Easier than EZUp?
October 4, 2012 7:12 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to find a screenhouse/shade structure that I can set up by myself.

EZ Ups (and related knockoffs) are pretty dominant in the outdoor shade-structure market. I find them awkward to set up by myself, but I haven't seen any good reviews of alternate systems. Is there anything out there I'm not finding? I've looked at REI, Bass Pro Shops, and the like.

A fiberglass pole dome structure would be great, but I'm open to all sorts of suggestions. Weight isn't a huge issue, as this will be for car camping. I'm taller than you, so I definitely need something with a good center height. Nothing that relies on trees for support.
posted by MrMoonPie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you comfortable setting up typical shock-cord/sleeved fiberglass pole camping tents alone? I too find that EZ Up style (telescoping legs, latticed support structure) canopies are a counter-intuitive, pinchy nightmare to set up by myself, but I've never had any trouble with even quite large/seemingly unwieldy fiberglass dome tents. If this is true for you as well, I don't have specific suggestions but would suggest you may have an easier time with a slant walled camping-tent style screen house such as this. I think the operative terminological difference is canopy vs. screenhouse. They may not be FASTER than the other style, but I think they're easier to do as an individual, in stages.
posted by drlith at 8:38 AM on October 4, 2012

Yes, that's sort of what I was thinking about. The one at REI hasn't gotten the best reviews, but that may be because it's so expensive--the rain fly is extra. Easy returns there, though.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2012

Might learn some new tricks here for solo set-up of the EZ-Up, a including a link to this video of a guy setting up a similar model by himself in less than a minute.
posted by exogenous at 10:34 AM on October 4, 2012

I returned the REI one and got the LL Bean one, which is even more expensive. But it's great. I can set it up myself (with some awkwardness with the fly), and I'm not tall. It also kept us dry through a few days of the worst rain I've ever seen in NH last year. So if you don't mind shelling out for it, that one's great. I've also bought stuff from REI and liked it and liked their returns policy, as you mention, but the reviews made me think twice and as soon as the LL Bean one came back, I got it (with the fly and floor). We've only used the floor once.
posted by theredpen at 3:13 PM on November 7, 2012

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