Sun Shade Sails or Sailshades help beat the heat of the sun
Playground Sun Shade Sail

Sun Shade Sails or Sailshades help beat the heat of the sun

Provides UV & IR Shade Cover for your Deck, Patio, Pergola, Pool, or Backyard

What are Shade Sails?

A Shade Sail, sometimes called a sun shade sail, sun sail or sailshade, is a versatile and customizable outdoor patio shading solution designed to provide protection from the sun's harmful rays. It typically consists of a piece of durable outdoor sail shade fabric, often made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material, that is stretched and tensioned between anchor points to create a shade structure. Shade sails are installed by stretching the fabric and using tension to attach the corners of the sun shade sail to sturdy anchor points that may be attached to a pergola, post, tree or building. Shade sails are floating and curvaceous and make an attractive addition to any property. With the right design, a sailshade can increase the appeal of entertaining in most outdoor areas.

Where can Sun Shade Sails be utilized?

Sun sails are versatile and can benefit a wide range of individuals, businesses, and organizations across various settings and situations.

  1. Homeowners:
    • Patios, Decks, and Pools: Sun sail shades can create shaded areas for outdoor dining, relaxation, and entertaining.
    • Backyards and Gardens: Sailshades provide sun protection for play areas, gardens, and other outdoor spaces.
  2. Businesses:
    • Restaurants and Cafes: Outdoor seating areas can be enhanced with a sun sail shade, attracting more customers during sunny days.
    • Hotels and Resorts: Shade sails around pool areas and outdoor lounges improve guest comfort and satisfaction.
    • Retail Stores: Outdoor sale events and promotions can benefit from shaded spaces, attracting more customers.
  3. Schools and Educational Institutions:
    • Playgrounds: Shade sails offer sun protection for playgrounds, ensuring that children can play safely during recess.
    • Outdoor Classrooms: Shaded areas facilitate outdoor learning activities, allowing classes to be conducted outside.
  4. Community Centers and Parks:
    • Picnic Areas: Shade sails provide shaded picnic spots, making outdoor areas more inviting for community gatherings.
    • Recreation Areas: Sports fields and outdoor recreation spaces can benefit from shaded seating areas.
  5. Healthcare Facilities:
    • Hospital Courtyards: Shade sails offer shaded areas for patients, visitors, and healthcare staff to relax outdoors.
    • Therapeutic Gardens: Shaded spaces enhance the usability of therapeutic gardens for patients' well-being.
  6. Event Spaces and Venues:
    • Outdoor Events: Sun Shade sails can be used to provide shade for outdoor events, festivals, weddings, and concerts.
    • Trade Shows: Outdoor exhibition spaces benefit from shaded areas for booths and displays.
  7. Government and Municipalities:
    • Public Parks: Adding sailshades to park areas makes them more enjoyable for the public, encouraging outdoor activities.
    • Bus Stops and Waiting Areas: Shade sails offer protection for individuals waiting for public transportation.
  8. Sports Facilities:
    • Sports Complexes: Shaded seating areas for spectators enhance the overall experience during sporting events.
    • Pickleball, Tennis and Basketball Courts: Shade sails can provide sun protection for players and spectators.
  9. Resorts and Recreation Facilities:
    • Beach Resorts: Shade sails on beachfronts enhance sunbathing areas and provide relief from the sun.
    • Golf Courses: Shaded areas around golf courses improve golfer comfort between rounds.
  10. Residential Communities:
    • Community Spaces: Shade sails in common areas benefit residents by creating shaded spaces for socializing and events.
    • Swimming Pools: Cover a pool deck on a Private or Community Pool to offer members a break from the UV Rays.

A sail can be mounted to your home, large trees, patio/deck columns or they can be flown from wood posts or steel columns embedded in concrete footings. These temporary tension structures can also be easily taken down seasonally if needed. They have proven to easily withstand wind gusts of up to 90mph when properly mounted and tensioned.

They are the latest trend in sun protection. Perk up your patio, pool areas, gardens, children's play areas, car spaces, and even entry ways.

The perimeter of each sail shade is designed with a pleasing cantenary curve inwards towards the center of the sail to control the fabric tension. Shade sails have reinforced webbing or wire cable around the edges and marine stainless steel Delta or D-Rings at each corner. When properly tensioned, this curve or gore helps eliminate fabric wrinkles, sagging and flapping even in heavy winds.

Sun Shade Sails Comparison Chart

Brand Fabric Specifications Warranty Review Notes
Commercial 95
Shade Sails
HDPE Mono/Tape Mesh Fabric 340-350gsm
95% to 98% UV Block
2-Yr Full
10-Yr Limited
Superior Mesh Shade Fabric. 20 colors available. Made to Order Custom sizes. 8-12 years typical lifespan.
Marine Grade
Shade Sails
Acrylic Canvas Fabric 10oz
96% to 98% UV Block
2-Yr Full
10-Yr Fabric
Near Waterproof. 9 Stocked Colors. Made to Order Custom sizes. Special Order other colors. 8-12 years typical lifespan.
Kool Kolors Party Shade Sails by Coolaroo HDPE Tape/Tape Mesh Fabric 280-300gsm
~90% UV Block
Grommet corners
1-Yr Full
3-Yr Fabric
Temporary Use Only - 5 Bright Colors one size only
Coolhaven by Coolaroo HDPE Mono/Tape AF230 Mesh Fabric 230gsm
~95% UV Block
1-Yr Full
7-Yr Limited
3 colors - 3 shapes only. 5-8 years typical useful life.
SunShade by King Canopy Plastic Mesh Fabric 160gsm
~85% UV Block
30 Days Full
1-Yr Limited
Economy 1-3 years typical useful life.
ColourTree HDPE
~95% UV Block
190gsm Mesh / 220gsm solid 3-Yr Limited Economy Market 3-5 years typical useful life.
Coolaroo Original
HDPE Mono/Tape Mesh Fabric 260-280gsm
~95% UV Block
1-Yr Full
10-Yr Limited
No longer made or available. 5-8 years typical useful life.
ShelterLogic Polyethylene mesh ~230gsm
~90% UV Block
1-Yr Limited 5 Colors. Estimated 3-5 years typical useful life.
California Sun Shade Polyethylene mesh ~85% UV Block Limited 1-Yr Fabric Degradation Only Unknown at this time
Windscreen4less HDPE Mesh 180gsm
90% UV Block
3-Yr Limited Economy Market - Estimated 3-5 years typical useful life.

Coolhaven Sun Shade Sails
Coolhaven Sun Shade Sails

Ready Made Ships Quick
Party Shade Sails
Party Shade Sails

Temporary Use - Ships Quick
Commercial 95 Shade Sails
Commercial 95 Shade Sails

Made to Order - Many Sizes
Sunbrella Sail Shades - Waterproof
Sunbrella Sail Shades - Waterproof

Made to Order - Water Resistant
Mounting Hardware 4-Corner Sun Shade Sail
Mounting Hardware 4-Corner Sun Shade Sail
Price: $69.99
Sale Price: $44.95

Hook - Hook Sailshade Tensioning Turnbuckle
Hook - Hook Sailshade Tensioning Turnbuckle
Price: $29.95
Sale Price: $17.95
Jaw - Jaw Sailshade Turnbuckle Stainless Steel
Jaw - Jaw Sailshade Turnbuckle Stainless Steel
Price: $36.95
Sale Price: $19.95

How are shade sails constructed?

Shade sails are constructed using durable materials that can withstand wind loads, have a resistance to UV light breakdown of its shade fabric, and a design that allows them to provide effective sun protection while enhancing its structurally integrity. The construction of a shade sail involves several key elements:

  • Shade Sail Fabric Material:

    The choice of shade cloth depends on factors such as UV protection, breathability, durability, and aesthetics. There are different types of shade fabric made such as tape, monofilament, tape + monofilament, woven, knitted and waterproof solids. They are made in different densities, tightness of weave, woven or knitted that provide different levels of shade, UV blockage and/or durability.

    • GSM: GSM is grams per square meter. This is how much a single square meter of the shade cloth weighs on a scale that measures in grams instead of ounces. Typically the heavier it is the more durable the fabric. GSM less than 220 have lifespans of 1-5 years, and over 250gsm have lifespans 7 or more years.
    • High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE): This is by far the most common material for shade sail fabric. HDPE is known for its durability, it is rot & mold resistant. Most have UV inhibitors blended in the material so to slow UV light rays from the sun breakdown of the threads. It is breathable, allowing air to pass through keeping it cooler underneath. Its thickness and tight weave aids in blocking sunlight and make it stronger to resist tearing from wind loads on the sail. Commercial 95 is an excellent HDPE, knitted, tape + monofilament shade fabric at 340gsm.
    • Waterproof Fabrics: Typically made of polyester, nylon, HDPE or woven acrylic. Sun shade sails with watereproof frabrics need to have a slope or angle of the fabric to allow for adequate water runoff otherwise the water will collect on top creating a mosquito breeding pools at best or become too heavy for the fabric and it will tear. Sunbrella Marine Awning material is waterproof woven acrylic material that is commonly used for shade sails.
    • UV inhibitors enable these state of the art fabrics to block the sun's harmful IR/UV rays yet remain totally unaffected by moisture and natural temperature extremes. Both ultraviolet and infrared energy are invisible to the human eye, and are both capable of damaging the skin. Infrared (IR) is heat energy, so an excess of heat energy will damage (burn) the skin. IR has a longer wavelength, however, so it won't penetrate the skin deeply. UV energy, because of its shorter wavelength, has the capability of penetrating more deeply into the skin, and in doing so damaging deeper layers of skin cells. Shade Sails help protect against this harmful UV and IR energy, keeping you and your family safe from the the sun.

  • Sun Sail Shapes and Design:

    Shade sails come in various shapes, including triangles, squares, and rectangles. Custom shapes can result in nearly any polygon shape like diamonds or trapazoids. The choice of shape depends on the intended use, mounting point locations and aesthetic preferences. Shade sails have inward curved sides to enhance their visual appeal and improve tensioning of the middle part of the fabric.

  • Sailshade Edge Reinforcements

    The edges of the shade sail are often reinforced with webbing or cable to add strength and durability. This reinforcement helps distribute tension and wind loads evenly along the edges and to the corners or attachment points.

  • Sail Shade Attachment Points

    • Delta Rings or D-Rings: Triangular or D shaped metal rings, usually made of stainless steel, are attached to the corners of the shade sail. These rings serve as attachment points for securing the sail to the mounting points on the supporting structures.

    • Perimeter Attachments: Additional attachment points along the perimeter of the shade sail help distribute tension and provide flexibility in installation.

  • Shade Sail Support Structures

    Poles or Mounting Points: Shade sails need support structures to which they can be attached. This may include existing structures like buildings, or additional supports such as posts or poles.

  • Sun Sail Hardware

    • Snap Hooks or Carabiners: These are used to connect the shade sail to the attachment points, making installation and removal easier.

    • Tensioning Devices: Various devices, such as pulleys, ratchets or turnbuckles, may be employed to achieve proper tensioning and adjustment. Adjustable turnbuckles are the most popular often used to tension the shade sail and achieve the desired level of tightness.

  • Sun Shade Sail Installation Accessories

    • Cables or Chains are often required to span the distance between mounting points on support structures and a corner of the shade sail as most sail fabrics will stretch over time.
    • Hardware for Mounting: Depending on the installation site, pad-eyes with screws, eye-bolts, and other mounting hardware may be needed to create a sturdy mounting point on a building, structure or post.

  • UV-Resistant Thread for Shadesails

    The stitching in the seams and perimeter of the shade sails are typically stitched using special UV-resistant thread to ensure longevity and prevent degradation due to sun exposure.

It's important to note that the specific construction details can vary based on the manufacturer and the intended use of the shade sail. Proper installation, tensioning, and maintenance are crucial for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of shade sails. Manufacturers typically provide guidelines for installation and care to maximize the lifespan of the shade sail.

Last Updated: 05/23/2024 11:32 AM - ID:1507