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Kelty Sunshade

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Kelty Sunshade canopy

This Shelter should be considered an all around shelter for a variety of activities such as outdoor parties, camping, at the beach, or ANY event where you want dependable shelter. I have used mine as a shelter over picnic tables while car camping with the family several times. I have the large shelter. Kelty makes a medium and a large.

The large shelter I have comfortably housed 6 people in a very hard rain in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park at our campground. We all sat at the picnic table with the shelter over us, and because of the shelter going so low to the ground around the legs, kept all of us very dry, even in some slight blowing rain. I would call it ideally suited for the beach, since it covers so much shelter around the supporting legs that will counter the sun's rays.

While using it for camping over a picnic table, it is a little cumbersome to climb up underneath it to sit at the picnic table, but again, when rain moves in, this is a blessing. You are protected more! It is designed extremely well and thats mainly why it hasn't changed in years. When anchored well, it sheds wind extremely well. As one of the other reviews states about this product, moving the legs out or in will affect the height. That is a very nice feature. There are many ways to secure the shelter to the ground, including the use of points for using sand bags (beach use).

The only slight negative things that might be worth mentioning is that it is a little overpriced in my opinion. The quality is first class but again, for the amount of materials you are actually purchasing, it is high priced. Also, Kelty provides large plastic stakes with the shelter, but as the other review stated, they are weak and can break over time. You can simply buy some more like them or purchase real metal stakes that will hold up better. There is no question though that with a little care, it should last you a lifetime of multipurpose needs. ANYTIME you want shelter from the sun and/or rain, this shelter we fit the bill very well.

Note-This item is way too heavy for kayak or canoe camping, rafting, or anything where weight is an issue in my opinion. The poles are very heavy and sturdy! Use this shelter when the car or truck is nearby, in my opinion.

Design: Freestanding dome style shelter with lots of points to secure the shelter.
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: Very easy for one or two people
Weight: 11 lbs. 12 oz.
Price Paid: $150

The Sunshade is reasonably easy to setup. There are plenty of guy outs to pin this baby to the turf. The stakes provided will work if used in a fairway but I have yet to come away with all stakes straight and usable after setting up in most campgrounds. Choose much more sturdy stakes than Kelty provides if you want your Sunshade to stay put. Sandbags, rocks or logs are also good choices for anchoring the three corners down.

The height adjustability is achieved by moving the legs closer toward the center or outward away from the center. Because of this shelter being freestanding it is very easy to move to any location desired. If used over camp furniture it can be a bit annoying to duck in and out and it restricts your view somewhat if you choose to sit in the more upright chairs.

The Sunshade is a charmer on the beach when activity takes place on the sand. This shelter turned into a party tent on a camping trip when meal time and the rain came at the same time. Eight adults and two children crowded around a picnic table stayed dry under my Sunshade and made me the hero of that trip. The three legs had to be placed on objects 18-24 inches off the ground to minimize this quantity of heads from touching the canopy.

This is an attractive shelter and very sturdy to the elements. I’m glad I made the purchase, especially for ground activity. A four pointed canopy, in my opinion, would be a better choice over picnic tables.

Design: three-season freestanding canopy
Sleeps: 4
Ease of Setup: Achievable with one person but very easy with two
Weight: 11 pounds 12 ounces
Price Paid: $135

A great sunshade. As usual Kelty makes a fine product.


  • Low cost
  • Good looking product

I got the small from Sierra Trading Post and with Deal Flyer discount cost me about $65 (a great price).  I bought it for car camping/beach camping. Camp at Hither Hills State Park, Montauk, yearly, and the lack of trees doesn't allow a tarp to be hung.

The stakes should be upgraded (I went with Kelty No-Bendiums), you'll want a u topped stake as opposed to the x top stake that comes with the shade. Haven't set it up on sand (only sandy hard pack soil). Obviously beach set up would require sand/snow stakes or sand anchors. On soil, six stakes required; three for shade's legs and three for guy lines.

It is a very nice looking product set up. Poles go into shade sleeves while flat, and getting the last pole into the last grommet can be tough.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65

Version reviewed: medium

This is a great shelter! I really, really like it. It is simple to set up, be careful in strong winds!

I use it over the camp kitchen most of the time; it blocks the sun and the rain and fills the bill for its intended purpose. It is well made, get one!

Price Paid: $139

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Medium Large
Price MSRP: $139.95
Current Retail: $149.95
Historic Range: $29.99-$180.00
Reviewers Paid: $65.00-$150.00
Seasons 3 3
Width 107 in / 271.78 cm 120 in / 304.80 cm
Length 107 in / 271.78 cm 120 in / 304.80 cm
Height 75 - 90 in / 190.5 - 228.6 cm 90 - 110 in / 228.6 - 279.4 cm
Minimum Weight 11 lb 2 oz / 5.05 kg 12 lb 0 oz / 5.44 kg
Packaged Weight 12 lb 1 oz / 5.47 kg 13 lb 0 oz / 5.90 kg
Floor Area 40 - 65 sq ft / 3.72 - 6.04 sq m 50 - 75 sq ft / 4.65 - 6.97 sq m
Packaged Diameter 7 in / 17.78 cm 7 in / 17.78 cm
Packaged Length 30 in / 76.20 cm 30 in / 76.20 cm
Number of Poles 3 3
Pole Type Wrapped Fiberglass Wrapped Fiberglass
Fly Fabric 68D Polyester 450 mm 68D Polyester 450 mm
Price $139.95 USD $159.95 USD
Product Details from Kelty »

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