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Our guide to the best windbreaks

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: October 2020

First, though…a few questions to ask yourself.

  1. 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!
  2. 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).
  3. Does it need to be lightweight? Aluminium poles will be lightest, steel the next lightest and timber the heaviest.
  4. What sort of fabric? Do you want canvas (heavy, hard to dry but traditional) or a plastic/polyester fabric?  

Traditional beach windbreaks with wooden poles

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!

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.

 

A semi-private changing area for these campers (the half-naked woman is my 84-year-old mum just returned from swimming in the River Wharfe).

Plastic/polythene fabric windbreaks are the cheapest and can actually be quite sturdy. The Marko windbreaks are around £10 for a four-pole, 7-foot stripy.

The WBL windbreaks (below) come with a choice of five sizes, from £10.

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.

Polyester windbreaks

Outdoor Revolution Pro windbreak

Designed to match their awnings, but pretty good for anyone else too! These windbreaks are 5m wide and 1.4m tall. Around £100.

Peg it well and you should have a good sheltered area.

Kampa Dometic 4-pole windbreak

Sturdy steel poles and a nice viewing panel. This Kampa/Dometic windbreak looks rather stylish and it’s under £50 too. Remember to guy it well, as larger windbreaks can flop in a strong breeze.

 

Regatta Calima for affordability

Our choice for the cheapest and most portable windbreak. The Regatta windbreak has just two panels and three folding steel poles. Guys and pegs included.

A tip: guy the centre line quite close to the fabric wall or you’ll be forever tripping over it. Around £20.

Patterned windbreaks

Yello/WBL printed windbreaks

Choose from two heights and four, eight or 10 poles.

The poles are wooden with plastic-tops and they cost from around £12. 

Not optimum quality, but fun and easy to install. Just hammer in the poles.

VW patterned windbreaks

Pretty sturdy and definitely one for the campervan fans. There are four- and five-pole options and they’re 1.2m high. Around £20.

Olpro patterned quirkiness

Hide behind a stone wall or a row of beach huts…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.

Top-quality (expensive) windbreaks

Westfield/Quest Windshield Pro

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 is around £120. The 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.

Kampa Dometic Pro Windbreak

You can’t get much sturdier than this pro windbreak from Kampa Dometic. At first we were a bit baffled by the holding poles taking up all the space, but they can be sited closer to the fabric and they really do keep this upright.

The viewing panel is good too. The height is 142cm and it packs to just 15x15x100cm.

It’s made of aluminium (though weighs 13kg). Costs from £140 (two sizes available).

Outdoor Revolution Pronto windbreak

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. Price is around £120.

Vango Airbeam modular windbreak

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 Airbeam. We like the fact it comes in separate panels that you can slot together.

The basic three-panel costs around £210.

 

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.

  • Lvivo and Oypla – cheap and nasty. Buy one if you must, use it for one season and buy another next year. Better to get something more durable.
  • Brunner – we get a lot of complaints about this brand, so don’t expect a decent windbreak from them.

Get clever with windbreaks​

Improvise a shelter

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

The best thing about a tarp is its versatility. We use ours as a sunshade, an extension to the awning and a windbreak. The downside is that you have to reconfigure it to suit the conditions.

Take a look at our inspiring round-up of the best multipurpose shelters that are quick to put up and can be windbreak, dining room, or gazebo

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. 

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2 Comments

  1. I got the zempire windbreak, just tried it out on a windy wet weekend, works really well IF you tie it into the tarp/tent. got it on recommendation here but seems to be removed (probably because searching around it seems to have been discontinued). ED: You’re right, Mandy. They’re discontinued and were rather expensive. The nearest equivalent is the Kampa/Dometic.

  2. jane barker

    Avoid the blue Diamond wind break at all costs, the wood is cheap despite the price and two poles broke whilst putting it up alone. Shocking wood quality which is a shame as the material is lovely.I see this is a big problem on other reviews for this wind break.They need to use better wood for the poles. Back to the old faithfull sea side one.

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