Throw shade wherever you roam.
Kelty's Shade Maker is perfect for rainy picnics as well as sunny summer camping trips. PU-coated polyester protects you and your fellow outdoorsy crew from the sun's harsh rays and the clouds' cold showers, and three aluminum hybrid poles offer a quick-and-easy setup. Kelty included a handy packbag with shoulder straps so you can pack it to faraway campsites.
- PU-coated polyester
- Three aluminum hybrid poles
- Packbag included
Works, could be better designed
I just received the ShadeMaker 2 and set it up in my back yard. It took me 25 minutes, working solo. I'm fairly experienced with tents and such, and doubt that repetition will cut that time by much. I also doubt that my time was unusually sluggish.
The two main poles are permanently tied together with a hub. It's one integrated assembly. You can't assemble one pole, then the other, and lay them across the fabric separately. I found this design very awkward to work with. Because the poles can't move separately during set-up and take-down, they can be subjected to some major torque. I bent a pole segment taking the canopy down. This is one area where having a person on each corner would have worked much better. It's very difficult to take the canopy down smoothly working alone.
Overall it's a decent canopy. The asymmetric design means there is plenty of room for a 6' tall person to walk under the canopy, but there's still a low side to provide better shade. There's a lot of usable space under the canopy, as the walls are almost vertical. I haven't tried it in wind yet, but it seems like it should be pretty stable, if the guy lines are staked out properly.
Practical and Packable
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
This provided amazing shade in the desert. It is the size of a backpack so I definitely plan on bringing it to any sunny event in the future where I have a 'home base'.
In the sun, life evolves around the shade.
do yourself a favor
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I had the shade maker 1 and I loved it. this ones even better.
Ive put this thing through every element of weather and its the best on the market!
A trip saver
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I bought the Shade Maker as a last second "just in case" thing. A 5 day trip on the Smith River in Montana during the spring will give you rain, sun, rain, some snow, more rain and sun.....
I bought the large size and it was plenty big enough for two tables and a number of chairs. When it was raining hard all eight us us were sitting under it comfortably. We even put it above our tent as an extra rain fly.
The Shade Maker held up great in the elements and was a piece of cake to put up. It also has a good carrying case with back straps that while they don't serve much purpose other than giving yourself an extra free hand to grab another drybag, they're still handy.
The only thing I wish it had was a wall to block the rain when the wind is blowing hard. Kelty might make some sort of attachment but since it would be an add on that's why I give the Shade Maker a 5 out of 5.