Best Roof Rack Mounted Awning

Those who have reaped the rewards of being out in nature can usually attest to the fact that even a small error in planning or packing can have a profound impact on your trip when out in the wilderness. There are countless tales of camping excursions that take a turn for the worse due to being unprepared or merely forgetting a necessary piece of equipment.

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Of course, not every story is a matter of life and death, but even tales of painful sunburns and dizziness due to dehydration are not something you want to happen on your trip. This is especially true for those people who view camping trips as a much-needed escape to help revitalize their mind, body, and spirit. When these trips are stress, accident, and injury-free, the rejuvenating feeling you get both during and after a camping trip can provide increased focus and energy that many believe helps them get through some of life’s more challenging obstacles.  However, when things go badly, the once hopeful expectation of a relaxing and peaceful trip turns into a very unpleasant experience.

One of the more common causes of these negative experiences is improper planning regarding the essential equipment needed to be safe and comfortable when out in the wilderness. These essentials vary from person to person, but almost everyone would agree that having a roof over their heads to escape the rain, wind, or sun is necessary. This usually comes in the form of a tent for most campers, yet many folks are beginning to incorporate roof rack awning fixtures as their means of shelter.

Whether these vehicle roof rack awnings are used in conjunction with a tent or without, they can be counted on to provide more than adequate protection from the elements and keep you warm, dry, and comfortable throughout your trip.

I used the phrase “can be counted on” purposefully since it suggests that it may not always provide you with the protection you require. Just like any other product, there are roof rack awnings that are just plain bad. Whether they are cheaply made, prone to water leaks, hard to erect, or lack some other crucial aspect, you want to avoid purchasing ineffective products.

The viewpoint that certain awning products are lackluster is not without justifiable cause. Many experts who share this view trace the origin back to the significant rise in popularity roof awning products have garnered over the past several years, causing many unprepared companies to rush to make products that don’t work well.

On the other hand, some of the more reputable companies can use the rather high volumes of traffic on their awning sites to earn advertising and link payments by participating in the Amazon Services LLC associates program. This affiliate advertising program is designed to provide websites that see steady and increasing numbers to earn advertising fees through the implementation of ads linking to Amazon products.

Homgrace Car Side Awning Tent Shelter

When someone clicks on and buys something, you’ll make money. For example, if I decided that my website would benefit from this type of program, an affiliate advertising company like Amazon would first save my name, email address, and information regarding my website. If everything is legit, I will begin to earn money in the form of referral fees.

By advertising links that lead those visiting my page to a product, they then purchased is an easy way to make extra money. Also, being a part of Amazon’s associate’s program, an affiliate can typically choose what advertising content they think would connect best with the people who visit your site. This allows for websites to make money and do so in a way that helps customers quickly find links to popular brand products consistent with the topics or information presented on the page.

Now, for those considering purchasing a quality, well-built vehicle roof rack awning, look no further than the one presented in this article. Getting this product undoubtedly ensures that your wilderness awning accommodation will do its job and cultivate the full range of mental and physical benefits camping out in nature provides.

Before we get into our breakdown of what many view as one of the best awning products available, it’s essential first to establish a concrete understanding of the different product design types of roof rack awnings. This helps to ensure that you choose the right tent for you.

Need To Know

awning uses support to help mount

To avoid potential confusion, it’s essential to know that the terms “awning” and “canopy” describe two different things. The difference between the two is that an awning uses support to help mount it to something that allows shade in a particular area. Canopies usually don’t need additional support and are typically freestanding attachments that hang out and over an area to provide shade. I tend to use these words interchangeably for brevity and to avoid confusion because some awnings can be freestanding, supported, or a combination of both. The same goes for canopies.

With that out of the way, there are two popular styles of awnings to choose from, straight and wing style. Straight awnings are what many view as a typical style of roof rack awning. These can be found in any online store, and the list of available products is rather lengthy. They are set up as a portable, lightweight rooftop attachment to your vehicle installed on either the left or right side.

When all the gear is installed, it quickly provides cover on one side of your car from weather conditions such as wind, rain, and sun. Installation of these retractable straight awnings doesn’t take long, as fitting kits with all the necessary mounting brackets, ropes, steel canopy poles, PVC, pegs, and other hardware are included.

This hardware functions as the foundation for mounting the waterproof polyester awning fabric that most straight roof rack awnings use for cover and protection from the wind, sun, and rain. Most straight style roof rack awning gear is easily portable and comes with a mesh pocket type bag for secure storage and protection from all sorts of weather.

I’m not going to detail various specifications, essential features, and other information regarding installation simply because it varies for each brand of straight-style roof rack mounted awning. All of this information can be found in the owner’s manual or in the store’s product information section where you’re shopping.

If you’re looking for a bit more protection, you’re in luck because, thankfully, there are other options to choose from. In addition to the water, wind, and sun protection seen in the straight style awning, folks in search of a bit more protection will find a wing-style roof rack awning the answer you’ve been searching for. I say this because this wing-style awning product adds a larger coverage range from rain and sun than your typical straight roof rack awning.

When attached to your vehicle’s roof bar, the retractable lightweight and waterproof polyester fabric cover the space on both sides of your car as well as the rear in some instances. Rooftop wing style awnings can also quickly pivot and move without much additional effort or accessories, which could compromise the product’s quality. This particular batwing shelter function is excellent because it allows an increased range, so once you begin to feel the heat from the midday sun, all you have to do is rotate your roof rack canopy to match the sun’s movement. The increased range and size included in a batwing roof awning product make them a popular choice, and you won’t break the bank in regards to the price tag either.

Batwing shelter owners have included the fair pricing of this popular shelter product in many customer reviews. The viewpoints noted in many discussions praise the affordable price of this product and the size, space, and accessories this style of roof awning offers.

Throughout choosing a roof rack awning, you will have the option to add an electric-powered installation function. This popular choice makes the install and mounting process much faster. Choosing to have your awning product outfitted with one of these support accessories is ideal for those on the short side height-wise and may need extra equipment to help during the installation process.

Fashionable accessories like this function use a power source plugged into your vehicle’s outlet. It will probably raise the product’s overall price slightly, but an awning outfitted with this type of gear is well worth it.


A product that many reviews have deemed the best roof rack awning is the Yescom car side awning. In particular, the Yescom 4 6×6 version has earned the title of “best roof rack awning” from us and others due to its price, accessories, easy setup, and large size. Not only do these features stand out from other choices, but the brackets and polyester fabrics used in this awning are very durable.

The fabric specifications are set to very high standards and will undoubtedly keep your campsite free of water due to their waterproof material. The awning’s poles are made from lightweight aluminum alloy, and the brackets are robust and extremely durable. Customers who own this tent have noted that they rarely need to set up the ropes and anchors for additional safety measures because the poles and brackets are so strong and durable. The extra gear and accessories typically used as precautionary measures aren’t necessary, even on a day with strong winds.

Other perks of this popular awning are its portable waterproof carry and storage bag made of polyester with PVC coating. It offers 30 square feet of shade area and telescoping poles that feature a twist-lock design to make height adjustments and easy setup and tear-down.

The last and perhaps most important standout quality of this awning is its 420D fabric

composition. Now, you’re probably wondering what in the world is 420D fabrics, and why do I care? That’s a fair question and something you should be aware of while looking for an awning. When you see 420D or something similar, it refers to the denier system of measurement used to determine how thick the fabric’s individual threads are based on the length and weight of whatever type of fiber it’s made from. For example, a single thread of silk is considered one denier, which, of course, is not very dense. Therefore, a high denier count means the fabric composition is going to be dense, tough, and resilient, while fabrics made from silk, cotton, or similar type thread have a low denier count and tend to be sheer, soft, and silky.

These numbers are something to consider because they help determine how sturdy the fabric of your awning is, which in turn tells you how well it will hold up over time.

Another number you should take into consideration is the UV rating a particular awning has. The Yescom, which is widely considered to be one of the best roof rack mounted awnings available, boasts a UV50+ rating that represents the measurement of how durable the awning’s fabric is in regards to how well it protects you and your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet light. For example, a UV50+ rating means that only 1/50th of UV radiation reaches your skin while the fabric safely filters out the remaining 98% of it.

1 Comment
  1. Very informative article. Most notably, I love the way you break down the benefits of high quality awning fabric.

    I am happy to know that our awnings quality is on par with other high quality awnings. They are a straight style awning with 420D Ripstop Canvas fabric. Waterproof, mold resistant, and have UV protection in a pvc cover for storage. However, unlike many other awnings ours have a unique design on top of the awning fabric to add something more stylish than currently in the market.

    Take a look at our website and consider it for your list.

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