3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Popup Canopy Tent

Whether you need shade or shelter, a good canopy tent can be one of the most helpful items you use in the outdoors

Man hanging on a popup canopy
A good canopy should be easy to set up and strong enough to withstand harsh weather.ABCCanopy

If you’ve ever been to an outdoor event or function and needed some shade and couldn’t find any, you understand how valuable a good canopy tent can be. They are easy to put up, take down, and transport, and can be a handy companion for any number of outdoor activities. But choosing one isn’t that simple. There are a lot of choices out there from many different manufacturers. When shopping for a popup canopy tent, consider three important factors—size, how you plan to use the tent, and how sturdy your popup tent needs to be.

Size

ABCCANOPY Pop up Canopy Tent
This simple 10x10 popup canopy tent comes with a wheeled carry bag.ABCCANOPY

Most canopy tents are 10x10 feet square and at least six feet high. But they also come in smaller and larger sizes. If tall people are using your canopy tent, make sure you get one that has enough headroom, and nobody has to stoop down to get in or bang their head when entering. Canopy tents with a cathedral ceiling or telescoping legs for height adjustments solve this problem. That said, if you are taking your canopy tent for shade at an event like a child’s soccer game, consider how many people might be joining you underneath because you might need one with a larger footprint. It’s always better to have too much room than not enough. Note, however, that the bigger a tent is, the heavier it is to carry and the harder it is to handle.

Usage

Commercial Instant Canopies with 4 Removable Zipper End Side Walls and Roller Bag
This 10x10 popup canopy tent has four zippered walls for completely enclosing the interior.Eurmax

How you plan to use your canopy tent will also make a difference in your selection. If you are using it to host a reception, you might want one that looks fancy and is attractive for such an occasion. If there’s a possibility of bad weather, you might want a tent that has zip-on/zip-off walls to keep rain from blowing in and soaking everything underneath. If you’ll be using it for tailgating, you might not care if it’s a little heavy and hard to handle. But if you’ll be carrying it several hundred yards on occasion, a lightweight canopy tent with a wheeled storage bag will be handier for you. Canopy tents that come with weights to hold down the corners can be handier than driving stakes, but they are also heavier to carry.

Sturdiness

Straight Leg Pop Up Canopy Tent with Roller Bag
This large 10x20 popup canopy tent has a heavy-duty steel frame to hold up in the roughest weather.kdgarden

If you’ll be using your canopy tent infrequently and only for shade at an occasional sports event, you probably don’t even need to consider how sturdy a tent is when making a selection. The fact is, sturdiness comes from better materials, and better materials usually result in a heavier tent. But if you’ll be using your tent a lot, sometimes in bad, windy weather, you’ll be better off buying a sturdy tent that will hold up to such conditions. Look for a canopy tent with a heavy-duty steel frame, weights for the legs and stakes for staking it down, also. If you’ll be out in such conditions, you’ll likely also be coping with rain. So along with sturdiness, look for a tent that has sealed seams that are treated with waterproofing material so there’s no leaking.

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