We’re always looking for ways to make the most of our outdoor time. There’s nothing like spending a few days out in the mountains to rejuvenate the mind and body. Whether you’re alone or with friends and family, you can always rely on a weekend full of sledding, snowboarding, or skiing to make your time more worthwhile. However, there’s always something you can do to elevate the experience.

If you want to take your weekend winter getaway to the next level, you need to get a car awning. Car awnings allow you to make better use of your vehicle. From a tool for going places, you can use it as a base for an outdoor party or a camping site. They’re just like a tent, except you can attach them to the vehicle and use it as a cover from the elements.

But before you go out and get one for your car, there are a few things that you need to consider first. People spend hours searching for the right Giro Union helmet, and you need to give your car the same attention. Awnings aren’t exactly complicated, but it’s still smart to practice due diligence and ask questions before making a big purchase.

  •  Make sure it meets international standards

When looking for a new car awning, you have to ensure that it meets ISO 8936. This ISO standard applies to awnings for leisure vehicles. It was recently revised to simplify standards by combining product specifications and testing requirements into a single document. This new simplified standard makes it easy for both manufacturers and consumers to make and choose a safe and durable car awning.

If the awning was made within the United States, you shouldn’t have any problem. Not all countries, however, are party to the international standard. Some countries have their own laws based on the ISO standard, with minor variations to reflect local realities. The test methods, minimum specifications, and requirements should still basically be the same.

  •  Think about how you’re going to use it

One of the most important things you need to think about when looking for an awning for your car is when and how you will use it. For instance, if you travel a lot or plan on using it often, you might want to choose an awning that is easy to deploy and unfurl. It should not be too heavy as well.

Meanwhile, if you’re only going to use it for the occasional trip to the beach or woods, or only during holidays or certain seasons, then you might opt for a heavier yet more durable model.

You also have to consider the space that the awning will require. You might want to choose a car awning that can be permanently installed on the roof. If not, you will need to dedicate space in your vehicle for storage, especially if you plan on keeping it there.

  •  How much space do you need?

Your next consideration is the amount of cover you need. For instance, if you’re traveling with friends or family, you might want to get an awning that can at least cover a four-seater table. The larger the awning, the more space you will need, and you also have to think about the folding tables and chairs, among other things.

Extra-wide car awnings are a great investment. It covers a wide area and can be quite versatile. Most awnings are only 2.5m wide, which means you might want a 3m awning or even a bigger one if you’re going to be with many people.

Meanwhile, if you only need protection for two people at most, usually for a quick break, or if you need a place you can use as a base, then a small car awning would be best. It’s also useful if you want to increase your privacy while parked and keep the open doors protected from rain and heat.

You also want to think about how many people are available to deploy the awning. If you have an extra-wide awning with poles, you will need at least two people to put it up, more if the conditions are quite windy.

A final word

These pointers will help you maximize your car’s utility for outdoor trips. Preparing for a trip to the mountains isn’t as straightforward as you think it is. You have to consider many aspects of the trip, including the amount of protection you need as well as the number of people you’re traveling with.