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As the weather warms, you may find your thoughts turning to the beach. A beach day may sound like a lot of fun, but it is also important to protect your skin. It can be draining having to apply sunscreen constantly, and staying out in the sun too long can make you sleepy.
Sometimes on a beach day, you may just want to take a break and hang out under a sunshade for a while. This point is where a beach umbrella comes in really handy for a day at the beach, or even just in your own backyard. There are many different kinds of umbrellas to consider, and they can be an investment, so you want to know the best way to go about your search.
Beach Umbrella Things To Consider
Size and Portability
When considering a beach umbrella, the size is really important since you have to take it to a new location and set it up. If you need to haul the umbrella from your car and onto the beach, you may want something that’s a bit lighter. If you don’t need to carry it far, you may consider something heavier made out of wood.
You also need to make sure that the height of the umbrella is high enough that you can sit underneath it comfortably on whatever chairs that you’re planning to use. You don’t want to be hitting your head because your chairs are higher and your umbrella isn’t high enough.
Another thing to consider is the type of umbrella you’re looking at for your needs. There are many different choices out there to fit your needs.
You could spring for an umbrella/tent hybrid, which will offer more stability and coverage. The solar reflective ones will help keep you cooler and the rays off of you. Weighted umbrellas can be harder to transport, but will also stay easier. Clamp-on umbrellas will need something else to hook onto, while a canopy beach umbrella is more versatile when it comes to positioning.
How easy the umbrella is to set up is another factor that you need to consider. If you are going to go through the trouble of transporting it, you may want something that’s easy to set up. Depending on your patience level, setup can be a very important factor.
When buying an umbrella, be sure to take a look at the instructions for setup. You will want to be sure that you understand how the umbrella works before buying it, and how much work it is going to be to set up. If there is one that you like, but setup is more complicated, that may be an umbrella that you’ll keep in your yard instead of hauling to the beach.
Canopy Materials (Nylon, Polyester, Cotton, Oxford)
There are different fabrics from which to choose as well. You will encounter umbrellas with nylon, polyester, cotton, Oxford and others. Some of these will keep you cooler and reflect the sun more effectively. Polyester or nylon are the most common choices.
Nylon can block harmful UV rays effectively and is waterproof. It is also lightweight and flexible. It also dries quickly in case you do end up getting caught in the rain for a bit. It is cost-effective and has a silk-like texture.
As for polyester, it is synthetic and very durable. It is another great choice. It is resistant to stretching and shrinking. It is also very lightweight, which makes things easier to transport. Another great thing about polyester is that it is easy to dye, so you can find some really fun colors and patterns.
Pole, Anchoring System, and Frame Construction
Another thing you want to be sure of in your umbrella is how sturdy the pole, frame construction, and anchoring system are. You want something that will be stable, so you don’t need to worry about your umbrella tipping or blowing over.
As for anchoring systems, there are a few options in sand anchors. While some umbrellas have them, there are anchors that you can buy separately to add additional protection. There’s no way that you’ll be able to relax if you’re worried about your umbrella moving around or falling on top of you. That would be an awful day at the beach! Make sure that your umbrella anchors well and is sturdy in construction to make for the best experience each and every time to head out to the beach.
UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor)
The point of an umbrella is to keep the sun’s harmful rays off of you. There are certain materials that contain UPF that will keep you better protected than others, so this is something that you need to look for as well. It is important to look for umbrellas with UPF 50+, which protects against both UVB and UVA rays. Certain brands do protect better than others.
You should also put on sunscreen at the beach anyway for the times that you are out from under the umbrella. Umbrellas don’t protect against scattered rays, which come from all directions. While direct UV rays are blocked, umbrellas can’t protect from diffused or scattered UV rays. If you are looking for the best, find umbrellas with a UPF rating of 100. The higher the rating, the better the umbrella will protect you.
10 Umbrellas For The Beach
1. Tommy Bahama
by Tommy Bahama
This 7 ft fiberglass beach umbrella has an integrated anchor and table. It is atop a telescopic aluminum pole with a tilt, which allows you to create custom shade. The fabric is polyester and offers UPF 50 sun protection. There is also a valance included to add additional shade.
The max open height is 87 inches, and includes a 8.5 inch anchoring device. The folding table is 15 x 15 inches, and has two drink holders. The air vent on the top of the canopy helps to increase the wind tolerance, which helps the umbrella’s stability.
2. LLBean Wind Challenger Beach Umbrella
If you’re worried about wind, this beach umbrella is the ideal product for you. It is specifically designed to handle windy conditions without flipping inside out or falling over. This is done through the venting system in the canopy that lets air through instead of the umbrella being lifted up.
It has a sand screw anchor to keep it in place along with a two-way 45 degree tilt. It also has UPF 50+ protection from the sun. The umbrella is eight feet one inch tall with the canopy being almost seven and a half feet in diameter.
( 7.2′ Portable Beach Umbrella with Sand Anchor, Tilt Pole, Carry Bag, Air Vent)
This 7.2 feet tall umbrella is a great choice because it has a heavy-duty sand anchor to keep it in place while you enjoy the beach. The air vent on the top will also assist in keeping it in place even while it’s windy because this vent increases the wind tolerance. There is also a locking button tilt beach umbrella feature to easily adjust this umbrella to block the sun.
Speaking of sun protection, the Oxford fabric also has UPF 50+ to shield you from 99 percent of intensive ultraviolet rays. Another significant feature with this one is that it has a carry bag included to make it easier to transport and store.
4. Skyshade™ Small Compact Beach Shade, Caribbean Sea
This product is a bit different as it’s not really an umbrella at all, but a beach shade. It is light at just three pounds, so it is easy to carry. It also sets up easily due to the pre-attached poles. If you are interested in sitting on the beach instead of a beach chair, this is the ideal choice for you. No beach chair needed, but you will still be protected from the sand by the extended floor.
5. Six-Foot Intego Beach Umbrella UPF 50+
From the ground to six-feet above it, we have you covered. This six-foot beach umbrella is ideal for just about any type of beach chair. It boasts a double-canopy design with mesh insert that is ideal for stability and ventilation. If you are heading to the beach on a particularly hot day, this product is perfect because it will keep you 15 degrees cooler and protect you with a UPF of 50+. It also comes in three different and fun colors.
6. Shibumi Shade Beach Canopy
This huge shade is ideal for when you are looking to easily protect up to six people with an UPF 30 sun protection. The entire shaded area will be 15 feet across by 10 feet deep. You won’t need to worry about it blowing over because it has a free-flowing design and works with the wind. High winds will not ruin your day with this shade. It weighs just found pounds and can be set up within minutes.
7. BeachBUB All-In-One Beach Umbrella System
The great thing about this product is that it is an entire kit instead of just the umbrella alone. It has everything you need for your umbrella to be set up properly. The umbrella itself is 7.5 feet with an UPF of 50+ to keep you fully covered. It also includes a base, which can be filled with sand for extra stability and an oversized bag to make it easy to carry. Even if it’s a bit breezy, you don’t need to cancel your outing because this umbrella has been wind tested up to 35 MPH.
(7.5 ft. Steel Commercial Grade Heavy Duty Beach Umbrella with Ash Wood Pole & Acrylic Fabric)
For another great option, you have this umbrella from Frankford. It is a bit heavier than the others and weighs in at 15 pounds, but that is because of how sturdy it is. The pole is wood-based with stainless steel springs. While there is no tilt or air vent, the entire setup was designed to withstand stress and wind more than other products. There is even a warranty to assure you that you are buying a lasting product.
9. AosKe Beach Umbrella
If you are looking for a more cost-effective option, check out this umbrella. You may think that it is less quality because of the price, but it does come with a lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied with your purchase. It has a UPF 50+ protection and waterproof material to keep you dry in case the weather turns against you.
10. Sport-Brella Canopy Umbrella
For something that’s a cross between an umbrella and a shade canopy, check out this product because it’s both! This canopy umbrella is great not just for the beach, but also other outdoor events. It not only protects from the sun, but the rain as well, so it is ideal for sports events. It has a UPF of 50+ along with a rain canopy to keep you dry and comfy. The umbrella has a side shield and side zippered windows to help with air flow.
Beach Umbrella Frequently Asked Questions
It may be harder to anchor a beach umbrella than you think. The first thing you need to do is pick the right umbrella. Ones that come with the right pieces and instructions will help you out the most.
You should plant your umbrella when it’s closed because it will be much easier to handle. If the pole of the umbrella is in two pieces, put in the base first before you put it together. When putting it into the sand, many people just stab it and leave it, but this is not the most secure way to do it.
You need the next step, which is putting your weight on it to drive it further into the sand with a back and forth motion. One third in is usually a good depth, but be sure to read the instructions. Wet sand will hold it better than dry sand, so keep that in mind when you’re looking for a place to plant it.
Sun umbrellas are designed to reduce the direct UV radiation that can reach our skin, but indirect and scattered UVA and UVB rays will still bounce off other objects and get to us. You may not feel it as much, but you will still get exposed to these UV rays even when in the shade of an umbrella. It is important to still wear sunscreen and protective clothing even when in the shade.
The UPF rating tells us how much of the UV radiation is absorbed by the fabric of the umbrella. While this number may seem encouraging because a UPF of 50 means that it blocks 98 percent of the UV, keep in mind that the UV rays that get to you aren’t going directly through the umbrella.
You definitely can, but patio umbrellas usually need a base and some beach umbrellas don’t have one since they are stuck into the sand. Depending on the type you get, you may need to tweak it to get it to stay the way you want it to on a patio.
This point is where a high-quality umbrella comes in handy. You need to have one that can deal with strong wind. Pointing the umbrella into the wind will also keep it from turning inside out and the wind will push it into the ground instead of pulling it out.
This question really comes down to your personal preference. Both beach umbrellas and beach tents have their merits. A beach tent will keep you more sheltered, but it can also be a bit stuffy. They are also usually lighter and easier to set up. Umbrellas have the benefit of being easier to adjust and may let you get more air.
Enjoy the Beach More with the Right Beach Umbrella
Depending on your needs, we have just the right umbrella for you above. Going to the beach can be a lot of fun, but it can be overwhelming being in the heat and sunshine for so long. You can extend your beach days by having an umbrella to help everyone take a break from the sun and cool off for a bit before going back out into it.
Enjoy your day on the beach more with the right equipment, including the best beach umbrella for you.