There are a few things to consider when buying a beach umbrella or shelter: size; sun-protection credentials; style; and how tricky it is to set up and take down (no one wants to grapple with an unruly brollie in 35-degree heat while being whipped with sand.)
Here, we’ve rounded up some standouts – from quick pop-up shelters, to a coral-inspired umbrella designed by Ken Done, to luxe ’70s-style beach tents for wiling away a summer’s day with friends or family. We’ve thrown in a couple of beach chairs, too.
Sunday Supply Co beach chairs ($149)
These stylish, lightweight beach chairs by Byron Bay’s Sunday Supply Co come with a detachable carry strap, so you can sling one over your shoulder while you trek across the dunes. They’re modern-looking, with powder-coated aluminium frames and a choice of bright block colours or prints – including dalmation-esque spots (shop the matching umbrella here); a sunny mustard; and blue-and-white stripes. The cushions are machine washable and tear resistant, plus there’s a pocket for your book or sunscreen. Free shipping in Australia.
Myri three-in-one sun shelter ($130)
If you’re not sure what the day will demand, this three-in-one shelter covers all bases. It’s made from UPF50+ fabric and can be set up as an umbrella, sideline shelter or gazebo. The poles are height-adjustable and there are storage pockets, whatever your chosen arrangement. Free shipping and returns in Australia.
Basil Bangs x Ken Done beach umbrella ($289)
We’ve written about this vibrant beach umbrella before, but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s part of a collaboration between iconic Australian artist Ken Done and outdoor accessories brand Basil Bangs, which launched in Sydney’s northern beaches in 2012. The UPF50+ umbrella is printed with Done’s December Coral Garden (there’s also a matching picnic rug). For something more classic, the brand has recently released four two-tone beach umbrellas as part of its new Weekend collection.
Basil Bangs beach tents ($189)
For windy days – or big family groups – Basil Bangs also makes beautiful, portable beach tents. They’re suitable for park hangs, too, and have three height options. Choose from a range of prints – there’s a fiery sunset red, bohemian paisley, nautical stripes, wildflowers and more. If you want to go all out, why not pick up a couple of foldable deck chairs ($389) too? All Basil Bangs products ship Australia-wide for a flat rate of $33.
Oztrail Sunset Beach Umbrella ($19.99)
This budget-friendly beach umbrella is perfect for occasional beachgoers, and suits couples or small groups. It’s sturdy, lightweight and comes in three retro-inspired stripey prints. Standard Australian shipping is $11.
Business & Pleasure Co cabanas ($399)
At the other end of the price spectrum are Business & Pleasure Co’s premium ’70s-inspired cabanas. The tasselled canvas beach tents riff on the brand’s signature luxe beach umbrellas and can be set up in around two minutes thanks to a nifty internal pulley system. Opt for mustard and paisley; vintage-style stripes; block-coloured pink, yellow, cream and green; or classic all-white.
Business & Pleasure Co two-piece chairs ($179.99)
These lightweight chairs are the no-fuss compact version of Business & Pleasure Co’s deck and sling chairs. They combine treated hardwood frames with umbrella-canvas backs in some of the brand’s most popular prints, and come with a detachable cotton carry strap. Shipping is free in Australia (excluding WA) if you spend over $250.
Rainbird Umbrellas Maui Classic Beach Umbrella ($39.99)
These bold beach umbrellas are reminiscent of the ones most Aussies will remember from their childhoods. The two-pole design makes them easy to pack up and throw over your shoulder, so they won’t break your back. They won’t break the bank, either. Standard Australian shipping is $10.95.
Wanderer St Kilda Beach Shelter ($99.99)
Wanderer’s tent-like beach shelters have fibreglass frames (so they’re simple to pop up), with sand pockets to hold them down. They also offer UPF50+ sun protection and have built-in floors so you won’t end up looking like a cinnamon doughnut after you take a dip. Australia-wide shipping is free.
Byron Bay Beachlife beach tents ($164)
These airy canvas beach tents – in nautical blue-and-white or yellow-and-white stripes, or a tropical banana-leaf print – are designed for airflow, sun protection (they’re UPF50+) and one-person set up. They feature lightweight aluminium poles and fit in a carry bag that’s only 65 centimetres long. Plus, there’s a lockable pouch for your valuables so you won’t get caught out like Heath Ledger in Two Hands. Shipping is free Australia-wide if you spend over $195.
Sunnylife’s beach umbrellas ($89.99–$129)
Sunny Life launched in Sydney in 2003 hoping to export Australian summer style to the world. Each year it releases new eye-catching colourways and prints for its tilting, UPF30+ sun-protecting umbrellas with matching carry bags. Its striped, steel-framed Dolce Classic folding seats ($79.95) also make a chic – and practical – summer accessory. Shipping in Australia is $15.