Best Beach Umbrellas Reviewed & Rated for Quality

The beach, that most cliched of vacation spots, where all people, young and old, can all agree on one thing: some people look better in swimsuits than other people. But in all seriousness, if you go to the beach with a bunch of people, it can be a great time if you manage your time correctly. But, of course, that sun is going to come down hard on you to some extent, and you need some way to keep it from cooking you alive when you just want to lounge around by the water. This, of course, is where beach parasols come in.

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Beach parasols are an interesting sort. While they can protect against rain, they are definitely not meant for that. Their real purpose is to protect from the sun, providing a good amount of shade for you while you lounge on the seaside. And we’re counting down what we believe to be the ten best, here today. So, get ready for a relaxing lay in the light, because we’re counting down the:

 

10 Best Beach Umbrellas

 

1. Pacific Breeze

1. Pacific Breeze
Kicking off our list with an unorthodox entry, we have the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Tent. Now, you may be thinking that we’ve barely even started this list, and already we’re going against the title. Well, rest assured, this tent has every right to be here, as we will now demonstrate.
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Fast and easy setup

A tent isn’t really meant to be slept in overnight or survive harsh winds like normal tents used for camping are, and this means that setting it up can be a lot easier and faster. And sure enough, this is one of the fastest to set up tents you can find. Its specially designed hub system makes it incredibly user-friendly and a breeze to pitch.

Element protection

Just because it won’t protect you from a raging thunderstorm, doesn’t mean it can’t take the odd rainstorm here and there. And not just that, but the entire tent, even the windows which would otherwise act as a weak spot, are all outfitted with UPF 50+ UV protection that will keep you nice and safe from even the most severe hotness.

Cost and Value

Of course, no tent is cheap, at least not the ones worth actually buying. And sure enough, while not quite as cheap as other tents out there, this one will still cost you quite the pretty penny.
Pros

Fast and easy setup

Element protection

Lightweight and compact

Cons

Pricey

2. BeachBub

2. BeachBub
Coming in second place is the BeachBub All-In-One Umbrella System. These umbrellas are great when they actually set up properly, but then that’s the key word there, isn’t it? Setting up an umbrella can be a frustrating experience because of how much of a process it is, and the high winds and sweltering heat are only going to make it harder. And then in comes our #2 entry.
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Everything you need to set up

This umbrella system comes with a small shovel to get out the sand, a pocket to put the sand in, a gopher that you use to mount the umbrella on when you put it in the ground, and of course, the umbrella itself. And the best part? At no point in any of this do you have to worry about the umbrella flying off at the first gust of wind.

Strong canopy structure

But just because it isn’t going to fly away doesn’t mean it isn’t a well-made umbrella, because it very much is. With its 11mm commercial grade fiberglass ribs, double lined rib pockets sewn into the canopy, the durable running hub, and the high-grade rib connectors, you can rest assured that this is one of the best umbrellas you can buy.

Cost and Value

While the previous entry was a bit pricey, this one is even more so, sporting a very high asking price. However, you are more than getting what you pay for, and the price isn’t the highest we’re going to see on this list, so it all balances out.
Pros

Everything you need to set up

Strong canopy structure

Won’t blow away in the wind

Cons

Pricey

3. Sport-Brella

3. Sport-Brella
Rounding out our top 3 segment, we have the Sport-Brella Portable All Weather Umbrella. While not a tent, this umbrella is designed in such a way that it may as well be. More than most of the other entries on this list, this umbrella provides total and complete coverage. Speaking of which.
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Total coverage

This umbrella’s canopy comes equipped with side curtains that keep hot winds and heat off of you while you relax. This umbrella provides you with complete coverage while you lounge by the seaside, with nary a single stray light beam to infiltrate your cozy shade. Perfect for the lazybones who goes to the seaside to relax but hates when the hotness gets in the way of that.

Water repellent

But it wouldn’t be a very good umbrella if it couldn’t hold fast against the rain, could it? If you’re using this umbrella for a rainy game day instead of a warm afternoon, you’ll find that this umbrella works just fine in either environment, with pristine water repellent coating for the umbrella.

Cost and Value

In stark contrast to the previous entry, this umbrella is incredibly affordable, for what it’s offering you. So, if you need a comfy umbrella to sit under for that big game day, this is the umbrella for you.
Pros

Total coverage

Water repellent

Affordable

Cons

Very narrow shaft

4. Sport-Brella X-Large

4. Sport-Brella X-Large
Coming in at #4, we have the Sport-Brella X-Large Umbrella. Once again, we have an umbrella that’s perfect for a shady nap on the seaside or a rainy game day. But is that all that this umbrella has to its name or does it have more to offer? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
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Internal pockets

Got some essentials that you don’t need right that second but you want to keep on you just in case? Well, don’t leave them on the sand where they can roll away or get buried, instead use one of this umbrella’s many internal side pockets to keep it nice and secure. Now if you need that essential thing, you just need to look to your left or right and pluck it out.

Extra large

Having an umbrella that gives you so much shade is all well and good, of course, but what if someone else wants to come under there with you? Whether it’s your kid who’s tired themselves out from swimming, or your significant other looking for some shady beachside snuggles, a little extra room never went amiss. Luckily, this tent is plus sized by default, meaning that you have more than enough room for whoever wants to come under there with you.

Cost and Value

You’ll find this umbrella for a rather average price for a beach umbrella. Not quite as cheap as the previous entry, but not unreasonably expensive either.
Pros

Internal pockets

Extra large size

Complete weather protection

Cons

Zippers on the side windows could be better

5. Tommy Bahama

5. Tommy Bahama
For our #5 pick, we chose the Tommy Bahama 7 ft Umbrella. If what you want out of your umbrella is color, style, and functionality to boot, then Tommy Bahama is the guy you want to see. Because this umbrella is exactly what you’ve been looking for. What do we mean by this? Well, let’s take a closer look and see.
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Canopy vent

If there’s anything an umbrella needs to get right, it’s the resistance to wind. Because the biggest enemy you’ll be facing isn’t the sun, it’s that strong sea breeze that will send your umbrella into the next county. Which is why the top of this umbrella’s canopy comes equipped with a special vent that lets less air build up in the underside of the canopy, allowing for more wind resistance.

Tilting mechanism

We’ve all been there, you find the perfect spot, the perfect angle for your umbrella, but a little while later, you remember a little detail: the hotness is always moving. And soon enough you’re cooking. To combat this, this umbrella comes equipped with a tilting mechanism on the pole, that allows you to move the canopy to wherever you need it to be.

Cost and Value

Once again, a very average price for an umbrella. It isn’t too pricey, but it’s pricey enough to let you know that this is something worth paying for. So, if the features we listed sound worth your money, then this is the umbrella for you.
Pros

Canopy vent

Tilting mechanism

The silver lining for UPF 50+ protection

Cons

Ribs are flimsy and won’t stand up to a constant strong breeze in the same direction

6. Coleman Daytripper

6. Coleman Daytripper
Coming in at #6, we have the Coleman DayTripper Shade. Once more, we have more of a tent than an umbrella, but despite that, this is a great tool to use for those particularly hot days, or when you need somewhere comfy to sit during those late night summer parties. So, let’s see what makes this tent so qualified for those activities.
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Closable door

One thing that this tent definitely has over the last one on this list is that you can actually close it like a real tent. So, if you decide that you’d rather not get changed in your ultra cramped car, you can just pitch up this tent and change in there. And you don’t need to worry about being seen as this tent has two doors instead of one, both of which zip up completely.

4 interior pockets

Of course, with so much space, there should also be room to put your stuff when you don’t need it right that second, but know you’ll need it later. For this purpose, this tent comes with a set of 4 interior pockets big enough to fit pretty much anything you need. So, if someone is on his or her way and you want to keep the protective cream on hand for when he or she get changed in the tent, just fit it away in one of the pockets for them.

Cost and Value

This tent is a bit over the average price for what we’ve seen so far on this list. But with that said, it’s not that expensive, so if your budget is a bit more relaxed than usual, this should be exactly what you’re looking for.
Pros

2 zip closed doors

4 interior pockets

UV guard protection SPF 50+

Cons

Slow assembly

7. Wondershade

7. Wondershade
For #7, we have the Wondershade Ultimate Sun Shade. If what you’re looking for is a classic, casual umbrella, that’s not meant to provide too much shade and is instead meant more for a casual standing room for shady conversations, this is pretty much the best version of that. What makes it such? Let’s find out.
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Telescoping feature

But what kind of standing umbrella would this be if you couldn’t extend or retract it? Yes, sure enough, this umbrella is equipped with telescoping features that allow you to extend the length of the umbrella to about 8” tall. Combine that with the 60” diameter canopy, and you have a not half bad umbrella.

Great against the wind

Among the many potential countermeasures against the wind blowing away your umbrella, these big stand up umbrellas has one that tends to work: wind flaps. This is simple to explain, it’s literally just a series of cuts made along the edges of the umbrella to allow for more wind resistance. The wind can’t build up with the outer edges so flimsy, so the umbrella stays in place.

Cost and Value

The issue taken with the price of this umbrella is that it’s rather inconsistent and varies wildly depending on where you bought the umbrella itself. Sometimes it’s perfectly affordable, and sometimes it’s a lot pricier than it’s really worth.
Pros

Telescoping features

Great against the wind

Blocks 98% of harmful UV rays

Cons

Inconsistent pricing

8. Rio Brands

8. Rio Brands
Kicking off our final three entries, we have the Rio Brands 7 Ft Ultimate Umbrella. This is what we refer to as excellence on a budget. It’s just good enough to be a step above the average umbrella, but cheap enough to fit into the summer budget of most vacationers. So, what does it actually do for the buyer? Well, let’s see.
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Vented canopy

The top of this umbrella’s canopy is outfitted with a vented top. Basically, it’s one of many countermeasures that an umbrella can employ to prevent the wind from blowing it away. Combine that with the intentionally frayed edges to prevent air buildup, and this umbrella isn’t going anywhere when the wind starts blowing.

Tough fabric

Like many models out there, if the canopy gets torn, then it’s time to look for a new one because unless you can patch it, it’s basically done. Fortunately, that isn’t much of a problem with this umbrella, which is made out of spun polyester that is incredibly hard to tear. Perfect for the family on a budget who can’t afford another umbrella after buying one.

Cost and Value

While not the cheapest entry in the world, we still maintain that this is one of the best parasols you can buy on a semi-tight budget. So, if money is a bit tight, but you want to head to the seaside, you shouldn’t have to worry about fitting this umbrella into your budget.
Pros

Vented canopy

Tough spun polyester build

Tilting umbrella

Cons

Pole could be more durable

9. California 9’

9. California 9’
In our second to final entry, we have the California 9’ Market model. This is another parasol to put up which is meant to be stood under instead of lounged beneath. If you don’t want to use this for the seaside, you could always use it for your patio. So, what makes this parasol worth your while? Well, let’s take a look and find out.
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Infinity tilt

With other tilting systems, there’s usually a set amount of directions in which the parasol can tilt, usually the four cardinal directions, maybe diagonal if you’re lucky. Meanwhile, this umbrella can tilt literally any direction you please, thanks to its advanced collar tilt system that lets it pivot in any direction you send it in with little effort.

Heavy duty ribs

The ribs of this umbrella are made from heavy duty, reinforced fiberglass that will stand up to pretty much anything the wind can throw at it. Fiberglass is pretty much the most powerful material you can make an umbrella rib out of, and these are made out of some of the best fiberglass around.

Cost and Value

The big problem with this umbrella is its price. This is easily the most expensive entry on this entire list, and while you’re getting a really good umbrella out of it, you’re still going to be paying quite a lot for it.
Pros

Infinity tilt

Heavy duty ribs

Canopy made from olefin fabric

Cons

Very pricey

10. EasyGo Rainbow

10. EasyGo Rainbow
For our final entry, we have the EasyGO Rainbow parasol. This is what most people think of when they hear the term parasol. It’s big, rainbow-colored, and meant to be put down at an angle for better shading. So what else does this parasol actually do besides that? Well, to begin with.
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Strong and durable

Like the previous entry, this extra large 7 ft model has ribs made of reinforced fiberglass, which makes it just flexible enough to work as a parasol, while being stiff enough to resist strong winds. And to ensure that it isn’t going anywhere, the canopy is vented, and the edges are frayed for less air buildup.

Efficient pole design

We haven’t talked much about the poles of these parasols, which is a shame since they’re kind of important as a part of the parasol, being the part that keeps the thing upright in the first place. The pole of this parasol is a lightweight, rust-free anodized aluminum with height adjustment capabilities and a tilt mechanism activated by the push of a button. In other words, this is a really good pole.

Cost and Value

You would expect a parasol this big with as many features to be much pricier than this, but in fact, this is a very affordable parasol for what it’s giving you. So, if you want a big rainbow parasol for your seaside trip, give this one a shot.
Pros

Strong and durable

Efficient pole design

Affordable

Cons

Colors are not as vibrant as advertised

Umbrellas are one of the most common things you are likely to find at the seaside on average. Everyone needs a break from that ungodly ball of fire hanging just over our heads, and a handy little parasol is a great way to earn some reprieving shade. They’re not perfect at this, mind you, the heat found at the seaside is a little more than a bit of shade can do for you, so you’re still going to be hot. But if nothing else, you at least won’t be actively cooking under UV radiation. Parasols are one of the most relaxing things you can bring with you. You can safely lay beneath them, content to take a long, blissful nap in the shade and just listen to the day going by. Whether it’s a laid-back parasol meant to be put in the ground, or an upright parasol meant to be stood beneath, a parasol is one of the most perfect additions to a seaside aesthetic. And if that’s what you’re looking for from your parasol, then we cannot recommend these ten entries enough to you. All of them give you exactly that and more. So, pick one you like, and just kick back by the ocean.

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Beach Umbrellas

Assembling a list of criteria for this list was a tricky endeavor, mostly because parasols are such ubiquitous items in our society that we take for granted how much we actually know about the craft of making them. There’s a lot that goes into making a parasol, especially a parasol. But as we went through each entry, a list of criteria slowly formed until we had a cohesive whole to work with. With that said, here are the top criteria we used to assemble this list.

Weatherproofing

When we say weatherproofing, we don’t just mean wind and waterproofing, even though those are the primary weather patterns you will put this thing up against. No, what we refer to is how well coated the pole and ribs are, as that will greatly decide the length of your parasol’s lifespan more than a lot of the other factors we’re going over in this section. Being so close to the ocean by design, a parasol needs some kind of steel coating in order to resist the ocean spray that’s mingling in the air you breath when near the seaside. Steel is the only metal material that is rust proof by nature, so steel coating will help give other metals, like say, those used to make the pole of your parasol, more resistance to the elements. It won’t make it as rust proof as for actual steel, but it definitely helps. Weatherproofing should be one of the biggest things you look for in your parasol. Because the weather in question is not going to show any mercy.

UPF rating

Well, obviously, right? The main reason you bring protection cream, a parasol, or really most accessories that aren’t meant to be used as toys to the seaside is to help give you some kind of protection from the UV radiation given off by the light. The measurement of how much an object or substance protects you against UV radiation is known as UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor. The ratio of UPF is 15-50+, with 15-24 rating being listed as the baseline that anything striving for a good UPF factor needs to reach in order to be deemed effective. For this list, we specifically chose entries that at least crossed the 30 mark, since we were looking for as above average parasols that we could find.

The key here is how much protection they afford you over time. A parasol with a rating of 18 UPF may protect you for a little while, but as time goes on, eventually that number will be beaten by the sheer length of time it’s under the light beams. So, we made sure that the only entries that made it onto this list were ones that were close to, even exceeding 50+ UPF.

Portability

But having the parasol down at the seaside is one thing, actually getting it there is very much another. And this is where you’ll definitely want to look into what each of these entries is made out of. After all, you’re going to be carrying a lot of stuff anyway, so any means of lightening the load should be welcomed. The portability of a parasol all comes down to how lightweight it is and how cumbersome it is to actually carry around. This, mind you, has to be balanced out with making sure that the parasol is actually durable, and can handle the strain you put it through while you use it during moments of high winds.

Construction

This both refers to what the parasols are made out of and how they are designed. There are multiple ways to make a good parasol, so design instead focused more on how well designed each entry was for the design motif they were going for. Meanwhile, on the construction end, we looked at each entry and what they were actually made out of. The most common material we found was higher grade aluminum. But the best materials we found, and the ones we looked for the most, was fiberglass. Reinforced fiberglass is pretty much everything you look for in the materials used to make a good parasol: it’s lightweight, strong, flexible, and generally perfect for what is demanded of a material to make a parasol out of.

Price

The final criteria we judged each entry by was the price of each entry. This was actually rather complicated since there wasn’t much of a through the line with which to gauge what made each entry cost what, that we could use to help form an opinion like we usually do. A parasol that had feature X costed the exact same as a parasol that had the same, but was also made out of material Y, was Z inches in diameter, etc. It seemed like the features implemented in each entry had little to no impact on the overall pricing. So instead we went with our backup criteria for these sorts of lists. We judged each entry by how well they justified the prices they were asking for, which made things a lot easier since each entry that ended up on this list did more than enough to earn the prices they asked for. While those that didn’t either got further down the list, such is the case with the #9 entry or were just left off the list altogether.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

For the final entry of this article, we’re looking at frequently asked questions surrounding parasols. This was a hard section to put together because we had to untrain ourselves from the fact that parasols are so commonplace in today’s culture, that we assume most people know everything that there is to know about them already. This, of course, is not true, as we shall demonstrate with the following segment.

Q: Can’t I just bring a normal umbrella to the seaside if I want shade so badly?

A: Oh, sure you totally can. But you have to put it down eventually. And then a gust of wind from the ocean carries your favorite parasol off to New Jersey. Parasols are so popular because they’re specially designed for the seaside. They’re large, provide plenty of shade, are mounted into the ground to prevent the parasols from flying off, and even have countermeasures put in place to prevent that from happening at all. So, while you can bring a normal parasol to the seaside, you could also show up to the super hot seaside dressed in a tin foil onesie. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Q: What are the different types of umbrellas and which one do you recommend the most?

A: There are multiple different types of parasols out there right now. Some of which include, but are not limited to:

Sunshades: A shade is a much smaller model of the parasol, usually resembling that of a disc mounted on a pole. Given their small size, a shade is pretty much meant for one person to use exclusively. Although sometimes, you’ll find some clever design that has multiple shade parasols assembled into a larger pattern. The best place to use these parasols is by a swimming pool or a chaise lounge.

Pagoda umbrellas: these parasols are heavily inspired by those used in Asia, built in a pagoda-like style that even involve several key characteristics of pagodas. You’ll usually be able to pick one of these out by their flower-like design, that you’ll find on pretty much all pagoda style parasols, as such design is their biggest trademark.

Commercial umbrellas: As the name implies, these are the types of parasols that you are probably the most familiar with. The reason for this is because these are the types of parasols used most prominently by advertisers when they want to have their logo on an umbrella as an accessory. They’re big, eye-catching, have ample room for any design or pattern you want to put on them, it’s just great advertising.

Q: How can I prevent my umbrella from being blown away by the Seabreeze?

A: there are actually a lot of different ways you can go about doing this. The best way is to make sure you buy a parasol that has countermeasures against allowing itself to get picked up by gusts of wind. This includes everything from having a canopy vent to let out the wind that blows into the underside, to having frayed edges that don’t let the wind blow straight into the center of the parasol.

Another method is to make sure that your parasol is firmly planted into the sand. Plenty of parasols out there have means of anchoring down into the ground. You simply dig out a hole, put down the anchor, then plant in the parasol before burying it again.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia, Umbrella
  2. Savant Mag, Best Beach Umbrellas
  3. GloboSurfer, 10 Best Beach Umbrellas in 2018