When the weather warms up everyone’s attention shifts to the great outdoors. Barbeques, camping, craft, art and music festivals and weddings, weddings, weddings. Popup canopies are a great way to keep everyone from getting baked by the sun or drenched by pesky summer showers and in this review guide we’ll be looking at the 7 best popup canopies on the market today.
Best Popup Canopy (Our Top Picks)
1. Crown Shades 10×10 Outdoor Pop up Folding Canopy
The Crown Shades 10×10 canopy is a sturdy, attractive piece of outdoor kit that combines versatility with strength and all around good looks. This is one of the easiest popup canopies to assemble and is going to stay where you put it in all but the most challenging weather. The steel frame is well engineered to provide stability and the water repellent 150D canopy material is lightweight but keeps the rain and sun at bay while also providing UPF 50+ protection from the sun. A full grown adult will likely be able to set the Crown Shades 10×10 up in a couple of minutes thanks in part to the central hub unfolding mechanism.
Set up a bunch of these around the lawn and rest easy knowing your wedding guests will have a safe, enjoyable afternoon or pop it up over a table at the beach to give the kids a refuge from the blazing sun. Set up instructions are easy to understand and on most calm days dad should be able to handle it on his own. One of the notable advantages of the Crown Shades 10×10 is the inclusion of the company’s innovative carrying case which really makes transporting this pop up shelter to and from the car a snap. Some easy up canopy cases require you to carry them around but the Crown has a sturdy, reinforced handle and durable, easy-gliding wheels that won’t shrink from uneven terrain.
Durable yet lightweight material
100 square feet of coverage
1 or 2 person setup
- BrandCrown Shades
- ModelOutdoor Folding Canopy
- Weight34.9 pounds
Fully adjustable height
Robust tie downs
One year warranty against defects
Be sure to close those leg locks tightly
2. Eurmax New Basic 10×10 Ez Pop Up Canopy
The Eurmax New Basic 10×10 EZ Popup Canopy is a hybrid outdoor shelter solution that can be used as a straight up sun block for your bbq guests or as a bonafide 4 to 6 person family tent should you choose to install the enclosure walls. As such it provides wide ranging versatility and will serve you well for both business and personal applications. The steel frame boasts full truss structural support that provides a reassuring rigidity when the wind starts to blow. That frame is also specially treated to be rust resistant and the canopy material itself is robust 420D poly with both 99% UV protection and CPAI fire retardant certification. And if the wind happens to be blowing from a particular direction you have the option of installing one or two of the walls while keeping the rest of the enclosure open to nature.
While you’re more likely to see these at a trade fair then in the campground the fact that you could very easily adapt it to play the role of a camping canopy only serves to highlight its versatility. The fact is there are some who will prefer it over more traditional tents because of the incredible headroom and the fact that they can remove walls to craft a specific type of experience and/or to maintain privacy in a crowded campground without having to retreat entirely indoors. The bottom line however is that, whether you need coverage for your guests, need to protect your artwork from sun and/or rain or want to provide kids a dependable shelter for a sleepover in the yard the Eurmax New Basic instant popup canopy will answer the call with authority.
100 square feet of coverage from sun and rain
Hammertone powder coat finish resists corrosion
Large durable wheels for easy transport
- ModelNew Basic EZ
- Weight56 pounds
Sturdy full truss construction
Comes with roller bag
Maybe the best pop up canopy for art fairs and craft shows
Heavy enough that you may need help porting it about
3. Clam Corporation 9879 Quick-Set Escape Shelter (Pop Up Canopy)
The Clam Corporation 9879 Quick Set is a robust 140 x 140 inches mid-point to mid-point which would lead one to naturally think that it contains some 15% more floor space than a standard 10×10 canopy. Any enthusiasm in that area however must be tempered by the fact that the 9879 has a hexagonal shape which allows for “only” 94 square feet, which is nothing to sneeze at. In spite of that however it has the distinct advantage of not needing any assembly which means that one adult can typically set it up in about a minute. Due to its unconventional looks this isn’t the best canopy for weddings or trade fairs but it will find plenty of recreational applications at the campground, the state park, the national park or the beach. The 210D fabric is light enough not to undermine the one-man setup ethos and yet robust enough to withstand pretty stiff breezes. While the 600D center roof area will fend off moderate rain.
The 9879 will fit half a dozen adults without much trouble as long as they’re well behaved. If you wanted you could fit a decent sized table inside which means it’s great for those after sunset campground card games. The 9879 portable canopy features durable, reinforced center hubs while the 11mm fiberglass poles facilitate setup and dismantling. The net result is a roof with substantial structural integrity which, while not built to withstand a Nor’easter, are nonetheless tougher than your average easy up canopy. If the rain does decide to pay a visit the built in roof flaps redirect it over the wind and weather panels and everybody’s happy. Lastly the 90 inch center height is a joy to behold for any 6 footer who usually spends all his time crouching and slouching even in the best popup canopy.
Extra wide floor plan
Reliable heavy duty zippers
Oversized carrying bag included
- BrandClam Corporation
- Model9879 Quick Set
- Weight34 pounds
Fast, easy setup
All seams are fully waterproofed
Lighter than some other walled canopies
Not the most attractive item on our list
4. Ohuhu Pop-Up Canopy Instant Shelter
The Ohuhu Popup Canopy Instant Shelter sports clean lines, luminous white fabric, a classic pointed top ala a medieval pole tent, is adjustable to 3 different heights and blocks 99% of the sun’s UV rays. In other words this is the perfect portable shade canopy for your backyard wedding or wedding in the park. Beyond its fairly obvious aesthetic applications it’s also tough and waterproof with hefty 420D fabric that won’t go flopping around in a light breeze. Setup typically takes just a few minutes. Just unfold the collapsible steel accordion frame, fix the fabric at the corners using the velcro straps and extend the center upward. After that adjust the legs to your preferred height of 59”, 86.6” or 94.5”.
There is no doubt the Ohuhu Popup Canopy Instant Shelter is going to find plenty of fans among those having outdoor weddings this year but it’s also ideal for setting up a booth at the crafts fair or for setting up a table under so you can register participants for the 5K. The UV50+ protection built into the fabric means you can sit under it with confidence all day even if you forgot your own sunblock (but don’t forget your own sunblock). The frame looks insubstantial but is actually quite stiff because the steel matrix of the roof provides rigidity which prevents the legs from swaying to and fro. The Ohuhu Instant Shelter comes with its own custom carrying bag which is good to very good although the wheels are not quite as large as we’d like them to be. Why? Because that steel accordion frame means this puppy is pretty heavy at 54 lbs and the smallish wheels can seem a bit overwhelmed at times.
Waterproof 420D fabric
Robust steel frame
1 person setup
- ModelPopup Canopy Instant Shelter
- Weight54 pounds
Legs adjust to 3 different heights
420D waterproof oxford fabric
Comes with convenient carrying bag
Not for use in heavy weather
5. Coleman Instant Beach Canopy 10 x 10 Feet
There was a period when Coleman was decidedly uncool and just too mainstream for some. Today however, most outdoor enthusiasts with the ability to judge things dispassionately have come around to the notion that Coleman is often terribly unrated. After all, they routinely produce high quality outdoor products that embrace a simple design ethos and emphasize performance over appearance. And, they do so for a price just about anyone can afford. This Coleman Instant Beach Canopy is a good example of all the things the company gets right including clean, unassuming lines, ease of use, just enough subtle styling touches to keep things interesting and the aforementioned affordability. The Instant Beach Canopy would look just as good at a golf tournament, at the finish line of a road race or set up over the picnic table in the woods.
Setup takes just minutes as this folding canopy snaps into place in just three easy steps. The canopy is treated with a special UV guard to keep those nasty byproducts of the sun off your sensitive skin and there is a roof vent (hard to find among name brand, mass produced canopies) to prevent life under the canopy from becoming oppressive on those blistering July days. The poles are made of lightweight fiberglass and pre-attached so that they snap into place in seconds while the locking mechanisms on the legs are simple and safe and designed to prevent injury. And there are welded steel feet that provide the canopy a stable footing even on concrete or other surfaces where driving stakes is out of the question.
Built to withstand gale force winds
Comfort grips on the legs lock securely without pinching
The 2 way roof vents keeps air from stagnating
- ModelInstant Beach Canopy
3 step setup process is quick and easy
Dependable Coleman quality
100 square feet of shade
Not for use in heavy weather
6. Quik Shade Expedition EX64 Slant Leg Instant Canopy
The Quik Shade EX64 is all that and more. It has maybe the most stable footprint you’ll find in a popup shade today thanks to the slanted legs. Like the Coleman Instant Beach shade canopy the Quik Shade will withstand quite a substantial gale, although because there are no side panels it won’t be much good if that gale is accompanied by rain. Still, under normal conditions the EX64 will be all the sun-blocking, shade-casting easy up canopy you could ask for and all for a relative song. The frame of the EX64 is fashioned from powder coated steel for outstanding corrosion resistance and it has the company’s patented latches and leg extenders that help with quick setup. The welded feet keep the legs from sinking into the soft soil and because of the slanted legs and wide stance you won’t need to worry too much about securing it to the ground.
Set it up on the sideline of the softball game to provide shade, set it up in front of the house for a lemonade sale, open it on the backyard deck to provide an extra element of comfort during those holiday barbeques or take it with you to the game for tailgating. Because of its relatively light weight, its easy setup and affordability this is an essential piece of outdoor kit for those who can’t wait to get out of the house. It’s also attractive and durable and should be with you for many years and find myriad uses. Before you know it you’ll be inventing things to do just so you can use it.
Slanted legs for heightened stability
Weighs about half what some others weigh
High grade powder coated steel frame
- BrandQuik Shade
- Weight27.3 pounds
Available in a variety of colors
Relatively lightweight compared to other canopies
A fairly small popup canopy
7. AmazonBasics Pop-Up Canopy Tent
The last item on our list of 7 best popup canopies comes to us from Amazon itself. It’s their AmazonBasics Popup Canopy Tent and ‘basic’ is a good word for it. Though not a bad word by any means. Because if you need an effective, easy to deploy canopy that’s not going to break your bank while it supplies your VIPs with some much needed shade then here you are: the AmazonBasics pop up awning. The frame of the Basic sports a white powder coat that helps fend off corrosion and gives the popup tent a light, airy look. Although the canopy itself is not the biggest out there the angled legs provide you plenty of room to get a table and a camping chair underneath and also endow the Basic with robust stability that staves off the need to tie this puppy down in most instances.
The AmazonBasics Popup Canopy isn’t going to win any design awards, which is one reason why they call it the Basics Popup. But what it will do is provide shade in a hurry should your company picnic, family outing, tailgate party, beach party or product launch call for it. Great for street fairs and, of course, weddings. If you need sun protection but don’t have a ton of money to spend the AmazonBasics will fulfill your need each and every time.
Welded feet with built in eyes for driving stakes
UV treated 150D poly
Angled legs for added stability
- ModelBasics PopUp Canopy
- Weight37.5 pounds
Very stable even in a stiff breeze
UV treated 150D fabric is light and sun-safe
Folds down to less than 5’ in length
Not the easiest or most stable rolling case
Buying Guide & FAQs
Things to Consider When Purchasing an Instant Popup Canopy
Size when Folded - Your easy up canopy won’t be much good if you aren’t able to transport it to the beach or the campground or the art fair or wherever. Therefore you’ll need to know how larger or small it is when folded up. Some will fit nicely into the trunk of the car or even the back seat. Others like the Eurmax may be too large for the trunk itself if you have a small car. Also, you should take the weight of the canopy into consideration, especially if you are planning to transport it to and from the car and set it up yourself.
Design - Most people aren’t so concerned about the aesthetics of their canopy, as long as it works. For others though, looks are everything. If you’re one of those folks make sure you have an accurate idea just what it is going to look like when it’s set up. Most every high quality popup canopy is fairly attractive although everyone’s taste is different. So you’ll have to decide whether or not a folding canopy passes aesthetic muster.
Canopy Material - You’ll also want lightweight but durable materials. You’ll note that most canopies advertise they are made of 150D or 420D or even 600D material. The “D” indicates the fineness of the weave and also gives an indication of weight. 150D would be the lightest of those 3 with 600D being the heaviest and most durable. In either case you’ll want something that can stand up to typical breezes and light rain but which isn’t so heavy it will make transporting the canopy an unpleasant chore.
Water Resistant Vs Waterproof - When shopping for a pop up shelter you’re going to encounter those 2 phrases a lot. Many folks wonder if there is a difference between the two and the answer is “yes”. Although it’s not necessarily as obvious with a canopy as it is with, say, a watch. With a wrist watch water resistant means the watch will be unaffected by contact with water at sea level. However if you dive with the watch on the water pressure will force water through tiny crevices. A water resistant canopy is one where the fabric is waterproof but the seams are not heat sealed and may allow water to penetrate. On a waterproof canopy those seams are heat sealed.
Ceiling Height - The maximum center height of a canopy can be a bit deceiving because with some the supporting framework makes the portion above the canopy line essentially unusable. Not that you were going to hang anything up there anyway. So, if someone claims their canopy has a ceiling of 10 feet take it with a grain of salt, until you find out what kind of supporting structure is holding up that ceiling. Typically cathedral style canopies like the AmazonBasics will be nice and open right to the top. Keep in mind however that when you give up some of that internal architecture you also give up some stability. And the more you give up the less stable the canopy will be.
Room for Seating - In most cases people are going to want one of two things under their canopy. Either a table with a chair they can sit at to perform registrations or some such thing or a square table with seating on each side for eating, card playing and more. You’ll want to be sure your canopy is large enough to accommodate the table you have in mind.
Frame Material - Instant popup canopy frames are typically produced from either aluminum or steel. Some people consider aluminum to be the better choice while others swear by steel. As you might imagine each has its upside and downside. You should keep the following considerations in mind when contemplating which type of frame to have on your canopy:
- Weight - Aluminum weighs less than steel so transporting it to and from the setup point will take less effort. Actually setting it up will likely also be easier. However, your aluminum framed canopy is not going to stand up to windy conditions as well as steel. That’s just a fact.
- Strength - Both materials will corrode in time simply because that’s their nature. However, until they do steel is going to have the upper hand in the strength department. If you only plan to set up your canopy once a year during the company sports day it won’t matter though.
- Corrosion Resistance - As we said both steel and aluminum are going to corrode in time. But you don’t want either hustling off to the scrap yard so make sure the frame of your canopy is treated with a high quality powder coat to seal it from moisture.
Q: Is a Canopy Shelter Easy to Put Up and Take Down?
A: Certainly it depends on the quality of the engineering involved. That said most of the high quality popup canopies (such as the ones reviewed above) are relatively easy to setup and take down. The amount of time involved will typically depend on the complexity of the structure. If it is just a canopy one person may be able to set it up in a few minutes. However, if there are walls and perhaps even a floor involved it will likely require at least 2 people and take 10 or 15 minutes, or more.
Q: Are Folding Canopies Waterproof?
A: The best ones certainly are. If you have your eyes on a canopy you should make a point of finding out if it is indeed waterproof or water resistant (see above). If it isn’t one or the other you should take a pass. It’s not that the canopy is necessarily going to keep you dry. After all, most are open all the way around so even a little breeze accompanying rain will cause some people taking shelter under the canopy to get a wet. However, in other cases when the rain is falling more or less straight down a canopy may well afford more than adequate coverage. In either case you’ll want to make sure that any canopy is waterproof or at the very least, water resistant.
Popup canopies are a great and affordable way to carve out some cool, comfortable, useable space for yourself in the great outdoors. Whether you use that space to shelter wedding guests, protect a product, give tennis players a break from the sun or just make things a bit more comfy on the backyard deck is up to you. Any of the above profiled popup canopies will serve you well without costing an arm and a leg and many can be set up by a single individual after a bit of practice. Just remember to keep the above considerations in mind in order to ensure you get the type of folding canopy that’s right for your situation.