3 Features You Need in a Camping Canopy

An open-air shelter is ideal for shade, protection from foul weather, and as a gathering place for meals at camp

People underneath a canopy
Most canopies are easy to set up and take down and offer great protection from the weather or other elements.Coleman

A portable canopy is useful everywhere from your backyard to the beach and beyond. The ability to pop-up some protection against the sun or rain can save a gathering in inclement conditions. From yard parties and garage sales to camping or the lakefront, a portable shelter is the best way to ensure you won’t get weathered out or sunburnt while enjoying the outdoors. Evaluate these key features when choosing a portable canopy.

Rolling Storage Bag

ABCCANOPY Pop up Canopy Tent
If a canopy is especially heavy, make sure it has wheels on the back to make transportation easy.Abccanopy

Some outdoor canopies are portable in name only, and so heavy they make dragging them more than a few yards less fun than just enduring the rain or sun. But the fact is, increased weight usually means increased stability, especially in high winds. If a canopy comes in at more than say, 40 pounds, look for a rolling storage bag to make transporting easier.

Easy Set-Up

Eurmax Ez Pop Up Canopy Tent
Some canopies are easier to erect if there are two or more people helping.Eurmax

Realistically, a portable canopy almost always requires a second person to help with the set-up. However, in general, you should be able to erect the structure in under five minutes. Telescoping poles with thumb-operated catches make raising the canopy to the perfect height easy.

Stake-Out System

Coleman Instant Pop-Up Canopy Tent
A canopy that has tie-down lines will be extra solid in windy conditions.Coleman

Some canopies are sold with tie-out ropes and stakes, and some are not. Regardless, make sure that the canopy at least has double-stitched loops or rings to rig your own lines. Models sold with sand-bag weights that attach to the legs offer an extra level of stability in windy conditions.