If you are having a social gathering in the garden or an outside space, or a market, fete or tradeshow in the outdoors, there is more than likely to be a Folding Marquee there. Marquees are great for providing shelter from the sun, rain and inclement weather and brilliant for keeping food and drinks under during parties and gatherings. Folding Marquees ( or sometimes called Popup Marquee's ) are generally light but strong structures that are self erecting and de-erecting and can be used with ease straight out of the box.
WARNING: There are some suppliers who try and gain sales with items called "Shade", "Gazebo" or "Party Tent" as substitutes for Folding Marquee's, but do not be fooled - Shades, Gazebo's or Party Tent's cannot handle winds and quickly get damaged.
This guide will outline exactly what a "Quality Folding Marquee" is, versus a cheapy "Shade" so you can be informed when you spend your hard earnt cash. We will also outline the considerations that need to be made when buying a marquee, especially when online, as there are lots of traps on the popular auction sites and discount online stores, and even regular retail stores that sell Outdoor equipment or Hardware stores. Redmond Outdoor is committed to informing purchasers of the differences between a Quality Folding Marquee and a Cheapy Shade, to combat the mis-information out there. After all, we SUPPORT OUR CUSTOMERS, and we want our customers to be happy, safe, and willing to recommend us..
What is a Folding Marquee?
A Marquee is essentially a large portable tent structure with some or all of the sides being open and is mostly used for outdoor entertainment or commerce. Marquees are normally packed in a carry bag with wheels.
WARNING. There are some suppliers with real dangerous cheapies that will have to be built before use. As with a tent package the cheapie marquee will come with pegs ( or pieces of wire that resembles a peg ), metal or plastic poles which hold the structure and the material which is used to shelter you from the sun and gentle rain, and light winds ( like real light winds )
Folding Marquees are brilliant for a large number of events. Some uses of a marquee tent are:
- Protecting you from the sun- They offer brilliant protection from the sun on hot days and offer shade for a number of people.Look for the ones with a UPF50+ rating ( like sunscreen) from a reputatble laboratory like ARPANSA.
- Getting away from the rain- Marquee tents are rain shelters ( the quality ones have waterproof material with certification on the fabric ) and offer some relief from a sudden shower during an event. Look for the units with Australian Standard certification and the material to be Fire Rated ( important for BBQ's and Sausage Sizzles )
- Keeping food and drink undercover- Keep food out of the sun and protected from insects by having a small table under the marquee. There are actually tables availiable from reputable marquee suppliers that fit onto your marquee frame, and they also fold away like a folding marquee.
- Relaxing- Simply relax under the cool shade provided by the marquee. Quality Folding marquee's can come with wall kits that allow in light, and keep out rain and wind to let you truly relax in the outdoors.
What to Consider When Buying a Folding Marquee Online
When buying a marquee it is important to consider the following points:
- Size: Be sure to measure the size of the area the marquee will be used before searching for a marquee online. Most listings should tell you the dimensions of the marquee in question so it is easy to find out which ones will fit in your garden.
- Use: What will the marquee be used for? If it is to be used for a small family to just keep the sun away then you might want to go for something smaller, whereas it might be wise to find something a bit larger and sturdier if it will be used for large social events.
- Colour: Marquees can come in all sorts of colours and this will be purely down to personal taste and it might be a good idea to buy a marquee that matches the colours in the garden or the colour of the house. You can even get signage options that fit on your marquee for fete's and events.
- How many people will need to be under it at any one time? The size of the marquee needed will largely depend on how many people will need to be underneath it at any one time.
- Type: Choose from a few different styles of frame that vary in terms of shape, size and sturdiness.Here you start to see the quality items from the real cheapies, as the warranty offered by the supplier indicates the real quality of the marquee
- Material: Folding marquee's should be made from modern alloys or modern powwder coated steels. As to the fabric used on a marquee - be careful to avoid PVC based roof and wall materials and insist on quality Polyester. Unless you are a truckie, run your own hire company or live in the tropics, PVC doesnt work well for folding marquee's. Its just way too heavy, creases when its cold and printing falls off it easily. Avoid PVC at all costs, because it will cost you much more in the long run.
- Price: Make sure that you set aside a budget for the marquee and factor in the shipping costs. The larger the marquee is, the more it tends to cost but there are some bargains to be had on online stores ( check the specs and ensure you have a reputable supplier ). Quality has an impact on price ( you always get what you pay for online -and be careful of exaggerated claims )
The Different Type of Marquee Available online
There are Four main types of marquee available online which all have their own pros and cons:
- Manual Erect Frame Marquee- Manual erect Marquees have a metal and plastic frame and a polyester roof and are like a mechano set to put up and take down. They can be erected on all surfaces including grass and concrete with normally multiple people needed. They are cheap, and after one use, you find them in the bins at camping grounds and picnic areas.
- Canvas Pole Marquee- Canvas Pole Marquees use canvas under tension to keep the marquee stable and upright. The poles and guy ropes need to be attached to ground stakes which are normally hammered into soft surfaces like grass. They normally need a lot of people to setup and takedown The canvas is normally handmade and looks fantastic but it might be a little more versatile and practical than a manual erect frame marquee.
- Popup, Self Erecting or Folding Marquee- These are the most popular items. Popup or Folding Marquees are self erecting and normally small in size but can be attached together with other marquees to create a longer marquee structure. They have a pointed ceiling ( the steeper the roof pitch, the better the marquee ) which helps to create a great effect when lots of folding marquees are attached together. These marquees are ideal for small gatherings on their own but can be used for larger events when attached to each other. They are generally quite sturdy ( when your get a quality unit ) and are mostly used on lawns and fields.
- Starshade Marquee- Starshade Marquees are manual erecting and normally large in size. They have a tall and pointed ceiling and concealed pegs which helps to create a great effect at an event. Everybody will notice you.. These marquees are ideal for larger gatherings on their own but can be used for larger events when attached to each other. They are generally quite sturdy and are commercial quality in construction usually. They are mostly used on lawns and fields
Now that you know the main factors to consider when buying a marquee and the different types available, all that you need to do is take a look online and buy your chosen product.
Select a marquee supplier based a) warranty b) certifications and c) backup support. To get all this, you shouldn't need to pay more than other suppliers. Its a competetive industry, so the cheaper ones will always be skimping on something that will cost you more later.
How to Buy a Marquee online
All of the marquees outlined in this guide are available to buy online. Redmond Outdoor only sell Folding marquee's that self erect themselves and Starshade marquees. You can access these products via the Marquee and Starshade menu's on our website.
All marquee vendors should also offer you to buy online, the spare parts for your marquee. We do, under the Components menu item on our website.
There are two ways to buy Marquees online, they are:
· Get a Quote – Buyers can enquire on a specific marquee configuration. Redmond Outdoor offer you the ability to actually build your marquee order, and then REQEST A QUOTE for the configuration you have in the Shopping cart instead of checking out. This way you can get any questions answered and items added that you couldnt find in the webshop - and maybe a better price.
· Buy via a webshop – If the buyer does not want to wait for the Quote process, they can buy it immediately. This option still allows for additional items to be added, but gets your order going faster, especially when delivery timelines are tight.
Once the perfect marquee has been found it is advisable to check out the seller before purchasing from them. There are three main ways that buyers can check that they are buying from a reputable seller online via their testimonials, and also their products certifications and most importantly WARRANTY. Other buyers who have bought from this seller are entitled to give feedback on their experience ( Redmond Outdoor allows it via the reviews area of each product ) and they can also rate them with a review. These reviews and ratings are impartial and are crucial to making sure the online buying experience runs as smooth as possible.
Marquee printing is a growing area. There are many companies out there offering marquee printing, but BEWARE, its not a cheap excercise. There are people claiming to do it cheap, but they are using "indoor grade" technology that quickly fade when used outdoors. The tip to finding the good stuff, is to look at whether the supplier gives you a "non fade printing warranty". if they do, then you know you are getting "Outdoor Grade" printing technology.Redmond Outdoor offer a 12 month non fade printing warranty.
Buying the right marquee for your needs can be quite tough but hopefully by following this guide, the task will be made much easier. It is important to consider all of the points made in this guide and also be fully aware of what the marquee will be used for, what size is needed and how much you are willing to spend.
We have spoken about Warranty of the Marquee in this document, and this is critical, as it tells you if you are getting a quality product with backup or a cheap, fly-by-night product that the seller brought in via a container load and is ditching because its junk. Just because you are buying online, it doesnt mean you need to miss out on getting a decent warranty. Redmond Outdoor source direct from a manufacturer called Mountain Shade, so you know you have the backup and support of a manufacturer in Australia. Redmond Outdoor supply a manufacturer backed warranty of upto 10 years. Even the lower cost units ( similar price points to the cheapies, have 2 years warranty's, and are just plainly better quality units ).
Redmond Outdoor offer the largest range of marquee sizes and frame strengths on the market, and offer Australian Standard certification for the Frame and the fabric/material used on the marquee. Redmond supply the fastest growing marquee brand in the market - Mountain Shade, and as such also offer the market leading 12 month non fade printing warranty. Al this is availiable as a convenient 24 hr webshop acessible via www.mountainshade.com.au