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Portable, Pop-up Sun Tent/Shelter for Beach

Hi awesome folks: I am planning to hit the beaches in the Bahamas in Jan 2024. My husband actually does not enjoy being in the sun and gets burned easily.

I am asking for recommendations for a portable (can be stored in check-in luggage), pop-up sun tent/shelter. It's for two adults. I saw two low-cost options (Ikea and Decathlon), but bought neither because they couldn't be carried in luggage. I know Amazon offers the most products, but who knows who wrote those reviews?

All ideas are appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by
15 posts

We are veteran travelers to Eleuthera ( one of the Out Islands), which is frequently windy. See if you can find something called the Shade Shack, which fits in a large checked bag. It used to be available at Amazon but I’m not sure if that is still the case. Opening it is a breeze, but you must practice getting it back to its original configuration when you take it down. If that one is not available, there are several others on Amazon, but I can’t personally vouch for them.

Posted by
7401 posts

Would a beach umbrella rented or purchased in the Bahamas be an easier option?

Bluegrass mentions packing up the pop-up shelter tent - we have one from Amazon that we use when our grandkids go to the lake with us. It’s almost comical trying to get that crazy thing twisted into a flat position afterwards! I admit to gathering it a couple of times and pressing it into the car trunk, viewing the YouTube video at home, and attempting to corral it back into its “easy circular ring fold position”.

If it’s windy, we place our cooler inside the shelter (that holds two people sitting) because it will take off like a sail.

This is the one I bought:

Posted by
1552 posts

@Bluegrass--thank you for the rec. Unfortunately, Shad Shack tents are no longer sold. If you don't mind, I will ask you further questions about the Bahamas. I am choosing between Eleuthera and Exuma.

@Jean--thank you for the suggestion. I won't have much time in Nassau to shop and I heard that everything (except conch) costs significantly more there than in the US. I get check-in baggage for free and therefore don't mind carrying the shelter with me.

Posted by
15 posts

@Barkinpark, happy to answer any questions I can. I’ve only been to Exuma once but my heart resides in Eleuthera. There is, however, a reason that their motto is “Eleuthera - It’s Not for Everyone.” It all depends on what you’re looking for - this is not the place for splashy resorts or nightlife and the roads are laughably in disrepair. I actually think I may have purchased another type of pop-up shelter once upon a time. I will investigate the garage and report back if I find anything worthwhile.

Posted by
446 posts

I've pretty much owned every type of sunshade ever made. I finally found one that I love. The Neso sunshade. You can find them on or REI and maybe Amazon. The Neso website gives a description of the 3 different sizes. I purchased 2 additional poles, (I purchased the medium size shade since we were 4 people) but the 2 poles that come with the shade work alone as well. I threw it in my suitcase this summer for our tropical destination. Only took me 30 years to find a sun shade that holds up in the wind, and keeps me in the shade. Takes a minute to set up the first time, as there is a learning curve. The Neso website has set up videos on it.

Posted by
61 posts

I will second the Neso. A friend researched for a year and bought the small one. We bought ours shortly after and love it. It's compact, quick to set up and take down. We are thinking about extra poles but for now, the two it comes with work fine. It's great in the wind, too.