When you want to head to the beach for some summertime, what shade products do you choose? Umbrellas, beach tents, or canopy tents? Umbrellas have a limited range of shade and the large sizes are difficult to fold and thus not easy to transport. Therefore, tents of all styles are usually the most popular.

But when it comes to tents, should you choose a beach tent or a regular canopy tent? Both have pros and cons for beach use, depending on your needs. So, we'll compare the main differences between beach tents and canopy tents to help you determine which style works best.



Beach Tent


Beach tents are similar in appearance to camping tents. Yet, the bottom and side joints are usually of one-piece design and can be opened or closed. The interior will have a screen design for ventilation. A floor is provided for sitting or lying down.


The fabric of a beach tent is usually made of polyester, ensuring that the covered area is UV-resistant. The frame is fiberglass, which is safe and durable while not rusting, supporting the tent to be stable and self-supporting for long-term use.

Intended use

Beach tents are specifically designed for beach use. Of course, it can also be used in outdoor settings such as parks, backyards, and music festivals.

beach tent

(Beach tent) 


The process of setting up a tent is also similar to a camping tent.

  • First the poles are attached, after which they are propped up and attached to the bottom fixings.
  • Finally, you need anchors to reinforce it. Beach tents take some time to set up.


Beach tents can be folded into small round bundles that fit into round totes for lightweight packing. Usually, the maximum size of a storage bag is only 17 "x 8" x 8". And the largest beach tents do not weigh more than 12 pounds.

UV & Water Resistant

The beach tent has a silver-coated fabric with UPF 50+ UV protection. It provides a fully enclosed space with significant shade. The fabric is water-repellent but not 100% waterproof.


Thanks to the floor provided you can sit directly on it and it has a zipper to better keep the sand out. The beach tent has excellent sand protection.

Internal space

The maximum size of the beach tent is 118 inches long x 118 inches wide x 71 inches high and can accommodate up to 8 people. However, you can only sit or lie down, and the beach tent is not tall enough to be able to stand fully.


Beach tents usually cost between $25 and $100. Prices will vary depending on size and materials.

beach tents

(Beach tents)

Canopy Tent


The canopy tent has a very different look than a beach tent. It is more square in appearance and the colors may not be as vibrant as a beach tent but there are enough color options.

Many manufacturers of canopy tents offer customizable services. The ability to personalize your tent.

Intended use

The canopy tent is much more versatile. It can be used as a vendor tent for various markets or as a display tent for commercial events. It can also be used for outdoor parties: backyard parties, birthday parties, or camping trips. Of course, there are many more uses for canopy tents, such as outdoor theaters, pet shelters, or baby playgrounds.

beach market canopy tent

(Beach market) 


The canopy tent setup process is much simpler.

  • Since the frame is preset, you only need to pull the frame apart first.
  • After that attach the top to it and wait until the frame and canopy are fully set up before adding sidewalls etc.
  • Finally, the canopy tent is secured using sandbags or rope for extra stability.

Again, even one person can take a few minutes to complete setting up the canopy tent.


Although the frame of the canopy tent can be folded, it will still be bigger than a beach tent, and the storage bag is also bigger. But, the canopy tent's storage bag is on rollers, so it's easy to transport.

The largest size of the canopy tent is 10x20 canopy, and the storage bag measures 50x13.3x8.5in. Even the lightest of the canopy tents will weigh between 25 and 30 pounds.

UV & Water Resistant

The canopy tent is made of 420D Oxford fabric with PU coating. This fabric is characterized by waterproof, UV protection and does not fade or deform. It is ideal for outdoor use.

However, the canopy tent without sidewalls does not provide the same full sun protection as a beach tent. Although its fabric is waterproof, it is not recommended for use in heavy rain, which can cause damage to the frame.


Unlike a beach tent which has a floor, the canopy tent has an open bottom and sides. Unless side walls are added, sand is very easy to get into.

Internal space

The most popular size of the canopy tent is the 10x10 canopy. lt offers 100 square feet of interior space and can accommodate up to 8 to 10 people. And with a height-adjustable design from 7.9 feet to 8.5 feet, it allows everyone to stand comfortably. The spacious space is also able to place tables, chairs, or other objects.

Canopy tent on the beach

(Canopy tent on the beach)


Compared to beach tents, the canopy tent is slightly more expensive. Depending on the size and style, the most basic tent will range from $100 to $200. And canopy tents with added customization options will cost more.

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Overall, the difference between a beach tent and a regular canopy tent is obvious. And if one needs to choose between the two, it will depend on personal preference, usage, and budget.

If it is only for occasional use, then the beach tent wins with its excellent portability and affordable price. But if there are different outdoor activities regularly, the practicality, as well as versatility of the canopy tent, will be more suitable

Whichever tent you choose, you can enjoy the convenience that portable shelter offers so that you can spend fun times outdoors!

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