The best camping canopies to take cover in

Protect yourself from the elements with these resilient camping canopies.

Best Overall

Hasika Teardrop Awning for Car Camping

Hasika Teardrop Awning for Car Camping

Best Overall

Grassman Double Camping Hammock

Grassman Double Camping Hammock

Honorable Mention

Coleman Instant Canopy Sunwall

Coleman Instant Canopy Sunwall

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Few experiences are as exhilarating and refreshing as camping — so long as you have the proper gear. Even if you are only planning a day trip, extreme weather can give you a run for your money. Whether it’s the scorching sun burning your skin to a crisp or heavy wind and rain culling all your calories, the great outdoors is full of challenges. Thankfully, you can plan ahead by selecting a high-quality camping canopy to protect you and your campsite. Even if you have a solid tent, it might not hold up against hail or a sandstorm. The best camping canopies fortify your site, offer shade, and keep you cool on hot days. In a pinch, you can use them as a makeshift shelter or simply relax under their coverage.

Of course, these benefits are only there if you pick out the right canopy. To assist, we’ve tracked down the best camping canopies to help your campsite contend with the forces of nature.

Hasika versatility teardrop cover for camping

Grassman camping hammock

Coleman instant canopy sunwall

YDYL screen house canopy

EzyFast pop-up canopy tent

Related: The 6 kinds of camping tents you should know about

Why should you trust us

The most common types of camping canopies

Though all camping canopies have the same goal — protecting campers from the elements — not all canopies are made alike. Since all environments and weather conditions are different, it’s important to figure out which type of camping canopy you need. By opting for the best-suited option, you can optimize the level of protection you receive. 

Tarp canopy 

This is perhaps the most versatile type of camping canopy since, in effect, it is a flat piece of material that you can structure however works best for the situation. You can find tarp canopies in all colors and sizes. If you’re focused on tactical advantage, opt for something compact and camouflage. Recreational camping may see more benefits from larger tarps, and the color is of less importance. 

The two most important features of a tarp canopy are water resistance and tensile strength. In order to offer suitable protection, it must shield you against the rain and the wind. The durability of the tarp is directly related to the weight it can support, so be sure to choose something suitably strong. 

Vaulted canopy 

This type of canopy typically comes with a tent or is built to be an addition to an existing structure. Like the other types of canopy, it must be able to resist moisture and wind. So long as the canopy itself is strong enough, it won’t be vulnerable to wind or debris. The vaulted shape adds to this strength since it angles any water or dust away from the top and stops it from building up. 

A vaulted canopy is ideal for casual camping. If it comes with a frame, the vaulted design gives you more room to move around. It’s worth noting that, in most cases, it takes more effort to set these canopies up. They are more time-consuming to set up and take down, so it’s better to opt for these if you have the time to spare. 

Curved canopy 

Often attached to a vehicle, a curved canopy is perhaps one of the most convenient types of camping canopy. Since half of the frame is the vehicle itself, they are fairly easy to set up. Most feature an internal frame (either steel, aluminum, or fibreglass). This curves upwards to give you room to move around and meets legs at the far end. These connect to weights that keep the canopy in place. 

So long as it is sturdy, water-resistant, and able to withstand wind, it should offer suitable protection. The most important thing to look at is the height of the curve at its top point. Be sure that you can comfortably move beneath it, so that the canopy gives you full protection without your needing to crouch. 

What to consider when buying a camping canopy

There are a few important considerations when purchasing a camping canopy. First, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable merchant and reliable brands (like the ones on this list). This way, you know the canopy will live up to its reputation. Next, think about how you plan to use the canopy. Is it a survival tool that needs to be compact and versatile? Or are you more focused on sun protection during a fishing trip? Depending on your answer, you’ll need a different type of canopy. After all, a wall tent and cabin tent are a whole lot different than a hammock or simple tarp. 

Once you’ve figured out what type you need, move on to more specific metrics. Think about the protection it offers. Is the canopy waterproof or merely water-resistant? Consider how opaque the fabric is, since this directly relates to the protection from ultraviolet rays. Next, mull over how strong the fabric is. Most canopies are made out of parachute-like material, so durability usually isn’t a worry (but it’s still worth a look). 

Finally, think about how long the camping canopy will last you. Like most other things, you get what you pay for. So, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. When it comes to camping gear, it’s worth investing in something that will last for multiple uses. Usually, it is worth an extra few bucks to ensure that the canopy won’t break during your trip. 

Benefits of a camping canopy

There are plenty of benefits to having a camping canopy for your trips, whether they are just for the day or overnight. The main virtue is protecting you from the elements, ranging from sun to wind to rain. A quality camping canopy makes the great outdoors more hospitable and comfortable to be in, helping you get more out of your next excursion. The advantages don’t stop there though. 

  • Canopies offer UPF protection, the equivalent of SPF for textiles so that you won’t burn in the sunlight. 
  • By shading the area, a camping canopy can help you stay cool in warm environments. 
  • Camping canopies can double as emergency medical supplies (stretcher material), and bedding in a pinch. 
  • A quality canopy keeps moisture out of your campsite, helping you stay comfortable for longer. 
  • Effective camping canopies protect you from the wind, letting you conserve your energy in wilderness settings. 

Pricing ranges for camping canopies

  • Under $100: You can find a lot of canopies in this price range, though most are of the tarp type (without a frame). For versatility, these are good options, though they can be trickier to set up and may require other supplies. 
  • Over $100: If your camping canopy has a frame, it will likely fall in this category. Typically, a durable canopy will cost roughly $100 and offer a full range of functional benefits. 

How we chose our top picks

By scouring the internet for reputable sources about tent types, we determined what is most important in a canopy and were able to begin our search. Through diligent research into textile science, we tracked down the best camping canopies for durability and functionality. Finally, we investigated the merit of popular brands to be sure that the products on this list are of the highest quality. Holding all the options to the highest standard of excellence, and aiming to provide a thorough cross-section of canopy types, we finalized our list, deeming these canopies as the best selections.

Related: Elevate your camping with these 6 cabin tents


Corrina Murdoch is a contributor to Task & Purpose and a dedicated freelance writer and editor. Her work has been featured on platforms such as Narcity Media, Loans Canada, and The Drive, and she uses her passion for the written word to inform readers on a wide range of topics