Selection of Beach Umbrellas

 Sport-Brella Portable Sun Shelter Beach UmbrellaSport-Brella Portable Sun Shelter Beach UmbrellaColeman Compact Shade Shelter Beach UmbrellaColeman Compact Shade Shelter Beach UmbrellaSport-Brella XL Sun Shelter Beach UmbrellaSport-Brella XL Sun Shelter Beach UmbrellaGiant Rainbow Sand Anchor 8′ Beach UmbrellaGiant Rainbow Sand Anchor 8′ Beach UmbrellaTommy Bahama Sand Anchor 7′ Tilt Beach UmbrellaTommy Bahama Sand Anchor 7′ Tilt Beach Umbrella
PriceCheck Price »Check Price »Check Price »Check Price »Check Price »
Pole materialMetalStrongMetalAluminumStrong
Rib materialStrongStrongMetalFiberglassStrong
Metallic undercoatingYesNoYesNoYes
Tent designPrivacyPrivacyXLClassicLightweight
Wind resistantYesYesYesYesYes
CapacityTwo adults3 to 4 people3 to 4 people3 to 4 people3 to 4 people
Anchor systemStake and tethersStakes and sandbagsScrews into sandScrews into sand or earthYes
TiltableYesNoYesYesYes
Width8 feet7.5 feet9 feet8 feet7 feet
Zippered door/windowsYesYesYesNoNo
UV protectionYesLimitedUPF 50+SPF 50SPF 100
Internal pocketsYesNoYesNoNo
StabilityGoodYesGoodGoodYes
AccessoriesNoYesYesNoNo
Carry bagYesYesYesYesYes
 Sport-Brella Portable Sun Shelter Beach UmbrellaSport-Brella Portable Sun Shelter Beach UmbrellaColeman Compact Shade Shelter Beach UmbrellaColeman Compact Shade Shelter Beach UmbrellaSport-Brella XL Sun Shelter Beach UmbrellaSport-Brella XL Sun Shelter Beach UmbrellaGiant Rainbow Sand Anchor 8′ Beach UmbrellaGiant Rainbow Sand Anchor 8′ Beach UmbrellaTommy Bahama Sand Anchor 7′ Tilt Beach UmbrellaTommy Bahama Sand Anchor 7′ Tilt Beach Umbrella

Beach Umbrella Buying Guide

Updated: January 3, 2017

Beach Umbrella Buying Guide on Amazon

Beach Umbrella Buying Guide

Have you been baffled by the scores of beach umbrellas online, leaving you unsure about the features which make certain products stand out from the crowd?

In this buying guide, we’ll be examining how to pick the right umbrella for your needs.

Of course – plush features aside – the real issue you’re going to be concerned about as a consumer is whether or not the beach umbrella will be nice and simple to set up when you arrive at your destination.

Always check that the beach umbrella can be put up in just a few simple steps.

Picture the scene: the kids are really enthusiastic to jump in the sea, but you need to make sure that they have their sunscreen on first. To do that, you need to unpack everything and set up the beach umbrella – but they’re itching to go, and almost on the verge of dropping everything and running towards the waves.

Ask yourself this: are you really going to want to have to contend with five pages of instructions on how to erect the beach umbrella? Definitely not!

Always check that the beach umbrella can be put up in just a few simple steps. Normally, you’ll have two poles which snap together (they aren’t usually joined to ensure that the product is portable when carrying it from A to B,) and that it slots safely, securely and easily into the canopy itself, which can then be opened in a similar fashion to a normal umbrella.

There are products like this out there – and they take mere seconds to erect.

Choosing the Right Beach Umbrella

2-beach-umbrella-buying-guide-choiceNow that we’ve established that simplicity is the one thing you should be focused on with your beach umbrella, let’s move on and talk about the other factors that should play into your decision. They include:

Price: Of course, you’re going to want to strike the balance between getting an umbrella that’s nice and affordable, and one that’s going to be able to tide you over for a couple of seasons at the least.

There’s no point getting a product that offers the narrowest width on the market if you have a family of four who are going to need protection from the shade.

Capacity: Think about why you’re buying this beach umbrella, and more importantly, who you’re buying it for.

There’s no point getting a product that offers the narrowest width on the market if you have a family of four who are going to need protection from the shade. Equally, you might get disgruntled looks from other beachgoers if you pitch up with a tent that can fit 10 people, and it’s just you and your partner.

Materials: It’s a smart move to get a beach umbrella that’s lightweight – especially if you’re going to be walking long distances from the car to your favorite sunspot. You can normally get a firm idea of how much an umbrella is going to weigh by looking at the materials which have been used for manufacturing the poles.

Steel and aluminum are fairly lightweight and they’re also durable. They often have an anodized or a powder coated finish for extra resilience. Wood, although it looks brilliant, is incredibly heavy, and these poles will usually only be suitable if you’re planning on keeping the umbrella in the garden.

Design: And last but not least, don’t forget about the umbrella’s appearance. There are some nice, bright colors out there that you can choose from – and these work wonders, especially considering the tastes of most shoppers these days. Enjoy it… it’s the only chance where canary yellow can actually be acceptable!

Beach Umbrella Buying Specifications

Does it come with UV protection?

3-beach-umbrella-buying-guide-uv-protectionIf you’ve bought a patio umbrella in the past, you probably would have seen UV protection as a nice feature, but not something that’s compulsory on your list.

However, beach umbrellas are a completely different kettle of fish – and this is owing to how you’re going to use this product on sunny days in places where there are hot temperatures. Giving your children protection needs to be a number one priority.

Thankfully, most manufacturers have ensured that their umbrellas use materials such as Sunbrella, which come with a clear SPF rating.

Thankfully, most manufacturers have ensured that their umbrellas use materials such as Sunbrella, which come with a clear SPF rating.

This, as you may already know, stands for Sun Protection Factor – and it works on a numerical scale from 2 to 100. The higher the rating, the more effective it’ll be at protecting you from UV rays that are otherwise able to penetrate through the material and leave you with a nasty case of sunburn.

As a rule of thumb, you should remember this at all times: if you can still see the sun in the sky, you’re still being exposed to UVA and UVB rays. That’s where zippered doors and windows can come in handy for giving you 360-degree protection when the midday sun is at its peak and you want a break from sunbathing.

If you see a reference to UPF on the product descriptions issued by manufacturers, don’t worry: it isn’t a typo. This is simply a different measurement used for assessing a beach umbrella’s effectiveness at shielding your skin from the sun.

In many cases, you will also find that beach umbrellas come equipped with a metallic undercoating that further stops the unwanted penetrating of harmful UV rays – and this should be at the top of your wish list when buying an umbrella for kids.

What accessories does the beach umbrella offer?

4-beach-umbrella-buying-guide-accessoriesWe all like getting value for money – and when it comes to some beach umbrella companies, they are more than happy to offer this to you in spades.

For example, some products come with a nifty line where you can dry your clothes, eliminating the need to put wet swimsuits and towels in your hold-all before you head on home. In other circumstances, there are also nifty internal pockets for storage – and we’ll be discussing that in our next section.

You should also see whether or not a carrying bag for the beach umbrella is included in the box.

You should also see whether or not a carrying bag for the beach umbrella is included in the box. Most of the time, it will be – but there are some manufacturers who will not provide you with this accessory. In such cases, they’re typically sold separately – and buying a carrying bag from a different manufacturer can prove challenging because of the many different dimensions that beach umbrellas can have.

Although the carrying bag shouldn’t be a deal-breaker when you’ve got your heart set on a certain beach umbrella, don’t be afraid to ask the company what options they provide. Given how there will be poles and the canopy itself to lug around, it’s important to have some solution for getting it from A to B.

Other accessories will include the anchor systems which are used to secure it to the sand – or in some cases, even the ground.

Such anchors should be able to penetrate deeply, as this enhances wind resistance, improves stability and stops the beach umbrella from blowing away in the breeze.

Given how coastal areas are often more blustery than their inland counterparts, good tools to keep your beach umbrella grounded really won’t go amiss.

Are there any internal pockets provided?

5-beach-umbrella-buying-guide-internal-pocketsAs you’d imagine, this feature is normally found in the larger beach umbrellas on the market – and they can be nothing short of a lifesaver in terms of functionality.

When you’re at the beach, you’ll normally be in and out of the sea, wearing clothes which are short of pockets and not waterproof. Carrying your keys, wallet, important documents, cash and even wearing your wedding ring can all be a risky business – especially if something goes missing in the sea, or an item falls out of loose pockets as you take a stroll along the coastline.

I don’t know whether you’ve tried looking for a valuable item on a vast expanse of sand before, or donning goggles to pore over the seabed, but believe me when I say it’s a stressful experience and often one that ends disappointingly.

I don’t know whether you’ve tried looking for a valuable item on a vast expanse of sand before, or donning goggles to pore over the seabed, but believe me when I say it’s a stressful experience and often one that ends disappointingly.

However, beach umbrellas can come to the rescue here, giving you a suitable place for storing all of your items as you seek shade or sunbathe close by. It’ll be a lot safer than placing your gear in a tote bag that lies close by to a sun bed, especially if you’re planning on chilling out with some headphones in.

Although you should always be vigilant and never complacent, a beach umbrella is not really a place where opportunistic thieves would look for cash, jewelry, or other items which prove pivotal to your vacation or day out. That’s mainly because not all products provide such a nifty feature.

Don’t forget that if your beach umbrella is big enough, you may be able to use some of the room for storage even if you don’t have internal pockets.

After all, it’s a great place to put a cooler!

Does the beach umbrella have zippered doors or windows?

6-beach-umbrella-buying-guide-zippered-doorsIn many ways, this transforms your beach umbrella into more of a tent – but this certainly shouldn’t dissuade you. A product that boasts zippered doors and windows provides loads of great advantages.

For example, when it’s time to change from your normal clothes into a swimsuit, you can apply the zippers for instant privacy – without having to awkwardly erect some sort of barricade so you can remain decent as other holidaymakers walk on by.

These doors and windows can also be tucked away whenever they are not needed, meaning you’ll still be able to get plenty of sunlight, fresh air and ventilation when it’s wanted.

These doors and windows can also be tucked away whenever they are not needed, meaning you’ll still be able to get plenty of sunlight, fresh air and ventilation when it’s wanted.

Earlier, you’ll remember we were also talking about UV resistance – and zippered doors and windows are the ultimate solution for protecting your children from the sun when they need a break.

They can also provide the levels of shade you need to read your book – as trying to become absorbed in a paperback or your Kindle can become near impossible when you’re contending with direct sunlight.

In terms of durability, the one thing you need to be sure of is that the zips are resilient and not cheaply designed. Always check reviews for any reports that the zips can begin to jam and become unusable as time wears on.

Hopefully, this will be covered in the warranty that’s offered by your manufacturer if you are dissatisfied for any reason – so at least you can take comfort in that.

Finally, you should check that the fabric is strong and resilient, as you don’t want this extension to increase the likelihood that the beach umbrella could begin to tear at the seams.

Will it guarantee wind resistance?

7-beach-umbrella-buying-guide-wind-resistanceStrong levels of wind resistance are key in a beach umbrella – there’s no two ways about it. Always check to see whether the product you’re interested in comes equipped with wind vents, as this allows air to circulate consistently. Also remember that the more anchor points that the beach umbrella has, the higher the chance that it’ll be able to hold its own whenever a gust rears its head.

Just remember that very few beach umbrella makers – if any – will provide guarantees in their warranty against damage to the product that has been caused by wind damage.

If the fabric for the umbrella is strong, and the product boasts a floor that can be placed on the sand to keep your belongings protected, you also have the added advantage that you’ll be keeping the beach umbrella weighted down whenever you’re sitting or lying inside.

Just remember that very few beach umbrella makers – if any – will provide guarantees in their warranty against damage to the product that has been caused by wind damage. As such, it’s recommended that you use your judgment to decide if the weather is suitable for using the beach umbrella.

The rib material on the beach umbrella will also add to the product’s overall stability. If it’s made out of fiberglass, the canopy is less likely to lose its shape as time wears on – a crucial consideration given how most umbrellas are carefully designed to have a shape which makes them resistant to the wind.

So – in summary, there are five different specifications to look for when you’re on the market for that first beach umbrella.

Check out to see whether the fabric offers ample UV protection, and whether you’ll get any accessories in the box. Wind resistance is crucial for ensuring that your beach umbrella has longevity, and internal pockets will enable you to relax.

Sport-Brella Portable Sun Shelter Beach Umbrella

Sport-Brella Portable Sun Shelter Beach Umbrella

This offering from Sport-Brella is the go-anywhere solution to staying out of the wind, rain and, of course, the sun. Introducing the Sport-Brella Portable Sun Shelter Beach Umbrella Available in both red and blue, this beach umbrella is perfect for the beach, when you are camping, on the sidelines of your favorite team, for tailgating […]

Pro: More than an umbrella
Con: Zippers corrode

Coleman Compact Shade Shelter Beach Umbrella

Coleman Compact Shade Shelter Beach Umbrella

One of the best ways to do that is to make sure you always have access to shade, something that the Coleman Compact Shade Shelter can provide. Introducing the Coleman Compact Shade Shelter Beach Umbrella This shade shelter features an attached, therefore sealed, floor so you don’t have to worry about bugs getting in […]

Pro: Its own fitted floor
Con: Slow assembly

Sport-Brella XL Sun Shelter Beach Umbrella

Sport-Brella XL Sun Shelter Beach Umbrella

As we’re going to find out, this Sport-Brella product prepares you for the unexpected. Introducing the Sport-Brella XL Sun Shelter Beach Umbrella It comes equipped with side flaps which provide you with all-round shade, unlike other beach umbrellas that only protect your head from hot temperatures. This beach umbrella offers generous amounts of shade […]

Pro: Metallic undercoating
Con: No tracking the sun

Giant Rainbow Sand Anchor 8′ Beach Umbrella

Giant Rainbow Sand Anchor 8′ Beach Umbrella

However enjoyable it is, making sure you still have some shade to retreat to is both safe and practical – but doesn’t have to be boring! Introducing the Giant Rainbow Sand Anchor 8′ Umbrella A beautiful umbrella, the Giant Rainbow Sand Anchor adds some brightness to staying safe this summer. This in an umbrella that will […]

Pro: Heavy duty screw
Con: Flimsy carry bag

Tommy Bahama Sand Anchor 7′ Tilt Beach Umbrella

Tommy Bahama Sand Anchor 7′ Tilt Beach Umbrella

Look for one that has the features that are important to you, after all, a beach umbrella is no longer the simplistic product of yesteryear. Introducing the Tommy Bahama Sand Anchor 7′ Tilt Beach Umbrella This beach umbrella from Tommy Bahama offers 7 feet of shade even on the hottest of days, and with an SPF of 100, […]

Pro: Great value umbrella
Con: Cheaply made carry bag

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,