Many people looking for carport or canopy kits will consider the canvas carport kit. Just driving around this winter in the Midwest we've seen a lot of people using these kits more and more as temporary or even longer term coverage for their vehicles. These canopies work great for keeping snow and ice off your vehicle in the winter months and especially for keeping harmful UV rays from beating down on your investment in the hot summer months. When shopping or searching for a canvas carport kit, there's certainly a few things you'll want to keep in mind.
Ease of Assembly
Obviously your carport kits are going to need to be assembled, thus the term "kit." You'll want to look for one that's easy to assemble and can be done relatively quickly and with minimal tools. It's understandable that you'll want a solid place to erect your kit and a flat surface (preferably concrete) is idea. However, that is not necessarily a requirement. You will find however that most kits come with pre-set length poles. Meaning, you'll need a pretty even ground (at least where each pole will be setting) to get the most solid setup.
Again an obvious thing to look for when purchasing anything, especially a car canopy. When most people think about canvas you wouldn't necessarily think about long-term durability. But you can find canvas carports that are durable. Look for ones (see below for some nice short descriptions of kits we like) that have "high grade steel" or all steel frame.
A firm believer in the idea of you get what you pay for, that's not to say you can't find value and quality at a reasonable price. You should certainly be able to find exactly what you're looking for under $500. Some canvas kits are even under $100 but remember, you get what you pay for.
Sides or Top Coverage Only
Here's something to really think about. Remember canvas can and does rip with more connection points or areas which hold the canvas to the structure itself. Sometimes grommets are used or the canvas is sewn or constructed in a way that it covers the structure like a glove. But it still needs to tightened down at some point. Even though you might want all sides to your carport, think about where it will be located. If it's naturally going to be out of the wind, you may be fine. But remember that the more sides and enclosed the area, the great chance for wind to get inside and over time work on the integrity of the overall structure. That's not to say that a 3 or 4 sided structure isn't worth the price or feature, but maybe should be consider more of a temporary shelter and less long term. If sides is what you want for long-term, consider metal carports.
Some Canvas Carport Kits to Consider
We looked around and found some pretty good deals and kits that we think will serve different needs well based on reviews and overall price v.s. construction. Here are some of our thoughts.
ShelterLogic 10 x 20-Feet Canopy
What we really like about this canopy style kit is you'll get much more out of it then just a temporary carport. We've seen several of these used at our local lake for boat coverage and even read some reviews where this product has stood up well at over 35mph winds. That's pretty impressive for a kit like this, especially canvas. This kit also works great for outdoor events and other things which require protection from the weather. This canvas carport does not have sides however like some others.
Shelter King's Instant Portable Garage. This canvas kit is for those needing sides and ends. It comes with both ends and 1-5/8" Galvanized Steel Frame and 10 Ounce (22 mil) double laminated polyethylene cover that boasts to be made from a highly UV resistant . Although quite a bit more expensive then the canopies without sides, it does protect more like a full garage. The only thing that ever concerned us about these completely enclosed carports is the space on the sides and rear of the vehicle. It's 240 inches by 144 inches or 20 x 12 feet. To be that into perspective, a Ford Explorer Sport Trac is 210 inches long so that would give you 2.5 feet of clearance on one end... roughly. So, probably best for smaller cars or normal length trucks or SUV's.
Check out all portable carports on eBay for the best deals.