AWNING INFO - 4x4 Awning ReviewsTough Toys Tough LED Awning Review

Tough Toys Tough LED Awning Review

It’s always nice to find an awning that has an extra feature or does things a new way, so the Tough LED Awning from 4wd specialist Tough Toys caught our attention. Awnings obviously get used when you’re camping, and that tends to be at the end of the day. When, as we all know, it gets dark. If you spend a lot of time outdoors you’ve probably cursed yourself a few times for knocking the lantern off its hook, but with their new range of awnings Tough Toys are trying to make that a thing of the past. This one comes with built in lighting.

Tough Toys have three awnings available, all built to the same design but with a choice of sizes. There’s a rear awning in the standard 1.4 by 2 metre size, then two side awnings. These are ones to go for if you like having a lot of space – there are two widths, 2 and 2.5 metres, and they both extend a whole 3 metres out from your vehicle.

Overall the design is quite conventional, with an extruded aluminium base that fits to your roof rack and holds all the other components. As usual it’s mounted with captive bolts running in channels down the back, so it can either be bolted directly to a roof rack or fitted to your roof bars with the supplied L brackets. The mounting kit is pretty comprehensive and if you buy the rear awning you also get the extra rails and sandwich brackets you’ll need to set that up. The rest of the frame consists of an extruded end bar and alloy tubes for the side struts and legs. It’s all very nicely finished and the fittings are high quality, so this has a really sturdy feel about it. The fabric is equally good. It’s heavy ripstop canvas, which is fully waterproofed. It also has a reflective silver coating to stop the sun heating up the canopy, which is a nice touch and one that we don’t see often enough. You don’t realise how much heat an awning can radiate downwards until it’s not happening any more, and this one is noticeably cooler to sit under on a sunny day. There’s also been a lot of attention paid to details, like fully taped seams and doubled up reinforcements on the corners.

Setting up is simple and straightforward. Just unzip the stowage bag, fold out the struts and unroll the awning. Fit the struts into the end bar, lower the legs and adjust them to height, peg it all down and fasten up the Velcro straps along the sides. Now you get to plug the lights in.

The Tough LED Awning is fitted with an LED light strip mounted on the base. This runs the whole length of the base and has a row of tiny but very bright LEDs in it. It runs off your dashboard socket and does a really good job of lighting up the space under the awning. There’s no chance of knocking it down either, because it sticks on firmly with an adhesive backing. This is the neatest solution we’ve seen yet for camping when it gets dark.

Obviously running the lights might attract a few insects, but don’t worry; Tough Toys also sell high quality mozzie nets to fit either of their side awnings, and if you order them together you get a discount. The rear awning can be fitted with a neat tent, which as front and rear access doors so you can get into the back of your vehicle from it.

The Tough Toys awnings are impressively well made and the side ones are also very large, so these are great when you don’t want to be stuck for space. The nets and tents extend their uses a lot, and of course those LED lights are a really, really nice touch. We definitely recommend these.

Here's a feature article on Tough Toys Awnings that featured in the Roughin' It magazine.
Tough Toys Awning - Roughin It Feature Article.pdf (909.2 KB)

The best place to buy a Tough LED Awning is from the website.