Putting a pop-up tent on top of your van? Sounds fun. Let’s be honest, though, sleeping inside the van will probably still be better, with its climate control and built-in creature comforts, provided you have a proper mattress you can lay out in the back. For many folks who are car-camping, a better investment will likely be an awning that will allow you to pitch a shade where you can steer clear of the sun and rain. The MoonFab MoonShade offers one of the most convenient awning solutions we’ve seen.
Unlike other awnings, it doesn’t need to be permanently mounted to a roof rack, so your roof is free to carry any gear and supplies you want to bring along for the trip. That’s right, you can keep this thing in a bag and only set it up as needed, giving you a way to enjoy the benefits of a spacious awning without any permanent addition to your ride.
The MoonFab MoonShade packs down to a bag the size of yoga mat (well, a little longer than that), all while unfolding to a shade that measures 9 x 7 feet. That’s a heck of a lot of coverage, giving you and your group a decent amount of shade to keep the sun and rain away. Seriously, that’s enough room to accommodate a few seats, a cooler, and even a small fire pit to gather around with your friends. The shade, by the way, is made from 420-denier recycled ripstop polyester with UV coating, so this should shrug off sun and rain like it’s nobody’s business, while being durable enough to handle all the hazards of the outdoors.
The bottom of the shade is covered in a reflective coating, so any light you have can bounce off and keep it visible from a distance. That way, you can easily spot the awning when you decide to hit the woods for a leak or something.
The MoonFab MoonShade is designed for quick installation using a pretty straightforward system that anyone who’s worked with tents can probably do in just a few minutes. First, you start by unpacking the shade and installing the tension poles into the PVC-coated corner pockets to give the shade structure, then install aluminum poles on one end to get it upright. From there, you just need to mount the other end to your vehicle, either directly to the roof using the included suction cups or to your roof rack using ring anchors. The carabiners on the corners of the shade can be opened using a pull cord system, too, so you don’t need to use a ladder when mounting this on taller vehicles. And yes, you can set up guy lines to the two front corners to keep the whole thing stable during windier days. Do note, they only include suction cups by default, so if you want other mounting options (they have adhesive-backed mounts, magnetic mounts, and a couple of rack-specific mounts), you’ll need to bundle it along with your order.
The MoonFab MoonShade is available now, priced starting at $293.