Popup CanopiesCleaning and maintaining your instant or popup canopy is not difficult! When you practice regular and careful precautions, your canopy can last for years and years – certainly as long as you need it!

We’ve assembled the following tips to make sure you can keep your canopy cover and frame in top condition. Remember too that you should consult your particular canopy model’s owner’s manual for specific maintenance instructions.

Cleaning and Storing the Canopy

Most vinyl and polyester canopy covers will wash using only warm water and soap. Don’t use detergent, as this can abrade and otherwise damage the canopy cover material. Don’t use bleach, though a mild vinegar water solution may be okay.

Don’t remove the canopy cover from its frame before you clean it. Leaving the canopy stretched out and above ground makes it dry quicker and prevents the risk of tearing and fraying.

Make sure the canopy is completely dry before breaking the canopy down for storage. This will prevent mildew from forming and growing within the canopy cover’s folds and creases.

Over time, small leaks and tears across the canopy cover may become inevitable. But this doesn’t have to make the canopy unusable! Spray the leak or tear with a seam sealer, available at most hardware and sporting goods stores. Seal the hole or tear as soon as possible to keep it from spreading. Be sure to follow the sealer’s instructions exactly. If the leak or rend is too big, use a patch kit available from canopy retailers.

Follow the same instructions for your canopy sidewalls as you do for cleaning the canopy cover.

Cleaning and Maintaining the Canopy Frame

Popup CanopiesAs with the canopy, for safety and convenience only clean your canopy frame when it is set up and its legs and sides extended. Make sure the frame is completely dry before compacting it and storing it away.

Cleaning the canopy frame depends on what type of frame you have. Most frames are either aluminum or steel. Make sure the frame is rustproof before you wash it (consult the owner’s manual or warranty information.)

When setting up the canopy frame each time, take a screwdriver or wrench and tighten all screws and washers. This will help prevent the frame from wobbling but also make sure your canopy cover can stretch across it as tightly as possible.

Some canopy manufacturers recommend spraying the frame with a silicone spray to help protect the metal. Using it before and after use, especially in humid conditions, will help improve performance. Apply the spray before attaching the canopy cover.

Other helpful suggestions

Protect your canopy from windy conditions by investing in weightbags to help provide ballast. These bags can be filled with any number of ingredients but are actually lightweight themselves.

To replace a lost owner’s manual, check the manufacturer or retailer’s website. A pdf-format copy of the manual is often available.

Storage TentsIt’s no secret that spring and summer present several different kinds of challenges from the elements. Covering your property, livestock, or storage items with permanent shelters can cost you thousands of dollars. They can even add unsightly elements to your property’s landscape. Who wants to look at a drab aluminum shelter?

As a solution, investing in a storage tent presents a versatile alternative. Storage tents are also sometimes called portable shelters or portable carports, among other names. Just the same, they give you a variety of uses while remaining highly portable and easy to maintain.

Storage Tents Protect Your Vehicles Year-Round

When determining what size portable shelter to buy, consider how many vehicles you need to protect. Maybe you’re planning to use the storage tent as a portable carport. If so, plan on getting a tent that will protect the largest vehicle and then some. By over-estimating, you will leave room to freely move around the vehicle during maintenance, cleaning, and while performing other tasks.

You may want to store different vehicles at different times of the year: a boat or bikes in the wintertime, snow skiers in the warmer months. Portable shelters give you the convenience of different uses. They’re also easy to move around your property, for added versatility.

Store Livestock, Materials, Supplies

Besides vehicles, storage tents provide protection from the sun and rain for both livestock and building supplies and equipment. Placing a storage tent in your pasture or grazing land gives livestock a place to escape the sun and summer showers. For farmers, storage sheds and portable, “instant” shelters provide rainproof areas to store hay and crops.

Understanding Size and Construction Specifications

Storage TentsDifferent sized tents will afford different square footage of coverage. In fact, different kinds of frames will provide different amounts of coverage. It’s important, therefore, to approach each potential tent purchase separately and check the dimensions for each one.

Of course, knowing how much coverage you’ll need will help you make your final storage tent decision, but at the same time you should also plan for how space you have available. Consider too how much space you have available on your property to devote to covered storage.

Finally, most storage tents include tarps, or coverings, that feature some form of polyester construction. Many are treated for additional protection against the elements. Tent frames are typically either steel or aluminum. These too often receive additional protection from the elements.

Custom GraphicsPicture your company or team’s canopy. Does it seem plain, or does it feature graphics that boldly display your official logo? Is your canopy just a place to meet up and stand out of the sun, or is it a rallying point for your customers and teammates?

If you’re considering how to make your canopy or tent personal to your business or pastime, custom graphics provide a low-maintenance, affordable means to take your efforts into the public eye.

There’s a popular misconception that custom graphics are both expensive and time-consuming when applied to canopies and tents, and that such personalized work takes extensive planning and logistics. But that’s just not the case – far from it. More importantly, custom graphics give your business site or team area a clear, personalized identity and presence no matter what the setting.

Make Any Logo A Custom-Made Reality

Professional and specialized custom graphics printers can transfer the image of your company or team logo – or any other image you want to advertise – across the tops and sidewalls of your pop-up canopy, portable tent, or portable shelter, often at a fraction of the cost you’d normally expect for such a personalized creation.

In fact, many canopy and tent manufacturers offer custom graphics at their factory, meaning your canopy or tent arrives with your logo or graphics already emblazoned according to your specifications.

How Graphics Are Applied

In most cases, graphics are applied through a screen printing process that creates a durable, vividly-colored image that’s imbedded into the weave of the canopy top or sidewall material.

For orders involving very large dimensions (for example on monster canopies and large-scale peak tents), a process called digital dye sublimation is usually undertaken. This Space Age technology prints out a logo on what’s essentially a giant computer printer, creating a large-scale, extremely high definition graphic across the surface of the canopy material.

The Ordering Process

Custom GraphicsThe fastest (and most headache-free) way to order a canopy or tent with custom graphics is to let a canopy agent negotiate the deal for you. These trained, expert canopy and tent graphic specialists acts a go-between for you and the printing factory, making sure you get the best price and prompt delivery and that the factory has all the information they need.

Canopy agents will get you a quote containing the total custom graphics prize, then help you make sure your logo or other illustration arrives at the factory in the proper format (format types depend on what printing process is used; format are usually EPS Vector or Adobe Illustrator for screen printing or TIF for digital dye sublimation.)

The Printing Process and Cost

Generally speaking, depending on the size and resolution, custom graphic order cost anywhere from $400 to $2,000. In many cases, the custom-made canopy or tent can arrive within three weeks after the order is finalized.

Pop up canopyWhat’s a denier? (Does that mean the material is French?) What’s the advantage of aluminum over steel poles (or vice verse)? Why are some canopy legs slanted and some straight?

We know that choosing the right canopy for your business or function isn’t as easy as it looks, and that making the right choice can leave even the savviest consumer feeling a little overwhelmed. But don’t get discouraged! Read along below for some simple, straightforward explanations from our canopy experts.

Canopy Legs

Slant leg canopies feature legs that stick out at a slight angle away from the frame and towards the ground. Straight-leg canopies, as their name implies, simply stick straight into the ground.

Though slant-leg canopies are more affordable than straight-leg, they are less secure and offer less interior sheltered space: a ten-foot by ten-foot slant-leg canopy will offer only sixty four square feet of sheltered space, compared to 100 square feet provided by a straight leg canopy.

Aluminum and Steel Construction: Pros and Cons

Aluminum frames are less likely to rust, while of course steel frames offer stronger durability over time. Steel frames are less expensive, however, and are usually much lighter in weight than steel canopies.

Steel frames are ideal for canopies that will be used in the same location for long periods of time; canopy shoppers wishing for something highly portable should consider purchasing an aluminum frame.

Canopy Material and Construction

The denier of a canopy refers to the thickness of its material. The higher the number, the thicker the canopy. (The name, by the way, comes from an old French coin once used to measure the thickness of yarn.)

Most canopy covers are made from polyester, though some feature a vinyl sheath that improves durability and water-resistance. These vinyl canopy covers are more expensive, however.

Other Helpful Terms

You’ll likely come across these terms when shopping for your canopy:

Canopies

A canopy with sidewalls

Pop-up canopy – a canopy with a special accordion-like frame that deploys in minutes.

EZ-Up Tent – Like Coca-Cola or Band-Aids, “EZ-Up Tent” is a brand name that’s become synonymous with the product itself.

Sidewall Panels - Vinyl or polyester panels fastened to the frame poles; that act as “walls” to enclose the canopy interior.

Graphics – custom-screened illustrations, pictures or logos applied at the factory to the canopy cover.

Powder-coated finish – A special strengthening procedure that helps add weather resistance and all-around durability to the canopy frame.

Party TentsWhen you picture an outdoor event, you might automatically include a party tent in the scenery. And when you think about it, a good, stable tent makes any outdoor event seem a little more sophisticated and even more comfortable.

Buying the right sized and constructed party tent doesn’t have to become a source of frustration and disappointment. In fact, there’s only a few things to keep in mind before making your final purchase.

Different Tents for Different Events

There are four main kinds of party tents: pole tents, tension tents, frame tents, and pop-ups and instant canopies. Pole tents rely on support shafts around their perimeter and at their center, as well as support tie-downs that hold the frame to the ground and provide tension to the roof and walls. Perhaps the most famous kind of tent, they remain popular because of their wide range of sizes as well as their stability.

Tension tents are similar to pole tents but usually have higher peaks, earning them the nickname “peak tents.” Famed for their elegance, tension tents are ideal for wider areas where space for the long supporting lines can stretch out to their maximum tension.

Frame tents use a framework of tubes to support their canopies, removing the need for a center pole. But the frame on some models offers a complicated set up, meaning they take longer to erect. Frame tents typically run no wider than forty feet in width; nevertheless, the lack of a center pole makes them ideal for sheltered dining events.

Pop-ups and instant canopies (sometimes called EZ-Up tents, after a popular brand name) offer quick and sturdy setup, thanks to their accordion-style frames. Pop-up canopies work best for frequent tent users who don’t have great size demands but who appreciate the convenience of a shelter that deploys quickly and requires a minimum of maintenance.

Different Kinds of Canopy Material

Canopy Tent

A modern peak tent

The modern tent has come a long way from the traditional canvas tarp coverings of years past. Modern tents are made either from polyester or a vinyl-polyester combination, giving the material added flexibility while remaining water-resistant. Some canopy and tents tops are also fully waterproofed.

When shopping for a tent or canopy, look for the listed Denier, or thickness, of the canopy top material. The higher the Denier number, the thicker (but also heavier) the top.

Storage and Transportation

Many tents and especially pop up canopies can store inside a reusable box or carrying case, to make transporting them easier. Carrying cases are sometimes included in special package deals or kits that include the canopy, case, and other accessories.