The Best Shade Sails For Dramatic Sun Cover And Protection

Warm ambiance shade seal

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When you think of a sail, you probably think of a boat on a lake or ocean. However, you can use a sail with an ordinary pool. That's all thanks to the best shade sails.

A shade sail is a piece of fabric with rings at each corner. You can use the rings and some rope to mount the shade sail. From there, it offers many benefits for your poolside relaxation.

But, what is a shade sail? Do you really need one?

​Comparison Table

Sailing the Open... Shade?

Shade sail on top of the hill

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When the weather is beautiful, you probably want to enjoy your free time outside. In most cases, that's easy enough to do. However, too much direct sunlight can make that time less than perfect.

Whether you burn easily or not, you need some protection from the sun's rays. Of course, there's sunscreen. If you're going to be outside for a while, you should wear it.

But there are some things that the best shade sails can do that sunscreen can't. For example, a shade sail can protect your eyes from the sun. And it can give you some necessary shade to make it easier to see what's around you.

You won't have to fret about the sun's glare when reading a book or working on a laptop.

What is a shade sail?

A shade sail is a piece of fabric that hangs over a part of your patio or yard to give you some extra shade. Trees offer natural shade, but not all homes or yards have enough tree coverage.

The best shade sails come in all sizes and shapes to fit your needs. Some shade sails are smaller, while others are huge. And some look like triangles, whereas others are square or rectangular.

And depending on the purpose of them, the best shade sails come with the tools you need to set them up.

What does it do?

The best shade sails give you extra shade when you're outdoors. Of course, some sun exposure is a good thing; we all need enough vitamin D. However, there is such a thing as too much.

If you have a yard with no trees, a shade sail can give you some relief from the sun's bright rays. And if you want to have a relaxing time in your pool, the best shade sails can cover all or part of your pool.

That way, you can kick back and enjoy the shade.

Why do you need one?

The best shade sails are the perfect addition to any backyard, pool or not. When it comes to pools, the best shade sails can limit your sun exposure while in the water. However, they can also be useful in minimizing bird poop, falling leaves, and other pool irritants.

Some of the best shade sails also have built-in UV ray protection. So not only do they add some shade to your yard, but they also block out the harmful effects of the sun.

The best shade sails are useful even when you aren't using your pool. Their UV protection capabilities mean that you can enjoy a shaded yard, long after pool season.

What makes the best shade sails?

The best shade sails have a few features that make them stand out from the competition. First, many shade sails look good and serve as beautiful additions to any yard.

Next, the best shade sails are easy to install and just as simple to maintain. You should be able to easily put up your shade sail and make it last for a long time.

Third, the best shade sails come in the size or sizes you need. If you have next to no shade, you may want a larger shade sail. On the other hand, if your pool is the only area of your yard without shade, you can get away with a smaller sail.

And as mentioned, the best shade sails should have some built-in UV ray protection. After all, you don't want to feel like you're protected only to find a sunburn later.

Finally, the best shade sails are easy enough to move. Of course, they shouldn't move with the smallest of wind gusts. However, you should be able to rearrange your yard and move your shade sail accordingly.

What makes the worst?

We can't say there is a single worst shade sail out there. Rather, the worst shade sails for you will be those that don't live up to your needs or wants.

If you already have a certain aesthetic design for your backyard, you should avoid shade sails in clashing colors. Similarly, you may want to avoid super bright colors regardless of your current landscaping.

Second, you should avoid shade sails that are too small as well as those that are too big. Before you choose from the best shade sails, consider how much space you want to cover with a shade sail.

Do some measuring, and figure out if you would prefer a triangular or rectangular shade sail.

Finally, you should consider the fabric of your chosen sail. The best shade sails for pool owners won't break down at the evaporation of the chlorine. And if you plan to use your shade sail year-round, go for one with a durable fabric.

Avoiding Shady Shade Sails

To find our picks for the best shade sails, we started with a few expert reviews and recommendations. We used a few of these reviews to determine our picks and to cross-reference what we already chose. If a shade sail appeared on multiple lists, we knew it was one of the best shade sails.

Once we found our picks, we took a look at the size and shape of each. We also considered the color options, materials, and installation methods.

From there, we were able to share the most important details on each sail. That way, you can get a taste of the best shade sails on the market.

But before you grab the first sail we list, we have a little reminder. Even the best shade sails can't fully protect you from the sun. Of course, they provide some well-deserved shade.

However, they can't block out all of the sun's rays. So, you should still put on sunscreen if you plan to stay outside for a decent length of time.

If you do get burnt, don't be afraid to seek medical attention. You'll thank yourself later.

The Best Shade Sails

Yellow orange shade sail in the cafe

​Image Source: Pixabay

Everyone has a different backyard, lives in a different climate, and has their own taste. Because of this, the best shade sails vary based on those factors.

Someone with a small backyard in a cooler climate may not need the big shade sail like someone with a large yard in a hot climate.

Windscreens4less (14 feet by 14 feet)

The Windscreens4less 14-foot by 14-foot shade sail is an excellent square canopy. It features curved sides that add up to 8 inches on each side, and it increases the pull strength to minimize drooping.

This sail uses polyethylene knit fabric, which is breathable and lets air pass. That also helps reduce water retention.

It comes with 16 feet of rope that you can attach to the D-rings on each corner to make it easy to hang. The sail comes in 13 colors and patterns, so you can choose the one you like the best.

On Amazon, the average customer rating is 4.2 out of 5.0 stars. One customer loves the size, but they say that water seeps through the sail.

Patio Paradise (16 feet by 20 feet)

If you need something a little bigger, consider the Patio Paradise 16-foot by 20-foot sail. Like the Windscreens4less, it features curved sides that add 1 to 8 inches on each side.

This shade sail can protect against up to 95 percent of UV rays, which is always nice. It uses polyethylene knit fabric that resists water buildup after rain occurs.

The sail comes with 20 feet of rope and an instruction sheet, which makes installation straightforward. It's also resistant to mold, mildew, stains, and tears. It comes in a variety of colors.

The average customer rating is 4.2 out of 5.0 stars on average. One customer said the material is breathable and lightweight. Unfortunately, a second customer said the sail stretches out.

Love Story (12 feet by 12 feet by 12 feet)

The first triangular shade sail on our list, the Love Story 12-foot by 12-foot by 12-foot sail is nice if you need something that's not too big. It uses high-density polyethylene, which is breathable but not waterproof.

This sail offers up to 90 percent shade and protects you from up to 95 percent of UV rays. The sail has curved sides that add up to an extra 6 inches of shade.

It comes with a 1.5-foot rope for each end so you can install it in your yard. This sail comes in seven colors, so you can choose one to match your yard.

Amazon customers give it an average rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. One customer said the sail looks good and is affordable. However, many customers say it's too small.

Shade&Beyond (8 feet by 10 feet)

Our next pick goes to Shade&Beyond's 8-foot by 10-foot sail, which features a polyethylene fabric that is cooling and breathable. It lets rain pass through, so it's not waterproof.

The sail can stretch a bit in each corner, and you'll need to purchase rope separately before you install it. However, the sail is easy to clean.

It offers 80 to 85 percent shade and protects you from 95 to 98 percent of UV rays.

The average customer rating is 4.5 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. One customer said it's great for adding shade. However, others had issues with sizing.

e.share (20 feet by 20 feet by 20 feet)

The e.share 20-foot by 20-foot by 20-foot shade sail is a triangular shade sail that's perfect for anyone who needs something big. You can use it over different outdoor areas, including over a pool.

It uses sun-screen fabric to protect against up to 90 percent of UV rays. Each side uses strong stitching, while the ends have D-rings that you can tie the included rope to.

This sail allows water to pass through, which means it's not waterproof. However, that does keep water from pooling in the middle of the sail.

Amazon customers give it an average rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. One customer said it's affordable. However, it couldn't withstand winds at 25 miles per hour.

Cool Area (9 feet 10 inches by 13 feet)

Cool Area's 9-foot 10-inch by 13-foot sail uses high-density polyethylene material, strong seams, and stainless steel rings, all of which help make the sail durable. The breathable fabric helps reduce the temperature underneath, and it blocks up to 90 percent of UV rays.

It's easy to clean, and it can resist stains, mold, and mildew. The sail has stainless steel rings on each corner that you can use to install the sail in your yard.

On Amazon, the average customer rating is 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. One customer said it cools their yard by up to 20 degrees. However, a second customer said it's overpriced.

Talentstar (18 feet by 18 feet)

The Talentstar 18-foot by 18-foot shade sail is pretty similar to the others on our list. It offers UV protection, and it's durable even in windy conditions.

Like many other shade sails, this one uses polyethylene fabric to keep you cool. However, rain can still get through. Unfortunately, it only comes in one color.

The average customer rating is 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. One customer said it works great in sunny, hot weather as well is during rainstorms. However, a second customer said their shade only lasted a few months.

ProSource (16 feet)

The ProSource 16-foot triangular shade sail is an excellent option if you're on a budget. It can block about 89 to 92 percent of UV rays, and it can reduce the temperature underneath.

This sail uses heavy-duty polypropylene, and it has a D-ring on each corner. You can use the rings with some rope to tie the sail, which makes it easy to install.

It only comes in a sand color, but that's a relatively neutral shade that can work in many backyards.

On Amazon, customers give it an average rating of 4.2 out of 5.0 stars. One customer loves the sail, but they wish that it came with more rope.

Poolside Perfection

If you've ever had a relaxing day by the pool only to experience a painful sunburn the next, you're not alone. Even if you wear sunscreen, it can wear off.

Luckily, the best shade sails can provide you with some extra protection from the sun's rays. What's more, is that shade sails come in all shapes and sizes to fit over your pool or backyard.

Have you used a shade sail? Do you think it helps keep you cool and protect you from the sun? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Hannah Haefele

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