A 10' by 10' canopy with sidewalls pinned to its legs

It goes without saying that you don’t want a canopy that’s too small, but you also probably don’t want to invest in a canopy or tent that’s too big or too heavy. Finding the right canopy for your own needs – and keeping within your budget – doesn’t have to be tricky. It’s important to ask yourself these questions before and during the time you spend browsing various canopy types and models.

How Will The Canopy Be Used? Who Will Use It Most?

We’ll be honest: not all canopies are created equal. Different types and models meet different specifications in weight, durability, weather and water resistance, and stability. If you’re planning to use your canopy in your backyard or patio, and to keep it standing for long periods of time, you should invest in a heavier frame that will provide greater stability. On the other hand, if you plan to bring your canopy to different places (games, meetings, fairs, et cetera), it’s probably best that you select a canopy with a more portable, lightweight – such as aluminum – frame.

Canopy frames – the metal legs and overhead truss – are typically manufactured using steel, aluminum, or some mixture of the two; for example, a steel truss built atop aluminum legs. Some models features a special powder coating that helps the metal resist rust and other wear and tear. Prices vary, sometimes dramatically, so weigh portability vs. durability before buying.

Who Will Carry It? Who Will Set It Up?

Most canopy owners say that carrying convenience and portability are two of the most important factors when buying a canopy tent wit. If you’re uncomfortable carrying heavy weight or transporting the folded-down canopy from place to place, look for the most lightweight canopy possible. (By the way, the canopy in the picture above weighs 68 pounds total, including cover, sidewalls, and frame.)

One way to boost portability involves making sure your canopy comes with a roller bag or carrying case. This will help you avoid laborious carrying chores and also help you to keep the canopy’s several components together.

What Accessories Will I Need?

Canopies of all makes and models come with a variety of accessories, ranging from sidewalls that help provide additional shelter and privacy to weight bags that increase the canopy tent’s stability. Rain gutters that help channel water away from the tent’s roof and sides are also available. Other accessories include replacement parts, stake kits to help anchor the canopy to soft sod and ground, and extra or upgraded sidewalls.

Sidewalls make great accessories especially for small business owners who plan to use their canopy as display space for their products. Weight bags and stake kits are recommended for teams and groups that include children, to help keep the tent stabilized and secured in place despite a lot of “in and out” from beneath the canopy cover.

How Often Will I Use It?

CanopiesSimilar to the question of how the canopy will be used, the frequency of use should play another important role in your canopy-choice criteria. Canopy owners who anticipate constant or frequent use should consider investing in a canopy with heavier-weight materials: steel frames, thick-gauge canopy tarps, as well as stake kits and similar accessories. A carrying bag will also help to contain and protect the canopy frame and tarp from damage while in use and transport. The bags can also protect from dampness and dust while the canopy sits in storage.

Canopy owners who expect to use their canopy tents very often – setting it up at least twice a week – should also take care to consider buying canopy tent models that feature quick, easy deployment. This simple but welcome convenience can prevent a lot of frustration and boredom. Owners should also remember to wash and dry their canopy tents frequently, using directions and tips found both in the canopy tent’s instructions and guides found online.


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