How To Choose The Best Pop Up Canopy

How To Choose The Best Pop Up Canopy

Choosing the best pop up canopy can be very challenging. There are a number of considerations you need to make before coming to a final decision.

First, you need to think about the event or show you need it for. You then need to consider what materials you want it to be made of, and whether these can withstand the predicted weather conditions in your area.

Lastly, you need to consider the size, color, and branding you want on your canopy. With all the above in mind, we’re going to highlight the key reasons why it’s important that you choose your pop up canopy carefully.

We’re also going to run you through some of the main features you should pay attention to when making your final decision for choosing a pop up canopy. Then, we’ll share some of the best models on the market today based on their price tag.

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The Importance Of Choosing A Pop Up Canopy Carefully

As with any big purchase, choosing the best pop up canopy for your needs is extremely important if you don’t want to end up wasting your money.

To make your final choice you should first think about what you need from your pop up canopy and how much you are willing to spend on it.

The truth is, cheaper models do seem to give in more quickly than their more expensive counterparts, but if you buy a decent model and take good care of it, it will still last a long time.

Pop Up Canopy

If you decide you want a model for an outdoor event, we suggest you take your local weather into consideration. If you live in a particularly sunny part of the country, opt for a pop up canopy that offers protection against UV rays.

On the other hand, if it’s likely to rain, make sure that the cover of your canopy is waterproof so that you can give yourself and others shelter from the wet.

Other than money, and weatherproofing, think about the materials you want your pop up canopy to be made of. For example, have you considered whether you’d prefer aluminum or steel for the frame?

Aluminum is rust resistant and considerably lighter but with that comes less durability and sturdiness.1 On the other hand, steel is heavy with a longer shelf life and a better track record for standing up to wind, but it is likely to rust over time, especially without the right care.

Features To Pay Attention To When Choosing A Pop Up Canopy

Now that you know why it’s important to choose the best pop up canopy for your individual needs we’d like to highlight some of the key features you should look at when making your final decision:


The size of your pop up canopy will completely depend on your individual needs. If you’re purchasing one for a small fair or trade show then a 5x5 feet one should be enough.

That said, if you want to offer guests shelter from the sun or rain at a big friendly gathering in your back garden you may want to opt for a larger size such as a 10x10 feet model.

Wedding white tent.

While we would love to suggest you go for the larger number, it will have to suit your individual needs and space.

The two sizes mentioned above are just the most commonly found with online retailers, however, there are other models that have different measurements. Shop around to find a pop up canopy size that suits you.

The Circumstances It Will Be Used Under

You then need to take the environment into account. Firstly, think about whether your canopy will be indoors or outdoors. If your event is indoors, you don’t need to have a particularly strong canopy as it won’t be exposed to particularly harsh weather conditions.

If you’ll be attending an event outdoors, it’s important you choose a canopy that can stick with you through thick and thin. If it’s likely to be raining with wind in your area, go for a model that is sturdy, for example, steel, and opt for a cover that is waterproof.

Ease Of Use

If you’re likely to be on your own when you have to put your canopy up, we suggest you opt for a model that is easy to setup. Aluminum models are considerably lighter and therefore easier to transport and expand.

Of course, ideally, you’d like to get help from one other person to put your canopy up and take it back down. That said, modern models take a matter of minutes to assemble and take down.


When it comes to valuable features, weatherproofing is by far the most important, after all, the whole point of a pop up canopy is to offer yourself and others shelter, right?

waterproofing material

The best pop up canopies can withstand even the harshest weather conditions, from scorching sunshine to torrential rain and huge gusts of winds, why not choose a model that can handle anything that’s thrown at it.


Pop up canopies come with a choice of straight or slanted legs. While this may not seem like a big deal at first, the type of leg you choose will directly impact the structure that you acquire.

Slanted legs often look more stylish and offer more space at the base, but they’re also renowned for being less stable, especially under harsher weather conditions.

While they do logically offer more space at the base, they actually do not offer any more coverage than their straight-legged counterparts. In fact, some would say they offer less and they let more light in depending on the angle.

While it may seem like a no-brainer to go for a straight-legged model, slanted legged pop up canopies are often significantly cheaper meaning that this decision will most likely be based on your budget.


The material you choose will have a considerable impact on the quality of your pop up canopy. It will also affect the ease with which you can transport it and set it up.

Traditionally, pop up canopy frames are aluminum or steel and the covers are either vinyl, polyester, and polyethylene. As mentioned before, steel is heavier than aluminum but also sturdier. Aluminum is rust resistant which means it won’t deteriorate as quickly.

Metal Frame of pop up canopy

When it comes to covers, vinyl is among the most popular as it is weatherproof. That said, it is also quite heavy. Polyester and polyethylene are both weatherproof on the whole, but polyethylene is lighter.

Now that you know what you should look out for when choosing the best pop up canopy, we’d like to share five of the most impressive models available on the market today based on their price tag.

Best Pop Canopy Over $100

Here's our recommendation for the best pop canopy over $100:

Winner: Abccanopy Kingkong-Series 10 X 10-Feet Commercial Instant Canopy Kit Ez Pop Up Tent

We’ve trawled the internet to find the best pop up canopy over $100 and we finally voted for the Abccanopy Kingkong-series 10 X 10-feet Commercial Instant Canopy Kit Ez Pop up Tent.

This model is one of the most impressively made pop up canopies considering its size and price tag. While it does fit in our over $100 category it still has a price tag of less than $200 and we haven’t seen another model like it yet.

Its frame is made of steel and is finished with a rust resistant powder. It is accompanied by 100% nylon mold brackets as well as one and a quarter inch thick square shaped legs that are 20% stronger than the EZ up Express II.

Abccanopy Kingkong-series 10 X 10-feet Commercial Instant Canopy Kit Ez Pop up Tent


Our Rating

Made of super strong truss bars, this model can take even the harshest of treatment. Whether it gets knocked about in the car or has to withstand strong winds, the sturdy nylon feet and 26mm by 13mm by 1mm bars can take it.

The cover is a 300 denier polyester with a PU lining for added protection against various weather conditions. It is 100% waterproof and comes with heat sealed seams that also do not let any water through.

Not only this, the stress points on the cover have been reinforced to reduce the chances of them ripping or tearing.

The Abccanopy Kingkong-series 10 X 10-feet Commercial Instant Canopy Kit Ez Pop up Tent comes with a whopping 1-year factory warranty as well as a free carry bag which features a strong zipper and comfortable handles for easy transportation and storage.

Runner-Up: Ohuhu Pop-up Instant Shelter Canopy W/ Wheeled Carry Bag

If the above pop up canopy doesn’t tickle your fancy or doesn’t quite fit within your budget, we’d like to introduce you to the Ohuhu Pop-up Instant Shelter Canopy W/ Wheeled Carry Bag.

Coming in at a slightly lower price tag of less than $110, this Ohuhu model has some very impressive features for a fraction of others in its class.

Firstly, it is extremely easy to setup in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is open the frame, fix the cover thanks to its velcro attachments, and adjust the height of the legs to your preferred coverage.

Ohuhu Pop-up Instant Shelter Canopy W/ Wheeled Carry Bag, 10 by 10 Ft, Sky Blue

Our Rating

It comes with three height choices all of which offer a substantial amount of cover from the rain or sun. These heights can be chosen through the easy to use safety push adjustment buttons.

The three height options include 59”, 86.6”, and 94.5” which provide 100 square feet of shade depending on your needs. The maximum shelter height is 12 feet.

The cover offers UV50+ protection so is perfect if you want a pop up canopy for the summer months. Thanks to its silver coating it not only blocks out more than 90% of UV rays but also keeps the temperature under the canopy moderately cool from the sun.

To top it off, this model also uses a high-quality waterproofing fabric which doesn’t let even the smallest drops through. It is the perfect all year round pop up canopy. The 420D oxford fabric is not only durable but stylish and provides fire resistance.

Lastly, this Ohuhu model comes with a bonus carrying bag with wheels for easy transportation. It has a strong zipper and a rubber handle for added comfort.

The Ohuhu Pop-up Instant Shelter Canopy W/ Wheeled Carry Bag is only just over $100 and comes in a choice of bright blue or white.

Best Pop Up Canopy Under $100

Here's our recommendation for the best pop up canopy under $100:

Winner: AmazonBasics Pop-Up Canopy Tent

Yes, the AmazonBasics Pop-Up Canopy Tent is one of many that comes in at under $100 with a price tag of just under $90, however, there are very few that offer this level of quality for such a low price.

Measuring 10x10 feet, this canopy allows you to instantly create additional shelter for yourself and your guests. It is perfect for events of all kinds, from picnics with family and friends to trade shows and small fairs, this canopy will stick with you.

Designed with no side walls, you’ll benefit from the fresh air without having to be exposed to harsh UV rays, strong winds, or heavy rainfall.

AmazonBasics Pop-Up Canopy Tent


Our Rating

In addition to this, it offers UV protection and resists water. It is also designed with a specific pointed profile that stops water from pooling and damaging your pop up canopy.

The AmazonBasics Pop-Up Canopy Tent comes as a single unit and therefore is extremely easy to setup up. The frame unfolds in a matter of seconds and from there, all you have to do is attach its cover and adjust the height of the feet.

You won’t require any tools at all to get it up and you should see your product ready to use in a matter of minutes. Plus, taking it down is just as simple!

Often, with cheaper pop up canopies, the legs and frame are of lesser quality than their more expensive counterparts. This AmazonBasics model comes with a steel frame that is finished with white powder making it completely rust resistant.

Aside from being completely adjustable, this model is durable and will stick with you through thick and thin as long as you look after it. Best of all, it comes with a lightweight bag with wheels for added comfort during transportation.

It folds down to a mere 5-foot and can fit in the trunk of virtually any car. The bag can fit both the frame and cover in it.

Runner-Up: Quik Shade Expedition EX64 10 x 10 Slant Leg Instant Canopy

If the AmazonBasics model doesn’t tick all the boxes for you, we suggest you check out the Quik Shade Expedition EX64 10 x 10 Slant Leg Instant Canopy.

Priced at just under $67, this model comes in a choice of black, green, navy blue, orange, purple, red, and royal blue.

In less than a minute, you can setup the entire canopy with the help of just one person. As with other models, all you have to is pull your canopy out of its bag, unfold the frame, and attach the cover. Once you’re happy that everything is secure, lift it to your preferred height.

Quik Shade Expedition EX64 10 x 10 Slant Leg Instant Canopy

Our Rating

As with the AmazonBasics model mentioned above, the reason we’ve voted this model as part of our top three best pop up canopies under $100 is that it’s one of the only ones of its kind that comes with a real and sturdy frame that will stick with you through thick and thin.

Made of strong steel, the frame comes with a powder coating making it rust and corrosion free and perfect for outdoor events where there is exposure to wind and rain. Not only this, it is extremely lightweight and easy to transport considering it is made of steel.

The Quik Shade Expedition EX64 10 x 10 Slant Leg Instant Canopy comes with patented push and pull latch sliders as well as push pin leg extenders that are easy to use. It also features an easy opening that is made with plastic reinforced pivot points and PTFE washers.

The cover is made of durable 150D Aluminex ™ backed fabric that makes the area cooler and stops more than 99% of UV rays from getting through.

And, if you don’t believe us, you could always head over to Amazon to read what others truly think of their experience using it!

Alternative: Coleman Instant Canopy Sunwall

While it is not a complete canopy, we believe that side walls can be a very important feature to some people.

If you’re out in the great outdoors, want to stop the wind from creeping in, or just like to have an added level of security in your canopy, side walls can come in very handy, and what better model that these Coleman ones.

Sold separately at just over $20 per unit, these Coleman sidewalls offer incredible protection against the sun, rain, and wind no matter where you are in the world. While the Coleman instant canopy is sold separately, these walls are among the best quality in the industry today.

Coleman Instant Canopy Sunwall


Our Rating

They are made of heavy-duty fabric that is virtually impossible to rip and fit on 10x10 feet straight leg canopies. They also incorporate a UV guard that offers 50+ UPF protection against the sun.

Customers who reviewed the Coleman Instant Canopy Sunwall said they feel like they have an added level of privacy when in use. It’s a great accessory to bring with you to the beach or other public space such as a camping ground.

Other customers say that it is extremely easy to attach to a canopy and offers great protection against the elements with many saying that it is awesome for blocking out not only UV rays, but the brightness of the sun itself.

While the majority of customers love this Coleman sidewall, others were not as impressed. Some were not impressed with the material with which it was made stating that it feels cheap.

Other customers were not happy with the fact that it does not stretch on larger models, but it’s not meant to so as long as you’ve got a 10x10 feet pop up canopy, you should be alright.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for the best pop up canopy for your individual needs, you must consider the size, the materials it is made of, the environment you’ll be using it in, and of course the color you’d like it to be.

Once you know what you want, trawl the market to find out more about some of the best pop up canopy manufacturers available. The products mentioned above are all awesome and the one you choose will completely depend on your individual needs.

Quik Shade Pop Up Canopy Review

Of course, if you’re looking for the best pop up canopy for over $100 we recommend the Abccanopy mentioned above. It is the embodiment of quality and style without being excessively expensive.

On the other hand, if $100 is too much, check out the AmazonBasics model. While boasting a simple design it still has all the amazing features that many of its class do not.

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