Forget those fly-away umbrellas out on the beach and opt for a pop-up cabana that takes seconds to put up instead. The Copa Instant Cabana, available for $39.99 through Bed, Bath & Beyond, requires pulling up two strings at the top to make the four support poles pop into place.
That's all it takes to make the cabana ready for use. Take out that towel or put down that beach chair and get ready to enjoy the day, all while protected from the sun or even the wind, or rain. The UPF 50-plus fabric used in the cabana's construction is recognized by the Skin Cancer Foundation as effective UV protection.
To increase airflow or improve the view from inside the cabana, unzip the mesh windows on either side. If a place is needed to store small, but important possessions, like a tube of sunscreen or sunglasses, stash them in one of the two interior pockets.
If it's a windy day, hammer the stakes, which come with the cabana, into the plastic tabs at the bottom of each pole. The cabana also features four 'sandbag' pockets that can hold heavy items to help weigh the cabana down; but who carries around sandbags? The weight of the person or persons inside the cabana generally suffices. Simply be sure the cabana is secured on a windy day.
To collapse the cabana, press the top bars down. Here comes the not-so-fun part. Just like with a tent, this cabana has to be squeezed and squished back into its bag. The bag come with a handle for carrying,. The cabana, weighing all of 3.52 pounds, is much easier to carry to the beach than an umbrella, and comes highly recommended by this mom.