Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
Great escape from the sun
on September 5, 2013
This is a family-sized sun shelter. It consists of a heavy-duty, light-weight floor tarp and a sheer blue nylon canopy held up by light-weight poles. There are 5 poles altogether: 2 long light-weight fiberglass tension poles for the sides, 1 short fiberglass tension pole for the center, and 2 heavier folding poles attached to the floor mat. Folded up, all of this fits into a blue nylon carrying duffle with a good-sized shoulder strap. Unfolded, the canopy measures 7 1/2 feet long by 5 1/2 feet deep at ground level. The two side poles, when assembled, measure just over 12 feet long. With the side poles inserted into the edges of the canopy, the top of the roof is a little over 4 feet off the ground. This allows clearance for a short- to medium-sized person to sit on a standard-sized chair in the middle of the shelter. Tall people may need to sit on low chairs or on the ground for clearance inside the shelter, and only children can expect to stand up inside. Also included in the bag is a set of tie-downs for windy weather (eight 6-inch ground stakes and 4 ties) wrapped up in their own small bag. Altogether, the kit weighs just over 6 pounds. The sun shelter is made in China and comes with a 90 day limited warranty.
I found the sun shelter relatively easy to assemble. I got it together in 9 minutes the first time, despite the fact that I never found the assembly instructions until I was done (they were wrapped up in the stake bag). It took me 8 minutes to get the sun shelter disassembled and back in the bag again. That's a bit longer than the 2-minute setup claimed by Sport-brella, but I'm sure I'll get faster with time, especially if another person is around to help out. I found it a bit challenging to get the folded up sun shelter back in the carrying bag, and the seams on the bag are already showing some stress after just one use. Thus, it's very important to take the time to wrap the shelter neatly and tightly before trying to put it in the carrying bag.
I found the shelter quite comfortable to sit or lie down in. It provides great shade while allowing for maximum air circulation. For windy beach days, it's much better than an umbrella since as long as you're sitting in it or park your chair or other things on the floor tarp, it's not going to fly up and blow across the beach. The shelter can be set up with a long side facing the action, or you can turn the shelter 90 degrees and partially lift the canopy to either let more sun in or take up less lateral space. Smokers should note that you are supposed to keep flame and heat sources away from the canopy fabric.