Reviews

LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2019

Best Canopy Tents: Protect Yourself From the Weather

Stay protected from sunny or rainy weather with these canopy tents

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBCThe Drive on YouTubeThe Drive on Facebook

The Review Team

  • Product Network

    16 Products

  • Clock

    10 Hours

  • Reviews

    12 Reviews

How We Decided

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.

PUBLISHED ON December 6, 2019

The best thing about having a canopy tent is you can use it for just about anything. It makes a great shed for your car and can protect your family while 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
    E-Z UP Pyramid Instant Shelter
    Summary
    Summary
    A 10 x 10-foot tent that covers 100 square feet. It comes in eight different colors and a bag with wheels.
    Pros
    Pros
    Set up and break down is quick and easy. No tools required. Extra reinforcements provided in key spots. Sturdy. Fire-resistant and UV-protected.
    Cons
    Cons
    Tent may come apart over time and if used in high winds. It can leak and collapse in heavy downpours. May be missing some parts.
  • Best Overall
    E-Z UP Pyramid Instant Shelter
  • Best Value
    Coleman Instant Canopy
    Summary
    Summary
    10 x 10-foot canopy. 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. It does not tolerate strong winds or inclement weather. May break in heavy rain.
  • Best Value
    Coleman Instant Canopy
  • Honorable Mention
    ABCCANOPY Pop up Canopy Tent 
    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
    It collects water during heavy rain. The ties may come undone during extremely strong winds. It is more expensive than other models.
  • Honorable Mention
    ABCCANOPY Pop up Canopy Tent 

    The best thing about having a canopy tent is you can use it for just about anything. It makes a great shed for your car and can protect your family while 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 Canopy Tent Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    This 10 by 10-foot instant canopy tent provides 100 square feet of coverage and comes in eight colors. It has a clearance of 6 feet and 11 inches and a maximum headroom of 10 1/2 feet. Optional accessories include a sidewall, half wall, stake kit, and weight bags. The tent comes in a roller carrying bag with wheels, so you can transport it like a golf cart.


    The EZ pop-up canopy tent sets up quickly and easily without any tools. It is just as simple to break down the canopy as it is to assemble it. The material has reinforcements at key stress points to prevent tearing, and overall it's much sturdier than you would expect. It is also fire-resistant and provides 99 percent UV protection. It's great for a motorcycle track day to keep your bike covered and out of the sun.


    However, the tent may start coming apart after a short period of time, particularly if it's exposed to a lot of wind. It may also leak and collapse in a heavy downpour. In addition, there have been some complaints that it arrives missing some of its parts.

    Best Value

    This 10 by 10-foot canopy tent covers 100 square feet. It has a center height of nine feet, four inches. The one-piece frame is easy to fold down for storage, and it comes in a wheeled carry 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 minutes to set up, 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 rivals. Also, you can comfortably walk under the sides of it, even if you're over 6 feet tall.


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

    Honorable Mention

    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 from 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. A one-year after-sale protection is included with purchase, and spare parts are easily available.


     This canopy tent does have 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 models.

    Why Trust Us


    All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

    Learn more

    Benefits of Canopy Tents

    • Protection. The best pop-up canopy tents are great for outdoor events. They protect you, your guests, and your things from the sun, rain, and snow. They make outdoor activities more comfortable on really hot days or in rainy conditions.
    • Versatility. People use canopy tents for all sorts of reasons. Some may purchase a canopy tent for cars, while others will use them for festivals, outdoor parties, farmer's markets, and other events.
    • Convenience. Top-rated canopy tents are quick and easy to set up and break down. 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 the most user-friendly. They don't require any tools for assembly and can usually 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 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 for 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 left out 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 weddings or big events such as a circus. They are very durable and last a long time. They 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, California, 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 all sorts 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, and 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 x 10 and slightly larger pop-up canopy tents in this price range. They are designed for short-term use and even if they’re water-resistant, they don't necessarily hold up in heavy downpours or in very windy conditions. Some provide protection against UV rays.
    • $500 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 everyone 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 rated 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 for portability, so you can transport them easily too.

    Best Canopy Tent Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    This 10 by 10-foot instant canopy tent provides 100 square feet of coverage and comes in eight colors. It has a clearance of 6 feet and 11 inches and a maximum headroom of 10 1/2 feet. Optional accessories include a sidewall, half wall, stake kit, and weight bags. The tent comes in a roller carrying bag with wheels, so you can transport it like a golf cart.


    The EZ pop-up canopy tent sets up quickly and easily without any tools. It is just as simple to break down the canopy as it is to assemble it. The material has reinforcements at key stress points to prevent tearing, and overall it's much sturdier than you would expect. It is also fire-resistant and provides 99 percent UV protection. It's great for a motorcycle track day to keep your bike covered and out of the sun.


    However, the tent may start coming apart after a short period of time, particularly if it's exposed to a lot of wind. It may also leak and collapse in a heavy downpour. In addition, there have been some complaints that it arrives missing some of its parts.

    Best Value

    This 10 by 10-foot canopy tent covers 100 square feet. It has a center height of nine feet, four inches. The one-piece frame is easy to fold down for storage, and it comes in a wheeled carry 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 minutes to set up, 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 rivals. Also, you can comfortably walk under the sides of it, even if you're over 6 feet tall.


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

    Honorable Mention

    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 from 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. A one-year after-sale protection is included with purchase, and spare parts are easily available.


     This canopy tent does have 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 models.

    Tips

    • Take down your canopy tent when you are done using it to prolong its service life. Do not make it a permanent outdoor structure unless you are using it as a car garage.
    • Clear 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 the formation of mold and mildew. 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?

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

    Q: Can I grill under a canopy tent?

    A: 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 still 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. 

    Q: Is it possible to waterproof a tent?

    A: 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 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 E-Z UP Pyramid Instant Shelter. You don’t need any tools to erect it, 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.