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When selecting a canopy, you must first evaluate the features so you can make a decision that makes sense for you.

  • Weight: because of their strength and durability, the pop-up models are relatively heavy. If you travel alone, or have physical limitations, you might want to consider a lighter weight option.
  • Footprint: How much geography do you really need? Do you share with your friends? Do you have several dogs in a large pen or multiple crates? What are the space constraints at your trial sites? Be realistic about your needs, but don’t skimp, especially if you trial in the rain.
  • Folded Size: the pop-ups take up more space than other styles when folded. This may be a factor if you travel in a sedan or small car.
  • Parts and Repair: replacement parts and accessories are more readily available for name brand products than off-brands.
  • Strength/durability: If you are buying a larger canopy for your club, spend the extra money for a commercial grade model. As one of the equipment haulers for the Bay Team, I know how the canopies are handled, and the lighter duty ones won’t hold up as well.
  • Leg Design: the lighter-weight pop-up models have angled legs – perhaps it is stronger geometry to make up for the lighter framework. The angled legs have two minor disadvantages: the corners have to be unstaked every time you raise or lower the canopy, and tarps or shade cloth used as sides don’t drape smoothly because the circumference at the bottom is greater than at the top.
  • Manageability: although one person can set up the pop-up models, it is awkward and very hard on the framework. It is much simpler to recruit the assistance of a friend. If you prefer to manage by yourself, you might prefer a less cumbersome style.
  • Material: Fabric is measured using a unit called denier (D), which measures the coarseness of the thread – a higher number means more strength, but also more weight and bulk. Some tops have a silver UV-protective lining that claims to reduce the temperature – totally unscientific studies by my friends agree with this claim.

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Last updated 11/07/2010

© Holly Newman 2000-2016. All rights reserved.
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