A pop-up canopy is a portable shelter that provides shade and protection from the elements in your backyard, at the beach, or at a special event. We researched dozens of pop-up canopies, evaluating them on protection from the elements, durability, assembly, and value.
Our top pick, ABCCANOPY Patio Pop-Up Canopy Tent, works even in heavy weather, thanks to the included sandbags, guide ropes, and stakes. And with plenty of color and size options, it gets top marks for customization.
Here are the best pop-up canopies to help provide you with portable shade outside.
Best Overall: ABCCANOPY Patio Pop-Up Canopy Tent
Heavy duty fabric and frame
Wheeled storage bag
Color and size options
No extra features
For the greatest variety of options in a top-performing canopy tent, our top pick is the ABCCANOPY Patio Pop-Up Canopy Tent. The 10-foot by 10-foot canopy is a favorite for most people who want to provide shelter for a table or two—it can accommodate up to 10 people in your backyard, at a tailgate, or at the beach. Set-up requires two people, but one person can easily transport the folded tent by using the wheeled storage bag.
This is a relatively simple tent, but it's made with top-quality materials. The fabric is treated to provide protection from UV rays and is also waterproof. The steel frame is strong enough to stand against wind and rain, although we recommend using the included sandbags, guide ropes, and stakes to secure it even better. The frame is all one piece, making it easy to set up and reducing the likelihood of damage and wear over time.
This canopy comes in six sizes and 22 colors. If you want to customize it to support your favorite sports team or just have a favorite color, this is the choice for you. While the company does not offer personalization, you can take the canopy to a local company that does screen printing or embroidery. You can also display a banner using the reinforced banner-attachment holes.
Price at time of publish: $200
Best Budget: Everbilt 8 ft. x 8 ft. Grey Straight Leg Instant Canopy Pop Up Tent
Easy to set up and take down
Waterproof and UV protection
Drainage hole on roof
Not great for strong winds
This is a simple but effective pop-up canopy for a bargain price. For less than $100, it provides shelter for up to eight people and has a solid powder-coated steel frame that you can set up and take down with just one hand (although it does go much more quickly with two people). While this canopy doesn’t have any special extra features, like sides or an extra-large gathering area, it’s hard to beat the price. With proper care, it is likely to last through multiple seasons.
The fabric blocks UV rays and has a drainage hole to keep rain from pooling on top. It includes a carrying case, stakes, and guide ropes for easy set-up. It works well in inclement weather, including rain, due to its waterproof fabric. The fabric is thinner than some more expensive options, however, and if you expect heavier winds, make sure that you tie the canopy down and stake it strongly.
Price at time of publish: $69
Best Splurge: Eurmax 10 x 10 Commercial Pop-Up Canopy
Maximum UV and weather protection
Multiple color options available
Reinforced banner attachment
Wheeled carrying case
Ventilation got great with all sides up
While an expensive purchase given its size, the Eurmax USA 10 x 10 foot Pop-up Canopy works as a stylish shelter from the elements or for an added element of privacy. It’s great for those who want to protect their dining experience, pop-up shop, or gathering from the more unpleasant elements of the outdoors, including bugs, the sun, and sideways rain. It also comes in eight colors and includes a wheeled carrying case, which is fortunate, because it is one of the heaviest on our list.
Because it has solid fabric walls, the ventilation on this option isn’t as good as some other canopies that we recommend. The benefit of this option is that the things and people inside are protected from rain, wind, and UV rays. If that is a priority for you, it’s hard to beat the performance of the Eurmax canopy. You can set it up without the sides or just some of the sides, giving it some of the best versatility. While it can’t be customized, it includes reinforced banner-attachment points.
Price at time of publish: $300
Best Small: Quik Shade Solo Steel 9 x 9 Canopy
Strong base design
Not great for rain or wind
Budget-friendly, this trapezoidal leg frame pop-up canopy provides plenty of space with a smaller footprint. It can fit two people with plenty of room to lounge and up to four people in a group gathering. With four color options, it’s also a fun way to show off your style and favorite colors.
Due to the trapezoidal legs, the frame is actually very strong, even though this is a smaller canopy. The legs telescope to extend and can be set up by one person easily. You can also customize the height at three points of the legs. While this canopy does include ground stakes, it really isn’t sturdy enough for more than a light drizzle. It will keep you protected from the overhead sun but isn’t our top choice for rain or wind.
Price at time of publish: $83
Best Large: ABCCANOPY Patio Pop-Up Commercial 10 x 20 Canopy
Ample room for larger groups
Available in multiple colors
Need a larger vehicle for transport
Could blow away if not staked down correctly
Our top pick from ABCCANOPY also comes in a similar tent that is a whopping 10 feet x 20 feet. The challenge with a large tent is making sure that it is staked down adequately, since even a small gust can get under the tent and lift it up. This option comes with four sandbags as well as stakes and guide ropes. It is available in multiple colors, just like its smaller counterparts.
The frame is one piece, which makes set-up easy. It will likely take multiple people, however, to get the canopy attached to all of the points before extending the legs. You can adjust the tension using a one-handed tensioner at the top for the perfect fit. Make sure that your vehicle can accommodate the larger size of this tent—even packed in its carrying case, the canopy is over 5 feet long.
Price at time of publish: $413
Best With Netting: Hampton Bay Stockton 11 x 11 Outdoor Patio Pop-Up Canopy With Netting
Removable mesh sides
Heavy duty fabric
Includes heavy-weather accessories
Needs multiple people to set up
A pricier option, the Hampton Bay 11-foot by 11-foot pop-up canopy is more of an outdoor room than a pop-up canopy. It is large and can fit up to 12 people comfortably. The best feature is the removable side netting—if you are hosting a backyard barbecue or any other gathering with food, being able to set up netting to keep the more curious pests from getting inside is a huge perk.
You can also adjust the height of the entire structure just by pushing the buttons on the legs to move them up or down. While one person can push the button, it’s best to do that before you set the canopy up, or have other people supporting the other legs as you adjust them one by one. This is also a great choice for heavier weather, since it comes with heavy-weather guide ropes, stakes, and weighted bags. The fabric itself is also heavier and can keep rain and sun from ruining your fun.
Price at time of publish: $249
Best for Carrying: Caravan Canopy V-Series 10 x 10 Steel Pop-Up Canopy
Includes wheeled carrying case
Folds up to around 4 feet long
White fabric can stain
Can't be laundered
One of the perks of using a pop-up canopy is how easy it is to get from storage to your vehicle and eventually to your site. The Caravan Canopy includes a wheeled carrying case and is one of the lighter options on our list. When folded, it is roughly 4 feet long and can fit in the back of most standard SUVs.
Don’t let its portability fool you, though. This canopy is still strong enough to use in the sun or the rain. The white powder-coated steel frame unfolds and attaches to the UV-resistant white canopy fabric. Keep in mind that neither can be washed, so take care before getting it dirty. Make sure that the fabric canopy is completely dry before storing, to avoid mold and mildew, which will leave a stain even if you try spot-cleaning it.
Price at time of publish: $107
Our top pick is the ABCCANOPY Patio Pop-Up Canopy Tent. It has plenty of size and color options, all with fabric that protects against harmful UV rays, rain, and wind. It also includes heavy-weather accessories, such as sandbags, stakes, and guide ropes, so you never need to worry about your canopy blowing away. The Eurmax USA 10 x 10 foot Pop-Up Canopy is a more expensive choice, but it is one of the most versatile options available. It comes with optional fabric sides, a wheeled carrying case, and reinforced attachment points for a banner or lights.
What to Look for in a Pop-Up Canopy
Polyester is the most popular choice for canopy fabric. It can be treated to provide UV protection as well as a waterproof barrier. Even bright colors don’t fade as quickly as some other fabrics. Pop-up canopy frames are usually steel due to its strength and weather-resistant properties. If you prefer having a frame with color, look for something that has been powder-coated rather than painted, for maximum durability.
There are a variety of sizes available, and the best option for you depends on your planned use. A 10 x 10-foot pop-up canopy is a good all-purpose size that can accommodate a roomy table set up or a few smaller tables for a group gathering. Large tents tend to be more expensive and more difficult to set up, but they can be useful for big groups.
Popular extra features for pop-up tents include adjustable height, side walls or netting, and attachment points for string lights or banners. Heavy-weather accessories are a useful extra and should be considered, even if it means an extra purchase. Sand bags, sturdy guide ropes, and strong stakes can keep your canopy from blowing away, even in the wind and rain.
What are pop-up canopies used for?
Pop-up canopies are portable shelters that are perfect for outdoor gatherings, the beach, camping, or any other outdoor activity. Most are portable enough to be put into a car or SUV, taken to their destination, and set up by just one or two people. They come in a variety of sizes, perfect for providing shelter from the sun or rain for up to 16 people or more.
How do you keep a pop-up canopy from blowing away?
Many pop-up canopies come with guide ropes and stakes to secure them in the ground. These are often enough to hold up against mild wind and rain. If you expect heavier winds, look for heavy-weather stakes and durable guide ropes. You can also reinforce the attachment points on the canopy itself if you are really concerned.
How do you set up a pop-up canopy?
Each pop-up canopy has its own set-up process and instructions, but most follow similar steps. First, set up the frame. This can be done by extending the legs and upper frame. Some pop-up canopies have these in multiple pieces, while others have just one frame piece. Then, attach the fabric canopy using the attachment method, such as snaps, hook and loop closures, or heavy-duty buttons.
How do you store a pop-up canopy?
The best pop-up canopies come with storage bags. Simply take the canopy down and fold it. Before folding the fabric portion, make sure that it is dry and free from debris. You may need to wipe it down with a towel or let it dry in the sun if needed. Once you have the frame and fabric folded, put it into the carrying case or bag.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. Katie has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Katie has personally tested some of the canopies on this list at the beach, at picnics, and at special events. Having already experienced a canopy that blew away (it was not one on this list), she prioritized looking for a pop-up canopy that has sturdy attachment points and comes with stakes.