Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Favorite: Sun Smarties Family Beach Cabana Tent

We've had our Sun Smarties Family Beach Cabana Tent for about a year now.  If this rain ever stops, I am so excited to get it out for a new season of beach weather!

We first tried it out in the backyard. 
The winds are always pretty high at our ocean beaches, and I have yet to find an umbrella that doesn't blow down, but this tent holds up great! I never use the stakes that come with it because it works best when you fill the outside pockets with sand.  JD now loves to help shovel the sand in, and when we are done for the day, we just dump it over.

Hubby & JD last summer. (Here we made the roof high, but you can spread the sides out, making it lower but bigger inside.)
Favorite details:

  • Set-up takes less than 10 minutes- less if you have help shoveling in the sand.  The tent shakes open in 1 second, so I can sit O under the tent while we anchor it down, so he isn't baking in the sun (It has UPF 50 protection) while we set up.  
  • You can close the windows and doors for complete privacy while changing or nursing, and to shade the light for nap times.
  • If you don't use the stakes, it is all just one piece- no poles, ropes, etc.



Folding it back into the backpack carrying case takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it is remarkably fast.  I was definitely cursing the (way too brief) instructional diagrams the first 5 times we used it last year, and I was a little nervous that I forgot over the winter, but it was like riding a bike!  I'm proud to say that I have never left the beach without it zipped back into the backpack  :)
In case I do ever forget, the diagrams are sewn right into the backpack so you never lose them.  There is also a video at OneStepAhead.com.



It's still a little chilly at the beach, but that doesn't scare us!  We had friends meet us, and all three kids & two grownups were shielded from the sun & wind under here!

What are your favorite beach items?


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