Retractable Awnings Reviews | Compare the Best Awning Companies & Models

Find the Best Retractable Outdoor Awnings

You can mount retractable and outdoor fixed awnings over windows, doors, or roofs to cover your outdoor living spaces, such as a porch, deck, or patio.

High-quality retractable sunshades reduce heat and block out the sun, UV rays, glare, wind, and rain for a functional and enjoyable outdoor area. 

The best outdoor retractable awnings on a building

Comparing retractable and outdoor fixed awnings

Retractable outdoor awnings consist of lightweight frames and awning fabrics. You can attach them to a wall, a soffit, a fascia, a beam, a roof, or an eave/soffit/overhang. They act as an extension of residential or commercial buildings to cover an outdoor patio or deck. Like outdoor fixed awnings, the purpose of the best outdoor retractable awnings includes providing sun protection, UV protection, and light rain protection. 

However, retractable patio awnings are a much better option and a more customizable solution than fixed awnings. A retractable frame mechanism opens and closes the fabric cover, allowing you to make adjustments for preferred shade and light rain protection. 

You can operate manual awning models with a simple hand crank. Motorized awning models (electric versions) have integrated tubular motors controlled by a switch, a smartphone/tablet app, a timer, or a remote control.

A retractable awning covers an outdoor living space which makes it functional in the sun and during light rain. It can create a cozy dining area, an entertainment zone, a fresh lounge, and more. The best retractable outdoor awnings also protect people from harmful UV rays, light rain, and outdoor furniture or rugs from fading.

Many different retractable awning models exist, including: 

  • Retractable window awnings 
  • Retractable lateral arm awnings 
  • Retractable sidearm (drop arm) awnings 
  • Retractable canopies
  • Retractable screens 
  • Retractable pergolas
  • Retractable shade sails
  • Retractable freestanding awnings
  • Retractable and rotating louvered roof systems

Production materials of retractable and fixed outdoor awnings

An orange cross arm kit retractable awning fixed into place outdoors

High quality frame components, fabrics, and sewing thread typically come from Europe. Chinese products are in no way long-lasting or reliable and have no engineering certifications such at CE, Eurolab or TÜV. I always recommend looking into retractable awnings with good reviews and proven engineering certifications.

I also recommend choosing raw materials such as lightweight 6063 aluminum for retractable awnings. Aluminum is beneficial for the parts that are most stressed because it’s strong. Manufacturers should also apply an electrostatic powder coating such as Qualicoat® to achieve a preferable color and additional corrosion resistance. 

All additional parts, such as brackets, bolts, chains in the arms, and other assembly components, should be marine-grade 316 stainless steel and 6063 aluminum. These raw materials have exceptional resistance to corrosion and pitting, which ensures your awning will last longer and be safe to use. 

Retractable awning fabrics should be solution-dyed acrylic, fade-resistant, UV-resistant, and mildew-resistant.  The best fabric choice for retractable awnings comes from brands like Para, Dickson, Recasens, or Sunbrella.

These brands use solution-dyed acrylic fabrics that are breathable, water-resistant, and treated to repel water. They are not waterproof like PVC but will allow for light rain runoff if enough pitch is placed on the arms/fabric. Most solution-dyed acrylic fabrics resist fading, mold, mildew, rotting, and some are even fire retardants used mostly for commercial installations.

Benefits and advantages of retractable awnings

Water-resistant solution-dyed acrylic fabric with droplets of water near a pool

You can mount retractable patio and deck sunshades in several different ways according to your installation preferences, substrate and available space. They allow you to open and close the fabric any time you want. The best outdoor retractable awnings let the sun in to keep buildings warm in the winter. 

Retractable and fixed outdoor awnings can completely block out the sun during the summer. You may also notice that your electric bill significantly decreases in summer with a well-made retractable awning that uses solution-dyed, water-resistant fabric like Para, Dickson, Recasens or Sunbrella.

A retractable awning helps your outdoor furniture and rugs last longer by not letting direct sunlight and harmful UV rays discolor and fade them. The best outdoor retractable awnings let you and your guests or business customers:

  • Enjoy tanning
  • Avoid sunburning
  • Extend awnings during light rain showers
  • Retract awnings to enjoy a sunny day or a clear night gazing at the stars

The best part is that you don’t have to compromise your design preferences. If you choose an aluminum frame, you can select from various RAL colors for powder coating to match the accents of your color palette. 

In addition, solution-dyed acrylics come in different shades, stripes, solids, textures, and patterns, allowing you to add individuality to your residence or business and make a statement.

Who are retractable outdoor awnings best for?

Retractable awnings are beneficial for any outdoor space you want to make more functional and welcoming.

Residential owners interested in smaller models sometimes prefer manual awnings, while commercial owners with large outdoor areas invest in motorized retractable sunshades. 

These shading systems are ideal for people who don’t wish to install permanent structures using posts or columns and want a tailored solution for their patios, porches, or decks.

Why Retractable Awnings Reviews?

Retractable Awnings Reviews offers the most honest and unbiased information available today regarding retractable products on the internet.

This website is the go-to resource for regular customers looking for accurate information and objective reviews of retractable products, such as retractable outdoor awnings.

Through Retractable Awnings Reviews, you will find the best and most reliable companies in the US and Canada.


A gray striped retractable awning over a set of windows

Fixed awnings are permanently attached to a building’s exterior. You can retract or extend retractable awnings as needed. A fixed awning will block out light rain and sun. Retractable outdoor awnings will also block out light rain and sun but they give you full control by letting you choose when to enjoy a sunny or rainy day or night.

At Retractable Awnings Reviews, you can find helpful information about different retractable awning and pergola products and companies. This website will help you find the best retractable awnings by providing authentic company and product reviews.

Retractable Awnings Reviews is a website that delivers accurate retractable product reviews. All reviews are by product owners sharing their honest opinions about their purchases. I never publish sponsored or paid content or reviews on this website.

I have over 40 years of experience manufacturing, distributing, and installing retractable awnings. This experience gives me a good outlook on the retractable products offered online. 

I believe that impartial reviews allow home and business owners to accurately weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a particular product and company to make the best purchase for their personal needs.


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