The 7 Best Outdoor Canopies for Adding Style and Shade to Your Yard

ABC Canopy’s Pop-Up Gazebo earned our top spot, because it’s stylish, spacious, and stable.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Patio Gazebo
Photo: wayfair.com

Spending time outdoors can be lovely—and an outdoor canopy can make it even lovelier. The pop-up shelter can shield you from the sun, keeping you from overheating on a hot day. And some outdoor canopies can even protect you from the rain, keep bugs at bay, and add a dose of style to your yard.

To determine the best outdoor canopies, we sought advice from two experts: Sarah Cole, principal designer at Sarah Cole Interiors, and Allison Knizek, principal designer at Allison Knizek Design. We also spent hours researching top-rated outdoor canopies, assessing them on size, stability, and style.

"When purchasing, it's important to [consider] stability, durability, and ease of assembly," Knizek says. "Nobody wants a Wizard of Oz situation where the canopy blows off in a sudden gust of wind."

Our top pick, ABC Canopy's Pop-Up Gazebo, wins on comfort, convenience, and durability, ticking every box our experts told us to consider. Available in six striking colors, the canopy is also stylish enough to spruce up your yard.

Here are the best outdoor canopies for every yard and use.

Our Top Picks:

Best Overall Outdoor Canopy: ABC Canopy Pop-Up Gazebo with Mosquito Netting

Patio Gazebo
amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a stylish outdoor canopy that can withstand rain, wind, and intense sun.

Who it isn't for: People who want a subtler canopy without any netting.

Stylish, spacious, and easy to set up, ABC Canopy's Pop-Up Gazebo is the most well-rounded canopy we came across. And since it's packed with stabilizing features, you won't have to worry about it toppling over in the middle of your outdoor fun.

Measuring 13 feet wide and 13 feet long, this canopy is spacious enough for a crowd, but not too big for most backyards. It's designed to keep you comfortable, no matter what's going on outside—on hot days you can enjoy the breeze through the wind-vented top, and when it rains, you can count on strategically-placed drain holes to keep the canopy from caving in. The canopy's sturdy legs will keep the shelter standing on windy days, especially if you tie it down with the ropes and stakes it ships with. And when the bugs come out, you can let down the canopy's mesh walls to close off the structure without trapping heat.

Simply put, this canopy covers all your bases—and it looks good doing it. The retractable mesh walls tie back to look like curtains, and thanks to its two-layer roof, the canopy looks more like a gazebo than a tent. The canopy also comes in six striking colors, any of which would look good in your backyard. And to top it all off, it comes with a compact carry bag that's perfect for seasonal storage.

Product Details:

  • Size: 13 x 13 x 9 feet
  • Weight: 54 pounds
  • Weather Resistance: Water-resistant, windproof, UV-protective

Best Budget Outdoor Canopy: Best Choice Products Outdoor Pop-Up Canopy

Patio Gazebo
amazon.com

Also available at Walmart, Target, and Wayfair.

Who it's for: People who want to score a deal on a simple but sturdy canopy.

Who it isn't for: People who want a canopy that's more adjustable and spacious.

There are lots of budget-friendly canopies out there, but Best Choice Products' Outdoor Pop-Up Canopy is our favorite. It isn't just affordable—it's also sleek, stable, and ridiculously easy to set up.

At 10 feet long and 10 feet wide, this canopy isn't the biggest option on our list, but it's still spacious enough for a small crowd. And since it's easy to set up, it's great for tailgates and events. To assemble, simply unfold the frame, add the weather-resistant fabric roof, and lock the legs in place. Once you've tied it down using the included ropes and stakes, the canopy will be as stable as any other—and it'll fold back down in seconds once you're ready to pack it up.

Though the canopy doesn't come with many fancy features, its weather-resistant design means you can use it rain or shine, and its simple silhouette makes it an easy addition to any outdoor space. Snag the canopy in one of eight striking colors, and make use of its convenient transport bag whenever you need to store it or carry it around.

Product Details:

  • Size: 10 x 10 x 7.5-10 feet
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Weather Resistance: Water-resistant, wind-resistant, UV-protective

RELATED: The 8 Best Picnic Blankets for Every Occasion, According to Our Testing

Best Splurge Outdoor Canopy: Freeport Park Flynt Pergola With Canopy

Patio Gazebo
wayfair.com

Who it's for: People who want to invest in a semi-permanent canopy.

Who it isn't for: People who want the flexibility of a pop-up canopy or the permanence of a year-round canopy.

Freeport Park's Flynt Pergola isn't your average outdoor canopy—and that's exactly what makes it worth the splurge. Part metal pergola and part retractable canopy, this shelter anchors into the ground, giving you more space and stability than you'd get from a pop-up canopy.

The pergola is 13 feet wide, 10 feet long, and eight feet tall, so it's big enough for parties and patio furniture. It's made of thick aluminum posts that anchor into the ground and can withstand 40 mph winds, making it much sturdier than a standard pop-up canopy. Unfortunately, the posts take a while to set up, so this pergola isn't great for transport or faraway events.

The pergola comes equipped with a weather-resistant canopy, which is what ultimately earned it a spot on our list. This canopy is retractable, so you can customize how much sun and shade you're getting, and it comes in five pretty colors—all of which make the pergola look even more luxurious.

Product Details:

  • Size: 13 x 10 x 8 feet
  • Weight: 106 pounds
  • Weather Resistance: Water-resistant, wind-resistant, UV-protective

Best Outdoor Canopy With Retractable Walls: Red Barrel Studio Franz Patio Gazebo

Patio Gazebo
wayfair.com

Who it's for: People who want a customizable canopy they can use in various conditions.

Who it isn't for: People who want to forgo customization to save a little money.

Buying an outdoor canopy with retractable walls makes a lot of sense. Why? Retractable walls give you airflow when you want it and protection when you need it. And since Red Barrel Studio's Franz Patio Gazebo comes with two sets of adjustable walls, it's one of the most customizable canopies on the market.

At first glance, the canopy looks like any other. It's 10 feet long and 10 feet wide, and it has a wind-vented top that's great for breathability. But once you unroll its retractable walls, you'll see what makes the canopy so special. When you want protection without cutting off airflow, you can let down the canopy's net walls; when you want heavy-duty protection, you can let down the thicker polyester walls. When unfurled, these walls cover the outside of the canopy, making it a completely closed structure. And remember: You can let down some walls and tie back others, getting the exact balance of protection and airflow you want.

Another thing that sets this canopy apart? It's fit for year-round use. This is a surprisingly rare feature, and it makes the canopy an even better buy. The weather-resistant canopy is durable enough to withstand water and UV rays, and its protective walls make it cozy enough to use when it gets cold out.

Product Details:

  • Size: 10 x 10 x 9 feet
  • Weight: 108 pounds
  • Weather Resistance: Water-resistant, UV-protective

RELATED: The 15 Best Places to Buy Outdoor Furniture Online

Best Triangular Outdoor Canopy: Colour Tree Sun Shade Sail Canopy

Patio Gazebo
amazon.com

Also available at Home Depot.

Who it's for: People who want a nontraditional canopy that's sturdy and budget-friendly.

Who it isn't for: People who want a canopy they can set up anywhere or people who want a canopy with walls.

If you don't want the fuss of a traditional outdoor canopy, you can save money and time with a sun shade sail. These triangular screens hang between poles, trees, and walls, creating shady structures that won't fall over the moment a breeze rolls through. And we especially love Colour Tree's Sun Shade Sail, because it's available in over 100 sizes—making it incredible easy to find an option that suits your space.

The triangular screen is woven from HDPE (high-density polyethylene), a particularly sturdy plastic, and is finished with a UV-resistant coating. This is key, because it means you can leave the canopy up instead of taking it down after every use. Since water can flow through the woven material, the canopy won't cave in on rainy days, and thanks to its UV-resistant coating, it won't dry out if you leave it in the sun.

Of course, durability isn't the only thing we love about this canopy—we also appreciate that it comes in 11 colors and over 100 different sizes. Since sun shade sails have to hang from existing structures, having all those options to choose from counts for a lot.

Product Details:

  • Size: 4-34 x 4-34 x 4-34 feet
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Weather Resistance: Water-resistant, UV-protective

RELATED: The 9 Best Hammocks for Lounging Outside

Best Outdoor Canopy for Beach: Qipi Beach Cabana

Patio Gazebo
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a beach-friendly canopy they can set up in the sand.

Who it isn't for: People who want a canopy they can use on grass, cement, or wood.

Qipi's Beach Cabana is as lightweight, portable, and easy to set up as a classic beach umbrella, but it's also as sturdy and shady as a traditional pop-up canopy.

At six feet long and six feet wide, this cabana is big enough to offer plenty of shade—and since it weighs just two pounds, it's super convenient to carry around. The cabana is also remarkably easy to set up, so you won't lose precious vacation time putting it together. Simply stake the metal pole in the ground, unfold the umbrella-like top, and stabilize the cabana by filling its fabric legs with sand.

On the back of the cabana you'll find a retractable wall that you can release any time you want extra shade. And on the inside you'll find built-in pockets, which are ideal for storing water bottles and sunscreen. These little details make the cabana a truly special find, and we also love that it comes in six playful prints, which are fun, vibrant, and perfect for the beach.

Product Details:

  • Size: 6 x 6 x 7.5 feet
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Weather Resistance: Waterproof, UV-protective (UPF50+)

Best Grill Gazebo: Master Canopy Grill Gazebo

Patio Gazebo
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want to put a canopy over their grill.

Who it isn't for: People who want a spacious canopy or a canopy they can take on-the-go.

At eight feet long and five feet wide, Master Canopy's Grill Gazebo is much smaller than the average outdoor canopy. That's because it's sized to cover one of the hottest spots in your yard: your grill. It's sturdy, stylish, and easy to set up, plus it's packed with features that make it great for backyard barbecue season.

This grill gazebo is made of two simple parts: a steel frame and a polyester canopy. The frame is rust-resistant, and the canopy is waterproof and UV-protective. The canopy is also wind-vented for breathability, so you don't have to worry about smoke pooling underneath it. Unlike traditional pop-up canopies, this grill gazebo doesn't have to be packed up after every use, so you can leave it out between barbecues. Just make sure to anchor it, because it doesn't come with stakes, tie-down ropes, or other stabilizing equipment.

This canopy is loaded with grill master-friendly features. The frame is lined with shelves and hooks, giving you plenty of space to store plates and grilling equipment. It also comes with a built-in bottle holder, so you never have to chase one down while cooking. When you're spending hours standing in the same spot, these little touches can make a big difference—and they're what we love most about this canopy.

Product Details:

  • Size: 8 x 5 x 8.5 feet
  • Weight: 43.8 pounds
  • Weather Resistance: Waterproof, UV-protective (UPF50+)

RELATED: The 5 Best Charcoal Grills for Cooking Outdoors

Final Verdict

Overall, ABC Canopy's Pop-Up Gazebo ticks all the boxes. Not only is it comfortably spacious, easy to set up, and stylish enough to display in your yard, but (and most importantly) it can adapt to different situations, withstanding wind, rain, and intense sunlight.

How to Shop for Outdoor Canopies Like a Pro

Size

When shopping for an outdoor canopy, note the length, width, and height of the canopy you're eyeing. Your canopy should be big enough to comfortably house all the people and furniture you want to shelter, but it should also be small enough to fit in your yard or outdoor space. Also consider how much room you have to store a canopy in the off-season, and whether or not you plan to take your canopy with you when you travel.

Stability

When it comes to outdoor canopies, stability is key. Check for stabilizing features, like wind-vented tops, anchoring hardware, and straight legs. "A canopy with a vent at the top is less likely to topple over from a breeze," says Cole. "And [canopies] with weights at the base of the legs or tie-[down] ropes are sturdier in the wind as well." She adds that straight legs tend to be stronger than slanted ones, and that heavy canopies are often sturdier than lightweight ones. Consider where you'll be using your canopy and whether or not you want to keep it up throughout the summer or store it between uses.

Convenience

Look for canopies that are easy to set up and break down, especially if you don't want a permanent canopy. If you plan to take your canopy on the go, be sure it's lightweight enough to comfortably carry, and able to be folded into a more portable shape. Finally, check whether the canopy you're considering comes with a carry bag. Many outdoor canopies do, and these bags make storage and transport much easier.

Questions You Might Ask

Are straight-leg or slant-leg canopies better?

While slant-leg canopies are typically more affordable than straight-leg canopies, straight-leg canopies tend to be more stable and spacious. "Canopies with slanted legs are often cheaper, but they take up more room, generally provide less coverage, and are less stable than straight-leg canopies," says Cole. "If the budget allows, a straight-leg canopy is a better investment."

How do you secure an outdoor canopy?

Many outdoor canopies come with anchoring hardware—nails, stakes, or tie-down ropes—that you can use to secure them to the ground. To keep your canopy standing, make use of all this hardware. And if your canopy doesn't come with any anchoring equipment, Knizek recommends investing in a set of canopy leg weights (which you can easily buy online).

What color canopy is best for staying cool?

If you want to stay cool, our experts recommend sticking with a light-colored canopy. "White and lighter colors will stay cooler in direct sun and on hot days," says Cole. And Knizek agrees: "The best way to keep it cool underneath is to avoid heavy and dark colors like dark charcoal and black," she says.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Lindsey Lanquist, a contributing writer for Real Simple with seven years of experience writing lifestyle content. To create this guide, Lindsey spoke to two designers—Sarah Cole, principal designer at Sarah Cole Interiors, and Allison Knizek, principal designer at Allison Knizek Design—for advice on what to consider when buying outdoor canopies. She then spent hours researching top-rated outdoor canopies, assessing them for size, stability, convenience, and style.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles