Fixed & Portable Awnings For Overlanding & Camping: Budget-Friendly To Bells & Whistles Buyers Guide
One of the most popular mods you can do when it comes to car camping, overlanding, and off-roading is to run or install an awning.
Whether you’re hanging out at the lake during the day or setting up camp at the end of the night – an awning is a must-have mod that protects you from the elements. Taking cover from the sun is obviously what comes to mind first but they are also great for spring and fall occasions when the rain or snow decides to roll in from the deep.
Having an awning is a great addition for many 4Runner builds but choosing which one to buy can be tough. The differences in awnings vary quite a bit, check out a recent post on these 4Runner awning setups, for example. They come in different coverage options, sizes, materials, price points, weight ratings, and overall aesthetics so it can be a hard choice to make.
Why an Awning?
Pictured: MoonShade, a portable light-weight awning that sets up fast and fits anywhere.
In the most rudimentary sense, awnings provide shade safety… a simple way to protect and safeguard you from the sun. In addition, they are often vehicle add-ons that extend your camping or recreational space depending on the weather. They have truly taken car camping, van life, off-roading, and overlanding to a whole new level.
This concept of shade safety isn’t new though. Protection from the elements stretches far beyond humans and exploring on the weekend.
Shade safety is found throughout our ecosystem, mainly under the forest canopy along with other places that most wouldn’t think of, like under large boulders, logs, and other large objects that block the elements for our forest friends looking to take cover. Under these protective habitats, you will find many different animals that take cover through shade and or protection from falling elements.
In a similar way that animals use trees and nature to protect themselves from the elements, we as outdoor explorers do the same.
In the shade, the temperature can feel like it’s been reduced by up to 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit! In the rain, sleet, hail, and snow you might see an even larger temperature benefit from staying dry alone.
In any case, taking cover and protection from the elements is important for every living creature. It’s critical for our survival.
Sun & Hot Weather
Have you ever tried being outside for prolonged periods of time where it was 90+ degrees Fahrenheit? It doesn’t take long to start feeling fatigued from the heat. Awnings provide much-needed shade that reduces the temperature around your vehicle.
Rain, Snow, Sleet, Or Hail
While few people intentionally hang out in rain or snow showers, plenty have been hit unexpectedly with one. Being able to enjoy food and each other’s company while sheltered from these elements is a game-changer. Awnings are especially useful in these conditions when you want to keep all of your camping gear like chairs, nice and dry.
Setting Up Awnings For Camp
In the age of social media, we’ve seen people really deck out their awning setups. Some will hang string lights from them for evening ambiance, and some will have awning large enough to cover nearly their entire campsite. The sky is the limit when it comes to personalizing your awning set up for camp, with your creativity being the only limiting factor.
Privacy With Awning Rooms
Awning rooms (sometimes referred to as an annex) add an element of privacy to your camp setup. This is especially useful if you’re camping in a group. There are some things better left unseen by even your closest friends, such as showering or going to the bathroom.
Privacy awning rooms are available as an add-on for select awnings and attach right to them for a seamless look. There are several accessories that can be used with them such as portable showers, or portable toilets. Alternatively, you can just use one as a changing room, such as at the beach.
Pull Out Awnings Vs. 180º Vs 270º
When purchasing an awning, the three most common choices are either a direct pull-out awning, 180º, or a 270º awning. As you might guess, the main difference is in the coverage area; however, there are a couple of other considerations.
Pull-out awnings or 90º Awnings
Exactly what it sounds like, you pull the awning out of the housing for quick coverage. There are many pull-out style awnings on the market as this is where the vehicle-mounted awning market spawned from. They are easy to install, fairly lightweight, and range greatly in price. ARB was one of the early adopters of the pull-out awning. ARB was leading the race with their original version and then they launched their aluminum version which continues to grow but there are many new ones coming to market every day giving ARB a run for their money. 90º awnings are simple in design which makes them great for someone looking for a dependable awning. They just work. Material is rolled up into a cylindrical housing and is wound together in that housing for storage. Very little to break and/or go wrong with this design.
These awnings will cover one entire side of your vehicle, whichever side it is mounted to, from the front hood to the rear hatch. In terms of price, they are a step up from pull-out awnings. However, they offer a slightly larger coverage area. Imagine the rectangle shape of a pull-out awning, and add wings on either side to form a trapezoid shape awning. This provides additional coverage towards the front and rear of your vehicle. The cool part about 180 awnings is that some designs don’t need legs. The 23ZERO Peregrine 180R for example is a free-standing awning. No legs to get in the way is a huge plus when out relaxing. The downside of these awnings? Weight! The massive aluminum or sometimes steel extrusion bars that hold the material together can weigh a ton.
The cream of the crop, and not for the faint of heart when it comes to your wallet. Their coverage area is unmatched by the previous options above, as it covers the entire side of your vehicle and also wraps around the rear. These types of awnings are perfect if you plan on camping or working out of the trunk or bed. With 270º awnings, you’ll get seamless coverage around the majority of your vehicle. Keep in mind, that they are also significantly larger and heavier than pull-out or 180º awnings. You’ll want to make sure that your roof rack mounting brackets can support the increased load. 270 awnings are heavy, expensive, and bulky. Overkill for most but necessary for some.
If having a dedicated vehicle awning isn’t enough coverage for you, many brands have awning rooms available as an add-on. These are often installed right on the awning and are made of similar material. Awning rooms make a great addition if you need a little privacy, or want to be completely protected from the elements. They definitely add some cost to an awning setup’s overall cost but can be well worth the investment if your needs call for it.
These are great for vehicles that don’t have full-blown roof racks or those who want a little more versatility out of an awning investment. These are also great for the overlander or weekend warrior who focuses their build around weight or lack thereof. We all know this by now but weight is the enemy, and awnings are yet another piece of added weight on your roof that tends to get used only so often. The portable awning concept is a killer idea over the vehicle-mounted awnings we’ve all seen circling the market.
As the name suggests, portable awnings like the MoonShade have the ability to be mounted in an almost countless number of ways. You can mount them via carabiners, suction cups, or even just rope. You are also not limited to mounting them to a vehicle; as we’ve seen them mounted to trees, fences, etc.
Another benefit of portable awnings is that they pack down small and take up a very small footprint. The ability to pack it away like a portable tent is a game-changer when you’re trying to travel light. As we all know, gear and weight add up fast.
MoonShade launched its first version last year or a couple of years back and has since released another version 2 option for the release of 2022 with stronger suction cups and even more mounting options.
Common Awning Mounting Solutions
When it comes to mounting your awning, you might be wondering how to do this. With tons of adaptors and kits available from different companies, you can mount them to almost anything. This means even if you don’t have a crazy expensive roof rack, you can have just the factory roof rails that came on your vehicle and still likely mount an awning to it.
The most common type of mounting solution for those who have aftermarket roof racks is in the form of L-brackets. One side of the “L” will bolt into your roof rack, while the other side bolts to your awning. Be sure to pick brackets that can sustain the weight of your particular awning. This holds especially true with heavier awnings like the 270º type.
- Rhino-Rack Batwing Bracket: Check Price
- ARB Awning Bracket: Check Price
- Universal Bracket: Check Price
If you can’t find the bracket you’re looking for, just drill a hole in one and throw some flat black on it.
For those with just factory roof rails, there are verticle awning brackets that mount in a similar fashion to the L-brackets. One end will bolt to the roof rails, while the other end bolts to the awning. The same concept of bracket strength and awning weight applies here. You can also buy a set of low-profile factory-style crossbars like the LFD Offroad Ruggedized Crossbars.
No Rack & No Mounts?
But, what do you do if your vehicle has none of these options? Well, there’s an awning option for that as well! This is where portable awnings come into play, and will be the first kind we take a look at below!
1. Moon Fabrications MoonShade
Moon Fabrications was founded in San Francisco and aimed to design products that are both simple and versatile. They are definitely the newer kid on the block when it comes to awnings, and even launched their product on Kickstarter back in 2020. With a mission to make the outdoors more accessible for everyone, not just those with purpose-built rigs, they created the MoonShade awning.
This is a complete game-changer when it comes to overlanding and car camping in general as our focus when building these rigs is weight. The MoonShade saves us so much weight in the awning department.
Weight: The MoonShade weighs a whopping 8lbs. Compare that to an ARB awning at 35lbs and a 23ZERO Peregrine 180R at 51lbs!!
Not only does it save on weight, but it also saves on cost, time, and permanent mounting. This is, in my opinion, one of the best options money can buy because you can take it when you need it and leave it when you don’t. The best part is that it’s not that crappy portable awning you can buy at home depot or Costco. This product was made by explorers just like all of us.
Mounting: The MoonShade is unique in that it can mount to nearly anything. A common theme that you’ll notice with pretty much all awnings is that they need some sort of roof rack or railing. The MoonShade eliminates the need to have anything permanently mounted to your roof. What’s really unique about MoonShade is that you can attach it to your rig in so many ways!
The first of these options is the provided suction cup anchors that won’t cause scratches to your paint, perfect for low wind. Next, there are heavier duty mounts like their magnet or adhesive back ones. These are great when you want a semi-permanent mount or don’t have a flat surface for the suction cups.
If you do have a roof rack, there are available mounts for the crossbars as well. Really, you can just about anything as to mount MoonShade – so your imagination is the only limiting factor!
This awning features a 9’x7′ coverage area. Since it’s universal, you can orient the shade in whichever direction best suits your needs. Another feature that you will never see from a fixed awning. For transport, this thing packs down to a super small 28″x6″ carrying case and again, weighs a mere 8lbs! That’s less than my camera weighs.
The shade portion is made of 420D ripstop polyester with a UV protective treatment, with all supporting poles being aluminum. In the box, you’ll get 2 large and 2 small suction cup anchors, as well as all of the stakes and tensioners needed for set-up.
At $349, the MoonShade is moderately priced compared to its competitors, with the main selling point being its versatility.
Find it online:
- Moon Shade ($349): Check Price
With unique features like a dome shape to prevent the pooling of rainwater and being super portable, we think this awning holds a strong position against its alternatives. Again, this is a versatile awning designed for many more applications than just your vehicle!
2. Roam Rooftop Awnings (4 Size Options)
Roam adventure company is a company that was built by people who like to adventure just like all of us. So with that in mind, you already know Roam Rooftop Awnings are going to be sweet.
Roam designed their awnings to truly create a comfortable experience while using them for camping or just on a pit stop on your overland adventure. With a Roam rooftop awning, you can stay out of the elements rain or shine. When it comes to the actual awning, roam designed it to be an easy set-up shelter. It will provide you with plenty of relief from the sweltering sun as well as in-climate weather. They were designed with all-aluminum framing and a 100% waterproof PU-coated 280g poly cotton ripstop awning fabric. In other words, it is lightweight but resistant.
Frame: The aluminum frame has a fully adjustable height as well as adjustable joints so you can adjust it depending on your application. You might be worried about damaging it while on the road or trail driving. However, there’s no need to worry as they thought of that and provide a highly durable 720GSM (grams per square meter) PVC road cover.
Mounting: When it comes to mounting your roam awning they all feature a universal mounting system. This system supports most conventional roof racks. So it can easily mount to any vehicle and it can be swapped between vehicles easily.
Colors & Size: For color choices, you can get your awning in black, slate grey, and forest green. Now for sizes, you can get this awning in four different sizes. you have the options of getting a 4’ awning – 4’ x 6.5’, a 5’ awning – 5’ x 8’, a 6.5’ awning – 6.5’ x 8’, or an 8’ awning – 7.75’ x 8′. These awnings can also reach up to 7 feet tall so, they are compatible with a variety of vehicles. The 6.5′, and 8′ sizes can be converted into rooms with Roam’s optional room add-on. This creates added protection for you in an indoor-outdoor setting.
The Roam awning room is also made of the same material as the awning making it just as waterproof and with the same ripstop capabilities. The floor is made out of the same material as the protective case, which is 720GSM PVC.
Each size has a different price due to more material being used.
- 4′ = $260.00
- 5′ = $275.00
- 6.5′ = $300.00
- 8′ = $325.00
The optional room has two different prices; the 6.5′ room is priced at $275.00 while the 8′ room is priced at $300.00. You might be wondering if it comes in matching colors or a generic color, the answer to that is it has 3 color options. You can choose between black, slate grey/navy blue, or forest green/hyper orange.
Find it online:
- Roam Awnings ($260-$325+): Check Prices
To sum up, the Roam rooftop awning has a great build design, good color choices, and is priced well. We still have 9 awnings to go, but we recommend that you keep this one in mind because overall, there are no cons to it.
3. 23ZERO Peregrine (180º and 270ºs)
Pictured Above: Peregrine 180
23ZERO is a company that is run by active outdoor enthusiasts. They have over 25 years of experience in manufacturing quality, affordable outdoor gear. They have a team that is spread across the two most active countries in the world, Australia and the USA. This allows them to gain insight into products from different environments. 23ZERO takes their collective knowledge and uses it to make products that they would use themselves. Their products are truly made to a higher standard than most.
Their approach to design is to identify any weak spots and make adjustments to their products as required. 23ZERO is not by any means a company that just pushes products to sale. They regularly use, test, and refine their products to make sure you get a product that is truly awesome.
As they say, “You can sleep easy knowing whatever you put it through, your 23ZERO gear will go the journey with you.“
They make some of the highest quality awnings on this list. Period.
When it comes to their awnings you can tell from the quality that they truly stand by what they say. Their awnings are created from a 280gsm PU coated ripstop poly-cotton canvas with light suppression technology (LST). LST will reduce what the temperature feels like underneath your awning by up to 20%. This technology blocks out light and UV rays. If you live in an Ulta hot climate where temperatures reach 90+ then LST is recommended.
Frame: 23ZERO uses an aluminum frame with aluminum extrusion rafters, supported by cast alloy hinges, brass washers, and case hardened pins.
Mounting: For mounting, they offer mounting hardware that will work for most aftermarket and factory roof racks. That means their awnings will mount to almost any vehicle and it can be swapped between vehicles easily.
Size: Size options with 23ZERO are limited to 180º and 270º, so you do not have many choices when it comes to the extended length of the awning. The 180º provides good coverage despite being the smaller of the two due to its hinged design allowing it to span almost 13ft. The 270º on the other hand, when fully opened measures just over 20 feet from end to end.
Walls: Both the 180º and the 270º are offered with two optional walls to create a room-like experience. Both walls include the same build material and feature the same (LST) as the actual awning so they are just as great.
Color: Regarding color choice, both the 180º and 270º are offered in black, grey, or dark green. There is no price difference between the colors so you can just choose whatever color matches your rig’s aesthetics more.
The 180º model will cost $549 and the 270º $999, respectively, and without the optional walls.
For the 180º awning, one wall costs $299, and two walls cost $349. For the 270º awning, one wall costs $319, and two walls cost $279.
If you choose the optional walls for the 270º it truly is taken to the next level. This combination creates up to 279 sq ft of shelter around your vehicle, making it ideal for both sun and rain protection.
Find it online:
- 23ZERO Peregrine 180R Entry Level ($549): Check Price
- 23ZERO Peregrine 180R with LST ($749): Check Price
- Awning Wall:
23ZERO awnings are a little pricier compared to some, especially with the wall add ons but are still well worth it. Rest easy knowing that you have awnings that are built by fellow adventurers that back their products. This makes for a great product overall despite only having two color choices and sizes available.
4. CVT Awning Pioneer and Hybrid
CVT(Cascadia Vehicle Tents) is a company that was created to be more than just your average outdoor retailer. As a company, they believe in giving their all because that is the truest form of commitment. They are a home-grown family business that strives to create the best rooftop tents for you. They are proud to say their products are used by everyone – from hardcore off-roaders and rock crawlers to weekend overlanders. This means that everything they put their name on is a promise to you. That promise is to deliver quality products that people will love to get families back outdoors and adventuring.
CVT designed its awnings to be easy to set up, making them the perfect sidekick for your vehicle. Not only does it have the option of additional walls and floors, but its awnings have you covered at all angles. Available as both the Pioneer and Hybrid editions and in many sizes and colors, there’s an awning to suit your needs.
LED Integration: The overall build of both the Hybrid and Pioneer awnings is solid. Without exact materials specs, we know that the Pioneer series is the lighter of the two. Both models do come with an led strip at the base to provide lighting sourced by a 12v plug. That’s something that you won’t see in many other brands.
Colors: CVT offers both the Pioneer and Hybrid in some nice color choices. The Hybrid series is offered in hybrid blue, hybrid grey, and hybrid tan. The Pioneer series is offered in pioneer grey, pioneer green, and pioneer tan.
Add-Ons: The Pioneer series has the option for an awning mesh room add-on. This awning mesh room features true noseeum mesh material to prevent even the tiniest of trespassers from getting in. These walls easily clip onto the awning’s poles to create a quick bug shelter. It also features large zipping doors, allowing for easy access from 3 sides while the integrated mesh ceiling keeps your top side protected. It also comes with a carrying bag & stakes to keep things convenient.
As previously mentioned, we do not have the exact specifications of either series, but can give you the measurements and pricing.
For the Hybrid series, you can choose between these 4 sizing options:
- 48’ for $250
- 55’ for $300
- 79’ for $325
- 99’ for $350
For the pioneer series, you can choose between these 3 options:
- 55’ for $275
- 79’ for $300
- 99’ for $325
The pricing on the mesh room varies depending on your awning size. So the pricing is 55’ for $160, 79’ for $170, and 99’ for $180.
Find it online:
- CVT Awnings ($250-$350+): Check Price
- CVT Mt. Hood Awning Brackets: Check Price
The CVT awnings have good color choices and a great overall design. They also feature led lighting and have prices that won’t break the bank, making them a good choice all around due to their options.
5. Rugged Bound Ostrich Wing 270º
Rugged Bound overland is a company that has only offered one awning since 2008 but if we’re being completely honest… it’s pretty badass! As a company, there is not much to say but product-wise, there is a lot to go over. So let’s get started.
The awning is called the Ostrich Wing and it provides you with 120 square feet of shade in 30 seconds after being set up. It features UV protection with its 12.2-ounce rip-block canvas that is also rotproof.
Weight: The awning’s mounted weight is a whopping 50lbs with a mounted length of 104’. This is a 270º awning that wraps around the rear of your rig.
Mounting: The frame is built with thick aluminum extrusions welded in a gusseted truss design and supported on nylon bushes. It can be mounted on the left-hand or right-hand side of your vehicle. This cantilevered awning is made for the toughest adventures. It is not easy to break it but if it somehow does, you’re backed by a 2-year warranty. When it comes to mounting this awning, they include everything you need. It is a significant awning though and it requires a robust roof rack, load bar setup, or truck canopy mounting point for safe installation. For custom racks and campers, some modification or fabrication of mounting kits may be required. However, you can contact them and they will advise you on how to modify the hardware and get your awning set up!
Colors: You only have two color choices but we think both look great. The first color is olive green and the second is plain grey to match almost any build.
Something that we think is pretty cool about this awning is that it is designed to be used without support legs in no wind or mild wind settings. If you are using it in gusty conditions, a single telescopic support pole can be deployed. The frame can also be tied down using the frame-mounted eyelets provided.
The Ostrich Wing costs $1,535 and has been put to the test to ensure it’s worth your money. It was developed and has been thoroughly tested in the African savannah to ensure it offers the best protection from the sun available today.
The kit actually comes with two support poles to support the optional wall kit, which varies in price depending on the size you get.
Prices for the two smaller sizes are $255 for just the 83’ single flat panel or $875 for the 83’ wall kit. For the two larger sizes, the cost is $298 for the 94’ single flat panel or $955 for the 94’ wall kit. Additionally, the awning comes with a 12V White + Amber LED light to light up your new shade.
Find it online:
- Rugged Bound Ostrich Wing ($1535+): Check Price
Overall, the Ostrich Wing is a quality built awning that can handle the harshest conditions that are thrown at it. While it might be out of a lot of people’s budget, it is definitely worth saving up for if you’re not in immediate need of an awning.
6. James Baroud Falcon 270º
James Baroud Offroad Tent is a company that as you can guess, primarily sells off-road and overland rooftop tents. They do however offer some awnings in this section; we will only be covering their 270º falcon awning due to its popularity.
The Falcon awning is designed to keep you protected from the sun, rain, or snow. Unlike a lot of other awnings, it utilizes an aluminized awning material which according to them, provides 8º cooler temps than other awnings on the market.
Mounting: When it comes to the construction of this awning, you know it will be strong based on the price alone. It is made out of reinforced aluminum and stainless steel and is strong enough to support itself without poles. However, it is still recommended to anchor it in the ground with the provided hardware. By doing this, you’ll have an extremely strong shelter for even the harshest environments. This awning is only available as a driver-side mount currently. One thing to note is there is no information available online about how this awning mounts to your rig. However, it looks like it can mount to most roof racks based on images. If you are considering this awning, be sure to email the company and make sure it will work for your application.
Color: This awning is available in only one color and size. The color is a light greyish color and the exact sizing is not stated, but based on images of it installed on different vehicles it offers a lot of coverage.
Add-Ons: If you’re looking for an annex room, they have you covered. With the James Baroud Falcon, you can run a full-blown shelter with the multiple add-ons they offer. The first add-on is a tunnel attachment for $333.99. This allows you to completely enclose the entrance to your James Baroud tent protecting it from the elements. There is also a wall option for the awning net room available for $549.99. The net room provides a completely enclosed bug-proof area around the ladder entry section. The second wall option is the wrap-around sidewalls for $1349.95. The wrap-around sidewalls form a giant room around the entire perimeter of the awning. This is not a fully sealed space, however (it is weather-proof but not insect-proof). Both enclosure options can be used together or separately, depending on your needs.
The James Baroud Falcon awning is one of the more advanced awnings on the market, coming with a price tag to match at a whopping $2,565.95.
Find it online:
- James Baroud Falcon ($2565.95+): Check Price
For the price of just the awning, it is quite expensive, and kind of a bummer that they do not have any color options. However, the overall design and strength of this awning make up for that. One big downside would be the cost of everything if bought all together at once. This would bring the total cost to $4,799.88! That’s a lot of money for an awning. If money is no object, and want an awning that is strong and spacious, this would be a good choice for you.
7. Rhino-Rack Full-Size Batwing 270º
Rhino-Rack is a company that has been around since 1992 and sold its first roof racks in Haberfield, NSW (New South Wales, Australia). In 1998, they moved to sell internationally to adventurers in over 60 countries. Even when they started selling internationally, they still kept the same business mindset in that, the spirit is in all that they do and every product they make. This means is they truly take pride in the products they make and still do to this day even after expanding significantly in 1998. That is awesome since many companies start to get greedy after expanding and their quality goes downhill.
The Batwing is made from a heavy-duty, water and mold-resistant material that has been tested and rated to UPF 50+ offering maximum sun protection. It is available in both left and right side mounts for either side of your vehicle. When it comes to mounting to their own Rhino-Rack, it’s even easier.
Aside from a sleek, easy-to-use design and good build quality, this awning comes with some other cool features. The drop-down poles are integrated into the awning so you can easily deploy and lock them into place with rare earth neodymium magnets. It also comes with an integrated peg and rope pocket, while the whole thing wraps up nicely in a stylish black PVC bag.
The full-sized Batwing 270º awning is available for $794.00.
Find it online:
- Rhino-Rack Full-Size Batwing ($794): Check Price
Rhino-Rack’s all-new awning is packed with style and function. It boasts features designed not only for aesthetic purposes but also for ease of use. With 270º of shaded coverage and 11m² of total coverage, the Batwing is the perfect addition for any adventure.
8. Rhino-Rack Batwing Compact 270º
The compact version includes the same features as the full size. The compact model provides 270º of shaded coverage and 6.4m² total coverage. The Batwing Compact is the perfect addition for the private adventurer, available in both left and right-side mounts.
Just like its big brother, this awning is also made from the same heavy-duty, water and mold-resistant material. That means it also provides the same UPF 50+, offering maximum sun protection. The feature set and included items are also identical, so right out of the box, you’re all set!
The Batwing 270º Compact awning is available for $688.00 and is packed with all the same features as Rhino-Rack’s full-size awning, just more compact. It is perfect for short wheelbase 4WDs like the 4Runner and smaller SUVs.
Find it online:
- Rhino-Rack Compact Batwing ($688): Check Price
Just like the full-size Batwing, we think that is a good mid-price range awning for your smaller-sized vehicle. Plus, it still has an aesthetically pleasing design that comes with some cool features.
9. Rhino-Rack Sunseeker 2.0
The third option from Rhino-Rack is their Sunseeker 2.0 awning. Simply mount this awning to your vehicle’s roof rack and roll out the 2.0m awning to create a lovely 43sq ft shaded area for you and your family to relax in. The Sunseeker 2.0 is perfect for watching sports, camping, picnics, lunch breaks at work, and lazy days at the beach.
Just like the O.G. Sunseeker 2.5, it has all of the same build specs and features, just in a smaller package. This means you get a 150D R/S water-resistant canvas, along with the UV rating of UPF 50+ so you can stay cool and not get burnt on those hot days while relaxing after an adventure.
The Sunseeker 2.0 awning is available for $329.
They created the new Sunseeker 2.0 for small to medium-sized vehicles so that they can have the same experience as the larger 2.5 awnings. If you’re familiar with the O.G. Sunseeker, all of your favorite accessories will still fit! This includes the Sunseeker awning extension for $158.00, or the awning side wall for $170.00.
Find it online:
- Rhino-Rack Sunseeker 2.0 ($329): Check Price
We think this is a great choice if you want an awning for your smaller-sized vehicle. It does not have a high price and the add-ons aren’t that pricey either, with good aesthetics overall. The Sunseeker 2.0 is truly tried, tested, and proven… plus it’s pretty stylish.
10. Front Runner 2.0
Front Runner is a company that was created around a campfire by people just like us who enjoy adventuring and exploring. If you’re new to the industry, Front Runner is one of the leaders in the space. The company was recently purchased by Dometic and continues to expand its line of camp, exploration, and overland products. They are known for extremely high quality, durable, and as many of us are accustomed to, very expensive products. They make original gear that many people in the industry tend to copy. Front Runner makes some of the most original, coolest, and most innovative products out there.
We are going to be talking about their 2.0 easy-out awning. Front Runner recommends you use one of their roof racks to mount this awning, however, it’s not required. They include universal mounting hardware so you can get this set up easily on almost any vehicle and any roof rack. It’s similar to the ARB pull-out, and the Roam pull-out options listed above.
The Front Runner 2.0 awning is lightweight, yet durable and comes in a sleek black color. It features vertical support poles that have spikes on the end for secure ground placement. These poles extend to a 2.4m maximum height for use with taller vehicles.
The canvas material is a 400d oxford/polyester ripstop that is UVP 50+ and PU-coated 1500mm water-repellent. The awning comes with a heavy-duty PVC-coated 650g nylon cover that will protect it while stowed and in transit.
This awning comes in at $356 and has available add-ons allowing you to turn it into a sheltered room.
First, you have the easy-out awning room for $299/ 2M or an easy-out awning mosquito net / 2M for $125.
If you just want some extra shade protection, there is either a front or side wind/sun break for 2m awnings for $74.95. Lastly, you can get a LED light strip for $53.95 that will fit into the three loops on your awning.
Find it online:
- Front Runner 2.0 ($356+): Check Price
- Awning Brackets: Check Price
If you are looking for something on the cheaper side of the awning spectrum then this is for you. It is super affordable overall even with the optional lighting, sidewalls, or shade extensions. The fact that it can be mounted to almost any vehicle is a huge plus!
11. ARB Classic & Aluminum Options
If you’re reading this post, you more than likely already know the name “ARB”. If you don’t, ARB is one badass company that sells only the best. They offer high-quality products that the industry can depend on. Much like Front Runner, they somewhat dominate the space in terms of the overland and offroad segments. They’re known for their quality and continue to push the line with what’s possible when it comes to exploring the great outdoors in comfort and style.
Founded in 1975 in the heart of Australia ARB has been killing it since the very beginning. Australia has some pretty harsh terrain where only the strongest 4x4s and the strongest accessories will survive. That’s exactly what Tony Brown, the founder, learned during his travels after breaking many inferior products. If it is not strong enough to survive harsh conditions it will not be sold, and this applies to all of their products. So, you know they’re going to have some strong awnings.
The classic ARB Touring awning will attach neatly to most vehicles. This self-standing, retractable awning fits directly onto the side of most roof racks and crossbars and is conveniently stored for immediate use on arrival.
This awning is also specifically designed for harsh wilderness conditions. It features anodized height-adjustable telescopic legs, hooks, and loop ties to secure the roof, as well as thick reinforced aluminum extrusions. All of this is secured and free from the outside elements in a heavy-duty nylon reinforced PVC bag.
The canvas comes in one color, which is a tan/sand-like color and it is constructed from a tough PU coated 300gsm poly/cotton ripstop material. The awnings are fully waterproof and offer a UVP 50+ rating. ARB Awnings come in three great sizes and fit up to 6.9ft high mounting points.
Next, we have the ARB aluminum encased awnings. The aluminum-encased awnings are something that will truly resist a lot of damage. They offer a sleek and contemporary alternative to traditional PVC covers while adding improved functionality.
To secure the lid instead of using traditional zips the aluminum awning uses three quick-release bungee cords. Combined with the flip-up lid, this provides unmatched simplicity. ARB went full out with these and added an abrasion-resistant material to these awnings. This material improves the protection of their already proven 300gsm, PU-coated, fully waterproof, and UV-protected canvas while stowed and traveling.
ARB’s aluminum awning is supported by heavy-duty 4ft gauge x 1-inch diameter extendable aluminum poles. These are anodized for greater corrosion resistance and perfect for setting up by the beach. Overall, ARB did everything they could to make these awnings extra resistant to the elements.
The classic is available in one color and in three available sizes. All three sizes include pegs and guide ropes for securing legs, stainless steel mounting nuts and bolts as well as comprehensive instructions. The aluminum awning is only available as 8.2ft x 8.2ft and you can choose between bare aluminum for $627.00 or gloss black for $686.00. Both awnings feature built-in LED lighting and share the same add-on options.
- Small (1250mm): 49″ W x 82.5″ (2.1m) L: Check Price
- Weight: 18lbs
- Medium (2000mm): 78.75″ W x 98.4″ (2.5m) L: Check Price
- Weight: 25lbs
- Large (2500m): 98.4″ W x 98.4″ (2.5m) L: Check Price
- Weight: 35.5lbs
- ARB 2.5M Aluminum Awning: Check Price
The first add-on is the ARB deluxe awning room with a floor. It comes in two sizes:
- 6.5ft x 8.2ft: Check Prices
- 8.2ft x 8.2ft
Next, we have their fire-retardant windbreaks for the front or sides.
The front is offered in three sizes.
- 8.2ft awning: Check Prices
- 6.5ft awning
- 4.1ft awning
The Classic is a super affordable awning that looks great and can be mounted easily, making it a great choice for anyone. The Aluminum awning still won’t break the bank, is stronger, can be set up in minutes, and carries the same great aesthetic.
Lastly, the add-ons are not super expensive and are overall quality products, making them worth buying even if you do not use them right away.
After reading all of this you might still be wondering what the best choice for you is. We think all of the options listed are great high-quality choices. It really just depends on how much you’re looking to spend and what you’re wanting it for.
If you have a lower budget but don’t want to sacrifice quality, go with a brand like ARB. However, if money is no object and you want a show-stopper awning to show off, go with something like the James Baroud Falcon. That said, maybe the best option here is not any of the fixed options, but the MoonShade because it’s lightweight and incredibly portable.
Either way, a vehicle-mounted awning or portable awning is a great addition to your rig, and all of these have a lot to offer and will provide you with shelter on your next adventure.
Another cost-effective ($120) and practical solution is the SlumberJack Roadhouse Tarp that attaches to the rear of the vehicle. I use a Nomad Kitchen that extends out of the rear of the vehicle so it is much more useful to have a tarp cover that extends the shelter provided by the rear hatch.
I can see that some might not like that it stores inside the vehicle when not in use, thus not contributing to the overlanding costume when driving around town. 😉
We’ve got one and are very happy with it as well. We luckily haven’t needed it due to precipitation, but the shade and keeping tree droppings out of the food is handy.
Why wasn’t Yakima’s SlimShady Awning included in this article?