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Kelty Cabana

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Kelty Cabana canopy

Great roomy shelter that will fit a family of 4. Perfect for the beach. Gets a little stuffy inside if oriented away from air flow.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assemble and take down
  • Roomy
  • Good features for privacy


  • Air circulation
  • Tent pole sleeves are delicate and easy to damage

I purchased this model sun shelter to use at the beach. It is a very good shelter. It requires 3 tent poles to put up and can be assembled by one person in about 5 minutes. It can be more challenging on a windy day.

The shelter is very roomy. Two adults and two small children and one small dog fit inside comfortably. It provides good shade. On days with little wind, it can get stuffy inside even with the front completely open. If the opening is not oriented to catch the wind like a sail, it gets hot in there as the ambient air heats up and doesn't move around. 

The floor is a great feature and keeps you and your belongings fairly well protected from sand and dirt. The front of the tent floor folds up into a door for privacy. It doesn't completely close up as there's a small gap left but it is enough to allow you to change clothes in private. I used this tent for beach fashion photo shoots and the model is able to change in privacy with the door zipped up.

There are 4 pockets at each corner that allow you to fill them with sand to keep the tent from flying off.  I find that piling more sand along the sides helps keep the tent steady on windy days.

The windows have mesh and are a nice feature and close up.

One criticism I have about the construction is that the tent is made of a very lightweight nylon material, which is fine, but so are the sleeves for the tent poles to slide into to give the tent structure. I wish these sleeves were made of a more durable weight material as I am starting to develop some threadbare spots and I have to be very careful while sliding the tent poles through the sleeves as the metal bits can catch and easily rip the material. 

These are the only areas of the tent that seem to be degrading from use. I have used it about 20 times and those areas are worrisome and I don't want to have to replace the entire tent just because the sleeves start breaking down.

The tent packs up into a fairly compact little bag and is easy to transport.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100

Great all-around shelter, but a bit heavy and stuffy for some uses.


  • Large / roomy interior
  • Privacy door
  • Ease of use
  • Sand pockets when stakes won't do
  • Sturdy in wind


  • Heavy and bulky if carrying a long distance
  • Hot interior in strong (beach) sun

We bought this for our family beach vacation with our 18 mos old who had outgrown his peapod. Our favorite beach is a good 2 mi hike.  While this shelter easily packs into a pouch, its dimensions are a bit large making it difficult to secure to a daypack but we manage.  

It's easy to setup and provides more than enough room for two adults and a toddler (as well as our wet dog). Having a floor is fantastic and eliminates the need to carry an extra tarp or blanket. We'll try another reviewers suggestion of closing the 'door' up a few inches to help prevent the sand from blowing in.  

It does provide fantastic shelter from the strong sun and gusty wind, but we found it's almost too good at blocking air movement. We quickly became uncomfortably warm sitting in here when the wind was to our backs.  

I felt the price was fair. The quality appears good as we've used it now for a couple of seasons and it looks like new. I love the privacy door feature, especially for changing out of wet swimming clothes and back into hiking gear.  

I recommend it, but do keep in mind the weight and the stuffiness factors. I haven't found anything else I wish I purchased instead for the price but we will likely find an alternate for our next beach hike.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: +/- $70 on sale

Never mess with stupid umbrellas again!

The Cabana provides complete sun, rain and wind protection for your family and your stuff. You don't have to chase a moving shadow for shade, and there's no glare around three sides. The door zips for privacy, for changing and even a nap. A cool trick is to zip the front panel up from the sides a few inches, which prevents most sand from blowing in.

VERY useful feature: sandbags attached at each corner. Stakes won't hold in sand. Instead, you dig a shallow hole, fill the sandbag and bury it. They will hold the cabana in place in furious wind that would turn an umbrella into a kite.

The ONLY caveat: setting up in strong wind is best with two people. Until you get the sandbags filled, the wind will try to blow it away, same as with anything.

Ease of Setup: Easy, moderate in stiff wind
Price Paid: $125 at REI

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Price MSRP: $99.95
Current Retail: $109.95-$119.95
Historic Range: $39.95-$129.95
Reviewers Paid: $70.00-$125.00
Seasons 3
Number of Doors 1
Number of Poles 3
Minimum Weight 5 lb 4 oz / 2.38 kg
Packaged Weight 5 lb 10 oz / 2.55 kg
Floor area 41.1 sq ft / 3.81 sq m
Width 68 in / 172.72 cm
Length 118 in / 299.70 cm
Height 53 in / 134.62 cm
Packaged Diameter 7 in / 17.78 cm
Packaged Length 25 in / 63.50 cm
Pole Type Wrapped Fiberglass
Floor Fabric 68D Polyester 450 mm
Fly Fabric 68D Polyester 450 mm
Product Details from Kelty »

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