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.
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).
This extra large windbreak is sure to give you the privacy and wind protection you might be looking for. Fast and simple to put up and has three panels with an inflatable frame which you can do with the hand pump supplied. You peg it down with guy ropes, a strong robust windbreak which should withhold some big gists of wind. Well suited to 8.5m long vehicles.
It’s 140cm high and 5m long, and packs down into a compact storage bag.
There are some VERY expensive inflatable windbreaks, but very few of us could justify spending upwards of £200.
The best of the bunch (so far) is the Vango Family. We like the fact it comes in separate panels that you can slot together.
Ok this might look a little space age but it has a pretty nifty design idea. You can buy them in 3 or 4 sections depending on how big you need it, each section is 140cm square with some having a window. The central pole frame system is designed to deflect the wind more effectively.
Looking for something more compact? Well eurohike have create this really compact windbreak measuring just 53 x 9 x 9cm when packed away in it's handy bag when erected it measures 3 metres wide by 1.5 metres high! Really impressive if your looking for a windbreak that does not take up too much room along side your other gear and weighing only 1.65kg even handy to carry down to the beach with you too, you may want to weigh it down with some rocks on sand.
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.
This windbreak is said to be a 6 person windbreak measuring 4 metres wide, we like how it is in 2 large sections so if you wanted you could create a nice right angle shape with it depending on where you are camped. This windbreak has decent steel poles which will hold up against stronger wind and regular use and also comes with a carry bag. This is an affordable windbreak option and some people have found them handy to use as a portable dog fence if you want to keep you pups contained when camping.
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
If bright coloured stipes are not your thing then take a look at this classy looking navy blue windbreak, with steel points on the bottom making it easier to hammer in. Some people have found the poles do break after long use, probably not great for long stints of being outside in very windy weather but work well as a holiday windbreak.
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.
Where should windbreaks be used?
Windbreaks should be used anywhere where wind is expected to pick up. For example, a beach area will need the same type of windbreak as camping or near construction sites do.
What is a natural windbreak?
A natural windbreak is a body of dense vegetation in the form of shrubs, trees, or other plants that protect anything from being blown by the wind. These can prove effective whilst camping.
How do you block a beach wind?
You can use a windbreaker to block sand and debris. There are also beach tents made specifically for blocking out the wind from a beach chair or for playing in the sand. They're lightweight, easy to set up and pack away, and come in both square- and dome-shaped configurations.