A canopy can be an invaluable piece of gear for artists drawn to the outdoors, be it for showing works at an art festival or doing some plein air painting. In temperate climates, it can even be used as an outdoor studio. Pop-up canopies are quick and easy to assemble and provide shade and some protection from rain and wind. When shopping for one, look for a high-quality, UV-reflecting material and a sturdy frame. And if you will need to travel with your canopy, weight and collapsed size will be important as well. Whatever your outdoor needs, our list of favorite canopies, below, offers dependable options that can answer the call.
1. ABC Canopy Tent
The 10-by-10-foot frame of this 40-pound pop-up tent packs down to fit in a relatively compact bag that is less than 5 feet long, fitting comfortably in most car trunks. But the extended eaves provide enough shade for half a dozen people, making it a great option for group plein air painting. The vented top allows wind to pass through, and this, in combination with the included ropes and stakes, prevents the canopy from turning into a kite when the breeze picks up.
2. EZ-Up ES100S Commercial Canopy
E-Z Up’s high-quality, long-lasting canopies are made with impressive attention to detail. For example, the canopy corners are reinforced, and leg adjustment toggles are designed to avoid pinching fingers. But beyond the quality design, it’s the four side walls that make this a great choice, especially for an art fair booth or a summer outdoor studio. Besides the tenting, you get a sturdy steel frame and a roller bag that makes transport easy.
3. Eurmax Pop Up Canopy Tent
This made-in-the-U.S. tent opens and locks to a taut, professional-looking structure. Choose from three heights between 10.35 and 11.35 feet in the center (6 to 7 feet at the edges). The medium-weight polyurethane-coated polyester is sturdy and blocks harmful UV rays, which is important for protecting paintings. The carrying case is excellent, with large 2.7-inch wheels and a reinforced handle to travel wherever you need to go. The case can actually fit the tent with the canopy still attached, making the next setup a breeze.
4. Best Choice Lightweight Pop Up Gazebo
This inexpensive canopy is a great choice for a student artist or someone just starting out at festivals and fairs. It’s also a great lightweight option, which at just over 30 pounds is easy to carry or roll around in its two-wheeled case. It can be secured with the included metal stakes and rope, or with weights (not included). The 10-by-10-foot footprint provides plenty of protection for you and your artwork.
5. E-Z Up Eclipse Canopy
The E-Z UP Eclipse is a professional-grade canopy, made with heavy-duty materials and expert design. The shelter has a coated composite polyester top that is resistant to water, fire, and mildew and blocks harmful UV rays while being lightweight and easily packable. The carbon steel frame is very strong to withstand wind and time. It has extended flexibility of height with 5 separate height settings up to 11 feet 2 inches. This canopy will stand up to wear and tear without bending, buckling, or rusting.