Cabanas & Pavilions
Elegant sun shade structures
Some outdoor settings and occasions require more protection than a standard patio umbrella can provide. Large outdoor gatherings have more people and typically take up more space with seating and tables to accommodate them. That's where gazebo and tent-style shade structures come into play. There are a wide variety of spacious canopies that can protect big areas from harmful UV rays or inclement weather. Many high-end brands offer shades with multiple configurations to satisfy your space and functional requirements, as well as style preferences.
Cabanas - classic beach tents to customizable outdoor canopies
Traditional four-poster versions usually have a vaulted roof with curtain walls. They typically tie back for an open air space or close for privacy. While some may be suitable for sandy beaches, most require substantial mounting to ensure stability in windy conditions. Modern cabanas may have flat retractable roofs or pergola style panels that can also be used on the walls. Optional curtains and the ability to double the width with extensions make these highly configurable shade structures even more enticing and the epitome of luxurious outdoor living.
Pavilions - spacious open-air canopy tents
These large-scale shades are traditionally square or rectangular with four static support poles and a peaked tent-like fabric canopy and open sides. However, contemporary models may have only two supports and a flat roof. Optional fabric walls and rain gutters that bridge multiple pavilions provide additional protection and privacy for some versions. These tents have a casual feel that may be due to the permanent park and farm pavilions that inspired them. They're great for backyard gatherings or events held in wide open spaces where you may need shade or protection from light rainfall.
Key features to compare - Cabanas & pavilions
- Roof Options - Peaked or flat fabric canopies, pergola-style trellises or Roman shade are all available
- Wall & Curtain Options - Privacy curtains and a variety of walls and configurations provide endless customization
- Technology - LED lights, Bluetooth enabled sound systems and electric heaters bring indoor conveniences outdoors
- Base & Mounting - Locations and environments may have different requirements for securing these shades
- Wind Resistance - Check the Beaufort rating to determine how much wind an umbrella can handle safely
- Ultimate Patio Umbrella Buying Guide
- Outdoor Furniture Materials Guide
- Patio Furniture Cleaning & Care Guide
- What is UPF?
Frequently Asked Questions - Cabanas & Pavilions
What's the difference between a cabana, gazebo and pergola?
Cabanas and gazebos are both shade structures with closed roofs. However, gazebos and pergolas have all four sides open, while cabanas have only one. The other three sides of a cabana may be covered by movable curtains or more permanent walls. Pergolas are different from gazebos in that their roofs are slatted to allow some sunlight through.
Are pavilions permanent outdoor shade structures?
Shade pavilions with wooden or metal roofs and thick support posts may be permanently mounted in concrete or to decking. These typically cover large or multiple picnic tables and seating. Smaller versions with slender telescoping posts and fabric canopies are more mobile with freestanding bases. They tend to protect a single dining set or seating area.