When you’re shopping for the best pop up canopies, there are so many different options to consider. This buyer’s guide is designed to make your decision much easier. I’ve included all the information you need to know to choose a canopy that will meet your needs, whether you’re planning a long camping trip, or you need a shelter that’s easy to use for a day at the beach. I’ve also tested out several of the most popular canopies on the market, narrowing it down to the top seven models.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each model, their rating, and best features.
Pop Up Canopies Comparison Chart
This large canopy offers 10×10 feet of coverage, with straight legs that provide true one hundred square feet of shade and shelter. The manufacturer claims the size of the tent can easily shelter up to fifteen people. Users can choose from three height settings ranging from sixty-nine inches to seventy-nine-inches. When the canopy is collapsed, it will sit much shorter than competing models, which makes it easier to transport and haul. Setting up the canopy is also a cinch and involves only three steps, no tools required. The material of the canopy provides protection from harmful UV rays and is waterproof and windproof. The canopy is made out of polyester and has a PU lining.
- Provides UV protection
- Three height options
- Large coverage
- 1-year warranty
- Stakes are flimsy
This canopy comes with everything you need to haul and secure it, even in high wind conditions, including four heavy-duty bags, four stakes. It also comes with a wheeled carry bag, complete with leather straps, for easy storage and transport. The canopy is covered by a one year lifetime warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Built tough, this model is perfect for camping trips, days at the beach or park, or any other type of outing.
Eurmax Pop Up Canopy Tent
This 10×10 canopy features three position heights to choose from including 10-feet, 10.5-feet, and 11-feet. The canopy is supported by a commercial grade frame and a durable full truss structure. The finish of the frame has been powder coated for improved durability and protection against rust and corrosion. The frame is equipped with a thumb lock system that’s easy to set and release. The canopy is easy to set up and collapse following a few simple steps. The canopy is made out of fire retardant 500 denier polyester, with a PU coating that’s designed to block out 99% of harmful UV rays. The seams and stitching are sealed to prevent water from penetrating the material, offering a superior level of waterproofing.
- Provides 99% UV protection
- PU coating for superior waterproof protection
- Easy to set up
- Three height options
- Does not include stakes
This pop up canopy features three height options, a canopy that’s made out of heavy-duty polyester, complete with a PU coating for added waterproof protection, and sealed seams and stitching. This set doesn’t come with stakes, but it does include four weighted bags that can keep the canopy sturdy and secure in high wind conditions. You’ll also find a D-ring in each corner of the tent, which you can use to run rope through to stake the canopy to the ground. However, you’ll need to purchase the stakes separately. This model offers maximum coverage and protection, is covered by a one-year limited warranty and features the type of durable design that will ensure this canopy lasts season after season.
MASTERCANOPY Pop Up Instant Canopy
This 10×10 canopy is made out of polyester with a PU coating for added protection. The canopy is 100% water-resistant and offers 50+ UV protection. This set comes with one side wall, which can provide additional protection in high wind conditions and heavy downpours. On the top of the canopy, there’s a vent hole that’s designed to promote proper air circulation, which makes the canopy a great choice if you’re looking for a shelter you can use on your next camping trip to cover your cooking station. The wall is also detachable, so you can remove it on sunny days. The canopy’s frame is made out of sturdy stainless steel, complete with strong truss bars and solid feet. The frame has a powder coated finish that will protect it from rust and corrosion.
- Collapses into a small package
- Detachable wall
- Provides UV protection
- Vent promotes improved air circulation
- PU coating for added protection
- Water can come in through the top vent hole in heavy downpours
If you’re looking for a model that offers a higher level of protection against wind and rainy conditions, then this model with its detachable wall and 100% waterproof canopy is a great choice. The manufacturer did an excellent job of designing a tent that has all of the bases covered. The canopy itself is very easy to set up and collapse, and features the type of compact design that many campers are looking for.
GDY Outdoor Pop Up Canopy
This heavy-duty canopy comes equipped with four removable walls, offering the ultimate protection against rain, UV rays, and wind. The canopy also offers three adjustable height settings and features a straight leg design that ensures stability. The 10×10 canopy offers one hundred square feet of coverage and can shelter up to ten people. The canopy itself is water-resistant and made out of 420 D oxford fabric, complete with a silver-coated liner that’s designed to block out 99% of UV rays. The canopy’s frame is made out of steel, with adjustable legs for increased security and stability.
- Four covered walls
- Provides 99% protection from harmful UV rays
- Canopy 420 D oxford fabric
- Height adjustable
- Frame is not powder coated
- Does not come with weighted bags or stakes
This tent is top of the line, however, the one thing it does lack is a powder coated frame, which is a must if you plan on using your canopy during the rainy season. Aside from the lack of powder coating, the tent also doesn’t come with stakes or weighted bags, so these will need to be purchased separately. In terms of quality, the canopy definitely scored high and provides the type of full coverage that’s essential for campers who brave the tough weather conditions in the fall and winter months.
EAGLE PEAK Pop Up Canopy
The canopy provides 10×10 feet of coverage and comes equipped with peak center push technology that’s designed to make setting up and breaking down this canopy a cinch. With this feature, you can easily collapse and open the canopy from the center, without having to unlock or lock the leg sliders. The vented top of the canopy provides excellent airflow so you can stay cool, even in intense heat. The steel legs are telescoping and can be placed in three positions. The straight leg design improves the canopy’s stability and also offers maximum coverage. The canopy comes equipped with a couple of grommets on each side edge, which are designed to prevent water from pooling at the top and promotes efficient water drainage. The canopy is made out of 150-denier oxford fabric that’s water-resistant and provides protection against UV rays.
- Easy to set up
- Telescoping legs
- Vented top
- Provides UV protection
- Struggles in high wind conditions
Easy to set up and tear down, you can have this canopy packed and ready or set up at your camping site in under two minutes.
This model is highly portable and perfect for your next camping adventure. It comes with a four-wheeled storage bag that’s compact and designed to fit into most trunks. Additionally, canopy is covered by a one-year limited manufacturer warranty.
ARROWHEAD OUTDOOR Pop-Up Canopy
This larger than average pop up canopy offers 13×13 feet of coverage with an easy one person setup, thanks to the central locking mechanism that allows you to quickly and easily put up or tear down this canopy in one to two minutes. The frame of the canopy is made out of heavy-duty steel tubing and features a hammer tone finish. This set also comes with wires and stakes for extra stability in windy conditions. The canopy is height adjustable, with an easy push button design that allows you to lower or raise the canopy instantly. The canopy is made out of 150 denier polyester and oxford fabric and is fire and water-resistant. The canopy will also protect against UV rays.
- Larger than average coverage
- Frame is made out of steel tubing
- Fire and water-resistant
- Easy to set up and tear down
- Frame is not powder coated
- Only two color options
This massive canopy comes loaded with some great features and offers the type of easy set up and tear down that all campers are looking for. The large canopy does an excellent job of protecting you from the elements including bright sunlight, rain, and high wind conditions. It’s also highly portable, easy to collapse, and comes with some great extras that will ensure the canopy remains securely in place through heavy downpours, wind, and more.
Aoxun Pop-Up Canopy
This model is pretty basic in design and doesn’t come with much in terms of extra features.
However, this low-priced pop up canopy is perfect for camping, outdoor events, or home use. The frame is made out of stainless steel, with a powder coated finish that makes it resistant to rust, corrosion, scratching, and chipping. The canopy measures in at 10×10 feet and features three height options to choose from. The canopy is also very easy to set up, requiring just one person to get the job done.
- Canopy is flame resistant
- Easy to set up
- Powder coated frame
- Three height options
- Not recommended for high wind conditions
- Does not come with stakes or weighted bags
This model doesn’t come with any stakes or weighted bags, and features a somewhat flimsy design that can make it a poor choice for use in high wind conditions. However, the tent is very easy to set up and can provide mild to moderate protection from wind and rain. If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a canopy that won’t break the bank, then this canopy by Aoxun is a great choice.
Pop Up Canopies Buyer’s Guide
A pop up canopy is a type of temporary structure that can be used for a wide range of events. They’re commonly used for camping and can provide protection from the elements when you need it the most. These structures are usually five feet by five feet or ten feet by ten feet in size. You’ll find bigger and smaller models available, but these two are the most popular options. These canopies are designed to be easy to open and collapse, with a light, compact design that also makes them highly portable.
A pop up canopy is a more user-friendly canopy and one that will come in handy for a variety of outdoor activities, including camping, RVing, trips to the park and beach, or even much-needed protection from the sun when you’re hanging out in your own backyard. These canopies are so convenient and easy to use because of their accordion-style frames that are designed to expand and collapse easily just with a little pushing and pulling. If you’re looking for a durable model that’s simple to use, then read on to learn more about the different features available and how to choose a model that’s tough enough to survive a camping trip in the backcountry.
Types of Pop Up Canopies
There are a couple of different options you can choose from in terms of durability and style: light and heavy canopies.
Light canopies are designed to be set up for a matter of hours or days. This type is used as a shelter that can provide a moderate amount of protection from the elements. They’re not as sturdy as a heavy canopy, but they’re also very light and easier to haul and transport. They also often come with carry bags, so they can fold down into a small package that allows you to toss them in a trunk. They can also be assembled in a matter of minutes by just one or two people.
They’re not as durable as their heavier counterparts but they are extremely light to carry and easy to transport.
Heavy canopies are more difficult to pack and assemble and weigh significantly more than light canopies. But they also offer a higher level of durability and are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions for a longer period of time. This type of canopy is very popular with campers, hikers, and outdoorsy people in general. Because of their durability, they’re usually considerably more expensive than light canopies.
Set Up and Break Down
Most people prefer this type of canopy because it only takes one or two people to take it down or set it up. However, keep in mind, no two models are alike, in terms of construction, but all models that are labeled “pop up” are designed with ease of use in mind. If you come across a model that requires several steps in order to set it up or break it down, then it’s not a true pop up canopy. Before you decide to purchase a new canopy, always check out the set up and break down process to make sure you’ll be purchasing a model that’s easy to use.
There are many sizes and styles of canopies to choose from, which can make finding the perfect size even more of a challenge. If you’re not sure what size canopy you need, first consider what you plan to use the shelter for. If you need a canopy for camping use, how many people are in your party? Will you need the shelter to protect from rain, sun, or both? Will the canopy be used to cover your gear, food, or cooking area? The amount of coverage you need depends on what your plans are.
You can calculate a rough estimate of how much space you need by allowing for ten square feet per person if you’re camping with a large party.
Of course, a bigger canopy will be heavier and longer. Pay close attention to each model’s dimensions to make sure a larger model will still fit in your car or truck when collapsed.
Tents and canopies have a similar set up and they’re both made out of a variety of materials. For canopies, you’ll find that there are a couple of main options for the leg position, frames, and tops. Knowing more about each style option can help you determine which set up will work the best for you and your camping and shelter needs. Durability is often a main priority and it’s often directly linked to the type of material the canopy is made out of. Most frames are made out of aluminum or steel. Steel is much sturdier, but it’s also heavier and not quite as portable as aluminum. Aluminum frames are significantly lighter than frames that are made out of steel, but they’re also more likely to bend.
When you’re dealing with corrosion, aluminum forms aluminum oxide, a type of hard substance that’s designed to prevent further corrosion. Steel will rust, however, many canopies that are made with a steel frame will have a treatment applied that helps to protect against oxidation.
Are you looking for a shelter that can provide protection when it becomes too sunny or when it drizzles? Are you looking for a pop up that can protect you and your camping buddies in strong gusts or torrential rains? This can make a huge difference in terms of what type of canopy you buy. Canopies that have side walls will provide more substantial shelter, however, if you live in a warmer climate, this type of canopy may be overkill.
For the canopy itself, there are a couple types of materials to choose from: vinyl and polyester. Polyester is the most common type of material used and it’s not as expensive as vinyl. Both types of materials are water-resistant, but vinyl will offer better weather resistance and UV protection. Vinyl canopies are also much easier to clean and offer better weather resistance and UV protection. Many canopies that are made out of vinyl are also flame-resistant, however, they’re significantly more expensive than models that are equipped with canopies that are made out of polyester.
Denier is another thing to consider when you’re shopping around for a canopy that can meet your needs, one that’s durable and able to handle plenty of heavy-duty use. Denier is a measurement of how thick the canopy’s material is. However, you can’t assume that a higher denier equals superior strength if you’re comparing two different types of materials. Each type of material has its own weight to strength ratio.
A pop up canopy will come with eight straight or slanted legs. While this may seem like just a matter of aesthetics, the shape of the legs is actually a major structural component. Legs that are slanted aren’t as stable as straight legs. Models with slanted legs also tend to take up too much space and provide less coverage. A canopy that measures in at ten feet by ten feet will typically only offer around sixty-four square feet of shade, while a model of the same size that’s equipped with a straight leg design can provide up to one hundred square feet of shade. The tradeoff here will be cost. Canopies that have straight legs are more expensive.
Wind can be a big problem for any type of canopy, but it tends to be a bigger problem with pop up canopies. There are a few different types of anchoring that will work. Using stakes is the most common solution. Like with a tent, the stakes are used to anchor the canopy to the ground. Anchors are a lot like stakes, with the biggest difference being that you twist anchors into the ground, which can provide better holding power than stakes. The last option is weighted bags, which use added weight to stabilize the canopy.
Just like any type of fabric for clothing and tents, it’s possible to maintain waterproofness on a pop up canopy. Many canopies are coated with a durable water repellent finish, also referred to as a DWR. However, just like with other types of waterproof materials, the DWR coating on a canopy can wear off over time. If you notice that the water is no longer beading on the surface of the canopy, then a new DWR coating must be applied.
To properly reapply the coating to the canopy, first wash the material. Make sure you avoid using a top loading washing machine for this task, since it can damage the canopy. Instead, use a front loading machine. Spray on coatings are fast and easy to use. All you have to do is set up the canopy and spray the chemicals over the surface, evenly.
Canopy DWR coatings can usually remain intact for two to three years and should be reapplied once you notice a dip in the canopy’s waterproof performance.
Some canopies that are advertised as waterproof do not have sealed seams, which consists of seams that have waterproof tape. If you end up with a model that doesn’t have sealed seams you can always do it yourself.
Fortunately, most top of the line canopies have seams that are sealed during production. Models that have sealed seams offer a significantly higher level of waterproofness compared to canopies that don’t.
Pop up canopies will vary in price, depending on their size, the materials used for the frame and canopy, the leg design, and by brand. You’ll find canopies going for an average of $69 to $275. If you’re looking for a model you can use season after season, then it’s definitely worth it to pay more and invest in a model that’s versatile and durable.
How to Secure a Pop Up Canopy
Whether you plan on using your canopy at the beach or in a wooded area, it’s important to ensure a secure, sturdy solution. These canopies are usually made out of lightweight materials. While this can provide hassle-free portability and mobility, it also makes it easier for your canopy to fly off on a windy day. Secure your canopy regardless of where you place it.
Securing your canopy begins with proper assembly. Most models will usually come fully assembled, so you can set one up in fifteen minutes or less.
Be sure to double check a few important aspects during assembly. Attach the fabric cover to the frame using Velcro or the included fasteners for each leg, ensuring they’re adjusted to the same height. Lock the joints in place. If done correctly, you should hear a click.
You can use stakes or anchors, but I recommend using canopy weights, since they’re the easiest solution if you want to secure your canopy in a hurry. Since many canopies can be assembled on any type of surface including gravel, grass, dirt, and rocky terrain, using weights will add security and stability wherever you need shade the most.
Anchors or Stakes
Many models will come with anchors included. These can help to temporarily stabilize your structure, but they don’t permanently anchor a canopy for an extended amount of time.
If you want to secure your canopy with anchors, consider ground materials. Obviously, if you’re camping out in the winter and the ground is pretty frozen, you won’t be able to use anchors or stakes. If the ground is soft enough, assemble the canopy and install it over a flat surface, with some added space that’s free of obstacles such as large rocks or shrubs. Before you move from one stake or anchor to the next, make sure you fully insert and secure each one. You can use a mallet to diverge the anchors fully into the ground. If they’re not placed deep enough they can easily slip out.
Planning for the Weather
- Weatherproofing your pop up tent can significantly reduce the impact natural elements will have on your canopy over time.
- When you’re dealing with intense heat, consider adding roll up or detachable walls to your canopy. This will allow you to roll them up or remove them to allow more air inside, once the weather cools down.
- Rain is usually the biggest problem when you’re camping. Make sure the canopy you purchase is waterproof, since waterproof fabric can prevent water from seeping in and soaking all of your gear and/or food.
- A heavy-duty frame or a frame that’s well-secured can ensure your canopy will not blow over in high wind conditions.
- Never leave a canopy partially erect. If you’re suddenly hit with high winds, the canopy will be blown away. Instead, break it down completely.
A canopy should be cleaned after each use. Once you’ve broken down your canopy, flatten the cover and get rid of excess water from rain or shake off any dirt. Cleaning it each time you use it will help to lengthen the canopy’s lifespan.
Once you get home, if your canopy is wet, then you’ll need to spread it out and allow it to dry thoroughly before storing it. If you store it wet, mold and mildew will become a problem.
If you notice small tears in the canopy, fix it as soon as possible to prevent it from getting bigger. The bigger the tear gets, the more likely you’ll need to replace the entire canopy. You can use liquid vinyl to fix a small rip.
Never use steel wool or stiff bristle brushes to clean the canopy since this can damage the waterproof coating. Instead, use soft cleaning tools, sponges, and microfiber cleaning cloths.
At the beginning of the camping season, set your canopy up in your yard and closely inspect it for tears, mildew, mold, rust, and any problems with the legs. Test out it’s sturdiness and wet the canopy down to see if the water still beads up on the surface. This will allow you to determine whether or not your canopy is still up for some roughing it in the backcountry and whether any repairs are needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pop Up Canopies Waterproof?
Some models of canopies are advertised as waterproof, but they may not come equipped with sealed seams, which can significantly reduce their ability to prevent water from penetrating the canopy. However, the canopy material may be waterproof. If you’re looking for a model that offers the highest level of waterproofing, then find a model that has both a canopy made out of waterproof materials and fully sealed seams.
How Do You Make Canvas Water Resistant?
One of the easiest ways to waterproof a canopy that’s made out of canvas is to seal the seams with waterproof tape and use a DWR waterproof coating. You can easily find both types of products at a camping supply store or online.
How Do I Clean My EZ UP Canopy?
To clean the canopy, you can use a mild soap and warm water. Some types of frames may benefit from the use of silicone spray, especially if you’re planning on camping out in damp conditions. You can wipe off any excess silicone residue before you place the canopy back on.
How Do You Remove Algae from a Canopy?
To get rid of algae you can mix six parts water with one-part hydrogen peroxide, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Next, you’ll spray the canopy down with the solution, allowing it to sit for half an hour. Next, you’ll spray off the canopy with a hose to wash away the grime.
Can You Wash a Canopy?
To maintain your canopy, washing it at least once a season is recommended. Dish soap works well to remove any heavy deposits. However, you should avoid using bleach, since this can cause discoloration and can ruin any type of waterproof coating.
How Much Weight Do You Need to Hold Down a 10×10 Canopy?
Most pros recommend a minimum weight of forty pounds on each corner for this size canopy. For a canopy that’s 10×20, you’ll want to use at least eighty pounds. This can also depend on the severity of wind conditions. Before you head out for a camping trip, check the forecast and read your canopy user’s manual. Manufacturers will often supply a list of weight recommendations that you can follow in the event of windy conditions.
The best pop up canopies are designed to easily withstand the elements, whether you’re dealing with high winds, intense heat, or a heavy downpour. Even if you normally camp out during the summer months, and your part of the country rarely experiences rain during this time of year, it’s always good to be prepared. Make sure the canopy is equipped with material that’s waterproof and designed to handle light to heavy rainfall. The right type of canopy will not only be waterproof, it will feature a sturdy frame, and can offer the level of protection you need based on how many people are in your camping party, and where you normally camp. If you’re an avid camper, then purchasing a canopy will be an important investment since you’ll find yourself relying on your new canopy for protection from sun, rain, wind, and more. This buyer’s guide and my product recommendations are designed to point you in the right direction, to ensure you purchase a model that will meet your needs when you’re camping in the backcountry, at the beach, or spending a day at the park with the family.