HomeTactical & SurvivalNeso 1 Beach Tent Review: Not Your Average Beach Umbrella

Neso 1 Beach Tent Review: Not Your Average Beach Umbrella

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Have you ever had your flimsy old beach umbrella blow away after just the smallest gust of wind at the beach? It’s a beautiful, sunny day and the perfect opportunity to relax by the water, but the lack of reliable sun coverage hinders the whole experience. You can feel a sunburn forming, and there is no shade to read a book or take a nap you so desperately need.

That’s where the Neso 1 Beach Tent comes into play. It’s time to get rid of the rusty, useless beach umbrella you’ve had for years and check out Neso’s uniquely designed alternative. The Neso 1 is far from your typical beach umbrella — it is a durable, four-cornered tent that handles that inevitable wind and provides ample shade coverage with minimal set-up.

I spent weeks testing a variety of beach umbrellas and shades and came away impressed by the Neso 1’s wind performance, versatility, ease of setup, and portability. Read on to see if this is the tent you need to step up your shade game at the beach this summer.

In short: The Neso 1 Beach Tent is an incredible shade for small groups or families at the beach, whether you’re spending a few hours or the whole day. It casts a large shadow and performs well in the wind, but it might be overkill if you’re rolling solo.

  • Type
    Wing-style shade
  • Size
    7′ x 7′
  • Weight
    4 lbs.
  • Materials
    Aluminum poles, water-resistant nylon/Lycra blend
  • Protection rating
    UPF 50+

  • Quick set-up

  • Super-portable

  • Noise-free and handles wind well

  • Comes in a huge range of colors and patterns

  • Also offered in larger sizes


  • Surface dependent for anchoring corners

  • Stakes sold separately; requires sand or rocks for anchors

  • Low height — not ideal for those who like to stand

Neso 1 Beach Tent Review

The Neso 1 ($105) is an intelligently designed alternative to a traditional beach umbrella. It is essentially a 7 x 7-foot tarp made from a stretchy nylon/Lycra blend with sandbag anchors at the corners and two poles that prop it up like a lean-to or wing-style canopy. While setting it up takes a little more time than popping open an umbrella and shoving it in the sand, its advantages far outweigh the minor setup time penalty, in my opinion.

Considering the size of the Neso 1 when it’s set up, the package is super lightweight — weighing in at only 4 pounds — making it very easy to transport from place to place. It even comes with a compact bag for storage and transport, and everything fits into the 19.5-inch long bag easily.

Not only is it light, but the carrying bag also makes it easy to sling over your shoulder on your way to or after a long day at the beach. I had an incredibly easy time getting the tent out and, perhaps more importantly, repacking it after each use.

Even though it takes a couple of extra minutes, the Neso 1 is pretty easy to set up. The package comes with a simple 2-minute guide to assembling the tent, and you don’t even need stakes. You simply fill the sandbags at each corner of the tarp with sand to weigh the tent down — no need to worry about losing stakes in the sand.

I also appreciate that there is less plastic from a sustainability standpoint. Pack as much sand into each bag as you can — pebbles and small rocks do the trick, too — and then stretch out the corners like an X. Assemble the poles, and then prop up two of the corners about a foot back from the edge.

Setting it up is quicker and easier with the assistance of another person, but I was able to do it on my own with little difficulty as well. As someone who usually grows impatient while following instructions, I wish I could just snap my fingers and have the tent immediately set up.

I had to spend a few minutes filling the bags with sand and assembling the poles. It’s not a major time commitment, but it isn’t instant, either.

Once the Neso 1 is set up, you can easily make minor adjustments to the position of the poles or the sandbags as needed. I found that as the sun moved throughout the day or the wind changed direction, I could reposition the poles and/or the whole tent accordingly to maximize the shaded area or the tent’s orientation to the direction of the wind.

Speaking of wind, the Neso 1’s performance in both consistently windy and gusty conditions is one of its best attributes. When the wind picks up and you’re using a traditional beach umbrella or a metal-framed pop-up canopy, you’ve often got to pay close attention and spend time managing them to ensure they don’t go flying down the beach or break.

Or, as is the case with the material on most umbrellas, you have to listen to it flap incessantly in the wind — the shade almost isn’t worth the noise. Not so with the Neso 1. The Neso 1’s design lets wind pass under and through the tent instead of catching it like an umbrella can, and the stretchy nylon/Lycra material makes almost no noise.

This is not to say that it is impervious to the wind — it’ll certainly wobble around a bit and may fall down from time to time — but it handles your typical beach breezes better than most other options. And, if or when it gets knocked over by the wind, it’ll just collapse instead of flying down the beach.

The 7 x 7-foot size of the Neso 1 is a great size for two people. You can squeeze up to four people underneath it, but I found that two people were optimal to avoid feeling crowded. The shaded area is square in shape, so it provides more coverage than a 7-foot diameter round umbrella, for example. Additionally, the lower height of the trailing edge provides coverage from the sun at an angle, which effectively increases the amount of sun protection.

On top of that, the material is UPF 50+ rated, so it blocks nearly all UV rays from passing through. The Neso 1’s poles are 5.5 feet long, which makes it plenty tall for lying underneath on towels or sitting in beach chairs, but it is pretty limiting if you’re looking for something you can stand up under (depending on your height, of course).

Neso sells beach tents in three sizes, including the 7 x 7-foot Neso 1, which is the smallest option offered. If you have a larger group or simply want a larger shaded area, the Neso Grande or Gigante may be better options.

The Neso Grande ($140) is claimed to work well for three to six people with 9 x 9-foot tent dimensions and taller 6-foot, 10-inch poles. The Neso Gigante ($170) is the largest size offered, with an 11 x 11-foot tent and 8-foot, 2-inch-long poles. The Gigante is claimed to work for five-plus people.

Additionally, Neso sells sets of poles for each tent (from $30 to $38, depending on tent size) as replacements or so you can prop up the canopy with four poles instead of two. They also sell ground screw stakes ($26 for a four-pack) to anchor the corners on surfaces where you may not have sand or rocks to fill the sandbags.

Neso also makes the Sidelines series, which come with screw stakes, instead of sandbags, for use on grass fields and non-sandy surfaces. One of our editors used the ground screw stakes when testing the Neso Party Tent for our best canopy tent buyer’s guide, and he was very impressed by how well they worked.

With a stretchy material and no fragile frame elements to break, the Neso 1 seems like a very durable beach shade option. Unlike traditional umbrellas or pop-up canopies that can crumple when bent, comparatively, very little can be broken when using the Neso 1.

And even if you somehow break the poles, replacements are available and cost just $30. The tent fabric is not only stretchy, but it’s also water resistant, so there is no need to worry if you’re sitting right by crashing waves or getting misted by salt spray. When needed, you can wash the tent fabric on cold or handwash it after exposure to saltwater or other elements.

The main issue with the Neso 1 would arise if you were trying to use it on a surface that doesn’t provide any resources to put in the bags that weigh the corners of the tent down. As mentioned above, you can order additional stakes separately from the tent, but you might not know to do that ahead of time.

If you’re planning to use this versatile shade anywhere other than the beach — campgrounds, parks, soccer fields, etc. — we’d recommend springing for the ground screw stakes right off the bat so you have them when you need them.

For someone who wants to show up at the beach and just open their umbrella and stick it in the sand, the Neso 1 also might not be the best fit. It does require some minor setup, even if it is pretty quick and easy. Given its height, Neso 1 is best suited for sitting on the sand on beach towels or in beach chairs. Those who like to stand will be better off looking into the larger Grande and Gigante tents.

Neso 1: Conclusion

If you’re an avid beachgoer, then you already know that balancing the competing elements of sun and wind can often be a tricky task. After testing the Neso 1 beach tent, we can safely say that it will make you second guess using that old beach umbrella sitting in the corner of your garage ever again.

It is lightweight and easily portable, simple to set up, provides ample coverage, and is made from a stretchy, water-resistant, and durable UPF 50+ material. It also comes in a huge variety of colors and prints, so you get one that best suits your personal style.

Perhaps best of all, it’s impressively quiet and more stable than most other shade options in the wind, so you can stress less about your umbrella blowing away and spend more time enjoying yourself in the shade.

Neso’s beach tents are available on the Neso website and can be purchased from online retailers like REI.



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