Which windbreak should you buy? After a few gusty camping trips, it’s time to try out the best – and easiest – ways to shelter from the wind.
Retro or high-tech…here are our favourites.
Latest update: March 2021
All our reviews at Campfire Magazine are independent and honest.
In a hurry? If you don’t have much time using the links below to quickly find our favourite windbreaks for you on Amazon and beyond. You can be assured we only choose the best products…
OUR TOP PICK
First, though…a few questions to ask yourself.
- What size do you REALLY need? Big is more versatile (you can build yourself a fortified encampment), but all those poles and panels can be impossible to put up, especially when it’s windy!
- Can you live with guylines? All but the very expensive semi-permanent windbreaks that you see around long-term caravanners will need guying in strong winds. Guylines get in the way, so bear that in mind, especially when deciding on size (bigger = more guys).
- Does it need to be lightweight? Aluminium poles will be lightest, steel the next lightest and timber the heaviest.
- What sort of fabric? Do you want canvas (heavy, hard to dry but traditional) or a plastic/polyester fabric?
Top Quality Windbreaks
OUR TOP PICK
Our top choice in this category. These are nice for having no guylines and for being extendable to suit your needs.
The basic Westfield/Quest Pro has an aluminium frame keeps weight to under 6kg, there’s a carry bag and the length is 4.8m x 1.3 high. It folds to 110 x 25 x 15cm.
It can be put up by 1 person, but like most things it's much easy with two!
You can’t get much easier than this pro inflatable windbreak from Kampa Dometic. As it says you simply peg it and pump it up, we loved how easy this was windbreak to set-up!
The viewing panel is good too. The height is about 5 foot tall. It’s made of aluminium though weighs 8kg. (Make sure you check the sizes as there are two sizes available).
New and rather unusual, the Pronto windbreak is fast and simple to put up and has four panels with a pop-up frame. You peg it down with bungee cords at each foot.
It’s 140cm high and 5.6m long, and packs down to a reasonable 107 x 24 x 32cm. The only downside is the weight of just over 9kg.
Traditional beach windbreaks with wooden poles
Best we’ve found so far are the Andes windbreaks in a choice of lengths and heights. From just £17 too. The material is plastic rather than canvas, but the poles are made from a tough fir wood.
These Eriba caravanners have gone prettily retro with two striped canvas windbreaks. Note how low they are, though. Your feet might be less breezy but your hair will be blown away!
We do love versatility. Here, a stripy beach windbreak is turning a tarp into a kind of gazebo. Shelter from the wind and a bit of privacy and cosiness. Check out our Tarp Shelter article, should you want to replicate this great idea.
Hide this lovely design (or behind a wall like the one below)…with Olpro’s patterned windbreaks.
There are steel-poled and wooden pole versions. The steel ones won’t work on the beach, by the way.
Around £30 and a choice of two sizes.
Fancy Camping On A Beach with them? Then check out our guide
What NOT to buy.
A few brands you should stay clear of, either because of general poor quality (torn fabric, split softwood poles, frayed edges etc), or because they simply don’t stay up in the wind.
Get clever with windbreaks
The wind's gusting horribly in this photo but that bit of old boardwalk is going to keep us safe...isn't it? This is either Marseillan Plage in the South of France or Hayling Island in the South of England...both breezy!
Use a tarp and poles
Overkill for a quick trip to the beach maybe, but some of these take less putting-up than a five-pole windbreak and do a lot more!
Practise your set-ups and have a look at our article on using tarps in all sorts of ways.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a windbreak for camping?
A windbreak is not always necessary for camping, but it may help. Windbreaks can be made out of a tarp and some rope or logs that you might find in the area with trees nearby.
What is the purpose of a windbreak?
Windbreaks reduce the wind by altering its course. They are typically made out of a natural material like wood or polyster but can be used in different configurations to maximize their effectiveness depending on how they're positioned and what direction the winds come from.