What is a canopy tent?
What is the difference between a tent and a canopy tent?

What Is a Canopy Tent? Should You Get One?

Apr 16, 2024
10 minutes Read

With various types of tents out there, canopy tents make themselves stand out with their unbeatable advantages.

A canopy tent is usually made up of a fabric roof and a lightweight frame. It is easy to install and transport. It can not only shield you from the weather elements but also help you enhance brand awareness. Custom canopy tents allow you to design the tent based on your needs to maximize the benefits.

So what is a canopy tent exactly? How is it different from traditional tents?

In this article, we will dive deep into the definition, features, and uses of canopy tents.

What is a canopy tent?

A white canopy tent
A white canopy tent

A canopy tent is also called a pop up canopy. It is a temporary shelter designed to provide shade and protection from sun exposure and light rain. The canopy tent typically consists of a peaked roof and a four-leg metal frame. Its roof can be made of weather-proof polyester or nylon while the frame is sturdy steel or aluminum. This simple structure makes them easy to assemble and transport for one or two persons.

Canopy tents are versatile and commonly used for events like festivals, parties, markets, and trade shows. They come in various sizes to meet different needs, from small ones suitable for individual use to large ones for big events. Some models may include additional features like sidewalls or adjustable height settings. Such features are beneficial to enhance the tents’ functionality and adaptability to the setting or weather conditions.

What is the difference between a tent and a canopy tent?

As the name suggests, a canopy tent is a type of tent. What sets it apart from traditional tents is the design and intended use.

The canopy tent often serves as a temporary shelter in a business activity. It has an open-sided design, allowing your customers to walk underneath freely. Drawbacks with this design may include no protection from insects and sun exposure over time. But you can choose to add side walls as a solution when necessary. Canopy tents are good for use in trade shows, business fairs, flea markets, farmer’s markets, and so on.

Different from canopy tents, a traditional tent may be set up for a longer-term event. This tent generally has a center pole or frame to support its roof. It is often enclosed with full side walls, which may offer more privacy and protection from bugs and weather elements. Pole tents or frame tents often come with a bigger size so they can hold more people. These tents are mostly used for camping, hiking, gatherings, weddings, parties, etc.

A pole tent and a frame tent
A pole tent and a frame tent

Features of a canopy tent

Canopy tents have been popular among businesses that take part in commercial events. These pop-up tents are functional in many ways with their powerful features.

Here are some important features of a pop up canopy tent.

Protection from the elements

Like other types of tents, the canopy tent can offer you, your staff or your customers shelter on a rainy and windy day. Canopies with high quality fabric can also protect you from harmful solar radiation.

Easy to install and take down

Canopy tents are primarily designed with two parts, the roof and the frame. The simple structure makes it easy to install and take down. Some brands even offer canopy tents that allow you to open by pushing a button. Even if you don’t have installation experience, you can set the tent up easily by yourself or with a partner. There is no need to look for a professional tent expert to assemble and disassemble your canopy.

Learn about some effective tips for settinging up your canopy tent at the beach.

Easy to transport

Pop up canopy tents come in various sizes that range from 10 x 10 feet, 10 x 15 feet, 10 x 20 feet, and beyond. When preparing for an event, you can opt for a proper size. The light material of a canopy also makes it convenient to carry. So it is easy to transport your canopy tent to any place where a commercial event will be held.

Increase brand awareness

Canopy tents are more likely to be seen from a far distance because of their pyramid-shaped roofs. If you add some eye-catching branding texts to the roof, your potential customers can get a sense of your brand quickly. Meanwhile, personalized canopy tents give you more flexibility to promote your brand. As a result, you have a great chance to stand out from the competition and increase your brand recognition.

Fully customizable

One of the most crucial features of canopy tents is that it is fully customizable. You can customize the size, color, printing method, and fabric as you like. Except for logo, brand name, and slogan, some canopy retailers like Westshade also allow you to design the patterns.

Our client, Roy, customized a canopy tent for shade with us.
Our client, Roy, customized a canopy tent for shade with us.

What is a canopy tent used for?

A canopy tent can be used for multiple purposes. They may include the following ones.

Providing private business space

One of the basic uses of canopy tents is to provide private business space. At events like trade shows or markets, canopy tents create dedicated areas where you can operate privately, engaging with customers away from the hustle and bustle.

Display your products

It seems difficult to show an array of products outdoors. But by setting up a table under a canopy tent, you can display the goods to potential customers effortlessly. Many vendors use pop-up canopies to present their products at outdoor activities.

Jone used a canopy tent to showcase his products at a flea market.
Jone used a canopy tent to showcase his products at a flea market.

Facilitating customer interaction

Amidst crowded events, a canopy tent serves as a base for engaging with visitors. People come back and forth at the event. In this case, you can build connections with them when they stand by your canopy.

Protect you from the weather elements

Unexpected weather changes can disrupt outdoor activities. A canopy tent offers shelter from rain, wind, or excessive sunlight so that your promotion or interactions can continue comfortably regardless of conditions.

Promote your business

Canopy tents can be an effective marketing tool. By putting your marketing materials like your sales onto the tent’s surfaces, you can effectively promote your offerings and attract new clients.

Learn about how to maximize your event marketing efforts with a custom canopy tent.

How do you customize a canopy tent?

With the development of eCommerce, the demand for personalized experience has increased. 76% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from brands that personalize. If you want to tailor your branding information to your customers, you can start by customizing your canopy tents.

There are quite many canopy companies that permit you to customize a canopy tent. Among them, Westshade can be one of the best canopy companies.

Westshade is one of the best canopy companies in the US.
Westshade is one of the best canopy companies in the US.

Westshade is a US-based canopy company that offers a wide selection of tents and accessories. One of our important features is providing various custom options for canopy tents. Apart from the size, printing methods, frame, and side walls, we also allow you to add your unique designs. Utilizing advanced printing techniques, we can print your fabric designs precisely as you envision them. With our local warehouses, we can deliver your order fast within 3 to 7 days.

Westshade's delivery time
Westshade’s delivery time

Here is the simple process to customize your canopy tent with Westshade.

  1. Select the size, frame, side walls, and printing method
  2. Enter your contact info and design instructions to get a quote
  3. Submit your order
  4. Get a free mockup from our expert team
  5. Review and confirm the design
  6. Receive your order

If you are not sure about the choices related to printing canopy tents, you may refer to our explanation below.


Size is an important factor to consider when you customize a canopy tent. At Westshade, we offer you different sizes to choose from. For example, we have 10 x 10 ft, 10 x 15 ft, 10 x 20 ft, 13 x 12 ft, 13 x 20 ft, 16 x 16 ft, and 20 x 20 ft custom canopy tents. You just need to choose a size accordingly.


The frame has an impact on the longevity of a tent. That is why we allow you to choose between a steel frame and a high-grade aluminum frame.

Both frames are durable, but the aluminum frame is longer-lasting and great for frequent use. Aluminum canopy tents are also lighter, making them more portable even though they cost a bit more.

Side walls

Side walls are not necessary for a canopy tent. But with side walls, you can better protect your staff and customers from weather elements and insects. Additionally, you can put more information on the side wall to market your business. Taking your concerns into account, we offer you several options for the side walls. They include the full wall, half wall, mesh wall, PVC window wall, and roll-up wall.

Printing methods

Printing methods can affect how the printed fabric feels and how long your design lasts. On our platform, there are two printing methods available to you, that is, dye sublimation and UV printing. Dye sublimation is cheaper but your design may fade over time. On the other hand, UV printing keeps the color brighter and clearer. And your design can last for a longer time.

A Reddit user said that dye sublimation was not as vibrant and flexible as UV printing.
A Reddit user said that dye sublimation was not as vibrant and flexible as UV printing.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is a canopy tent made of?

A canopy tent typically consists of 2 parts, the roof and the frame. The roof is often made of polyester, which is waterproof, UV-resistant, and flame-retardant. The frame can be constructed from lightweight but sturdy materials like aluminum or steel.

2. Are canopy tents safe?

Canopy tents are generally safe when used appropriately and in suitable conditions. They provide shade and protection from light rain or sun exposure. However, they may not withstand harsh weather conditions like strong winds or heavy rain. If you intend to use a canopy tent in inclement weather, you should add strong side walls to it and secure it with sandbags. Otherwise, you may consider other types of tents, like a frame tent.

3. Can one person set up a canopy tent?

Some canopy tents come with a small portable size like 8×8 feet and 10×10 feet. They even often feature a pop-up or instant setup design that allows for easy assembly. In this case, one person can of course set up a canopy tent. However, to save your energy, we still recommend you set up a tent with assistance from others.

4. How do you secure a canopy tent?

There are several ways to secure a canopy tent and ensure its stability.

  • Use stakes, anchors, or weights to secure the tent to the ground. This prevents the tent from being blown away by the wind.
  • Attach guy lines or ropes to the tent’s corners and secure them to nearby fixed objects (trees, poles, etc.) to add extra stability.
  • Use weight bags filled with sand or other heavy materials to anchor the tent legs, especially on hard surfaces where stakes cannot be used.

5. Can you use a canopy tent in the rain?

Most canopy tents on the market are made of high quality polyester fabric, Westshade canopy tents, for instance. These tents are waterproof and they can offer some protection against light rain. However, they are not fully weatherproof. Extended exposure to heavy rain or strong winds can lead to water leakage or structural instability. To use a canopy tent in the rain, consider using sidewalls, securing all edges, and ensuring proper drainage to prevent water pooling on the canopy.


The canopy tent is a type of tent with a peaked roof and a metal frame. It is lightweight, portable, and durable. Canopy tents can not only protect you from wind, rain, and sun, but also help you increase your brand awareness. In terms of promoting your brand, personalized canopy tents are especially useful in a commercial event like a trade show.

To customize a canopy tent, you can work with Westshade. We are experienced in helping our customers to design a unique tent. The custom process is easy with only several steps needed. Click here to start your design journey and get 3 or more gifts for any order now!

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