i keep seeing this

I Believe This Australian Beach Shelter Is Poised to Take Over the Rockaways

Photo: Courtesy of the retailer

It was a gray day in early summer when three fellow Australian expats and I tried to force our first beach trip of the season. We took the Q to Coney Island, ate hot dogs, and hoped for the best. But facts were facts: That was definitely a huge rain cloud on the horizon.

Everyone around us looked similarly miserable with the exception of one family whose cheerfully striped beach shelter was holding its own against the brewing afternoon storm. Could it be? It was. A CoolCabana: familiar to us as the viral tent so popular on Aussie beaches that it generated backlash in the Daily Mail for taking up too much space on the sand. Spirits lifted immediately, even as my friend’s copy of the Sunday Times flapped unreadably in the wind and our cooler of ice-cold La Croix remained untouched. For a few pleasant minutes, we were transported to a Bondi Beach of the mind.

Every second person in Sydney seems to own a CoolCabana and for good reason. These circus-y structures are unusually easy to transport and set up; they’re essentially lightweight, collapsible marquee tents with a central umbrella-style pole and additional sand anchors on the sides. Skin cancer is a national health crisis in Australia, so they are very much designed to maximize shelter and shade. And whatever the Daily Mail says, I think they’re fun to look at.

After ID-ing a fair few CoolCabanas and their Amazon dupes on subsequent trips to Brighton Beach and the Rockaways over the past two months, as well as in the background of a friend’s ex-boyfriend’s Instagram Story about his trip to Fort Tilden last week, I’m willing to call them a microtrend. Either way, I’m ordering one — for protection against sun, storms, and homesickness.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Australia’s CoolCabana Is Poised to Take Over the Rockaways