The only thing that should fry when the weather heats up, is the chops and snags on the BBQ. If shade isn’t so easy to come by at your local beach, then don’t chance it. Take along your own beach shelter so you can relax on the sand without burning to a crisp.
Here’s a rundown of all the styles of beach shades available, so you can cherry-pick the best one for you for your next day off by the water.
1. Pop-up model for quick trips
When an hour or two at the beach is all the time you can spare for some R & R, a pop-up shelter is the way to go. If you’re not exactly an expert at setting stuff up, this is also a top-notch choice for a beginner who needs a fool-proof option.
A solid choice in this category is the Explore Planet Earth Pop Up Beach Shelter. This one is as easy as it gets when it comes to a portable shade. You just unfurl it from the bag, open it up, position it, and peg it out. If you need extra stability you can always chuck some sand in the side pockets.
Keep a pop-up beach shade in your boot for spur-of-the-moment outings. Image: Explore Planet Earth
2. Quick-pitch shade with privacy
If you need a shade that’s easy to set up, but also gives you a bit more privacy than an open traditional shelter, then a dome style beach shade should be right up your street.
The UV Guardian from Caribee is a model that ticks both of those boxes. The clever pole design tensions the frame when you pull the string at the top so you get shade, structure, and fast pitching in one.
It also has two entrances, one of which you can fully zip up. So while you’re not completely shut off from everyone, you can position it to get a bit more seclusion from other beach-goers. It’s perfect if you’ve got a wardrobe malfunction to deal with, for reapplying sunscreen or just getting some privacy if you want some time out.
If you’re keen to see how to set up the UV Guardian, we show you how in the video above.
3. Gazebo as a beach tent
Make better use of the gazebo you’ve got in your shed, and take it for a spin at the beach for more shade than a standard shelter.
You could go traditional with a 3m x 3m size gazebo such as this one from Coleman or Oztrail, but just keep in mind that the structure isn’t ideal when the wind really picks up. For this reason, we’d recommend that you take the time to guy it out properly and use appropriately sized sand pegs.
Or take something that will flex a little better in the wind, such as the Zempire Aerobase 3. This shelter has a hybrid frame which adds extra stability in a breeze. It also has inflatable poles which makes it simple to erect and removes the risk of poles breaking.
Choose a gazebo that’ll brace well if it gets breezy at the beach. Image: Zempire
4. Traditional beach shade
If your idea of bliss is laying out on a towel all day with a good read, then a traditional style beach shade will give you the spacious cover you need, plus the option to adjust it according to the time of the day.
The Caribee Long Reef should be at the top of your list when it comes to traditional beach shades. Your view of the sea won’t be encumbered by walls, there’s plenty of space for stretching out and you can change your set up as the sun moves.
Relax all afternoon under a traditional shade like the Caribee Long Reef. Image: Caribee
5. Large family-friendly shelter
Who doesn’t love a multi-tasking piece of gear? If you’ve got a big family who loves a good backyard barbeque, a weekend away with the caravan or hanging out all day at the beach – then you need a beach shelter with a bit more height and coverage.
The Coleman Event 14 is a versatile model that provides you more shade compared to a standard beach shelter, plus 233 cm of internal head height. The only downside is it’ll set you back a bit more time and effort to set it up.
Want a tour of the features of the Event 14 Shelter? We’ve got you covered.
Now to dig out your swimming togs…
When the weather warms up, it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to relax with a good read by the water, play a game of cricket in the sand, or take a dip in the water to cool off.
But you don’t want to have to wince your way into work on Monday with a face and body the colour of a boiled lobster. You may never live it down, so bring some proper shade for your next day on the beach to save your skin (and your rep) from those harmful UV rays.
What’s your favourite thing to do at the beach this time of the year? Let us know in the comments.