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Outdoor Awnings And Canopies-The Critical Considerations Before Buying

Outdoor awnings and canopies might almost be cousins, so closely are the two concepts related.

The similarity is obvious – both cover what was open before, and in most instances, the aim is the same – to provide some shade or protection from the elements.


However, there is a crucial difference between the two. A canopy protects a structure that is open to the air, while a canopy uses only the wall of a structure from which to gain support, in order to cover hitherto open air. And often, this can make all the difference in the world.


Awnings come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, as do canopies. In some cases, canopies and awnings may both share the same material, such as aluminum for the struts, Ten Cate for the actual material and so on. However, an awning will almost always need a supporting structure.

The difference is a little nuanced, admittedly, but it is certainly there. Canopies cannot attach themselves to a recreational vehicle, for example, while recreational vehicle awnings are aplenty in the market. Canopies have traditionally been constructed for finished buildings and constructions – there are numerous churches all over Europe, with rather fetching canopies atop their regal spires. These, once again, can by no stretch of the imagination, be called awnings.

A canopy can refer to a tent, however. Swiss Gear, for example, offers a series of canopies that can serve very well as tents when on a short holiday. Variflex also offers canopies that can serve admirably as a tent, complete with pegs and washable material. A particularly notable example is the Coleman 15×15 GeoSport Screen, which besides serving as a tent, can double up as a stall in local fairs – quite a handy thing to have around the house actually.

GigaTent is another company that offers canopies that can conceivably be used as tents. The Party Tent Canopy offered by GigaTent is a prime example, although this model retails without any kind of walls whatsoever.

Do decide carefully before choosing to buy either an awning or a canopy. Although both are quite useful to have while on vacation, they serve different needs, and have different requirements.

For ease and convenience, an awning attached to your motorhome might make more sense, while a standalone canopy can be used in places other than right next to your motorhome – it does offer an extra degree of mobility.

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