Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
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Last updated: May 30, 2021
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Portable garages are a convenient and affordable way to keep your vehicle safe from exposure to weather conditions that might cause rust, dents or premature discoloration. Also known as a carport, a typical portable garage consists of a steel frame and a fabric canopy. You can set it up anywhere, on any kind of surface, because it is easy to anchor and assemble. Apart from preserving vehicles, the best portable garage provides storage for other tools and equipment while saving you tons of space. It can also double up as a workshop, greenhouse, or a party venue.
Portable garages come in a variety of sizes, styles and materials. We evaluated the crucial features to check out before acquiring it. We first examined the material used because it determines the strength and durability of the structure. Secondly, we looked into the frame features for the right size and weight. We also considered the weight because it will affect the garage’s portability, and the dimensions which determine the amount of storage space available for your car and other appliances. Lastly, we assessed accessories and additional extra features for versatility, improved protection and convenience.
We picked out the best choices and compared their features and unique qualities in a comparison table, listing their strength and limitations. We’ve also presented all the product features individually in a form of detailed descriptions that were compiled from verified buyers’ feedback, authoritative reviewers, and our own experiences. Our buying guide details the checklist you need to bear in mind to obtain the best portable garage. Finally, we answer common queries and present our top three selections.
This foldable and lockable carport features a tough and durable canvas made of polyethylene that protects your vehicle against hail and snow. The 600 D cover is coated with polyurethane for protection against rust and corrosion. It is also resistant to water and ultraviolet rays. The garage weighs 170 pounds and can be accessed through an entrance that is 6.7 feet high. The steel hooks and powder-coated frame with high-strength galvanized steel pipes make it easy to install on gravel and concrete surfaces. You can set it up on asphalt driveways using anchor bolts and nuts. By the way, it is advisable to insert the bolts with the head facing outside to prevent ripping of the cover by the exposed bolt ends.
The carport’s retractable capability makes it highly portable. The two integrated vents on each side provide enough ventilation and convection of exhaust fumes, thus reducing your exposure to poisonous elements. Its grey color and simple design make it a suitable choice for camping, parties and picnics. Customers loved its concept and design, and its strength against snow and rain, but a few complained of chipping and the cover that goes approximately halfway. This carport comes with a warranty of 15 months, which is great should you experience any problems with the manufacturing defects.
This portable garage features a steel frame that is powder-coated to keep rust and corrosion at bay. Its 1.5-inch diameter adds to the sturdiness. The polyethylene fabric is double-layered and resistant to water and harmful UV rays. This carport is 20-feet long, 10-feet wide and 9.5-feet high, providing ample shelter for a large SUV, trailer or boat. Its versatility also makes it suitable in decks and patios. Integrated footpads are attached to the six steel poles to facilitate stable anchoring and easy assembly into anchor points. You can transport and store it with ease due to its fully-collapsible capability. A sidewall height of 6.5 feet allows for quick entry and exit. The tarp cover is fastened and secured tightly to the frame with heavy-duty bungee cords. The package also includes ground stakes and guy lines.
In case you’re searching for full enclosure, don’t overlook this model. Side panels can be purchased separately to transform it into a lockable garage, storage place or a party tent. A couple of buyers suggested fortifying the garage with sandbags for more effective protection. Majority of them liked its ease of installation and vouched for its effectiveness against severe storms. A couple of customers complained of holes in the canopy and the lack of a locking mechanism for the steel poles.
This portable garage features a vaulted top design with open sides, but a separate sidewall kit can be bought to make it an enclosed shelter. It has eight steel legs with each consisting of four holes for anchoring. The tube has a diameter of two inches for extra strength, while the thick steel frame itself is powder-coated against corrosion. It is reinforced with snow load bars and large footpads for extra stability. The triple-layered polyethylene fabric is heat-sealed to protect your vehicle from moisture, cracking and premature discoloration. It also has top tie downs for a firm fitting. The poles lock comfortably with the compression fittings for a solid foundation. The 200-square feet space provides enough room for storage. One buyer could fit his 19.5’-long boat into this portable garage comfortably. Reviewers also raved about this open-air carport’s sturdy structure and its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. A bolting kit and a limited warranty of two years are included with the purchase.
The ADVANCE OUTDOOR carport consists of high quality galvanized steel that has been upgraded by 1.5-inch diameter steel tube for enhanced thickness. The heavy duty steel is powder-coated for added protection from corrosion. The 180G polyester cover is water- and UV-resistant. The canopy is fastened with elastic snaps for durability. The six steel legs provide balance and support when erecting the garage.
With a length of 20 feet and width of 10 feet, this portable garage is spacious enough to house a big car. Its size also makes it suitable as a tent because it can fit in lots of people. It only weighs 93 pounds, which adds to its portability, while its entrance that is six feet high provides easy access. The parts are properly marked and the detailed instructions allow for effective and easy assembly, even if you’ve never owned a similar carport. The package includes stakes and ropes to make the installation as easy as pie. The wooden bracket protects the carport from damage when shipping. Purchase comes with a limited warranty of one year. While several buyers testified to its effectiveness against rain and sandstorms, other reviewers did not recommend this carport in a windy environment.
This heavy-duty shelter has a matching sturdy build to secure your vehicle against damaging weather and conditions. It features a solid powder-coated frame that adds to its durability and protects your vehicle against rust. Its frame and peak height of nine feet makes it big enough to shelter a variety of vehicles, including SUVs and trucks. The package includes an anchor kit for easy and secure installation. It also includes 20 ground stakes and two guide ropes for a firmer foundation.
The water-resistant and UV-resistant canopy is made of tarp-like polyethylene material to protect your car from moisture and harmful sun rays that can cause denting and premature discoloration. It is also easy to clean. You can comfortably gain entry and exit it through the zippered doors. The entrance is 6.6 feet high. The three predrilled holes on every side panel facilitate drainage when it rains. You can set it up on concrete and asphalt using lag bolts. All in all this carport resembles a high quality stable tourist tent, which can be used not only for storing your car or tools, but also as a cool and secure place for outdoor gatherings with friends and family.
Why is it special?
Its polyethylene cover keeps out 99% of sun rays
Zippered doors for easy entry
What are the flaws?
Tubes chip easily
Things to Consider
The greatest advantage of a portable garage is that it can be transported and erected anywhere. It is a cost-effective mobile storage, venue, and accommodation for people on the move, and those with limited space. It requires minimal installation, and you hardly require a permit for it because there is little foundation and excavation involved. While you get what you pay for, the following guide will help you determine the garage you need so you can get the most out of your investment.
What can a portable garage be used for?
A portable garage is mainly used to secure bikes, vehicles and boats against adverse weather conditions and prying eyes. It can also double up as a workshop, greenhouse, or bulk storage for tools (spades, air compressors, propane garage heaters, what not) and supplies. Other models feature removable side panels for parties and picnics. Campers can use a portable garage for accommodation. It is also an impressive guest house for mothers-in-law; I am kidding. Well, mostly.
Features to consider while choosing a portable garage
To guarantee your money’s worth in terms of value, protection and durability, we have listed the features to consider when shopping for the best portable garage.
The material used will determine the strength and durability of the portable garage. It needs to be sturdy enough to withstand the natural elements through all seasons. Portable garages are made of steel, tin, aluminum, or polyester. Steel is the most durable, and also the heaviest. Polyester is light and flexible to use. Polyurethane and polyethylene canopies are tough enough to withstand harsh climate. Polyethylene also protects against harmful ultraviolet rays which can cause oxidation and premature discoloration. Steel is usually powder-coated to make it resistant to rust and corrosion and extend shelf life. The protective layer also reduces flammability. The heat-sealed material in Caravan Canopy Mega Domain Carport is a smart investment because it locks out moisture and prevents dents and discoloration. Consider the purpose, longevity, local climate and frequency of movement when selecting the best shelter for your vehicle.
Frames shape the portable car garage. The common material for portable garage frames is steel, galvanized and non-galvanized. The most important thing to consider when selecting a steel frame is the tube diameter because enhanced thickness improves stability and durability. It secures the canopy against wind, rain and hailstorms. However, very thick steel will also weigh more.
The ideal frame should be light, but strong. Steel should be galvanized or powder-coated to make it resistant to rust, peeling and corrosion. Aluminum is also a great alternative due to its light weight and easy assembly.
Silicone spray sealant offers added protection. A good frame should include several anchors for a more secure garage. Most open-air portable garages feature an angled roof design for easy drainage.
Weight is a vital component when selecting the best portable garage because it influences mobility. A heavy garage beats the purpose of portability. Weight is largely dictated by the material used to construct the garage, with steel being the heaviest. Aluminum, tin and polyester are light enough to be moved frequently. While light material may seem preferable, heavy material is able to take a pounding from snow loads, wind and heavy rain. Abba Patio Outdoor Carport Canopy combines spaciousness and portability while being fully collapsible. Consider how often you need to move the garage to choose the weight that accurately fits your requirements.
The best dimensions will be dictated by the size of items and storage space available. The portable garage should be roomy enough to accommodate your vehicle while allowing space for opening the doors, maneuvering or servicing it, especially if there are multiple vehicles. There should be sufficient clearance to factor in the height of the vehicle. Size will also depend on the purpose and logistics of the garage, whether as a tent for outdoor activities, a makeshift shed or a livestock pen. Open-air garages and those with detachable side panels can be expanded for larger space. You can include a loft for additional storage. For spacious storage, consider Caravan Canopy Mega Domain Carport which is 20-feet long, 10-feet wide and 6.8-feet high. ADVANCE OUTDOOR 10′ x 20′ Carport Canopy and Abba Patio Outdoor Carport Canopy are other voluminous options.
Ease of Installation
The best portable garage should be easy to assemble and dismantle. You don’t need to have prior skills to mount it. Manufacturers include instructional guides and anchor kits to simplify the process.
You might need to purchase additional tools to install garages on tougher surfaces, such as concrete. Consider the complexity of the structure, and the time, labor and tools required to set it up.
Additional accessories increase functionality, and will depend on the brand and manufacturer. Majority of them have anchor kits that are prepackaged or bought separately to provide the portable garage with a solid foundation and support. The anchors are suitable for different grounds, from grass to gravel. For instance, concrete and lag bolts for installation on concrete surfaces. Abba Patio Outdoor Carport Canopy has an anchor kit which includes guy lines, stakes and bungee cords to tightly secure the cover to the frame. Others feature sidewall kits for full enclosure and further protection. Models like Outsunny Heavy Duty Enclosed Vehicle Shelter Carport have sidewalls with zipper entrances for easy entry and exit. Additional accessories may include legs and integrated footpads for extra stability. It is also a good idea to review the warranty to familiarize yourself with the length and terms of coverage.
Manufacturers use various means to enhance stability in portable garages, with some including an anchor kit in the package. The steel frames are made stronger by increasing the diameter of steel tubes. The steel legs and footpads in the Caravan Canopy Mega Domain Carport secure the garage for a firm foundation. Snow load bars reinforce the structure against hailstorms. The stakes, guy lines, and bungee cords in the Abba Patio Outdoor Carport Canopy fasten the canopy tightly to the frame.
Installation depends on the portable garage model and the surface of the structure foundation. You will need an instructional manual and anchor kit to guide you on installation. You might need to purchase additional tools to install garages on tougher surfaces like concrete. You will also need to evaluate the available space, and confirm any applicable building regulations.
Ikuby Super Sturdy Heavy Duty Portable lockable Carport effortlessly topped our best portable garage list for its design, durability, protection and portability. The vents, water-resistant and UV-resistant fabric, and powder-coated frames protect your car from natural elements. The hooks, galvanized steel pipes, and anchor bolts and nuts secure your structure firmly to the ground. Its lockable, collapsible and foldable capability facilitates easy installation, transport and storage.
Abba Patio Outdoor Carport Canopy impressed us with its sturdiness, easy installation, spaciousness, and extra features. The 1.5-inch thick powder-covered steel, six legs, ground stakes and integrated footpads fortify the garage and provide stable anchoring. The double-layered cover is water-resistant. It is secured tightly to the frame with heavy-duty bungee cords. Its 20’ x 10’ x 9.5’ dimensions are roomy enough for a large vehicle. The easy set-up is the icing on the cake.
Caravan Canopy Mega Domain Carport won our admiration for its stability against extreme weather, as testified by verified buyers. It is reinforced with two-inch thick steel frame, steel legs, triple-layered heat-sealed polyethylene cover, and snow load bars. The large footpads, top tie downs and compression lock yield a firmer fit for your portable garage.