Will a Pop up Gazebo Keep Me Dry & Which to Buy?

  • By: Erik
  • Date: 23 January 2022
  • Read Time: 2 min.

Asking if all pop-up gazebos are waterproof is a great question?  If you go by a manufacturer’s product listings, then yes, you would think all pop-up gazebos are waterproof.

This is not as straightforward as you would think.  As you can imagine, a waterproof pop up gazebo is more likely to sell, than a pop-up gazebo not described as waterproof…

The problem is that it’s such a touchy subject and one that is totally unregulated.

There are many products (gazebos) on the market that are described as ‘waterproof’ but in reality, some of these products aren’t even close to being waterproof.

You could literally get wet within just a few minutes of light rain using one of those.

getting wet

How to Tell if a Gazebo is Waterproof?

First up, let’s take pop-up gazebos on Amazon as an example.

For the majority of pop-up canopies and gazebos that I’ve reviewed on Amazon, the fabric is classed as ‘gsm’, this stands for grams per square metre and is the weight of the fabric.

pop up gazebo

(Some other fabrics are classed as ‘denier’, which is the denseness of the weave of the fabric)

So, one thing that you need to understand is, is that the higher the gsm, the heavier the fabric is.

However, it isn’t the weight of the fabric that will keep you dry and protect you from light or heavy rain, it is the waterproof coating that is applied to it.

This coating is generally a PVC coating (a very popular fabric coating) and is sprayed onto the fabric to provide protection against rainfall.

What GSM Do I Need for Full Waterproofing?

There’s no one answer for this question but here goes…  Waterproofing is not just about having a canopy that has the highest gsm.

Quite often, pop up gazebos are not built correctly and just attaching the side panels incorrectly can lead to your event ending in disaster.

However, let’s imagine that you have built it correctly, here’s a very basic table to try and help you understand what type of weather it can protect you from.

GSM Classification Weather Brand
120 Showerproof Light drizzle Progen
140 Showerproof Light drizzle/shower Greenbay
160 Rainproof Light showers Angel Living
190 Waterproof Light to heavy showers Airwave
240 Waterproof Heavier rain Coleman
260+ Waterproof Heavy rain + All Seasons

The table above is just a rough guide to help you understand better the level of waterproofing you will receive from your new pop up canopy.

It isn’t science-based, it’s from my experience with outdoor shelters with fabric roofs.

Check out this 2x2m All seasons gazebo (260gsm) being waterproof tested by its owners using a garden hose (happy ending).

gazebo blown away

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