Features to consider when choosing a pop up gazebo
When choosing a new pop up gazebo, there are several features you may want to consider. This way, you’ll know exactly what to look for when you start shopping to ensure you’re getting a quality model that suits your needs and tastes.
The dimensions of the pop up gazebo you’re going to buy are one of the most important features to look at. Most of the time, you aren’t going to just be standing under the gazebo. You will likely want a chair for every person sitting in there, or even a table to cook on or eat at. A model that can fit an entire picnic table is also handy, giving you everything you need for a small family all in one piece of furniture.
Of course, you also don’t want to choose a model that is far too big for your needs or the gazebo could be taking up a lot of space that you don’t have to spare. If you are only using it for you and a spouse, a smaller model, like the Quick Set Traveler Shelter, may be best. Also, if you are putting this in a small yard to relax under on a hot day, a big model may not fit as well as you like.
The height of the unit is another dimension to look at. Most of the models in our reviews are quite tall, reaching at least 6 feet at the corners. The higher the roof is, the more room you have when standing up, which is essential for those with tall members in their group.
Another thing to consider when looking at the dimensions is how big the unit is when packed up. A huge model will still be quite large when folded down into a carry bag. If you are trying to stick it in the trunk of a car, it may not fit well, requiring you to find another way to carry it or leave it behind. Those with trucks with large beds likely won’t have such issues, unless they have a ton of other gear to carry as well.
The weight is another important feature to look at. If you plan on setting up your new gazebo in your backyard and leaving it there for the summer to sit under with a drink in hand or a good book, the weight of the model may not seem like a huge issue. Of course, those that do a lot of camping, use their gazebo at farmer’s markets or festivals to sell goods, or at sporting events for some tailgating, may have a differing opinion on that. The more often you have to move the gazebo to set it up and take it down, not to mention packing it in and out of vehicles, the lighter you’re going to want your new pop up gazebo to be.
Thankfully, most of the models on our list are relatively light. The Quick Set Traveler Shelter is only 21 pounds, so it is easy to move around wherever you need it, even if you have to carry it back and forth to different areas by hand. Some of the larger models, like the Gazelle Tents G6 Pop-Up Portable Gazebo, are still quite light at about 40 pounds or less, so even they are not too difficult to maneuver when needed. Check out the weight of the unit you’re considering to be sure it won’t be too much of a burden for the adventures you have in mind.
The material that is used for the canopy or the entire shell of the pop up gazebo will help determine how durable the model is. Most of the gazebos that we’ve reviewed here use polyester for their shell or canopy due to the durability, thickness, and water-resistance that this material is known for.
Of course, some of the models are thicker than others, which adds to the strength of the fabric. One way to tell the thickness is to look at the fabric’s denier number. Heavy-duty materials, like those used for tents, gazebos, and other outdoor items, can range from 100D to 600D. The higher the number, the thicker the material and the more resistant to abrasions and tears it will be. This does add a bit more weight to the gazebo but this may be worth it to have a long-lasting product.
You may also want to check some of the features of the fabric. For instance, the Core Instant Shelter Pop-Up Canopy Tent has fully taped seams, which adds to the water-resistance by reducing leaks where the fabric pieces are sewn together. The Punchau Pop Up Canopy Tent has a silver coating on it, which adds UV-resistance, so the sun’s rays are reflected away, keeping the area beneath the canopy cool while protecting you from those harmful rays.
Easy and quick assembly
No one likes spending half an hour or more setting up a gazebo or tent on a hot summer day. The more difficult this process is, the less often you’ll want to use the product and the more frustrated you’ll be when you do pull it out of its box or bag to do so.
The pop up gazebo canopy models on our list have a few pieces to deal with, including the frame and the canopy itself, so they take a few minutes to put together and raise to the proper height. When you first attempt to do this, you’ll likely take a few extra minutes to read the instructions and figure out the proper way to get it up and ready to relax under. After you get it up and take it down again a few times, this process will be much easier since by then you’ll know exactly what you’re doing.
The enclosed pop up gazebos in our reviews, like the Quick Set Pavilion Pop Up Outdoor Gazebo, are even easier to put up since they come fully assembled. All the poles are integrated right into the gazebo, so all you need to do is pull out the sides and push up the top. There may also be some stakes or guy lines to add on windy days but this shouldn’t take more than an extra minute or two to get them all in place.
If there are mesh sides
Mesh sides are a handy addition to any pop up gazebo on the market. These will keep those nasty insects, like mosquitos, black flies, or other biting annoyances, from attacking you while you try to relax outside. They are also great for those who live in areas where there are wasps and hornets, keeping the little ones and everyone else from getting stung.
There are a couple of different types of mesh to pick from. There is the normal mesh that prevents the larger insects from getting into the pop up gazebo. Then there is the tight weave or no-see-um mesh that is on models like the Gazelle Tents G6 Pop-Up Portable Gazebo. This keeps even the smallest bugs from squeezing through, so your gazebo is relatively bug-free. There is a downside to this type of mesh, though. As well as keeping the bugs out, it also restricts airflow through the mesh, so it can get a bit warm in there on those hot summer days. Some people may find this to be a good tradeoff while others may prefer the ventilation over the insect restrictions.
Though this isn’t common with pop up mesh-sided gazebos, some of the models available, such as the Coleman Screened Canopy Tent, have removable mesh. This allows you to turn your full gazebo into a canopy, letting the air in. Then, when the bugs come out, you can add the mesh and keep everyone inside protected from those nasty bites.
As with every product you buy, the warranty is something you should look at, just in case there are any issues with the model you’ve purchased. This could include damage to the fabric or poles that occurred during manufacturing or missing pieces. The longer the warranty is and the more that is covered, the better off you are if you have any problems with your new model.
Most of the pop up gazebos in our reviews include a 1-year limited warranty, which covers you for any defects in the material or workmanship. This doesn’t cover any misuse of the model on your part, though, so be careful with it to ensure you aren’t buying a new one before you expect to. The Punchau Pop Up Canopy Tent doubles this with a 2-year warranty, so you have some extra time to test out your new pop up gazebo to be sure that it is put together properly and wasn’t damaged by someone other than yourself.
The features that we’ve described above are the main ones to focus on when deciding which model is the best pop up gazebo to buy for your summer activities. Of course, there are a few extras that can make a good model even more worthwhile.
One thing to look for is reinforced corners on the canopy or the shell. These will be found where the poles are positioned, preventing them from rubbing through the fabric when the gazebo shifts with the wind or the movement of the people inside. The stronger the corners are, the longer the gazebo will last.
A sidewall is another great feature to look for in the canopy models. The Punchau Pop Up Canopy Tent includes one, which can be attached using Velcro loops when needed to block the wind or provide some extra shade and taken off again when it isn’t needed.
Quick-release buttons on the framed models make it easier to take down the tent or adjust the height. There is usually one on each of the leg poles, allowing you to lower or raise them as needed, one at a time or all together if you have few extra people around to help.
All of the models on our list include some type of carry bag, which makes it easy to pack it up and take it with you or store your pop up gazebo away when you’re not using it. The bag should be roomy enough to fit all of the pieces without forcing them in and struggling to close it. Many of the models available also include wheels on the bottom and a variety of carry straps to make it easier to get these gazebos where you want them.
Some of the models that we’ve reviewed here come in only a few basic outdoor colors, like brown, tan, or green. Of course, there are a few that have a wide variety of colors to choose from, many of them bright and eye-catching. Though this may not seem important when you’re using it in your backyard or an off-the-grid camping trip, it is very important for those who want to draw people to their pop up gazebo. This includes tradespeople who are at shows, festivals, farmer’s markets, or flea markets. The more people that notice the gazebo, the more visitors you could have to buy the goods you’re selling.
As well as bright colors, some of the canopy models are customizable. They include loops that you can add banners to for your favorite sports team or listing the name of your brand. This makes you even more visible to the crowd.