E-Z Up Dome Review – You Don’t Have to Fight the Sand

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Pop up canopies are a great shade solution for families or groups, but a lot of people find them too cumbersome to wheel out for day trips. The E-Z Up Dome Instant Shelter is a relatively lighter and more mobile pop up canopy product, that still provides great shade. This E-Z Up Dome review will give you an idea of whether the Dome Shelter is the right choice for your next outdoor event.

Portability (3/5)Wind (5/5)Setup (4/5)Looks (5/5)
Combination of being relatively lightweight at 37lbs (compared to other pop up canopies), and having a great roller bagSpecifically designed for wind (still recommend to use weight bags)Standard canopy setup, although components make for a smooth experience. A 2 person setup is optimal, but can be done with one.Heaps of design variations available

What I like

  • Lightweight and easily transportable (compared to other recreational canopies)
  • Quality components backed by 3 year warranty
  • Spare parts available
  • Cool roof design for better response in windy conditions
  • Excellent for recreational/occasional use

Things to consider

  • No built in guy rope attachments if you wanted to tie it down (work arounds possible)
  • One of the more premium priced canopies
  • Angled legs mean you get less shade than a straight leg canopy
  • Not designed for commercial or heavy/extended use
  • Not designed for heavy rain

I hope you’ll find my compilation of product information, customer reviews, and other resources useful, and that it will save you time having to do this yourself. Unfortunately, at this stage I don’t have the resources to buy every product myself, but over time I hope to update this review with more hands-on information.

Is it for you?

This is a great choice for people looking for sun protection at the beach (or park), where you need something larger than a small tent shelter, but don’t want to lug around a standard heavy 10′ x 10′ canopy.

The Dome will shade 3-4 adults underneath, which is slightly less than a straight leg canopy. This is due to the angled legs which creates a canopy top that is smaller (8’x8’) than the base (10’x10’). However, having less material does mean less overall weight (If you want more of an explanation on this I have a post about slant vs straight leg canopies). Although a small pop up beach tent would be lighter still, the Dome Shelter will be more a more robust option with its metal frame. However it’s probably not the best choice for using at a farmers/craft markets, or for long camping trips.

If you are a bit of a giant or want to have some space to throw your arms about, you’ll like that this is one of the best E-Z Up canopies for headroom. However you can only adjust to two height settings, so it’s not a good option if you need more adjustable height options.

If you like to splash your style and personality on the beach, the Dome’s canopy top is available in a heap of different colors and designs to match your taste. They have even varied the color of the legs, which is not generally seen in other brands.

E-Z Up are long term players in the pop up canopy game, and back their claim to quality with a 3 year warranty for the Dome Shelter. This is however one of the more expensive canopies in the market, and if you plan to use it a lot then it would be a good investment. If you are looking to spend less and/or don’t think you’ll be using it much, then you may want to search out another canopy.

What’s included, and where can I get it?

Out of the box you get the fabric top, frame, spike kit, and the roller bag to store it all in. You can find the different designs of the Dome Shelter on Amazon, or order from the E-Z Up website.

Spec’s and features

At 37 pounds it is at the lighter end of the canopy spectrum, and I think the E-Z Up wheeled carrycase has some of the best wheels for moving it around. The frame structure doesn’t have any crossing bars underneath which again contributes to the lightweight frame. While not having cross-bracing typically reduces stability, the E-Z Up designers have taken a unique approach to make up for this. By using composite fiber rods in the cathedral ceiling it allows the roof to flex slightly in the wind, which absorbs some of the impeding energy (rather than stressing the more vulnerable parts of the frame) and pushes the overall structure into the ground (increase stability).

The fabric top is classified as ‘recreational grade’ which is reportedly meant to be 250 denier polyester. This is actually thicker than most cheaper recreational canopy styles, however it will still only resist short/light showers. E-Z Up claim that the vents in the canopy top also act to stabilise the structure in windy conditions. I’m no physicist, but I think the idea is to allow uplifting air to vent out the roof, instead of turning your canopy into a parachute. The vents may also act to ensure air circulates well underneath to keep you cool.

Tips and tricks

While E-Z Up have put extra effort into making the Dome as windproof as possible, you still it does not do away with the need for anchoring your canopy down. As the Dome does not come with sewn in loops for attaching guy lines, the easiest options is to use leg weights. You don’t necessarily need the E-Z Up branded ones as there are cheaper options available, however sometimes it’s easier to get everything from the one place.

While it is not officially recommended by the manufacturer, if you wanted to improve the water resistance of the canopy top you could apply a water repelling spray. I wrote an article on waterproofing if you’d like to know more…just be warned that I’m not sure whether this will affect your warranty…

This is a good video on how best to setup the Dome from E-Z Up (even if it’s overly choreographed!).

Alternatives

If you are keen on the slant leg design but don’t want to fork out as much money, take a look at the Eagle Peak Slant Leg Pop Up, or the Master Canopy Pop Up. Or you can check out the best pop up canopy or best beach canopy for family trips posts for some different canopy options.

E-Z Up Dome Review – Conclusion

The Dome Shelter is a great choice for when you need something more robust and protective than a beach tent, but you also need it to be reasonably transportable. The Dome Shelter doesn’t require a lot of set up, and it’s a great thing to have in your inventory of outdoor equipment. Best of all it looks great, is made with quality components and backed by a 3 year warranty. I hope you find this review helpful!

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