The Best Canopy Tent for Camping and Picnics Reviews by Wirecutter

The thicker, darker netting also makes the whole structure shadier, even without the optional side panels. Like the REI model, the L.L.Bean tent has ample interior pockets, a lantern hook, and a roomy carrying bag, though the bag is of the typical drawstring-sack variety. L.L.Bean’s Woodlands Screen House is remarkably similar to our top pick, REI’s Screen House Shelter; the two canopies have an identical footprint and pole structure.

The Tagalong sits a little low and isn’t adjustable, which affects the user’s ability to alter the canopy’s height or angles as the sun’s rays change. Still, the lightweight and portable design makes up for this, especially in the right use cases. The Caravan V-Series scores a bit lower and isn’t as beefy as more expensive models, but it feels roomy and is easy to move around thanks to a lower weight. All three of these cathedral-style models offer three height settings. It’s worth noting that the Pacific Breeze Easy-Up scored lower due to a very low interior height, but it has extra built-in features like storage pockets, roll-up windows, a built-in floor, and attached sandbags.

The Eureka Tagalong is lightweight with stellar components, so if you want to be a bit more mobile with your canopy, this is one of our favorites. And if you can step into the next price bracket, the Eurmax Standard 10×10 is hands-down our top choice. The added cost will buy you stronger materials and a structure that you won’t have to worry about falling apart for many years to come — if at all.

Once setup is complete, simply twist the crank a few times to lift the center pole to its maximum height. This feature also tightly stretches the entire canopy fabric into place, giving it greater resistance to wind and rain. At first glance, the setup ozark trail canopy for the Quick-Set Escap appears quite daunting. However, it became our favorite canopy to set up after conquering a slight learning curve. Despite its size, it amazingly ships completely assembled and pops into place with just a few pulls and pushes.

This metric pertains to a shelter’s ability to offer protection from sun, wind, and rain. Some canopies perform well in one or two of these areas, but we gave the highest scores to those that could expertly handle all three functions. We even gave extra points to canopies that also protected against bugs. We also really like the E-Z UP Pyramid, Coleman 10×10 Sun Shelter, and the ABCCANOPY Patio Pop Up. All three models offer the same shade coverage as the Eurmax, but their roller bags don’t offer the same quality. The Coleman 15 × 13 Instant Screenhouse is essentially a larger version of the Coleman 10 × 10 Instant Screened Canopy, and it has similar shortcomings.

All things considered, the REI Screen House Shelter is our favorite portable model. This massive, 10×10 fully enclosed canopy packs down small and only weighs 13 pounds. It’s the ultimate mosquito net that is also lightweight and compact enough to hitch a ride on any adventure trip. We looked for features like double-stitched seams, weather taping, steel, robust fabrics, and fewer moving parts.

The roof and mesh windows allow water to enter, and once inside, the waterproof tarp flooring compounds the problem by allowing the rainwater to form puddles inside the tent. While perhaps not as versatile, this is a great structure to have available for a breezy day on the beach. The included stakes are very short, thin, and somewhat ineffective; we recommend purchasing larger thicker ozark trail chairs stakes for your Caravan V-Series. The canopy material is adequate but less rugged, and rainwater tends to drip through during a substantial downpour. The wheels on the roller bag are mostly cosmetic, as they are very ineffective on most terrains. That said, if you don’t expect to use your tent in rugged environments, this is a solid option for a nice big canopy tent at a bargain price.

The Screen House Shelter packs into a reasonably roomy drawstring bag with a strap that makes the canopy tent much easier to transport than tents, like the L.L.Bean, that lack a strap. We eliminated canopies that were not big enough to comfortably shelter a picnic table, concluding that a table is probably the number-one spot where campers would place such a structure. We also eliminated bulky, heavy shelters that are intended to be used as semipermanent backyard fixtures. Compared with our top day-tent pick, the L.L.Bean Woodlands Screen House uses arguably superior materials; it also comes with an unsurpassed warranty.

ozark trail canopy

The Woodlands Screen House uses six lightweight aluminum poles, just like the Screen House Shelter. Like the REI model, the L.L.Bean tent uses polyester (ripstop, in this case), which is more resistant to UV damage and absorbs less moisture than nylon by weight. The Woodlands Screen House also has the advantage of eight guylines, whereas the Screen House Shelter includes none. In addition, this model has the same bug-deterring flap of fabric along the base as the REI tent, but while the REI’s flap is about 9 inches wide, the L.L.Bean’s flap is about 10.5 inches wide. Several REI reviewers who bought both the tent and the fly for rain protection note that the fly has only two walls, leaving much of the tent exposed. The add-on fly for our runner-up pick, the L.L.Bean Woodlands Screen House, offers four-walled protection, though it’s also more than twice as expensive.