Shade sails are a cost effective, reliable way to shade a home or business. They provide shade from the sun and rain, make an outdoor space usable year round and create a funky aesthetic.

Use a shade sail for a BBQ area, pool parties, outdoor relaxation spaces, kids play areas, to protect vehicles and for outdoor seating areas attached to restaurants. But, if you’re buying your first shade sail, it’s important to know what to look for. Here are some essential things to look out for to help you make your decision.

Material Quality

A shade sail material needs to be high quality, with strong stitching. A cheap material may give way under the high tensile strength that it is pulled to. Rainbow Shade sails are made from rigorously tested materials that have an unrivalled reputation for durability. You can even enjoy a 10-year warranty on shade fabric against UV breakdown.

Size and Shape

Shade sails come in all shapes and sizes and are manufactured according to your needs. Make sure you measure up the area you wish to be shaded accurately. Common shade sail shapes include triangular, square and rectangular. Square and rectangular shade sails are better to cover large areas. Triangular sails shade smaller areas more effectively, or you can choose to layer multiple next to each other.

Weatherproof Features

A quality shade sail should have high UV protection and be able to protect you from pouring rain. Weather can be unpredictable and if you want to use your outdoor space year round, great weatherproof features are a must. The Rainbow Shade Z16 is 99% UV-R protective and hail resistant. The DriZ is the best all-rounder, with 100% UV protection and an advanced waterproof coating.

Durability and Longevity

A shade sail should give you years of extreme weather protection. If you go for a cheap option, it may collapse after a few years. Luckily, all Rainbow Shade sails have been tested for durability and longevity and come with a 10 year guarantee. The Z16 has even been tested over 15 years, exposed to harsh Australian weather conditions. So, you can be sure your investment will last.

Ease of Installation and Maintenance

Quality shade sails are easy to erect and dismantle when needed. If you opt for a permanent outdoor structure, these can often take months to build. Shade sails are also easy to maintain, just needing a wipe down with water and a mild detergent every 6 months to remove debris and any potential mold growth.