Good 10x10 canopy for taking to a launch?

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neil_w

Doldrum dweller
TRF Supporter
I don't have one of those pop-up canopies to set up behind my car at launches. It seems like a good idea to have one for summer launch days which otherwise would be unbearable. Can anyone provide recommendations for a decent inexpensive one?

The online reviews suggest that most of the cheap ones are pretty flimsy, but I'd still prefer not to go too spendy on this...

djkingsley

Well-Known Member
I don't have one of those pop-up canopies to set up behind my car at launches. It seems like a good idea to have one for summer launch days which otherwise would be unbearable. Can anyone provide recommendations for a decent inexpensive one?

The online reviews suggest that most of the cheap ones are pretty flimsy, but I'd still prefer not to go too spendy on this...

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Global Mod
On recommendation: avoid the ones with slanted legs. Buy one with straight legs. In my experience, the straight legs last longer.

Gary Byrum

Overstable By Design
On recommendation: avoid the ones with slanted legs. Buy one with straight legs. In my experience, the straight legs last longer.
+1 on that note.

AfterBurners

Well-Known Member
I'm looking for a good canopy, but thinking about just buying the materials and building one with poles etc. I'd like to have a meshed flat top cover to avoid it getting lifted like a parachute and blowing away.

Peartree

Cyborg Rocketeer
Staff member
Global Mod
On recommendation: avoid the ones with slanted legs. Buy one with straight legs. In my experience, the straight legs last longer.
+1 on this from me as well. For launches where everyone is setting up next to one another, the straight legs make that a lot easier without "violating" your neighbor's space or creating extra trip hazards.

Cl(VII)

I have a Coleman one (similar to this) that has been through 5 years of flying and other uses. It has held up well in winds up to about 25 mph...never pushed my luck past that. I got it on season end closeout at Target for about $80. I wouldn't pay full price for it though. Last edited by a moderator: mcderek Free Flight Rocketeer Most canopies will work fine if you take care of them. Stake it down properly and add extra guy ropes and tie downs. Don't leave it set up and unattended. If you have to, take the cover off. Staking down is important. Canopies can catch thermals! rharshberger Well-Known Member Staking the feet down with beefy stakes/tent nails ( not the little wire stakes most come with) and putting weighted guy ropes out and keeping everything taught is the way to go. I use the Costco brand detergent buckets as a mold for concrete blocks, each one will hold about 60 lbs of concrete I then set a long eyebolt with large fender washers into the wet concrete for attaching the guy ropes to later. While the blocks are heavy my 14 year old First Up pop up is still structurally sound even though the UV has taken its toll on the fabric. Usually I put the blocks about 3-5 feet off each corner, the popup has yet to take flight in winds up to 30mph, or even get tweaked. Last edited: cobra1336 Well-Known Member Have an ez-up, use it on my deck as well. A great way to hold them down is to use old workout weights from bench press. Take a leg totally out, slide it through the center of weight, reinstall leg. You end up with 4 weights one at each corner. Higher the winds, heaver the weight. Plus you can find them cheap at yard sales. Yeah, I'm going to get in shape this year and in about 6 months they collect dust then make it to the yard sale. MikeyDSlagle Well-Known Member I have one of the Ozark ones from Walmart, nice and sturdy. I usually put it up by myself and it has survived. But indeed upgrade your stakes. Maybe even get cheap ratchet straps for guy wires. I have a wall for one side I put on the west side to keep afternoon sun off o1d_dude 'I battle gravity' TRF Supporter I have one of the Ozark ones from Walmart, nice and sturdy. I usually put it up by myself and it has survived. But indeed upgrade your stakes. Maybe even get cheap ratchet straps for guy wires. I have a wall for one side I put on the west side to keep afternoon sun off Yep, the Ozark units from Walmart are surprisingly stout. Good call on the ratchet straps. Rebar spikes with orange plastic caps work well, too. Bring a small sledge to knock them in and out. jadebox Roger Smith TRF Sponsor Just a quick +1 for the Coleman canopies. We have the one that has a 13' x 13' top on a 10' x 10' frame. It's well-made, durable, not-too-heavy, and is easy-to-put up and take down. -- Roger Bat-mite Rocketeer in MD I've seen more than one aluminum frame buckle under stiff wind, and I don't mean severe wind. Just like 12 - 15 mph. I tossed my aluminum one and got a steel one on Amazon. Haven't used it yet. DavidMcCann Well-Known Member Even the cheap ones can last a good bit of time if you properly stake them down Last edited: Nytrunner Pop lugs, not drugs TRF Supporter Most canopies will work fine if you take care of them. Stake it down properly and add extra guy ropes and tie downs. Don't leave it set up and unattended. If you have to, take the cover off. Staking down is important. Canopies can catch thermals! I've seen more than one aluminum frame buckle under stiff wind, and I don't mean severe wind. Just like 12 - 15 mph. I tossed my aluminum one and got a steel one on Amazon. Haven't used it yet. Even the cheap ones can last a good bit of time if you properly stake them down I am making myself a reminder to post a pic here when I get home. Just think: Dust devil+Tent camp at IREC= ??? neil_w Doldrum dweller TRF Supporter I ended up getting the Ozark Trail 10x10 canopy from Walmart,$89 (I kept waiting and hoping it might go on sale, but nope). Set it up for the first time at the launch last Sunday, and it seemed totally fine. The wind was light (5-12 mph I'd say) and even without the stakes in it stayed put just fine. 10x10 seemed to be the right size for three people plus a table with all the rocket crap. So it was a success.

The only thing we struggled with was figuring out the best way to get the canopy folded and back in the carrying case with the frame. Our first instinct was to put the frame in the case, and then put the folded canopy in alongside it. We eventually got it in, but it seemed like we were missing an easier way. Anyone have any hints?

Gary Byrum

Overstable By Design
The only thing we struggled with was figuring out the best way to get the canopy folded and back in the carrying case with the frame. Our first instinct was to put the frame in the case, and then put the folded canopy in alongside it. We eventually got it in, but it seemed like we were missing an easier way. Anyone have any hints?
Screw the carrying case. Sooner than later they are going to unzip the wrong way and the handle is usually cheaply sewn in and become useless. Ditch that and make a very small investment in these metal cam straps. Custom lengths and they're not expensive. LOOK HERE 3' will be too short and 4' will be a little lengthy. Best to go with the 4' though.

AfterBurners

Well-Known Member
I ideally I would probably try and get the materials to build a canopy, but use a flat top mesh roof. This way it can catch wind and still provides some relief from the sun. I mean you could probably go with a solid canopy on top, but select a color that will reflect the sun and heat.

I know some of the local swap meet guys have canopies. You might be able to check with them. You may have to assemble your poles and sides, but it will be cheaper in the long run than buying some flimsy piece of crap that won't last.