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The 5 Best Shade Sails & Sun Canopies – [2019 Reviews]

These can be installed just about anywhere and provide you with instant shade to make the warmer seasons much more enjoyable.

We’ve done the research to find the top-rated 5 best shade sails and sun canopies available. Also see Shade Sail & Sun Canopy Buying Guide.

Best Shade Sails & Sun Canopies

 Windscreen4less Square Sun Shade (Various Sizes)Shade & Beyond 12’x16’ Rectangle Sun Canopy Shade SailLove Story Triangle Sun Shade Sail (4 Sizes)
editors choice
Sizes30+14
Colors131 (Sand)5
Fabric180 GSM polyethylene185 GSM polyethylene180 GSM polyethylene
Customer Ratings4.2 / 5.0 Stars4.4 / 5.0 Stars4.5 / 5.0 Stars

Also see: Best Shade Sail & Sun Canopy Comparison Table


Quick Answer: The 5 Best-Rated Shade Sails & Sun Canopies – [2019]

  1. Windscreen4less Square Sun Shade (Various Sizes)
  2. Shade & Beyond 12’x16’ Rectangle Sun Canopy Shade Sail
  3. Love Story Triangle Sun Shade Sail (4 Sizes)
  4. Shade & Beyond Sun Shade Sail Canopy (4 Sizes)
  5. SUNNY GUARD Rectangle Sun Shade Canopy (Various Sizes)

Best Shade Sails & Sun Canopies Reviews

#1- Windscreen4less Square Sun Shade (Various Sizes)

Windscreen4less Square Sun Shade At A Glance:

  • Sizes: 30+
  • Colors: 13
  • Fabric: 180 GSM polyethylene
  • Warranty: 3 years
One of the best patio sails available today is the Windscreen4less Square Sun Shade, available in dozens of different sizes to ensure you get a completely customized look and fit.

In addition, it comes in 13 different colors and patterns, including White and Green Stripes, Rust Red, and Ice Blue to make sure you select something that suits your personality and yard best.

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To keep you and your loved ones protected from the sun and feeling comfy, the square-shaped sunshade works to block up to 95% of UV rays.

That means you can enjoy your outdoor time freely, without having to worry about getting burnt! The fabric is comprised of 180GSM high-density polyethylene which is incredibly durable, but allows for breeze to pass through with no issue to keep the climate perfect.

Moreover, the curved sides add an extra 1 – 8 inches (depending on the size you select) on each side. This not only works to boost pull strength, but also prevents drooping entirely so you have a solid, reliable barrier between your guests and the sun’s beams.

Hanging the sunsail up is no challenge at all, thanks to the D-rings that facilitate it, in combination with the 16-foot PE rope. When you’re done using it for the day or season, it comes down just as easily.

Clean it with a mild detergent and water to keep it free of stains. It won’t fade either, so you can wash it as much as you want.


#2- Shade & Beyond 12’x16’ Rectangle Sun Canopy Shade Sail

Shade & Beyond 12’x16’ Rectangle Sun Canopy Shade Sail At A Glance:

  • Sizes: 1
  • Colors: 1 (Sand)
  • Fabric: 185 GSM polyethylene
  • Warranty: 5 years
Easily one of the best sun shade sails we’ve ever come across, is the Shade & Beyond 12’x16’ Rectangle Sun Canopy Shade Sail.

You can easily use it to provide shade over a patio, pergola, backyard, courtyard, and much more. The model is large enough to keep a large group of people entertained while also out of direct sunlight and heat.

In fact, it can protect against anywhere from 95% to 98% of harmful UV rays, which is quite impressive.

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The sail canopy is made up of 185 GSM UV-protected, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fabric similar to the previous product.

While it’s quite sturdy on its own, the sun shade fabric’s strength is enhanced with precision-stitched seams and stainless steel D-rings on every corner.

To add to that, it comes with fitted hardware kits and ropes to make hanging and taking it down a breeze!

While it blocks sun out almost completely, it does let air and rain to pass through, so you have a nice breeze and can avoid any pooling water from occurring and weighing down the sail.

However, if you’re looking for a waterproof shade sail, you’re better off looking at a different product.

Overall, this is an excellent product that is easy to use, and even comes with a 5-year warranty to ensure you’ll be able to use it for many outdoor gatherings to come!


#3- Love Story Triangle Sun Shade Sail (4 Sizes)

Love Story Triangle Sun Shade Sail At A Glance:

  • Sizes: 4
  • Colors: 5
  • Fabric: 180 GSM polyethylene
  • Warranty: n/a
The Love Story Triangle Sail is another one of our favorite outdoor sun shades for many reasons. First off, it’s incredibly budget friendly, even if you decide to purchase more than one.

Second, they’re one of the most durable models we’ve used. Let’s dig in a little deeper to give you the full idea of what you can expect.

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While many sun shades out there don’t even offer multiple color options, the Love Story offers 6: Terra, Beige, Sand, Brown, Blue, and Dark Grey.

Each one looks rich and natural, and is sure to give some character to any outdoor space.

Made of 100% 185 GFS HDPE like the others on our guide, it’s incredibly ecofriendly. The material is ideal for long-lasting efficiency, while also letting it breathe to let breeze pass through to those hanging out below it.

It’s so tough, in fact, that it has been able to handle high wind speeds and hail with no issue.

Offering a 90% shading rate and 95% protection against UV rays, it’s an excellent addition to BBQ areas, swimming pools and the like.

Curved sides boost pull strength and eliminate the risk of drooping with a 4-6” tolerance on each side.

While we appreciated the hardware kit and D-rings on the corners, we did find that this was one of the more difficult outdoor sun shades to install.


#4- Shade & Beyond Sun Shade Sail Canopy (4 Sizes)

Shade & Beyond Sun Shade Sail Canopy At A Glance:

  • Sizes: 3
  • Colors: 3
  • Fabric: 180 GSM polyethylene
  • Warranty: 5 years
Are you on the hunt for the best garden sail on the market today, but are trying to keep things on a tight budget? Then check out the Shade & Beyond Sun Shade Sail Canopy.

Coming in Sand, Light Grey, and Rust Red, each one gives a kind of rustic yet sophisticated feel sure to improve the environment’s appearance and feel.

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Once again, this model is comprised of 185 GSM UV-protected, high-density HDPE, complete with strongly stitched seams and stainless steel D-rings on each corner. The downside is that the hardware is sold separately.

The material does provide around 80% – 85% sunshade and 95% to 98% protection against UV rays, which is more than adequate for most.

It does, however, let in light and breeze to ensure you and your guests aren’t hanging out in a dark, hot environment. Rain can also pass through, which means that it’s not waterproof but does prevent water from pooling.

Installation of these outdoor shades is super quick and simple, just as well as maintenance. Make sure to wash it with a mild detergent and water, avoiding harsh brushes or washing machines.

Unfortunately, it’s not resistant against fading but it does come with a solid 5-year warranty.


#5- SUNNY GUARD Rectangle Sun Shade Canopy (Various Sizes)

SUNNY GUARD Rectangle Sun Shade Canopy At A Glance:

  • Sizes: 18+
  • Colors: 8
  • Fabric: 185 GSM polyethylene
  • Warranty: n/a
Quite possibly the best quality shade sail out there currently, the SUNNY GUARD Rectangle Sun Shade Canopy is not one to miss.

One of the most versatile patio shades, choose between beautiful tints like Sand, Cream, Terra, Charcoal, and more. You can select the exact size you want, as there are dozens to choose among.

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Keeping consistent with its versatility, you’ll also find it’s one of the easiest to set up and take down which makes it perfect for spontaneous events and barbecues!

Use it on your patio, driveway, garden, pool, and just about any other outdoor environment.

These best sun sails come made with 100% 185 GSM HDPE as you probably already expected. As they use zero recycled materials, it’s also healthier and safer to use.

Offering up to 95% UV protection, you’ll be able to relax without worry of skin damage, while still benefiting from the breathable material which lets water and air go in easily.

Coming with 4×5’ durable ropes and stainless steel D-rings on each side, installation is very quick and comes with everything you need.

Just remember to install at a 20-40 degree angle with maximum tension to allow for runoff, as this is a waterproof shade sail.


Shade Sail & Sun Canopy Comparison Table

  SizesColorsFabricCustomer Ratings
Windscreen4less Square Sun Shade (Various Sizes)30+13180 GSM polyethylene4.2 / 5.0 Stars
Shade & Beyond 12’x16’ Rectangle Sun Canopy Shade Sail11 (Sand)185 GSM polyethylene4.4 / 5.0 Stars
Love Story Triangle Sun Shade Sail (4 Sizes)45180 GSM polyethylene4.5 / 5.0 Stars
Shade & Beyond Sun Shade Sail Canopy (4 Sizes)33180 GSM polyethylene4.5 / 5.0 Stars
SUNNY GUARD Rectangle Sun Shade Canopy (Various Sizes)
18+8185 GSM polyethylene4.5 / 5.0 Stars

Shade Sail & Sun Canopy Buying Guide

There are few things more enjoyable in the summertime than getting the grill ready or sitting by the pool and relaxing.

While the summer is typically filled with sunny fun, there are times when all we want is a shady area to cool down in. So, what’s the solution? How about one of the best shade sails or sun canopies!

best sun shades and shade canopy guide

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to read all about the aforementioned products, which one is right for you? If you’re still undecided, there’s no need to worry.

With so many great options available, it can be difficult to make a decision right away. That’s why we’ve decided to come up with the best buying guide out there for sun sails.

Take a look to ensure you’re selecting the perfect product for you and your needs.

The Space

First off, it’s important to consider the space in which you’re going to use the sail. As the sun moves throughout the day, the shade will also move with it.

So, to get the best coverage possible, you’re going to need it to create a shade which falls in the right place at the right time.

Take into consideration bodies of water or reflective surfaces nearby which can reflect UVR into the area that you’re trying to shield from the sun.

Protection from the Sun

Aside from being comfortable, you want it to actually protect your skin, don’t you? Ideally, the one you select will be a dark, closely woven and heavy material to help block or absorb more UV radiation.

You’ll also want to make sure that they’re at minimum, 90% protective against UV rays. However, if you can select one that can offer 94% or more protection then that’s ideal.

You’ll find that the standard in high-quality products are going to be 185 GSM HDPE which is usually very tightly woven to ensure it’s durable, but still lets in a good amount of air so you get a breeze going that’s comfortable and refreshing.

Just keep in mind that some are susceptible to stretching if they’re poorly positioned and installed. The material is also going to deteriorate over time, stretching, which can actually work to reduce how effective it is against UVR protection.

Installation

You’ll want both installation and the take-down process to be smooth and simple. Things that facilitate these processes are D-rings, included ropes, and included hardware kits.

The D-rings should ideally be made of stainless steel so that they’re resistant against corrosion, while being able to hold up against excessive use and the elements.

Sail Shape

As you can see from the products above, there are two main shapes of sails out there: rectangular and triangle or 3-sided.

Rectangular:

These four-sided sails will obviously provide more protection that 3-sided ones as there’s just more space being covered. These are also typically (though not a rule) much easier to install.

Triangular:

If you’d like to cover a larger area with these models, you can simply install them side-by-side or even superimpose them for a cool look.

These are typically considered to be more attractive than the 4-sided models and give a more stylish edge. As smaller sails are less susceptible to the wind, you would actually be better off using multiple triangular models than one 4-sided one.

That being said, there’s no “better” type; it’s all up to the area you’re going to be using it in, the area you need covered, and your own tastes.

Cost

How much money are you willing to spend on your new patio sail? It’s a wise idea to have a number in mind, or at least a range in which you’d like to stay within.

This way, there’s no chance that you end up with buyer’s remorse. Try to come up with your budget before you start looking, as it’s easy to get carried away!

Warranty

Now, let’s talk about warranties. As the shade sail is going to unavoidably be subjected to the elements, you absolutely need the product to come with a warranty to keep it protected in case something happens to it or it wears out quicker than you were expecting.

At minimum, we recommend a 1-year warranty, however, the best products are going to come with either a 3-year, 5-year or more warranty.

FAQs

Q: Are shade sails waterproof?


A: This depends on the model that you choose. As you can see from those reviewed above, the vast majority are not.

Many will be showerproof, but not actually waterproof so you’ll stay dry but after a while, they will let some water in. Others let water in completely, so it won’t give you much protection in that sense.

A fully waterproof model will actually trap heat, too, which most of us don’t want so it’s a bit of a balancing act.

Q: Can I use my sun shade sail in windy conditions?

A: If you choose any of the above models, you can rest assured that they’ll be able to hold up in windy situations. However, they must also be properly installed if they’re to adequately hold up in high winds.

High-quality models are specifically designed to stay sturdy in high winds and should maintain their shape as well. Of course, the amount of tension is going to vary depending on the model you select as well.

Q: How long can I expect my sun shade sail to last?

A: If you properly maintain and care for it, then you should have it around for years. The amount of years will obviously depend greatly on the individual model and manufacturer you buy from.

The typical amount of time will be anywhere between 3 and 5 years, which is also how long most warranties are.

Q: Just how much UV protection will I get from my shade canopy?

A: This will also depend on the product you select, but you can expect at minimum, 90% protection. We recommend going for a product which offers at least 95% protection for maximum benefits.

Tips

#1: To extend the life of your shade canopy, make sure to properly care for it.

This means washing it regularly, as most easily accumulate dirt as they’re exposed to the elements. To wash them, you should use a light detergent and water with a soft brush or cloth to avoid damaging it in any way. Unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer, also make sure to never place it in the washing machine!

#2: Before you actually set up and install the shade, first plan it out.

This is easy to do. Simply lay it on the ground (if you can) and actually see where it will be able to provide coverage realistically. Aside from that, plan where the sun will be and how this will affect the shade.

#3: Opt for darker colors if you want the maximum amount of sun protection.

While not everyone wants this, they work to absorb sunlight better or even reflect it which will keep you and your guests protected from the UV rays that are attempting to burst through. However, this sometimes makes the environment underneath hotter, so keep this in mind, too.

Summary

Now that you’ve had the chance to take a look at each of the best sun sails and shade canopies, which one is the perfect product for you?

No matter which one you choose, know that you’ll be getting one of the best rated on the market today. Just remember that what’s most important is that it suits your needs best.

We hope that our guide has helped you do just that. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again shortly!


Thanks for reading The 5 Best Shade Sails & Sun Canopies. We hope this article has helped you to discover the best shade sail for your structure’s shade needs.

And if you’re shopping for other gear take a look at these related review articles from Outside Pursuits:

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Durability
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We chose the Windscreen4less Square Sun Shade as our Editor's Choice for sun sails and shade canopies.

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