Outdoor Covers, Canopies, and Shades Buying Guide

Has the sun ever beat down on a hot day, driving you inside? How about a change in the weather unexpectedly changing your plans for a party? Mother Nature doesn't have to dictate your outdoor time anymore, thanks to patio covers, canopies, and shades.

Types of Covers, Canopies, and Shades

Types of Covers, Canopies, and Shades

Design continues to influence all things home-related, and that includes covers, canopies, and shades to protect you from the sun. Umbrellas -- once available in just a size or two, suspended from an immovable pole -- are now stylish accessories with flexible features that allow you to tilt, change, and direct the shade as needed. The same is true for all the other types of covers, canopies, and shades, including carport, shade sail, beach, gazebo, and grill/furniture. Choose the stylish, functional version that you need (and want) for you and your family.

Umbrella

Umbrellas can be freestanding or set in the middle of a table that has a hole for placement. Umbrella poles often have tilting mechanisms that enable them to be angled to provide more protection from the sun.

Carport

A carport is a lower umbrella that is long enough to shield a vehicle of some sort. These are generally left in place for longer periods of time and can be used instead of garages in more temperate climates.

Shade Sail

These covers are suspended from a structure at ceiling height to shade a larger area. They are generally semipermanent and offer flexibility in terms of shape.

Beach

A beach cover or canopy is a temporary structure that is set up with ease and used either in a backyard or on a beach for shade. These typically have a carrying case to make transport simpler.

Gazebo

A gazebo canopy is often shaped similarly to a permanent gazebo structure; it offers shelter or shade for larger gatherings and is a good item to have on hand for frequent entertaining.

Grill/Furniture

Grill and furniture covers are designed to protect these pieces from the effects of inclement weather or prolonged exposure to sun. They are most often used in cold-weather months.

Product Features

Product Features

Choosing the right overs, canopies, and shades might seem like a simple decision, but there are factors that come into play that influence how easy it is for you to use yours. For example, if your canopy is designed to travel with you from spot to spot, a carrying case will be of paramount importance. If your canopy is more stationary, you may put more weight on lighting. Whatever the case, review these and additional product features, including sides and anchors/weights, as you choose the right canopy, cover, or shade for your needs.

Sides

Many covers, canopies, and shades have sides -- either screens or "solid" faux windows -- that offer additional protection from rain and bugs.

Anchors/Weights

Anchors or weights are used keep the cover, canopy, or shade from tipping over or being caught by a gust of wind. These may come with the cover or be bought as supplements.

Carrying Case

Particularly for those covers, canopies, and shades that are designed to be temporary, a carrying case is a practical addition. These usually have some sort of a handle to make transport easier.

Lighting

For those covers, canopies, or shades that may be used at multiple points during the day, accent lighting can be a welcome amenity. Lighting can be attached to poles, the roofline, or other key spots.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

From the smallest beach canopy to the largest gazebos for hosting a crowd, all the opportunities presented by covers, canopies, and shades can be intriguing. But before you grab whatever option seems best, it's helpful to review a few purchase considerations and put them into the decision mix. Those include color, size/capacity, permanent, and temporary/pop-up. Use our short overview to help sort through all the options and find a cover, canopy, or shade that will serve you well for years to come.

Color

Canopies, covers, and shades come in all sorts of colors. For those that are more permanent, a neutral color may be a good choice to blend in with the surrounding landscape and architecture.

Size/Capacity

Before making a purchase, review how many people will likely be using the structure at once. For gazebos, you may desire a larger size to offer more flexibility for various-size parties.

Permanent

Some covers, canopies, and shades are more permanent in nature than others. For example, a gazebo canopy may remain in place throughout warm-weather seasons; a sail canopy can stay as long as needed.

Temporary/Pop-Up

Many covers, canopies, and shades are designed to be temporary structures to accommodate specific activities -- a day at the beach, a graduation party -- rather than year-round needs.

Garden & Outdoor Living on sale

Clevr
$49.99 $32.95

Crosslinks is proud to present the newest edition to the Clevr Home™ collection! Our Sun Shade Canopy is designed to bring you sup...erior protection from the sun’s harmful rays but still allows the breeze to cool you down. The secret is in our patented... read more

Clevr
$49.99 $34.95

Crosslinks is proud to present the newest edition to the Clevr Home™ collection! Our Sun Shade Canopy is designed to bring you sup...erior protection from the sun’s harmful rays but still allows the breeze to cool you down. The secret is in our patented... read more

Clevr
$59.99 $34.95

Crosslinks is proud to present the newest edition to the Clevr Home™ collection! Our Sun Shade Canopy is designed to bring you sup...erior protection from the sun’s harmful rays but still allows the breeze to cool you down. The secret is in our patented... read more

King Canopy
$99.49 $24.95

Provide friends and family with more protection from harmful rays on a patio, pool or deck area with the help of this King Canopy'...s Triangle Sun Shade Sail. It is made of a heavy-duty, open-weave fabric that is designed for long-lasting use and blocks... read more

Yescom
$67.95 $29.99

Features: Effective harmful UV blocking. Virgin HDPE Mayerial with no smell - more durable and better than recycled HDPE Air circu...lation possible - Specially knitted high-density polyethylene fabric. Environmental temperature below the shading sail can... read more

Yescom
$128.95 $49.99

Features: Effective harmful UV blocking. Virgin HDPE Mayerial with no smell - more durable and better than recycled HDPE Air circu...lation possible - Specially knitted high-density polyethylene fabric. Environmental temperature below the shading sail can... read more

Apontus
$99.95 $59.99

The perfect accessory for backyard picnics on hot summer days, this Sail Sun Shade boasts breathable fabric construction for signi...ficant temperature reduction to create your own shady oasis. Sail Shades are wonderfully versatile; they can be attached... read more

Yescom
$110.95 $49.99

Enjoy your outdoor living spaces and remain cooler by using this Square Sun Shading Sail with knitted fabric specially designed to... breathe. It can block harmful sun rays yet remains totally unaffected by moisture and nature temperature extremes. The... read more

Yescom
$51.95 $27.99

Enjoy your outdoor living spaces and remain cooler by using this Triangle Sun Shading Sail with knitted fabric specially designed ...to breathe. It can block harmful sun rays yet remains totally unaffected by moisture and nature temperature extremes. The... read more

Apontus
$99.95 $40.99

The perfect accessory for backyard picnics on hot summer days, this Sail Sun Shade boasts breathable fabric construction for signi...ficant temperature reduction to create your own shady oasis. Sail Shades are wonderfully versatile; they can be attached... read more

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