After trying several, my favorite beach tent is the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade. The features Coleman’s beach shade offers to the market at a very reasonable price make it excellent value. We’ve used ours many times, and 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 DayTripper Beach Shade can be purchased from Amazon (paid link) for less than $54. Since beach tents and shades range from about $25 to $135, Coleman’s offering is very reasonably priced, particularly considering its quality and size. Personally, 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, and it is still in great condition. 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 shade 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 DayTripper Beach Shade (paid link). 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 Eureka Solar Shade (Large) (paid link), which though larger and much taller, was also heavier and didn’t pack up as small. Our Coleman Beach Shade has proved a perfect size for us.
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 (paid link) has several features that are very convenient. The rear of the tent features a large, zippered window with a zippered screen, allowing the tent to be completely opened up to airflow, front to rear.
At each of the four tent corners there is a mesh pocket, useful for storing items like cellphones, snacks, and water bottles. Across the roof of the tent there is a hanging line, which is very useful for hanging clothing and towels to dry.
For the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade, I like that there are multiple options that can be used to set up the tent for different conditions. On its own, the tent is very sturdy, but if the beach becomes a bit windy, it is possible to rely on both sand bags and/or stakes to keep the tent in place.
The tent comes with size draw-string sand bags, each large enough to hold several pounds of sand. These can be freely placed throughout the tent on its windward side to hold it down, and 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, as well as the front end of the zippered door 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
Since it only relies on three poles, setting up the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade (paid link) can be completed quite quickly. I can consistently set ours up alone in about 5 minutes. 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 this as a strength because Coleman has designed their beach shade with an easy setup in mind.
The Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade has pole sleeves that made of a mesh material, so it’s easy to see the route and progress of the pole as it is inserted. Furthermore, 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. Lastly, the tent does not have to be staked, so mounting the poles is as easy as passing the end through the attached eyelet.
Tent Corner Eyelets
If the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade has one area where quality could be improved, it is the quality of the metal eyelets at each corner of the tent which 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, and our tent has been no exception. After many uses, one of the eyelets did fall out. This was unfortunate, but 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, but keep in mind that the complexity of their pole system generally means they do not pack up anywhere near as small as poled tents like the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade.
No Side Windows
The Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade does not have side windows. This does create a slightly narrower range of viewing angles than is possible in tents with side windows, such as the Eureka Solar Shade (paid link).
Since the front of the Coleman DayTripper Beach Shade is so wide, this isn’t a limitation that has ever upset me, but it is worth keeping in mind during your own purchasing decisions. I can also 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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