Introducing MoonShade: The Compact Lightweight Portable Awning

MoonShade Portable Overland Awning

MoonShade: A Compact Lightweight Portable Awning that You Can Literally Take Anywhere & Mount To Almost Anything

Awnings are one of the most important travel companions when exploring the great outdoors. Protecting yourself from bright UV rays or even spur of the moment thunderstorms can make for a much more enjoyable experience when outside.

Most awnings that we typically see in the off-road and overland market are hard-mounted to our roof racks for rooftop tents. Some of these hard-mounted options may include the traditional ARB awning or even something like the 23ZERO Peligrine 180R, however, these options are heavy and not portable at all. But not MoonShade; this thing is super lightweight, portable and incredibly compact. It packs down to the size of a camp chair and it’s just as portable, if not more so.

It’s made and designed to be incredibly portable. You can set this thing up anywhere on the fly and break it down super fast as well.

Weighing in at a whopping 8 lbs, the MoonShade is incredibly light while still boasting some pretty impressive heavy-duty material in both the canopy fabric, guy ropes, carabiners and leg poles that position the awning into place. What’s even more impressive is the area that it covers. It has a massive coverage area of 9’ x 7’ and as we mentioned, packs down to about the size of a small camp chair.

To sum it up, this thing is incredibly versatile, lightweight, portable and covers a massive surface area.

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MoonShade Specs

  • Size deployed: 9ft × 7ft.
  • Size packed: 28in × 6in (diameter)
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Shade Top (canopy): 420D recycled-yarn ripstop polyester with UV
  • Shade Bottom: Reflective coating; heavy-duty polyester webbing trim
  • Canopy Poles 13mm aluminum tension poles
  • Support poles adjust from 78in to 96in; 7ft narrow-base mounting pole

Durable Construction

Packable & Portable Design

From the poles to the actual canopy material, MoonShade has an incredibly impressive build quality. While being pretty lightweight you can tell they didn’t skimp on the materials. The mounting poles are solid and where its positioned into on the canopy feels like a thick poly-vinyl corner stops.

The way it sets up is very similar to setting up a tent, however, the MoonShade is just two poles and you’re done. MoonShade provides guy ropes and other support poles that further increase the durability and construction overall.

Hardware Included

  • Stakes (4)
  • Guy lines/tensioners (4)
  • Carrying bag with shoulder strap
  • Suction cup mounts (2)
  • Suction cup pole ends (to attach support poles to vehicle surface at 45 deg. angle)
  • 2 Super Strong (as in “watch your fingers”) Magnet Anchors

Multiple Mounting Options

Multiple Mounting Options

MoonShade provides you with multiple mounting options. You can choose to run their heavy-duty magnets and place them on the side of your 4Runner’s sheet metal. Or you have the option of running their suction cups which can attach to the side of your 4Runner’s sheet metal or window glass. We ran both options and they’re both incredibly durable. If you are hanging out on a windy day both will hold up just fine.

I must say, the magnets are pretty impressive though, and VERY strong. The backside of the magnet has a rubber foot backing in order to prevent scratches on the 4Runner sheet metal. And although this is nice I can see how over time the edges of the rubber foot may wear out. I think this particular area could be improved.

Regardless though, it’s cool that MoonShade provides two different mounting options.

Lightweight Materials & Small Footprint

Lightweight Materials & Small Footprint

This might be the highlight of this entire design. The MoonShade is incredibly lightweight (8 lbs). If you choose to throw this awning in the back of your 4Runner, you are only adding a whopping 8 lbs and 28″ × 6″ (size of a compact camping chair). This is literally the definition of the ultimate packable awning.

This awning has just about the same size canopy as your everyday massive pop-up canopy you would buy at an outdoor store but without taking up a huge packaged footprint.

Also, another great selling point… If you are running short on garage space, then you can hand this awning from its case strap on a garage hook.

Packable & Portable Design

MoonShade Awning Accessories

You can choose to leave it at home or throw it in the back of your 4Runner when you’re ready to hit the beach or your preferred destination.

The MoonShade sets itself apart (literally) as it can be completely separate from the vehicle when you want it to be. This is huge for anyone looking to save or reduce weight on their daily driver or a day out on the trail.

This is a pretty rad option to have as most of us have somewhat been stuck with the traditional hard-mounting awnings. It’s always nice to have other options.

Universal Setup

MoonShade Universal Setup

The MoonShade is a very versatile and universal design. Yeah, it works great on the Toyota 4Runner, but it would also work well on any compact to mid-size SUV along with most mid-size to full-size pickup trucks.

Going even further, the MoonShade is perfect for any mid- to full-size vans as well. MoonShade actually markets their awning with full-size van photos on their website. You can check that out here. No matter what you drive, if you are the adventure type, you can probably figure out how to make the MoonShade work.

They have versatile attachment hardware that makes it easy to set up and pack down for many types of travelers. Whether you decide to use their heavy-duty suction cups, magnets or carabiners as your mounting point, they will all connect to the flexible strut poles that expand to fit almost any size structure.

What it’s good for: 

  • Car Camping
  • Truck Camping
  • Overlanding
  • Chilling Lakeside
  • Off-Roading
  • Mobile Living
  • Van Life
  • Construction Sites
  • Business (dent repair, automotive repair, etc.)

Final thoughts

MoonShade Awning for 4Runner

I think this is a great alternative to many of the hard-mounted options we are used to seeing on the market today. What sold me on the MoonShade was that it’s super lightweight (8lbs) and incredibly compact when packed down (28″ × 6″).

This is going to be a game-changer for so many outdoor travelers, especially those who are looking to reduce weight and maximize storage space. To top it off, all of the mounting options that are provided make MoonShade a very versatile awning that will work for many makes and models.

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Colin Arnold
Colin Arnold
3 years ago

Great writeup. I’m hoping maybe you can answer something that the company couldn’t when I wrote them. I’m curious about the water runoff on the side that is attached to the vehicle. Basically, where does the water go? Onto the roof? Thanks.

sheds Canterbury
sheds Canterbury
3 years ago

Thank you for this suitable article aboutmoon shadecompactlightweightportableawning, it will help me and people like me looking for the same. I appreciate your effort for taking time to do your research and present these details before us. Really nice way to present this content, very appreciative!!

3 years ago

Seems like a nice product. Would prefer to have the reflective layer facing up to reflect solar rays. Agree the price is steep. Would pay $199 max.

Jimmy Pop
Jimmy Pop
3 years ago

I was excited about this until I saw the price….especially when these exist on Amazon for less than 100 bucks… they don’t have the nice mylar looking inner liner, but yikes… $315??

3 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy Pop

got a link to the amazon version

Snow Yeti
Snow Yeti
3 years ago

Very cool idea! To bad it is not square, you could possibly connect them together to double or triple you shade if you wanted. But I suppose that may be possible on the 7′ end now. So small and compact, two at 16 lbs…wow

Also love how you can use it on either side as needed or determined by the sun location.

Agreed on price though, a little steep. $199.00 seems like a sweet spot. $315 is a strange price point for retail items. If nothing else play the game and do $299

Last edited 3 years ago by Snow Yeti
Aaron Howard
Aaron Howard
3 years ago

I like this, but with a msrp of $315 we are getting up there with the mountable versions. I ran a Shadyboy for nearly a decade and they aren’t much more and come in a handsome aluminum case, there there is the ARB Touring or less expensive (whatever the non touring model is), followed by OVS Nomadic. Cool idea though and nice execution.

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