Best Canopy Weights

Updated December 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

15 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
113 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best canopy weights

Last Updated December 2019

Canopies are coveted for the portable shelter they provide at the beach, ballfield, or craft show. But their lightweight design makes them vulnerable to wind gusts, especially on surfaces where they can’t be staked.

Canopy weights are tools that you secure around the legs of your canopy to add weight and stability to the frame. They affix to your canopy’s legs, so they won’t slide off when an updraft hits, unlike a cooler or tote propped against the frame. Many vendor venues require canopy weights to prevent your shelter from tipping, overturning, or blowing away.

Canopy weights come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Which are best for your needs? Keep reading to learn more. When you’re done, check our recommendations for the best canopy weights on the market.

Canopies are most at risk to the wind during setup and take down — when you’re distracted by your thoughts or in a hurry to move onto the next important task.

Key considerations

Pre-filled vs. empty weights

When you’re buying canopy weights, it’s important to think about where you use your shelter most often. If you can drive up to your spot, like at a vendor fair or farmers’ market, pre-filled weights are perfect. Most are plastic discs filled with cement or sand, molded with a slot that slips around the leg to hold it securely.

But if you must carry your canopy a distance, like to the beach or a campsite, you may prefer to  purchase empty weights and fill them with whatever’s available when you arrive. These durable, weatherproof bags can be filled with sand, water, rocks, and other objects. This style usually  straps onto your canopy’s legs.

Slot size

All canopies have slender legs, but some are more narrow than others. Before you buy, make sure the openings will fit your canopy legs snugly and securely. Most canopies have legs that measure between one and two inches.

Weight

While some venues dictate the amount of weight you need on each leg, others leave it vague. Most experts say that 40 pounds per leg is a safe bet, but this can be a tough — and expensive — number to hit if you’re not required. Pre-filled weights usually range from five to 10 pounds per disc. Fillable bags, on the other hand, usually hold 20 to 40 pounds of material. This allows you to carry light empty bags, but requires a large amount of filling to be available onsite. Decide whether this is a reasonable expectation at the location where you use your canopy, and be sure to pack a tool for filling.

Casing

Most hard-sided pre-filled weights have a hard plastic exterior. This style lends itself to hard, unstake-able surfaces like sidewalks and parking lots. They don’t have any give or flex to meet soft ground or sand.

Fillable weights are usually made from heavy-duty polyester or oxford cloth and reinforced with PVC. Many are water-resistant or waterproof, but can be prone to developing holes if dragged across rough surfaces. Look for models with double stitching to keep the filling inside. Check individual models for water resistance — and whether water or snow can be used to fill them. Regardless of what you use to fill, make sure your bags are fully dry before storing them.

CAUTION

Never use gallon water jugs as canopy weights. A gallon of water weighs around eight pounds — which is one-fifth of the standard recommended amount.

Features

Interlocking

Plastic-coated plates are prone to sliding when they’re stacked. Interlocking plates can solve that problem by including grooves and tabs to hold them in place when they’re resting on top of one another. The small space these tabs create between the weights can also prevent finger pinches.

Straps

Weights that don’t have slots and interlocking tabs often attach around the canopy leg with Velcro straps. These are more adjustable and can be used with a variety of canopy leg widths. Whether it’s slots or straps, canopy weights must attach to the legs somehow, otherwise they are at risk for sliding out of place in gusty conditions.

Handles

Weights are notoriously awkward to move, but a handle can make it easier. Some slip through the center to allow you to carry a stack. Others have handles on each individual weight. If you’re looking for a set with handles, make sure the amount of weight is practical for you to carry — especially if it’s designed to carry several at once.

Grommet holes

Weights often block access to your canopy’s original staking mechanism. Some weights — especially fabric ones — have grommeted holes that let you stake your canopy to the ground. This added level of security can help keep the upper part of your canopy more stable and prevent damage in gusty conditions.

Accessories

Canopy weight prices

Inexpensive: You can find inexpensive canopy weights starting around $16 for a four-leg set. At this price, you’ll be getting unfilled bags that will hold 20 to 25 pounds of material, which you will need to locate. Bags will be made from sturdy fabric and likely have a plasticized coating.

Mid-range: Better canopy weights will likely cost $18 to $20 for a four-leg set. These weights will likely be unfilled bags made with thicker, higher-quality material and hold 30 to 35 pounds of filling material. Once again, you will need to obtain the filling for the weights.

Expensive: The priciest weights come prefilled and usually cost about $1 per pound. That means 20 pounds of weights will cost around $20, 40 pounds of weights will cost you around $40, and so on. This can add up quickly, but saves you the time and effort of filling your own bags and possibly purchasing filler materials.

EXPERT TIP

Attach the canopy weights as you are setting up to reduce the risk of injuries. Waiting until all four sides are fully extended and locked turns your canopy into a sail that’s vulnerable to gusts.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Check with the organizers of your event to see whether they require vendors to use canopy weights. If so, find out how much and if any specific weight style is required.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • If you choose fillable weights, be sure to pack a tool for filling your bags.

  • Fabric bags can be prone to holes. Consider putting rough filling material in the bag or another container before placing them in the weight. You can also use a barrier between these weights and rough ground surfaces to reduce friction.

  • Make sure your canopy weights don’t pose a trip hazard when in use.

Other products we considered

We’re intrigued by these Eurmax universal upgraded water weights. Unlike fabric weights, which can be hit-or-miss, these plastic weights are perfect for filling with water. A spout makes for easy filling, and Velcro straps and carry handles make them highly portable. Each weighs 22 pounds when filled with water and 31 pounds with sand. If squared-off weight plates fit your space better, check out this set of four plates from Crown Shades. Each five-pound plate easily slips onto a pole that’s 1.25 inches wide.

Weights have been known to damage canopies during use in high winds. If the forecast is so blustery you feel this is a risk, it may be best to change your plans.

FAQ

Q. Do I need to use both stakes and weights?

A. No. Canopy weights are meant to be used in areas where you can’t use stakes or to provide a layer of security if your stakes fail. In either situation, they are expected to work without stakes. You can stake if you want to — assuming you have the space. Stakes attached to guy lines may help to stabilize the top of your tent, preventing wear and tear. But the weights themselves should be enough to keep your tent from flipping.

Q. Why do vendor fairs require canopy weights?

A. It’s a safety and liability issue. The weights are there to keep your canopy down, but the concern isn’t really your canopy. It’s the people and property around you — the shoppers, the inventory at neighboring tents, the plate-glass window of the nearby business — all of these could suffer damage if your canopy blows away. You don’t want to be held responsible for chaos like this — or worse, if your canopy injures someone or blows into the street and causes an auto accident. This is not a hypothetical — it has happened. A little bit of cash up front can save you a lot of money, pain, and negative publicity for your business down the road.

Q. How much weight do I need?

A. While a few venues we’ve seen mandate 25 pounds per canopy leg, many event organizers require between 40 and 50 pounds. These guidelines are for canopies measuring 8 x 8 feet or 10 x 10 feet. Canopies measuring 10 x 20 feet should be secured with 50 pounds on each leg. Canopies measuring 12 x 12 feet and 14 x 14 feet should also have 50 pounds per leg.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Jacob
    Jacob
    Editorial Manager
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey