Growing up in Florida, any day is a beach day. The back of the car is always stocked with the essentials: a cooler for filling, spare flip flops, a beach towel studded with sand from the last trip. A beach tent just seemed like an unnecessary extra — but then, 's Instagram account drew me in. Photo after photo of its fringed, scallop-edged beach tents and umbrellas caught my eye. Each one seemed straight out of a vintage postcard from a resort, making me feel like if I had one of these babies, even New York City's East River would seem like the Bahamas.
Spoiler: It did not make the East River look like Nassau's glittery turquoise shores. But it did convince me to make a little extra room in my trunk.I'm not kidding about a little, either. Each tent comes in a narrow carrying case, taking up less space than a typical camera tripod. Two wooden poles pop together, forming the base of this A-frame, then you slide one metal bar under the cloth tent covering, popping it onto the wooden bars to secure it. There's a tie on each corner of the fabric, as well as metal pegs to stick into the ground, so you can keep the walls from flapping everywhere. In 5 minutes, it was set up, and over the course of a few weeks, it was tested in beaches and backyards, rain and sunshine, standing up to the elements without a hitch. Even on a day so windy other umbrellas around me collapsed, this tent stood tall. Admittedly, I was stunned — I half-expected this tent to be little more than a pretty design. Its sturdiness sold me, earning a spot as one of our HB Obsessions.
Granted, this tent is not cheap (each retails for $150-$250, depending on style), which made it all the more crucial that it could withstand wear and tear while still looking chic.
It's easy to see how this Australian brand's developed a cult following. The tent's roomy enough to fit five comfortably, providing some much-needed shade during these balmy, late summer days. But I'm already planning how I can stretch its use out to early fall, blocking out some of the chillier breezes as I take in the sunset in late September.
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