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Guide to Buying Shade Sails (And the Best Places to Buy Them From)

Let's face it fellow canopy lovers...

The backyard is a great place to hang out with family and friends. It’s the kind of place you can imagine watching the kids play, hosting barbecues and pool parties, and celebrating holidays as the years go by.

Unfortunately, sometimes yards are not very shady places, and they can get too hot way too fast. When that happens, you need a shade sail to make things more comfortable!

But what is a shade sail? The Canopy Kingpin is glad you asked that question! Shade sails are pieces of durable, weather-resistant cloth that can be stretched across a portion of yard or patio space and used to provide plenty of cover for your guests.

They can be installed from just about any stable place in the yard, including trees, fence posts, and even sometimes the side of the house.

So what makes buying a shade sail such a great investment, anyway? When you buy a shade sail, you’ll have an affordable and exciting way to keep your yard cool without having to do anything too extreme.

If you’re ready to find out more about making your yard comfortable, check out this handy guide to buying shade sails to learn everything you need to know about these excellent items!

Why Buy a Shade Sail?

where to buy shade sails

Still not convinced? There are a lot of compelling arguments for buying a shade sail, so if you need to hear a few of them, check out this list of the five great reasons why you need one of these items in your backyard right away. You’ll find out what makes shades work so well, and you can even narrow down your own personal preferences a little more along the way.

  • Unique style choice. Shade sails look amazing in any outdoor space, and different styles can add a truly individual aesthetic appeal to your backyard. You can use shade sails on their own, or even combine two or three different shapes to create a much more dynamic appearance. They’re available in a lot of different colors and sizes, so you can choose a sail that blends into the scenery or one that stands out and makes a statement.
  • Easy to install and maintain. With a few carpentry skills and an afternoon of free time, you can easily put up a shade sail that can last for years to come. Although keeping up with maintenance on your shade sail will take a little time every couple of months, it’s not hard to do, and it can extend the life of your shade even longer. You’ll have no trouble putting up your shade and keeping it going strong for a long while.
  • Convenience of buying. You can find sail cloth at most hardware stores, and if you’re the DIY type, this can be a great opportunity for you to put together a sail from scratch. Otherwise, many different types of shade sails are available in most hardware stores, and of course, you can always buy shade sails online to make your shopping even easier.
  • Fully functional product. Although shade sails may look like they’re just a beautiful décor choice for your backyard, they’re completely functional and can provide a lot of shade at a reasonable price. They work well at keeping things light and breezy while reflecting UV rays and making your outdoor space comfortable and cool.
  • Semi-permanent for all your needs. Your shade sail can be a permanent fixture if you like where you have it installed, but if you decide to rearrange your backyard or move to a new home at any point, your shade sail can go with you. All you’ll have to do is simply unclip it, fold it up, and take it wherever you need it to go!

What Kind is Right for Me?

buy shade sails online

There are quite a few different kinds of shade sails available on the market today, and each type has its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re asking yourself “what kind of shade sail should I buy?” then check out this list of other questions to help narrow down your choices and find the right shade for you.

How Big is My Yard?

Shade sails come in a lot of different sizes and shapes, and you’ll need to determine how big your yard is before you can really narrow down your choices very far. Larger spaces will probably do well with square and rectangle shades while smaller areas can get away with triangle shades and other, more unique shapes.

How Much Shade Do I REALLY Need?

The size of your yard may not accurately reflect how much shade you’re looking to get out of your sail. Do you want to shade the entire yard, or do you only need to cover a patio or other small seating area? Figure out how much shade you’re looking for to help you make your final call. Remember that if you’re covering a huge area, you can stack more than one sail to create a unique look and add even more shade.

Do I Care About Color?​

Some homeowners care a lot about what color their shade sails are, and others don’t mind at all. If color is important to you, your sail choices might be a little bit more limited. You might be trying to blend into your yard’s greenery, or match your existing patio furniture or décor. If so, shop around for the right color to fit what you’re looking for.

Will I Be Covering  a Pool?

Some fabric types are not suitable for shading over a pool. The chlorine that evaporates from pool water can do a lot of damage to certain kinds of shade sails, so you’ll be more limited if you plan to use yours at the pool. Never use plastic or tarp style shades near chlorinated water.

How Long Will I Leave It Up?

There are some types of shade sail fabric that can withstand a lot of weathering and use throughout the year, but most will need to be taken down during the off-season when you won’t be using them. If you’re looking for something you can leave up year-round (perhaps because you live in a sunny climate where you’ll use it most of the time), go for a more durable fabric like RipLock.

How Much Should This Cost?

what kind of shade sail should i buy

Okay, so now you have plenty of information to convince you that you need a shade sail in your backyard right away. But you’re probably asking yourself one of the first things most potential buyers come up with: how much does a shade sail cost? That’s a great question! Read on to learn about the different price ranges you can expect from a shade sail purchase, and what you can get at each tier.

  • DIY shade sails. If you’re wondering how much are shade sails when you make them yourself, you’ll need to budget for the cost of the cloth as well as hardware and any carpentry items you’ll need to get the job done. You might also need to purchase some new tools, or even a sewing machine if you don’t have these items around the house already. Shade sail cloth starts at around $25 a roll, and hardware can come in between $20 and $50, depending on what you have already. Expect to spend at least $100 to make your own shade sail.
  • Low-cost shade sails. Starting at around $30 and increasing to upwards of $75, lower cost shade sails are usually made of less quality fabric and may or may not come with hardware included. They are usually in smaller sizes and most often are right angles or triangles, instead of squares. They may not be available in many different colors.
  • Mid-range shade sails. These sails may be made of plastic like a tarp or a more durable and aesthetically pleasing fabric. Their quality is usually determined by their size. Smaller mid-range shade sails are likely to be made out of better fabric, and may come with hardware included. Larger ones may not have quite as many benefits. You can expect to spend between $80 and $140 for mid-range shade sails.
  • High-cost shade sails. You can expect a high-cost shade sail to be made of durable RipLock fabric and come from a well-known brand name such as Coolaroo. These sails usually come in a variety of color options and include the hardware you need to install them quickly and easily. Depending on their size and style, high-cost shade sails may fall anywhere between $150 and $300.

Things to Remember When Buying a Shade Sail

guide to buying shade sails

Before you can make your final shade sail decision, you’ll want to keep in mind a few different categories that can help you make the right choice. Keep these things in mind and you’ll have a better understanding of how to shop for a shade sail, as well as what you’ll need in order to get the most enjoyment and use out of yours.

  • Fabric. If you’re still wondering how much do shade sails cost, you may need to focus on choosing your fabric before anything else. A low-cost fabric can save you a lot initially, but you might need to replace this type of shade sail in just a year or two. Spring for better quality fabric to save yourself a lot of expense in the long run.
  • Measurements. Again, the amount of space and type of area you’re looking to shade makes a difference. Get the precise measurements of your patio or other outdoor space before you ever go shopping. This can help you choose by cutting out sails that simply aren’t large enough, or are much too big for your yard.
  • Brands. Coolaroo is one of the most well-known brand names in shade sails, but there are tons of others to pick from too. If the brand name means a lot to you, you’ll probably want to start with this popular company. However, if you’re less concerned with choosing a popular company, you have more options.
  • Hardware. Some shade sails come with hardware included and others don’t. If yours doesn’t come with carabiners or D-rings for easy attachment, you’ll want to pick these up separately. They can make taking your shade down for maintenance much easier when the time comes.
  • Carpentry. Finally, you’ll need to have some carpentry skills to put up your shade sail, unless you’ve already got the posts or other sturdy supports set up around your yard. You might even have to go so far as to put up poles on your own, or otherwise, attach the sail to your fence, deck, home, or trees. You’ll also want to have a good set of tools on hand before you get started.

Where to Buy Shade Sails

So, are you ready to buy? Check out these great shade sail vendors on Amazon to find where to buy shade sails of every size, shape, color, and more!

Kookaburra

Kookaburra Waterproof Sun Sail Shade – Lime Green - 11ft 10' Triangular

Kookaburra offers a wide variety of different shade sails in colors, styles, and sizes to fit any yard. These products come in sizes small enough for simple patio shading or large enough to stretch across your whole yard with ease. Sails from Kookaburra are made of polymer weave fabric that’s resistant to weathering as well as rotting and molding. Customer service is easy to get in touch with and willing to help answer questions and take care of problems as needed.

Most of Kookaburra’s sails are waterproof, but some are designed to be airier and may not repel water as well. These are usually smaller sails that are meant to be hung up for a season at a time, and not left outdoors for too long. No matter what you order from this store, however, you can expect a quality assurance and plenty of help if you should run into any unwanted situations with your product.

Cool Area

Cool Area Right Triangle 16'5'' X 16'5'' X 22'11'' Sun Shade Sail with Stainless Steel Hardware Kit, UV Block Fabric Patio Patio Shade Sail in Color Sand

Shade sails from Cool Area come in squares, right triangles, and standard triangle shapes, and include all the hardware you need to put them up easily without having to make any extra purchases. These shade sails may not available in as many different colors as some of the other brands available from Amazon, but they get the job done all while keeping things light and breathable with HDPE fabric. Products ship quickly, and customer service is always ready to help when needed.

If you’re looking for something more waterproof, Cool Area can set you up with a shade sail that works for your needs. Waterproof sails are available in polyester and can even be put in the washing machine to make cleanup easier than ever before. Although they aren’t as breathable as the other shades from Cool Area, they can provide a lot of shade too.

Windscreen4less

Windscreen4less 16' x 16' x 16' Sun Shade Sail Canopy in Beige with Commercial Grade (3 Year Warranty) Customized Sizes Available

Choose Windscreen4less if you’re looking for very affordable shade sails that come in a few standard colors and a variety of different sizes. These shade sails are made from polyethylene, which makes them look and feel a little bit more like plastic than some of the other shade sails on the market today. Although these sails do come with eyelets and cords, you’ll need to pick up some extra hardware pieces to make them work. These sails may be a little harder to hang than options from other sellers on this list.

This is one of the more popular shade sail stores on Amazon, and with good reason. Windscreen4less provides a huge variety of options at very affordable prices. If this will be your first shade sail, you can’t go wrong with choosing one of the many available from this vendor. Keep in mind that some are waterproof and some aren’t, so pay attention to what you’re looking at if you plan to go with this seller.

Coolaroo

Coolaroo Ready-to-Hang Triangle Shade Sail Canopy, Mocha, 13 Feet

If you’re looking for some of the highest rated and best reviewed shade sails on the market today, check out what Coolaroo has to offer. The Coolaroo company has been supplying shade sails ever since these great backyard items started to become popular, and they definitely know what they’re doing. Their sails are made from durable RipLock fabric that is designed to resist straining, tearing, and weathering, and most sails come with hardware for hanging included. They are available in triangles, right angles, rectangles, and squares, and come in several different colors to help match the style you’re looking for. Best of all, Coolaroo’s customer service is top notch!

If you need any additional pieces to make your Coolaroo products work well, you can pick them up from the online store or get in touch with customer service about replacements. Many Coolaroo sails come with warranties, and they can be easily replaced if something should go wrong. These sails look beautiful when combined with each other to shade your whole backyard.

E.share

E.share 20' X 20' X 20' Sun Shade Sail Uv Top Outdoor Canopy Patio Lawn Triangle Beige Tan Desert Sand

For some of the largest shade sails available, check out the products available from E.share! This is one of the only vendors that offers shade sails up to 20x20x20 sizes, and even though you can purchase massive sails from this supplier, you’ll never have to worry about breaking the bank to do it. These sails are made of fabric that is thin enough for rain to fall through, so they won’t collect water and sag in the middle. However, they’re still great at reflecting the sun, and can even be hung over pools to give you comfortable shade for all your swimming needs. E.share shades are mostly available in triangle shapes, and they don’t offer a lot of square sails. Customer service may be harder to reach with E.share than some of the others listed here.

Take note that many of E.share’s products have yet to be reviewed on Amazon, so you might be taking a chance when ordering from this company. If reviews are important to you, you might want to look elsewhere. However, if you’re willing to give them a try, you can get some truly incredible large-scale sails for very reasonable prices from this company.

BlueDot Trading

BlueDot Trading Square Waterproof Shade Sail - 12ft by 12ft (Green)

For unique sizes of shade sails that come in different types of fabric, check out BlueDot Trading. This vendor’s sails may not come in quite as many colors as some of the others on this list, but they are available in either mesh or waterproof options to help you make the most out of your backyard space. Choose a mesh shade if you’re looking for breezy comfort and don’t mind taking it down frequently for rain. Go with a waterproof fabric sail if you plan to leave it up longer. Although shade sails from BlueDot don’t come with hardware included, you can purchase the items you need as an add-on to your sail and get everything all at once from the same company.

Take note that the mesh shade sails may not be as durable as you might be looking for. They aren’t meant for extended use, and will need to be taken care of more frequently than their more durable counterparts. They also aren’t available in larger sizes, since they’re intended to be removed more often. Pay attention to the products you’re considering so you don’t get the wrong type of fabric.

Conclusion

Now you’ve got all the information you need to understand shade sails inside and out. You can figure out if your yard can benefit from one of these great products, and best of all, you’ve got everything you need to figure out which type of shade sail is perfect for you and your needs.

By checking out the Canopy Kingpin’s list of favorite vendors on Amazon, you can find the right sail for you and your family, and choose from some of the best companies with excellent customer service in the process.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at your backyard or other outdoor space and think about the different aspects of shade sail purchasing. Consider your space, the type of fabric you’re interested in, and the budget you’ve got to spend on your new purchase. Keep in mind that some types of sails will require more carpentry skills than others, too.

In the end, you’ll be able to make the right call and have the perfect shade sail installed in your yard in time for the hottest part of the year!

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