A beach vacation is the ideal vacation to take with a baby. Imagine relaxing as a family on the white sand beach with the ocean stretching out in front of you. All that fresh ocean air, it’s perfect for lounging with your baby at the beach. Pack along all the baby beach essentials, including one of these best baby beach tents and you’ll be able to relax knowing your baby is safe out in the sun.
Having the right gear, and especially a way to keep your baby out of the sun, is top of our list for baby sun safety and will make for a much more enjoyable beach vacation with a baby. While it might seem extreme to pack a baby tent for the beach in your luggage, you’ll be glad you have it when you spend hours on the beach.
UV Protection – Whether you are planning an all-inclusive vacation with a baby or a week at the lake, a 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 to keep your baby’s skin safe.
Stakes – 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.
Ventilation – You want your baby to be comfortable and not overheat while on the beach. Many of the beach tents have 360 degree ventilation or at a minimum a back window you can open to let the air flow. A portable fan will help keep baby cool too.
Compact – If you plan to fly with your toddler beach tent, you’ll want it to fit in a suitcase. If you primarily drive to the beach, then size is less of a factor.
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 travel bag. It’s best to watch a video and practice folding baby tents for the beach at home before your vacation.
Price – 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.
Size – Do you need a baby sun tent for multiple children or just your baby. Will you want to be in the beach tent as well? Thinking about this will help you decide what size will work best for your family.
Multi-Purpose – 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.
Full Sun Coverage – Find a beach tent for babies that will provide full coverage for keeping your baby out of the sun.
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 well-protected place to sleep while on the beach. For older babies and toddlers, you’ll want a larger space where your toddler can sit and play.
Give your baby all the space to play and nap on the beach! This Pop n' Go mini play yard works equally indoors as it does outdoors! From picnic to an afternoon on the beach, your baby will have plenty of room to explore. The California Co Pop N’ Go Mini is an easy pop up baby beach tent that can be set up and folded quickly.
There’s plenty of ventilation on this pop-up baby beach tent as the sides have flaps that roll up on all sides. The front door can be closed with just the mesh or the top flap as well, giving your baby protection from insects. It comes with a UV shade cover and only weighs 5 lbs. With a compact fold and travel bag with shoulder strap, you'll have no trouble getting it to the beach. A soft padded mattress is also included.
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 back window with mesh. Having both front and back open on this baby beach shade 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 UV rating of 50+ should 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 will block 98% of the sun’s 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 tent is that it has two doors and two 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 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 is a great option for anyone looking for a larger tent to fit the whole family. It fits 3-4 people, so two adults and two children should fit comfortably in this baby cabana for the beach.
We like the Gorich because it still gets great reviews and it also comes at a good price compared to other sun tents for babies of it’s 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 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.
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 plenty of use out of it. There are cheaper versions of these tents like the Bend River Baby Tent or the Sunba Youth Baby Sun Tent, but we would only recommend using those as beach or outdoor tents.
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 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 a UV rating of 50+.
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 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 it’s 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 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 shade for toddlers include sun protection with a UV 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 pool is a fun option. Your baby can splash along while being protected from the sun.
The tent portion is made of a coated fabric that protects baby from the sun’s rays 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 pool will pop up by itself in seconds. It folds into a travel 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.
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 canopy has UPF+50 protection and is adjustable to provide appropriate sun protection for your baby in the pool.
Don’t Forget These Baby Beach Accessories
You’ve got your baby’s tent figured out, here are a few other items to add to your baby packing list for the beach: