Compact Windproof Beach Tent




About: I'm a designer - I started off working with commercial Architecture/Interior design and transitioned through to Graphic, Product, and Industrial Design. I love making things, especially trying new techniques.

Video of beach tent

I needed a beach shade and researched different ones. I happened upon a company called Otentik. Their design is genius. It uses bags of sand to act as weights to hold down the tent. The two poles made it easy for one person to set up. The spandex fabric made it windproof.

If you're in the market to buy one, I would recommend buying theirs.

Again, their design is awesome, but I'm a maker and sometimes makers make stuff rather than buying it.

I made this red one last summer and it was perfect. I gave it to a friend and made myself a new one in fluorescent green... because why not.

Step 1: Materials

You'll need the following:

7 meters of spandex material (1.5 meters wide)

1 package of paracord with tensioners

2 tent poles (approx 2 meters)

4 tennis balls

2 old socks

1 roll of string

Step 2: Cut and Sew the Tent and Sand Bags, Cut Paracord


Sewing is pretty simple. You don't have to be super precise. I did mine quickly and it turned out fine.

1) Cut 2 lengths of spandex to 3 meters

2) Sew these together using a serger with overlock. You can't use a standard stitch because of the stretchiness of the material.

3) With the remaining 1 meter, cut into 4 equal pieces as shown.

4) Fold in half and sew the sides together. You should end up with a pouch that is about 37.5 cm x 37.5 cm wide.


1) Cut 4 lengths 40 cm long

2) Cut 8 lengths 60 cm long

3) Tie the ends together with square knots making sure to leave about 6 cm or so loose at the ends. This will be useful later.

Step 3: Tie the Loops to the Tent and Sand Bags

I did this step really quickly - you could sew it, but this way is actually pretty strong Watch these videos to see how to tie it. It's easier to watch than to try to explain.

Tying the tent loops

Tying the bag loops

Step 4: Modifying the Tent Poles

The tent poles need to have soft ends. The reason is because you don't want it to tear the fabric. Also, the wind sometimes lifts the poles up and it may strike someone. This can happen if the tent fabric is not stretched tight enough.

1) Slice an X into 4 tennis balls and attach it to each of the ends of the tent pole.

2) Cut a sock so that it fits over the tennis ball.

3) Hot glue the edges of the sock to the pole.

4) Tie it tight using the string loop method shown in the videos

Step 5: Attaching Adjustable Cords and Packing

1) Cut 4 lengths of paracord 4 meters each.

2) Make a loop on one end and attach it to the tent. You can simply tie whatever knot you want, though.

3) Use a line tensioner to connect to two loops of the bag.

The line tensioner is useful because you may want to shorten the paracord if the beach is crowded. It spreads out pretty far.

Step 6: Pack Up and Head to the Beach!

It packs up pretty easily. It can get tangled, so I would suggest you make a crochet link with the paracord just to keep it organized.

Hope you all get a chance to get to the beach and enjoy the summer!

Here's a video of how to set it up: Otentik Tent Set Up

Full disclosure: I kind of feel bad that I copied their design and if they request that I take this down, I will consider it. It really is genius work and I hope they are successful. However, the maker movement is sometimes about making stuff yourself - either because you can't afford it or you simply can.

If any of the inventors are reading this, I'm sorry. I am sure you put a lot of hard work into designing it. Please message me if you want to discuss this Instructable.



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    15 Discussions


    Reply 2 years ago

    I guess it's the type III 550. It's the standard paracord you buy at the hardware store. It's plenty strong enough.

    The more important part is the corner on the shade. Make a knot and tie it such that the cord won't slip. I wouldn't recommend using eyelets or anything that cuts the fabric because over time, that could tear. A knot and a good binding will do the trick.


    2 years ago



    2 years ago

    This isn't a tent. It's a Canopy. Tents are enclosed and make a room.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    True, true. I don't want to remake the graphic, though. :-P

    It's also not waterproof. But if you're on a beach when it's raining, you're doing it wrong. :-P


    2 years ago

    I live by a beach in New York ... folks here might be a little upset by the enormous footprint this set up has. It takes up a lot of space! Great if you're back from the water where it may be less crowded. Great post!

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes, it does take up a lot of space depending on the size you make. You can make it smaller and adjust the paracord length to a degree, though.

    Definitely not for crowded beaches. :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    "Definitely not for crowded beaches. :)"

    Find a better beach tent or find a better beach where people aren't stacked like firewood? Hmmm. A tough one! ;-)


    Reply 2 years ago

    I was thinking the same thing, except about the LA area. Sometimes the beaches are practically shoulder-to-shoulder.


    2 years ago

    I couldn't tell what aspect of this instructable might infringe on a patented design, and I didn't take the time to go to the manufacturer's website to pursue what design infringements may occur, unless it is the tennis ball protector thing. Otherwise, this is just a basic fly that almost anyone can construct. I have made several of these in the past for camping and other uses. I tack welded a washer with a protruding bolt on top of a piece of conduit to create my own poles and never provided some sort of protective device to cover the bolt on top, although I think that is probably a good idea. Outdoors-minded people have dealt with how to anchor a tent or fly in both sand and snow forever, and yes, the best solution was to use bags filled with sand at the beach, or soil elsewhere that it is difficult or impossible to drive in a tent type spike, like on pavement, perhaps. For additional strength on the sandbag anchor though, like at the beach, you might also want to bury the sandbags a foot or so deep, then compact the sand back over the top of the anchor. For the poles, I have also been able to buy tight fitting plastic caps for the top of the pole. I would poke a hole through the plastic cap smaller than the diameter of the bolt I was going to insert through the hole so that when I pushed the bolt through, it would be held tight. Believe it or not, as cheesy as this sounds, it worked well enough and held nicely. Also, a good nylon bag is good to use for the sand anchors, but in a pinch, you can double or triple up plastic grocery bags.


    2 years ago

    You have a good conscience especially these days when so many people choose to hide behind anonymity on the Internet. You gave us the original company as well as the option to make our own. Thank you for sharing!


    2 years ago

    They only seem to claim a patent in one county. Plus your design is for personal use not production or profit. Thanks for sharing! Other products use bags too. So that aspect is not likely new IP that can be protected.

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    It's not a patent thing I'm concerned about. I don't want to hurt their business. They are a young company.

    I do believe, though, that their product is more finished and superior to mine in that regard and people will buy it based on that.

    I'm a designer at an open source company and feel okay about people taking my designs and modifying them. I'm hoping they feel the same.


    Reply 2 years ago

    At least when it comes to personal use, not for profit. If their product is patented, I hope that people respect that and do not try to profit off of it.

    I just couldn't afford it and in the spirit of making, I made my own version.