Top 10 Best Camping Canopies in 2020

Camping is a fun way to leave your domestic life for a moment and reconnect with the wilderness. It’s a great way to unwind, relax, and enjoy the natural wonders. Camping is a great activity for families, couples, even people just needing some time alone. To camp comfortably, it’s important to have the best camping canopy for your needs. The canopy will protect you from outdoor elements such as the weather, the sun, and even bugs. A good camping canopy is essential for an enjoyable, comfy, and safe camping experience.

Essentially, a canopy is a portable and temporary housing structure. They can be used for more than just camping and are helpful for other events such as weddings, conventions, or summer get-togethers, but the main use for a canopy is for camping. There are many out there with a variety of different features and this guide will help you choose the right one.

Definition of a Camping Canopy

A camping canopy is different from a tent. It does not have a bottom floor or dividers. It allows users to protect themselves from a downpour, too much direct sunlight, or just to seek a shelter and place to relax. A canopy essentially consists of a top overhang and a frame. The canopy cover will attach to the metal frame that can be easily opened up for use. There are at least four legs for the frame that can be dug into the ground for added support.

Varieties of Camping Canopies

There is no hard and fast way to define the different types of canopies, but the two main varieties are lightweight and heavy-duty styles. There are so many products out there to choose from so it’s best to start by narrowing down if you’ll need a lightweight or heavy-duty canopy to begin the search process. The variance in canopies can be looked at in terms of strength, how thick the metal frame is, how thick the material is, and what quality of the material is used.

Lightweight Canopies

Lightweight canopies are good for short periods. It won’t hold up as well if you have tougher conditions or keep it up for a long time, but if it’s only being used for a day event or a few nights trip it can work just fine. The material of the frame and tarp is not as thick or strong but this usually means the canopy is a lot lighter. The average weight of this type of canopy is 40 pounds which are easier to carry than a heavy-duty canopy. The lightweight canopies are also usually smaller so it should fold up nice and fit right in the back of your car. If you don’t expect intense weather conditions or prolonged use, this is a great option. It’s also very easy to set up and can most likely be done by one or two people in just minutes.

Heavy Duty Canopies

Stronger, thicker, and higher quality materials are used to make heavy-duty canopies. They’re made to hold up through more advanced weather conditions as well as prolonged use. This extra durability does translate to a heavier canopy and a more difficult setup procedure. For the hikers and mountaineers on more advanced camping trips where the weather could play a role, this is a better option. For day use or a short trip with no weather worries, you’ll probably want to stick to the lightweight canopy as it’s easier to set up and carry than the heavy-duty.

Choosing a Camping Canopy

Once you’ve narrowed down if you’re going to need a lightweight or heavy-duty canopy, it’s time to consider other features such as the type and amount of legs on the canopy, the frame material, and the cover material. These are important things to keep in mind when purchasing a camping canopy.

Frame material: Aluminum vs. Steel

When deciding on a frame material, you need to consider the quality, weight, durability, and lifespan of the material being used in the canopy. Depending on what you’ll be using your canopy for and if you choose a lightweight or heavy-duty canopy will play a role in this decision.

Aluminum

Aluminum is lighter and will probably be found in a lightweight canopy. It is malleable which means it has a bit of movement to it and it can lose its shape over time. Aluminum also has corrosion and rust-resistant properties making it a great choice.

Steel

For a heavy-duty canopy, you’d want to look for a steel frame. It’s the sturdier and stronger material of the two and can withstand much more wind and other weather conditions. It might be harder to assemble a steel frame which is something to keep in mind. It could also corrode faster over time than aluminum. But if it’s taken well care of, the frame can last for many years.

Cover material: polyester, polyethylene, vinyl

There is no ‘perfect’ cover material because there are so many pros and cons to each type. Some things to consider include fire-resistant, durability, water-resistant, and UV resistant, to name a few. When researching canopies, look to see if the manufacturer included the denier which is a unit to measure the fineness of the fabric. 600 deniers are commercial grade level but it’s also going to be thicker and heavier than something lower on the denier scale.

Polyester

Polyester is a commonly used material in canopy covers because it’s lightweight and reasonable. It’s also durable and water-resistant which are great features. It won’t hold up in harsh weather conditions but for light use, it’s a good option. If the weather isn’t a worry, this is the best choice.

Polyethylene

Polyethylene is waterproof rather than water-resistant so it’s a step up from polyester. The only downfall is it’s a less durable material than polyester so it won’t hold up for as long. This type of material is usually UV resistant too which is a nice feature as well. This type of material is sturdy but not too dense, making it a good option. If you choose this type of material, it’s important to make sure it’s fire resistance because if untreated it can burn easily which would be unsafe when camping.

Vinyl

Vinyl is simply a polyester fabric that has been coated with vinyl. It gives the material waterproof, UV resistant, and fire-resistant features. It’s the most durable option but it’s also the heaviest and thickest.

Canopy Legs: Straight or Slant

The general position of the canopies legs may not seem like it would make a huge difference, but it does play a role in your decision making. There are two types of legs: slant and straight. Slant legs can angle inward which loses surface area or outward which gains surface area. Slant legs are more likely to come with a lightweight canopy because they’re a little less durable than straight legs. Straight legs provide a completely straight frame instead of angling inwards or outwards like the slant legs.

Canopy size

Canopies can come in all sorts of sizes. A 10X10 ft canopy is the most common size with four legs. But, as the size of the canopy gets larger, the number of legs multiply for the canopy to remain stable. When choosing your canopy, make sure the manufacturer stated the number of legs. The more the legs, the longer it can take to put together which is something to consider as well.

Other considerations

After considering everything above, there are some other features that you may want to look at. If you’re worried about the weather, you should look for a canopy that can tether to the ground. This will help protect it from blowing around too much. You can even find canopies with detachable siding to create walls for privacy. This might matter to you too depending on what you’re using the canopy for. Color can play a larger role than expected because a dark-colored cover will attract heat and the sun but a light-colored canopy will show more stains and get ruined more easily. Depending on what type of weather conditions you’re expecting the dark or light options might be better for you.

Features:

Other features to consider when choosing your camping canopy includes sidewalls, carrying cases, one push technology, and weight. This will vary in importance depending on how you plan to use your canopy.

Sidewalls

Sidewalls could be a great feature to protect against the sun and other weather conditions. It also provides some privacy. There are different thickness levels for sidewalls and some keep out bugs, others allow airflow. There are many variations of sidewall options on the market.

Carrying cases

A camping canopy that comes with a carrying case is a great option because it makes carrying, storing, and protecting that canopy much easier. Some have wheels rather than just handles to make it super convenient to be able to roll the canopy to its destination. This is especially helpful if you have a large, heavy-duty canopy. Not all canopies come with cases but there are great cases for sale such as soft and hard case options if the canopy you choose does not include one.

One Push Technology

Most canopies require two sets of hands for setting up but there are some out there made to be for a quick and easy one-person setup. If you go on a lot of lone adventures this is the type you should be on the lookout for. It has spring technology to make it a lot easier.

Weight

You may want to purchase some sort of weight mechanism to control your canopy and keep it on the ground if it isn’t included with your purchase. This helps with the wind so that it doesn’t fall over or get blown away. You may want to look into purchasing leg weights, anchors, sandbags, or tie downs if they do not come with your camping canopy.

 

Top 10 Camping Canopies in 2020

 

1) Quictent 10×10 Ez Pop Up Canopy 

Functionality

This camping canopy is waterproof to support any weather conditions and keep out the rain. It also includes screen sidewalls that cover all four walls, keeps out bugs, and allows airflow. It’s especially great for summertime and has zippers on the front and back for easy entrance when the sidewalls are down. If you don’t want to use the sidewalls you don’t have to. Simply Velcro the sidewall to the top of the canopy when you’d like to use it. The canopy also has UPF50+ Anti-UV sun protection.

Design and size

This canopy can be set up very quickly. It comes with a fully assembled pop-up frame that can be set up in seconds. There are no loose parts or tools needed which is a nice feature. The color is a nice, warm beige.

Materials and durability

The legs feature upper and lower quick release buttons for easy folding and no pinching of the fingers. You can also make height adjustments and there are up to three height options available. The legs are made of steel and the material of the cover is made of 420 denier Oxford fabric with PU coating.

Additional features

The canopy comes in a nice rolling bag for easy carrying and storing. It also includes ropes and stakes to tie down the canopy for extra stability. The company also offers a warranty for lifetime free replacement of ropes and stakes, a 6-month warranty for the roof, sides, frame, and poles as well as a lifetime free replacement for a few natural loss parts.

Pros

  • Mesh sidewalls
  • Pop up legs for easy setup
  • UV protection
  • Waterproof
  • Adjustable heights

Cons

  • Light-colored and could stain
  • Not fire resistant

 

2) Mastercanopy Pop Up Canopy Tent

Functionality

This canopy cover comes with a vent on the roof for cooling and ventilation which is a nice feature. The frame is fully assembled and can just be popped right open.

Design and size

The canopy comes in 12 different colors. It also comes in the standard 10X10 size but you can get in an 8X8 or a 12X12 as well. The frame can be adjusted to 3 different heights. The legs have a straight leg design for complete use of the surface area.

Materials and durability

The frame is made of steel for durability. It’s also rust-resistant and powder-coated to last longer. It has reinforced stress points where the peak poles meet and plastic pieces to make it last longer. The toggle legs prevent finger pinching and make it easy to unlatch. The cover material is made of 300 denier polyester fabric and its UV coated to reflect 99% of the sun’s rays. It’s also 99% waterproof and treated to be fire-resistant for fire code CPAI-84. The canopy is dyed in a 3-Layer Solution to provide minimal discoloration and a high level of UV protection.

Additional features

The canopy comes with a roller bag for easy carrying. The wheeled bag’s size is 52x9x9. The bag is made of 600 deniers coated PVC fabric. It also comes with 4 canopy weights to keep it grounded from wind or other weather. No tools are needed for setup.

Pros

  • Comes in 12 different colors
  • Comes in 3 different sizes
  • 3 different adjustable heights
  • UV protection
  • Waterproof
  • Fire resistant

Cons

  •  No sidewalls

 

3) Coleman Light and Fast Canopy

Functionality

This canopy can be set up in 3 minutes. It is a one-piece frame with telescoping poles for easy setup and compact storage. It is made in a pop-up design with crossed poles for extra durability. It can be locked into place with comfort grip technology and pinch-free pole extension.

Design and size

It comes in two color options either green and white or red and white. It has straight legs to make use of all the surface area. It comes in the standard 10X10 size and weighs roughly 34 pounds.

Materials and durability

It is 10 pounds lighter than similar Coleman canopies. This is a great option if you’ll be hiking and carrying the canopy for long periods. It has UV guard protection to block the sun rays.

Additional features

The canopy comes with a carrier bag on wheels for easy storage and use. It comes with stakes to help keep the canopy grounded.

Pros

  • UV sun protection
  • 2 color options
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No height options
  • Not waterproof

 

4) Coleman Instant Screenhouse

Functionality

This canopy can be set up in just a minute. If you’re specifically looking for sidewalls this is a great option as this canopy is made to keep bugs out.

Design and size

The canopy comes with sidewalls to keep out bugs but also to make sure the canopy stays well ventilated. There are two large doors to easily get in and out when the side walls are down. This is a 15X13 ft. canopy with 41.6 sq. ft. of shade and 7 ft. in height.

Materials and durability

The material is double as thick for durability through the different seasons and weather conditions. It’s also made to protect you from the sun and keep the shade under the canopy.

Additional features

The canopy comes with ground stakes and pre-attached guy lines to withstand wind. It comes with a carry bag for easy storing. It also comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Sun protection
  • Sidewalls
  • 1 year limited warranty

Cons

  • One size
  • One color

 

5) Bumblr 10ft Pop Up Canopy

Functionality

The roof of this canopy is designed with vents for cooling and airflow. It can comfortably shade 10 people under the canopy. The center height is 105 inches. It can be installed easily by two people.

Design and size

This canopy is a standard 10X10 ft size and has adjustable legs. It comes in the color black which will fight off dirt stains better than a lighter color.

Materials and durability

The material is of high quality with wear-resistant, anti-ultraviolet, and waterproof features. The frame is made of steel with plastic accessories for durability. The canopy cover is made of 300 denier Oxford fabric which is durable and tear-resistant. It’s PU coated to be waterproof and protect against the sun’s rays.

Additional features

After being disassembled, the tent is more compact than comparable canopies of the same size meaning it’s easier to store. The package includes 4 sandbags which should be filled and placed on the bottom of the mainframe during set up. It also includes 4 ropes and 4 tent piles. There is a 1 year and lifetime spare parts and parts supply warranty.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Wear-resistant
  • Anti-ultraviolet

Cons

  • Only comes in one color
  • No sidewalls

 

6) Core Instant Pop Up Canopy

Functionality

This is a pop-up canopy style for easy set up in just two minutes. It features large oversized pinch-free buttons for adjusting the frame. It has 3 different height positions.

Design and size

The canopy is a 10X10 ft. commercial size. There are 100sq ft. of shade under the tent. It has a straight leg design.

Materials and durability

The canopy cover is made of heavy-duty 150 denier polyester. It has 50+ UV protection and water blocking technology with fully sealed seams for weather protection so that it has water repellent capabilities. There are dual vents for additional circulation. The canopy cover meets CPAI-84 requirements which means it’s treated fire resistance. The frame is made of steel for durability.

Additional features

The package comes with a wheeled carry bag for compact storage. It also comes with ground stakes and tie-downs. There is also a 1-year limited warranty included.

Pros

  • UV protection
  • Water repellent
  • 3 height positions
  • Fire resistant

Cons

  •  No sidewalls

 

7) Best Choice Products Outdoor Lightweight Canopy

Functionality

This canopy comes in the commercial 10X10ft size and the height can be adjusted. The frame has a simple 3 step setup that only takes minutes. All you need to do is pop open the frame, add the cover on top, click the legs into place, and latch the fabric to the bottom of the canopy legs to hold it down. It can fold down just as fast as it folds up for easy setup and break down.

Design and size

This canopy comes in 8 colors and designs including camouflage. It is a very basic canopy but still includes the necessities.

Materials and durability

The steel frame is rust-resistant, powder-coated, and water-resistant for a longer lifespan and extra durability. The canopy cover is made of Oxford fabric that blocks 99% of UV rays. It also has a vent for airflow.

Additional features

It comes in a carrier bag for effortless transportation and storage. It also comes with ropes and stakes to keep the canopy sturdy on the ground.

Pros

  • 8 color options
  • UV protection

Cons

  • No sidewalls
  • Not waterproof
  • Not fire resistant

 

8) AmazonBasics Outdoor Pop Up Canopy

Functionality

This canopy has a pop-up feature allowing for easy setup. Each tube is crossed jointed for easy folding and extra protection. It’s easy to set up and take apart.

Design and size

The canopy comes in a 9X9ft size as well as an 8X8ft size. It comes in three colors: red, white, and blue. It has slant legs and three height adjustments and ergonomic push bottom for foot height adjustment.

Materials and durability

The canopy cover is made of CPAI-84 inflaming retarding 150 denier fabric material with a silver coating. It has PU coating underneath for UV protection. It also has taped stitching and heat-sealed seams for waterproof protection. The roof tubes include a plastic cover at each crossing joint for extra protection against the wind as well as to help for smooth folding when taking the canopy apart.

Additional features

This canopy comes with a carrier bag that matches the chosen color of the canopy. The bag comes with detachable wheels for easy transportation and storage. The canopy also comes with 4 guy-ropes and 8 pegs to attach the canopy to the ground.

Pros

  • 3 color options
  • 2 size options
  • UV protection
  • Waterproof protection

Cons

  • No sidewalls

 

9) Quick Set Shelter Tent Canopy

Functionality

This tent can be set up in 45 seconds. Once taken out of the package it is ready to pop open, there is no additional assembly required.

Design and size

The size of this canopy is 12X12ft which is a bit larger than the commercial size of 10X10ft. There is a 90” center height clearance and it can comfortably fit 6-8 people. It comes with a mesh screen that has two zipped doors to easily get in and out and keep bugs away. End to end, the length is 140”X140” and can easily fit a standard picnic table. The color is forest green.

Materials and durability

The material is nylon-mesh. The canopy is water-resistant with taped seams for extra support. The canopy is made of 210 deniers poly-oxford fabric with 600 deniers in the center section of the roof and 50+ UV guard protection. The poles are made of fiberglass for additional durability. There are also wind panels built into the roof to detour rain and water. It is also fire resistant.

Additional features

The package comes with 6 deluxe tent stakes, tie-down ropes, and a carry bag with shoulder straps for storage.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • UV protection
  • Fire-resistant
  • Sidewalls

Cons

  • Only one color option

 

10) ABCCANOPY Easy Setup Outdoor Canopy

Functionality

This canopy can be set up in only one minute by just one person. You can easily open and close it from the center without having the hassle of trying to lock and unlock each canopy leg slider thanks to its pop-up design.

Design and size

The canopy comes in 11 different colors for the roof of the canopy. It also comes in the standard 10X10 size or a smaller 8X8 size. The legs are slanted outward for an extra-wide surface area. The unique thing about this canopy is it has one sidewall. This protects you from the sun if you face it in the right direction. There is a pocket on the side panel for holding some of your stuff as well.

Materials and durability

It is fire resistant with a silver coating inside the canopy. It also blocks out 99% of the sun’s harmful rays. The canopy is 150 denier oxford fabric and water-resistant. The frame is powder-coated, rust-resistant, high-grade engineered steel and includes nylon plastic connection hardware.

Additional features

It comes with a carrier backpack on wheels with padded shoulder straps, a storage side pocket, and even a mesh drinking bottle holder. The canopy becomes compact once folded up. It also includes 8 stakes and 4 ropes for securing the canopy. There is also a 1-year limited warranty after-sale protection.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Fire resistant
  • UV protection
  • 1 sidewall
  • Many different colors

Cons

  • Only 1 sidewall, does not completely enclose

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