Sun Shade Sails

Last updated on March 2nd, 2023 at 03:43 pm

A sun shade sail is an an easy and affordable way to shade your patio, backyard, deck or pool area and add a bit of color too. Here’s what you need to know before buying one to create some outdoor shade. Shade sails use a flexible cloth that is tightened between several anchor points or posts.

Sun shade sails have many functional uses and can be used over a patio, garden, backyard, pool, deck, carport or any other outdoor area to keep you cool. If you are looking for a portable sun shade, you can usually carry a shade sail in the original bag or even in a backpack as they are lightweight and compact. Permanent sun shade sails that attach to your home are still an inexpensive and easy way to get some shade and block out the sun.

Whether you are looking for a backyard shade, garden shade sail, or custom-made shade cloth, installing one of these types of shades can make your home a comfortable place to live. There are many different types of shades on the market today, so it is a good idea to consider all options.

They also provide many public gathering places and playgrounds protection from sun uv rays makes long stays in the open sun unpleasant or dangerous due to sunburn and skin cancer risk.

What Is a Shade Sail?

A shade sail is a patio or deck covering made from durable outdoor fabric that provides protection from the sun. They are installed by stretching the fabric and using tension to affix the corners of the shade to mounting points (like a pergola, post, tree or wall) and are not permanent. Shade sails are considered a more affordable and versatile alternative to a permanent shade like a roof or pergola. Shade sails come in various shapes, sizes and colors to fit any style backyard.

Of course the main benefit of shade sails is sun protection. Most shade sails block between 90 to 95 percent of UV rays.

There are some variations in UV absorption depending on the shade material’s weight color and the tightness of the weave, but the differences are typically less than five percent.

But if you want maximum sun protection, know that heavier fabric, a tighter weave and darker colors generally block the most UV rays.

Sun shade Sails

You also might want your shade sail to block rain. Shade sails are water resistant but not waterproof. A light sprinkle will roll off the shade, so it’s important to install it at an angle. In a heavy downpour, water will drip through the shade because it’s made from breathable woven fabric, which allows air to pass through and keep the shaded area cool. If you want full rain protection, look for a shade specifically categorized as waterproof.

Best Selling Sun Shade Sails

SaleBestseller No. 1
AsterOutdoor Sun Shade Sail Rectangle 16' x 20' UV Block Canopy for Patio Backyard Lawn Garden Outdoor Activities,...
14,508 Reviews
AsterOutdoor Sun Shade Sail Rectangle 16' x 20' UV Block Canopy for Patio Backyard Lawn Garden Outdoor Activities,...
  • Ideal Use - The outdoor sun shade sail has many uses: over a patio, lawn, garden, backyard, pool, deck, courtyard, park, carport or any other outdoor...
  • Durable Construction - The shade sail canopy is a rectangle shape with curved sides, enhancing pull strength and preventing drooping. The sun sail...
  • High Quality - The patio shade has 100% High Density 185GSM Polyethylene fabric, with strong stitched seams and durable stainless steel D-rings. The...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Tronssien Rectangle 10'x13' Sun Shade Sail,95% UV Blockage Canopy Awning for Outdoor Patio and Garden, Yard...
  • Premium Material - Shade sail is made from 185GSM new high-density polyethylene material, the shade fabric is recycling which could protect our...
  • Details - The fabric is cut from a complete net, and finish with a double strong stitching seam. 4 stainless D-rings on each corner, 4 pieces 2.5 ft...
  • Versatile Outdoor Solution: Ideal for patios, gardens, pools, BBQ areas, or any outdoor space needing relief from the sun. Our sunshades provide not...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Quictent 20x26ft Sun Shade Sail for Patio, 185GSM Heavy Duty Rectangular Outdoor Sunshades UV Block Outside Canopy...
1,770 Reviews
Quictent 20x26ft Sun Shade Sail for Patio, 185GSM Heavy Duty Rectangular Outdoor Sunshades UV Block Outside Canopy...
  • 5-Year Warranty - 185GSM High Density anti-aging Polyethylene fabric, washable, water-permeable, breathable, can be used up to 5 years; please feel...
  • Hardware Kit for Easy Installation - A set of hardware kit and 4 pcs of ropes (1.5m long) are wrapped in the box, help to build and install your shade...
  • UV and Sunlight Block - Up to 98% UV and sunlight blocked, ensures a comfortable shading aera in all seasons especially summer. You can enjoy pleasant...
Bestseller No. 4
Artpuch 10'x13' Sun Shade Sail Curved Commercial Outdoor Shade Cover Sand Rectangle Heavy Duty Permeable 185GSM...
  • 【Installation & Measurement】 Measurement is taken from D ring to D ring,leave 1.5 - 2 foot space for the hardware kit between shade sail's D-ring...
  • 【Elegant Curved & Permeable Design】The unique curved shape of our shade sail adds a touch of elegance and style to your outdoor space, enhancing...
  • 【Customizable & Durable Material】 Artpuch offers custome size sun shade sail to fit your outdoor space perfectly, made with 185 gsm UV protected...
Bestseller No. 5
SUNNY GUARD Sun Shade Sail 10' x 13' Rectangle Sand UV Block Sunshade for Backyard Yard Deck Patio Garden Outdoor...
10,840 Reviews
SUNNY GUARD Sun Shade Sail 10' x 13' Rectangle Sand UV Block Sunshade for Backyard Yard Deck Patio Garden Outdoor...
  • 【UV Protection & Cooling】Made of 100% brand new High Density Polyethylene material and eliminate the use of splicing fabrics.Blocks up to 95% of...
  • 【Measuring Dimensions】Measure and clean the area where the Sun visor is to be installed. Leave a margin of 0.5-1 feet between the fixing point and...
  • 【Customizable size】SUNNY GUARD provide custom sized sun shade sail to fit your outdoor space.Made in USA.To further understand your needs, please...

Last update on 2024-07-07  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

Why You May Need A Shade Sail?

1. To enjoy the outdoors more and not be in direct sunlight

2. Keep out the sunlight and harmful UV rays

3. Keep outdoor temperatures cooler under the shade

4. Make your yard, patio or pool area more enjoyable

Shade screen is easy to use for the average consumer. Many do-it-yourselfers have found hundreds of uses for our shade sails and screens. Because it can protect against wind, many use a shade screen to construct a windscreen in their yard or around their pool. It can also function as a privacy screen for outdoor areas.

Quick and Easy Set Up

It’s a quick and easy option for temporary fencing while a more permanent structure is being installed. Gardeners love shade screen because it will keep direct sunlight off sensitive plants, and works perfectly as a shade structure for trellises. Shade screen material works great as a backstop for kicking a soccer ball or even for practicing your tennis maneuvers in a driveway tennis court. Use it to protect your furniture, wrap your porch, and protect your plants.

Shade for Farmers and Pets

Farmers and animal lovers have found that shade screen works great for livestock shading. It also works perfectly as netting to keep birds in an enclosed area—or out of a protected area. For a construction site, shade screen is an ideal scaffolding net or enclosure. The durable fabric of the shade screen can keep falling objects from injuring passers-by.

Shade for trucks and cars when tailgating

Many truck owners use shade screen as a cover for when tailgating with their pick-ups. A perfect shade that can be an awning or tent for travel and can be used with cars, minivans, SUV’s and trucks.

The Search For Sun Shade Sails

You search for the perfect sun shade starts here. We can help you get information on the following sun sail shade products.

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  • triangle sail, shade sail, sun shade, sun shade sail, sun shades for decks, home depot shade sail, lowes sun shade, sail awning.
  • deck shade, backyard shade,outdoor shades, patio shade cover, greenhouse shade cloth, sun shades for decks, sun shade material.

Types of Shade Sails

Fixed shade sails

A fixed shade sail is your run-of-the-mill conventional sail design. It consists of a shade cloth fabric, sewn together to make a desired 3D shape. Multiple layers of shade cloth fabric are stitched together, to give the sail it’s strength. The multiple panels are formed together to create a single shape, much like a structured suit is made.

The edges of the shade cloth fabric are folded over and hemmed. Each sail edge then has a stainless steel wire inserted within the hem, for added support. The whole sail is then tensioned using turnbuckles and the corners can be pulled out tight. Such a design allows the sail to be pulled out tight, giving the sail its strength and minimising flapping in the wind.

Retractable shade sails

Retractable shade sails come in a few different varieties. There are all sorts of folding arm awnings and retractable folding sails, but at their core these retractable shades are essentially all the same. The one key advantage retractable shades have, is that they are (you guessed it) retractable!

Waterproof shades

A third class you may consider are shades classified as ‘Waterproof’. There are no major limitations when it comes to the design of waterproof shade sails, compared with other backyard shade sails. The main difference waterproof shades have, is that they are made from an impermeable rain proof fabric.

If you would like to block out rain during winter months, and keep outside areas warm and dry, then waterproof shades are a fantastic option. PVC is the fabric of choice when it comes to waterproof fabrics. There are also a few other types of waterproof fabrics available, including synthetic canvas and polyesters.

Shade cloths

If you are looking for a general shade for house or shed areas, then shade cloths are a great choice. The gold standard for majority of shades, a high grade 95% UV block out shade cloth is hard to beat. There are Australian made shade cloths that use ‘monofilament’ weave, this is a quality feature to look for when choosing a shade cloth. This ‘monofilament’ type shade cloth is strongly favoured over ‘tape’ yarn shade cloths, as it it much stronger and hence it lasts longer.

Garden shade sails

If you are just after a simple garden shade sail to protect your tomatoes, chances are you want something cheap. This is where structures like economical ‘garden shade sails’ can be a good solution.

When considering garden shade sails, Bunnings shade sails and Mitre 10 shade sails are both good options in this instance. Depending on what type of plant you want to protect, a 50% or 70% UV block out shade cloth is best.

Shade sails attached to House

When considering installing any sails attached to house and shed structures, they must be properly secured. It’s important to note that any special fixings that are used to attach sails to house and shed structures, these fixtures must be strong enough to withstand very strong winds. Since the sail is tightly stretched, it’s recommended to tie it to a sturdy structure; if you must set up posts, you’ll need to dig deep into the ground, at least one-third the length of your post. The sail should slope slightly downward so that rain doesn’t pool.

installing a shade sail

Plan Your Installation. Check with your local building Dept. Some installations require a building permit. We are not responsible for obtaining permits or for engineering your installation.

In most scenarios, when installing fixings to existing structures (for shade sails attached to houses) you will need to strengthen the building you are attaching or fixing to.

D.I.Y Shade Sails

If you want an easy way to save money, then D.I.Y shade sails are a fun project. Rather than paying someone to do the whole lot, you can try to install your own sail. A word of warning, however, installing your own sail is not as easy as it seems. There is a reason why sail lofts make shade sails with several different cut pieces of fabric, combining them together in a special 3D arrangement, and then use a range of strengthening techniques such as steel wire edges and corner patches. Building and designing the structure first, then designing the shade around the structure, is also very important.

If you are thinking of installing a D.I.Y shade sail, it is important to do it right. Simply buying a few posts and installing them to suit a cheap shade sail, often ends in tears. An example of how not to do a D.I.Y shade sail is shown below. Doing things this way (buying the sail first, then installing posts) will only end in a temporary solution, that has to be fixed later down the track. Flapping shade sails and weak fixings or posts have a habit of being a nuisance. Not to mention they pose a very big threat with strong winds and causing damage to structures by blowing off.

Pros and Cons of Shade Sails

Before purchasing a shade sail, consider their benefits and weaknesses.


  • Versatility. Shade sails can work almost anywhere, thanks to numerous mounting options and shapes.
  • The breathable fabric allows cool breezes to flow through the shade, helping lower the temperature beneath, sometimes by as much as 15 to 20 degrees F.
  • UV and some rain protection (full rain protection if you purchase a waterproof variety).
  • More affordable than a shade structure.


  • Installation can be tricky for the average DIYer.
  • The shade sail itself may be affordable, but if you need to install mounting posts and hire a pro to it, the price can go up substantially.
  • A shade sail will probably last about eight to 10 years. However, that can increase or decrease dramatically depending on the weather in your area. If the shade is often subject to high winds, it might deteriorate faster. Some shade sails can handle snow loads, but the snow might make the fabric stretch and deteriorate over time. In snowy climates, most manufacturers recommend taking your shade sail down for the winter months.
  • Shade sails cannot be installed over an outdoor cooking area. Heat and chemicals in the fumes can damage the fabric.

Cost of Shade Sails

The cost of a shade sail varies greatly, depending on the size you need and whether you choose a DIY or professional installation. If you decide to do it yourself, it’s probably going to be a two-person job.

You can purchase a shade sail from Amazon or Home Depot for as little as $30 and up to $400 or more, depending on size and quality. You’ll also need the mounting hardware, usually sold separately.

Expect to pay quite a bit for professional installation from a licensed contractor. Factoring in any customization, mounting posts in concrete, plus labor, your shade sail could cost as much as $20 per square foot. According to Arizona Shade Sails, a 20 ft. x 20 ft. four-column shade (which is huge) could cost you $8,000 to $10,000 installed.

Ideal Sun Shade Sail Solutions

Used over a patio, lawn, garden, pool, pond, deck, courtyard, backyard, carport, pergola, sandbox, driveway or other outdoor area. Provides 80%-85% sunshade and protects against 95% up to 98% harmful UV rays. Makes your patio privacy safe, cool and fabulous.

Any outdoor space equipped with a sun shade sail offers relief from the heat, mild protection from rain and an improved aesthetic. Many sails may prevent harmful UV rays from penetrating, while others may be more decorative.

Finding the best sun shade sail for you means accurately assessing the needs of your space. Quality sun shade sails, like the durable and breathable ColourTree Rectangular Sun Shade Sail Canopy, are relatively easy to set up and last a long time. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.