How to Choose the Best Pop-Up Canopy Tent

How to Choose the Best Pop-Up Canopy Tent
June 09, 2022

Pop-up canopies can be a fantastic accessory for summer, allowing you to take the shade wherever you go. There are many to choose from, so picking the right one can be overwhelming, primarily when you don't know where to start.

You can use popup canopies in almost any situation, ranging from sporting events to family parties and social gatherings. The canopy you pick depends on how much shade you desire and the size that will suit your needs.

Pop-up canopy tents have many benefits, supplying a cool place to relax on a hot day and protection from bad weather. This article will focus on the perks of owning a popup canopy tent and how to purchase the perfect one.

What is a Pop-Up Canopy Tent?

People often use canopy tents for summer barbeques and vendor fair events. You'll see them at family reunions, graduation parties, and covering people enjoying time at the beach. Canopy tents are different from traditional tents because they don't have sides.

Canopies offer coverage, protecting from rainy weather and the sun, but there won't be any side protection. Pop-up canopy tents typically have metal-based (steel or aluminum) straight or slanted legs and a top made of polyester fabric. They come in many different sizes, though one of the most popular is definitely the 10 x 10.

Why do you Need a Pop-Up Canopy Tent?

Pop up canopies have become a permanent fixture in our lives in many ways. It's hard to leave the house, especially during the summer, without running into a roadside farmstand housing flowers under a pop-up or visiting a farmers market that doesn't feature a sea of goods and services set up under canopy tents.

Plain and simple, canopy tents protect from sun and rain. They're fantastic to have on hand if you spend much time outdoors, primarily when kids and pets are along for the ride.

From camping to grilling, there are very few situations where the use of a canopy tent is not warranted. After all, it's always nice to bring the shade with you.

Canopy Tent Expedition BeachCanopy Tent Expedition Beach

What is Your Use Case for a Pop-Up Canopy Tent?

Before you head out to purchase a pop up canopy, you'll want to ask yourself how you plan to utilize it. Make a list of the specific instances and possible situations that you think you'll need your popup canopy for, as this should determine how much you feel comfortable spending and the size you require.

Do you plan to bring your canopy to the beach twice a year or use it weekly at sporting events? Your use case will help you decide your style and budget. There are many ways to use your pop-up shade canopy tent, regardless of the season. People typically begin their pop-up canopy purchase adventure because they already have a specific use in mind.

However, consider these situations if you know that you'd benefit from a pop-up canopy tent, but you're uncertain how to put your pop-up canopy into action.

Use it in the Backyard

A reasonably-sized pop-up canopy can add shade to any backyard, and since they're easy to take down and set up, you don't have to leave it assembled if you don't want to. Canopies are the perfect way to stay safe from the sun while spending as much time outside as possible.

Use it at the Park

Picnics and park-outings are all the rage during the summer months, and a pop-up canopy tent will allow you to sit wherever you want without worrying about keeping yourself (or the kiddos) out of the sun.

Use it at the Tailgate

If you spend a lot of time at sporting events, you know the importance of shade, especially if it's an all-day event, such as a soccer tournament or a horse show. If you're having an all-out tailgate, a popup canopy can be a great place to enjoy lunch and a drink, and it also works for cooking the food, keeping it out of direct sunlight.

Use it at the Beach

Taking a pop-up canopy to the beach can help the day last much longer, as you won't get tired and worn out from the sun. Your canopy will provide a relaxed and sun-free place to watch fellow beachgoers play and walk along the shoreline and enjoy a novel without shading your eyes.

Use it for Business

Many businesses require outdoor canopies to sell at vendor fairs, farmer's markets, and right outside the home! Pop-up canopies are fantastic for covering flowers and food from the weather while keeping you cool or dry!

What Qualities Should I Look for in a Pop-Up Canopy Tent?

Searching for a versatile, portable shelter seems like an easy job, but it can get overwhelming quickly due to the many available choices. A high-quality canopy will be easy to set up and take down, but it will also last you for years if you take care of it and store it properly!

Water Resistance

Water-resistance is an essential aspect of a popup canopy, as a tent that is truly resistant to water will function as a giant umbrella. If you're at an outdoor event or gathering and it begins to rain, your canopy should keep you and everyone underneath it dry.

If you purchase a canopy made from materials that are not waterproof, it will soak through and leak, defeating the purpose of your shelter when used in rainy weather. Choose a product made with waterproof materials.


Strength is an incredibly crucial component of a pop-up canopy. Strength pertains to the canopy's durability, including how well it stays put in bad weather. Strength begins with materials, particularly how it’s used in the legs.

Heavy-duty canopies come from high-grade aluminum and other solid metals. Unstable canopy tents are typically made of plastic and low-grade metals.

When you shop for a popup canopy, you'll want to choose a product with a strong metal structure to reduce damage possibility and ensure your canopy lasts for as long as you want to use it. Look for tear-resistant and waterproof products that block out 100% of UV rays.

When you purchase a well-made, high-quality canopy, you'll keep everyone under your portable roof protected. You'll also ensure that your canopy will last you for years to come.

Ease of Use

Pop-up canopies should be easy to use, or else they're a bit irrelevant when it comes to the convenience factor. Unlike pricey rentals or shelter options that require more assembly, pop-up canopies require minimal effort to set and pack up.

Essentially, they're shelter solutions that don't have additional components. You have to expand them, set them at the right height level, and ensure they're on even ground. Three people can set up a canopy in mere minutes. However, not all canopies are created equal, and flimsy canopies can cause problems during setup and tear-down.

Finding a pop-up canopy that performs well in the ease of use category, you can check reviews from other canopy owners. Product specifications will tell you which tents were manufactured using quality materials and which were not.

Custom Options

In some cases, you can customize your canopy tent to fit your size and aesthetic requirements. If you're investing in a tent, you might as well get the one you want! Sometimes, purchasing a generic pop-up canopy will work just fine, but people find they need something more specific in other cases.

Finding a trusted company that can point you in the right direction is the best choice. The canopy company you purchase from should offer a host of sizing and color options.


You should have a canopy budget before you begin shopping, and never hesitate to look around for competitive pricing. When you shop for a pop-up canopy tent, price is as crucial as the quality, as you don't want to spend more money than you have, affecting the return on your investment.

However, choosing the cheapest pop-up tent on the market will likely present you with a product that will break the first time you take it out of the box or halfway through a family party. Aim to find a canopy tent that is affordable while remaining high-performing.

Canopy Tent Solo Steel Park Canopy Tent Solo Steel Park

What's the Difference Between Straight-Leg and Slant-Leg?

Pop up canopies have both straight and slant-leg options for consumers to choose from, and the overall consensus is that they are not created equal. Slant-leg canopies are typically less expensive, and while they provide a sleek look, they're not as stable as straight-leg frames.

Strength of Frame

Straight-leg frames are more stable. Canopy tents should hold up to inclement weather without falling or bending, and because of this, a straight-leg frame is ideal.

Think of it this way, if you place two decks of cards standing straight up, you can place another deck of cards across the top, and they will continue to stand despite the lack of connection points. When the legs of a canopy are slanted, it's utterly dependent on those connection points and, therefore, more likely to bend or break.

Ease of Use

Canopies with slanted legs use less material and have less structural integrity, so in theory, they're lighter. However, they tend to break at connection points, making them hard to set up and take down without destroying them.

Consumers will often complain that their slant-leg tents have failed after using them only a few times. Straight-leg canopies tend to be heavier, depending on the mental uses, and they hold up over time as they're structurally sound.

Straight-leg canopies are just as easy to utilize as slant-leg canopies, but they may take more effort to carry and unpack. Keep in mind that this is due to quality.

The Amount of Shade Protection

Slant-leg canopies do not offer as much shade protection as their straight-legged counterparts. The shade from a square-leg canopy tent covers the entire square footage between the legs of the tent.

Slant-leg canopies have legs that sit at less than a 90-degree angle to the ground, which interferes with the square footage of shade you'll get while sitting underneath the canopy. For example, a 10 x 10 slanted canopy, because it sits at an angle, will only get around 61 square feet of shade underneath than a straight-leg 10 x 10, which will get 100. Forty feet is a huge difference!

Anchors and Accessory Options

There are many anchor and accessory options available for slant and straight-leg canopies, though each tends to be more durable for straight-leg pop-up tents. There are plenty of options to choose from weight anchors to sides, and it's crucial to safely secure your pop-up canopy before you use it to prevent potential injuries.

Before you anchor your canopy, you'll want to ensure that you've put it in the right spot. Straight-leg canopies need a very flat surface, while slant-leg canopies can stay sturdy on a surface with more texture. Canopy weight kits are a great option because they ensure safety no matter where you take your canopy or what type of weather pops up!

How Do I Know I'm Buying a Quality Pop-Up Canopy?

Purchasing a high-quality pop-up canopy is easy with QuikShade. We have the canopies and accessories you need to make your summer a breeze, offering only the best in outdoor canopy shelters.

One of the best ways to ensure that you're purchasing a high-quality pop-up canopy is to work with a reliable supplier and never hesitate to ask questions. Also, customer reviews can lead you in the right direction, as word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways for consumers to get a good idea of which products will work for them.

If you're ready to start shopping for your next (or first) canopy tent, QuikShade is happy to point you in the right direction. We'll work with you to show you only the best in pop-up canopies, so you can choose a tent that will work for you, knowing that you'll never sacrifice quality!

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