An outdoor gazebo canopy is the perfect way to add a bit of style and functionality to any backyard patio. Plus, at a much lower price point than comparable hardtop gazebos, they’re far easier on your wallet as well. During our testing, we found the Sonoma Outdoor Iron Gazebo Canopy to be the best soft top canopy gazebo on the market.
Made from excellent high-end materials and boasting a stunning design it’s the perfect centerpiece for your outdoor space. Not to mention it comes full loaded with a boatload of included extras to sweeten the pot. From the unique double vented canopy, to the included heavy-duty bug screening, the Sonoma is an excellent choice for those balmy summer days and windy fall nights.
- 118” L x 118” W x 107” H
- Durable coated steel frame which is perfect for all season use
- Fully water and sun resistant polyester canopy with screened vent
- Adjustable zippered bug netting and privacy curtains
- Pre-drilled anchor holes in each leg for either wood or concrete installation
- Two color choices, beige or light brown
- Easy assembly
- 30 Day warranty
Straight out of the box we were pleased to see that all the components were nicely labeled and easy to find. Plus, the Sonoma Gazebo came with a handy instruction manual that walks you step by step through the assembly process. In total there are about 52 bolts that need to be threaded into place with the whole process only taking an hour or two tops. As with most larger assembly jobs a second person does speed up the process, but is hardly required. The whole package weighs in at 110 pounds and come in multiple parts for easy transport to different locations.
Tip: Make sure to not over-tighten the bolts as you can easily strip them with excessive force. If you do strip them or just lose some in the grass, the unit does include a few spares for convenience
We’d suggest that prior to putting the canopy on you give it a coating of Scotchgard Water Shield or another water repellent spray for some additional weather proofing. You’ll need about 25 oz. or so to spray the outside and inside of the canopy. The final installation step is to attach the included bug netting and privacy curtains which both slide on separate internal rails for easy adjustment and use. Overall it was a fairly quick and pain free assembly process and we were very impressed with the final result.
With the threat of constant rains, heavy winds and potential winter storms you’ll want an outdoor gazebo that is extremely resilient to environmental effects. The Sonoma Gazebo Canopy Umbrella is certainly up to the task with its thick steel frame, ample internal support beams and heavy duty build. For starters, all the steel beams are fully powder coated for enhanced rust resistant and weatherproofing. This is excellent for those of you who like as little maintenance as possible and just want to enjoy the outdoors. The support columns also have pre-drilled anchor holes in them which make it easy to screw the canvas gazebo into concrete or wood for superior wind resistance. During our testing we had wind gusts up to 40 mph and the Sonoma Outdoor Gazebo was rock solid throughout the entire storm.
Tip: A patio gazebo makes a great place to store outdoor furniture during summer storms, particularly items that are easily damaged by hail. The soft top canopy is very resilient to hail damage and can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
One thing to keep in mind however is that even the heaviest of polyester tops should be taken down if your area is prone to severe winter weather. Snow can cause the canopy to stretch and eventually lead to premature failure. The frame on the other hand can stay up year round so when spring comes you can quickly pop the canopy top back on and you’re ready to go.
When it comes to visual appeal, the Sonoma Outdoor Iron Gazebo Canopy absolutely hits it out of the park. We love the dark chocolate brown support beams as they give off a sense of luxury and elegance to the unit. Coupled with either the light brown or beige fabric, you have a perfect compliment of colors to bring your backyard patio to life. The included netting and curtains also help to add a bit of flair, especially when tied back as they give the Sonoma Canopy an airy tropical look. Topping it off, the tiered canopy vent was the perfect element to break up an otherwise flat silhouette and gives the gazebo that extra wow factor.
We also decided to upgraded our patio gazebo with some unique decorative string lights to add a touch of personality. Stringing them under the canopy or along the edge are both great options for including a bit of functional lighting to your outdoor space. In general this is a gorgeous looking canopy gazebo and is great for drinking coffee in the morning sun without any biting insects ruining the experience.
As we’ve mentioned a few times throughout this review, the Sonoma Iron Gazebo Canopy is packed full of extras. First and foremost is the extra heavy duty bug screen. With a durable zippered opening for easy entry and exit, it does a great job of keeping any flying critters out. Plus, the thick mesh is very fine, yet clearly built for extended outdoor use. If instead it’s a fairly bug free day, you can opt to use the included side toggles to get it out of the way and open up your gazebo.
The included privacy curtain is equally well built and boasts thick, high quality fabric that does an excellent job of blocking any prying eyes, as well as limiting any wind and sunlight that seeps in. We found the curtain was extremely useful for crisp windy fall days when we just wanted to read under the canopy with some string lights to provide a soft ambient glow. Both the curtain and bug screen are mounted on independent rail system which make individual adjustment a snap and when you want to move the curtain out of the way it can be held in place by Velcro fasteners that wrap around each leg.
Things to be Aware of
While hardly a deal breaker the Sonoma Outdoor Gazebo does have a single issue that we’d like to mention. During assembly it can be fairly hard to get the canopy tight, which in turn leads to an uneven surface that has the potential to collect water. While our test unit didn’t have the issue, there have been reports of water accumulating which stretched out the fabric and causes premature failure. In general though, this shouldn’t be an issue for 99% of people and if it is, a few extra supports placed near the canopy ridges will quickly eliminate the problem.
Summary – The Best Soft Top Gazebo on the Market
Overall the Sonoma Outdoor Canopy is an excellent, an in our opinion the best, outdoor canopy on the market. It has a sturdy steel frame and robust canopy that will easily last for many seasons to come. Once you factor in the designer looks, easy assembly and included bug netting and privacy screen, this canopy kit is almost too good to be true. We highly recommend this outdoor canopy to both new and old gazebo owners as it is at a perfect price point, built to last and one of the best looking outdoor gazebos around. If you want to see how it compares to some of other top choices, click here to see our reviews of the best soft top gazebos, otherwise click here to buy the Sonoma Outdoor Iron Gazebo Canopy Umbrella.