The season of BBQs, pool parties and dining al fresco 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 extra shade beyond a patio umbrella, a sun shade sail is an easy and affordable alternative to get additional cover without feeling like you’re still indoors.
What To Look For In A Sun Shade Sail
Sun shade sails offer an inexpensive way to protect you and your guests from sitting in the direct sun, but they’ll only work if your space is the right size. Most of the options we’ve included come in various sizes, so make sure you choose dimensions that provide enough shade to be useful but not so much that you completely block out the sun.
Consider when and how you’ll be using your shade. For example, in the morning, afternoon, or all day. Some sun shade sails will only offer coverage at certain times during the day, depending on the size, placement, and angle once hung.
Know your property rights. Whether you rent or answer to an HOA, it’s essential to make sure installing a sun shade complies with your home and neighborhood rules.
Do you want a sun shade sail that also works in the rain? We’ve included waterproof options that act more like 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 Sun Shades Sails
Our list includes the best shade sails that can work in large and small spaces and shades that offer a waterproof option. We’ve also included a retractable option and a shade that creates a temporary pavilion for areas that don’t have the proper rigging to install something more permanent than a sun sail shade. Each sun shade sail on our list is highly rated by customers and backed by companies who offer several sizes, colors and finishes.
1. Shade & Beyond Triangle Sun Shade Sail
BEST SUN SHADE SAIL OVERALL
Made with high-quality, UV-protected polyethylene fabric, this sun shade sail is designed to protect you and your family as well as your patio. The material is breathable and allows rainwater to pass through instead of pooling, which can lead to a build-up of pressure and eventually cause tears. The breathability also enables light breezes to pass through so that you can keep cool even with the heat of the hot sun. Available in six sizes and 11 colors, the Shade & Beyond sail shade is designed to provide up to 85 percent sunshade and 98 percent protection against UV rays.
Shade&Beyond Triangle Sun Shade Sail 16' x 16' x 16' Canopy Sand for Patio Garden Yard Deck Pergola
2. Sunny Guard Sand Rectangle Sun Shade Sail
MADE FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS
Help your skin and the planet with this sunshade sail by Sunny Guard, made from recycled materials. It’s easy to set up over a pool, driveway, or patio, as it comes with durable, built-in D-rings and rope and a storage bag for when you decide to retire it for the season eventually. Sunny Guard offers its shade in various sizes, making it easy for customers to find a shade that fits just about any space. The sun shade sail provides up to 95 percent protection against UV rays. It uses breathable material that allows rainwater to pass through without collecting and creating mold or tears in the material. Each shade sail 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 Sun Shade Sail Canopy
GREAT FOR SMALL SPACES
If you have limited outdoor space or 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 knit fabric and strong webbing, this shade sail won’t start to tear and fray after only one season. The shade, which is available in 10 bold colors and six sizes, is made from durable 185 grams per square meter (gsm) high-density polyethylene that has been UV protected. A strong stitch finishes the seams, and each corner features a stainless steel D-ring for ease of installation. The breathable material allows water to pass through easily 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 Shade Sail Canopy Rectangle Sand, UV Block Sunshade for Backyard Yard Deck Outdoor Facility and Activities
4. Coconut Rectangle Sail Shade
HIGH WEIGHT LIMIT
The Sail Shade by Coconut effectively blocks nearly 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, keeping your patio and guests feeling cool. The breathable, anti-aging shade, which allows 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 Sun Shade Sails Canopy
Made from 185 gsm high-density polyethylene protected with a UV coating, the shade from Artpuch protects from the sun’s rays and helps keep users cool even on hot days. The breathable material allows 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 a slight curve that allows the material to stretch.
6. Coolaroo Party Sail Collection
For an affordable sun shade sail that you can install just about anywhere, we like the Party Sail Collection by Coolaroo. The triangle-shaped shade is available in four bright colors and measures 9 feet by 10 feet. 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. Rings, fasteners and a rope are included for quick and easy installation.
7. Color Tree Rectangle Shade Sail
HELPS REDUCE HEAT
Block the sun and the heat with the Rectangle Shade Sail by Color Tree. Available in eight colors, the rectangular 12 feet by 16 feet shade blocks out 95 percent of UV rays, and it can also reduce the temperature below the shade by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Designed to last even through strong winds and rain, the Color Tree shade comes with durable grommets for installation. This sun shade sail uses high-density polyethylene, so it’s resistant to fading, stains, and mildew.
8. Coolaroo Coolhaven Square Shade Sail
INCLUDES FIXING KIT
Protect your ample outdoor space with a shade that reduces the temperature below. The Coolaroo Coolhaven 12-foot square shade sail blocks up to 90% of the sun’s UV rays and helps to reduce the temperature under the shade by up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather- and fade-resistant fabric is durably knit, which helps to reduce tearing or fraying. The sail comes with everything needed for installation, including durable, stainless steel mounting hardware.
9. ShelterLogic Square Sun Shade Sail
Block out up to 90% of harmful UVA and UVB rays with the ShelterLogic Square 12-foot sun shade sail. The breathable sail allows water to pass through and airflow to help reduce the temperature below. The durable ShelterLogic, available in either 12 or 16-foot options for larger spaces, is made with 260 gsm, knitted polyethylene, and reinforced stitched corners. It includes everything you need to install, including mounting hardware, and customers can choose between the attractive Sand and Sea colors.
10. Alion Home Straight Edge Sun Shade
BEST FOR YEAR-ROUND USE
If you need a sun shade that can withstand Mother Nature year-round, check out the highly durable Straight Edge Sun Shade by Alion Home. Great for vacation homes or for customers who cannot remove their sun shade sail at the end of the warm season, the Straight Edge uses durable 185+ gsm fabric resistant to tearing, fading and fraying. Strong enough to handle sun, snow, and rain and still lightweight enough to allow for airflow, the Straight Edge is resistant to mildew and mold. We also like that its versatile design allows you to use the sun shade sail as a canopy, carport cover, or pergola cover.
11. Yescom Rectangle Shade Sail
Add some shade and an attractive design element to your outdoor space with the Yescom Rectangle Shade Sail. The striped shade elevates an outdoor space, giving it a resort-feel thanks to its classic nautical pattern. The UV-resistant shade is made from 100% new HDPE material and helps to reduce the temperature below by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. A triple-stitched seam creates a durable finish, and the sail can be washed and folded for convenient storage during the off-season.
12. Love Story Triangle Sun Shade Sail
We suggest the Love Story Triangle Sand Sun Shade Sail if you need an affordable shade sail that still provides excellent coverage. The Love Story is made using 100% new 185 gsm high-density polyethylene and is available in several sizes and both triangle and rectangle options. The breathable shade allows water and air to easily pass through while providing up to 95% protection against UV rays. The shade is finished with D-rings in each corner and has curved edges to help prevent drooping. Love Story also offers their shades in several colors and seasonal stripes.
13. Patio Paradise Sun Shade Sail
BEST COLOR AND SIZE OPTIONS
Are you looking for a specific size of sun shade sail? What about a hard-to-find color? There’s a good chance that Patio Paradise has exactly what you’re looking for with their extensive sun shade sail collection. The company sells their 100% brand new high-density 180 gsm polyethylene knitted sun shade in a huge assortment of colors and sizes, from 2-feet by 2-feet up to 24-feet by 24-feet. Patio Paradise shade sails are designed with curved sides to reduce the chance of any drooping or holes in coverage. Each shade is made with a double layer of webbing, offers up to 95% protection against harmful UV rays, and includes rope for installation and instructions.
14. Outsunny Manual Retraction Slope Patio Awning
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 sun shade awning includes a manual hand crank that provides an affordable option for those who want to choose when they want shade. An excellent choice for four-season homes that don’t need sun protection during snowy months, the awning can help reduce heat inside the house and comes with everything customers need to install the retractable shade on their own.
15. Coolaroo Walnut Cordless Exterior Roller Shade
BEST WALL SHADE
Depending on the position of your outdoor space, getting shade from the side may be just as important as creating 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 shade’s knitted fabric helps minimize heat and can help 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 design, which is an excellent option for homes with children (just say no to cords!).
Walnut Cordless Light Filtering Fade Resistant Fabric Exterior Roller Shade by Coolaroo
16. SimplyShade Black Boulder Shade Sail with Fasteners
If you’re looking for a sun shade but don’t have the proper setup for a permanent or semi-permanent install, consider the SimplyShade Black Boulder Shade Sail with Fasteners. The square shade sail, which blocks 99% of the sun’s UV rays, comes with a black powder-coated steel frame. The shade includes an expansion bolt and stake kit, allowing customers to install the structure on grass or concrete.
17. Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Tent
Another freestanding sun shade option is the Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Tent. It’s designed for use at the beach, but you can also use this sun shade on grass, making it a great temporary option for backyard gatherings. The water-resistant sun shade provides UPF 50+ sun protection. Available in four colors and three sizes for up to eight people, the shade includes poles, bungee cords, pegs for grass, a sand shovel, and a carrying bag.
18. Alvantor Screen House Room Outdoor Camping Tent
Suppose you don’t have a space that allows permanent shade sail installation, and an umbrella or beach tent won’t work in your setup. In that case, 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. 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 you can use the tent in just about any outdoor space.