If you’re spending a day outside, one of the best things you can bring along is a pop-up canopy. Canopies serve as a central base camp for your group, offer cool shade if it gets too hot and sunny, and can be the difference between getting soaked and staying warm and dry if the weather turns sour. Compared to tents or more rigid structures, pop-up canopies offer unparalleled versatility since they can be easily transported and offer plenty of space for multiple people and stuff.
Tips for Purchasing a Best Pop Up Canopy
When it comes to canopies, there are a ton of choices out there – and you want the best pop-up canopy for your adventure. We’ve looked through the pack to find the best pop-up canopies on the market to make the choice easy for you.
There are a few key factors to weigh when choosing the right pop-up canopy for you. The most important question to ask yourself is where you’re likely to use it the most. If you’re headed to the beach, look for a heavier canopy that can stand up to wind and offers sidewalls to protect from late afternoon sunlight. If you know you have a long walk to your destination and aren’t expecting heavy winds, you’ll be better off with a lighter canopy that offers a more slender frame. Other canopies offer additional features, like bug nets, LED lighting, or windows. These can be great for specific uses, like camping or formal events, but add to the cost and weight. Finally, consider ease of setup. A canopy may be packed with features, but if the design makes it hard to go from carrying case to relaxing in the shade in less 10 minutes you’re not likely to use it.
With those guidelines in mind, here are our picks for the ten best pop-up canopies.
Our Reviews: 10 Best Pop Up Canopy of 2018
1. E-Z UP SR9104BL Sierra II 10 by 10-Feet Canopy – Best for Tailgating
The E-Z Up Sierra II is one of the fastest canopies on this list to set up, thanks to the straightforward design that allows you to simply pull the legs apart and then push them up to raise the canopy. With two people, you can have it up in under a minute, and even solo it’s relatively easy to get the Sierra II setup. The quick turnaround makes it perfect for tailgating, since you’ll be able to put it up and take it down quickly if you’re running late for the start of the big game. Even better, the Sierra II features a vaulted canopy that allows for plenty of head space when standing up and readily ventilates smoke if you fire up the grill under the canopy’s shade. Just be aware that you’ll want to use tent weights or place cement blocks on the feet in windy weather – the Sierra II is also one of the lighter canopies available, and the extra high canopy can easily catch a gust.
2. Abccanopy Kingkong-series 10 X 10-feet Commercial Instant Canopy – Best for Stormy Weather
Abccanopy hit all the right notes with their Kingkong canopy. The defining feature is how sturdy this canopy is – unlike most pop-up canopies, the Kingkong will stand up to 20 mph winds thanks to its burly frame. The joints are reinforced with metal brackets, preventing the legs from buckling when hit with a gust and adding to the overall durability of the canopy. In addition, the canopy itself uses a waterproof fabric and attention was paid to sealing all the exposed seams so that it won’t leak even in the most drenching downpour. While it can’t be set up by one person alone, setup for the Kingkong is straightforward and fast for two people working together. You’ll want a second person to help carry it in any case, since all those protective features add a substantial amount of weight. Perhaps the best part of all is that the Kinkong comes in your choice of more than 18 vibrant colors!
3. Coleman Back Home Instant Screen House – Best for Hunting and Camping
If you’re looking for something more than just a canopy, the Back Home may be just the ticket for you. This pop-up canopy mimics the best features of an enclosed tent, but without the fuss of assembling poles and the cramped space that doesn’t allow you to stand up. The screen wraps all the way around the canopy, and can either be zipped in the front to keep bugs out, tied back to allow easy entrance like a gazebo, or removed entirely if you want to mimic a traditional pop-up canopy. The canopy itself is simple enough to set up that a single person can tackle it, although because of the added work of Velcroing the mesh screens onto the panels it does take a few minutes. The only people who might have a problem with the Back Home are pet owners – dogs and cats can easily put holes in the delicate mesh if they bite or scratch at bugs on the outside walls.
4. Eurmax 10’x10′ Ez Pop-up Canopy Tent – Best for Vendor Fairs
For vendors at outdoor shows, the Eurmax Ez Pop-up Canopy has everything you need. The carrying case is equipped with wheels, making it easy to transport the canopy from your car to your booth space. Unlike many pop-up canopies, this one comes standard with sturdy sidewalls that can be quickly attached with Velcro and then fastened to the frame so they don’t blow around. The front panel even has an integrated window and door, giving you additional options for guiding the flow of customers into your booth. And Eurmax stays one step ahead by providing covers for that window and door to help protect goods left inside your tent at overnight shows. In addition, this canopy will protect you and your wares from rain and wind since it features waterproof and seam-sealed fabric for the canopy and sidewalls and comes standard with a set of tent weights. For those who like to add a personal flair to their booth, this pop-up canopy also comes in a variety of attractive colors.
5. Quictent 10’ x 20’ Outdoor Gazebo Canopy Wedding Party Tent – Best for Outdoor Parties
Quictent’s Outdoor Gazebo strikes the perfect balance between formality and utility for upscale outdoor parties like a wedding reception. The canopy is twice the length of the standard 10’ x 10’ canopy, allowing it to house a long buffet or drinks table as well as tables for guests to sit at. That makes a big difference in rainy conditions, since putting two smaller canopies side-by-side inevitably leaves a gap where water drips in. In addition, the removable sidewalls feature stylish arched plastic windows that make this canopy look good even for the most upscale parties. The only downside to this tent is setup – unlike pop-up canopies that utilize sliding legs, the Outdoor Gazebo uses numerous steel tubes that have to be assembled and disassembled and requires multiple people with a knack for patience. That said, this canopy stands out among others using this framing mechanism because it uses wide-diameter, rust-resistant tubes that are significantly more durable and less likely to bend than the narrow poles used by competitors.
6. Abba Patio Portable Outdoor Canopy Garden Gazebo 13’ x 11.5’ – Best for Long-term Shelter
Abba Patio designed this canopy to be portable, but it really shines as a fixed-placement shelter such as to cover a boat or car. The feet are designed so that they can be bolted in place to wood or concrete, and once that’s done the canopy can withstand gusty days without issue. Unfortunately, the canopy itself isn’t made from waterproof fabric, but that oversight on Abba Patio’s part can easily be fixed by applying an after-market waterproofing spray. In the winter, simply throw a tarp over the canvas to protect it from the elements or quickly remove it using the easy-to-use bungee system that holds it to the frame. Perhaps the best feature of this canopy as a permanent shelter is that, unlike many pop-up canopies, it is pretty to look at. The canopy is made from polyester, but imitates the look and feel of canvas to give the shelter a homey feel.
7. Ohuhu Pop-up Canopy Instant Shelter – Best for Sporting Events
Ohuhu’s Instant Shelter does many things right and is one of the best all-around canopies on this list for those looking for portability and ease of use. First, the frame is lightweight and comes with a wheeled carrying case, making it easy to truck this canopy long distances from your car to the far side of a soccer field. Once there, the canopy can easily be setup by one person in just minutes. Perhaps the best feature on this canopy is the highly adjustable legs, which allow you to lock them in at three different heights. That means that you can angle the canopy to protect from sun, wind, or rain at your back while still enjoying unobstructed views of the game in front of you. Angling the canopy like this can also help to prevent it from flying away in high wind conditions, since like many lightweight canopies the Instant Shelter is prone to catching gusts.
8. CORE 10′ x 10′ Instant Shelter Pop-Up Canopy Tent – Best for Hot and Sunny Days
What sets the CORE Instant Shelter apart from the competition are the two integrated ventilation panels built into the canopy. On especially hot days, most pop-up canopies will not only provide shade, but also trap heat. CORE’s canopy solves that problem by giving that heat an easy escape route, keeping you cooler. This tent also uses a stretched canopy design, connecting the canopy to the bottom of the legs. The advantage of that is added wind protection, since this design keeps the canopy taut and prevents it from billowing with even moderate breezes. The downside is that this design can make setup slightly more difficult, since there’s less room for error when extending the legs. However, with two people this canopy still takes less than 10 minutes to set up. Add in a wheeled roller bag to get this canopy onto the beach, and this canopy is a solid option for hot days that call for extra ventilation.
9. Leader Accessories 10’x10′ Instant Canopy Pop Up Canopy – Best for Windy Days
If the forecast is calling for wind, this canopy will hold strong where most others would fly away. The frame is constructed of extra thick steel and the canopy is made from thick, burly fabric. That heavy-duty construction adds weight, but it also makes the canopy much more stable in high winds and more durable overall. In addition, four tie-in points are stitched into the canopy and the tent comes with cord and stakes. This enables you to tie down the canopy, stretching it taut and keeping it from moving in even severe gusts. Finally, the canopy has an air vent near its apex, which allows wind to circulate through the canopy rather than catch it and blow the tent over. Of course, setting up the tent in windy conditions can be difficult and time-consuming, so you’ll want to be prepared with at least two people and plenty of patience for this canopy. Added bonuses to this canopy are that it comes in five different colors and sidewalls (which utilize an extremely sturdy fastening system) can easily be added after-market.
10. AmazonBasics Pop-up Canopy Tent 10’ x 10’ – Best for Everyday Use
If you’re looking for one canopy that does a little bit of everything and is light and easy enough for one person to set up, AmazonBasics canopy may be just what you need. This canopy is stripped of many of the features seen on other canopies on this list – there are no sidewalls, no vents, the frame is relatively thin and light, and it only raises to a single height. But, it’s also one of the lightest and cheapest canopies we’ve reviewed and it comes in a wheeled carrying case. All of this makes it easy to take it nearly anywhere you want it to go, without the need to worry about damage. The design is simple enough to enable a single person to take this canopy from carrying case to upright in minutes. For especially windy days, the canopy’s design allows for the included stakes to be pushed through the feet. Unfortunately, there is no Velcro on the canopy to allow for sidewalls to be added – but for those looking for a simple design with a lightning-fast setup, sidewalls would only complicate the canopy.
There are a seemingly infinite number of pop-up canopies available, but these 10 strike the perfect balance between ease-of-setup, durability, and functionality. Whether you’re headed out on a sunny, calm day and just need some shade, trying to stay dry in a downpour or keep the tent from blowing away in high winds, or just need a central location for your outdoor gathering, these canopies will get the job done. Get outside with a pop-up canopy and start enjoying your adventure without worrying about whatever the weather might throw at you!