Best Sail Shade – Your 2024 Buyers Guide

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Personally, we think there is nothing better than those summer months when you can spend all of your time in the garden! The sun is shining and all you want to do is spend every waking minute making the most of it! But, if you are anything like us, you are going to reach the point when you need a little time in the shade! Whether it be to protect your pinkening face from getting any more sunburnt, a shaded spot for your children when they play, or maybe just a sheltered space to eat and relax under – every garden needs some type of safe haven away from the sun that we dream of the other 9 months of the year! 

Best Pick – Sail Shade

OldPAPA Sun Shade Sail Rectangle Water-resistant Sun Shade 95% UV Block Sunscreen Awning Garden Beach Patio Canopy Grey 3x4m
  • HIGH-QUALITY MATERIALS: The shade sails are made of water-resistant Oxford polyester fabric that blocks 95% of the UV rays and has a good sunscreen effect without worrying about sunburn.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIAL: Lightweight rectangular/square canopy, light and thin, easy to store, does not occupy too much space, very convenient for home storage.
  • EASY TO INSTALL: The D-ring is placed at the edge of the four corners, and you can successfully install the shade sail by simply hanging each corner on the hook. Use knot reinforcement to connect the ropes for better wind protection and safety.(Package does not include pad eyes snap hooks, turnbuckles)
  • MULTIFUNCTION SUN SHADE: Solar sails are resistant to damage and moisture. It can also be used for anti-exposure and water-resistance of garden furniture. Mesh structure weaving, better breath-ability, good UV protection effect.
  • GREAT HELPER: Shadow Sail is the family's great life helper for gardens, swimming pools, wilderness, outdoor adventures, windbreaks, picnics, terraces, balconies, camping, carports and children's play.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

There are so many options for providing some shelter and shade in your garden, from gazebos and awnings, to parasols and umbrellas – you have so much choice available to you! However, we have been converted to a much cheaper, more stylish and practical option – a sail shade! A sail shade is going to provide the perfect shelter from the sunlight in your garden and you can rely on them for pretty much any space! Not only are they a cheaper option than many of the others available but they are also going to be so much easier to fit too! 

To give you an idea of whether a sail shade is going to be right for you, and of the different options that you are going to have, we have reviewed some of the key features that you need to be looking out for! 

In A Hurry?

Ready to sail off into the distance with your sail shade but just not sure what you actually need to buy – here is all the essential information that you need…

Size and Shape

Of course when it comes to a sail shade, size matters! You are going to need a sail shade that will fit in the space that you have available and also a model that is going to provide you with enough shelter! The amount of shelter that you need will obviously depend on what you are planning on using it for, but we like the shelters that are able to fit four people sitting underneath – providing you still have plenty of space in the sun too! 

The smallest models are going to be around 2m x 2m, whereas the larger models go up to around 4m x 4m – some are even bigger than this. 

You also need to look at the shape of sail shade that is going to be right for the space that you are trying to fill – as this may impact on the size too! You will have three main options when it comes to choosing the shape – square, rectangular or triangular shape. The square and rectangular models are obviously going to give you more shelter, but the triangular shaped sails have a really nice appearance because they are the shape of an actual sail! We also found that they are perfect for tighter spaces too or if you are wanting to take up less space with shade! 


The quality of your sail shade is going to depend on the materials that have been used to make it. Almost all sail shades are going to be made from polyester, but this doesn’t mean that they are all going to be the same! Look at the GSM (grams per square metre) rating of each fabric. This is basically a judge of the quality of the material that has been used, its strength and its durability. Look out for at least 140gsm, but ideally closer to 160 grm if you want a good quality material. Make sure that the material is going to be rot free too so that they can last as long as possible! 

We would also recommend looking out for sail shades that are PU coated and UV protected, this is going to make the sail shade water resistant so that you can also use it as a shelter in light summer showers. UV protection is the only way for your sail shade to be truly effective at what it does – some of the best sail shades will offer protection against up to 98% of UV rays. Make sure to check the UPF rating that the sail shade comes with as this will show the level of protection that it is able to offer. Most are between UPF 40 and 50 – we would always recommend going for 50+ if you are planning on using your sail shade to shelter young children. You will also need to look at the water resistance rating that the sail shade comes with, ideally you want around 400mm – which will protect against pretty much any reasonable rainstorm – but not against incredibly heavy rain! 

TOP TIP: Cheaper sail shades will normally last for a couple of years, whereas sail shades that are made from stronger materials will normally last for up to around five years. Look at whether the sail shade is woven and the denier rating as this will give an idea of how strong the material is. 

Fixtures and Fittings 

Like we already mentioned, actually securing your sail shade is definitely going to be easier than installing a gazebo or a traditional style awning, but that doesn’t mean that it is something that can just be forgotten about! 

Pretty much all sail shades are going to come with D rings in each corner that will allow you to fix to a wide variety of places to stretch out your sail. Make sure to check the quality of these fixtures – most are going to be made from stainless steel but it is important to check the quality of this and the strength it is able to provide. Also, look out for oxidation and corrosion resistant materials as they will be much longer. 

We would also recommend looking out for models that come with the rope included to attach to this. Not only will this save you money in having to purchase this separately but you know that you are getting a complete product and rope that is going to match the sail perfectly. Check for the length of the rope and the quality – nylon is going to be one of the stronger materials. 

TOP TIP: Look out for models that come with carabiners – these make it much easier for you to tighten the ropes to exactly the right tension! 

Best Budget – Sail Shade

Ankuka Sun Shade Sail 2m x 3m Beige Rectangular Waterproof Garden Sun Sail Outdoor Patio Party Sunscreen Awning Canopy 98% UV Block With Rope
  • Material: Ankuka sunshade sail, made of brand new high-density polyester with a waterproof coating, resistant to water and tears, but not recommended to use in heavy rain or adverse weather conditions.
  • UV protection: Our sun sail protects against harmful UV rays from passing through the awning. Let you and your family enjoy a safe and cool area in the garden or patio.
  • Light but powerful fabric: double-edged sewing threads and stainless steel D-rings give stability and resistance to the garden sun shade, making both sides more robust. (NOTE: The shade sail is usually stitched together from two or three pieces of fabric, not single piece.)
  • Simple installation: simple and safe installation with rope or fixing kit. Suggest that the installation angle is 20-40 degrees, to achieve maximum tension and also to allow rain to run off.
  • What you get: 1x sun shade (water-resistant, rectangular), 1 x case, 4 x ropes, 1-year warranty

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

The Best Sail Shades

If you are on the hunt for one of the best sail shades that money can buy, you are going to need more than just a decent quality material and the right size! Here are the range of additional features that we have compared, to help you find a product that is the best value for money! 

  • Double or triple stitching – The corners of your sail shade are the parts that are going to be coming under the most pressure and tension due to the design of the shade. This is why we would recommend looking out for models that have double or triple stitching to help protect the product from this strain. 
  • Colour – Your two main choices will be either white or cream. White is definitely going to be the more modern and smarter finish, but it is going to show marks much quicker than the cream models do! If your garden is more traditional in its style then it may also be that cream looks better in your garden! Some of the best models also come with additional colour protection to help protect the block colour for as long as possible. 
  • Storage Bag – It is always advisable to pack your sail shade away over winter months, or if you aren’t planning on using it for a while, to preserve the life of the sheet. Opting for a model with a storage bag is going to help to keep it safe and clean whilst it is packed away! 
  • Chlorine resistant – If you have a hot tub or outdoor pool that uses chlorine then you need to double check the quality and type of material that the sail shade has been made from. Many sail shades can be damaged by evaporating chlorine – so make sure to double check if this is going to have an impact for you! 
  • Maintenance – Look at how easy it is going to be to maintain your sail shade. The best models will simply need wiping down with warm soapy water occasionally to keep them looking like new and in good condition. Some can even be put in a washing machine providing they are set on a relatively cool cycle! 
  • Fixing Kits – The best models are going to come with fixing kits that make it much easier to secure your sail shade into a wide range of different materials should you need to! For other models you will have to purchase this separately. 
  • Woven material – The best quality sail shades are going to be made from woven materials. These will be the strongest sail shades and also provide the best UV protection. 
  • Repair kit – Some of the best sail shades will come with repair kits that you can use to fix any rips or tears in your sail shades. This is a great way to extend the life of your sail shade but we do have to point out that once they have been torn they are never going to be completely the same unfortunately so you may still find yourself having to replace the shade at the end of the season! 
  • Weight – You may not think that the weight of your sail shade is important but actually it should be factored in for a couple of reasons. Firstly, a heavier sail shade is going to be much harder to fit and require more people. But also, it is going to put more pressure on the wall, posts or fences that the sail is fastened too – so make sure that they are going to be able to take the weight! 

Installing Your Sail Shade 

Installing a sail shade is going to be much easier than installing many other shelter options in your garden – but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be careful to ensure that they are still fitted correctly. 

Choose a spot where you are going to be able to pull the shade tight enough that it can be secure over the space that you are trying to shelter. Then make sure to fix the fastenings to the wall first so that the rope can just be passed through. 

Knot the sail shade ropes securely through the fixtures and then tighten this gradually until the sail shade is tight enough. You need the sail shade to be tight enough so that it does not bow in the middle as this can lead to it collecting water or blowing too much in wind and becoming damaged. 

When fitting your sail shade make sure that it is fitted on a slight angle – this means that rain water can flow off the shade easily and avoid it weighing down the shade which can cause rips and tears. 

Best of the Rest

HEYOMART Sun Shade Sail Waterproof Outdoor Garden Patio Party Sunscreen Awning 2x2x2m Triangle Canopy 98% UV Block with Free Rope, Grey
  • PREMIUM FABRIC: Our shade sail is made of 100% polyester fabric with a 160 gsm PU coating, which makes it both healthy and safe to use. It's highly resistant to water, tears, and adverse weather conditions, making it perfect for long-term use. The shade sail comes with three pad eyes, and we're giving away three 1800D wind ropes (200cm for each) for easy installation. It features sturdy sewing on each side and stainless steel D-rings on each edge to ensure a secure installation
  • UV PROTECTION: Our shade sails can provide up to 98% UV protection and 90% shading rate, which can help reduce ambient air temperature and lower cooling costs and energy consumption. What's more, with the right design, you can save a lot of money. Choose our products for a safer, more comfortable outdoor experience that's also worry-free and cost-effective
  • WATER RESISTANT: Our shade sails are water-resistant with a rating of 400mm HH, which means they can resist water to a certain extent but are not completely waterproof. They're also air-permeable, ensuring fresh air circulation for a comfortable outdoor experience. Installation is safe and easy with rope, and we suggest a 20-40 degree angle for maximum tension and rain runoff. (Installation with hardware kit will be more convenient and stable, which can be found by searching for "B087X3Z1RW".)
  • EASY TO INSTALLATION: Our shade sails are easy to install. Simply measure and clean the installation area, leaving 1.5-2ft between the fixing point and shade sail to fit hardware, hooks, or ropes. The curved sides enhance pull strength and prevent drooping, which may cause the actual shading area to shrink slightly (tolerance of 4-6 inches on each side). You can install multiple shade sails of different colors and sizes for a larger shading area
  • PRACTICAL & MULTIFUNCTIONAL: This shade sail is practical and multifunctional, making it suitable for use over patios, lawns, gardens, pools, ponds, decks, and more. It effectively reduces heat in outdoor living areas, making them comfortable even on the hottest days. You can install this shade sail in courtyards, backyards, parks, carports, pergolas, sandboxes, driveways, or any other outdoor area that requires shading

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Mokani Sun Shade Sail, 3x4m Rectangle Sunscreen Awning Canopy, Waterproof Shade Sail, 95% UV Block with Free Rope, for Outdoors, Garden, Patio, Yard, Party(Grey)
  • 【WATER RESISTANT】Sun shade sail is 420D high density polyester fabric with PU coating(160 g/m²), can withstand 2000MM water pressure. It's tear resistant, waterproof and weatherproof. But we don't suggest to use shade sail in heavy rain, continuous heavy rain may cause slight water seepage.
  • 【MULTIFUNCTIONAL】Double stitched edges and reinforced corners, making both sides more robust. Our solar sail is suitable to be used in garden, backyard, patio, courtyard, carport, pergolas, swimming pool, balcony, terrace, camping trip, lawn or another outdoor area. Protecting your privacy safe.
  • 【EASY TO INSTALL】Anti-rust D-ring is placed at the edge of the four corners, you can use ropes or fixing kits easily to fix it. We recommend that you adjust the angle of the garden shade sail to 20-40 degrees, it needs a certain angle to drain the rain to avoid damage the product due to excessive water.
  • 【UV PROTECTION】Our outdoor awning can block 95% harmful UV. It can provides excellent shade on sunny days/rain days, give you a wonderful space to enjoy your time.
  • 【PAKAGE CONTAIN】You will get Awning Canopy x1, Ropes x4.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

HEYOMART Sun Shade Sail 3m x 3m Square Shade Sails Waterproof Outdoor Garden Patio Party Sunscreen Awning Canopy 98% UV Block With Free Rope, Cream White
  • HIGH QUALITY: Made of 100% polyester fabric with PU coated(160 gsm), more healthy and safe. Resistant to water, tears and adverse weather conditions. Including four pad eyes. Free giving 4*1800D wind ropes (200cm for each), robust sewing processing on each side, stainless steel D ring on each edge, firmly guarantee fastness of installation.
  • UV PROTECTION: Up to 98% UV protection and 90% Shading rate. Shade sails will lower the ambient air temperature reducing your properties cooling cost and energy consumption. The savings will pay for the Shade Sail's over time, with the right design.
  • WATER RESISTANT: Water-resistant rating: 400mm HH (Water resistant, not waterproof); Air permeable, allowing a constant circulation of fresh air.
  • EASY TO INSTALLATION & REMOVE: You can use it wherever you need; Simple and safe installation with rope. Suggests that the installation angle is 20-40 degrees, to achieve maximum tension and also to allow rain to runs off.
  • PRACTICAL & MULTIFUNCTIONAL: Widely used over a patio, lawn, garden, pool, pond, deck, kailyard, courtyard, backyard, dooryard, park, carport, pergola, sandbox, driveway or another outdoor area. Its effectively reducing heat in your outdoor living areas.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you secure a sail shade to?

You can attach a sail shade to pretty much anything – which is one of the reasons why they are so popular! They can be attached to the side of your home, fence posts, trees, sheds, or pretty much anything really! 

Will sail shades come with a warranty?

Yes! All the best sail shades will come with a warranty – this should be at least 12 months, but the best models will come with 2 or 3 year warranties! This will cover against anything that goes wrong with your sail shade but it won’t cover against rips or tears that are caused from poor use – such as leaving your sail shade outside in a storm.

About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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