Different Types of Shade Canopies

If you spend any time outdoors when the sun is beating down, you’ve probably noticed more and more people using shade canopies. They provide protection from the elements and shelter from the rain and sun. Whether they’re permanent or temporary, they are often necessary.

Frame and Cover Material
Choosing the right frame and cover material for your shade canopies ensures you’ve got the structure needed to fit your needs. Aluminum frames are lightweight and easy to pack, so are very portable and easy to set up. Steel frames are very durable and can withstand high winds, often lasting longer than aluminum.

Covers are typically made of polyester, polyethylene or vinyl. Polyester is water-resistant and very durable. It is also often the most affordable of the options. Polyethylene covers are very durable, UV-resistant and frequently waterproof. These work well for semi-permanent canopies or camper canopies. Vinyl is polyester that is coated with waterproof and UV-resistant agents. This makes it heavier than most canopy covers.

Different Uses
People use shade canopies for several different reasons. Here are just a few:
 * Children’s play area or sandbox shade maker
 * Privacy screen at public /events/beaches/gatherings
 * Sun screen at outdoor sporting events, etc.
 * Cover for vendors at events
 * Additional designated spaces for guests at large family/friend functions, like backyard barbecues, reunions, graduations, etc.

Ease of Use
Shade canopies are either lightweight or heavy-duty, depending on their uses and how durable they need to be. Most people who use them as a temporary, portable sun shelter prefer the lightweight models. These typically weigh much less than the heavy-duty variety, fit in a car trunk or the back of a truck and often weigh about 40 pounds. Most can be set up by one to two adults and are best when staked down.

Heavy-duty canopies are used when there is a strong wind or undesirable weather. These often weight quite a bit more than the others and are harder to set-up/take down. Plan to spend more on this type of protection, and understand they are not best suited for a casual Saturday soccer game.

Most lightweight canopies are 10 by 10 feet. The larger you go, the more expensive they will be, and the more difficult they will be to transport, set up and take down.

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