Reviews

Best Canopy Tents: Protect Yourself From the Weather

Stay protected from sunny or rainy weather with these canopy tents

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BY Linsay Thomas , Nikola Petrovski , Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON December 6, 2019

The best thing about a canopy tent is that you can use it for just about any activity. It is a great structure for your vehicle, but it can also protect your family and friends when you're camping and during outdoor events. Our buying guide highlights some of the best canopy tent cover options that you can use for a variety of activities.

Best Overall
UNIQUECANOPY 10'x10' Ez Pop Up Canopy Tent
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Summary
Summary

This 10- x 10-foot accommodates three different heights and is rust resistant. It comes in nine different colors and is supplied with four stakes, guy ropes, and a wheeled storage bag.

Pros
Pros
  • Tent poles and frame are made out of durable alloy steel. The fabric is 300D heavy-duty polyester
  • 100 percent waterproof and fire-retardant certified
  • Rust-resistant and fully adjustable
Cons
Cons
  • Can be difficult to store and lug around
  • Requires two or more people to set up
Best Overall
UNIQUECANOPY 10'x10' Ez Pop Up Canopy Tent
Best Value
Coleman Instant Canopy
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Summary
Summary

A 10- x 10-foot canopy tent. One-piece frame for easy storage. Wheeled carry bag. UPF 50+ sun protection.

Pros
Pros
  • Cheaper than its rivals. 
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Durable, double-thick fabric
  • Top vent promotes stability in the wind
  • Accommodates taller people
Cons
Cons
  • Plastic joints can easily crack
  • Does not tolerate strong winds or inclement weather
  • May break in heavy rain
Best Value
Coleman Instant Canopy
Honorable Mention
ABCCANOPY Pop Up Canopy
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Summary
Summary

A 10- x 10-foot pop-up canopy tent perfect for events or festivals. Four canopy sand bags, stakes, and rope are included for stability.

Pros
Pros
  • 100 percent waterproof. 
  • Easy to set up and break down with only two people
  • Made from heavy-duty, UPF 50+ sun protected material
  • Covers up to 10 people
Cons
Cons
  • Collects water during heavy rain
  • Ties may come undone during extremely strong winds
  • More expensive than other models
Honorable Mention
ABCCANOPY Pop Up Canopy

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Benefits of Canopy Tents

  • Protection. The best pop-up canopy tents are great for outdoor events. They protect you, your guests, and your possessions from the sun, rain, snow, and other elements. They make outdoor activities more comfortable on hot days or during rainy conditions.
  • Versatility. People use canopy tents for various reasons. Some may purchase a canopy tent for festivals, outdoor parties, farmer's markets, and other events.
  • Convenience. High-quality canopy tents are quick and easy to set up and take apart. Many even feature roller bags with wheels, which makes them easy to transport.

Types of Canopy Tents

Instant/Pop-Up Canopy

Pop-up canopies are really user friendly. They don't require any tools for assembly and can typically be set up by one person. They are also lightweight, compact, and portable. These tents and sun shelters are designed for short-term use, so they're great for activities such as camping, beach trips, and outdoor parties. They are also the cheapest type.

Frame Tent

Frame tents are much larger than pop-up canopy tents. Many people use them as portable garages and carports. They are also great as short-term shelters and outdoor events. The steel frame is supported by poles, but they do not require a center pole. It can take more than one person for assembly, and if they're outside for too long they may get damaged due to the elements.

Pole Tent

Pole tents come in all sorts of sizes and styles. They require tension and feature center poles and poles around the edges. You will commonly see this type of canopy tent at a wedding or big events such as a circus. They are very durable and long lasting but are also pricier and more difficult to set up.

Top Brands

E-Z Up

Twenty-one-year old Mark Carter built the first Instant Shelter in 1983 in his parent's garage in Southern California. Before long, he set up E-Z UP with partner Brad Smith. The company's products are currently available in over 100 countries. We recommend the E-Z UP Pyramid Instant Shelter.

Eurmax Canopy

Eurmax Canopy, based in El Monte, Calif., has been making commercial-grade canopies for more than 15 years. The company has sold tens of thousands of high-quality canopies, including the Eurmax Canopy Tent.

Coleman

Coleman, based in Chicago, was founded by William Coffin Coleman in 1900 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. The company produces a variety of camping gear, including lanterns, stoves, sleeping bags, and tents, such as the Coleman Instant Canopy.

Canopy Tent Pricing

  • Under $50: Some canopy tents are really cheap, but that's not necessarily a good thing. The material tends to be very thin, and water can easily pool on top of it. Also, they don't stay up very well in the wind, which can be problematic if you’re looking for a beach canopy.
  • $100-$200: You can find many 10 by 10 and slightly larger pop-up canopy tents in this price range. They are designed for short-term use. Even if they’re water resistant, they may not hold up in heavy downpours or in very windy conditions. Some provide protection against UV rays.
  • $200 and up: Wedding and party tents and those designed for long-term use are much more expensive. They are high quality, heavy duty, and typically have waterproof PVC tops to keep occupants dry in inclement weather.

Key Features

Size

The most important feature to consider is the size of the canopy tent. Many are 10 by 10 feet, but you can also get smaller options, such as 4 by 6 feet, and much larger options, such as 10 by 20 feet. Frame and pole tents, which are designed for big events, are extra large.

Easy Setup

One of the most important features of a canopy tent, particularly instant/pop-up tents, is quick installation. The best canopy tents are fast and easy to assemble and break down. It should take just a few minutes and as few as one person to set up one of these shelters.

Weight 

As we already mentioned, canopy tents serve a variety of purposes, including camping and car storage. They need to be light enough to carry around for certain events, such as festivals, but heavy duty enough to hold up in different types of weather. Also, you don't want them to get knocked down in a light breeze.

Durability

When you purchase an outdoor canopy tent you want it to last a long time, preferably more than one season. They can wear down over time after a lot of exposure to the sun, rain, and wind. Make sure you choose a product that can stand up to various weather conditions.

Other Considerations

  • Storage: While it's great to have a portable canopy tent on hand, you need to have a place to store it when it's not in use. The good news is that many of them are very packable. Some brands even include rolling bags and carrying cases, so you can transport them easily too.

Best Canopy Tents Reviews & Recommendations 2020

Best Overall
UNIQUECANOPY 10'x10' Ez Pop Up Canopy Tent

This canopy tent is available in a variety of colors. It features a rust-resistant, powder-coated frame and includes four stakes, guy ropes, and an instruction manual. You can store the tent in the included wheeled bag, which makes it easy to move around. The 10-foot by 10-foot canopy can also be adjusted to three different heights: 10.7 feet, 10.9 feet, or 11.1 feet.


It's quite simple to set up this canopy, which can provide protection for up to 10 people at once. The canopy is constructed of heavy-duty polyester fabric and a PU lining, which are 100 percent waterproof and provide 99 percent UV protection. The tent is also fire retardant. In addition, the manufacturer provides a one-year warranty if you experience any problems. 


One downside with this product is it's quite large when it's packed, so it can be challenging to find storage space for it. It's also quite heavy, which can make it difficult to maneuver. Finally, it takes at least two people to set it up.

Best Value
Coleman Instant Canopy

This 10 by 10-foot canopy tent covers 100 square feet. It has a center height of 9 feet, 4 inches. The one-piece frame is simple to collapse for storage, and it comes in a wheeled storage bag for convenience. The canopy's UVGuard material provides UPF 50+ sun protection. It also comes with a one-year limited warranty.


It takes just a few minutes to set up this tent, and the double-thick fabric is durable. It also has a vent at the top that helps keep the canopy stable in windy conditions. The tent is sturdy, the frame is heavy duty, and it's less expensive than some of its competitors. Also, you can comfortably walk under the sides of it, even if you're more than 6 feet tall.


One problem with this tent is that the joints are plastic and may crack and/or fracture. Heavy rain can also stretch the fabric and damage or break the frame. In addition, it can buckle in strong winds.

Honorable Mention
ABCCANOPY Pop up Canopy Tent

The ABCCANOPY Pop Up Canopy tent measures 10 feet by 10 feet and is available in a variety of different colors. The tent is 100-percent waterproof, windproof, and it is made from UPF 50+ fabric to protect against damaging UV rays. This canopy tent is extremely easy to set up and break down with just two people. The tent will comfortably fit up to 10 people at the same time.


It is the perfect tent for outdoor sports, events, festivals, flea markets, parties, or a day at the beach. This tent easily folds into a roller bag with heavy-duty wheels for simple transportation. It comes with four stakes, ropes, and four sandbags for stability. One-year after-sale protection is included with its purchase, and spare parts are easily available.


However, this canopy tent has a tendency to collect water during heavy rainstorms, and the ties may come undone during strong winds. It is also a bit more expensive than comparable options.

Best Heavy-Duty
Eurmax Premium Canopy Tent

The tent is available in several vibrant colors and is 10 x 10 feet. It’s sturdy, reliable, and fully adjustable, so you can raise it or lower it to be more accommodating to your needs. Best of all, the polyester tent is rated to be waterproof and fire-retardant.


It’s also coated with UV protection, and capable of blocking up to 99 percent of the sun’s harmful beams. The canopy tent features strong steel D rings in each corner so you can hang banners or signs from them. The poles are treated with a special finish to increase their durability. It also comes with a convenient carrying case with easy gliding wheels.


While the tent isn't super expensive, some might find the price to be relatively high. The tent may also be difficult to lock into place, and it is quite heavy for one person to set up.

Best for Airflow
Core Instant Shelter Pop-Up Canopy Tent

This canopy tent features a polyester roof with an alloy steel frame and legs that help to reduce its weight. It is also relatively quick to set up (as its name suggests). The whole thing can be fully constructed in just around two minutes.


The polyester covering is waterproof, includes 50+ UV protection, and features dual canopy vents for more airflow. It also comes with a wheel carrying bag for an easier time lugging it out to wherever you need it to stand—you get ground stakes and tie-downs, too. The tent measures 10x10.


However, the stakes may not be that durable and can bend with a powerful wind gust. It can also be a pain to set up if you are by yourself. Setting it up with two people will reduce the amount of time spent doing so. Water may also leak through the vent.

Tips

  • Take down your canopy tent when you are done using it to prolong its life. Do not make it a permanent outdoor structure unless you are using it as a car garage.
  • Remove pooling water on the roof of the tent with a mop. Do not let it pool for more than a day or it will stretch out and weaken the fabric. 
  • Air dry the tent before you fold it to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Also, clean dirt from the fabric with a soft wet cloth before storing it. If dirt is transferred to the folds, it may destroy the fabric. 
  • Avoid leaning furniture or heavy objects against the tent poles. They may bend, twist, or break against the intense weight. 

FAQs

Q: What’s the best way to anchor a pop-up canopy tent?

Pop-up canopy tents are typically lightweight and can easily blow away in strong winds. Use sand or pebble bags to stabilize the tent and to prevent the frame from being broken by strong winds. Attach a sandbag on each frame for maximum support. A sandbag is better for stabilizing the tent on gravel, stone pavement, or concrete driveway. 

Q: Can I grill under a canopy tent?

Some tents are made of synthetic fibers like vinyl that can burn under the intense heat of a grill or a barbecue. If the tent is made of fire-retardant material, you run the risk of staining it with soot, and it will be hard to get the grill smell from the fabric. Try to cook in an open area and eat under the tent instead. 

Q: Is it possible to waterproof a tent?

Yes. Seal the seams with a seam sealer to prevent water from leaking in. You can also use duct tape, although it may look ugly if it's not done neatly. You can also apply a waterproof urethane coating, tent wax, or a different sealer for the type of fabric your tent is made of. 

Final Thoughts

Our top pick for the best canopy tent is the UNIQUECANOPY 10'x10' Ez Pop Up Canopy Tent. It accommodates 10 people, and it’s UV-protected and fire-resistant.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly canopy tent for outdoor activities, consider the Coleman Instant Canopy.