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Read Our Review
Read Our Review
Read Our Review
|All Seasons 3x3M|
|ESC 3x3m Pop-Up|
|Airwave 3x3m Pop Up|
|Airwave 2.5×2.5m Pop Up|
|Coleman Gazebo Event Shelter|
The British weather – it’s our favourite gripe, and rightly so! Yet, when it does get it right, it is quite unsurpassable, wonderfully evocative and very beautiful indeed. There’s nothing like a summer day, the sun shining down, friends and family having a lazy and fun time in the garden. It’s what we do best, because we make the most of the limited occasions when we can! That’s what summer is all about, surely?
Then, there’s the essential addition to the garden, the gazebo. If you don’t have one, you have probably used them at friends houses when they host the garden party, and they are wonderful additions to any garden. The best gazebos come in all shapes and sizes, and give the benefit of shelter from the sun – or, indeed, the rain – without being fully enclosed. They are great for being the go-to place for food and drinks, and for a few seats where people can rest and still mingle!
That’s the essence of a summer garden party in the UK; sipping a cold beer while laughing with friends, with the gazebo to take refuge in! Well, come on, I know I’m being romantic, but let’s be honest, it might happen two, three days during our summer? But the beauty of a gazebo is, it doesn’t need to be limited to summer!
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Picture a lovely, clear winter night, a gazebo on your patio, a couple of heaters to keep you warm – that’s what it’s all about, all-year use! So, now you know that gazebos are versatile, you want one, don’t you? Let’s talk a little more about what they are and how they came about, before we look at the top 10.
1: All Seasons 3x3M
Our first choice is a typical gazebo in many ways, being a 3x3metre model, which is what people tend to want for the average sized garden. That’s about 10ft square, if you’re wondering. It’s a heavy-duty model so will suit places where you want prolonged use or have a lot of wind, and it is finished in an attractive beige so is very neutral for use in any type or shade of garden.
This one comes with a pop-up frame; this is opposed to the standard tent-type poles that slot together. The beauty of this is that it can be erected in a few minutes. Also, once you have put the roof on for the first time, it can be folded down and erected with the roof intact for added convenience. The roof support is cleverly designed with a series of metal struts, which will help in windy conditions. It’s a great gazebo, although you are paying for quality and the special features at around £130.
2: ESC 3x3m Pop-Up
This one comes with some added features that we will get to in a moment. It’s another 3x3metre model, which makes it pretty standard, and it also has a handy and easy to erect pop-up frame, so can be set up and taken down quickly. It is available in eight colours, so take your pick, and the canvas has eyelets that are designed to let the water through in set places, so you will not get a build-up of water on the roof in the rain.
Where this one adds interest is that it can be used as an open gazebo, but it also comes with four optional walls. This makes it useful for when the weather is not up to it, and you need added protection. Two walls have windows, and the other two have zipped doorways, and they can be used in any combination. It also comes with weight bags for the legs and wind bars, so is well equipped for all weathers, and at a few quid more than £100 we reckon it’s good value.
3: Airwave 3x3m Pop Up
Looking closely at this one, we reckon it is pretty much a version of that above, but without the optional walls. That said, it’s a decent open-sided gazebo that comes in the usual 3x3m size, and that is made from waterproof and durable material that will do the job. It has the pop-up frame we have seen so far on all of them, and the makers claim it can be erected in 60 seconds; we reckon that might be a little optimistic.
It comes only in green and has the pitched roof with open sides, and would be perfect for an average-sized garden. You get the full set of pegs and guy ropes for stability and use in windy conditions, and it also comes with a very useful carry bag, so you can take it to the park, to a friend’s house or to events for use. All in all, if you are looking for a simple, basic standard size gazebo and don’t need the sides, this one is good value at less than £70.
4: Airwave 2.5x2.5m Pop Up
This one is 2.5x2.5m, so would be perfect if you have a garden that is a little smaller than average, and it also has a handy and easy to erect pop-up frame, so can be set up and taken down quickly. It comes in a neat and neutral beige finish, so will look good anywhere, and it is made from durable material, with special eyelets that let the water through and prevent puddling. All of this makes it very attractive indeed!
This one has the option that it can be used as an open gazebo, but it also comes with four optional walls. Two walls have windows, and the other two have zipped doorways, and they can be used in any combination. It also comes with weight bags for the legs and wind bars, so is well equipped for all weathers, and at a shade less than £90, if you have a smaller garden this could be the choice for you.
5: Coleman Gazebo Event Shelter
From the above four you may thing that Airwaves has a monopoly on the gazebo market. They are the market leading brand, with a great range, but this one shows it is possible to do something different. From Coleman, it is a very funky, very large gazebo with a curved roof style, and one that would be perfect for events or for a garden party, birthday or wedding in larger grounds.
It wins on many levels; first, it has a very strong powder-coated steel frame, which will withstand strong winds and rain, and it comes with a cover that is designed for added UV protection – up to SPF 50+ - so your guests get that added feature. Construction is via PVC connectors so it is easy to set up, and it can be pegged to the ground with the pegs supplied, and comes with guy lines and a carry bag. At 4.5mx4.5m it provides a great deal of shade and accommodation space, and we like it very much. You should expect to pay around £135 for this one.
6: Coleman Event Shelter
The great thing about Coleman products is that they come with a patented UV protective fabric – see above – that is very effective indeed. This may not sound like much in the UK, but in fact you don’t need much in the way of sunlight to undergo damage by UV rays. This is not a gazebo as such, but is worth including as it could be a very useful item, especially to anyone having a get-together in a small garden or yard.
What it does is erect like a mini version of the above, to give a 2.2m shade area when attached to a wall or other structure. It effectively provides cover, and does so in a very neat fashion, and very effectively. It can also act as a windbreak. It is handy, easy to set up, folds down into a neat package for storage and is well worth looking at, and at a price of around £25 you really can’t go wrong if you need some additional shelter in your garden.
7: Airwave 3x4m Gazebo
Back to our friends Airwave for this one, which is a 3x4m gazebo in the traditional style. This one is finished in white, and is typical of the type you see when people are holding garden parties or other events. It measures 4x3m, which is larger than the average and adds a surprising amount of extra space, so would be perfect for a larger garden, and as such comes with an added wind bar for stability.
This one can be used open – as a standard gazebo – and also comes with four sides. Two sides have windows, two have zipped doors, and they can be fitted – via strong Velcro ties – in any combination you wish. This is a very nice gazebo, easy to set up and offering a large amount of room, that would be excellent for any event. The only downside is it is not a pop-up frame, but at a price of less than £60 it is undoubtedly great value.
8: Stunning Heavy-Duty Gazebo
Of the above mentioned, most are designed for occasional use. It could be argued that this one is the first we have featured that is really intended as a semi-permanent fixture; that is, it is a heavy-duty model designed to stand over a patio or other area. It is a very attractive design – 4x4m square so very large – with a fully adjustable frame, and while it will probably stay up for most of the year, it does come with a handy carry case on wheels, so you can take it on holiday if you wish.
The cover is very strong material with a very neat waterproof peak that features a double cover with a cleverly designed vent. It is well engineered with a strong frame for added stiffness and stability, and while it is not an instant pop-up frame, the buyers of this one are most likely not looking for an instant set up. Make no mistake, this is a very high quality, impressive gazebo that features sides that can be tied back, and that is reflected in a price of not much less than £200.
9: Foxhunter 3x6m PE Gazebo
If what you are looking for a is a large area of cover and shelter for an event, rather than a simple garden gazebo, then this is possibly the one you need. It measures a colossal 6mx3m, and we think that gives it marquee status in terms of area. The strong polyester cover is waterproof, the steel frame is powder coated for added durability and comes with nylon connectors for ease of use, and all fittings are included.
This one comes with four windowed panels and two doors – one zipped, one with Arabian style opening – and they can be fitted as you wish. It offers a massive amount of interior space which, therefore, can be closed off to the elements if required, or left open to feel the sun and warm breeze. If you are holding an event and expecting a lot of people, this is a great choice for you and we reckon it is a bargain at less than £70.
10: Horwood Garden Hexagonal
Our final choice is one that is unique in this list in that is hexagonal in shape. That makes it a very attractive addition to a patio and, as it comes with a pop-up frame, a great one to have stored away for those impromptu summer garden parties. This is a quality design – a steel powder coated frame adds sturdiness and the roof is made from very durable woven polyester for added longevity – and it shows in all of the construction.
We like this one not just because it is ornamental, but because it offers plenty of space at 3.6mx3.1m, and because it comes with very attractive tie-back net curtains, which are great for keeping insects out but still allowing you to see out. The curtains can be zipped when closed, too, which is a handy feature. Easy to set up, very pretty and also practical, this one will cost you about £130, which we reckon is not bad for a quality gazebo with unique features.
That’s our list of the top 10 best gazebos complete, but which one suits you best? Before we go on to provide our verdict and summary, let’s go through some of the key features you need to consider.
What do you need to look for when choosing the best gazebo? The above descriptions should give you a head start, but here’s a quick check-list to help you on the way.
Size – how big do you want your gazebo to be? Or, rather, how much space have you got? Ignoring the one that is essentially just a sun-shade, these range from 2.5x2.5m to a massive 6x3m, so you have plenty of choice for all sizes of garden or space.
Type – are you looking for a gazebo for occasional garden use, as a more permanent feature, or for hosting a large number of people at an event? This should go hand in hand with the above to help you make the right choice.
Ease of Use – if you want one that is quick to erect, look at any of the pop-up frame designs. These can be set up in minutes, often with the cover or roof intact.
Open or Closed – a few of our options come without sides; this is the traditional gazebo design and may be what you are looking for. However, by paying not much more, you can have one with optional window and door panels – it is worth it for when the weather is not at its best.
That’s really about it when it comes to the best gazebos, so which of the above 10 is best for you? It may be a difficult choice, so let’s have a quick look!
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How It Works
This is less how it works than what it is, but here goes: the traditional image of a gazebo is a frame with a canvas roof, with no sides or protection on a few sides but not all. It’s a tent, of sorts, but without the benefit of accommodation, somewhere to take shelter from the hot sun or a rain shower. It is portable, can be taken down and set up quickly, and is easy to store away when not in use.
In fact, the original gazebos – in this country – were those open-sided structures you see in Victorian parks and gardens; they usually act as a bandstand, or somewhere to sit. Often ornate and very beautiful, along the way some bright spark thought ‘I could do with one of those in my garden’ and lo and behold, the gazebo as we know it was born.
Some are very large, and can accommodate a great number of people; you will see these used as a sort of marquee at weddings and other events. Others are compact and garden-sized, perfect for your back garden for use as and when needed. You might want one as a garden feature, perhaps part of a walk, and there are many that are suitable as such.
To help you find the gazebo that is right for you, we took a closer look at the top ten on the market right now, so you can make your summer days more enjoyable.
Let’s Sum It Up!
Ok, so you want a gazebo; what do you want it for? This is probably the most important question of all. If you want it for your garden, you likely want to consider size, too.
Let’s start with the latter: most of these are 3mx3metre, so if you are pushed for space you may want to look at the Airwave model that measures 2.5mx2.5m. It’s still a good size, and also a quality item at a sensible price.
If the standard size is for you, there is plenty of choice; we think the Airwave model of this size is also great value, and does the job. If you don’t need sides, you can also have the same model at a cut price.
Now, for a more permanent garden fixture, we think you have a choice of two, but the one we would choose is the very beautiful, top quality model at number 8 on the list. It is large, attractive, well-made and would make a great addition to any garden.
Finally, if you are holding an event and expect a lot of people, do not hesitate to look again at the Foxhunter, number 9. It offers you colossal space of 6x3m, excellent door and window combinations, and is simply superb value.
So, the choice is yours; why not get yourself the best gazebo for the garden, and enjoy those sunny days to the full!