The range of available awnings is growing pretty fast, with some interesting new ideas appearing as well as the traditional styles that still dominate the market. It’s hard to say how well some of the newer designs will stand up in the long term of course, so going for a conventional pull-out awning still makes good sense. Even here there are a lot to choose from. We try to look at as many as we can so we can tell you what to go for and what to avoid, and we’ve just been trying out a conventional awning from Tigerz11.
Tigerz11 have five awnings available – a 1.4 x 2 metre one that’s ideal for the back of your vehicle, and four side-mounted ones in 2 x 3, 2 x 2.5, 2.5 x 2 and 2.5 x 2.5 metres. The size is the only difference between them, so although we tested the 2.5 x 2 metre model everything we say applies to them all.
If you’ve used an awning before these will be instantly familiar. The base is an aluminium extrusion with channels on the back to take the mounting bolts; you can drill holes in a roof rack and bolt it straight on or use the supplied L brackets to fit it to your roof bars. With the awning stowed it’s all contained in a heavy reinforced PVC bag running the length of the base, which keeps it clean and dry and gives some protection from low-hanging branches. The awning itself is made from waterproofed ripstop canvas, which is a good sturdy fabric. This goes on a frame consisting of aluminium tubes for the side struts and legs and another extrusion for the end bar. All the fittings are stainless steel or tough plastic and it seems strong enough to stand up to some hard use. The quality of workmanship is pretty good throughout, with reasonable attention to detail.
Setting up the Tigerz11 awning follows the usual procedure. Unzip the bag, fold out the struts and extend the awning by unrolling it from the end bar. Clip the struts into the end bar, lower the legs and adjust them to the height you want then do up the Velcro straps that hold the canopy to the struts. There are also guy lines for some extra stability in a wind. Tigez11 say it takes 30 seconds to set up. We think that’s a bit optimistic, but you can easily fo it in a couple of minutes.
Tigerz11 also have mosquito nets to fit all their awnings. These are good quality nets with nice big zip-up doors, and they’re dead easy to set up – they just slide into the base and end bar, then fasten to the struts and poles with Velcro straps. Unfortunately the tops of the side walls are a weak point – it’s pretty much impossible to get a perfect seal with the Velcro, so you’ll probably find some of the more determined nasties sharing the space with you. Still, even keeping some of them out’s good.
This is a fairly standard awning, that doesn’t really stand out from the crowd, but it works fine and it’s well made. We’d be happy with it. If a simple but sturdy awning is what you’re after this is worth a look.