Best Manual Retractable Patio Awnings

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Shade is a basic necessity when you’re outside—especially during summer. Alternatives abound, from an umbrella to a lanai, but an awning offers some distinct advantages you may not have considered yet, starting with the fact that it can be retractable through light manual work. If it’s good enough for a coffee shop, why not for your patio? These are our reviews for the best manual retractable patio awnings!

Shade: On-Demand It’s Even Better

Sure, you can get yourself a pergola, or a gazebo, or go all out and invest in an actual roof over your deck. These options, while worthwhile in their own ways, are also expensive to varying degrees, and some require vast amount of space—aside from complicated installations. An umbrella is another good option, but it tends to be vulnerable to gusts of wind, and more often than not you have to pack it in and bring it to storage so the elements won’t shorten its usability period. An awning does away with pretty much all of these issues: you can install it yourself even if you’re not particularly handy (many awnings ship with hardware and installation instructions), retracting it when not in use will prolong its life, and it is, on average, cheaper than a pergola or a gazebo. Only an umbrella will beat an awning in terms of price, but you will probably agree that the difference is worth it considering the area the latter will cover.

Manual vs Motorized

It’s true, awnings differ in means of operation. Some will include a small electrical motor that will deploy or retract the awning when you press a button, which is definitely convenient but it comes with a sharp hike in price. A manual awning is likely to go much easier on your budget, it will be much better at enduring exposure to the elements (as there will be no electric components to worry about), and the additional effort involved in operating it is minimal. Given the many advantages it offers, this review will be focusing on the manual type of awning.

Weathering The Storms

Anything that is placed outside (especially if fixed, as is this case), is likely to be exposed to varying conditions such as sunlight, rain, wind, dust and, in some cases, snow. Since this is exactly what awnings are intended for, they are commonly made in materials strong enough to endure being in the open for a long time without crumbling. The frame, for example, will be often made in aluminum, and in some cases it will feature a powder-coated finish to further boost durability. The canopy itself will vary, but always within a specific range of outdoor-strong fabrics: canvas, polyester and acrylic are some of the materials you can expect to encounter as you shop around.

The Ones We Like

The following selection covers retractable awnings of various sizes, colors and patterns; one of these might just be what you’ve been looking for.

Shade is a basic necessity when you’re outside—especially during summer. Alternatives abound, from an umbrella to a lanai, but an awning offers some distinct advantages you may not have considered yet, starting with the fact that it can be retractable through light manual work. If it’s good enough for a coffee shop, why not for your patio?

Shade: On-Demand It’s Even Better

Sure, you can get yourself a pergola, or a gazebo, or go all out and invest in an actual roof over your deck. These options, while worthwhile in their own ways, are also expensive to varying degrees, and some require vast amount of space—aside from complicated installations. An umbrella is another good option, but it tends to be vulnerable to gusts of wind, and more often than not you have to pack it in and bring it to storage so the elements won’t shorten its usability period. An awning does away with pretty much all of these issues: you can install it yourself even if you’re not particularly handy (many awnings ship with hardware and installation instructions), retracting it when not in use will prolong its life, and it is, on average, cheaper than a pergola or a gazebo. Only an umbrella will beat an awning in terms of price, but you will probably agree that the difference is worth it considering the area the latter will cover.

Manual vs Motorized

It’s true, awnings differ in means of operation. Some will include a small electrical motor that will deploy or retract the awning when you press a button, which is definitely convenient but it comes with a sharp hike in price. A manual awning is likely to go much easier on your budget, it will be much better at enduring exposure to the elements (as there will be no electric components to worry about), and the additional effort involved in operating it is minimal. Given the many advantages it offers, this review will be focusing on the manual type of awning.

Weathering The Storms

Anything that is placed outside (especially if fixed, as is this case), is likely to be exposed to varying conditions such as sunlight, rain, wind, dust and, in some cases, snow. Since this is exactly what awnings are intended for, they are commonly made in materials strong enough to endure being in the open for a long time without crumbling. The frame, for example, will be often made in aluminum, and in some cases it will feature a powder-coated finish to further boost durability. The canopy itself will vary, but always within a specific range of outdoor-strong fabrics: canvas, polyester and acrylic are some of the materials you can expect to encounter as you shop around.

The Ones We Like

The following selection covers retractable awnings of various sizes, colors and patterns; one of these might just be what you’ve been looking for.

1. ADVANING MA1210-A225H Classic Series

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This one’s pretty fancy, and you will soon see why: aside from designed for a single-person installation, the 3-loop system allows the user to adjust the awning’s pitch so it will adapt to the sun’s changing position. The fabric is 100% acrylic, highly breathable so it won’t accumulate moisture and with a UV protection of over 80 which makes it resistant to fade. It does not want for options either: it is available in a total of 5 combinations of color and pattern, 5 different sizes, and there is also an electric option—which adds about 50% to an already hefty price, and does not offer as many sizes to pick from.

Pros:

  • Could be considered a higher-end choice, due to the materials it is made of and the features it includes; sturdier than many other options, as well.

Cons:

  • The steel frame makes it heavier than average; this may turn installation into a job requiring more than one person, despite manufacturer’s claims to the contrary.
  • The materials involved in its making are reflected in the price; unit is about twice as expensive as the average.

2. Outsunny 8′ x 7′ Patio Retractable Awning

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It only offers 2 color options—green and mixed color—, but it is worth noting that whichever hue you choose will not fade so easily, as the fabric is 280g polyester with PU coating, resilient under sunlight and also capable of reducing heat. The crank is fairly long (just shy of 5′), which simplifies deploying and retracting the awning, and it is not exactly brittle thanks to the combination of steel and aluminum its frame is made of. Siding and stucco are both surfaces the mounting hardware can take a good hold on, but owners of wood-framed houses will have to procure the necessary screws themselves.

Pros:

  • Decently solid make while remaining well within reach for most budgets.
  • Quite a good fit for smaller businesses such as food trucks, per several reports.

Cons:

  • Assembly instructions are reportedly confusing; pictures lacking in size are presumably part of the problem.
  • Pictures are somewhat misleading when it comes to the product’s color; some customers have expressed frustration.

3. Diensweek Patio Awning Retractable 12’x10′

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Whereas many other similar products will settle for regular aluminum, this one is T5 type, which means it is harder thanks to the specific cooling process involved in its making. Per the manufacturer, the fabric will endure winds rating 4 in the Beaufort scale, which is equivalent to a wind speed between 13 and 18, or a moderate breeze; this is likely due to its 280g polyester fabric, which also boasts a PU coating and UV protection over 50.

Optimized for concrete walls or large brickwork, it is advised to consult a professional if the wall intended for installation is any other sort of material.

Pros:

  • Strong enough to be used in a commercial setting.
  • Complies with multiple certification standards—CE, GS, and RoHS.

Cons:

  • Somewhat narrow range of installation surfaces.
  • One of the more expensive choices available, although it may be argued that its strength and certifications make it worth it.

4. AECOJOY 10’×8′ Patio Awning Retractable Sun Shade Awning

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Strong enough for either commercial or residential use, this one comes with the favored 280g polyester as canopy, 50+ degree of UV protection, and PU coating. Additionally, it features double strand steel rope on the mounting brackets, for extra durability. Its offer may be found lacking in terms of color, as it only comes in beige, but it does present the customer with a decent variety of size options, 4 in total. Written instructions for installation are reportedly less than stellar, but quite a few users have managed to figure them out; there are also videos available that could make the task clearer.

Pros:

  • Wind resilience is a notch above most other options—19 to 24 mph, or Beaufort 5.
  • Better range of installation wall options: it is optimized for brick, concrete and wood surfaces.
  • Generally praised for enduring heavy rains without any detriment.

Cons:

  • Some parts are plastic, and they are known for snapping under pressure.

5. Manual Retractable Non Screw Awning 78″x47″

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So far we’ve covered options that require, at the very least, some amount of drilling and careful thought about the wall you will be anchoring your awning to. However simplified the task may be, it’s perfectly okay to be daunted by it, and if you fall into that category, then this option might be just what you need, as it does not require any screws. Instead, the canopy is attached to two vertical poles, whose altitude can be adjusted so that the entire thing will be held upright by sheer pressure, like a certain type of curtain rod (most commonly seen in showers). The frame is premium aluminum, and the canvas is polyester, UV coated and treated for extra water resistance.

Pros:

  • The easiest alternative to install, thanks to its specific design.
  • Can be easily taken out and put into storage when it is not needed; incidentally, this makes it better for taking along when moving to a different home.

Cons:

  • It only comes in one size, and a not very large one at that; this may make it an ill fit for those seeking to cover a larger area.

Our Preference: ADVANING MA1210-A225H

Although it might just be the most expensive option currently available, we feel that the hefty investment is quite justified in this case. We are looking, after all, for something we feel comfortable using and which will last for a while. Given how prominent it will be in our space, flexibility in color is a huge plus. This option checks all the aforementioned boxes, providing you with a healthy range of options both in hue and pattern, as well as a decent array of sizes to choose from. The making, from material to design, reflects a decisive focus in both durability and functionality, being the only one that can also adjust its pitch so the sun won’t be bothering you no matter the time of day.

It will, in summary, require saving up for longer than many others would; however, for the value it delivers, it can hardly be argued that the additional time and effort are adequately justified.

Josh