Best beach umbrellas 2018: stay cool in the shade and protected from the sun

T3's guide to the best beach umbrellas

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Sun protection isn’t all about wearing sunscreen. A beach umbrella is a great way to provide some shade when you get too hot in the afternoon sun, and are particularly good for families with small children. 

They can also shelter you from the wind if it’s a little breezy, but finding one that doesn’t just blow away or collapse on you within five minutes of stepping onto the sand can be a little tricky. 

UPF is how fabric is measured in terms of what protection they give you from the sun. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a beach umbrella that has a UPF of 50+, as these block up to 98% of UV rays. 

The Tommy Bahama Sand Anchor Beach Umbrella offers a UPF of 100+ so you can guarantee you’ll be covered. However, umbrellas with as little as UPF 15 still block around 95% of rays. 

The other thing to consider is size. A 7 foot umbrella will provide shade for 1-2 people, and you may want to consider one with a tilt function such as the Schneider Schirme Ibiza Beach Parasol so you can adjust the angle as the sun moves. 

The best beach umbrella

1. Tommy Bahama Sand Anchor Beach Umbrella

A high UPF for ultimate sun protection on the beach

Specifications
Diameter: 210cm
UPF: 100+
Tilt: Yes
Material: Aluminium, Fibreglass & Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Sturdy construction 

This colourful beach umbrella is perfect for those long hot days at the beach. Its sturdy construction means it won’t buckle at the first sign of a breeze, and it has fold down handles to secure the base in the sand. 

With a diameter of 210cm, this 7 foot umbrella is just the right size for you and a partner to sit in the shade, and with a UPF of 100+, families with small children can expect this beach umbrella to be one of the best forms of protection on those extra hot days. 

SKLZ Sport Brella

2. SKLZ Sport Brella

A shelter umbrella for staying out of the sun and wind

Specifications
Diameter: 132cm
UPF: 50+
Tilt: No
Material: Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Sides for wind protection

This umbrella doubles up as a wind break for the beach, which allows the perfect space for children to play safely on the sand. It is easy to set up and fold away into a convenient carry bag, and the sides can be secured with ground stakes so that it will hold up even in very windy weather. 

The brolly also has wind vents to keep the area ventilated and a UPF 50+. Come rain or shine, this beach umbrella is great for all eventualities. 

Schneider Schirme Ibiza Beach Parasol

3. Schneider Schirme Ibiza Beach Parasol

A sturdy parasol for hassle-free sun lounging

Specifications
Diameter: 200cm
UPF: 30
Tilt: Yes
Material: Metal & Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Range of colours

The Ibiza Beach Parasol is your classic beach umbrella that you would so often find lining the beaches of Spain. 

With a tilt function, this beach umbrella is fully adjustable so you can have shade at any angle throughout the day, and you can adjust the height of the parasol too. It’s water and rot resistant so you can store it away for the winter and be sure it’ll remain in good condition for summers to come. 

Outsunny Beach Parasol

4. Outsunny Beach Parasol

A large beach umbrella for maximum shade

Specifications
Diameter: 220cm
UPF: N/A
Tilt: Yes
Material: Steel & Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Easy to open and close

This cream beach umbrella is perfect for days at the beach or even lounging in the garden. It’s lightweight with an easy hand push mechanism to open and close the umbrella and the fabric is both fade and UV resistant. 

The brolly is also easy to dismantle and the pole simply unscrews at the middle so you can easily store it away in a shed or garage. This is a large parasol that would be able to provide shade for around 3-4 people and it is fully adjustable to your preferred angle.

House Doctor Oktogon Beach Umbrella

5. House Doctor Oktogon Beach Umbrella

This nautical umbrella is both stylish and functional

Specifications
Diameter: 180cm
UPF: n/a
Tilt: No
Material: Polyester & Steel
Reasons to buy
+No assembly required

This basic umbrella is easy to put up as it comes fully assembled and users love the nautical striped design which complements a number of outdoor garden decors as well as being nice and bright for days at the beach so you don’t lose sight of your pitch! 

If you’re looking for something affordable, then you can expect this umbrella to provide great value for money for your upcoming summer days out.

Quest Universal Clamp on Sun Shade

6. Quest Universal Clamp on Sun Shade

A handy beach umbrella for personal shade

Specifications
Diameter: 97cm
UPF: 50+
Tilt: Yes
Material: Metal & polyester
Reasons to buy
+Clips onto chairs or pushchairs

This small beach umbrella is the perfect companion for lounging in the sun. It features a clip which easily attaches to chairs, loungers or even a pushchair to provide instant shade from the sun. 

It also has a UPF of 50+, an anti-glare coating and tilt function for complete comfort. This is a practical umbrella for taking with you wherever you go, and it comes at a bargain price, too!