The Best Large Tents and Canopies
With fall approaching many people will be looking to get the best canopy to provide shelter, not only on the beach but also in the garden. With that in mind we thought we would take a look at some of the best larger canopies and in particular the 12 x 12 Gazebo style tent. The outdoor canopy gazebo is becoming an increasingly popular choice since it can accommodate six plus people in comfort.
We’ve picked our top five 12 x 12 canopies………….so in reverse order:
Our 5th Placed Choice
The Back Home Instant Shelter by Coleman sneaks into our top 5. This measures 13 x 13 which provides 169 square feet of shelter. It’s got a SPF of 50+ so it’s also ideal for providing shelter from the sun as well as the rain! Its got over 140 ratings on Amazon with an average score of 4.1 out of 5, which is a decent score for this type of canopy. People commented on the rolling bag into which the gazebo can be packed. Many people found it easy to set up but there were also some dissenting voices claiming that setup was not as easy as the 3 minutes claimed by Coleman. Securing on all 4 corners was seen as a must – if you didn’t wish it to become a giant kite. Spare parts supply seemed to be an issue with fairly lengthy waits for the arrival of even basic spares.
Our 4th Placed Choice
Our 4th placed choice is another Coleman product – the Coleman Instant Wide Base Canopy. This is slightly smaller than the Instant Canopy, measuring 12 x 12 and providing 81 square feet of shade. Like the Instant Canopy, it has the push-button release levers, which people liked. Its got slant legged and is a good size for a BBQ on a potentially rainy day. It scored 3.9 out of 5 stars with 104 customer reviews at the time of writing. Although this is a slightly lower score than its larger brother, the unit attracted far more comments about its sturdiness and strength. One reviewer said that he had bought the shelter for a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. He used it with the included stakes in a wind of 20-30mph and reported no issues or problems.
Our 3rd Placed Choice
The choice of 2nd place wasn’t easy but in the end our vote went to the Coleman 12 x 10 Hex Instant Screened Shelter. This is a really nice unit from Coleman. It provides 120 square feet of shelter and has a removable screen wall with 2 doors. It has 285 Amazon reviews with a really great average score of 4.5 out of 5. Although again Coleman claim a 3 minute set-up most users reported that it took longer but also that it was relatively easy. The size was another big plus for reviewers – with this screened shelter measuring 10 x 12. The fact that it is a screened shelter also got plenty of comments from people who wanted protection from bugs and flying nasties – nearly all the reports were positive in this respect. Again, in common with other Coleman units, this came in a bag with 2 wheels, and user remarked that it actually fitted back into the same bag after use – which surprised him!
AND THE WINNER IS!
Picking a winner was not as difficult as we thought it might be……..it’s the Coleman Instant Canopy with LED Lighting System. We liked this for its innovation with 4 built in lights. We liked the fact that it also has a dimmer switch so you can adjust the lights from a very low ambient setting right up to very bright when you need good lighting to carry out a task. One small negative was that the 4 D batteries required to operate the lights were not included – for a top of the range canopy like this we felt this was a mistake and Coleman should think about including them. Having said that, users reported that the batteries lasted “ages” including several who said they lasted the whole summer. It scored 4.3 out of 5 with 196 reviews overall.