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Topping it off: Find the right canopy for you

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The extensive variety of canopies available on the market for most double cabs, single cabs and super cabs makes choosing the most suitable canopy not as simple as finding one that fits. Before diving in and purchasing a canopy from Honest Eddy’s Budget Canopy Emporium or the first dealer you find, it’s important to decide what you need in a canopy. Are you storing gear on the roof of the canopy and is a roof rack required? Can the canopy take the weight of your roof top tent? What materials and material weights are most suited to your particular travel lifestyle or work application?

Typically, canopies protect your cargo, be it tools for work purposes or all the paraphernalia you lug along on your camping and overland trips. Other aspects of canopy buying might include questions such as: Can the canopy be colour-coded to match your mustard metallic vehicle? Does the canopy offer access from the back and from the sides? Does it feature roof rails, and what weights can it take? Is there a positive pressure vent to prevent dust build-up? Does the canopy offer access to the cab of the vehicle via a cab slider?

Canopies come in various forms, from fiberglass and various new composites, to an array of metal options, from mild steel to stainless steel and aluminium. Each material will have a specific set of advantages, and as a buyer you must weigh up what will offer the correct combination of weight, durability, rigidity and price. Aesthetics also play a role for some buyers, and here beauty may be in the eye of the beholder – one man’s rugged look may not fit all. Also consider the trade-off between internal space for packing and aerodynamics, as bulkier canopies raised above the roof line will increase the vehicle’s drag coefficient and consequently increase fuel consumption.

Things to look out for when shopping for a canopy are the use of quality build materials, the mounting system (which must be secure but not void the vehicle’s warranty or include drilling into the load bay), superior construction, high rigidity, weight bearing stats, interior lighting options, accessory options, ventilation, and, dust-proofing if you spend a lot of time off the beaten track. The latter is a full discussion on its own.

Our advice is to shop around, and do your homework on the canopies that are most suited to your lifestyle. Remember, the more reputable and well established the canopy manufacturer, the more they will ensure your canopy is the perfect fit for your bakkie and all the necessary warranties and guarantees will apply. Here we feature canopies from six manufacturers (presented in alphabetical order) who have each taken a slightly different approach to bringing customers a quality product.

We’ve uploaded four manufacturers to our site. Check out their offerings here:

By Stuart Reichardt

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