Best Beach Canopy To Shade The Family?
July 20, 2013 7:11 PM   Subscribe

Going on our annual summer vacation an need to get a canopy for the beach that can: -provide shade -not fall over in typical beach wind -handle the sand

Here's an example of what one looking for:

Any suggestions? (Personal experiences are a plus!)

Seems like all of the reviews I find on amazon say "to flimsy"!

PS - not looking for any form factor other than the "four legs and a roof" design seen in the link above.
posted by thankyoumuchly to Shopping (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't figure out where you are located, but if you are in the northeast, you might try Ocean State Job Lots (or similar store that is near you). I did not buy the format you are looking for, but the beach umbrella that we got there last year for ~$40 was very sturdy for the price and held up well at the beach. They seemed to have a good selection of other types of shelters. They definitely had a variety of price points and corresponding quality so I'd try them out in the store before buying.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 9:15 PM on July 20, 2013

Perhaps something like this?
posted by azpenguin at 9:35 PM on July 20, 2013

these are pricey, a bit, but can be found cheaper and will literally outlast the apocalypse.

I used one "permanently" setup in my yard tied down to heavy things and it lasted at least a year until serious, 50mph or so winds pulled it up on to my roof. We still managed to un-destroy it and it's folded up and ready to go somewhere else. It was also inherited from my friends grandmother and mother who had used it fairly constantly since the early 90s at streetfairs, in their yards, at the beach, etc.

The "EZ-up" ones are the same concept but slightly less well built. The caravan ones are tanks. Seriously, go to any farmers market and look at how many people you see using them. Workhorses. If money is an absolute concern check out the EZ-up ones since they'll still destroy any of the "beach canopy" ones in quality.

You'll need some milk jugs/gallon water jugs to fill with sand and tie to the legs to keep it from trying to fly.(don't buy the overpriced BS premade weights) Look around and find one that includes the sides so you can snap one on and avoid the low sun/wind on a specific side(similarly, don't buy the sides separately unless they're $20), it will happily withstand any wind that isn't "sharknado".

I really can't be arsed with any of the cheap ones like the example you linked or other ones mentioned. They ALL explode. As do any varieties of standard beach umbrella which don't really suit more than two people anyways.

Accept no substitutes, really. I've sat under one of these in winds that were practically "lift off into space" on an otherwise sunny day drinking a beer without the thing even thinking about flipping up or exploding. Same with driving rains. I once drank espresso under the one in my yard with MASSIVE loads of snow and water on top. It needed to be pulled apart and adjusted afterwards but suffered no permanent damage.

Sand, beach wind, and not falling over are a cakewalk for these things if they're set up correctly. Mainly weighst, the legs being aligned correctly(not splayed "in" or overly out to stress the frame) and the fabric bit being on properly tight. Once it's set up the wind can just blast at it and it will give no fucks.
posted by emptythought at 1:44 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I ADORE my Skincom Solartent. The two person size is plenty roomy for two people plus a large dog. Setup is reasonably quick, and it is immune to beach winds while remaining cool and comfortable inside. It packs down to a small, light tube with a carrying strap. I bought mine last year, and it was worth every penny as it allowed me to hang out at the beach for hours longer than I normally would when fighting with a regular umbrella. I believe the company makes larger models too.
posted by ReginaHart at 8:59 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

We had a good 13'x13' pop-up canopy from Coleman, but during a pre-hurricane panic last summer the fabric got torn and now we are on the look-out for a replacement. It came from Target originally, on sale for just over a hundred bucks -- but it's like twice that from Coleman:
INSTANT CANOPY 13 FT X 13 FT Model No.2000004407
posted by wenestvedt at 5:40 AM on July 22, 2013

BTW, while researching hammock stakes last week I saw a thing called the Toughstake Sand Anchor, and it may be useful for someone taking a bigger shelter/canopy to the beach:

Medium Toughstake - 2 Pack at Amazon for $35

I haven't tried them, but the idea seem clever.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:43 AM on July 22, 2013

Saw this thing on Pinterest and thought it looked pretty easy to hack on the cheap.
posted by forkisbetter at 10:40 AM on July 22, 2013

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