I’ve used several different beach tents and my favorite is the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade. The Coleman beach shade offers excellent features at a very reasonable price, making it excellent value. We’ve used our Coleman beach shade many times. Not only has it done exactly what’s needed every time, but it has stood up well to the abuses of regular family use. If you’re getting ready to head the beach, be sure to buy a Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade on Amazon (paid link) before you go.
Here is my review of the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade:
At time of writing, the Coleman Beach Shade can be purchased from Amazon for less than $54. Since beach tents and shades range from about $25 to $135, Coleman’s offering is very reasonably priced. Factoring in its quality and size, the Coleman beach shade is excellent value.
I always like to consider the cost-per-use of the items I buy. Since our Coleman beach shade has already made over 30 visits to the beach, and is still in excellent condition, it has only cost us about $1.75 per beach visit so far. That’s good value.
Many beach tents do not carry the UPF 50+ protection rating that Coleman’s UVGuard fabric provides. In fact, many do not list UPF protection ratings at all! Since our primary reason for buying a beach tent was to get some protection from the sun’s damaging UV radiation, this feature is something that I feel ANY beach tent worth buying should have. I like that our Coleman Beach Shade is only letting 2% of sunburn-producing UV rays travel through to the inside of the tent.
Throughout its use, our Coleman beach tent has held up extremely well. There are no rips in the fabric, the poles are all still straight and unbroken, and the color isn’t showing any signs of fading from the sun.
Having tried several beach tents, I prefer the size of the Coleman Beach Shade. Our first beach tent was a Lightspeed Bahia (paid link), which can be set up in seconds, but did not provide enough space for our family of four. We’ve also tried the Eureka Solar Shade (Large) (paid link). Although the Eureka Solar Shade was larger and much taller, it was also heavier and didn’t pack up as small. Our Coleman Beach Shade has proved to be the perfect size for our family of four.
Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade – Buy It (paid link)
Floor Dimensions: 7.5ft x 4.5ft
Center Height: 57 inches
Eureka Solar Shade (Large) – Buy It (paid link)
Floor Dimensions: 10ft x 6ft
Center Height: 72 inches
Lightspeed Bahia Quick Shelter – Buy It (paid link)
Floor Dimensions: 6.5ft x 4.8ft
Center Height: 44 inches
Fully packed, the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade is only 23.5″ x 5″ x 4.5″ and weighs just 6 pounds. When compared to the other beach tents we tried, it’s easy to see the advantages.
Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade – Buy It (paid link)
Packed Size: 23.5″ x 5″ x 4.5″
The Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade has two attributes that make it a good pick for privacy. First, it has a zippered door, which many beach tents do not have, allowing it to be completely closed creating a private environment within. Second, it is large enough to be useful inside while fully closed, allowing for clothing changes, diaper changes, nursing, and the like.
In addition to providing excellent shade, the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade has several other convenient features:
First, the rear of the tent features a large, zippered window with a zippered screen. This allows the tent to be completely opened up to airflow.
Second, at each of the four tent corners there is a mesh pocket, useful for storing items like cellphones, snacks, and water bottles. The ceiling of the tent has a hanging line, which is very useful for hanging clothing and towels to dry.
There are multiple ways the Coleman Beach Shade can be set up. This allows it to be used in a variety of conditions. On its own, the tent is very sturdy. If the beach becomes a bit windy, the included stakes and sandbags can be used to keep the tent in place.
The tent comes with six draw-string sand bags. Each is large enough to hold several pounds of sand. These can be freely placed throughout the tent to hold it down. Or, the sand bags are sized such that they can be placed in the mesh wall pockets if desired.
For really windy days, there are pegs supplied that can be used to fasten each corner of the tent. The front end of the zippered door can also be staked to the ground. Further tethering can be accomplished by staking the two rope tether lines on the front corners of the tent.
Ease of Setup
The Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade can be set up quickly. There are only three tent poles to set up. I can set ours up in about 5 minutes without help. A pole-based tent like the Coleman Beach Shade will never set up as fast as an instant tent like the Lightspeed Bahia (paid link), but I still confidently list ease of setup as a strength because Coleman has designed their beach shade with an easy setup in mind.
The pole sleeves are made of a mesh material. This makes it very easy to see the route and progress of the poles as they are inserted. Each of the three sleeves consists of one contiguous segment, so the pole end does not have to be thread into a sleeve multiple times. The tent corners do not have to be staked, so mounting the poles is as easy as passing the end through the attached eyelet.
Tent Corner Eyelets
The Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade does have one area where quality could be improved. The quality of the metal eyelets at each corner could be improved. The eyelets are used for pole mounting.
A quick survey of the reviews on Amazon shows that several users have had these fall out of their tent ends. This happened to our tent as well. After many uses, one of the eyelets did fall out. However, as each tent corner has two eyelets and only one is needed for the pole, we just use the good one.
Raw Setup Speed
Since we also own a Lightspeed Bahia (paid link) this review would not be complete without acknowledging that where raw speed is concerned, the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade is slower to set up than beach tents that use a pull-string or pop-up design. Our Lightspeed Bahia can be set up in under 10 seconds – far faster than the Coleman.
If you need a tent that can be set up in almost no time at all, pull-string tents like the Lightspeed Bahia are worth looking at. However, keep in mind that the complexity of pull-string tent’s poles often means they do not pack up anywhere near as small as poled tents. Our Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade packs up much smaller than our Lightspeed Bahia.
No Side Windows
The Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade does not have side windows. This creates a slightly narrower range of viewing angles than is possible in tents with side windows. The Eureka Solar Shade (paid link),for example, does have side windows.
That said, the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade is very wide, this isn’t a limitation that has ever upset me. However, it is worth keeping in mind during your own purchasing decisions. I can see how side windows may be useful to create a breeze during very hot days, but we’ve found the large rear window in our tent adequate for that purpose.
Although we’ve never encountered it, even on busy beaches, I can imagine that a beach tent the size of the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade would not be very welcome in some spots on exceptionally busy days. Unlike two towels laid in the sand, due to its height, a beach tent does a great job of blocking the view of anyone behind it. The key here is to be considerate of where the tent is placed.
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