When it comes to outdoor events and gatherings, having a strong, sturdy, and reliable canopy tent is an absolute must.
But with so many options available on the market, it can be challenging — even overwhelming — to determine which tent model best fits your needs.
As a business owner or event planner, it's critically important to invest in a heavy duty canopy tent that can withstand unpredictable weather, provide ample shelter, and enhance the overall look and feel of your activation.
Let's dive into the world of heavy duty canopy tents — first to give you the main custom tent options TentCraft offers — and then explore the key factors to consider when making your purchase. We'll also touch on tent accessories that make your outdoor event activation easier to set up and use.
Whether you're hosting a trade show, selling wares at a farmers market, or need a more permanent shelter for a longer event, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
Heavy Duty Canopy Tent Solutions
MONARCHTENT Standard Peak
Starting at $2,499
As our flagship pop up canopy, MONARCHTENT Standard Peak is what a majority of our customers have invested in over the years. Our entire MONARCHTENT lineup comes in a dozen different sizes, features an all-aluminum framework, and includes a lifetime frame warranty.
MONARCHFLATROOF Flat-Top Pop-Up Tent
Starting at $1,999
If you frequent indoor and outdoor events and are sometimes faced with height restrictions, MONARCHFLATROOF is the best canopy tent for you. This flat-top canopy has been used for outdoor stages and enclosed trade show meeting spaces, and it's the official arena for U.S. Drone Soccer.
MONARCHGABLE Gable Pop-Up Tent
Starting at $3,599
Our custom canopy tents push the boundaries of what you expect from a pop-up tent, and that's certainly the case with MONARCHGABLE. Our customers have used this “milk-carton-style” canopy frame as a drive-thru tent, grocery pickup station, and trade show setup.
MONARCHSTOREFRONT Billboard-Style Pop-Up Tent
Starting at $2,649
If you're after branding real estate, the MONARCHSTOREFRONT delivers the most in the industry. This billboard-style instant canopy is also versatile. Setup with the flat end against the wall for a unique sloping feature, or turn it around for an incredible amount of space to highlight your brand.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Heavy-Duty Canopy Tent?
When you begin searching for a heavy-duty canopy tent, you will see A LOT of options from big box stores, like Home Depot, Walmart, and Amazon. And while those sites will tell you that the tents they're selling are “heavy duty,” typically, it can't be further from the truth.
The big box store tents are typically made overseas with thin steel and a low-grade polyester canopy material. They’re large and often described as a “wedding tent” or “party tent.” They don't come with a warranty. And they're definitely not customizable.
So, what should you look for when buying a heavy-duty tent?
Material. A true heavy-duty tent is made with aluminum — not steel. That goes for the frame legs and scissor elements, but also the connecting joints.
Size & Weight. In terms of size, you want a large leg diameter for a better grip on the surface area. And you need it to be heavy enough to take on unexpected winds (but still light enough for easy transportation).
Expertise. If you're making a major purchase, you want the person on the other end of the telephone to know what they're talking about. As the only American manufacturer of pop-up and frame tent frames, TentCraft knows a thing or two about how to get the most out of a heavy-duty canopy tent and how to protect your brand, your people, and your assets.
Educating yourself about everything that goes into a heavy-duty tent can help speed up your buying decisions and give you additional confidence when investing in a super-strong event asset.
So, let's dive in a bit further into what really makes a tent “heavy duty.”Ask Us a Question
What Makes a High-Quality, Heavy-Duty Tent?
As the manufacturer of heavy-duty canopy tents, we've developed our own set of criteria that helps define what makes a heavy-duty tent. Those findings have also been backed up by third-party engineering firms, who issue certified wind ratings for our tents.
Steel vs. Aluminum: What Is The Best Material for a Heavy-Duty Tent Frame?
Aluminum is the best — and the only — material that can be used for a tent frame to be considered heavy-duty.
Steel is heavier and denser than aluminum, meaning a steel frame can quickly become heavy. That's why the legs on steel pop-up tents tend to be thinner.
If they were as thick as the legs we manufacture our MONARCHTENT frames with, you would be looking at a 10x10 canopy tent that weighs north of 300 lbs. Not exactly a portable solution.
On the other hand, aluminum is one-third the weight of steel, which allows companies like TentCraft to manufacture frames with thicker walled components.
On average, an aluminum pop-up tent features a leg diameter of 2 inches, while a steel tent features a 1-inch leg diameter. The big difference maker is the thickness (or gauge) of aluminum. It's twice as thick as steel while maintaining an easy-to-transport overall weight.
We love talking about the differences between steel and aluminum tents and educating new tent buyers on why they should avoid steel tents if they plan to use their custom canopy tent frequently.
Tent Weight: Why It Matters
Tent weight can be a tricky subject. Obviously, a 600-pound steel tent with super-thick legs would stand up to heavy winds nicely, but it would require a forklift to transport.
Some companies in the tent space have experimented with other materials, like magnesium, which is super light. A 10x10 magnesium tent weighs less than 30 lbs, which is great for transportation, but not so great for standing up to heavy winds — even if properly ballasted.
At TentCraft, we manufactured our 10 ft X 10 ft heavy-duty pop-up tent to weigh about 75 lbs. That helps us achieve our certified wind rating of 35 mph on that size tent. We include our proprietary wheel kit to make transporting a 75 lbs. tent easier.Explore All Sizes
Addresses Most Common Canopy Tent Fail Points
Many parts go into a pop-up tent, and our in-house engineering team has painstakingly analyzed how to make the most common fail points — the scissor elements, connecting joints, and footplates — as strong as possible.
That's why we connect our scissor elements with aluminum connecting joints. This allows us to do our popular tent hangs without worrying about the tent imploding.
The other major — and often overlooked — fail point is the footplate. Cheap canopy tents slap a flimsy footplate to the bottom of the tent leg and call it a day.
You need to remember that outdoor products take a beating. You're dragging tents across parking lots, throwing weighted plates on them to anchor them properly, and they're constantly being set up and taken down.
That's why we designed our tent footplates with thick footpads that are about a quarter-inch thick and made from cast aluminum. Those cheap alternatives use steel plates that are about 1/8" thick.Common Pop-Up Tent Problems
Wind Ratings Certified by Actual Engineers
If you're searching for a heavy-duty pop-up canopy tent, chances are you have concerns about wind and rain. Chances are also good that you've experienced a cheap tent in the past.
We take wind seriously, which is why we employ an in-house engineering team and work with a third-party engineering firm to certify our pop-up tent wind ratings. No other canopy tent company in the industry can tout that fact.
So, if protection from the wind is important to you, make sure you inquire how well the canopy tent handles big wind gusts when properly ballasted.Blog: Do Pop-Up Tents Have Wind Ratings?
Warranty for Added Confidence Behind Your Purchase
If a tent company is going to market its canopy tents as heavy-duty, it needs to offer some kind of warranty to back up that claim.
All TentCraft heavy-duty tents include a lifetime frame warranty and a seven-year pro-rated canopy warranty.
Resources & Related Products
How Much Does a Heavy-Duty Canopy Tent Cost?
On average, a heavy-duty pop-up canopy tent can range from $1,500 to $3,000. If it's any cheaper, there's a good chance it's not exactly heavy-duty. A large canopy tent that's more semi-permanent can cost north of $5,000, depending on the size.