How to Choose and Set up Properly a Portable Gazebo

pop up gazebo

If you are not sure if you want to make permanent changes to your back yard or want to organise an event in the open a portable gazebo is the best option for both. Why you may ask? Because it’s lightweight and easy to assemble whilst it provides a shade from the sun and keeps prying eyes from lurking in case you need that too. Anyone can set up a portable gazebo whilst with a permanent one this is not the case as not everyone has the tools and the time to do so.

How to Install Gazebo?

Installing a gazebo takes a couple of minutes and it only requires two people for a proper set up. For this, you’ll need a set of gazebo parts and accessories. In order to complete the installation, you’ll need: frame, tension rod, weights and canopy.

1. Start by setting up the frame on its legs and pulling two of them that are opposite from each other at the same time to start unfolding it. After you’ve pulled the legs out for about 15cm, continue opening the frame with the other two legs opposite from each other. When you have it opened half the way take the tension rod and put it into the hollow pipe in the centre of the frame.

2. The rod will bounce a bit when inserted which is normal as it rests on a spring. Continue unfolding the frame until you have it almost completely opened up. Once you’ve done that, drape the canopy over the frame with the centre positioned over the tension rod and properly placed on the corners too. Go under the canopy and depress the tension rod by pulling down on it using your body weight. While you are doing this have someone engage the catcher into the lock of each leg to make the whole frame open out nice and tight.

3. To engage the locks, you need to push the catcher up while holding down the leg. Once all 4 legs have their locks engaged, the person holding down the tension rod should let go of it lightly. When the rod is fully released, the canopy will extend fully and straighten out. Then, you just need to attach Velcro straps from the tent to the frame. To secure the gazebo in place, bolt it down.

How to Secure a Gazebo from Wind?

Bolting a gazebo down is a simple yet effective way to keep your gazebo grounded. Most gazebos come with holes on the footplates which make them convenient. You can also use gazebo parts and accessories like straps to provide more support. If your gazebo is going to be set up on a hard surface, then you might want to consider using heavy weights. Each weight should be strapped directly to the gazebo – avoid strapping it further away as the strap can loosen if they weight is moving.

outdoor company event

You can also use water butts which are simply tall containers that you’ll need to fill up with water. You shouldn’t use them long term though as standing water can become smelly and attract mosquitoes which can bring diseases. Another great option for keeping your gazebo grounded is to use a vehicle. Make sure you attach the gazebo on a point where you won’t cause damage to the vehicle if anything happens.

To prevent the wind from tipping it over, make sure you also zip the walls and or doors and windows too. Of course, this doesn’t apply for those of you who have an open gazebo. Putting up the side walls will also help the construction hold up against the wind.

What To Look For


The sturdiness and the longevity of the frame depends on the material it’s made of, but also on the joints and reinforcements. Steel frames are going to provide excellent strength but they are prone to rust. If you get a portable gazebo with a powder coated steel frame, then it will last longer than one made from regular steel. A frame with shock corded steel poles gazebo accessories will make the gazebo even stronger and also easier to set up.

college tent

Of course when it comes to the joints metal ones are going to be stronger and absorb shocks without buckling. Plastic or nylon joints are not able to provide the level of strength so they are going to buckle a lot in the wind. Reinforcements are used in the legs or the roof of the gazebo to provide extra strength and prevent the frame from bending. They are always a big plus regardless of weather conditions.


What you should look for when it comes to the fabric are four things: durability, sun protection, waterproofness and stitching. A waterproof canopy will have dome like shelter to let the rain run more easily and you should also look for one that has a high hydrostatic head rating. When it comes to sun protection, a gazebo should have a silver coating inside the canopy with a high enough UPF rating.

gazebo fabric

The durability of the fabric will depend on its thickness which is measured in denier. Again, the higher the denier number, the more waterproof, stronger and heavier the fabric is going to be. A lower denier fabric will be lighter but also less waterproof and easier to tear. What is also going to make a fabric more durable is the stitching – double stitching and patches are your best bet here.

Ventilation & Walls

gazebo with insect net

Gazebo accessories like mesh panels sewn into the fabric are a great way to stop wind lift, improve air flow, prevent dampness, keep everyone cool and keep bugs and mosquitoes out. Walls are put to provide additional protection from the elements and can be attached with either Velcro or a zipper. The latter is more protective than the former whilst the former is easier to attach.


Portable gazebos range from 2.4 m x 2.4 m to 6 m x 3 m with heights varying from 1.9 m to 3.35 m. Some have adjustable legs so you can change the height of the gazebo accordingly. If the gazebo is going to be in a specific location make sure it fits in the space available and if it’s a closed area, make sure the roof of the gazebo isn’t too high.