Why You Don’t Want to Go Cheap with a Gazebo Tent

Why you should spend more when buying a gazebo tent - StowandTellU.com

It’s mid July, and I’m sitting under our brand new gazebo tent one afternoon with a cup of coffee and a good book. I hear a pitter-patter because it’s starting to rain. I think, “hey, nice! I can sit right here, keep reading and enjoy the storm. Because I have shelter.”


Within a few minutes rain water is dripping through the ceiling and it’s starting to pool along the edges of the gazebo roof.

Now, I’ve seen this happen with those portable tents they use at picnics and outdoor parties.  But honestly, I wasn’t expecting this from the one we purchased which was marketed as a backyard patio shelter.

As the sides of the roof are starting to bellow in, I use my hands to push the water up and off the roof sections.  By this time, I’m basically soaked. I want to go inside. But before I do, I consider what it would take to undo all of the straps and attachments and take the “canvas” down. Knowing that it took Ken several hours to strap and attach the “canvas” to the frame, I realize it’s a mute point. So, I head inside.

But I didn’t have a good feeling about it.  Not a good feeling at all.

I start dinner, but I leave the back door open, so I can at least hear the rain drops falling outside.  I really enjoy a summer rain.

The stove is turned, and I’m boiling water for the pasta. All of the sudden I hear a great big “whoosh!”

The weight of the rain literally broke the welds in the center section of the gazebo…

The tent basically collapsed into itself.

My gazebo tent collapsed - why you want to spend more - StowandTellU.com

On a bad note, it was over the Ebay “30 day refund policy”. I was really nervous that we were going to be out all that money.  Even though “that money” was on the cheaper end of the gazebo tent price range.

The next day, we took photos and contacted the Ebay seller, right away, to request a full refund.

Here’s the good news: the seller kindly gave us back 100% of our money. He didn’t even require that we return the broken one.

How about that?

This 10′ x 12″ gazebo cost us right about $250.00 online.  I won’t get specific on which we bought and which seller we bought the tent from.

However, if you are considering buying a shelter type gazebo tent, go with the theory that the more volatile your summer weather, the more dollars you want to spend in canopy protection.

  • When you read the description of the product, look for a brand name, rather than “10′ x 12′” Canopy” 😀
  • Look for keywords like waterproof and rainproof as opposed to water-resistant.  They don’t mean the same thing.
  • Read the reviews, and not just the first few. What did the bad reviews say? Why?
  • Gage the low end price versus the high end price for a similar product.  Then make your choice from one of the mid range to higher priced units. It will be worth the extra dollars.
  • Lastly, consider one of the hard-top units. They haven’t been around as long, and they are more expensive. But if you are looking for reliable semi-permanent shelter, most of the hard cover gazebos are made to stay up though all four seasons. Soft cover canopies are usually only meant for summer weather use.

Please keep in mind that I’m not talking about the pop-up type for parties and day events. And by all means, if you live in a mild climate a less expensive canopy would probably work fine.

Having bought a cheaper model, and having it collapse on us, I know won’t go cheap on a product that I’m expecting to give me a certain amount of shelter when it’s raining. I don’t honestly know why I thought I’d want to scrimp on that in the first place.

precut-picnic table

One day we hope to put a more permanent shelter up. For the time being, we’ve decided to go with a picnic table and a good quality umbrella.  At least I can crank the umbrella down by myself when a storm rolls in.

Stay cool. Stay dry. Stay covered ~ Amy

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