The season of BBQs, pool parties and dinner parties on the patio means warm weather has arrived and we can finally enjoy our outdoor space. While the weather may be ideal for lazy days spent lounging in the sun, no one wants to wake up with an excruciating sunburn the next day. If you’re looking for that bit of extra shade beyond a patio umbrella, sunshade sails are an affordable and easy way to get additional cover without feeling like you’re still indoors.
What To Look For In A Sunshade Sail
Sunshade sails offer an inexpensive way to protect your and your guests from sitting in the direct sun, but they’ll only work if they’re the right size for your space. Most of the options we’ve included come in a variety of sizes, so make sure you’re choosing dimensions that provide enough shade to be useful.
Consider when and how you’ll be using your shade. For example, in the morning, in the afternoon or all day. Some shades will only offer coverage at certain times during the day depending on the angle and size.
Know your property rights. Whether you rent or answer to an HOA, it’s important to make sure installing a sunshade is in compliance with the rules of your home.
Do you want a sunshade that also works in the rain? We’ve included an option that is waterproof and acts as a roof, letting users enjoy their outdoor space even in inclement weather. These typically come in at a higher price point.
How We Chose The Best Sunshades
Our list includes shades that can work in large and small spaces, as well as shades that offer a waterproof option. We’ve also included a retractable option and a shade that creates a temporary gazebo for spaces that don’t have the proper rigging to install a more permanent shade. Each shade on our list is highly rated by customers and backed by companies who offer several sizes, colors and finishes.
1. Shade & Beyond Sand Color Triangle Sunshade Sail
Made with high-quality, UV-protected polyethylene fabric, this sunshade sail is designed to protect you and your family as well as your patio. The material is breathable and allows rainwater to pass through, so pools of water won’t collect, which can lead to a build-up of pressure and eventually cause tears. The breathability also allows light breezes to pass through, so you can keep cool and out of the heat of the summer sun. Available in six sizes and 11 colors, the Shade & Beyond sail is designed to provide up to 85 percent sunshade and 98 percent protection against UV rays.
Shade&Beyond 16' x 16' x 16' Sand Color Triangle Sun Shade Sail for Patio UV Block for Outdoor Facility and Activities
2. SUNNY GUARD 12′ x 16′ Sand Rectangle Sunshade Sail
MADE FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS
Help your skin and the planet with this sunshade sail by Sunny Guard, which is made from recycled materials. It’s easy to set up over your pool, driveway, or patio, as it comes with durable, built-in D-rings and rope, as well as a storage bag for when you decide to eventually retire it for the season. Sunny Guard makes its shade available in a wide variety of sizes, making it easy for customers to find a shade that fits just about any space. The shade offers up to 95 percent protection against UV rays and is made from breathable material that allows rainwater to pass through without building up and creating tears in the material. Each shade comes with a D-ring installed and durable ropes for easy installation.
SUNNY GUARD 12' x 16' Sand Rectangle Sun Shade Sail UV Block for Outdoor Patio Garden
3. Shade & Beyond 8′ x 10′ Sunshade Sail Canopy
GREAT FOR SMALL SPACES
If you have limited outdoor space, or you’re only looking for partial sun protection, this smaller sunshade sail model by Shade & Beyond is a great option to provide targeted coverage. Made with commercial-grade knitted fabric and strong webbing, this sail won’t start to tear and fray after only a season’s use. The shade, which is available in 10 bold colors and six sizes, is made from durable 185 gsm high-density polyethylene that has been UV protected. The seams are finished with a strong stitch and each corner features a stainless steel D-ring for ease of installation. The breathable material allows water to easily pass through and is perfect for days with a light breeze. When it’s time to clean your shade, customers can use a mild detergent and water.
Shade&Beyond 8' x 10' Sun Sail Shade Canopy Rectangle Sand 185GSM Shade Sail for Patio Deck Yard Backyard Outdoor Facility and Activities
4. Sail Shade Rectangle
HIGH WEIGHT LIMIT
The Sail Shade by Coconut effectively blocks 100 percent of all harmful UV rays thanks to its newly improved UV-protected high-density polyethylene material. This sunshade sail also helps reduce heat, effectively keeping your patio and your guests cooler. The breathable, anti-aging shade, which allows for water to pass through, is reinforced with stitched seams and a polyester belt. Stainless steel D-rings are installed on all four corners and can hold up to 600 pounds. If you’re planning on having friends and family over for BBQs, dinner parties, pool parties or a big July 4th blowout, this sun shade sail will give you even more standing and sitting space.
COCONUT Outdoor Sun Shade Sail Canopy, 8' x 13' Rectangle Shade Cloth Patio Cover - Sunshade Fabric Awning Shelter for Pergola Backyard Garden Lawn (Sand)
5. Artpuch Sunshade Sails Canopy
Made from 185 gsm high-density polyethylene that has been protected with a UV coating, the shade from Artpuch provides protection from the sun’s rays and helps to keep users cool even on hot days. The breathable material allows for rain and light breezes to pass through the shade, which still blocks up to 95 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Available in seven sizes and 10 bold, solid colors, the Artpuch shade includes stainless steel D-rings and has a slight curve that allows the material to be stretched.
Artpuch Sunshade Sails Canopy
6. Alvantor Screen House Room Outdoor Camping Tent
If you don’t have a space that allows for a permanent shade to be installed and an umbrella won’t work in your setup, there are less-permanent options that still allow users to enjoy the outdoors without getting sunstroke. Case in point, the Alvantor Screen House Room Outdoor Camping Tent. Available in four sizes, the Alvantor is a lightweight pop-up screen room that can fit between two to 15 adults, depending on the size customers choose. The fabric top provides UPF 50+ protection and the mesh walls allow a breeze to pass through without letting in pesky insects. The fiberglass ribs allow for an easy automatic open and the tent can be used in just about any outdoor space.
Alvantor Screen House Room Outdoor Camping Tent
7. Walnut Cordless Light Filtering Fade Resistant Fabric Exterior Roller Shade by Coolaroo
BEST WALL SHADE
Depending on the direction your outdoor space faces, getting shade from the side may be just as important and providing shade overhead. The Walnut Cordless Light Filtering Fade Resistant Fabric Exterior Roller Shade is a convenient wall shade that keeps heat out and helps to reduce sun exposure and glare. The knitted fabric of the shade helps to reduce heat and can cut down on cooling costs by up to 40 percent when used over windows. Designed for decks, pergolas and more outdoor spaces, the shade comes with everything users need to install the cord-free roller shade, which is a great option for homes with children (just say no to cords!).
Walnut Cordless Light Filtering Fade Resistant Fabric Exterior Roller Shade by Coolaroo
8. Party Sail Collection by Coolaroo
For an affordable sunshade sail that can be installed just about anywhere, we like the Party Sail Collection by Coolaroo. The triangle-shaped shade is available in four bright colors and measures 9’ by 10’. The sail, which is made with fade-resistant fabric that provides 95 percent UV protection, can help to reduce the temperature below by up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. A double-stitched seam and curved sides allow users to tighten the sail as much as necessary and rings fasteners and a rope are included for quick and easy installation.
Party Sail Collection by Coolaroo
9. Rectangle Shade Sail by Color Tree
HELPS REDUCE HEAT
Block the sun and the heat with the Rectangle Shade Sail by Color Tree. Available in eight colors, the rectangular 12’ by 16’ shade not only blocks out 95 percent of UV rays, but it can also reduce the temperature below the shade by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Designed to last enough through strong winds and rain, the Color Tree shade comes with durable grommets for installation. Made from high-density polyethylene, the shade is resistant to fading, stains, and mildew.
Rectangle Shade Sail by Color Tree
10. Manual Retraction Slope Patio Awning by Outsunny
For a shade that only comes out when you need it, we like the Manual Retraction Slope Patio Awning by Outsunny. The water-resistant awning has a PU coating to help block out rain and UV protection to keep out the sun’s rays. The awning includes a manual hand crank that provides an affordable option for users who want to choose when they want shade. A great option for four-season homes that don’t need sun protection during snowy months, the awning can help reduce heat inside the home and comes with everything customers need to install the retractable shade on their own.