My wife Wendy, who hails from South Australia, couldn’t believe it. Until recently, the striped rectangular canvas beach shades that litter Adelaide’s bare and beautiful beaches were nowhere to be seen on eastern state sands.
“Everyone we knew – and their parents – had one,” she recalled. But the good news is that these colourful, simple and versatile canvas beach shades are back in a big way.
There’s been an explosion of products on the market, but the brand leading the way on NSW and Queensland beaches is Byron Bay Beach Life.
Made from tear-resistant, durable, lightweight waterproof canvas, their shades are ideal for any caravanning or camping holiday, while also offering great sun protection for children playing anywhere outdoors, such as in a caravan park.
Their design is almost embarrassingly simple: a rectangular piece of printed canvas held aloft by a pair of lightweight aluminium tent poles with a spreader bar to form an A-frame structure, with the four attached guy ropes of its canvas ends pegged into sand or soil by pegs.
But the Beach Shade’s advantage over other fixed tents is that it can be set up in multiple ways for high or low sun position to keep you protected all day, while allowing a cooling breeze through.
The instruction sheet says the 3.3x1.8m UPF 50+ rated Beach Shade can easily be set up in minutes by one person… and it can as long as you have had some practice and it’s not too windy. It’s far easier with two people and the standard plastic pegs don’t really go deep enough into soft sand. I bought four longer steel pegs and carried a light rubber mallet in the supplied over-the-shoulder carry bag to hammer them in.
A word of advice here – tie a ribbon or something colourful to the top of your pegs as otherwise they can easily be lost in the sand!
While the typical canvas shades of the past were only available in striped green or blue canvas, Byron Bay Beach Shades additionally come in a range of leafy tropical prints.
They are available from a range of retailers in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia and cost from around $145, depending on the pattern.
Byron Bay Beach Life also makes a vertical Beach Windbreak to block out unwanted breezes while giving a little privacy to any beach or campsite setup.
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #557. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!