wind and sun but offer an unrestricted view of the water. Other designs have no walls, providing a roof to keep the sun off but nothing more. On a bright, warm day these can be great, but they don't offer as much protection from wind or prying eyes. Whatever your choice, a well-designed beach tent can transform your next vacation from ho-hum to a great day at the beach.

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