AWNING INFO - Which Awning?Instant Awnings

Instant Awnings

The traditional design of vehicle awning is quick and easy to set up, and some new models like the foxwing style are even easier. There’s always room for improvement though. After all setting your awning up might be a two minute job on a nice sunny day, but when you really need the extra shelter – when it’s windy and raining, for example – it can take a lot longer. It can also become a real struggle if you’re doing it on your own. Anything that makes it easier is a welcome development. Manufacturers know that as well as anyone else, so new designs of awning appear regularly. Some catch on; some don’t. Quite a few different solutions have been tried, but because they all aim to cut the time needed for setup to the bare minimum it’s fair to call them all instant awnings.

What instant awning designs have in common is they try to eliminate parts of the standard design or steps in setting it up. A good example is the Hannibal awning we reviewed. This replaces the usual lightweight side struts with a pair of massive outriggers, which are strong enough to support the awning without needing poles or guy lines. Foxwings don’t really qualify because while they’re easier to set up they aren’t really any quicker – their advantages are more in terms of the extra space they give – but the likes of the Hannibal certainly does.

So is an instant awning for you? If you often set up camp on your own it can be a tempting option. A good instant model can be a lot quicker and easier to set up – there’s less to deal with and fewer things flapping around while you’re doing it. There are also advantages once you’ve got it done. With no poles to bump into or guy lines to trip over you can make better use of the space under the awning and around it.

Are there any drawbacks? Well, most instant awning designs are pretty new so the designs aren’t as thoroughly tested as a more traditional one. That means there may be flaws that show up a couple of years down the line – although to be honest an awning isn’t that complicated, so it’s unlikely that anything major has been overlooked. It’s also possible that designs without poles won’t work as well with a tent kit installed, because there aren’t any poles to secure the tent walls to. That’s one we can’t comment on yet. Finally, because they’re novel and there’s less competition in that market sector they tend to cost a bit more.

Overall we’d say that instant awnings are a tempting option. If you value a bit of extra convenience and speed some of them are pretty hard to beat.