Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Extended L

As with most of Easthills Outdoors’ products, the Instant Shader Extended L Beach Tent presents an almost irresistible proposition to budget-conscious buyers–it’s affordable, can fit up to four people (two kids and two adults), is ultralightweight, and it comes with a variety of features.

The extended floor space makes for nice picnic real-estate too.

While it has its limits, the Instant Shader is quite versatile for its price. Whether you’re out camping, birdwatching in the woods, or just spending a day on the beach or at your local park, it does a decent job at protecting you from the elements.

Easy to use and extremely portable, the Instant Shader is great for small families and casual weekend adventurers.

That said, while it does come with a lot of features, none of these features are necessarily groundbreaking. Moreover, while it’s not what we’d consider to be cheaply made, like anything budget-friendly, it does have quite a few glaring flaws.

Read our full review to find out if the Instant Shader is the right beach tent for you!

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    At 5 lbs, the Instant Shader is extremely lightweight and portable
  • check-mark
    Easy Up mechanism makes it easy to set up and take down
  • check-mark
    Inner mesh pockets allow for easy access to small essentials
  • check-mark
    Mesh windows allow for better ventilation

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markFiberglass poles will break if beaten about
  • check-markWhile it does have extra stakes and sand pockets to weigh it down, it’s not built to withstand strong winds
  • check-markWater seeps in through mesh windows due to their flaps being inside the tent instead of outside

Where to buy:

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Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Extended L

Specs & Features

  • Dimensions (when unfolded): 50 inches center height, 82 inches wide, 47 inches deep
  • Folded dimensions: 39” x 8.5” x 8.5”
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Features: 3 mesh windows, 4 inner mesh pockets, 3 sand pockets
  • Material: 185T Polyester fabric with UPF 50+ protection
  • Poles: Fiberglass
  • Includes: 10 plastic stakes, 4 guy-lines, a stakes pouch, and a carry bag
See the complete list of the best Beach Tents here!

Overview

While it won’t win any awards in the design and durability department, Easthills Outdoors’ Instant Shader Extended L Beach Tent is versatile enough to serve a hefty chunk of the outdoorsy market–semi-active families and city-dwellers who casually escape into nature probably once a month, or once every weekend, if they’re lucky.

Sure, it’s designed for the beach, but it’s equipped with a variety of features that allow it to work equally well on camping trips, as well as a wide range of outdoor events (concerts, sporting events–you get the picture).

The extended floor space is nice. We found this removed the often-experienced claustrophobia that a lot of beach tents present.

It’s lightweight and very easy to set up and pack down, so you can always camp out or leave in a matter of minutes.

Moreover, the Instant Shader collapses to around 8.5 inches thick, so you can always just put it in your car, or on a folding cart if you’re not keen on lugging it around.

All that said, it does have its flaws. It’s not as heavy-duty as other top-selling beach tents, and as versatile as it is, it’ll never be a substitute for a full-on camping tent.

However, if you are looking for a mid-range option that has pretty much everything you’d expect in a beach shelter, then you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Extended L Beach Tent.

easthills-outdoors-instant-shader-overview

Features

As mentioned above, the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Extended L Beach Tent boasts a variety of features. While these features aren’t anything special by themselves, for the price, they do make the Instant Shader stand out from some of its peers.

The bigger floor space is pretty nice on the beach. That allows for two people to lie down with some shade around their heads. There’s good space for a beach mat here too.

Its fabric is made out of 185T Polyester with UV-protective coating, which makes it serviceable for casual use in a variety of outdoor settings.

It has a lightweight fiberglass frame that makes it easily portable. Moreover, its Easy Up mechanism allows you to prop up and take down the tent within minutes, which is ideal for when you have to constantly adjust the beach tent’s position (depending on where the sun is facing, or where the wind is blowing), and for when you have to leave your campsite in an instant.

The Instant Shader also has a zippered front porch made out of PE fabric, which can be zipped up if you need more privacy. The beach tent also comes with inner mesh pockets for your small essentials (such as pocket knives, flashlights, small snacks, sunscreen, etc.), and three mesh windows that allow for better ventilation (these have drawbacks that we’ll get into later).

The Instant Shader also has three sand pockets, extra guy lines, and plastic stakes for added stability.

easthills-outdoors-instant-shader-features

Durability

While not extremely flimsy, Easthills Outdoors’ Instant Shader Beach Tent sits right in between worth-every-penny and cheaply-made territory when it comes to durability.

While its 185T fabric is serviceable, it’s a bit underwhelming considering the WolfWise Beach Tent and the OILEUS X-Large are made of 190T and 210T fabric, respectively.

Don’t get us wrong, though. You can still get a lot of use from the Instant Shader, just don’t expect it to hold up against rough surfaces and particularly thorny thickets. You’ll have to be extra careful when setting it up and storing it to avoid untimely tears.

The Instant Shader’s fiberglass frame also leaves much to be desired. While fiberglass poles are pretty much standard when it comes to beach tents, not all fiberglass poles are made the same. We’re not quite sure what the exact specs of the Instant Shader’s poles are (apart from being fiberglass), but they tend to snap under the slightest hint of abuse.

Again, this beach tent isn’t designed for rugged adventurers; rather, it’s for small families and casual outdoorsy types who love to get in one or two weekend adventures per month to break the monotony of office life.

Weatherproofing

When it comes to waterproofing and weather protection, the Instant Shader does a decent job at blocking harmful UV rays and keeping everything inside bone dry under light to moderate rainfall.

Anything beyond moderate rainfall, however, is a different story. Because the tent’s window flaps are inside the tent instead of outside, water seeps in through the mesh windows during torrential downpours.

Moreover, while you can use the additional stakes and the sand pockets to weigh the tent down, the Instant Shader doesn’t hold up well against strong winds due to its thin poles and fabric. Plus, the stakes don’t really do much when the tent is on very fine sand.

All that said, the Instant Shader does perfectly well under weather conditions that don’t involve strong winds and heavy rains.

easthills-outdoors-instant-shader-weatherproofing

Ventilation

Ventilation on the Instant Shader isn’t stellar, but this is to be expected for beach tents in its price range. The Instant Shader tends to get quite hot really fast when you completely zip it up.

Moreover, while opening the front porch helps, the tent still gets quite hot on extremely hot days.

While the three mesh windows allow the hot air to escape easily, they don’t really do much when there’s no breeze coming in, or if you’ve positioned the tent so that no breeze comes in.

To avoid suffocating inside the Instant Shader, it’s best to keep adjusting the beach tent so that you can optimally block the sun, and let a cooling breeze in–this is vital, especially if you have children with you.

Size, Weight, and Portability

Fully unfolded, the Instant Shader can accommodate up to two adults and two kids, or two adults and two low-standing lawn or beach chairs. While the Instant Shader Extended L Beach Tent isn’t the roomiest in its segment, it does offer more room than other beach tents within the same price range–which is a plus on our books.

Moreover, Easthills Outdoors does offer similar beach shelters in bigger sizes to accommodate your needs.

Another area where the Instant Shader excels at is its weight. At 5 lbs, it’s one of the lightest beach tents in the market today.

Additionally, because it can be collapsed to around 8.5 inches thick, it’s extremely portable, and can be stuffed in any nook in your car (or strapped on your car’s roof rack), in your garage, or in your beach wagon. It also comes with a carry bag, making it easy to carry it manually.

Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Size And Measurements

Ease of Use

While a lot can be said about its features and portability, its ease of use is really the bread and butter of the Instant Shader. It has an Easy Up mechanism that allows you to set it up and take it down in a matter of minutes (or one minute once you’ve gotten the hang of it).

You don’t have to have superior hand-eye coordination and mechanical aptitude to figure this one out.

Here’s how it works: you just hold it straight vertically, spread its legs, spread the protruding poles on top, pull on the ropes on top of the tent until it fully extends and locks, and tie a knot to secure it.

To take it down, you just have to untie the knot, grab the top of the tent, and push down on the bottom spars on the top end of your tent with your thumbs to collapse it.

Value

Easthills Outdoors is regarded as one of the best brands when it comes to budget-friendly outdoor gear. That said, while we would agree that the Instant Shader is a budget-friendly option, it’s not the perfect choice if you also value your beach tent’s overall construction.

At around $50-$60, the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Extended L Beach Tent is a solid choice for those looking for a serviceable, middle-of-the-road beach tent that doesn’t really break the bank.

Conclusion

If you’re a casual adventurer and/or if you’re keen on doing light weekend seaside trips with your family, then the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Extended L Beach Tent is definitely worth considering.

While it has its flaws, it’s also: easy to use, affordable, and is packed with features that you probably won’t find in other similarly-priced beach tents. While its durability can be an issue, it’s more than enough beach tent for those whose outdoor adventures don’t come close to anything extreme.

Related Reviews

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    At 5 lbs, the Instant Shader is extremely lightweight and portable
  • check-mark
    Easy Up mechanism makes it easy to set up and take down
  • check-mark
    Inner mesh pockets allow for easy access to small essentials
  • check-mark
    Mesh windows allow for better ventilation

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markFiberglass poles will break if beaten about
  • check-markWhile it does have extra stakes and sand pockets to weigh it down, it’s not built to withstand strong winds
  • check-markWater seeps in through mesh windows due to their flaps being inside the tent instead of outside
FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Extended L

How do I close my Easthills Outdoors beach tent?

This depends on what version of the Easthills Outdoors Beach Tent you have. If you’re using the Instant Shader Extended L Beach Tent, collapsing your beach tent is easy. Basically, you just have to push down on the top part of your tent’s poles. Check out this section of our review for more detailed instructions.

How do you pitch a tent on the beach?

First pick an ideal spot for your tent (ideally as clear, level, and flat as possible, with firmer soil to put stakes in). Prop up your tent, and use additional stakes and guy-lines to secure it to the ground. For added stability, make use of the tent’s sand pockets to weigh it down.

Do beach tents have UV protection?

Designed specifically for the beach, most beach tents have excellent UV protection. A UPF rating of 50+ (the same rating the Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader has) is pretty much standard these days, which means your beach tent’s fabric will only allow 1/50th of harmful UV rays to penetrate your tent (blocking approximately 97.5-98% of UV rays). If you factor in the UV protection provided by your sunscreen, you’re essentially completely protected from the sun when you’re inside your beach tent.

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