Whether you’re on a camping trip, or out and about on a day with family and friends having the best 4WD awning Australia offers, provides you with permanent shelter whenever you need it. There is no need to worry about packing it “just in case”, and you don’t need to worry about it taking up any precious space as it’s on the roof and basically out of sight. 4WD shade awning options are relatively inexpensive, quick to set up and provide you protection from the sun, wind and rain.
If you’re in the market for the best car awning, then this guide is going to be a great start. In this best 4X4 awning guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to consider when purchasing one to ensure you buy the right one not only for your vehicle but also for your lifestyle. Lastly, we also take a closer look at some of the best top rated options currently on the Australian market.
This guide covers a range of different awning types. We look at options for the best 4WD camping awning with the option to add extra walls, the best 4WD side awning, the best 4WD rear awning and the best 270 degree awning options. So regardless of your needs and budget, you’ll no doubt find the perfect option in this guide.
So let’s get started and find you the perfect 4X4 shade awning.
If you like to camp in Queensland, join our Queensland Camping FB group where you can talk with other campers, ask for advice and share your own camping experiences.
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Our Recommendation for the Best 4WD Awning Australia 2021: Darche Eclipse 270 Awning Gen 2
If you’re not to keen on reading our complete guide and just want our quick recommendation for an excellent 4WD awning, then we suggest the Darche Eclipse 270 Awning Gen 2.
We love the Darche Eclipse 270 Awning Gen 2 because it provides a huge amount of shelter, is made from high quality materials to last for years and years and is lightweight allowing for plenty of other items on your roof racks.
Click here to check the current price of the Darche Eclipse 270 Awning Gen 2 now, or keep reading below for our full review.
The Best Car Awning – Why Buy One Anyway?
Having a 4X4 roof awning permanently fixed to your vehicle is such a convenient way to transport shelter. There is no need to have to remember to pack a gazebo or similar shade when you head out, nor do you need to worry about losing any space in the back of your car.
If you’re still on the fence about buying a 4WD car awning, here are a couple of reasons and situations to convince you otherwise:
- You always have shelter no matter where you go – if you decide to stop somewhere unexpectedly then you’re covered;
- Gazebos or other similar shelters can take up a lot of space, having a 4WD roof awning means you’re not wasting any space; and
- They are useful in so many different situations – camping, watching kids play sport on the weekends, stopping for lunch on road trips, setting up for a day at the beach – the circumstances when they come in handy are endless.
The Best 4X4 Awning 2021 Comparison Table
Before we get started in how to choose the best roof rack awning for you, below we’ve compiled a quick comparison table so you can see all the different 4X4 roof top awnings that are reviewed later in the guide.
The table helps you easily compare the 4WD pull out awning options and their features side by side. Keep reading below for the full reviews.
|Darche Eclipse Gen 2||Foxwing||6 m x 4 m||21.8 kg||Check Price|
|Adventure Kings ||Side||2.5 m x 2.5 m||10.5 kg||Check Price|
|ARB.||Side||2.5 m x 2.5 m or 2 m x 2.5 m||11 kg / 6 kg||Check Price.|
|Ironman.||Side||1.4 m x 2 m, 2.5 m x 2.5 m or 2 m x 2.5 m||Unknown||Check Price.|
|Darch Eclipse ||Side||2.5 m x 2.5 m or 2 m x 2.5 m||15 kg / 11.5 kg||Check Price|
|Darche Eclipse ||Side (180)||6 m x 2 m||16.6 kg||Check Price|
|Darche Eclipse||Rear||2 m x 1.4 m||8 kg||Check Price|
|Rhino Rack ||Batwing||2.5 m x 2.5 m||21.5 kg||Check Price|
|Oztent ||Foxwing||2.4 m Radius||19 kg||Check Price|
|Dune 4WD Quickstop awning||Side||2 m x 2 m||Unknown||Check Price on eBay|
How to Choose the Best 4WD Shade Awning
To ensure you purchase the perfect 4WD roof top awning for your vehicle and lifestyle, consider the following factors:
To start with, you’re probably going to want to think about what size awning to purchase. The best size of your awning really comes down to what you’d like to put under it and your vehicle.
In order to decide which is the right size for you, first of all consider who will be likely seeking shelter under the awning. Will it be just you and a mate or will you have your entire family under there? Will you just be having some chairs under there or are you wanting enough space for a table and BBQ too?
Take some time to consider what you’d like to fit under the 4X4 pull out awning and make sure you go for the right size. There is no point opting for a cheap 4WD awning that is too small for your situation – it will end up just being a waste of money and you may well need to bring extra shade with you.
You’ll also need to consider the size of your vehicle too and ensure the awning will fit on. If the awning is too long, it may stick out either side of your vehicle which may get stuck on branches or even be unsafe if it sticks out too much.
There is a range of different sizes when it comes to a 4WD retractable awning, so you can find the perfect size regardless of your situation.
Side, Rear or Batwing / Foxwing Awning
Once you’ve determined the size you’ll then want to consider where you want the shade. Do you want shade at the side of your vehicle (which is most common), the rear of your vehicle or both?
A 4X4 side awning tends to be most common – this provides you with shelter along the side of your vehicle. However another option is to mount the awning at the read of your vehicle – which can be handy for example if you have a slide out kitchen and so you can have shelter while you’re preparing lunch etc.
Batwing or Foxwing awnings are side mounted awnings and are massive, coming out 270 degrees, covering both the side and the rear. These are perfect for those that want plenty of coverage. They cost far more than a side or rear mounted awning, but are brilliant for large families.
Quality of Material and Fittings
As you’re looking for shelter to keep you protected from the elements, you’re going to want to ensure you purchase a good quality awning made from high quality material.
Most awnings are made from a polyester cotton which comes in a variety of weights and is measured by GSM (grams per square metre). If you’re after a good quality car shade awning, look for ones around 300 gsm.
Also look for awnings with features such as UV resistant or have a reflective layer – these special coatings help keep the awning protected safe from the harsh sun, as well as keeping you protected from the sun and lower temperatures under the awning.
Of course you also want an awning that is waterproof – what’s the point if it’s just going to leak when it rains. Check whether the awning is marked as waterproof – and mould resistant is a good feature to look for too.
As well as the material of the awning, you also want quality fittings such as stainless steel or lightweight aluminium poles and cast metal hinges and fittings. Avoid plastic fittings if possible.
Some awnings come with the option to add a range of accessories. You can add walls to give you additional protection from the elements or even completely enclose it so it’s a 4WD awning tent and you can sleep in there. Another useful accessory for use in Queensland is a mozzie net.
Other accessories can include lighting such as LED strips – some awnings will even come standard with this.
You might also want to give some consideration to the weight of the awning. All vehicles have a maximum carry load for the roof, and while you’re unlikely to go anywhere near that with your awning if you plan on carrying other things on the roof of your vehicle, you’ll want to get something that is lightweight.
The Best 4X4 Shade Awning Reviews 2021
Below we’ve provided reviews on some of the top and best selling awnings currently available on the Australian market.
For those wanting plenty of coverage, this 270 degree car awning by Darche is perfect! Simple to set up and pack down, this Darche awning offers the ultimate in coverage.
This awning mounts to the passenger side of the car and comes with mounting brackets that are suited to most roof racks including steel baskets and flat racks. The awning swings out along the vehicle all the way around to the back with the use of the aluminium swivel hinge system. Most of the poles are integrated and once set up; you’ll get a massive 11.5m2 of shelter.
This 270 degree 4X4 awning is made from high quality materials throughout. It features heavy duty 320gsm polyester cotton ripstop canvas, a lightweight yet strong box tube alloy rafter system, and a heavy-duty steel and alloy swivel hinge system. Around the side of the awning is a continuous skirt which provides a little additional protection from the rain and it can also be set up with additional 4WD awning walls.
Everything required to set up comes with this awning, including alloy poles, guy ropes, pegs and a 600gsm PVC cover for storage. It also comes with a 2 year warranty.
This is a super high quality awning, but it also comes at a high price tag. However for those wanting to invest in a good quality awning with loads of coverage, the Darche is well worth the investment.
For those looking for a cheap and easy option, this Adventure Kings awning is a popular choice. This 2.5m x 2.5m awning is easily mounted to the side of your vehicle, providing you shelter while you’re out and about.
Despite being one of the cheapest awnings in these reviews, this Adventure Kings 4WD awning still comes with some great features. It includes everything you need to install it and it sets up in seconds! Plus when it’s time to pack up it all goes into the heavy duty nylon reinforced 1000D PVC bag.
The canvas is made from a 170GSM ripstop polyester (so not as durable as some of the others listed in this guide) which is both waterproof and has a UPF 50+ rating so will keep you well protected from the sun and the rain. The Adventure Kings 4X4 awning also features anodised anti scratch telescopic alloy poles and alloy (not plastic) knuckles.
So for those after a super cheap option, this Adventure King awning is well worth considering. Read any Adventure Kings awning review and you’ll see this is top rated and a best seller. Plus its super lightweight, so perfect if you’re limited to what you can add to your roof racks.
ARB Awning Review
Another super popular choice among us Aussies is the ARB awning. These retractable 4WD awnings are perfect for those wanting medium coverage, yet a top quality awning for their vehicle.
These ARB awnings are fitted to the side of the vehicle and have been designed for our harsh Aussie conditions – so they are built to last. The ARB touring awning comes with quality fixtures such as anodised height adjustable telescopic legs, velcro ties to secure roof, thick reinforced aluminium poles as well as a heavy duty nylon reinforced PVC bag. It also comes with pegs and guy ropes for securing.
The canvas of this ARB car awning is 300gsm and is both waterproof and UV protected. It comes in three different sizes to choose from including 2.5m x 2.5m, 2m x 2.5m and 1.25m x 2.1m so you can get the size that is perfect for your circumstances. It’s also reasonably lightweight.
If you’re looking for a great quality car side awning, that provides a medium level of shelter, the ARB side awning really is a good option. Constructed with quality materials, it’s sure to live up to the harsh Aussie elements.
Ironman Awning Review
Another side awning that is popular is the range of Ironman awnings. These awnings come with some great features the others don’t as standard as well as all the other necessary requirements to withstand the Australian elements.
There is a range of different size options for your Ironman awning. Choose from 1.4m x 2m, 2.5m x 2.5m or 2m x 2.5m – so no matter your requirements there is sure to be something suitable. The 4WD retractable awning is made with 280gsm ripstop polyester cotton that is waterproof and has a UV 50+ protection.
The awnings come with lightweight aluminium legs which are extendable and self standing. Nevertheless, you’ll also receive glow in the dark guy ropes and pegs to secure it. Another addition is the integrated dimmer for the included LED light strip.
The entire system is easy to install and retractable, making it easy to pack away. It all comes in a durable 1000D waterproof PVC cover too.
So the Ironman awning is yet another great option for those after a good quality side awning. Coming in a range of different sizes and built with quality materials, it’s certainly a good one to consider.
Another Darche Eclipse, they feature quite heavily in these reviews because they really are one of the best in terms of the quality. However they are slightly heavier then some of the other products of similar size (due to the better quality materials) so if this is an issue consider one of the others listed in this guide.
These Darch Eclipse side awnings come in either a 2.5m x 2.5m or a slightly smaller 2m x 2.5m. Whatever size you choose, you’re guaranteed a high quality awning. These awnings are made with a 320gsm polycotton canvas which will protect you both from the sun and the rain, with a 2000mm waterhead rating.
The rest of the awning is also well made with scratch resistant alloy twist lock poles, crack resistant and flexible pivoting hinges that reduce component stress and result in a much more overall sturdier awning. Like all of the Darche Eclipse awnings, it also comes with a 2 year warranty.
If you’re after a top quality side awning for your next adventure, do yourself a favour and consider these Darch Eclipse awnings.
If you like the Darche Eclipse awnings, we’ve reviewed so far, but the first is too big and the second too small, then look no further than the Darche Eclipse 180 degree awning – the perfect compromise.
With its 180 degrees wingspan, this awning gives you some great additional coverage. It is made with a 320gsm polycotton canvas which will protect you both from the sun and the rain, with a 1500mm waterhead rating. The rest of the awning is also well made with scratch resistant alloy twist lock poles, crack resistant and flexible pivoting hinges that provide an overall sturdier awning. Like all of the Darche Eclipse awnings, it also comes with a 2 year warranty, plus all your holding straps, guy ropes and pegs.
With this Darche awning, you also have the option to purchase additional walls to fully enclose the awning making it a great little 4X4 awning tent option.
While I’d recommend the Darch Eclipse 270 degree any day, if that’s just too much coverage or too expensive, this 180 degree awning is a great option.
For those that prefer the shade at the rear of their vehicle, Darche also makes a traditional rear awning which features all the top quality components you see in their other awnings previously reviewed above.
This 4X4 rear awning is a classic size at 1.4m x 2m and is made from a 320gsm polycotton ripstop canvas. The canvas has a 2000mm water head rating, will protect you from the harsh UV light and also has a mould proof layer. The awning also features black anodised alloy twist-lock poles, twin channel alloy profiles with end caps for space-saving pole pack away, and flexible stress-reducing pivoting hinges.
When not in use, the whole set up packs away easily in the 600gsm laminated PVC cover so it will be well protected from the weather and ready when you need it next.
The range of Darche Eclipse awnings are such a great high quality product and whether you’re after shading for the side, rear or opt for the massive batwings – you can’t go wrong.
Another great alternative to the Darch Eclipse 270 degree awning is this Rhino Rack Batwing awning. Covering both the side and rear of your vehicle, this awning provides an extensive 11sqm coverage when set up.
This is a really easy to use awning, which is made from a heavy duty, 210D polycotton ripstop fabric which is both water and mould resistant and will protect you from UV50+. The awning poles and frame are rust resistant black powder coated, although the hinges are plastic.
The Rhino Batwing awning comes with everything you need to set it up including a mounting kit, bright orange guy ropes, pegs, poles and a heavy duty 580gsm PVC bag. You can also add a range of accessories if you wish, such as sidewalls, tents or extension pieces making it a great little versatile awning.
So if the Darche Eclipse is just too far out of your price range, yet you still want massive coverage for your outdoor adventures, the Rhino batwing is worth considering.
Another huge awning offering stacks of shade is the Oztent Foxwing 270. Like the other 270 degree awnings in these reviews, the Oztent Foxwing provides a massive 11m2 from the side to the back of your vehicle.
Setting up this huge awning is a breeze and can be done by just one person in minutes. The awning is made from a fire resistant ripstop polyester which has a UV protection rating of 50+ and is also waterproof (1500mm) and mould resistant.
Around the side of the awning is a continuous skirt which provides a little additional protection from the rain Plus either side of the awning has zippers which allow you to add other accessories if you wish and there are also LED mounting points.
The frame is made from lightweight, yet solid aluminium and comes with claw spigot telescopic poles. The awning also comes with everything you need to set up including reflective guy ropes, pegs and a travel bag for storing. The awning also has a 2 year warranty.
Out of all the 270 degree awnings in this guide, this is the lightest one so well worth looking at it if you’re limited in terms of your roof load capacity. Other than that, it is a great, cheaper alternative to consider if the Darche is out of your budget.
For those after a quick and cheap shade option, the Dune 4WD Quickstop awning by Anaconda (see it on eBay) is one to consider. It certainly doesn’t come with the quality of the other options in this guide, but it will still provide you convenient shade with your out and about.
Unlike the other products in this guide, the Dune 4WD awning doesn’t remain permanently fixed to your vehicle. This awning is fixed into place as required by the use of quick lock suction caps which can be popped on your car or in fact any other flat surface – this makes it super versatile.
The awning is made from heavy duty 150D polyester which provides protection from 50+ UV rays. It comes with everything you need to set up including pre attached guy ropes and pegs.
So if you’re not looking at investing in anything too expensive, but still want some easy shade while your out and about the Dune Quickstop awning is one to consider.
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