I ordered this canopy on May 1, 2009 and had been using it for less than a month. One of the cross bars bent at the end where it attaches to the next one. I called customer service twice on Monday to resolve the problem. Each time I was told someone would have to call me back. Wednesday, after no one had called, I called a third time. Customer service said that it "must have been the weather". They would not honor the "10 Year Warranty" and could not sell me a part to repair it. I liked the canopy, but apparently it is not very durable.
I attend a lot of outdoor dog agility trials during the year up here in the northeast. At dog shows it's always bring-your-own shade. I need something that is not too heavy to lug from the van, easy to setup and take down, shade me & the dogs from the sun and hold up to the elements (rain & wind).
I was replacing an old, heavy, EZ-Up after the canopy ripped and one of the release buttons "got lost" inside the leg.
I have used the Swiss Gear canopy 5 times now in intense sun, heavy rain, and LIGHT wind. It is very easy to setup and take down - love the fact that there are no steel buttons to push in (and pinch your fingers) when you are releasing the canopy downwards. The duffel bag is designed well and expands a little, making it easy to stuff the canopy back into it. (Note, like all canopies, it's still going to take 2 people to set it up and take it down.)
The coated canopy keeps the inside MUCH cooler than standard white canopies. I always use the guyouts to tiedown the canopy and stake down the legs - it has stood up well to light wind and heavy rain, but the steel frame doesn't seem sturdy enough to trust it in heavier winds. (The EZ-Up stood up well in high winds)
I think this is an excellent product for this price category. In this price range it seems to be better made and sturdier than most other "cheap" ones I see at the shows. If you don't mind looking like you're the first-aid station (the red cross) <g> - go for it!
I bought this item after reading user reviews about this and competitive products. We were planning a trip to Hart Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, and expected rain storms for several days. We wanted a shelter/canopy that would stand up to heavy rain and wind conditions. We were not disappointed. This canopy sheds rain like a duck's back.
In regard to setup. I set this up myself while my wife went to register the campsite. I had it up and was fastening the lanyards before she returned in only a few minutes. Although some of the reviews say not to attempt this by yourself, I found that I could walk from corner to corner, pulling the edges out until I had it expanded all the way. Also, the directions say to put the top on before fully expanding it. This is probably the better way to do it, but I found this unnecessary. I simply expanded it and then stretched the top on. This unit comes with pre-attached velcro tabs that securely attach the awning to the skeleton structure so that the wind does not rattle the awning. Very cool. One thing to remember is to attach the velcro tabs all around the inside before telescoping the legs up, otherwise you may not be able to reach the velcro tabs on the ceiling after it is fully up.
Another great thing about this design is that it comes with batwing lanyards at each corner with pre-attached cords. So it is easy to put the guy wires out for added security against the wind. Very convenient design.
We gave it a good test. It rained hard on and off for four days and this baby did not leak any water. After four days of rain, the only moisture I could find was a tiny bit on the name tag that is sewn through the canopy, and there the water wicked through, but did not drip at all.
The overall design is excellent. If you look closely, you will see many features that shout "good design" all over. I have been in product design for 20 years, so I know what is garbage and what has been thought through. This unit is well done.
The only things I would change are: (1) put rings on the ceiling for hanging wet clothing and towels (2) make the sides about two inches wider from top to bottom (all the awnings have this problem), (3) make the guy wire stakes with rings at the end instead of "nail heads," so you can pull them out easier, and (4) make the stuff sack 5% bigger. (Why don't outdoor gear manufacturers understand this?? Sheesh!)
The sturdy powder-coated steel frame of this 10 x 10-foot shade canopy with a 106-inch center height features easy-release buttons that don't pinch fingers and ensure quick and easy set-up without tools. Slanted legs increase stability, and 8 mm heavy steel nail stakes anchor the canopy securely. Made of heavy-duty, 210-D polyester, the water-repellent canopy is enhanced with a special fade- and UV-resistant coating to ensure durability. Dual stabilizer arms in each corner provide added eave support, along with "batwings" and guyouts for added stability in windy conditions. For storage and transport, the canopy packs in an expandable wheeled duffel bag and weighs 36 pounds.
Smart Shade canopy has patented, easy release buttons that will not pinch fingers and ensure quick and easy assembly. The heady-duty, 210D polyester covering is enhanced with a special UV resistant coating to ensure durability. Our patented, dual stabilizer arms in each corner provide added eave support, along with "Batwings" and guyouts for added stability in windy conditions.