Best Pop Up Gazebos 2019-09-17T21:31:43+00:00

Best Pop Up Gazebos

Reviews and Buying Guide

Whether you are hosting a table at an upcoming craft show, heading to the beach, planning a barbeque, or participating in one of many other outdoor activities, it is smart to prepare for the possibility of inclement weather by bringing the best pop up gazebo with you. In other situations, like a wedding, rain can negatively impact an event that is important to some people. It isn’t just smart to prepare for bad weather, it’s essential. A pop up gazebo is able to provide shelter from wind, rain, and ultraviolet radiation, allowing you to enjoy your special day free from worry of unexpected changes in weather.

Gazebo tent technology has improved drastically in the past 10 years and, because of this, so has ease of use. The standard 10×10 gazebo can easily be set up by two people in less than three minutes because manufactures have improved the quality and usability of hardware to the point that expanding the frame of the easy up gazebo is as simple as walking backwards. The metal frame gazebo being sold today is leaps ahead of the same products being sold 10 years ago.

There are a lot of factors that determine which portable gazebo will best suit your needs, so we suggest asking yourself some important questions to help identify which features to be on the lookout for. Questions like “Would I prefer a lightweight pyramid design frame, or a heavier but more durable cross truss frame?” or “What rating of denier polyester in the canopy awning will help prevent water and UV rays from coming through?” and “Will I be confined with space, and if so what kind of dimensional footprint gazebo should I look for?” Questions like these can sometimes lead consumers to feeling overwhelmed and confused

This is where Canopy Tent Reviews can help. We seek to be the experts in our field and are eager to share our advice with you. We have taken the time to put countless shelters through an in-depth review process and have compiled a list of our top rated gazebos. Our goal is to present all of our findings in a way that is easy to understand and navigate so you can find the best portable gazebo tent for your personal situation. Our friendly staff always welcomes any questions, comments, and suggestions that you may have. We wish you all the best of luck in your next outdoor event!

Best Portable Gazebos Reviews
Top 7 Comparison Table

Rank Pop Up Gazebos Price
1 Core – 10’x10′ Instant Shelter Pop Up Gazebo
Core - 10'x10' Instant Shelter Pop Up Gazebo
This gazebo tent is our pick for best overall value because it combinines a sleek modern design with high quality craftmanship while remaining affordable. It is the lightest weight and most visually appealing easy up gazebo on our list.

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2 ABCCanopy – 10’x10′ Ez Up Gazebo Tent
ABCCanopy - 10'x10' Ez Up Gazebo Tent
This steel gazebo is the strongest product on our list. It features commercial grade durability while not exceeding, what we consider, the recreational price range. It is our unanimous top rated gazebo canopy for use at an outdoor vending event like a craft show.

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3 Leader Accessories – Instant Pop Up 10×10 Gazebo
Leader Accessories - Instant Pop Up 10x10 Gazebo
This is the most affordable gazebo on our list. We honestly believe that Leader Accessories could double its cost and it would still be farily priced. If you are looking for an inexpensive gazebo for sale, that doesn’t sacrifice quality, we strongly suggest taking a hard look at this shelter.

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4 Z- Shade – 13’x13′ Pop Up Patio Gazebo
Z-Shade - 13'x13' Pop Up Patio Gazebo
If you are looking for a decorative patio gazebo, this Z-Shade is a great option. It is designed in a way that the product looks like a permenant fixture and is perfect for use in a backyard, patio, or anywhere that you would perfer a canopy with a more classy appearance.

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5 E-Z UP – Sierra II 12’x12′ Shelter
E-Z UP - Sierra II 12'x12' Shelter
If you find yourself in the situation that you need additional coverage, this is our favorite 12’x12′ metal frame gazebo. It one of the most affordable oversized gazebos on the market, but still features the durability that you expect from an E-Z UP instant gazebo.

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Pop Up Gazebo Reviews
Top 7 Detailed Reviews

Core – 10’x10′ Instant Shelter Pop Up Gazebo

Core Equipment is a brand that is more well-known for their high-performance camping equipment than for any portable gazebo. Core specializes in producing lightweight, high quality products for backcountry backpacking and camping. Through years of experience in manufacturing camping tents, Core has learned to develop some of the highest quality and lightest weight waterproof fabrics that we have ever seen. Core uses a state-of-the-art synthetic fabric that is thin and lightweight, but is also durable and waterproof. The canopy fabric is 150D polyester that provides a UPF50+ ultraviolet radiation protection factor. This is the highest rating on the UPF scale and means that the fabric will protect anybody within its shade from sunburn. Core applies a proprietary H20-Block finishing to the polyester to increase its water resistance. From the moment we first saw the product, it was obvious that the brand values quality and aesthetics. The Core 10×10 Instant Shelter combines cutting edge synthetic fabric technology with an appealing design in, what we believe, is the best gazebo tent on the market today in terms of overall value.

We found the Core Equipment brand because of input from our readers, actually. A few years ago, we had outdoor enthusiasts from across the country asking us to put the Core 10×10 Instant Shelter to the test. We had heard good things and we’re very intrigued that this company better known for camping tents, had ventured into the portable gazebo market. We’re always excited to hear positive feedback about new gazebos and quickly got our hands on one of our own. When we set the product up for the first time we couldn’t help but notice a general feeling of quality. Seams are double stitched, areas of the gazebo canopy that are subject to additional stress are reinforced, the welding is thick where metal pieces are joined, etc. All of the little characteristics that often go unnoticed, but influences the longevity of a pop up gazebo, were addressed in a way that impressed us. The tent ships with a carrying case that has two web handles and built in roller wheels, making it easy to tote behind you when you walk to the beach, campsite, vendor location, or wherever your journey is taking you.

Like most of the products that we recommend, the Core 10×10 Instant Shelter was easy to set up. It took less than two minutes for two members of our team to set up our model, working at an average pace. In order to set up the gazebo tent, two people stood on opposite corners of the frame, each holding onto a leg. They moved backwards which caused the frame to expand naturally. While they were moving backwards they pushed the ceiling sliders upwards which helped the ceiling to take its shape. One of the components that stuck out to us as a valuable feature during the set up process, is the oversized pinch-free hand sliders which allow you to easily move the ceiling joints up the legs. These sliders have a large button that locks and unlocks the joint, which means that you won’t have to worry about pinching your fingers on outdated thumb buttons. The frame is a single piece so there isn’t any risk of losing individual parts.

This 10×10 gazebo has straight legs and provides a true 100 square feet of shade, making it a viable option to use in an environment where the product will need to be set up directly next to another structure like at a craft fair or tailgate. The shelter has three preset height options, giving you the flexibility to adjust height based on your environment. If you need additional headroom, it is easy for one person to increase the height one leg at a time. If you need more cover, is just as easy for one person to lower the canopy. Whenever the Core 10×10 Instant Shelter is set up it looks sleek and modern. The corners of the canopy extend down the legs, adding reinforcement as well as complementing the overall aesthetics of its contemporary design. The canopy has two ceiling vents that allow air to pass through. They look sharp, but also add practical value. Whenever a gust of wind gets trapped under the ceiling, vents allow the pressure to escape reducing the likelihood that your shelter gets carried away by strong wind.

When the metal gazebo is set up, it is surprisingly sturdy. This tent uses a pyramid frame design, which is engineered to be as lightweight as possible. Sometimes metal frame gazebo manufacturers try to increase portability by sacrificing durability, but this is not the case with Core Equipment. The gazebo is definitely portable, weighing in at 43 pounds, but its lightweight design does not come at the expense of durability. The metal frame has large steel feet securely welded to the legs that are designed to accommodate stakes through the center of them for additional anchor points. The truss joints and hinges are reinforced with thick plastic and the galvanized aluminum frame is sturdy enough that the pop up gazebo is capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to high impact weather conditions without failure. During our review process we put each product through a set of rigorous physical tests. In one of our tests, we stake down the portable gazebo and leave it set up outside for three weeks to see how it holds up. During the three week period it was exposed to three days of high impact weather, one of which was a thunderstorm. Despite being subjected to high winds and rain, the Core 10×10 Instant Shelter remained standing. The canopy didn’t rip and the joints of the frame are just as sturdy today as they were the day we unboxed it.

Our overall assessment of the Core 10×10 Instant Shelter is that is that it is quite possibly the best easy up gazebo available in terms of overall value. It is affordable enough that somebody who only intends to use it for recreational purposes can justify the purchase. Yet, it is durable enough that people who rely on their tent to protect them or their products can feel confident that this metal frame gazebo canopy will provide the shelter they needs in bad weather. It has an appealing modern design that is sleek yet functional. We are big fans of the Core 10×10 Instant Shelter and recommend it to anybody looking for a high quality portable gazebo, at an affordable price.

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ABCCanopy – 10’x10′ Ez Up Gazebo Tent

The ABCCanopy Ez Up Instant Gazebo is the strongest pop up gazebo that we have ever seen, and is a favorite amongst our team. It is perfect for somebody who is looking for more strength and durability than a recreational sun shade can provide, but still doesn’t want to break into commercial shelter prices. The ABCCanopy Ez Up Instant Gazebo has all the qualities that you would expect from a commercial-grade pop up shelter such as a steel cross-truss frame, extra thick waterproof canopy, heat-sealed double-stitched seams, reinforced stress points, steel tie down rings, and much more. Despite all of these high quality features, this gazebo tent maintains a price point within, what we would consider, the recreational price range. It dominates commercial-grade competitors because it offers the same features at a lower price. It ultimately affords consumers the ability to obtain a strong and reliable product without the need to justify an expensive purchase.

The ABCCanopy Ez Up Instant Gazebo is loaded with features, but I am going to start with the one that I think is most important, and that is its frame. Our team stands by a statement that we have made many times in the past. We believe that the single most important investment that you can make to increase the durability and longevity of your portable gazebo is to spend the extra money on a cross-truss frame. Cross-truss frames have additional supporting trusses that extend across the center of the ceiling, preventing joints from being pushed/pulled in directions they aren’t supposed to move. Joints are excellent at absorbing stress along an intended plane plane, but do not hold up well when stress is applied perpendicular to the plane they are operating on. So if you push outwards on the valance of your shelter’s ceiling frame, it is possible to loosen or break the center joint. Cross-truss frames prevent this sheer stress by creating geometric shapes that prevent movement in directions that the joints aren’t supposed to move. The frame is made of black powder-coated rust resistant steel which is a significant upgrade over most frames, which are made of aluminum. ABCCanopy claims that you can stand on the frame without it collapsing. Of course we had to test this. I have to admit that I was too scared to test this out myself, but there are some younger, braver, less intelligent people on the team who eagerly volunteered. As much as I would have enjoyed watching somebody fall from a collapsing metal frame gazebo, it was even more pleasing to see true quality engineering first hand. The steel frame is beyond impressive and easily supported the 170 pound reviewer who climbed on top of it. ABCCanopy has every right to stand by this claim.

The canopy, itself, is also made with equal emphasis on quality. The fabric is 500D polyester which is by far the thickest out of any on our list and is truly waterproof. It is worth noting that most of the gazebo canopy tents we have reviewed are just water resistant. The seams are double stitched with thick thread, and then heat-sealed to prevent water from permeating through the seams and to prevent the threads from fraying. This is the first time we have seen heat-sealing. We are impressed with the attention to detail and hope other brands adopt this practice in the future. Certain points of any canopy fabric are more susceptible to tearing and leaking because they withstand more stress than other regions. ABCCanopy reinforced all of these stress points with additional fabric. They also added straps along the valance to tie the fabric to the trusses, ensuring that the material remains taught in windy situations. Velco along the interior corner seams of the canopy fabric further prevent movement in wind. The gazebo comes with steel D-rings pre-attached to the corners of the canopy, providing strong anchor points for guy lines. The canopy is built to be able to withstand continuous abuse from high-impact weather, and performed terrifically when we left it set up outside for 3 weeks, which is part of our standard review process. There is unanimous agreement among the Canopy Tent Reviews team that this is the best gazebo tent for wind that money can buy.

This instant gazebo is heavier than many of the other products that we have reviewed because of its industrial-grade steel frame and upgraded parts. It weighs close to 70 pounds, which is the heaviest product that we recommend, but this is actually a perk if you value stability over portability. It took a little over 4 minutes for two of our team members, working at a leisurely pace, to set up the pop up steel frame tent. The joint slides are made of a strong nylon composite and glide easily along the legs. They have easy-to-use thumb locks so you don’t have to worry about pinching your fingers. Despite the additional weight, the steel gazebo is still easy to set up. The wheeled bag is made out of equally high-quality materials. The wheels are large, strong, and easy to roll, making it possible for the smallest person on our team to effortlessly transport the metal gazebo. The bag has four thick rubber handles for lifting and a fifth rubber handle for rolling. The base plate of the bag is thick and reinforced to prevent ripping.

In our opinion, the ABCCanopy Ez Up Instant Gazebo is the best 10×10 gazebo on the market today for a craft show or art fair. It has straight 1 1/4 inch steel legs, meaning that the canopy provides a true 100 square feet of shelter, which is important because you want to make sure that all of the products within its footprint have overhead protection. Since the gazebo has straight legs, it can be set up directly next to another structure which is important at a show because sometimes there isn’t space between your area of operation and the next vendor. If you will be conducting business in a professional environment it is important that you are confident in the performance ability of your shelter so you don’t need to worry about it and can remain focused on business. Vendors can rest assured that the ABCCanopy Ez Up Instant Gazebo is strong enough to protect them and their products through severe weather.

If the weather gets bad or you just want additional protection, the ABCCanopy Ez Up Instant Gazebo comes with four 210D waterproof polyester sidewalls. These sidewalls attach to the ceiling with a heavy-duty zipper and Velcro. Four additional sidewalls will often cost as much as the actual tent, so the fact that they are included makes the price of this product even more unbelievable. Sidewalls can be used individually on whatever side you want to block the wind, or you can use all four of them together, turning the area under your canopy into a private room. When we set this instant shelter up with all four sidewalls attached we noticed that it was significantly warmer inside. So, if you foresee yourself using your easy up gazebo in the fall or winter when temperatures are lower, we think that the sidewalls are valuable accessories.

Overall the team is blown away by ABCCanopy Ez Up Instant Gazebo and I, personally, think it is the best pop up gazebo on the market. The strength of its frame and the quality of the gazebo’s canopy is unmatched by any other product available today. I highly recommend this product for anybody looking for an industrial-grade portable gazebo with an affordable price tag. It is our unanimous number one gazebo recommendation for anybody who will be using their shelter in an environment where they must have full confidence that it will provide unfailing protection in potential high-impact weather, such as a trade show. We are proud to recommend this gazebo and hope that you have the ability to enjoy it as much as we do.

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Leader Accessories – Instant Pop Up 10×10 Gazebo

Every year when we come out with our reviews, we pride ourselves on continually finding the best pop up gazebo available, all while highlighting some of the latest and greatest features we think our readers should pay close attention to before purchasing. We’re big believers in that just because a well-known brand has been a household name for 50 years; doesn’t mean their product is the best. In fact, it is often the smaller or lesser known brands that manufacture some of the best products with the most innovative features because of how specialized they are in this niche. We found this is the case with Leader Accessories. They’re not a new company by any means, and for the past 30 years they’ve been obsessed with protecting our outdoor adventures and pride themselves on a commitment to superior quality and lasting durability. Perhaps better known for their car, boat, or RV covers than they are a portable gazebo canopy, they’ve proven they have what it takes to compete in this space with their 10×10 instant gazebo tent. Our team found it to be the best value buy thanks to quality manufactured components at one of the most competitive price points available today.

Our initial reaction when this shelter arrived was that Leader Accessories could be charging double for this shelter, and it would still be a good deal. Our team was thoroughly impressed with the quality of materials; from the steel frame, to the reinforced plastic hinges, to the canopy material. After removing the tent from the carrying tote, we quickly attached the 210-denier polyester awning canopy to the metal gazebo top. After inspecting the quality of the polyester, it became apparent Leader Accessories has leveraged their advantage in their knowledge of fabrics. It is a silver back coated UPF 50+ UV protection fabric and is one of best materials we have seen in the use of an awning material, right up there with Core Equipments’ H20-Blocking technology. The silver back helps heat to reflect and radiate off the top of the tent so it does not become trapped underneath. It appears to have excellent seams with attractive stitching and it held up exceptionally well to downpour rain as water beaded right off the material. Another great feature of the canopy top is the vented top for additional circulation. This not only helps to keep those underneath cool, but also allows for air to vent through top on those windy days to prevent the shelter from turning into a sail. We’re highly confident this material will hold up to the elements for many years to come.

As for the high gauge metal gazebo frame, we found the powder-coated steel is of high quality and the reinforced plastic hinges ensure the joints won’t weaken over time. It comes fully assembled as a one-piece frame so no tools are required with setup, which is common with most shelters today. As always, the straight leg 10×10 design provides a true 100 sq. feet of shade. Research shows pyramid frames, which this shelter is, are typically less sturdy than the typical commercial cross-truss design. But in our testing, we observed the included guy lines with attachments at the top of the corners provided support similar to that of a cross truss design. This is a great feature because pyramid frames are much lighter than cross truss frames. So, the reduction in weight results in a more portable friendly gazebo while still being just as reliable in terms of durability. This shelter tipped our scales at just over 37 lbs., which puts it below the average 10×10 gazebo canopy in terms of weight. Lastly, we found the use of thick plastic sliders with large push buttons in the locking mechanisms to be a great feature to prevent finger pinching when finished using, or when trying to change between one of the leg height adjustments.

One of the best features of this portable gazebo is that Leader Accessories manufactures side walls in the color option matching your tent. Our team has been hard pressed to find a higher quality material side wall or one that is easier to attach to a gazebo. Using the same 210-denier silver backed polyester as the awning canopy; these sidewalls will block 99% of UV rays and are perfect during windy days, evenings when the sun begins to set, or for added privacy. They each attach with elastic bands consisting of a hook and d-loop. A sidewall comes with 3 bands on each side that attach to the metal legs of the gazebo, and 2 bands on the top that attach to the perimeter truss. Our setup of the side wall was incredibly easy and can be accomplished with just one person. We highly suggest purchasing at least one side wall for your pop up gazebo. In addition to the side wall, the optional weight bags manufactured by Leader Accessories are top notch. Readers often ask us the best way to anchor their gazebo canopy, and before we ever reviewed this 10×10 gazebo we recommended the Leader Accessories weight bags. They are constructed with an outer 600-denier heavy duty material and are 100% waterproof. We found the material, the double stitching on the seams and web handles, and the 4 snap buckles on each bag to be the highest quality available today. Perfect for use on hard surfaces or the beach, they provide the capability for an additional 120 lbs. of anchoring support. Even if you choose to purchase another shelter, purchase these weight bags as we promise you won’t regret it. With these two add-ons, Leader Accessories surely earned the word ‘accessories’ in their name. It’s worth noting, neither of these accessories are included with purchase on Amazon, and must be added separately.

Overall, we’re pleased to have found one of the best value recreational gazebo tents on the market today. Seemingly at a price point much less than the competition, our team is delighted to see the attention to detail with the same, if not better, high-quality materials used in tents that are much more expensive. Perfect for picnics, backyard parties, sporting events, fairs, trade shows, festivals, or the beach; this gazebo surely will not disappoint.

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Z-Shade – 13’x13′ Pop Up Patio Gazebo

Our commitment to finding the best pop up gazebo on the market today took us beyond the traditional 10×10 recreational shade gazebo. We desired more in terms of aesthetics, but it was difficult to find a metal frame gazebo that met our quality standards and was portable enough to take with us on the go. A gazebo canopy typically falls into one of two categories; a recreational pop up shade tent with telescoping legs that packs nicely into a carrying tote, or a more traditional but less portable patio gazebo with affixed steel legs and a canvas top. We found it very difficult to find a tent that incorporated aspects from both categories; the portability from pop ups and the eye-pleasing features of a garden gazebo, and especially one that we felt comfortable enough recommending to our readers. This was until we reviewed the Z-Shade 13×13 Pop Up Gazebo and put it through testing.

Z-Shade is a probably a company that not many people have heard of before, but we can bet that you’ve come across a few of their products. For nearly the past 20 years they have been manufacturing instant canopies for customers like EZ-Up, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale, Cabela’s, K-Mart, and a few other big box retailers. They licensed their technology by proving they had a quality manufacturing process in place, and they’ve built up quite an impressive resume of clients as a result. A few years ago they decided to launch their own private line, leveraging many years of expertise in the field, under the Z-Shade brand. This 13×13 portable gazebo is a staple of their brand outlook in manufacturing convenient yet functional instant shade tents. It a top-notch product made with quality materials and provides an eye-catching aesthetic at a very affordable price, perfect for those looking to give family and friends canopy envy.

When our tent arrived, the first thing we noticed was that size of the roller bag was larger than a typical gazebo tent tote. This was slightly surprising to us because even though the dimensions of the awning are 13×13, the footprint of the actual metal gazebo is only 10×10. There is an overhang of about 18” on each corner, making up the additional 3’ in length and width on each side. This is a great feature because it provides 170 sq. ft. of shade without the need for additional metal used in the perimeter trusses which we found helps to reduce weight, not to mention adds a cool design factor. Upon removing the tent from the bag, we reviewed the directions but were slightly disappointed in the lack of information and vague diagrams to aid in a quick and hassle-free setup. We found ourselves better off attempting trial and error than we did following the included directions. The roof comes in two separate parts, and as the top peak section will overhang the bottom half of the fabric you will want to set up that up first. We found the two-piece awning gives the gazebo a nice pagoda look that allows rain to runoff and air to circulate through the vents to help keep those underneath cool. Once we attached both awnings to the gazebo canopy, we expanded the frame fully open while making sure the top vent fingers were released over the larger bottom fabric. We weren’t sure how the extended awning would take shape until we attached the extension rods into the top of the legs, which we found to be a much easier installation than we anticipated. Overall, initial setup took us about 20 minutes from start to finish but now takes around 3 minutes with all components attached. We do highly recommend taking down this portable gazebo during storms with prolonged wind and rain to ensure the shelter stays intact. While it might not be necessary to fully pack into the carrying tote, collapsing the awning and telescoping legs will help ensure your gazebo tent lasts many summers. Z-Shade even highlights use on their website that their tents are designed for daily outings or activities, and not extended periods or long term seasonal use.

The awning material is constructed of high-quality denier polyester with UV coating. After all, protection from the sun is the name of the game during hot days outdoors with prolonged sun exposure. We find it worth mentioning that the polyester is not 100% waterproof and will not provide protection during downpours, but it will aid in keeping those underneath dry during a light rain or drizzle. We found the 3 adjustable leg height options, each about 2 inches apart, to be a great feature for those wishing to raise or lower their shelters. We do want to highlight two downsides that we found to this 13×13 metal gazebo that we hope that Z-Shade will improve in the future. The first of which is the weight of this shelter. At close to 60 lbs., it is one of the heaviest 10×10 footprint recreational tents that we have reviewed in recent years. We would love to see them move to a lightweight aluminum which would not only reduce weight but also improve the strength and structural integrity of the tent. The second shortcoming is that it does not include an insect screen with purchase. The corner skirts provide a great aesthetic to the tent, but we don’t want our readers to misinterpret these for a zipper mesh screen. The Z-Shade website does have 13’ sidewalls available for purchase if you do wish for this option as an add-on.

Overall, we think this pop up gazebo is one of the best options for those looking for sun protection in their backyard or on their patio. The two-tier awning provides an eye-catching pagoda design that a lot of other metal gazebo tents lack. With easy setup and tear down, it’s as portable as most tents but with much more shade thanks to the 13×13 design. Easily large enough to fit a table and chairs or patio couch underneath, you can quickly turn your backyard or picnic into its own little oasis with this sun shelter.

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E-Z UP – Sierra II 12’x12′ Shelter

The EZ–Up brand is as synonymous to pop up gazebo as Band-Aid is to bandage and Kleenex is to tissue. It’s a company that built its reputation on quality products that are affordable, portable, and most importantly easy to use. We have reviewed tons of EZ-Up products over the years, and we’re continually impressed with every new design the company offers. EZ-Up manufactures metal gazebos for everything including community and sporting events, beach trips, weddings, hospitality, construction sites, to military bases. While they have a gazebo canopy for just about every occasion and have engineered each design to perfectly to fit the intended use, we found that the Sierra II 12×12 Shelter is the most versatile portable gazebo that we have reviewed and can be used on just about any occasion. The 12×12 tapered leg design gives a 144 sq. ft. footprint which leaves ample room for people, tables, chairs, games, and belongings underneath the awning all while maintaining and lightweight frame for easy toting. It is worth noting, however, that the tapered legs result in canopy dimensions of 10×10, which provide only 100 sq. feet of shade underneath the shelter. But, if you are a family of four or more looking to keep everyone safe and shaded while outdoors, look no further than this large gazebo tent.

When our shelter arrived, we couldn’t wait to see how big this thing actually was. We were pleasantly surprised that the carrying tote was not much larger than the typical 10×10 gazebo. This is because the additional 2 feet in length and width is collapsed within the folding accordion frame and not in the height of the legs. With a height of about 114”, it is only 6” higher than the average 10×10 gazebo at 108”. This in turn makes the carrying tote about 6” longer, which we found to be a very reasonable tradeoff since we commonly need more space in length and width and not necessarily in height. With the increased dimensions of the powder coated steel frame, we expected the pop up gazebo to weigh more than the advertised weight of 41 lbs. It tipped our scale at just over 42 lbs. which is actually lighter than some of the 10×10 shelters available today. We always preach that a full truss cross frame is the key to a durable gazebo canopy and we typically recommend them over their pyramid frame counterparts. Check out our buying guide for the difference between the two. However, the perimeter truss design does have its unique set of advantages. The perimeter design of the Sierra II provides a clear span cathedral ceiling which increases headroom and clearance as well as gives a more open feel, something that the full truss cross design lacks and our tallest friends appreciate. The perimeter frame also reduces weight as it requires less metal weaving through the top resulting in increased portability, and is ultimately the main reason this shelter weighs less than most full truss 10×10 shelters even given the larger dimensions.

So, what are some of features of this portable gazebo tent that make is so reliable and hassle free every time? We found that it starts with the EZ Glide Truss Washers at the joints of the top pyramid frame. Often when we set up a pop up gazebo right out of the bag for the very first time, the top frame is difficult to pull apart because the joints of the perimeter truss are tight and need some massaging until they become worked with repeated use. We observed with the Sierra II that the initial setup was much easier than most and the trusses not only pulled apart with ease, but also felt much sturdier than most other metal gazebos at the cross joints. Once the frame was fully raised, we placed the recreational grade blue fabric top over the cathedral frame and secured with the reinforced Velcro corners. We haven’t had the gazebo canopy for long enough to tell how the polyester material will hold up to the elements, but it seems to be constructed of high quality material with reinforced double stitching at all seems. We’ll put our faith in the EZ-Up reputation for now, and update this review if we find it does not meet our expectations. It is worth noting that while the material might be as highly rated denier polyester as some of the other top shelters, the polyester material is fire resistant and blocks 99% of UV rays, which is something that is critical for hot sunny days outdoors.

In our opinion, two of the best innovations EZ-Up has come up with in recent years is the Auto-Slider pull pin and toggle leg adjustments for a quick release of the locks at the top and telescoping legs. We think that both of these are industry leading features that make EZ-Up products the most hassle free and easy to use on the market today. The Auto-Slider pull pin locks into place at the top when the frame is raised into position. Pull these pins when it’s time to tear down, and walk the metal frame gazebo inwards. Similarly, find which of the 2 options for leg height is preferable and the toggle leg adjustments snap into place. With the push of a button located on the toggle adjustment, the telescoping legs release and slide inside of one another. It was hassle free in our testing, and we’re very happy with the design they chose to go with in the Sierra II and we think you will appreciate the pinch free mechanisms just as much as we do.

Overall, we think that the value this 12×12 footprint shelter offers in terms of size, portability, affordability, and ease of use is unmatched. We found very little downside in opting for the additional 2 feet in length and width compared to the same tent with a 10×10 footprint. It doesn’t increase weight, compacted dimensions, or portability enough to desire a smaller option. At a very competitive price, the ability to fit all belongings underneath the gazebo tent comfortably while not feeling overcrowded is something we think our readers will greatly appreciate

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