The Pacific Breeze Easy Setup is our Top Pick for a beach canopy tent. We were skeptical when ordering it, but this tent is so popular, we had to send it to our testers. It's not robust and it doesn't provide a ton of living space. Yet, it turned out to be a much better tent than its looks and price tag suggest. After thorough testing, assessments, and consideration, the Pacific Breeze fits what most people want in a beach canopy tent. It's easy to carry to the beach, sets up in seconds, stands up to wind gusts surprisingly very well, and costs little. It is best used for one to two adults to comfortably lounge in on the beach or for a family with small children to protect them from the sun. It's not for a bar-b-que, so if that is your desire, look to another model. The half-dome setup is quite different from the open-air feel of other beach canopies we tested, but for the low price, it is the best value and the top pick for the majority of beachgoers' needs.
Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Review
Cons: Lower quality materials, small footprint, walls block breeze
Manufacturer: Pacific Breeze
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Our Top Pick for a Beach Canopy Tent consists of a single piece, half-dome canopy with integrated poles that stands apart from the other tents for its ease of set up and portability. Weighing in at 5 lbs and measuring at 87" long, 47" tall and 49" deep, this tent is very portable and provides enough shade for two adults to comfortably sit under.
The Pacific Breeze is a half-dome style tent. The regular version we tested provides shade for one adult laying down lengthwise or two adults comfortably sitting up on towels or low beach chairs. If sitting on towels with legs straight toward the opening, your feet and lower legs will be in the sun.
This tent is best as a reprieve from the sun, not a tent to bar-b-que and host under. It is great for two adults or one adult and either a child or dog.
Some extra features that add to the livability of this tent are the windows and the pockets. There are two windows on each side to promote airflow and circulation. They use Velcro to stay shut and loop hooks to hold up with open. There is one hanging pocket big enough to store sunscreen, cell phones, and keys.
Ease of Setup
The Pacific Breeze utilizes a unique hub system which makes for easy, hassle-free setup. The frame is shipped already attached to the tent, making initial setup times just as quick as your hundredth time. We find this to be a critically important aspect of a beach canopy. Heading to the beach is about enjoying the beach, and not struggling with a tricky or timely setup. Pacific Breeze understands and nails this metric.
It takes an average of 20 seconds to set up. No other model comes close to being that fast. To set up this tent, you simply take it out of the carrying case, find the top part of the frame, and pull the two cords to snap the frame into place. Once the hub-style frame snaps into place, be sure to tie the ropes to make sure the frame does not release unexpectedly. This models ships with four plastic stakes to secure your tent into the sand, too. There are no guy lines provided with this tent, so be sure to fill the four pockets stitched to the bottom outside edges with sand for greater stability if there's a strong breeze.
The Pacific Breeze consists of one piece with the floor, frame, and canopy connected, which helps make packing up as easy as setup. You just reverse the process. It takes about a minute to pack up. You push down on the frame where you pulled to set it up and then fold the legs up toward the top of the system. Then you roll the material around the frame and slide back into the carrying bag. It is the most straightforward and quickest setup and takedown system we have ever used with a canopy tent.
The Pacific Breeze fared better than expected in wind resistance, beating out or equaling the performance of other, more expensive, beach canopies. The hub-system provides all-around structure for the canopy. Staking the tent down, as well as, filling its sandbags increase the stability of the tent.
On a particularly windy day on the beach, we set up and witnessed the Pacific Breeze handling the gusts without any real trouble. Another beach canopy we were testing did not fare so well, ending up with bent poles from the wind. While the fiberglass frame isn't what we would expect to be the strongest materials, they stood up to the wind well during our windiest test days.
We do recommend being mindful of wind direction and to position the windows in the flow of the breeze. Doing so reduces the stress on the frame. This tent is a half-dome style with the floor attached, so if a strong wind is blowing straight into the main opening of the tent, the frame might not be able to handle it. It does well in the wind, but it's not indestructible by any means. Since there aren't guy lines included, be sure to use the stakes and fill the sand pockets attached to the outside of the base with sand or weights to help secure the tent. Chairs, coolers, and other personal belongings will help keep the tent in place as well.
Despite a solid score in wind resistance, the Pacific Breeze scores low for overall durability due to its fiberglass poles, plastic stakes, and thin polyester canopy. These are not the most durable material compared to its competitors.
Although fiberglass poles are lighter than aluminum poles, they are often less sturdy and durable. They are undoubtedly weaker than the steel poles of commercial canopy tents. Fiberglass poles are more susceptible to shattering versus just bending, which leaves you out of luck once they do break.
The canopy material is polyester, which is water and wind resistant (not water or windproof!) as well as breathable during hot days. The attached floor is made of polyethylene which is thicker and more resistant to puncture if on rougher ground. It is also water resistant. The stakes that are provided are made of plastic. They are thicker than the aluminum stakes, so a lot easier to push into the sand, but also less strong. What this tent lacks in durability, it makes up for in price and ease of set up.
The Pacific Breeze weighs 5 lbs. It is one of the lightest beach tents on the market. It packs down to 40" long by 5" wide and 5" thick. The carrying bag that is provided has a shoulder strap for ease of carrying. It is a very manageable size to walk, bike, or hike with.
The fiberglass poles make for a lighter product and much easier portability. If you are hiking into a beach, you can easily strap it to another back or through it in a wagon without taking up much space or adding much more weight.
The Pacific Breeze is the ideal tent to take to a crowded beach, whether alone or with someone else. Being a one-piece system, it does not take up much space or time when setting it up. It is perfect for someone who wants to go to the beach for a solo mission but doesn't want the hassle of setting up a big canopy.
This isn't the tent for you if you are going to the beach with a large group who mostly want to be in the shade — it is simply not big enough for that. The half-dome layout prohibits a lot of movement while under the canopy.
This is one of the least expensive yet reliable tents on the market. The ease of set up, portability, and price make this tent a great deal. The downfall to a cheaper tent comes in the durability category. With fiberglass poles and plastic stakes, this tent does come with a higher risk regarding durability. But then again, we expect this model to last many trips to the beach, and it does come with a 1-year warranty. Although a very different design, this product is priced well below the other products we have tested in this category. This tent won't last forever, but for what it provides, we believe the price is right.
The Pacific Breeze beach tent is our Top Pick for beach canopies. If going to a crowded beach, you will be stress-free in transport, setup, and takedown. This tent is inexpensive and will provide good shade and protection against the elements for up to two people. It covers the needs of what the majority of folks want and need on a beach without costing hundreds of dollars and without any annoyances in setup and breakdown.
Pacific Breeze makes an XL version of this same tent. It has all of the great features for easy setup but increases the livability aspect of the tent. The dimensions for this model are 95" long, 52" tall and 51" deep making it more comfortable for 3 to 4 adults. They also offer and extendable floor with this model to increase your comfortable beach space.
— Michelle Galinak