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Not Your Grandma's Umbrella: 5 Best Beach Shelters for 2021

Not Your Grandma's Umbrella: 5 Best Beach Shelters for 2021

Can you really live the Cabana Life without a great beach cabana? On bright hot summer days we need a breathable cover up AND a shady spot to relax. So we put together a list of some of our favorite beach umbrellas, canopies & cabanas that provide UV protection for even the sunniest beach day. Keep reading to see which seaside shelter is best for you!



For a classic beach cabana we love CoolCabanas. All CoolCabanas are rated for UPF 50+ protection so you can enjoy your sunny days without worrying about UV rays. Plus, this beach shelter has the ease of an umbrella with the protection of a four-corner canopy. No more lugging around clunky metal frames! A single center post supports the cabana and the 4 “posts” are long pieces of fabric with pockets at the bottom. Once you fill those pockets with sand, your cabana isn’t going anywhere...

 Woman carrying a CoolCabana in shoulder carrying bag

...until you want to pack up! Then everything comes down as easy as it went up, and slides into a convenient & easy to carry shoulder bag. CoolCabanas also has a grass kit perfect for any summer soccer games or Sunday picnics.


  • Cute prints & colors
  • Easy for one person to carry and set up.
  • 8 internal pockets keep your electronics and sunscreen shaded and protected
  • All colors are tested to satisfy UPF 50+ rating requirements
  • Block 98% of UV rays


  • Stakes to set up on grass sold separately
  • Would be difficult to use on a hard surface, like wood decking
  • Might have trouble standing up fully underneath it if you’re taller than 6 feet

LightSpeed Outdoors Quick Canopy

The LightSpeed Outdoors Quick Canopy is bigger than a 3-walled shelter, but just as easy to set up – even in high winds. This cabana is ideal for sitting on beach chairs or laying out on towels.. The outer sand pockets help weigh the whole thing down so that it doesn’t blow away. Plus you get lots of ventilation coming through it so you won’t miss out on any ocean breeze. 


  • Fits 4 adult chairs underneath
  • Has a floor, which can be convenient to keep crawling little ones off the sand & keep your space tidy
  • Easy to carry and set up
  • Comes with a removable wall for extra shade and wind protection
  • When filled, stays put even on concrete


  • May not be able to stand fully underneath
  • Bottom of the tent is not removable if you want to sit in the sand
  • Fabric can get caught in the plastic supports and rip as you set up the tent
  • If the sun isn’t directly overhead, you won’t have full shade underneath


 Woman laying in Outdoormaster Pop Up Beach Tent XL on beach

Outdoormaster’s Pop Up Beach Tent XL works great on grass & sand! This tent sets up in seconds. You simply pull both cords to pop up the tent and tie a knot at the top to keep the structure up – no further assembly required! 

OutdoorMaster Pop Up Beach Tent XL - Easy Setup, Portable

The 3-sided shelter with its additional privacy door panel provides 100% privacy, and with UPF 50+ it can protect you from the sun even when it’s not overhead. It’s designed to give you the most shade with the smallest footprint. 


  • Windows along the walls can be opened for ventilation or closed for privacy
  • The floor is made of lightweight tarp material to keep you off the sand
  • Easy setup and takedown


  • Bottom floor mat can be sticky to the touch so need towels or blankets
  • Floor cover doesn’t extend out the front door area.
  • Doesn’t fit many people inside


OutdoorMaster | OutdoorMaster Beach Umbrella We can’t forget a classic beach umbrella. But this is not your grandma's umbrella... OutdoorMaster’s Beach Umbrella has a special base that not only digs into the sand, but also a sandbag that can be filled up to 44lbs. You won’t be chasing this umbrella down the beach after strong winds. Combine the two-way rotation tilt mechanism with UPF 50+ material and you have the best spot on the beach.

OutdoorMaster Beach Umbrella Sandbag Anchor demonstration

This super easy set up ensures no more worries or mess – just a relaxing day by the seashore! 


  • Classic beach style
  • UPF 50+ sun protection rating
  • Easy set up & take down
  • Lightweight & easy to carry
  • Tall enough to stand under


  • Awkward to lay under
  • No wind protection
  • Doesn’t offer full shade & sun protection from incoming side rays
  • Have to bring tarp or beach blankets to keep belongings off sand


 Sport-Brella XL Vented SPF 50+ Sun and Rain Canopy Umbrella for Beach and Sports Events

Get the best of both worlds with the Sport-Brella XL. This two-in-one beach shelter can function as a big beautiful umbrella when the sun is directly overhead and adjusts down to the perfect beach tent as needed. It boasts UPF 50+ sun protection & water repellent fabric so it can protect you from the wind and provide shade. 

Family walking across grass at soccer game. Man and woman each carrying carrying a Sport-Brella XL over their shoulder

The easy umbrella set up and take down means it’s perfect for beach days or soccer games! It’s great for when your little ones need a shady spot to cool down. 


  • Wind vents keep you cool underneath this umbrella
  • UPF 50+ sun protection rating
  • Takes only 3 seconds to set up and take down
  • Wind flaps provide added protection
  • Lightweight to carry


  • Great for sitting under, but small if you want to really move around in the shade
  • Need another weight mechanism to hold it down on concrete
  • Must be oriented properly so that it doesn’t fall over when it catches the wind
  • Maybe awkward to lie under due to smaller shaded


CoolCabanas | Cool Cabana 5 Solid Navy set up on beach with Set of 2 CoolCabana Beach Loungers underneath

There you have it! The best beach shelters for 2021 in different sizes, shapes & configurations. But remember, the best one for you is the one that you're actually going to use. You won't get the sun protection you need if you keep the shelter tucked away in your garage. We want you to be protected from harmful UV rays even on the brightest beach days. So for your next seaside escape bring your new beach shelter, wear your favorite Cabana Life UPF 50+ cover up and slather on that sunblock! 

And don’t worry if it’s not a beach day, when you want great sun protection & ocean inspired prints our new arrivals will bring you from everyday to vacay instantly!