Invest in a beach umbrella, and you won’t regret it. That’s because the fastest way to ruin a family beach day is to come unprepared: No shade, like no snacks, can trigger a tsunami of whining. Importantly, a beach umbrella also keeps those kiddos (and grownups alike) protected against the harmful rays of the sun, acting as another layer of safety in tandem with your dutiful regimen of reapplying dermatologist-recommended sunscreen while the wee ones squirm out of your grasp. We’ve rounded up some great beach umbrellas to stand up to serious wind, as well as large umbrellas to shelter the whole fam, and small ones for compact packing or a solo day out. And while you’re shopping for beach gear, we also recommend getting some kids’ beach chairs and beach toys!
Best Beach Umbrellas
This 8-foot umbrella-slash-canopy offers full shelter with the addition of side flaps. The polyester construction is UPF 50+ to protect against UVA and UVB rays, as well as water repellant for those inevitable splashes. The telescoping pole keeps it compact, and side zippered windows keep air flowing through.
Tommy Bahama’s classic blue beach umbrella is well built for endurance with a fiberglass frame and ribs, and an aluminum pole. Generously sized with a diameter of about 7.5 feet, this umbrella also has a tilting mechanism allows for easy adjustments as the sun moves. It has a built-in sand anchor, and comes with a carrying case.
Best Beach Umbrellas for Wind
This is the one you need if you’re frequently in breezy conditions: It’s wind tested to 35 miles per hour, and was recently endorsed by the American Lifeguard Association, which warns against hazards of fly-away beach umbrellas. It anchors easily with a base that fills with sand, and comes with a large carrying bag with padded strap and handle for easy transporting.
This navy and white striped beach umbrella has a chic and downright timeless look, and it won’t blow away on you since it comes with a bag that can be filled with 44 pounds of sand. A two-way rotation tilt mechanism allows for easy adjusting, and flexible fiberglass ribs make it ultra-durable even in strong wind.
Best Large Beach Umbrellas
Cover your whole crew with this 9-foot-wide beach umbrella, large enough to fit two beach chairs underneath. The zip mesh window allows air to flow through, and a wind vent on top provides solid stability. The included sand anchor helps to keep the umbrella securely staked to the ground. It comes with a carrying bag.
How much fun is this rainbow-hued 8-foot beach umbrella? It folds down for easy transportation with the included carrying bag with shoulder strap. A sturdy sand anchor keeps it in place, and a vented top keeps the wind from inverting it. It has an adjustable tilt angle and a lightweight aluminum pole stand that won’t rust.
Best Small Beach Umbrellas
This budget-friendly 5.5-foot canopy is a simple and streamlined pick that won’t break the bank. A steel pole with 155-degree tilt supports the alloy steel frame of this umbrella, which features a cute gray wave pattern piped in red.
This 6.5-foot diameter umbrella has a unique leaf-shaped venting system on top to promote air flow and keep the umbrella secure in high winds. (Plus, it just looks cute.) A tilting mechanism allows for easy adjustment so you stay in the shade as the sun moves. A solid sand anchor and 10 fiberglass ribs make this a durable, sturdy pick.