If there’s anything that can be guaranteed in Australia, it’s a sunny day. The sun shines bright all year round making summer seem almost endless. In this type of environment, there’s one thing that you’ll definitely need: a shading solution.

Fortunately, there are plenty of different types of shade solutions in Australia, but no doubt you will be deciding between shade sails or a shade canopy; because these are the two most popular.

Rainbow Shade is one of the premier shade fabric suppliers in the country, so you might say that I’m somewhat of an authority when it comes to shade solutions. We strive to be the best and the only way to do this is to know exactly what the end users need.

To help you decide on whether a shade canopy or shade sails are the right choice for your needs, I’ve come up with a brief comparison of both types. All you’ll need to do is to pinpoint your exact needs, such as area to cover, style, cost, and level of protection. However, since both types are highly effective shade solutions, you might need to decide which requirement would weigh more heavily.

Area to cover

Both a shade canopy and shade sails can cover a wide area. The only thing that would separate the two is their designs. Traditionally shade sails are triangular in shape, which means that if you don’t have enough sails to shade the area 100%, sunlight will likely pass through gaps between sails, but for 100% coverage, a shade canopy would be the better choice.

Design and Style

Whether you need a shade solution for commercial or residential purposes, surely the design and style will be a consideration. For a solution that not only provides great shade and protection, but can also be customised to match the colour of your home or business branding, then shade sails are great. On the other hand, if you’re considering a more formal and professional appearance that can be custom designed to both structurally and stylistically, then shade canopies would take the upper hand in this area.


When it comes to choosing shading solutions, the cost is a determining factor for many. Unfortunately, it is difficult to make a choice based on cost alone as several other factors are involved.

For instance, while shade sails are definitely cheaper than shade canopies, they are not always able to provide as much coverage. If you’re looking for a permanent shading solution, then even though a shade canopy is more expensive, it will offer a better long-term investment due to reduced maintenance.

Level of protection

Australia is known for having temperamental weather. Some days, the winds are perfect, but there are times when they can be vigorous. While shade sails are designed to withstand certain winds, they are not immune to cyclonic winds. As a shade canopy is designed to be a permanent structure, it will have a much greater ability to withstand vigorous weather conditions.

It is important to mention however, even though shade sails aren’t as tough as a shade canopy, they are designed in such a way that they can be easily taken down when needed. Once rough weather passes, they can be re-erected.


I’ve tried to capture the most important features above, but as you learn more about these solutions there might be other factors you might want to consider before making a decision. One of those factors will be the type and quality of fabric used. Regardless of what type you choose, you’ll need to ensure that the fabric meets or exceeds the minimum quality standards. One way to do this is to find a shade solution that has been made with Rainbow Shade fabrics. We manufacture some of the finest shade fabrics in the country that definitely exceed the minimum standards. In fact, they are some of the best money can buy.

Additionally, you won’t have any problems finding Rainbow Shade fabrics because they’re available in any part of the country, including the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Canberra.


You’ll notice that this article only covers two shade solutions; shade canopy and sail sails. There are definitely others, but I would highly recommend you begin your research here. Simply weigh up the pros and cons offered by each; look at the area each cover, the style, the cost, the level of protection offered and of course the quality of the fabric before making your decision.

For more information on shade canopies or shade sails made from Rainbow Shade fabrics, simply give us a call on (07) 5580 5366 and myself or one of our team members will be more than happy to assist. We aim to provide the best and highest quality shade fabrics for your shade solution needs.