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Good 10x10 canopy for taking to a launch?

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neil_w

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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

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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...
I bought the last two canopies at the end of the summer when they go on deep discount to keep from having to store them through the winter. Both were heavy duty Coleman 12x12 with normal retail price of $199 the first one I got for $69 at Kmart and the second for $79 was from Ace Hardware. Shop around, I bet July 4th sales will be nearly as good.
 

MCriscione

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I've been pretty happy with this one for the last couple years. I'm not bringing it to the Playa though... It works just fine for me, so long as the winds aren't significantly exceeding safe launch conditions. I can't say I've tested it in much worse than that though.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-10-x-10-x-112-Instant-Canopy-Dark-Grey/42338314

good price, and the construction seems pretty reasonable. Canopy is pretty good quality and has the 'solar liner' thing that provides a min 50 SPF. Also keeps it nice and cool underneath.
 

Gary Byrum

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Neil, I got one that looks just like the one in "Pokers" link, but it's an "Easy-Up". Sports Academy for around 120 bucks. Stay away from those Walmart/department store el-cheapo's. You'll end up spending more in the long run after you have to replace it. Might I also add, get some of those 1' long Nail Pegs. The little scrap-o-wire pegs they sell with most canopies are junk.
 

jrkennedy2

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I saw a pretty clever way to hold them down. Someone used those 5 gal buckets from the home improvement store WITH lids and put some water in them. Then hung them by a rope from each corner with most of the weight on the rope. After the launch, they had a way to wash their hands, etc. I don't think they filled them full though. 5 gal is 40 lbs x 5 160 lbs total... Quite a bit to haul around.
 

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RocketFeller

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We bought a Caravan brand canopy at Costco over fifteen years ago. It has been to countless launches and is starting to look worn, but it still works great.

I have seen plenty of crumpled cheap canopies over the years, I think it is one of those things that spending a bit more is worthwhile.
 

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I've been pretty happy with this one for the last couple years. I'm not bringing it to the Playa though... It works just fine for me, so long as the winds aren't significantly exceeding safe launch conditions. I can't say I've tested it in much worse than that though.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-10-x-10-x-112-Instant-Canopy-Dark-Grey/42338314

good price, and the construction seems pretty reasonable. Canopy is pretty good quality and has the 'solar liner' thing that provides a min 50 SPF. Also keeps it nice and cool underneath.
The best canopy I own is a Eurmax. They are expensive. The best cheap canopy is still kicking and is 8 years old. It is a First-Up. The Ozark Trail is pretty much the same tent. The key to longevity is taking it down in high wind and removing the canopy during heavy rain (if over night).
 

neil_w

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Hmm, maybe I'll take a flyer on the Ozark Trail. For the infrequent and light-duty use I'll be giving it, it could be sufficient. If I need heavier-duty there are lots of good recommendations here to check out.

That's for all the links guys, I'm looking at all of them.
 

Banzai88

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We got ours at Dick's sporting goods. $49, choose from 12 different colors. It's in it's third season, no issues. Several times a year they have member discounts that bring it down to $39. It's the same canopy that everyone baselines for $99.
 

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On recommendation: avoid the ones with slanted legs. Buy one with straight legs. In my experience, the straight legs last longer.
 

AfterBurners

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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

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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)

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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.
 
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mcderek

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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

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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.
 
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cobra1336

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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

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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

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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.
 

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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

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Even the cheap ones can last a good bit of time if you properly stake them down
 
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Nytrunner

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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

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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?
 

AfterBurners

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Gary Byrum

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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

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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.
 
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