Whether being used as a shade for parents as they cheer on their kids at the soccer carnival, an extended awning for your camping area that can be relocated with ease, or maybe you're having a group of mates around for a backyard BBQ and want a shaded place to sit where you can avoid sun and UV exposure. Gazebos are easy to assemble and built tough with solid and durable materials that are capable of providing years of protection against the harsh Australian elements. The versatility of the gazebo is practically limitless, however, with many diverse ranges to choose from, it can be tricky to know which one will suit you and your lifestyle. The BCFing experts have put together a buyer's guide to help you in selecting a gazebo that best fits your needs. We'll also answer some of the commonly asked questions and provide some handy tips.
What to think about when buying a gazebo
Although many people believe that the gazebo is just a simple sun shade, the truth is that they are capable of so much more! With such a diverse range of shapes, sizes, weights and configurations, it’s important for you to identify what attributes you require in a gazebo before purchasing. Below are a few questions that you should ask yourself to ensure you choose the correct gazebo.
How often will your gazebo be used?
- Gazebos have been manufactured as a temporary form of sun shade. They do a cracking job of providing protection from the elements including light showers and gentle breezes, however to extend the life of your gazebo, it’s recommended that they’re not used as a permanent structure and should be packed away and stored in a dry and temperate location when not in use.
- Will you be using this while camping? Or maybe for the occasional outdoor event/BBQ or for a weekly market stall? We have a range to suit all!
How large does your gazebo need to be?
- Gazebos vary in sizes, but if you’re looking for a modest sized gazebo for your market stall or the perfect spot down by the beach, the Wanderer Compact Gazebo is a great starting point! It’s compact in package size, but still a full 3m x 3m ground to canopy shade solution, perfect for use at the markets and a lightweight option that can easily be carried down the beach or to the local park. The 3m x 3m would be the most popular size, providing extra shade and structural integrity that’s become a firm favourite amongst campers and day trippers alike. On the other end of the scale, the 6m x 3m gives the most amount of coverage for family and friends to gather underneath. They’re great for larger parties, group camping and poolside hangouts. Before making your final purchase, we advise you take into consideration any furniture you may wish to use, such as camping chairs, tables and picnic rugs, and how many people will you be seating. With the correct positioning, you will be astonished by how many chairs can fit under a 3x3m gazebo.
Where will your gazebo be used?
- Beach, park, pool or campground? It’s important when making your selection that you consider where your gazebo will most commonly be used. This question is in regards to the solidity of the ground and if any extra gazebo accessories such as sand bags, gazebo weights or guy ropes and pegs may be required to keep your gazebo secure.
How much do you want to spend on a gazebo?
- If you’re somebody who spends more time in the great outdoors than they do at home, it’d be beneficial to purchase a gazebo that’s capable of the task at hand. In most situations, the initial outlay reflects the quality and life expectancy of the item, using superior materials and thicker frames. If your gazebo is only going to see daylight once a year, then an entry level gazebo should do the trick.
How well do gazebos handle weather conditions?
One of the questions most commonly asked by customers is how well do gazebos handle heavy rain and strong winds? Please be advised that these products are sold as sun shades and as such we do not recommend use in wind and rain.
Always stake or weigh down your gazebo at all times once set up. This will help to eliminate the risk of injuries to yourself and others, while also preventing damage to the gazebo.
Please be advised that these products are sold as sun shades and as such we do not recommend use in wind and rain.
What are some different types of gazebos?
Lightweight and portable, the standard gazebo is perfect for anyone who may lack the physical ability to handle other heavier models. It’s got a clever frame design that makes set-up a breeze (even when travelling solo) and a durable canopy for sun protection. It’s the perfect addition for beach gatherings and spontaneous picnic adventures.
Ultimate Heavy Duty Gazebo
With thicker legs and frame providing added support and durability, the ultimate heavy duty gazebo has found a home with many families around the country. They come in a variety of sizes to cater for different situations with the 3x3m model being the most popular. Take it on an overnight fishing adventure, use it as a handy extension to your tent’s awning, or pick a spot by the river for a BBQ with the fam.
These gazebos come with a clever anti-pooling pro frame design that has been created to prevent water from collecting in the middle of the canopy top. Instead, it encourages water to roll off the sides and down onto the ground. Perfect for use in locations where moisture or light showers are common, such as the tropical north or coastal environments. They’ve been constructed with a durable, powder-coated steel frame and a polyester top with a UPF 50+ UV rating for superior sun protection.
The ideal accessory for any beach adventure, these beach sun shelters are a lightweight and portable option, designed for quick, single person assembly. They’re available in both polyester and poly-cotton canvas with an instant fibreglass frame for added durability, and they also provide you with UPF 50+ sun protection, so you can spend your free time enjoying the sunshine while staying protected from harsh UV rays. Each beach shelter comes equipped with sand pegs (so you can keep your shelter secure once you've found the perfect relaxation spot) and a convenient carry bag for easy storage and transportability.
What gazebo accessories are available at BCF?
Purchasing your new gazebo is just the tip of the iceberg - now you have the freedom to kit it out however you see fit. BCF stock a large variety of gazebo accessories to help meet your individual needs and enhance your camping experience. From gazebo wall kits, tent hubs, or sand bags, accessories can ensure that your next adventure in the great outdoors is one to remember.
Solid Wall Kits
Solid wall kits provide privacy and protection for you and the whole family. They come in both single and double sizes, which fits most gazebo dimensions. They make for a handy wind break or secure location to get dressed after a dip! These solid wall kits are made from high quality, silver-coated 420D polyester for added durability and weather protection.
Mesh Wall Kit
Mesh wall kits have become very popular, especially among families. They provide ample protection from insects and pesky mosquitoes while still allowing great ventilation and enjoyment from the afternoon breeze. Constructed from durable no-see-um mesh, they are the perfect addition to any gatherings where food and drinks will be left exposed.
Sandbags & Gazebo Weights
When using your gazebo on soft ground such as sand, the added purchase of sandbags or gazebo weights is a must. Helping to weigh down your gazebo and aid in keeping it secure, you need to simply fill it with sand or water and attach to the legs of your gazebo (they also provide flexibility when pegs can't be used). We recommend using a combination of sandbags, gazebo weights, and pegs and guy ropes for added security.
Use the holes in the feet of your gazebo to secure it with extra pegs
Gazebo Bar Table
Whether you're planning a simple overnight stay or a longer family vacation, the importance of having somewhere to rest your cold bevvy at the end of the day is paramount. Fitting comfortably along one side of your gazebo, it not only makes for a fantastic bar table, but the applications are almost limitless with a convenient cooking location, added storage and clothesline as some handy ideas. Constructed with an aluminium frame and MDF table top, it’s durable and effortlessly portable.
Gazebo Hub Tent
Gazebo hubs can be used to transform your sun shade into an extended living area and ultimate sun shelter. They fit to most 3m frame systems and can be used for anything from sleeping quarters (with a capacity of six people), play room for the kids, storage area, or protection from the elements when the weather sets in. The gazebo hub uses no-see-um mesh for increased ventilation and insect protection, and is the perfect accessory to your new gazebo.
Tips for selecting the right gazebo
A gazebo is made up of 2 major structural elements: the frame (which comprises of 4 legs) and the roof struts (this gives the gazebo its shape). The canopy top which is usually made from polyester provides shelter and comes with Velcro straps that allows simple attachment to the frame. Below, we’ll discuss the differences and benefits between the materials used to help you make the correct decision when it comes time to purchase your new gazebo.
- Frames differ in thickness depending on the model you choose
- A thicker frame will provide added durability
- Thicker struts and legs will also aid in sturdiness and the overall life expectancy of the gazebo
- Lighter frame models are more manageable and their smaller dimensions when packed up ensures easy storage
- Frames are generally a powder-coated steel finish. The powder-coated finish adds an extra layer of water protection and an aesthetically pleasing finish
- Joints are most commonly constructed from plastic or nylon. They're strong, as they flex better than metal
- The height adjustment mechanism differs between brands, so look for a gazebo that has a simple design that's easy to use and won't pinch your fingers
- Most gazebos come with 3 adjustable heights which you can choose between at any time. This is extremely useful when weather sets in or the angle of the sun changes. It also comes in handy for extra weather protection when you're sleeping in a swag
- The fabric used for canopy tops is rated in denier. This rating is determined by the thickness and weight of the fabric and lets you know how durable it will be. The rating comes in a range from 150D to 420D. A 150D canopy will still provide shade, waterproofing and UPF50+ however, is more suitable for infrequent use. The higher the denier, the more durable it'll be.
- The higher D rating ensures the fabric can handle stronger winds and will remain water resistant in most conditions
- Gazebos make for an ideal sun shade. They come with a UV rating of up to UPF50+ for the ultimate protection against the harsh Australian sun. Look for gazebos with a silver coated backing for further sun protection.
- It's important that your gazebo has quality stitching which will reduce the risk of rips and tears through the canopy top. The use of double stitching is a benefit for ensuring the fabric will last for many camping adventures.