Cool off in the shade with our favorite pop-up canopies

·10 min read

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Instead of searching for a place to get some shade, why not make shade instead? These pop-up canopies are perfect for road trips, or any backyard or outdoor activity.

With a pop up canopy, you don’t have to be cooped up in the house. These canopies are designed to be easy to set up and even easier to take down, so you can get them ready in a matter of minutes and then store them away again until the next time you need them. They’re great to have in any backyard, especially if you plan on hosting events, parties, and get-togethers every now and again. You can even take them on road trips.

Comparing the highest-rated pop-up canopies for 2022

Core 10'x10' Pop-Up Canopy Tent: Our pick 

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At the top of our list, we have this 10x10 pop-up canopy by Core. It features a durable and strong roof that can provide 100 sq. ft. of shade in a matter of minutes.

In fact, the canopy’s item description says that you can get set up in just two minutes, making it pretty painless to get ready for your next event. 

The canopy is made out of polyester, and its legs are made of steel. The entire thing fits inside a handy wheeled carry bag, perfect for transporting the canopy by yourself or tossing it in the back of your vehicle. While its color choices are limited, you can pick between gray and seal gray, leaving you some room for customization.


  • Durable canopy and frame

  • Comes with a wheeled carrying bag

  • One year warranty included


  • Not designed for use in rain

Leader Accessories Pop-Up Canopy Tent: Budget option

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Canopies can be an investment. You’ll need to spend a bit to get your hands on one, and if you want one that will last a long time you’ll have to shell out even more. Or at least that’s what most people think.

In truth, many budget-friendly canopies available online are actually pretty durable, and if you take good care of them they can serve you well for many years.

This canopy set by Leader Accessories is a great example of a budget-friendly canopy that doesn’t cheap out when it comes to durability. Like many other canopies, it measures 10 feet by 10 feet and is available in a handful of colors. There’s even a bag included, making storing and carrying it fairly easy. These canopies are fairly affordable, and while they might not be the prettiest, they can be a good choice if you don’t want to break the bank.


  • Inexpensive compared to similar canopies

  • Multiple color choices

  • Three different height options


  • Does not withstand rain

ABCCANOPY Pop-up Tent with 2 Sunwalls: Another great option

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If there’s one thing that canopies usually lack, it’s privacy. Sure, you’ve got a roof over your head, but everyone can still see you from the sides.

To be fair, canopies are usually set up in public spaces, allowing people to freely move in and out of their shade, but if you’re in the market for a canopy that’s a little more private, this might be what you’re looking for.

Made by ABCCANOPY, this canopy offers a good mix of accessibility and privacy. You can set up its walls on two sides and leave the other two open, and these become particularly useful when you want to block out the sun’s rays throughout the day and just a roof might not do the trick.


  • Comes with two sidewalls

  • Offers decent privacy

  • Available in multiple sizes


  • Does not offer full privacy

CROWN SHADES 10x10 Pop-up Canopy: Also try

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It’s important to know that the canopy itself isn’t the only thing you’ll need — a few extra tools and accessories are required to allow you to utilize your pop-up tent to its fullest extent.

This canopy by CROWN SHADES comes with such accessories, things that you might find useful when setting up the canopy or taking it down for the day.

The canopy is 10 ft. by 10 ft. with an expandable top frame and stands well on its own thanks to its durable legs. If you need it to be sturdier, though, you can make use of the included accessories, such as the four ropes and eight stakes. These can help your canopy stand strong on windy days, and will let you relax without having to worry about it flying away.


  • Easy one-touch setup

  • Comes with extra rope and stakes

  • The canopy and frame are built to last


  • Seams sometimes rip

MASTERCANOPY Ez Pop-up Tent: Also consider

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The standard size for most canopies is 10 ft. by 10 ft., but that size isn't ideal for everyone. Some think this is too small, while others might think it’s too large.

If you’re searching for a canopy in a size that better suits your needs, take a look at this set of canopies from MASTERCANOPY (yes, that’s their name).

You can choose between four different sizes with this canopy, ranging from 6 ft. by 6 ft. all the way up to 12 ft. by 12 ft. There are nine colors to choose from, giving you a whole host of color and size options. If that’s not personalized, then we don’t know what is. It also comes with a sidewall, though it’s only available on one side, so keep that in mind.


  • Multiple sizes available

  • Comes with one sidewall 

  • Wheeled carry bag with rubber handles included


  • Sidewall only covers one side

Buyer’s guide to finding a pop-up canopy

Pop-up canopies can be great temporary and permanent installments. Here’s all you need to know about these useful backyard shelters.

What are canopy tents for?

Canopy tents are essentially shelters designed to offer shade and protect those underneath from the elements. When outside, you’re exposed to a lot of things — the sun’s heat, occasional rainfall, and even leaves or other falling objects that may drop from nearby trees or passing birds. All of these have the potential to ruin an otherwise perfect afternoon, but with a canopy tent, you can combat these unwanted effects.

Canopy tents are made to provide ample shelter without trapping people in small, confined areas. Besides, if you really need four walls around you, you might be better off staying home instead. Canopies let you take in nature’s good side while steering clear of its more inconvenient aspects.

How to pick the right canopy tent

Choose a good color

The actual canopy part of the tent comes in various designs and colors. While most pop up designs only feature simple colors, more permanent canopies can sometimes offer patterns and designs on them. This can add to the overall look of your home, and if you want your backyard to look its finest you'll have to carefully consider which one is right for you.

When choosing a color from a list of options, try to imagine what the canopy would look like in your backyard on a warm afternoon, as that’s probably the ideal time to use it. If you think it will look great and blend well with your home’s aesthetic, then it may be worth considering that color.

Find the right size

Canopy tents are usually available in a few standard sizes. Arguably the most popular size is the 10 ft. by 10 ft. canopy, which comes with the benefit of being just large enough to house a few people but not too large for the average backyard. Choosing a canopy can be tough, as it can be hard to imagine what one would look like in your backyard without it actually being there.

Aside from the usual 10 ft. x 10 ft. size, you’ve also got a few other options to work with. There are 6x6, 8x8, and 12x12 canopy sizes among others, but these are probably the ones you’re most likely to see. These sizes typically fit in most backyards, so if you’re unsure what you want they might all be worthy of consideration.

When thinking about canopy size, it’s always good to get a measurement of the area you plan on installing it in. Larger canopies will obviously require more space, and if you think the area will feel cramped with a 12x12 then you may want to pick a smaller size instead.

Look for extra features

One way brands separate themselves from the competition is by adding extra features and accessories that make their product stand out. A great example of this is the sidewall-- it’s a component found in many different canopies, and its purpose is to provide even more shade than the usual canopy. While traditional canopies protect you from the heat of the sun at noon, sidewalls can protect you during mornings and afternoons and can even shelter you from the occasional pesky breeze.

Aside from these walls, your canopy tent may also come with a few extra tools and items, like rope and stakes. These are particularly useful on windy days, as canopies can easily be blown away by a strong enough gust of wind. By using rope and stakes, though, you can more reliably keep the tent in place and you won’t have to go chasing after it on a windy afternoon.

When to use canopy tents

For gatherings with family and friends

This is usually when people bust out the old canopy tent. When hosting a get-together of friends and/or family, you’re bound to need extra room, especially if the venue is going to be held outside. The canopy tent can offer extra shade to help guests stay cool without having to head inside, and you can also use it to serve as an area for distributing food and drinks, handling the sound system and tech, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

When relaxing in your backyard

While there are many different ways to keep yourself entertained in the modern world, there’s nothing better than kicking back and relaxing every now and then. If you live in an area with lots of nature nearby, you’re missing out by not sitting back and listening to the sounds of birds, insects, and other wildlife. It can be very calming and therapeutic if the conditions are right, especially on a beautiful day.

To make sure the conditions are right, a canopy tent can help keep you from sizzling beneath the sun’s rays. You can lounge around beneath your canopy tent in a comfy chair, a book or magazine in your hand, and an ice-cold drink by your side. Bonus points if you have a sidewall that’ll keep you covered in the late afternoon and let you doze off into the evening if the mood strikes you.

Can pop up canopies be used permanently?

Technically, you can make do with a pop up canopy installed in your backyard for years on end without issue. As long as the quality is good, you treat it well and the environmental conditions aren’t that harsh, it’s not that unusual to have your canopy tent last many years while still functioning like new.

Pop Up Canopies FAQs

Q: Are pop up canopies easy to set up?

Pop up canopies are designed to be easily installed and removed in a matter of minutes.

Q: Do pop up canopies protect you from the rain?

As canopies are made out of solid material such as polyester, you can keep yourself dry and safe even during rain by staying underneath a canopy tent.

Q: Do I need stakes to set up a canopy tent?

Stakes and rope are not necessary to set up a canopy tent, but they can help keep the tent secure in the event of a sudden gust of wind.

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