What to Look for in a Quality Shade Sail

Shade sails are one of the most versatile solutions for homeowners and business owners seeking to add a new look as well as some shade to their properties. These shade sails, which comes in a variety of colours and designs, makes it easy to give patios, decks, or other outdoor areas a visually striking appearance while providing necessary protection from the sun. The best part is that they are way cheaper than having to construct awnings or roofs, with shade sails being sold at less than $500 utmost.

Many people tend to think that any shade sail, as long as they are able to keep them from direct exposure from the sun, will do. However, this is a misleading concept since there are many benefits of installing high quality shade sails:

  • Quality shade sails are durable and lasts for years, making it a good investment.
  • They are better in dealing with extremely hot Australian weather, whereas low quality shade sails are not.
  • They are easy to install and take down without causing any damage to the shade sail.
  • They are good to look at and add elegance to your outdoor area.
  • They offer great protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun, while low quality shade sails offer less, if any at all.

With all the many choices available in the market right now, choosing the right shade sail worth your dollar can be a tough task. However, this can be made easier if you know what you need to look for when buying a shade sail.


Coolaroo Desert Sand Extreme Rectangle 5m x 3m Shade Sail from Gazebos Australia

The Brand: What's in a Name?

The best shade sails are those manufactured by trusted brands and companies. These companies have invested a lot of money and research when it comes to their products, so you are assured of their quality. Furthermore, they have a reputation to protect, which is one reason why they always make sure to give their customers nothing but the best choices in their product range. Sure, they may be a little more expensive that other shade sails, but at least with the quality they provide, you are sure that you are getting your money’s worth. In addition, quality shade sails come with a warranty, and a warranty is only as good as the company that gives it. With quality shade sails, you can expect at least ten years warranty – something you can’t get with a low quality shade sail.

The Fabric: Not Your Ordinary Cloth

The fabric used in the manufacture of quality shade sails is far different in t structure and material as compared with low quality shade sails. When buying shade sails, choose one from high polyethylene (HDPE) fabrics. This type of fabric is much better when it comes to protecting you from the sun, as well as in making you feel much cooler. This is because HDPE are permeable fabrics that allow for the passage of air through their mesh, thus improving air circulation in the area that they cover. In addition to that, their permeability also keeps them from flapping or being blown away by the wind, helping to relieve the pressure on their rigging and anchor points.

Shade sails are supposed to protect you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays as well, so be sure to check that the fabric on your shade sail can prevent at least 90% of the UV rays from penetrating through. Any less than that is not worth buying.

The Edges: Check the Linings

Another thing you need to pay attention to when buying shade sails are the edges, because more often than not, most damage to the shade sail will start here. The edges of the shade sail can either be turned-and-sewn, or layered with dual bands of sturdy nylon or other materials. When choosing from these two, it is best to go for the latter. See, one problem with turned-and-sewn edges is that the threads start to fray after several months of being used. This fraying can be caused by the stretching that the shade sail is experiencing, or because of low quality threads. Lined edges are better because they are able to handle a minimum amount of stretching pretty well.


Image from Michael Coghlan on Flickr

Rings and Cables: Keeping it Together

Shade sails are kept in place by attaching them to posts or walls using rings and cables. The rings, usually d-rings or triangular ones, need to be of high quality and welded if possible so that they don’t open up due to stretching. The same goes for the cables. In some instances, you will see shade sail sold with ropes. Try to avoid them as much as possible, and look for shade sails with steel cables. These are way stronger and bound to last longer than ropes, since they are more able to handle the tension created by the weight of the shade sail and the blowing of the wind. Make sure that the rings and cables are stainless and rust proof as well.

So if you want a shade sail that will last for years to come – a shade sail that will look good despite of age, and will continue to provide you with protection from the sun and gentle rains as well – then be sure to look buy only quality shade sails. In the long run, you’d be glad you did.