MoonShade Vehicle Awning Review: Is It Worth the $350 Price Tag?

by Jim Casey
moonshade-awning-review-is-it-worth-the-350-price-tag

If you do a lot of car camping (and, at Outsider, we do), the MoonShade portable vehicle awning from Moon Fab may be a welcome addition to your readily stowed gear (tent, chair, hammock, lantern, cooler, grill). In fact, the MoonShade may be a welcome addition during your next tailgate, road trip, picnic, ballgame, and more.

The portable awning—made from ripstop polyester—attaches to your vehicle on one side (via heavy-duty suction cups or magnets), with adjustable aluminum support poles/tension lines on the other. Moon Fab’s website claims “assembly is a breeze on almost any vehicle” and “the awning is durable, lightweight, and packable.”

Let’s take it to farm and put it to the car camping test in today’s Outsider Review.


MoonShade Specs

  • Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Open Dimensions: 9 feet by 7 feet
  • Packed Dimensions: 28 inches by 6 inches
  • MSRP: $350
  • Buy: Amazon
The MoonShade features 63-square-feet of shaded comfort.

Pros

Easy Setup – The awning is unbelievably easy to setup by yourself. Unlike a lot of canopy/tailgate tents that take two people to erect, the MoonShade can be set up by one person in about five minutes. It’s really simple, even for novices.

Versatile Attachments – The MoonShade features a number of attachment options for your car/truck, including suction cups (included), magnets ($45), and semi-permanent adhesive anchors ($25). Both the suctions cups and magnets performed as advertised. We actually preferred the ease-of-use magnets, which feature a protective silicone booty to prevent scratching. We didn’t have an opportunity to test the adhesive anchors.

(Left) Magnet anchors connect the tent to your car/truck, while (right) aluminum poles support the opposite side.

Shade – The MoonShade provides 63-square-feet of shade, which is plenty of room for a couple of camping chairs, cooler, table, and more. On a 96-degree Tennessee summer day, the MoonShade was a welcome reprieve with its UV-treated polyester canopy. And, it showed no signs of failure during a light drizzle.

Lightweight & Compact – My current 10-foot by 10-foot canopy tent weighs 33 pounds, and it never fits back into its travel bag without a fight. The MoonShade is a mere 8 pounds. And it returns effortlessly to its roomy carrying bag, which features a shoulder strap for convenient transport.

The 8-pound MoonShade packs in a roomy travel bag with shoulder strap.

Cons

Price – The MoonShade costs a pretty penny at $350. And that’s not including the $45 magnet anchors. So you really need to decide if you will utilize it multiple times per year to get your money’s worth because there are cheaper options.

Limited – No shock here, but you need your car/truck (or a secondary support structure, like a metal shed or railing) to erect the MoonShade. So take that into consideration. The MoonShade can be an added boon during tailgates/picnics/ballgames, as long as you are next to your car/truck on natural earth (grass/dirt/sand). You can probably rig sandbags to compensate on blacktop, but you definitely need to have the tent staked down, as gusts of wind will move it without proper tethering.

Hot day, cool shade, cold beer.

Final Thoughts

Does the MoonShade live up to its aforementioned claims? Let’s take a look.

  • Assembly is a breeze on almost any vehicle: We assembled the MoonShade on a 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser, 2014 Honda CRV, and 2021 Chevy Silverado. No problems.
  • Durable: No signs of wear or tear after five uses.
  • Lightweight: Yes.
  • Packable: Yes.

5 Comparable Vehicle Awnings

  1. Coastrail Car Canopy: $110
  2. Vilemoon Car Awning: $119
  3. Hasika Caravan Tent: $139
  4. Danchel Car Side Awning: $207
  5. ARB Retractable Awning: $423
Outsider.com