We’ve owned one of those pop-up canopies for many years. It’s really come in handy for picnics, backyard cookouts, camping, tailgating and more, but it’s beginning to show its age now. We have had to repair a couple of tears in the fabric, and the frame just feels a little more rickety.
On one moderately gusty day this past summer, I thought the canopy would literally end up being gone with the wind. We would have felt more secure had we followed the advice in this video:
So, I reckon it’s time to invest in a new one. Aside from the canopies showing wear and tear, our needs have started to change, as well.
For one thing, we don’t make such a big production out of tailgating anymore, nor do we camp much, so our new shelter doesn’t necessarily have to be as portable.
At the same time, we’re hoping to do more entertaining at home, so a larger one would be nice. Also, maybe something closer to an actual tent would be nice to keep out bugs and such.
With all of this in mind, then we’ve started looking at canopies with screens. Ideally, it would be big enough to fit a picnic table inside, but still not too tedious to set up.
At first, we did some searching for “party tents”, and found this helpful guide that pretty much convinced us that this was the wrong category for what we needed, as they run much larger than we need, and it’s typically a multi-person job to set one up.
After a little more digging, we found a likely option made by Clam: their Quick-Set Escape canopy. It a little pricier than we’d like, but it does appear to be ridiculously easy to set up, is large enough for our needs, and is still very portable for those time we may want to take it on the road with us.
If it weren’t for the price, we may have already bought the Clam, but we’re going to do a little more shopping around first. Wish us luck!