Whether you are headed to the Maldives or down the road to La Jolla, I hope you are ready to catch some rays this summer! But of course, as great as sunshine is, its rays can be really harmful. This is especially true for little ones. Our favorite way to get outside while keeping the babies protected from the sun has always been a baby beach tent. It’s something our family has done for a long time.
We had our Rookie Mom Squad check out the best baby beach tents so that we could give you the breakdown of which ones truly are the best for keeping your little one safe from the rays.
The Best Baby Beach Tent Options in 2023
We know that sunscreen for babies can be a choice that really tears you apart as a parent since many pediatricians are opposed to its use. That is why a tent is a great compromise. It will provide great shade and keep them off the ground, which is really nice if your outing involves sand.
Now that they’re so popular there are tons of great options that are easy to pop up and have special features to accommodate babies. Make sure to check them all out before your summer plans get underway!
Babymoov Anti-UV Tent – Best Baby Beach Tent Overall
This tent is really popular because it comes in fun, bright colors and has plenty of UV protection with its 50+ UPF coating. It is just the right amount of space for your baby to play, rest, and stay protected from the sun.
The real reason it tops our list, though, is the simplicity of it. It’s lightweight and easy to travel with. It pops up and folds down very easily and comes with a nice carrying bag. Do make sure to put in the stakes though because this tent is pretty light and might just blow away without them.
This Joovy Gloo infant travel bed is perfect for beach days with the family. It has a self-inflating sleeping pad for ultimate comfort and it comes with washable cotton. It is dew resistant, bug proof, and has UPF 50 Sun protection!
Best of all, it is small enough to take anywhere with you and has easy pop-up set up. This tent is available in 6 colors and 2 sizes! It is made for ages 6 months to 3 years for the regular size and 6 months to 5 years for the large size.
Dock A Tot Cabana Kit – Best Infant Beach Tent for Dock a Tot Lovers
If you have a newborn, this is the best infant beach tent out there in our opinion. It allows you to turn your beloved Dock A Tot into a shady spot with ease. We are big fans of all Dock A Tot products, but the Cabana Kit is one of our favorites. It is both adorable and practical.
The Dock A Tot will keep your baby safe from the sun with its UV Mesh covering which can zip up when needed or just be left down. Plus, it is lightweight and only takes seconds to set up.
The Cabana Kit comes in a couple of cute color options and is available at Target and Buy Buy Baby.
This play shade is a popular choice! We love that it has a closed bottom to keep sand out, and a closable front with great air vents. Plus, it comes with some stakes to keep it in the ground and a carrying case making it easy to tote on any adventures.
This tent is also made of fabric with 50+ UV rated fabric, so it will protect your baby super well.
This was also a clear favorite amongst our moms as it is so darn cute. It’s super easy to set up. This can be your kiddos special place whether you’re just in the backyard, exploring the beach, or on any kind of adventure.
It has a UVF sun protection rating of 50+.
Summer Pop ‘n Play Deluxe Ultimate Playard – Best Baby Beach Tent for Crawlers
If you are looking for something that will give your baby some room to roam, then this is the baby beach tent for you. It has 14 square feet of play area and is perfect for kids ages 6-24 months. It will give them plenty of room to crawl around in a secure safe space.
As big as it looks, the setup is surprisingly easy. It only took us 5 minutes and we are not handy people.
There is a UV-resistant canopy you can attach which blocks out 98% of the UV rays.
This baby beach shade is great at is it super easy to put up (and more importantly takedown). My husband has no patience for putting back tents, so we found this to be an especially great feature for us! It also comes with a convenient carrying bag.
The tent is SPF 30 and is also well-ventilated to keep your baby cool.
Beach Baby Family Size Pop-Up Shade 5 Person Tent – Best Baby Beach Tent for the Whole Family
This is the Rookie Mom Squad’s favorite large tent on the market. This pop-up family tent is HUGE and definitely can fit a lot. Usually, the advertising of 5 person capacity is based on very small people. Not this one.
The see through mesh panels allow for great ventilation and I like that it has a full front screen with a center zipper so you can close up the tent to keep out bugs (or keep your crawling baby in)!
It is a bit tricky to fold back up, so check out the video below to get a better idea of how to fold a big pop-up tent!
This isn’t quite a baby tent, it’s more like a family tent with plenty of room for about four people inside. It can keep everyone in the family protected from the sun’s harmful rays!
The easy go shelter also has one flap that stays open and plenty of UV protection on the inside. It also pops up easily.
This infant beach tent is like a mini porta-crib and will give you a safe spot to set your baby down while outdoors. You can have it halfway or fully closed depending on how much shade you want your baby to have.
Your baby will be comfy because the bedding is super padded, but they will also be entertained with cute hanging toys.
This is the baby beach tent for you if you are looking to keep things simple. It’s just a little mat with a fish-shaped sun cover, which is adorable by the way! It folds really easily and has 50 UPF sun protection.
Another bonus, it is budget-friendly!
The Pottery Barn Kids sunshades are my absolute favorite because they are super cute, and they are also lightweight and easy to assemble. There is built-in UPF 50+ protection.
This tent packs up nice and small, so it can easily fit in your vehicle for your trip to the beach or even on a flight.
Important Features You Want in a Baby Beach Tent
Easy Set Up and Take Down
This will be super important because let’s face it, if it isn’t easy to set up it won’t actually ever get put up. That’s just how life is with kiddos around. The best choice to go with is a pop-up baby beach tent. It will have the fewest pieces to deal with! I still remember my husband using quite a few choice words trying to pack back up the pop-up tent, so make sure to find one that is easy to pack back up.
Ultraviolet Protection Factor
You want your baby to have the ultimate protection from the sun. If you can find a tent that fits your needs and has ultraviolet protection, you’ve found a winner. Some tents just offer shade, which is still great. However, look for the certified ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) label for the added bonus.
Wondering how UPF works? According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, “a UPF 50 fabric blocks 98 percent of the sun’s rays and allows two percent (1/50th) to penetrate, thus reducing your exposure risk significantly” (The Skin Cancer Foundation).
Something to Keep it on the Ground
You don’t want a flimsy tent that doesn’t stay put. Check to see if there’s stakes, sand pockets, or some sort of pegs to keep it on the ground. You will also want to make sure it is made of sturdy material.
One of the more important things to look for when looking for the best beach tent for your babies is to check to see if there are windows or sides that can be opened to let a little air in. Your little one wants some of that sea breeze too! Any ventilation will keep your tent from turning into a sauna inside.
The Proper Size
This one is really up to you and based on your needs. Some mamas might just need a tent for one baby, but others of you might need to fit a few more munchkins in there. It’s always great to have some extra room for everyone else to get a break from the sun.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best baby beach tents?
Here are the best baby beach tents:
Babymoov Anti-UV Tent
Beach Baby Family Size Pop-Up Shade 5 Person Tent
Dock A Tot Cabana Kit
Summer Pop ‘n Play Deluxe Ultimate Playard
Joovy Gloo Infant Travel Bed
What should a baby beach tent have?
Here are some must-haves in a baby beach tent:
Easy to Set Up and Takedown
Comes with Stakes to Keep it in the Ground
What do you put a baby in on the beach?
As great as sunshine is, it’s rays can be really harmful especially to the little ones. Our favorite way to get outside while keeping the babies protected from the sun has always been a baby beach tent. It’s something our family has done for a long time.
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