We bring a gazebo on every camping trip and it becomes the centerpiece of our campsite. Not only does it offer protection from the weather, but it makes for a fantastic communal area in which socialise in comfort. A gazebo will change your camping experience and totally worth having if you only ever go camping once.

The market is saturated with different types with their own styles and additional features. But you need to find the right canopy which matches your needs.


A gazebo is a tent-like structure without walls or a floor. It offers a roof to give shelter from rain or provide some shade. The top is made of a waterproof tarp material, which is attached to a metal frame and four legs. The most popular gazebo type on the market is the pop-up gazebo, which can be assembled by one person due to the expandable frame.


Lightweight gazebos are designed to be used for a few days and are ideal for camping holidays. The light material doesn’t take up too much space in the car and the whole thing can be assembled by a couple of people.


These are much heavier structures, designed to withstand the elements. Unless you are going mountaineering and need something which can withstand severe conditions, a heavy-duty gazebo is likely to be overkill for the casual camper who wants some protection from the elements on holiday.


The frame is what gives the gazebo its structural integrity, so it’s important to make the right decision regarding materials. If you are likely to be moving campsite several times and want something portable, aluminum is lighter and easier to transport. It is also resistant to rust and corrosion and the material will last longer than steel, but it isn’t as tough as steel and could come unstuck in particularly windy conditions.

Steel offers a stronger and more durable gazebo but it is heavier and could pose a problem for a solo camper if they are assembling it alone. Despite being more susceptible to rust and corrosion, if the steel is well maintained, they can last just as long as their aluminum counterparts.


Gazebos either come in polyester, polyethylene or vinyl and the choice of which to go for will be driven by how durable and water resistant each material is. The density is also worth considering because of the extra weight, particularly if you are assembling it yourself.

Polyester is the most affordable. They offer a degree of water resistance and are fairly durable, but if you want something more permanent which needs to keep the water out every day of the year, you will need to go for something stronger like polyethylene. The polyethylene is treated to keep water out, while the polyester is only water resistant. Over a long period of time it will let water in. Vinyl also offers a high level of water resistance, but the material is heavy and can be cumbersome if you are assembling in a hurry or alone.


If you are expecting wind, it is worth ensuring you have a gazebo that can be staked into the ground, or you might find yourself chasing the gazebo across the campsite on a particularly gusty day.

If you are looking for something which offers some privacy, there are some models which come with detachable walls. Get one that suits your budget, you will love it.

Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Let everyone know by stating it in the comments section below.

Jane F
Jane F

Jane loves camping, hiking and anything to do with the outdoors. She might love glamping but she will do it all.