The definitive guide to shade sails of 2017

INTRODUCTION TO SHADE SAILS

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Shade sail or sun shades are a great way to give different aesthetic look on your kid’s playground, patio, garden, swimming pool and carport, lots of people choose this than an unstable umbrella or expensive awnings because it is very handy and easy to install it also provides comfortable cover in contemporary landscaping. There are different types of a cover fabric, knitted and woven, each type of stripped cloth is specially – design to withstand supreme amount of pressure.

When choosing your best shade sail for your space it is highly advisable to consider the durability/UV rating of the fabric, some people prefer dark adjacently woven and dense shade cloth while others preferred a more lighter rectangular knitted fabric. This posts can give you tips on what kind of shade sail should you get and how to set it up properly.

What are the criteria for a good shade sail?

shade sail durability

Durability – some shade sail companies claimed that their product can withstand high wind loads of around 80 – 85mph but it really depends on installation and the age of the fabric, it is advisable if it is mounted to a pergola that can’t be moved with the right accessories for mounting, nevertheless shade sails are easy to detach and can be disassembled when seasons change.

A good Sun Shade  also has a UV protection and it depends upon the color of the fabric, the darker the color the more UV protection it gives. Some high grade fabric that is sold at home depot stores offers between 50 – 90 percent protection against ultraviolet radiation while commercial grade fabrics offers exceptional protection in terms of ultraviolet radiation, however it is design for larger areas.

Price – the price of having one built in your home will differ according to the size, materials, accessories and the exquisite intricacy of the design. DIY sun shade set ranges between $20 and stretched up to a hundred dollars. Make sure that it offers a high UV protection and has a warranty for UV degredation.

Sun Shade fabric position and design

parabolic shade sail

Use parabolic design – a parabolic design gives your fabric an “architectural hypar” like form or twisted effect, this can be achieved by mounting two points higher and the other two points lower. This design is not only good looking visually but also creates a larger area of usable shade.

structure foundationStructure foundation – This is the most common mistake for the DIY shade sail they simple dug the holes deep enough and when the strong wind blows the posts move and the whole job was ruined. when building a foundation for posts make sure that the holes are deep. The rule of thumb is the hole should be 1/3 as deep as the pole is high. The bottom line is deep holes, strong poles and plenty of concrete.

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Allow for the take offs – this simply means, shade sails needs to be tension at the corner and you have to allow for this, it’s a common mistake people make, they buy a 5 meter shade sail and then put the posts 5 meters apart, what they end up with is a saggy shade sail (see picture) and you don’t want that to happen. A saggy shade sail causes faster wear and tear when banging by the wind. A properly mounted and tensioned shade sail will have mostly a hundred pounds of tension on it and also without visible wrinkles.

Accessories for mounting – selecting the right accessories that suits to your needs makes the installation easier, these accessories are readily available at hardware stores and comes with a broad range fixing accessories available to support your sun shades.

  1. Turnbuckle – use this to attach sun shade corner ring to a fixing mark and provide tautness on the shade sail fabric.
  2. D Shackles –  use this to link eye bolt or pad eye
  3. Pad eye – use this to secure shade sail corner ring to a wall in connection with d-shackle.
  4. S Hook – if you want to link shade sail to eye bolt or pad eye use this.
  5. Eye Bolt – to connect shade sail ring through a timber stud, steel beam or solid pillar.
  6. Snap Hook – use this to link fabric corners on pad eye or temporary use
  7. Strap Tensioner – use this for applying tension at the time of installation.

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it is recommended to use turnbuckle in each mark of the sun shade fabric, another alternative is a D shackle but they do not allow the fabric to be adjusted for tensioning. also use marine grade stainless steel because it has greater resistance against rust.

Installing a shade shade is not the easiest thing in the world but if you follow some basic principles it doesn’t have to be hard, in fact it could be a lot of fun getting great sense of achievement when it’s done.

Best Sun shade brand reviews

Sun shades are not created equal some are more durable and flexible than others while some sun shade brand gives more UVA and UVB protection. Others prefer bigger shade fabric which some of the brands can’t provide. we compiled the best sun shade fabric and the most reviewed brands online.

PETRAS sun shade

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First on the list is Petras shade sail, this big shade sail comes with heavy-duty stainless steel D-rings, Nylon ropes and offers uv protection they also offer 3 different sizes 20’ x 10, 20’ x 13 and 26’ x 20’, with 3 different earth colors like Green, Terracota and Dessert sand. I highly recommend this product if you need 1 with a bigger space requirement or minimalistic design.

I was really astounded by how much this shade sail changed my patio. As a guy who’s consistently having drinking buddies over, this Petras 20 by 20 became a trademark. It came to a point where every one of them wanted to buy one.The quality of the material used in this shade can’t really be justified in a picture. But feeling it with my own fingers immediately made me realize where my money went. This heavy duty fabric is simply not a joke and a very high end material.I also liked that it has stainless steel D-rings that makes it easier to assemble and a reliable nylon rope to come with it. The one that I bought also included a carrying bag so that’s a plus. However if you bought something like a 20 ft by 20 ft square one like me, you really can’t just carry it around on picnics because of the sheer size of it. But I do recommend this for campers because this is instant base camp. Overall, it was a delight buying this. One of the few purchases me and my wife actually agreed on.

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COOLAROO shade sail

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Another top of the line is the coolaroo. If you are looking for more than just a shade for your space coolaroo can provide you with their broad range of fabrics sizes from 3.0m x 2.0m to 5.4m x 5.4m, their shade sails offers UV protection by 84 – 90% and has a wide variety of colors like green, ocean blue, charcoal, terracotta and white. Their fabric also resists mould and mildew and specifically design for harsh Australian season.

This was exactly what I was looking for! For a hardcore camper, this is simply what I need in every adventure. It’s small and portable perfect for any outdoor activity. It’s also very light and very easy to install. What made this extremely easy and very simple to install is that the ropes in the corners are actually pre-attached so you will save so much time in just preparing and keeping this. I will also use this when I go fishing and just chill out where I can put the shade on. You can also just casually put it in your backpack after using. For a cheap product, I really think this is a very good purchase. I’ve only used it a couple times and I already see how I can use it in many other ways in many more of my adventures in the future. Even though its fabric isn’t exactly high end material like the cool area, it’s also just doing sort of the same. The only difference is that you need a little more extra care for this aside from the other products. In short, if you like going outside and doing outdoor activities like camping and not have a problem spending 40$ to make your trip better, this is what you want to buy.

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SAN DIEGO shade sail

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On the top 3 is the san diego. A lot of people love this brand because of a tighter weave than the stuff you get at other depot. It is amazingly light but very strong material and provides 89 – 90% protection against ultraviolet rays, sizes range from 13’ x 10’ to 20’ x 16’ with colors sandy beach, terracotta rust, coffee brown, grey, white cream and forrest green.

This classic San Diego Shade Sail has exactly what you would expect it to be. The fabric not only looks strong but also feels like it will last for a very long time. What I liked the most about this is how well it goes with my simple patio. The raw simplicity just makes the things around it look elegant and inviting. My friends actually complimented me for the beauty of my back area but they didn’t realize that the only thing new here is the Sandy colored San Diego Shade Sail. The light material used in this product surprisingly decreased the heat felt in the patio by a significant amount. Aside from being light, I was really surprised by how I installed this guy without a fail and just immediately went on enjoying the new relaxing spot at home. I highly recommend this sail for someone who’s looking for a shade sail between simple and elegant. All in all, this product was a very wise spend for only 60 dollars and was very satisfying.

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COOLAREA shade sail

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Unlike the other 3 brands mentioned above coolarea is focused on one type of product guess what? SHADE SAIL! When it comes to colors I think you can get more selection with this brand, they have green, cream, white, terra, blue, silver, graphite and sand. They also have different sizes like triangle, rectangle and square, like Coolaroo they also provide up to 90% protection against ultraviolet rays, cool enough? Their product also resist moulds and mildew and is made of polyethylene material that’s why it does not absorb water and humidity.

The specific thing that urged me to buy this is the fact that it has an actual 5 year guarantee for the fabric. That 5 year guarantee made me realize that the manufacturer is so confident with the quality of the material used in this particular shade sail. The one I bought also had a stainless steel hardware kit included. Aside from that, the actual experience I had relaxing with this is simply enlightening. It’s like a magical cool wind suddenly forms around your patio and embraces you. I highly recommend this for bookworms who enjoy reading outside and with the feeling of nature. The installation was also quick and simple. The idea was to tighten it as much as it can as my friend said to prevent water from accumulating in the middle in case of rain. I’m not really the strongest person but the rope used sure is. In the end, it looked really fancy and appropriate if I do say so myself. I also like the idea of the fabric being able to block UV because we have a skin asthma background so that’s a plus too. It was overall a pretty decent way to spend some money.

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Conclusion

Shade sail is not only useful for residential and commercial buildings. Restaurants and resorts also use this versatile fabric and is becoming more popular when it comes to creating an attractive and alternative sun shade for establishments. Do note that there are several pros and cons of using shade sails but through imagination and and proper selection of high quality materials you can create an awesome design that suits your taste.

If you’ve been using these shade sail cloth before and have any creative ideas to share with others, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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