Schaduwdoek NC Outdoor 3,6  m - zand sfeer

Pick the best shade sail with these 4 tips

In this blog, we will guide you through the process of finding the perfect shade sail for your garden, patio, or balcony. We'll explore the different sizes of shade sails (large or small), the various shapes of shade sails available, the materials used for sun sails, and finally, provide you with a checklist.

What’s better: a large or small shade sail?

First and foremost, it's important to carefully consider what size shade sail you need. When it comes to shade sails, it's generally better to buy a smaller sail than a larger one. This helps prevent potential issues when hanging the shade sail. Additionally, always allocate extra space for the tension margin of the sail, aiming for a minimum of 30 cm per side.

There are various pros and cons to consider when purchasing a large or a smaller shade sail. Below, we'll outline these pros and cons to give you a clear understanding of what factors to take into account:

Benefits of a large shade sail:

  • Large Shade Coverage: A large shade sail provides a substantial area of shade, offering ample protection from the sun's rays.
  • Perfect Addition to Your Home or Patio Without Installing a Canopy: A large shade sail serves as an excellent addition to your home or patio, providing shade without the need for constructing a permanent canopy or structure.
  • Suitable for Sun Angle: In the Netherlands, the sun typically shines from the side, unlike in southern countries where the sun shines more from above. With a large shade sail, you still have a shaded spot to sit, even when the sun is at a lower angle.

Disadvantages of a large shade sail:

  • Suitable Only for Terraces or Gardens: Large shade sails are primarily suitable for larger outdoor spaces such as terraces or gardens, making them less versatile for smaller areas like balconies.
  • Can Quickly Overwhelm the Space: A large shade sail may overwhelm the space, especially if not carefully measured or if there's insufficient room for proper attachment. Always consider extra space required for installation.
  • Difficult to Handle Due to Size: The large surface area of the sail can make it more challenging to handle during installation, especially when compared to smaller shade sails.
  • Vulnerable to Strong Wind Gusts and Stormy Conditions: Large shade sails are more susceptible to damage from strong wind gusts and stormy weather conditions, requiring extra precautions and maintenance to ensure stability and durability.

Benefits of a small shade sail

  • Perfect Addition to garden, terraces, and balconies: Small shade sails serve as excellent additions to various outdoor spaces, including homes, terraces, and balconies, providing shade in compact areas.
  • Ability to Easily Install Multiple Sails: You can easily install multiple small shade sails side by side to increase the shaded area, offering flexibility in design and coverage.
  • Easy to Store: Small shade sails are easy to store when not in use, making them convenient for seasonal use or when temporary shade is needed.
  • Less Vulnerable to Strong Wind Gusts and Stormy Conditions: Due to their smaller size, small shade sails are generally less susceptible to damage from strong wind gusts and stormy weather conditions, providing greater stability and durability.

Disadvantages of a small shade sail

  • Smaller Shade Coverage: Small shade sails provide less shade coverage compared to larger sails, potentially limiting the area protected from the sun.

What shapes of shade sails are available?

There are many different brands, shapes, sizes, and colours of shade sails on the market. Within our range, we offer two brands of shade sails, providing more than 50 different options. To avoid getting lost in this variety, let's outline the different possibilities below. There are three different shapes of shade sails available: triangular shade sail, square shade sail, or rectangular shade sail. Within these different shapes, various sizes and colours are available. See the table below for an overview of which colour shade sail is available in which size:

Shade sail square

  Anthracite Off-white Olive Terracotta Sand Black
3,6 x 3,6 m
5,0 x 5,0 m

Shade sail rectangular

  Anthracite Off-white Olive Terracotta Sand Black
4,0 x 3,0 m  
5,0 x 3,0 m    

Shade sail triangular

  Anthracite Off-white Olive Terracotta Sand Black
3,6 x 3,6 x 3,6 m
4,0 x 4,0 x 5,7 m    
5,0 x 5,0 x 5,0 m
5,0 x 5,0 x 7,1 m    

In addition to the above-mentioned shade sails, there are, of course, many more possibilities available. There are differences in quality and water permeability. There is even a reflective shade sail on the market, which provides a cooling effect. Also, there are multiple ways to hang a shade sail, as outlined in our blog about installing shade sails.

Which shade sail material should I choose?

As briefly mentioned above, besides differences in brand, colour, shape, and size, there can also be variations in the quality of shade sails. There are two main types: water-resistant shade sails and water-permeable shade sails. The difference lies in the material of the shade sail; water-resistant shade sails have a denser structure compared to water-permeable ones. This means that weather conditions such as strong winds may affect water-resistant shade sails more. Additionally, water-permeable shade sails block more UV radiation, up to 95%, whereas water-resistant ones typically block around 85%.

When hanging your shade sail, you don't need to consider whether the fabric is water-permeable or water-resistant, as long as you allow for the 30 cm run-off. We recommend doing this regardless of the type of shade sail you choose.

Tips for choosing a shade sail

After going through all the steps mentioned above and if you have a shade sail in mind, we have prepared a final checklist to determine if a sun sail is the right solution for you:

1. Do you want permanent shade or the ability to choose between sun and shade?

A shade sail can be easily installed and removed, but this process can be labor-intensive. For instance, opting for a retractable shade sail allows you to extend and retract the sail as needed. This way, you can enjoy shade when desired and bask in the sun when preferred.

2. Do you prefer a water-permeable or waterproof shade sail?

Decide whether you prefer a water-permeable or waterproof shade sail. The most common choice is a water-permeable shade sail, as it provides better protection against UV radiation and is also water-resistant.

3. What shape, colour, and size do you want your shade sail to be?

Depending on the location where your shade sail will be installed, you choose a shape. This leads you to either a rectangular, square, or triangular shade sail. Next, consider the dimensions the sail should have (keeping in mind the tensioning space), and finally, look at the available colours in which the shade sail is offered.

What attachment materials do you need?

In addition to a shade sail, you'll also need materials to attach it. You can find these materials at Gardenfurniturecovershop under the category of attachment materials. The materials are available in sets, but the components can also be purchased separately. For more information on installing your shade sail, see our blog on hanging shade sails.

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