31/08/2017
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7 Top Event Shelters for Caravanners

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Take Cover! Caravan assesses the increasingly popular ‘event shelters’ as a free-standing alternative to awnings

Pitching up, then chilling out with a group of family or friends in a communal space is one of the best things about caravanning. So, what do you do if the weather’s not great or you’re trying to avoid getting fried by the sun?

Awnings are one solution, but, increasingly, we’re seeing freestanding shelters appearing on caravan pitches.

These versatile shelters are lighter and cheaper than most awnings, plus they’re quick to erect, and you can position them more freely on your pitch.

An event shelter makes a bright communal space to enjoy cooking, eating and socialising, whatever the weather. Just make sure you check in advance with the campsite owners they’re happy for you to pitch your shelter.

The other benefit of these shelters is they are also ideal for:

  • summer entertaining at home
  • family get-togethers
  • barbecues and picnics.

You’ll see them described as event shelters, gazebos and day tents, and, while there are some subtle differences, they all serve the same purpose – to provide a shaded and protected area to relax in.

Here are seven of our favourites:

Vango Hogan Hub Large

Vango Hogan Hub

Price £159.99
W vango.co.uk

The Hogan Hub Large has generous headroom and width, making it a bright and airy event shelter.

Four doors come with it, so you’ll be ready for any weather conditions. Each entry has a mesh panel, to keep bugs out and four zips, which means you have complete flexibility to leave them fully open, partly open or fully closed.

Vango’s PowerFlex fibreglass poles are strong and light and give excellent rigidity, while the Vango Protex 70-denier polyester flysheet is highly-waterproof and durable.

Vango Airhub Hex

Vango Airhub Flex

Price £375
W vango.co.uk

A new addition to the Vango range, the inflatable AirHub Hex is perfect for the campsite or in the garden – anywhere that you need some extra living space outdoors. It has a single inflation point, can be pitched in a matter of minutes and is just as easy to pack away.

It comes with six sides built into the shelter, including three sizeable full side doors and six mesh windows. It’s also available in either Herbal green or Smoke grey,

Outwell Dakota

Outwell Dakota

Price £189.99
outwell.com

The Dakota is easy to transport and quick to put up, with the sort of quality you’d expect from a top brand like Outwell.

To pitch, pull out the legs and the concertina steel frame snaps into place, creating a 3x3m space perfect for outdoor cooking or getting together of an evening.

The feet are pegged into the ground to fix the shelter into place, and there are luminous guy ropes for extra stability. The height of the shelter can be adjusted using the push-lock buttons.

The waterproof roof is silver-lined to reflect the sunlight away and keep the temperature down, and sidewalls are available as an optional extra.


The Caravan & Motorhome Club says:

“We see these regularly on sites, often when a member has a VW camper.

“We don’t have an issue with them, as long as visitors use them within the space an awning would normally take up. If they are in addition to the awning, we may have a concern.”


Olive & Orange by Orla Kiely Gazebo

Olive & Orange by Orla Kiely Gazebo

Price £75
W halfords.com

If you want to bring a bit of glamour to the campsite, here’s the Olive and Orange Gazebo created by top designer Orla Kiely. It features one of her trademark, nature-inspired patterns and is a natural fit for the outdoors.

It’s a similar style to the Outwell Dakota, stand the gazebo upright, ensure the sides are pulled out evenly, and extend the legs. It’s also waterproof up to 800mm, which should provide some protection from summer showers.

Coleman Event Shelter Pro XL

Coleman Event Shelter Pro XL

Price £199.99
W coleman.eu

The Event Shelter Pro XL is a perfect event shelter from Coleman. If you are up for a party, then the spacious Event Shelter will keep you and your guests protected from the sun’s glare while you rustle up burgers on the barbecue.

The XL is a considerable 15x15m, so there’s plenty of space to relax under cover, and the UVGuard fabric will protect from harmful sun rays. The material is water-resistant fabric and has fully taped seams to prevent rain from seeping in.

It takes about 15 minutes to put up. Wall and door panels and a groundsheet are available as optional extras. It also comes in more compact L and M sizes.

Therm-a-Rest Arrowspace

Therm-a-Rest Arrowspace

Price £259.99
W thermarest.com

The Therm-a-Rest Arrowspace is one for campers looking for a more technical-quality option.

Therm-a-Rest’s freestanding shelter is lightweight and easy to pitch. Once erected, the first thing you’ll notice is its striking design and shape – and with the mercury and honey (or yellow and white) colour scheme you certainly will get seen! Well made, with sturdy poles and waterproof fabric.

The height is adjustable, allowing you to set up over picnic bench, or make broader and lower to accommodate more people. The Arrowspace comes in its backpack.

Zempire Aero Shelter

Zempire Aero Shelter

Price £320
W zempire.co.uk

The Aero Shelter from Zempire is a high-quality inflatable shelter made from the best quality materials, including tough150 denier fabric with an SPF sun protection factor of 50+.

There is full head height throughout and a sizeable 3x3m floor space. It’s easy to pitch and stable once up. Zips on each side allow optional extra mesh or solid walls to be attached.

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