Buyer's Guide: Best Canopy Tents

Rilor Staff
Update: August 7, 2020
Table of Contents

The best canopy tent is definitely a treasure worth keeping. During leisure and outdoor excursions, they can give you unparalleled protection against the nasty elements. 

However, picking a good canopy tent can be a challenging task; they are not the same conventional tents that you use in backpacking and car camping trips. But with this guide, you can overcome such problems with ease. 

Reviews Of The Best Canopy Tents

1. Eurmax Premium Pergolas with Canopy Outdoor Gazebo - Editor's Pick

We should start with cream-of-the-crop!

Specifically, I am talking about the Eurmax Premium Pergolas. This one clearly sets the standard for what canopy tents should possess. 

The construction of this unit is a step higher than most of its counterparts. It is tailored for the purpose of providing stable and reliable instant shelter for a myriad of outdoor activities. 

The roof of the tent is durable and offers rugged defense against harsh weather elements. It is capable of blocking the harmful UV rays and fending off heavy downpours. All of the stitching lines of the canopy have been fully sealed so that water will not be able to pass through it. 

Moreover, the canopy is a certified CPAI-84 fire retardant. This means that it will never become a cause of any fire hazard. 

Of course, the supporting frame of this tent is downright impressive, too. The full truss structure is rust-resistant and has been treated with powder coating. 

The legs are hexagon-shaped; hence, enabling them to provide more stability for the tent. Even if the ground is rough or the atmosphere is riddled with strong gusts of wind, the tent will not get toppled. 

For me, it is not challenging to get amazed by this Eurmax Premium Pergolas. It is reliable, cost-efficient, and ergonomic!


  • Frames are durable and rugged
  • Offers exceptional ground stability; it doesn't get wobbly
  • Canopy is fully sealed and reinforced 
  • Assembly is not quirky
  • Provides enough headroom for people to move conveniently


  • Not ideal for extended use
  • It is quite heavy

2. ABCCANOPY Pop-Up Canopy Tent - Runner-Up

If you need a canopy that can give you relentless coverage, I do suggest that you check out the 10' x 20' model of the ABCCANOPY. This tent is capable of sheltering up to twenty people without getting too cramped. 

Of course, this unit is available in different sizes, so you can always go smaller, depending on your needs. 

Meanwhile, its construction is far from being flimsy. The canopy, for instance, is tailored from a heavy-duty PU that is capable of deflecting UV rays. 

Specifically, the canopy has a UPF 50+ rating, which makes it extremely useful in days where the sun is blazing. Needless to say, the canopy can also protect you from the rain. 

Since it is a pop-up canopy, I can guarantee that its setup is relatively easy. It will only require two people to install this tent.

The convenience that this tent provides also comes from its portability. With its roller bag, transporting it to any location or destination is just a breeze. The wheels are sturdy but glide smoothly on any surface.


  • Available in different sizes
  • Canopy is rugged and impervious from wear-and-tear
  • Sturdy frame construction
  • Hassle-free assembly and installation
  • Easy to transport


  • The tent is "too stiff" at first

3. E-Z UP Pyramid Instant Shelter - Budget-Friendly Pick

The E-Z UP Pyramid Instant Shelter is an affordable but high-quality canopy tent. If you think that a simple leisure tent is enough for your needs, this unit should be a great option already. 

Evidently, one of the biggest perks of this tent is its portability; you can take it anywhere, thanks to its highly manageable weight. It also includes an ergonomic roller bag that enables you to take the tent in a myriad of substrates and surfaces. 

The fabric used on its canopy is not only durable. It has been reinforced as well to minimize the risks of it being torn or worn off. There are no seams on the roof, as well, to prevent the elements from ruining your fun. 

The durability of the legs of this canopy tent is quite decent. While it is true that they are not made for heavy-duty use, the legs are already strong enough to handle simple outdoor activities such as beach parties, picnics, sports events, and fairs. You can adjust their height, too.

Aside from those features, the E-Z UP Pyramid Instant Shelter includes an innovative frame design. You will not see any crossing bars at the center. Instead, the supporting bars meet and extend up to the top, enabling the tent to provide the maximum headroom for its users. 


  • Quick and simple assembly 
  • Includes a UV and fire-resistant canopy
  • Height-adjustable legs
  • Ensures a spacious headroom
  • Roller bag is ergonomic and durable


  • Not suitable to be used in windy conditions

4. REI Co-op Screen House Shelter - Premium Pick  

REI Co-op Screen House Shelter
  • Without a floor, it can be positioned over a picnic table or simply set up as a comfortable lounging area
  • Straight zipper openings on 2 sides provide quick and easy entry/exit so bugs don't have a chance to get in
  • No-see-um mesh doors and walls keep bugs outside where they belong; polyester taffeta roof provides shade from the sun
  • Solid fabric perimeter around the base blocks the creepy crawlies
  • Combination of top pole sleeves and side clips with color coding simplifies setup

Some instances would make anyone feel that standard canopy tents are not enough, regardless of how good they are. You might want some added features or perks that would make these tents a good place to stay even for a couple of days. 

The QREI Co-op Screen House Shelter can be a good solution for this. It is a spacious tent that can provide seamless enclosure--just like the tents you use in camping or hiking. 

Surprisingly, this one has a quick assembly. The combination of color-coded pole sleeves and side clips ensure that its setup is not mind-boggling.

With its 120 square feet of interior space, this tent is capable of fitting a standard picnic table. Furthermore, it has a secure fabric perimeter on its floor to prevent the entry of crawling insects.

It is quite impressive that the roof is fully sealed and reinforced to guarantee that you'll be safe from the heat and rain. Specifically, it is made from 600 denier fabric for relentless durability. All of its seams are tapered to ensure waterproof performance. (Check out our guide on the best waterproof tents for more ideas.)

The side no-see-um mesh of this tent acts as its walls that protect you from bugs and debris. Meanwhile, the entire structure of the tent is supported by large and rugged aluminum poles. 


  • Suitable to be used for camping and overnight picnics
  • Comes with no-see-um mesh walls for insect and debris protection
  • Quick assembly
  • Includes stakes for added stability
  • Comes with organizational pockets


  • Doesn't have guylines

5. Ozark Trail Instant Screenhouse

The Ozark Trail Instant Screenhouse is considerably one of the finest screenhouse canopies today. It is perfect not only for leisure activities but it can also be used on some tougher outdoor pursuits. 

This screenhouse is relatively spacious on the inside. It might not be as roomy as other units, though, as the angle of its legs is sloped already. But with such a design, the stability of this unit becomes unquestionable. 

Just like the Quick Set tent, the Ozark Trail Instant Screenhouse has a quick setup. You can have it ready under a minute even without needing someone's help. 

Accessibility to this tent is not an issue. Unlike other screenhouses, this one includes two doors so that entry and exit won't become a problem. 

With its steel frame and heavy-duty polymer mesh, the tent becomes a reliable shelter in the wild. They are highly durable and can withstand constant use.


  • Provides sufficient headroom
  • Frames are pre-attached to the tent for quicker setup
  • The roof is UV-resistant and seamless
  • Remains stable amidst windy terrains
  • Mesh walls are not flimsy and susceptible to tearing


  • Limited interior space

How To Choose The Best Canopy Tent

As mentioned, these canopy tents have a lot of uses for outdoor activities. They are downright essential in providing temporary shelter and protection to people and their items. 

Of course, you wouldn't want to get exposed under the direct sunlight. Nobody ever wants to have their picnics be ruined by sudden rain. 

By this time, I do trust that you are already aware that not all canopy tents are the same. The ones that I listed here are among those that you can rely on a heartbeat. Unfortunately, some models are not able to keep up with them. 

So what makes a canopy tent great? How can you identify the gem from the rocks? 

The following list of considerations can answer those questions. 

Portability and Assembly

The first thing that we have to discuss here is the overall portability and assembly of the tent. These factors do affect the entire "experience" from using a particular canopy.

Ideally, these canopy tents are just meant for temporary use. However, some events (i.e., festivals and parties) would require these tents to be moved from one to place to another for several days. 

In such a situation, a tent that is not portable would be an issue. It will require too much effort before the tent can be assembled and installed again. Having an ultra lightweight tent can make setup, transportation, and clean up much easier.

Meanwhile, the portability of a tent also speaks about the level of convenience that you can feel when transporting it. Keep in mind that these tents can actually be heavy, especially those large models. Hence, wheeled transport bags should come in the package, too. 

Materials and Construction

The best canopy tents are those that are brimming with rigidity and durability. There's no arguing about this. 

You should never settle on a canopy that can easily be torn. At the same time, you must not get a unit that has flimsy and wobbly legs. 


When it comes to the frame of the tent, two materials are considered to be the staple: aluminum and steel. 

Steel is unquestionably durable and robust. It can withstand heavy winds and works optimally in any conditions, especially if it comes with powder coating. 

Aluminum is lighter than steel. But at the same time, it is susceptible to bend and break. 

Therefore, you should get steel-framed canopy tents if you are going to pitch in difficult terrains. For simple outdoor activities under a favorable climate, tents with aluminum frames are already enough. 


When it comes to the canopy, polyester is the material of choice of many manufacturers. However, they do vary in thickness and durability. 

The thicker the fabric, the more durable and rugged it becomes. 

Also, there are canopies from vinyl-coated polyester. These ones are costly, but they provide enhanced defense against the harmful UV rays. Some of these canopies are fire-retardant as well.

Don't forget to check if the seams of the canopy are reinforced. You don't want rainwater to be dripping from tiny holes in the roof. 


The design of these canopies often follows the conventional standards: an overhead roof (canopy) is stretched and supported by four or more legs. 

Despite this commonality, don't forget that canopies do not come in a single size. 

Before you start shopping, you should always mind your needs and preferences. If you are going to have a picnic with a few people only, 10' x 10' tents are already enough. However, you can still go for 12' x 12' models if you think that you require more space for people and their items. 

Also, the inclination of the legs can determine the overall coverage that a tent can give. 

  • A 10' x 10' tent with straight legs can provide coverage of 100 square feet. But if the legs are slant, its coverage can decrease to 64 square feet. 
  • A 12' x 12' tent with straight legs can offer 144 square feet of usable space. However, this can be reduced from 80 feet to 100 feet if the legs are slanted. 

Don't forget to check the headroom of the tent. As much as possible, try to avoid tents that have low headrooms since they will limit the mobility of people. 

Added Features

  • Sidewalls - These are extra components that can provide added protection to you from the weather. They can also give you some privacy or act as storage tents for extra space to place things.
  • Carrying case or bags - Having a carrying case will enable you to handle you to transport or move a canopy tent easily. Make sure that the carrying case does include wheels and handles. It would also be great if it has a hard outer shell for added durability and protection to the tent. 
  • Quick-lift - When picking a canopy tent, don't forget that you are free to choose those models that are equipped with a spring mechanism. The latter will enable you to pitch the tent on your own. 


Being able to do your favorite outdoor activities without experiencing any inconvenience is such a bliss. Temporary shelters, like the best canopy tents, should be essential at this point. 

Get them and your memorable moments will never ever be ruined by the weather or external nuisances. I am sure that's a trade that you are willing to get. 

That's it for now. If you have some questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to ask me in the comment section. 

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