Which portable canopy sun shelter is best for 2019

We take a thorough look at some of the best selling beach sun canopies on the market to see if there is a clear winner.

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If you’re looking for a beach tent which offers amazing versatility, a portable canopy sun shelter is the way to go. This type of tent can be adjusted to accommodate the angle of the sun and to let in the breeze or screen it out depending on your needs.

In this article, I will be comparing and contrasting three portable beach canopy sun shelters to help you identify the best purchase for 2019. Let’s get started.

Otentik Beach Sunshade

This product is promoted as “The Original Sunshade Since 2011.”  It comes in three sizes (large, medium, and small) and is supported by sandbags for stability. There are 26 different colors available, so you can pick an option that expresses your personality.


  • A single person can get this tent set up inside about ten minutes.
  • The bags can accommodate a lot of sand, and the tent can be stretched quite a bit. This provides for excellent stability even in strong wind.
  • When you collapse the canopy to carry it or store it, it is fairly compact. The fabric is not bulky, though it is sturdy.
  • This tent provides fantastic sun protection.
  • Construction is excellent all around. As an example, if you look at the sandbags carefully, you will notice that a cover stitch has been employed. This type of stitch holds up well even when you stretch the fabric. This increases the tent’s overall longevity.
  • Otentik provides responsive, knowledgeable customer service in case of questions.


  • The tent can be a bit heavy to lug around owing to the steel poles. These also have the potential to rust with time. Aluminum would be preferable.
  • When you are ready to pack up and head home, you may have some hassles dealing with the tent. Collapsing it is easy, but folding it up nicely takes some effort.

Verdict: The Otentik Beach Sunshade is a fabulous choice if you are looking for a rugged sun shelter which can stand up to heavy wind and frequent use. While it has a couple of drawbacks, they are pretty minor when you consider the solid manufacturing which has gone into this product.

Sombra Sun Shade

This shelter appears similar to the Otentik Beach Sunshade at a glance. On the product page, it claims that you can set it up in just two minutes. Does it live up to this claim? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.


  • The Lycra fabric used in this sun shade provides great sun protection.
  • When you collapse the tent, it is lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport to and from your site.


  • This tent doesn’t provide you with a whole lot of headroom. In fact, depending on your height, you may find that it isn’t even comfortable to sit under. If you are planning on lying down on the beach, however, it may fit your needs.
  • While the tent is pretty easy to put up if there is no wind, it can be challenging to erect if there is.

Verdict: While the Sombra Sun Shade might serve your needs in select situations, on the whole, comparisons to the Otentik Beach Sunshade are superficial. The overall design concept is the same, but it is much better executed by Otentik.

Otentik’s product is sturdier and manufactured with far greater quality than Sombra’s. The dimensions of the Otentik tent also make it a more versatile choice to accommodate your activities at the beach.

Neso Tents Beach Canopy

The Neso Tents Beach Tent shares the same basic design as the Sombra and Otentik tents, but is only available in one size: 7’ x 7’. You can purchase it in a few different colors and patterns. Like many other sun tents, it is designed to block out 98% of harmful UV rays.


  • The poles are made of aluminum, which means that they are rust-resistant and lightweight. Carrying this tent is incredibly easy.
  • The Neso Tents Beach Tent features sturdy materials and is able to stand up to high winds.
  • The sandbags stretch, so you can fill them up with enough sand to keep your tent well-anchored.
  • The materials and construction are not bad overall, but the stitches are not as durable as those on the Otentik. This means that if the tent is going to be subjected to a lot of wind (or other wear and tear), its condition may deteriorate faster than you would like.


  • It can be challenging to set up the tent in high wind conditions.
  • The size of the tent needs to be considered with care before making a purchase. For relatively uncrowded conditions, the size should not be a problem, but it may be if you are going to be packed in tight with a lot of other beachgoers.


Like the Sombra, the Neso is lightweight and easy to transport. It is however higher in quality and better designed from a spatial standpoint. The Otentik however is better engineered in terms of stitch quality and overall durability.

Umbrellas on beach

Overall Best Choice: Otentik Beach Sunshade

It is pretty easy to rank these three portable canopy sun shelters in terms of quality. The Sombra Sun Shade is the clear loser. While it has the advantage of being lightweight and compact, it shares this benefit with the Neso Tents Beach Tent. The Neso is in all other respects a superior option.

But the Neso is outstripped by the Otentik Beach Sunshade when it comes to resilience—and obviously that makes it a contender for first place.

So which of these two tents should you purchase? The best thing to do is evaluate your needs. If you really want a lightweight option, go with the Neso Tents Beach Tent. If you find yourself wanting something a little different, check out our blog post on the pros and cons of different types of beach shade to determine which might fit your lifestyle the best.

But if you want a tent that will stand the test of time, it is worth sacrificing a little convenience in the portability department. We feel that products should be built to last, so our vote for the best portable canopy sun shelter for 2019 is the Otentik Beach Sunshade.