instant canopy purchase advice

Discussion in 'Canvas / Awnings / Add a Rooms / Tarps / Tents' started by Dale_n_Elle, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. Dale_n_Elle

    Dale_n_Elle New Member

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    Last year we bought an awesome instant canopy for $55. It was big, beautiful, and we could not believe it was so inexpensive......until we tried to close it and then every plastic joiner piece and several of the flimsy aluminum arms snapped.
    We want to purchase another one for our upcoming 4th of July campout at the beach. We want to put it up on the beach for shade, so it needs to be sturdy in some wind. Does anyone recommend an inexpensive canopy that will last longer than our first one did?
     
  2. RAGAR Family

    RAGAR Family Member

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    By instant canopy I assume you are not talking about one that is attached to the camper.

    So....

    Don't buy that cheap stuff from Walmart or Dicks.

    EASY UP is the way to go, http://www.ezup.com/index.html they are more expensive but they last for a long time.
     
  3. Bama Camper1

    Bama Camper1 New Member

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    I bought the one from Dick's SG and have had no problems with it. Saved enough to buy the mosquito net and solid wind blocks. It's your money though. They are lighter construction so be sure to stake it down.
     
  4. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    I have this:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-15-x-15-GeoSport-Shade/5646067

    You can't add screening or anything like that, but it works great for shade as well as cover when it rains. We've had ours going on 6 years now and it's been through just about everything imaginable. It's pretty easy to put up and take down; I'm sure there are easier ones out there (ez up)...but this thing has definitely worked beyond my expectations. You have to put the poles together and everything, much like a tent and I always stake mine down; if I know it's going to be windy, I put the guy lines on.
     
  5. nomorecoop

    nomorecoop Member

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    Having been through a few of these due to wind damage, I've found the ones with the air vent in the ceiling seems to hold up the best. Lost 2 canopies last year camping, and thusfar, the vented top one I bought has worked well. Had a couple of bad windstorms and it held fine.
     
  6. JeepMama

    JeepMama New Member

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    We have an EZ Up. Our first one was similar to an EZ Up but was not the brand name, it was fine until we had it on the beach on a windy day and it took off- got bent up pretty bad.

    We also have the wind walls and screens just in case.

    I think if you take care not to use them in windy weather, they will basically all be okay.
     
  7. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    I hear you on the First-Up and other inexpensive canopies. They are flimsy and relatively disposable.

    We lugged around an EZ-Up 10x10 canopy for years. Its a commercial-level model and runs about $250 new. The only issue I had was once at Myrtle Beach, a pretty violent storm came up and I didn't get it lowered down in time. The buffeting wind ripped a 3" hole in the center peak. This was easily sewn back up and reinforced. The downside of these is that they are expensive, fairly large, and fairly heavy. The upside is they last darned-near forever. We have the screen-wall kit, so it is fantastic when the flys and mosquitos are out! The secret I learned at the beach was that when a heavy storm is rolling in, if you lower the legs down so that there is only a foot or so of open space at the bottom, the wind doesn't get up inside as much to tear it apart.

    Now that we moved to a TT that has an 18' awning attached, we haven't taken the EZ-Up out as much. I inherited a First-Up last month that needed one arm rebuilt. We took it out on Memorial Day and I have to say, I enjoyed it being a smaller package to travel, and only weighs a few pounds...we will see how long it lasts!!

    The Coleman in the previous post looks like a nice in-between option.

    Todd
     
  8. Barbfdny

    Barbfdny Barb, Lee, Kate, Richie, A.J. and Sasha

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    We have an instant canopy called the falcon by gander mountain. The sides go up and down for wind breaks. We LOVE it!!! It is very well made, easy to put up and down, comes with very sturdy parts and we are actually getting another one soon in case this one gets damaged. We use it every trip. Here are pics of it up with the "winds" out and one with them down. Paid 199 for it on sale, now its around 249. Well worth it. This is the second year of using it and no wear so far. Holds the wind back, keeps the rain off with gutters on both ends to divert the rain and its got the solar color silver to keep the heat out and it does.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. JeepMama

    JeepMama New Member

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    WOW !!! Barbfdny - that looks really awesome!
     
  10. papachaz

    papachaz New Member

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    the absolute best prices i've seen on these are Academy Outdoors. they have a wide range of sizes and go from the cheapest to the most expensive and everything in between. we saw someone last july 4th with one set up at Sloppy Floyd State Park (NW GA) with the sides down and a one room A/C sitting on at picnic table sticking through the sidewall.... [LOL] hard to beat redneck ingenuity sometimes
     
  11. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk New Member

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    We had one of those tan $99 canopies from Walmart. It seemed plenty sturdy. A tornado came through the area where we were camping last year and it blew over the top of my wife's car leaving about $500 worth of scratches and then into the woods. I salvaged the roof and side curtains, but the frame was a total loss.
     
  12. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    My Coleman Geosport (Pictured):

    [​IMG]

    Has been through just about everything, including high winds. High winds are just a fact of life here in NM as are afternoon mountain thunderstorms. If the wind is only blowing 20-25 MPH or so, well......that's a nice calm day around here. I can't have much of anything that doesn't perform reaonably well in the wind, otherwise, it would be completely useless. It does have the vent in the top....only downside to that is when it's been raining awhile, some water will collect and if you bump the poles it can come splashing down....I generally just poke at it every once in awhile to get the water to run off at the vent if it's really raining.
     
  13. Dale_n_Elle

    Dale_n_Elle New Member

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    Thanks so much for the replies everyone! I think I am going to order one from Academy Outdoors, they have an EZ-UP for less than I spent on my junky one!
     
  14. JungleJim

    JungleJim New Member

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    If you look at the posts over the years, the First-Up brand at Walmart has been the most recommended one on the popup forums. It seems to withstand wind AND rain. The price of the First-Up brand is nice, plus it seems like a superior product.
    (none will stand up to extreme winds....)

    The EZ-UP's seem to collapse and be destroyed in any rain, due to the water collecting on the roof. I wouldn't purchase an EZ-UP unless you only want one to block the sun. But then you'd have to take it down every time it rains.
     
  15. Dale_n_Elle

    Dale_n_Elle New Member

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    Thanks Jim, I really do want to get a good one to last. It seems to rain every time we camp. [:!]
     
  16. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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  17. JungleJim

    JungleJim New Member

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  18. nimrod65

    nimrod65 Member

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    We bought an EZ up and it collapsed under the rain. They are not guaranteed in rain. We have 2 First Ups. They have velcro to hold the sides to the frame so the water doesn't collect. Haven't had any trouble with them in the rain. They are not guaranteed in rain either. I would never buy another EZ Up.
     
  19. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

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    [​IMG]

    We have had this one shortly after we started camping. Maybe 3 or 4 years ago... (It was our second one. The first one I got had poles you had to put together to use it. I still have it, but never use it. PITB and flimsy.) This one I picked it up on sale when the store first started selling them. I think I paid 99 bucks for it at Walmart. I cannot remember if it is a ezup or a first up. (says northpole industries on it.) But we love it and it has been in may storms and some heavy wind. We just lower it to the lowest setting (all the way down) and ride it out. So far so good. We really love it! I have seen them there for 169 now. I do like the Coleman one that Wallys has now for 147 called the Coleman Max. It looks well made. I would like to get a second one for more shade. Hate roasting in sun.

    FLB
     
  20. Campit

    Campit EAT SLEEP CAMP

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    Ditto! I have one and it's a breeze putting up and taking down. Most time spent with it is tying it down with rope and spikes when we're at the beach. It's worth the money!


    Campit
     

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