Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Whether at open-air events or private garden parties - garden pavilions are versatile. What's more, the tent-like canopies are a real eye-catcher. But which pavilion is best for you?

In our garden gazebo test 2021, we show you the best and latest models from the respective categories. We also give you important tips and tricks on the subject of gazebos. Whether folding gazebos, iron gazebos, party tents, wooden gazebos or glass gazebos, with us you will find the best garden gazebos on the market.

Contents




The most important facts

  • A gazebo is the right choice for you if you are looking for a way to make the most of your garden. A gazebo can be useful to you in any season and in any weather, as it offers protection from the sun as well as from wind and rain.
  • There are many different garden gazebos to choose from, so you can adapt your gazebo perfectly to your needs.
  • Depending on which model you choose, the price can vary greatly. Of course, a gazebo made of tarpaulin will be cheaper than a gazebo made of sturdy material, such as wood or iron.

The best garden pavilion: Our picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a garden pavilion

What do I need a gazebo for?

The possible uses depend on the type of gazebo. Therefore, consider in advance when and for what you want to use your gazebo. Do you prefer to use the gazebo in summer or in winter?

Do you want to use it occasionally for parties in the garden and thus as a shelter for guests, a barbecue or a stereo system, or do you want to use the pavilion as a cosy retreat?

Pavilions are particularly suitable in summer for parties, as a shelter for guests. (Photo: alohamalakhov / pixabay.com)

How much does a garden pavilion cost?

Basically, this depends very much on what kind of gazebo you choose. Of course, a gazebo that is permanently anchored to the ground and made of stable and solid material, such as the wooden gazebo, will differ in price from gazebos made of tarpaulin.

Expect to pay between 200 pounds and 500 pounds for a high-quality canvas gazebo. For this price, you can expect a waterproof gazebo made of excellent material.

In the following table we would like to give you a rough overview of the costs of the different garden pavilions. Further below, more detailed information is given on the garden pavilions mentioned and their costs.

Do I have to maintain the gazebo?

If you want to enjoy your gazebo for a long time, we recommend that you take proper care of your gazebo, depending on the model. If your gazebo is firmly anchored to the ground, it is also exposed to rain, sun and other environmental influences all year round. As a result, you should check the gazebo regularly.

If you have purchased a wooden gazebo, for example, you can treat the wood with wood preservative stain, wood wax or outdoor oil. These have the task of impregnating the wood and protecting it.

However, find out beforehand how your pavilion should be specifically cared for, as care can vary greatly depending on the type of wood.

Even if your pavilion is not firmly anchored to the ground and is only set up temporarily as needed, the pavilion still requires care. For party tents and folding tents, you should make sure that you clean the pavilion and remove dirt before dismantling it.

You should also check whether any cracks have appeared during use. These can then be repaired with a repair kit, which you should always have at hand. Otherwise, the cracks may increase and cause enormous damage that may impair use.

How does the assembly work?

Most models can be easily assembled on your own. However, we recommend that you take a second hand to help you. This will help you to understand the process of assembling and to avoid possible mistakes in thinking when assembling.

With larger models, it is often necessary for two people to work together from the outset. Of course, instructions are included in the scope of delivery, which you should follow during assembly.

How long does the assembly take?

If you decide to anchor a pavilion firmly in the ground and you also want to pour a foundation beforehand, it is difficult to weigh up how long the assembly will take.

However, once you have erected your pavilion, you will no longer have to deal with the hassle and will be able to enjoy your pavilion.

A party tent or folding pavilion should of course be erected as quickly as possible. Depending on the construction, you will need 15 minutes to two hours to erect it. Depending on whether you set up the pavilion in pairs or alone.

Where do I set up the gazebo?

Where you ultimately place your pavilion depends primarily on your ideas. However, the right location depends especially on what you want to use your pavilion for.

So think about the purpose of the pavilion in advance.

For example, if you want to use the gazebo for a party, see where the party tent can best be placed so that you can get the most out of it.

Did you know that you need a permit to erect some gazebos?

A gazebo with brick stone walls falls under the heading of buildings and this may require planning permission. In the case of rented accommodation or gardens that are used by more than one tenant, you must obtain permission from these parties before erecting your gazebo.

What can I use a folding gazebo for?

The uses of folding gazebos are wide-ranging. Whether as a shelter at parties, as a sales stand at markets, as an advertising stand at trade fairs or as a party tent for club or street festivals, the folding marquee remains a loyal companion.

Individualise your folding pavilion with a logo and your pavilion becomes more than just a wind and rain protection. Printed with an advertising message or logo, every gazebo becomes a selected marketing tool!

Can I erect a folding pavilion on my own?

A considerable advantage of folding marquees is that they can be erected by just one person without any problems. As a rule, you do not need any special tools for this. The folding pavilion is relatively light in weight, which makes it easier for you to set up.

What does a folding pavilion cost?

Depending on the quality, size and design, the price of folding pavilions varies greatly. You can get a simple version for as little as 50 euros.

The price can go up to 500 euros. Here, of course, you can expect particularly high quality and workmanship, as well as first-class material and a sophisticated design.

A folding pavilion can be used for parties, as a sales stand or advertising stand. It provides wind and rain protection. Simple folding pavilions are available from 50€.

Can I assemble my metal gazebo myself?

As a rule, metal gazebos are constructed in such a way that you can erect them yourself with a little skill. However, we recommend that you take a second or even third person to help you.

What does an iron pavilion cost?

You can get a simple, relatively small model for under 200€. Especially the handmade iron pavilions, with many ornaments, are more expensive and can cost up to 2000€.

What can I use a marquee for?

First and foremost, of course, it is ideal for any party. However, it is basically suitable for many other occasions, whether for birthday parties, clubs, companies, markets or weddings. The possible uses are very diverse.

How do I care for my party tent?

The tarpaulin should be cleaned regularly to ensure long-lasting use. Special cleaning agents are suitable for this purpose, as they can remove stubborn dirt thoroughly and gently.

If you should come across any damage during cleaning, it should be repaired as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the damage may become even worse.

Do I have enough space for a wooden gazebo?

Of course, it looks best if the gazebo stands freely on a lawn. If you have less space available in your garden, there is the option of choosing a gazebo that is designed to stand against a wall.

This then has no window frontage on one side, for example. So if you have a garden, there is nothing to stop you from having a gazebo.

How much does it cost to buy a wooden pavilion?

The price range starts at about 400€ for a simple wooden pavilion. The luxury version is priced in the four-digit range.

What kind of wood is used for the pavilion?

Mostly coniferous wood is used, predominantly spruce.

Does the wooden pavilion need to be maintained?

The gazebo is exposed to rain, sun and other environmental influences all year round. For this reason, you should care for the wood properly.

The care varies from type of wood to type of wood. For example, wood preservative varnish, wood wax and outdoor oil come into question; these have an impregnating, water-repellent effect and protect the wood.

What does a glass pavilion cost?

You can get a round igloo glass pavilion from around €700. The larger, square models start at €1000 and can cost up to €15,000.

How do I find a suitable place for my glass pavilion?

Think about where you want your glass gazebo to be. The glass pavilion does not necessarily have to be free-standing in the garden, but can also be attached directly to the house and thus become a kind of winter garden.

Keep in mind that the glass pavilion comes into its own best when it is placed in the middle of the garden. As the glass gazebo gives a 360 degree view of your garden from inside, you will therefore get the most benefit if the glass gazebo is not placed directly against a wall.

How do I protect my glass gazebo?

So-called nano glass sealants are indispensable not only for the winter, but for the whole year. This is applied to the glass surfaces of the gazebo and thus seals microscopic pores.

As a result, rain and dirty water run off without leaving any residue and the glass stays clean for longer.

What do you want to use your gazebo for?

Before making a purchase decision, you should think carefully about when your gazebo will be used and what function it will have.

The following table shows two gazebos and their possible uses:

Type of pavilion Possible use
Folding pavilion Shelter at parties, Sales stand at markets, Advertising stand at trade fairs, Particularly interesting for clubs, Advertising medium, Beach
Marquee Large parties, Weddings, Company celebrations, Community celebrations

However, there are many different pavilions and, as a result, countless possibilities for their use. In order to find the right pavilion for you, we recommend that you ask yourself the following questions beforehand:

Who or what is to be accommodated under your pavilion?

If the pavilion is intended for a party, the party tent or the folding tent could come into question. For a large party, the party tent is particularly suitable.

You can find it in various designs and sizes. For a small party where you only want to accommodate food, a folding tent is also sufficient.

Pavilions can be used for many different occasions and will fit on any surface. (Photo: StockSnap: pixabay.com)

Do you want your pavilion to be temporary or firmly anchored in the ground?

If you want to anchor the pavilion firmly in the ground, then your choice will be a wooden, iron or glass pavilion. The advantage here is that you don't have to keep rebuilding the pavilion and it can be admired and used all year round, as long as it is closed.

On the other hand, you should bear in mind that you cannot simply reassemble the pavilion somewhere else. For this reason, it is important that you choose the place for the gazebo carefully.

At what time of year do you want to use the gazebo?

An open pavilion will only be usable in the summer. Of course, a beautiful playful iron gazebo is also an eye-catcher in summer, but it will be too cold to create a cosy breakfast in the gazebo in winter.

You can also heat a closed pavilion and the heat is stored inside. This makes it an attractive place to return to in the winter when it is cold.

Decision: What types of garden gazebos are there and which is right for you?

What do I need a gazebo for?

The possible uses depend on the type of gazebo. Therefore, consider in advance when and for what you want to use your gazebo. Do you prefer to use the pavilion in summer or in winter?

Is it to be used occasionally for parties in the garden and thus as a shelter for guests, a barbecue or a music system, or do you want to use the gazebo as a cosy retreat?

Is a garden pavilion suitable for me?

If you have a garden, there is nothing standing in the way of a gazebo. Depending on the model, you need to make sure that the gazebo is the right size for your garden.

A gazebo tent can be set up quickly anywhere and can be taken down again after use to free up space. A gazebo that is firmly anchored in the ground offers permanent use.

If you have limited space and one side of your gazebo will be against a wall, choose a gazebo that has no windows on that side.

A glass pavilion is also unfavourable in this case. It is all the more beautiful if a glass pavilion stands in the middle of the garden and thus offers a 360-degree panoramic view.

What are the advantages of a folding pavilion?

Folding marquees are particularly efficient because they can be erected and dismantled in just a few minutes and without any additional tools. They are relatively light in weight and take up little space. This makes it easy to transport the gazebo and store it in a space-saving way until the next time you need it.

A folding pavilion offers the highest degree of flexibility as well as numerous possible uses and can be erected almost anywhere.

Quick and easy to erect and dismantle, the folding tent can also be used in small gardens. The folding pavilion can be used at any time of the year, as it is weatherproof and thus protects against rain, wind and sun. Here you can distinguish between open or closed variants.

If you buy the pavilion closed, i.e. with side parts, you can also use it as an open pavilion by leaving out the side parts when you erect it. This is particularly useful on hot summer days.

There is a countless selection of sizes available to you when you buy. A folding pavilion offers many different uses; it is mainly used as a sales, storage, advertising, garden, festival or trade fair tent. When dismantled, the folding pavilion can be stored in a space-saving way and easily transported.

Did you know that the word pavilion comes from the Latin word for butterfly?

Until the 18th century, the term "pavilion" stood for a square war tent and was borrowed from French. Originally, however, pavilion derives from the Latin word "papilio", which actually means "butterfly", but in late Latin stands for tent. Butterfly because the folded ends at the tent exit of the pavilion are reminiscent of the appearance of these.

What are the advantages of an iron pavilion?

An iron gazebo can be firmly anchored to the ground and does not have to be dismantled in autumn or winter. On the one hand, this saves you a lot of work and, on the other, you can enjoy the sight of the pavilion all year round.

One advantage over the wood and glass gazebo is that you do not have to spend a lot of time maintaining the metal ga zebo. Iron is a durable material that is robust and at the same time looks much more stylish than plastic.

Iron gazebos are also often used to let climbing plants such as ivy, vine leaves or roses grow up the iron parts.

By flexibly installing a fabric or tarpaulin in the roof area of the pavilion, it also offers protection from the sun.

Compared to a simple parasol, the metal pavilion has the advantage that it can be anchored much more securely and thus remains stable in windy conditions.

In addition, the umbrella stand in the middle of the pavilion does not need to be taken into account, which means that tables and chairs can be placed more easily.

An iron pavilion can be firmly anchored and does not have to be dismantled in winter. It also does not need to be elaborately maintained.

What are the disadvantages of an iron pavilion?

A metal pavilion is better suited for summer than for winter. In the cold season, it becomes difficult to use the iron gazebo because it is open.

Consequently, cold can stream in and there is no possibility to heat the pavilion.

What are the advantages of a party tent?

No matter what weather you are having a party in, a party marquee offers positive benefits in every case. It protects you from wind and weather and provides shelter from the sun on hot summer days and promises a cosy ambience in cool evening hours.

When is a wooden pavilion the right choice for me?

A wooden gazebo is the right choice for you if you are looking for a permanently installed place to relax in your otherwise familiar surroundings.

A wooden gazebo is less suitable if you want to use the gazebo flexibly. Once erected, it will not be so easy to move the gazebo. So think carefully about the space you dedicate to your wooden gazebo.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a glass gazebo?

What is particularly nice is that you can use a glass gazebo at any time of the year. In summer it protects you from direct sunlight and in winter it protects you from rain, wind and snow. At the same time, it keeps the interior warm by storing heat.

Please note that the glass can quickly become dirty due to various environmental influences and can make the pavilion appear unkempt.

In addition to the nano cleaner, we recommend that you clean the glass pavilion regularly. Commercially available window cleaner is suitable for cleaning. We also recommend that you have the glass pavilion professionally cleaned once a year.

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate garden gazebos

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate garden gazebos. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular product is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Size
  • Material
  • Open or closed
  • Quality
  • Design
  • Tarpaulin texture

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Size

The required size of the gazebo is a decisive selection criterion when buying. Think about what you want to use your folding pavilion for and/or how many people should have room in the pavilion.

The smallest size of gazebo, which is 3x2m, can accommodate about 3-4 people. The largest size goes up to 4x8m. If you are using your folding pavilion commercially, we recommend that you measure what you want to accommodate in the pavilion in order to find the right size.

Standard sizes are generally 3×3m and 4×4m. Here you have the widest choice.

If you are looking for a very large gazebo, there is an alternative to buying a giant gazebo. You can join several pavilions together using special connecting parts and thus flexibly change the size.

Material

If you decide on a folding pavilion or a party tent, there are considerable differences in the material of the tarpaulin. The tarpaulin material used is either high-performance polyester, PVC-coated high-performance polyester or pure PVC tarpaulins.

The high-performance polyester tarpaulin has the advantage that it is particularly light in weight compared to the other two tarpaulins.

The PVC-coated high-performance polyester and the pure PVC tarpaulins are heavier, but 100% waterproof and have a higher UV protection.

Another important criterion that is decisive for the stability of the pavilion is the material of the frame.

At the same time, the material of the frame also affects the weight of the pavilion. Basically, the poles are made of metal.

A distinction is made between steel and aluminium. Steel has the property that it is particularly robust and stable. The disadvantage is that a pavilion with a steel frame is relatively heavy. Alluminium is very light, which makes it easier to transport and dismantle. However, it is not as stable as steel.

Therefore, depending on your needs, you have to weigh up which is more suitable for you. In any case, make sure that the metal does not rust. Otherwise your pavilion will quickly become unstable and the rust can also damage the tarpaulin.

Open or closed

Wooden, metal and glass pavilions as well as pavilions made of tarpaulin are available closed or open. An open pavilion is only equipped with a roof and supports that hold the pavilion.

On the other hand, the sides of closed models are also covered. Both variants have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the need for use.

Basically, an open pavilion is ideal for the summer. A roof provides shade and protects against summer rain.

At the same time, you are in the fresh air and thus very close to nature. In winter, an open pavilion is less suitable, as it is simply too cold.

To make use of the pavilion in the cool season, we therefore advise you to choose a closed pavilion.

This will keep you dry in rain and snow and protect you from the wind. It is possible to heat the pavilion in winter with the help of a gas heater to make the pavilion even cosier.

Of course, you can also use the pavilion in summer. It proves to be particularly efficient if the pavilion is equipped with windows.

With tarpaulin gazebos, you have the option of varying the structure. You can also erect the folding tent without the side panels and tuck away the side panels of the party tent. This way you create an open construction.

Quality

You can get simple pavilions for little money, but we recommend that you do not let yourself be guided by price alone when buying.

If you decide to invest in a garden pavilion, make sure that the product is of good quality. You will not enjoy an unstable structure for long.

When buying, examine the material. How is it processed? Are the seams clean? If careless work was done in the manufacture of the tarpaulin pavilions, this can lead to cracks.

As a result, the pavilion is no longer waterproof. With a folding tent or party tent, you should make sure that the roof is supported by several cross braces, otherwise rainwater may collect on the surfaces in bad weather.

In the case of a wooden or iron pavilion, you should take a closer look at the material workmanship. The supports should be stable and not too thin so that the pavilion does not stand wobbly when it is erected.

Other clues to determine the quality of the product are quality marks. These draw your attention to safety requirements and environmental properties that have been met.

Design

When it comes to design, you have a huge choice. You can choose a product that suits you perfectly. Can't decide yet?

We recommend that you make sure that the gazebo is in harmony with your garden. If your garden is characterised by a modern style, then straight and clear shapes without large embellishments are particularly suitable.

A playful and romantic garden, on the other hand, will be flattered by round, organic shapes. There are also no restrictions on the choice of colour. You have the opportunity to adapt the pavilion to the occasion and to match it to your garden.

Nature of the tarpaulin

The tarpaulin material used is either high-performance polyester, PVC-coated high-performance polyester or pure PVC tarpaulins.

The high-performance polyester tarpaulin has the advantage that it is particularly light compared to the other two tarpaulins with a weight of 200g/m².

At 400g/m², the PVC-coated high-performance polyester tarpaulin is twice as heavy as the high-performance polyester tarpaulin, but offers a particularly high UV protection of 50+ and the coating makes the tarpaulin completely waterproof.

Even more stable and weatherproof are the pure PVC tarpaulins. With a weight of 600g/m², they are three times heavier than the high-performance polyester tarpaulins.

The pure PVC tarpaulins are 100% waterproof and have a UV protection rating of 80+. This makes them particularly suitable for professional and frequent use.

When buying, pay attention to the difference between "water-repellent" and "waterproof". Only the "waterproof" label will provide 100% protection against water in the gazebo.

Image source: Pixabay.com / FASerra

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