LittleLife Family Beach Shelter review: your new seaside essential

The LittleLife Family Beach Shelter provides protection from cool seaside breezes, bright sunshine and summer showers

LittleLife Family Beach Shelter
(Image credit: LittleLife)
T3 Verdict

The LittleLife Family Beach Shelter is the perfect base for your day at the seaside. It is easy to assemble and it can comfortably seat the whole family. The zip up door adds privacy and the UPF 50+ fabric and the mesh ventilation panel make it an ideal space for naptime.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Big enough for the whole family

  • +

    Small and portable when packed

  • +

    Sand pockets for added stability

  • +

    Zip up door

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No internal pockets

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Building sandcastles, slurping ice creams and paddling in the waves – a day at the beach is the stuff family memories are made of – however, strong winds, blazing sunshine or even the occasional shower can make it difficult to safely enjoy the seaside with young children. That’s where the LittleLife Family Beach Shelter comes in handy; designed to offer protection against all types of weather, as well as giving you privacy for changing out of swimsuits or for naps. In fact, it's amongst the best beach tents we've tried. Read on for our full LittleLife Family Beach Shelter review.

LittleLife Family Beach Shelter review: size and assembly

A beach trip already requires a lot of equipment (towels, coolboxes, wetsuits, buckets and spades) so any additional kit needs to be easily portable. The LittleLife Family Beach Shelter folds down into a fantastically dinky package (53cm x 15cm x 15cm) and weighs just 2.5kg. It has its own bag with two grab handles, but you can also just about sling it over your shoulder so it’s easy to carry down to the beach, tie onto a larger backpack or even pop in a suitcase. 

To erect the tent all you need to do is insert three poles and peg it down, we found it took around 10 minutes to feed through the poles and put up (although this was with a little 'help' from a three-year-old). Take-down is equally simple and you’d only need additional support in very windy conditions. However, what really sets this shelter apart is its size; once up it is a decent 170cm x 170cm x 110cm and can comfortably seat the whole family – this is ideal if you get caught in the rain and all need to pile in or if you’re looking for some shade to eat lunch.

LittleLife Family Beach Shelter review: features and design

The LittleLife Beach Shelter has a unique geodesic design, which means strong breezes skim over it and it has the added bonus of looking pretty cool too. However, as there isn’t a fly sheet it probably wouldn’t stay completely dry through very heavy showers, although this is usually the case with beach shelters. It also has exterior pockets which you can fill with sand and rocks for extra stability and the fibreglass poles felt sturdy and well made. 

LittleLife Family Beach Shelter review: performance and comfort

We were really impressed with the rigidity of the tent, especially for its large size, it stayed standing even in blustery conditions. The nylon canopy offers UPF 50+ sun protection so children can stay out of the bright sunshine and unlike a lot of beach shelters it has a zip up door which gives you a great place to strip out of wetsuits and keep out of blustery winds, sand and sudden showers. 

There’s also a small ventilation panel at the back of the tent so it won’t overheat and napping tots can sleep soundly. The only slight niggle we had was the lack of interior pockets, which would be handy for storing essentials that you want to keep out of the sand, but still close to hand, such as phones and wet wipes.

Should I buy the LittleLife Family Beach Shelter?

If you’re looking for a robust beach tent that will provide protection from sun, wind and prying eyes and comfortably accommodate the whole family, then the LittleLife is ideal. The sandbags and geodesic design make this feel incredibly sturdy and the spacious interior provides the perfect base for the whole family, plus the many bags of beach gear (although a few little interior pockets would be nice). The easy put-up and take-down process won’t leave you hot and bothered on the beach and it all stows away in a neat little portable grab bag too.

Clemmie Millbank

Ably assisted by her 10-month and three-year old sons, Clemmie is a lifestyle writer specialising in parenting, wellbeing and travel.