Shibumi Shades may be popping up at a beach near you.

By Real Simple
July 14, 2021
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Shibumi Shade
Credit: Shibumi Shades

This story originally appeared on RealSimple.com by Lisa Milbrand.

My summer vacation usually involves sand, surf, and lugging unwieldy umbrellas back and forth every day to help stave off the inevitable sunburn. But my fellow beach fans (and pretty much all of TikTok) have been raving about the latest sunshade option — the Shibumi Shade, a pretty teal and blue curved beach canopy that can be set up in minutes, and uses the steady coastal winds to help keep it aloft, so you don't have to worry about your umbrella taking off in a big gust of ocean breeze. (ICYMI, a "base tan" won't actually protect you from sunburns.)

The concept is simple and so streamlined that it weighs less than 4 pounds and can be easily folded down into a tiny bag. Each Shibumi Shade includes a set of aluminum poles that can curve to create an arch and are planted into the ground, letting the dramatic blue parachute canopy billow behind it in the breeze and provide shade for up to six adults.

They're definitely creating a buzz on the beach (along with some 30 SPF shade). Ben Swaney, a father of two in Raleigh, N.C., says it's been a game changer for beach trips. "This shade is so easy to put out — it's not big and bulky like an umbrella, and you don't have to worry about it coming out of the sand and hitting someone," he says. "It's super light. My son who's three carried it out to the beach." (While you're there, steal these pointers to get a tough beach workout in.)

The shade does work beautifully as long as there's a breeze. But on the stillest beach days, you might need something else to keep you covered. "If the wind's not blowing enough, it can kind of blow back on you," says Swaney. Shibumi Shade says it requires at least 3 mph wind to keep it going — which most beaches can easily hit. (Related: 8 Ways to Get Sun Protection—Besides Wearing Sunscreen)

Shibumi Shade
Credit: Shibumi Shades

But the biggest critique people have for Shibumi Shade is the cost. The canopies are $250 each, which detractors say is a bit pricey for what amounts to a few poles and several yards of fabric. But given that it's designed and made in North Carolina and Virginia — and that the company provides stellar customer service based on dozens of Facebook reviews — it might just be worth the cost.

Swaney says the Shibumi Shade was money well spent. "People get excited about anything that makes their lives easier," he says. "It doesn't matter what it costs."