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The best garden gazebos for shade and shelter

Create an extra room outdoors this summer with our roundup of the best gazebos to add to your garden. 

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated May 11, 2022

Garden gazebo

We’re always looking for ways to enjoy our gardens despite what the great British summer might have in store. 

Investing in a gazebo means extra shade from the sun and extra shelter from the rain, so you can get more use from your outdoor space. It can also come in handy when you’re entertaining outdoors, camping or giving your garden a new look.

Keeping kids safe in the sun is high on Mumsnetters’ list of priorities, and a gazebo can provide a shaded playroom or shelter for a paddling pool. And once the weather turns cooler, it can easily be put away until you next need it. 

We’ve scoured the Mumsnet forums to put together a list of the best gazebos for summer with options to suit all kinds of gardens and budgets. 

Here are the best garden gazebos to buy in 2022. 

1. Best overall gazebo: Coleman Event Shelter

Coleman Event gazebo

Price: £280 | Buy now from Amazon

"We and friends all have Coleman event shelters and they have withstood really heavy downpours no trouble, albeit in this country. Mixed reviews on wind admittedly but only because people tend not to attach all the guys. Once properly secured, we have had no problems" - MummyPigsFatTummy 

With its rounded roof, rain runs straight off this Coleman Event Shelter. Its versatile design makes it great for providing shade as well as shelter from the great British summer’s unpredictable downpours, and you can buy side panels to give you just the right amount of coverage. 

Weighing just under 19kg, it’s not the lightest gazebo, but its easy-up design and versatile feet (which can be pegged or screwed in place) mean it’s suitable for any occasion. Mumsnetters love how hardwearing the Coleman Event Shelter is. It’s turdy enough to withstand strong winds and stay up all summer, plus it fits back in the carry bag without too much trouble. 

Key specs

  • Size: 4.5 x 4.5m
  • Material: Steel, PVC and polyester
  • Weight: 18.8kg

2. Best budget gazebo: Ozark Trail Screenhouse

Ozark gazebo

Price: £40 | Buy now from Asda

"I have an Ozark Trail Gazebo which has withstood some heavy downpours and a fair few Scottish gales" - Mum2Fergus

"We pitch it next to the motorhome, we put the table and chairs in it. It really is brilliant, we have already used it this year. Can cook under it if it's raining - check, can escape sabre toothed midgies -check. And oh it's all tiny and compact" - deste

Tough, versatile and cheap - the Ozark Trail Screenhouse is a cult favourite among Mumsnetters, who know a bargain when they see one. Weighing in at only 5kg and available for £40 from ASDA, we’re really impressed with the great design and versatility of this gazebo.  

All the sides can be rolled up or down, and it folds up super-small for ease of transport. The poles are flexible so it won’t collapse or blow away in the wind, and one person can put it up in about 10 minutes. 

Key specs

  • Size: 3.35 x 3.35 x 2.23m
  • Material: Polyester
  • Weight: 5kg

3. Best waterproof gazebo: All Seasons Waterproof Gazebo

All Seasons gazebo

Price: £280 | Buy now from Amazon

The All Seasons Waterproof Gazebo is not playing around. Made from heavy-duty PVC, not a drop of rain is getting through this gazebo’s tough exterior. 

With pop-up legs and a roof that can be left on, it’s surprisingly easy to put up, but you’ll definitely need two people. What’s more, it’s kept in place by sandbags so it can be set up on any flat surface. Available in 15 colours - from bright pink to plain white - this is a great choice for unpredictable weather. 

Key specs

  • Size: 3 x 3m
  • Material: Steel and PVC
  • Weight: 25kg

4. Best gazebo for small gardens: Kookaburra Garden Canopy

Kookaburra gazebo

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

"We have a rectangular sail which goes across a part of our small garden. It can be easily taken up and down and gives a good patch of shade" - spacegirl86

If your garden’s on the small side, a traditional gazebo can be too bulky. A sail shade like this one from Kookaburra is a stylish alternative that gives you just the right amount of shade. 

Offering UPF34+ protection, it’s perfect for adding shelter to your garden while the kids are playing outside. Designed specifically for the British climate, the fabric is water-resistant, so while it won’t keep anyone completely dry, you won’t have to take it down every time it rains. This sail shade comes complete with a 1.5m rope for each corner, so you’ll need to buy alternative fixings separately if needed. 

Key specs

  • Size: 3 x 3m
  • Material: Polyester
  • Weight: Not stated

5. Best large gazebo: Airwave Marquee

Airwave gazebo

Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon

"This is the one we have, it's honestly great, I've had it up for two parties now, both times just in case of rain" - Bluntness100

This affordable marquee is perfect for parties. With windows on all four sides, it won’t get too dark inside, and a weather-resistant PVC canopy will keep out the elements. 

It’s not as sturdy as the other gazebos on our list, so it’s best to take the Airwave Marquee down after each use. This one is great at keeping an outdoor buffet dry when you’re hosting lots of people, and at around £80, it’s cheaper than hiring a similar-sized marquee.

Key specs

  • Size: 3 x 9m
  • Material: Steel and PVC
  • Weight: 25kg

6. Best pop-up gazebo: Quechua Arpenaz Instant Canopy

Quexhua Arpenaz gazebo

Price: £129 | Buy now from Decathlon 

For a fuss-free gazebo that goes up in no time at all, we present the Quechua Arpenaz Instant Canopy. Fitting up to eight people underneath, the innovative ‘fresh’ fabric actually reduces the amount of heat that can pass through the canopy, so it’s perfect for creating a shaded area in your garden.

The drawback with this gazebo is a lack of side panels, but if you’re looking for a great-quality, easy-to-put-up gazebo that works just as well in a garden as a campsite, this could be the one for you. 

Key specs

  • Size: 3 x 3m
  • Material: Steel and polyester
  • Weight: 14.5kg

7. Best sail shade: Coolaroo Sail Shade

Coolaroo Sail Shade

Price: £31 | Buy now from Amazon

"We have a shade sail. It's clipped to the walls on two corners and the third is clipped to the washing line - we're classy! It's brilliant, and a doddle to put up and down" - UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername

A sail shade is a cool, modern alternative to a gazebo. Great for smaller spaces and gardens lacking natural shade, they’re easy to put up and take down. 

Coolaroo sail shades are available in shapes and sizes to suit any garden. What’s more, the fabric they’re made from is specially developed for the purpose: it’s mould-, water- and stain-resistant and blocks 80% of UV rays. It’s also breathable thanks to a “chimney” style weave, which means rain water won’t pool in the middle and drag the fabric down. All in all, this is a great, low-maintenance sail shade for creating a bit more shelter from the sun in your garden.  

Key specs

  • Size: 3.61 x 3.61 x 3.61m
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Weight: 1.32kg 

8. Best portable gazebo: Sunmer Pop Up Gazebo

Sunmer gazebo

Price: £270 | Buy now from Amazon

With a wheeled carry case included, this Sunmer gazebo is ready for action. It’s easy for two people to assemble and you can rely on the waterproof canopy to keep everything dry within. 

The gazebo can be used with or without the walls, and with three height settings and sandbag weights, it’s suitable for many spaces and surfaces. Its rust-resistant steel frame means it’s robust enough to leave up all summer and the windows keep things light and bright. 

Key specs

  • Size: 3 x 3m
  • Material: Steel, polyester, PVC
  • Weight: 28kg

9. Best permanent gazebo: Kettler Panalsol Pagoda 

Kettler Pagoda gazebo

Price: £419 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

"It stays out in all weather. Doesn't need covering at all. Dries really quickly. We do have cushions which we put away - but often we don't bother with them. We got a parasol too and have used that on only a handful of occasions" - Mumdiva99

If you’re on the lookout for something more permanent, this Kettler Pagoda Gazebo is a wise choice. Boasting a built-in, removable UPF50 parasol that folds down and out of the way when not in use, this is a really versatile gazebo and perfect for the British climate. 

You’ll need four people and about an hour to build this, but once it’s up, the water and rust-proof steel construction will stand the test of time. It’s 3m x 3m so big enough to position over a large corner sofa or a good-sized table and chairs. 

Key specs

  • Size: 3m x 3m
  • Material: Aluminium, steel, polyester
  • Weight: 55.4kg

10. Best gazebo with side panels: Alvantor Pop Up Gazebo Screen House

Alvantor gazebo

Price: £200 | Buy now from Amazon

Plagued by mosquitoes and other flying visitors? We’ve found the gazebo for you. The mesh panels on this eight-sided Alvantor screen house offer protection from bugs, so it’s perfect for enjoying your garden after dark. And the panels offer UPF50+ protection so you won’t get burnt in the daytime either. 

With a pop-up mechanism, it’s a doddle to assemble and it can be done by one person. Once it’s up, just peg the base down and you’re good to go. The only drawback is that the mesh offers zero protection from the rain, which will also pool in the middle of the roof so it’s definitely one for dry sunny days. 

Key specs

  • Size: 3.05 x 3.05m
  • Material: Fibreglass and polyester
  • Weight: 6kg

How to choose the best garden gazebo

The first thing to consider is the size of your garden and the surface the gazebo will be sitting on. Once you have these details, look for both strength and flexibility. A gazebo that’s too rigid won’t withstand wind. And it’s definitely worth checking if it’s waterproof if you plan to use it come rain or shine. 

Are gazebos worth it? 

Yes - a gazebo instantly adds another temporary room to your home, making it invaluable for parties, especially in unpredictable weather. If you go camping, a gazebo can offer the same flexibility on the campsite, giving you extra shade, shelter and living space. 

What’s the best material for a gazebo?

Steel poles and a PVC-coated canopy offer maximum strength and waterproofing. 

What’s the best garden gazebo to buy?

The best garden gazebo is the Coleman Event Shelter as it’s versatile and sturdy enough to withstand most weather conditions. 

How we chose our recommendations 

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which gazebos discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their gardens. We compiled a list of garden gazebos they recommended for being reliable and offering value for money.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which gazebos had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customer reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the garden gazebos we thought would make the best buys.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.