The 8 Best Shade Sails for Your Backyard in 2023

Give your porch or patio a cool(ing) update with these top-rated shade sails.

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March 23, 2023

Our Top Shade Sail Picks

Sunny days are upon us! And, with summer swiftly approaching, many of us will spend our foreseeable futures looking for any excuse to enjoy the great outdoors. And by the great outdoors, we mean our respective decks, porches and patios. And what does every deck, porch and patio need to ensure maximum enjoyment during these warmer months? Shade. More specifically, shade from a shade sail.

So, what is a shade sail, and why is it superior to a fancy patio umbrella or elegant awning?

A shade sail is aptly named, as it looks like a sail from a ship and comes in triangle, rectangle or square silhouettes. Shade sails provide ample shade, covering far more ground than a standard umbrella. Shade sails deliver similar coverage, but unlike awnings that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, sun sails are far more cost-effective, with large sizes costing less than $300. Bonus: Shade sails are easy to install and remove virtually anywhere in your garden or outdoor living space.

How to Choose the Best Shade Sail

LOCATION: Start your shade sail shopping voyage by determining your anchor location. For best results, you should attach your shade sail on a permanent structure like the exterior of your house or a reinforced fixture like an anchored post or column.

SIZE: From there, consider how much of the outdoor space you want to shield from the sun. Shade sails are available in endless sizes ranging from six to 26 feet and we recommend adding two to four inches beyond your desired shade coverage to ensure you get the perfect amount as the sail contracts based on weather.

SHAPE: Shade sails are available in three standard shapes: triangles, rectangles and squares. Each option delivers the same results, but one may be a better fit based on the scale of your space or your exterior style. You can choose a single square shade sail to cover more ground for your alfresco lounge or pair two triangle sails together for a chic, dimensional display over your outdoor dining table.

MATERIAL: Most shade sails are high-density polyethylene and feature stainless-steel hardware. This hard-working material is water, mold and mildew-resistant and blocks up to 95 percent of UV rays.

Ready to sail away? We compared sizes, UV protection, ease of installation and price points to curate a list of the eight best shade sails on the market. Shop our favorites in the links below.

$131.99
Photo Courtesy Target

Beat the heat and escape the sun beneath the Outsunny rectangle sun sail canopy. The top-rated polypropylene canopy is weather-resistant and provides a chic shield that blocks up to 95 percent of the sun’s UV rays from your outdoor space. Better still, the large, 24’ x 24’ sun sail offers a reprieve from the sweltering temps, cooling the area covered by up to 6.5 degrees. Blue not your hue? Snag the same UV-blocking sun sail in a neutral sand finish instead.

From $26.99
Photo Courtesy Target

Searching for a quick and painless setup? The Coolaroo ready-to-hang shade sail won’t disappoint. This no-tools-required shade sail is forged from a well-ventilated polyethylene fabric and blocks up to 85% UV rays. It comes in a smoky Montecito Brown finish that pairs well with neutral or vibrant outdoor furnishings and is available in three unique sizes (11'10" x 11'10", 12' x 12' and 12' x 8') to serve large and small exterior spaces.

From $29.99
Photo Courtesy Amazon

Provide top-notch sun protection without breaking your budget with the help of this budget-friendly shade sail on Amazon. The LOVE STORY triangle shade sail is high-density polyethylene and shields up to 95 percent of UV rays for maximum comfort and safety outdoors. Our favorite part is that you can customize this best-selling shade sail in eight fresh colors and 15 unique shapes and sizes between 7' x 13' and 20' x 26' to ensure the perfect fit for your porch or patio.

$235.48
Photo Courtesy Blinds.com

Why settle for one shade sail color when you can have two? The Coolaroo DualShade Premium shade sail kit boasts dual-tone fabric that shifts and shimmers in the sun for an ethereal effect. The high-end, 12-foot square design is as hardworking as it is beautiful, blocking up to 95 percent of UV rays and reducing heat beneath its shade. Each DualShade features tailored, reinforced edges and comes ready to hang with pre-attached ropes. Bring the Greek isles to your backyard with the dreamy blue Santorini colorway pictured here, or go for the green with the Maldives finish instead. And, if you’re in the market for a neutral color option, the taupe cobblestone DualShade will not disappoint.

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$50.98
Photo Courtesy Amazon

With 4.5 stars, over 4,260 customer ratings and a five-year warranty — you can feel confident investing in this Shade & Beyond shade sail. The celebrated design is forged from high-density polyethylene fabric and features rust-resistant stainless-steel rings for long-term use. Each Shade & Beyond shade sail promises protection against up to 98 percent of UV rays for a cooling, private oasis in your backyard. And here’s the real kicker: You can get this best-selling shade sail in 10 unique colors and 74 custom sizes ranging from 8’ x 8’ up to 24’ x 24’.

From $56.99
Photo Courtesy Target

The Coolaroo Coolhaven sail kit has everything you need to create a shady escape in your garden. The five-star shade sail features weather, mold and mildew-resistant fabric that blocks up to 95 percent of UV rays. Each sail comes backed with a warranty against UV degradation, too, promising that your heritage green or sapphire blue canopy will remain looking true-to-color for up to seven years. Hardware essentials like pad eyes, turnbuckles and snap hooks come included for seamless setup. Choose from three sizes (12' square, 18' triangle or 12' triangle) to best cater to your outdoor space.

$142.99
Photo Courtesy Target

If you’re in the market for a semi-permanent shade fixture for your back deck or patio, put the Coolaroo Premium Shade Sail Kit at the top of your shopping list. The 16.5’ triangle sail offers ample shade coverage for larger outdoor spaces and comes backed with a 15-year fabric warranty to cover fading and tears. Crafted from ventilated high-density polyethylene, this shade sail reduces heat and humidity by up to 33 percent while blocking up to 95 percent of UV rays. Invest in this enduring design in five deep neutral hues: beech, graphite, slate, slate blue or stone.

From $22.99
Photo Courtesy Amazon

Worried about your shade sail taking flight on windy days? Don’t be. The top-rated FLY HAWK Sun Shade Sail is designed to withstand intense wind levels while blocking your porch, patio or deck from up to 95 percent of UV rays. Each sail canopy is double-sewn and fitted with stainless-steel hardware that allows it to attach securely to any column or post. The high-density polyethylene sail comes in 11 sizes ranging between 6' x 8' to 16' x 20' and your choice of two hues: gray or sand.

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