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A camping gazebo for Australians must be reliable, provide extensive protection for its occupants from the elements, and cannot cut corners on many essential design features. It’s from our 15-year journey experiencing the design, engineering, manufacturing and real-world testing of camping gazebos that we share our knowledge.
We have compiled a list of the critical factors to consider when selecting the best camping gazebo for your needs:
Use these factors as a guide to decide on the best pop-up camping gazebo for how you intend to use it. Look out for each of the following aspects and, if you’re unsure, contact the manufacturer about their design decision to determine if it is suitable for you.
The strength and integrity of the frame of your choice of camping gazebo are an obvious must-have to stand up to the rigours of the Australian outdoors. The gazebo can be subject to significant forces resulting from any number of variables, from wind and rain to mounting lights or hanging washing in the upper frame. Cutting corners on the strength of your pop-up tent frame all too often ends in disappointment and can be outright dangerous.
Any gazebo frame used for camping should, at the very least, meet Australian Standards for temporary structures, referencing wind integrity. Large footplates as a design feature will keep the gazebo anchored to the ground, a feature that cannot be overlooked. The camping canopy must snugly fit the frame and retain tension, most effectively through several upper frame attachments and by spring loading the centre pole. Additional lugs for guy rope reinforcement are a must-have when camping, standing firm against sheer squalls.
We have been manufacturing gazebo frames to exceed all Australian Standards that apply to temporary shade structures for the whole campsite’s safety. An Altegra is built to last when tested in the Australian outdoors, whether the cost-effective Premium Steel frame, the ultimate camping gazebo frame – the Pro Lite Compact Canopy, or the Heavy-Duty Altegra is right for you.
Another seemingly obvious factor in the design of a camping gazebo is its weight and how packable it can be – it has to fit in with your family, after all! The folding “scissor-frame” gazebo or camping marquee tent design makes it extremely mobile, packing a huge amount of structural strength into a compact size. The most popular camping gazebo size, the 3m x 3m folding gazebo, can also be available in different packable sizes depending on its frame design. Most will pack to approximately 150-160cm height, with some as small as 105cm.
The weight of the gazebo is also a critical consideration and one that overlaps importance with frame strength. Many manufacturers focus too much on the overall weight of the camping gazebo, resulting in compromised frame strength and, ultimately, disappointed campers. Using high-quality frame materials, such as aluminium and polymer thermoplastics like “ABS joints”, can combat the loss of frame strength when focussing on weight. Both are lightweight, yet punch well above their weight as far as strength is concerned.
The ultimate lightweight camping gazebo has a high volume, lightweight aluminium frame complete with ABS joints and a premium camping canopy that packs into its roller bag that’s smaller than the rest. Meet the Altegra Compact Canopy 3m x 3m camping gazebo. A design that was innovated, developed and refined by Altegra Australia which remains as Australia’s favourite compact gazebo.
Camping in Australia can expose you to some of the most unexpected and extreme weather conditions. We suffer through severe summer temperatures accompanied by extreme UV dangers from the sun year-round. And when you least expect it, torrential rain can dampen the spirits of even the most seasoned campers. Being prepared is mandatory and your camping canopy and gazebo sides are the barriers that must protect you and your family.
No less than 230GSM (420 denier) vinyl-coated (PVC) polyester is the bare minimum for camping protection in Australia. This grade of fabric is medium-weight and pliable, so it isn’t too heavy to be packed and can be easily folded. It is 100% waterproof, has a UPF50+ rating as tested by ARPANSA, and is fire retardant. It will also deliver significantly longer resistance to degradation caused by UV compared to lighter-weight canopy materials, resisting fading and fabric break-down.
We construct our camping canopies and solid walls from premium-grade fabric, 300GSM (550 Denier) PVC treated Polyester complete with seam-sealing, delivering an impenetrable barrier. Our elite-level canopies are fitted to each Altegra frame as a standard offering, regardless of your selection of camping gazebo frame. Canopy fabrication is selected to exceed UPF50+ requirements as tested by ARPANSA. Make smart sun avoidance decisions.
Ensure that you and your family are well protected from the harsh Australian conditions by selecting a camping canopy that meets this grade of fabric.
Is the camping gazebo designed to be used once and thrown away, or is it something that you can enjoy again and again? The build quality of your pop-up camping gazebo will determine how long it will last in the outdoors. A key indicator of the quality, therefore, the longevity of your camping gazebo, is the manufacturer’s warranty that is offered.
It seems simple that the gazebo manufacturer would stand behind their products and back their customers if the product was built to provide confidence. Also, it is important that the standard of support that customers receive is exceptional, an indication that the warranty will be honoured amicably if problems were to exist. Both are key determinants of what sort of life you should be able to expect from the camping gazebo.
Our gazebos and pop-up camping marquees are backed with industry-leading warranties for both the frame and the camping canopy, to protect you, and your investment. And to make sure your camping trip is always a good one!
It wouldn’t be a true camping gazebo unless it can be customised for exactly how you camp and the conditions that you’re in. For starters, a camping gazebo with sides is a convenient, enclosed space that provides full protection from the sun, wind, and rain, as well as pests like mosquitos, blowflies, and midges. Having a selection of well-appointed accessories and bundling them into your initial purchase can elevate its usefulness.
A variety of solid gazebo walls, walls with roll-up mesh windows, full-mesh mosquito netting walls, or complete inner tents are camping-specific accessories that can make or break your next camping trip. Having the flexibility to easily adapt your gazebo to your scenario or how your family uses it should be regarded. For example, adding a full wall on one side whilst keeping mesh only walls on the other 3, may protect you from the sun, wind, and pests while maximising air-flow through your space. A solution for summer meal-time that’s the envy of other campers.
Another key camping accessory is weighted anchors for the gazebo legs. While all gazebos should come complete with guy ropes and pegs, they can lose their effectiveness on sand or soft soil, easily lifting with a sturdy gust of wind. Cast steel gazebo weights can be carried, however, can be a pain to pack. Sandbags then become an exceptional choice for camping gazebos due to their ability to empty, pack flat and weigh next to nothing.
As we all know, something can (and most likely will) always go wrong when camping in the outdoors. Your camping gazebo can be subject to all manner of unexpected events causing damage to the frame or the canopy. Selecting a gazebo that has been designed to stand up to as much abuse as possible, yet can be repaired if something does go wrong are words for the wise and should not be overlooked.
Design features such as Allen-key bolts and Phillips head screws, rather than pop rivets, ensure an easily repairable gazebo for everyone. Readily accessible spare parts by the manufacturer or outdoor retail store is also a clear sign of the gazebo repairability, ensuring your investment can be protected.
All Altegra gazebos and marquees have been specifically designed so anybody can repair them – with ease. A full list of spare parts for our entire range is carried and is priced to keep you smiling!
Last, but of course, not least, is the affordability of your camping gazebo. The asking price will always be a factor in shopping for your camping appliances. However, what is becoming more and more important is the value that you get out of your investment. Will it be strong enough to last but not break the bank?
Your camping gazebo can be integral to the success and comfort of your next camping trip. Therefore, its dependability becomes increasingly important. Inexpensive, generic gazebos and marquees do surprise from time to time, though, are mostly not built to a high standard considering safety or longevity when set up in the great outdoors. In contrast, the high-end, expensive pop-up camping tents can be overbuilt, making them less portable, taking up more precious space when packing. They’re great for events and long-term settings but can introduce a degree of difficulty that costs you more time and effort than lighter weight alternatives. It could be money better invested in what’s in your esky!
Considering the camping gazebo as an investment that should last many, many years of camping trips is the best recommendation for successful camping. The greatest value and most affordable camping gazebo is delivered by feature-packed, lightweight aluminium frames that are complete with heavy-duty protection delivered by the camping canopy. While the price can be similar to buying a couple of inexpensive models, you don’t risk disappointment when trying to enjoy your camping trip or endanger fellow campers.
It has been our long-term mission to develop and manufacture top-quality gazebos for camping in the Australian outdoors but also ensuring they’re affordable. Our journey has resulted in our range of quality camping gazebos suitable for multiple different types of camper, considering the specific needs and budgets that are most important to you. A few of our favourites are below.
Or, for a more complete overview of our range, check out our document on the best camping gazebos for Australian camping.