The Best Carports of 2022

A carport can be a convenient, cost-effective way to protect your car, truck, and a whole lot more.

By Bob Beacham | Updated Aug 5, 2022 2:06 AM

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The Best Carports Option

Photo: amazon.com

Carports can do a great job of protecting your car, truck, boat, motorcycle, garden machinery, and more from winter weather and summer sun. For those who don’t have a garage, a carport is an affordable alternative that can often be assembled in a few hours.

Deciding on the best carport can be difficult as there are many options designed to fulfill specific needs. Some are lightweight, temporary structures while others are more permanent. There are many different configurations, too.

Keep reading to find out the important details to consider, and learn about the pros and cons of some of the best carports currently available.

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  1. BEST OVERALL: ShelterLogic AutoShelter Instant Garage
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Abba Patio 20′ x 10′ Heavy Duty Carport Garage
  3. BEST ALUMINUM: Hanover 19′ x 10′ Aluminum Arch-Roof Carport
  4. BEST COMPACT: Ikuby Foldable Carport
  5. BEST ATTACHED: Integra 20′ x 12′ Aluminum Attached Carport
  6. BEST STEEL-ROOF: Arrow 15′ x 10′ All-Steel Carport
  7. MOST VERSATILE: Outsunny 32′ x 16′ Large Outdoor Carport Canopy
  8. BEST PORTABLE: Advance Outdoor 10′ x 10′ Heavy Duty Carport
  9. BEST FOR TRUCKS OR BOATS: Peaktop Outdoor 20′ x 12′ Upgraded Carport
  10. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Quictent 20′ x 10′ Basic Car Canopy
The Best Carports Option

Photo: homedepot.com

Before You Buy a Carport 

Carports vary from simple shelters to durable enclosures that keep vehicles and equipment hidden from prying eyes. However, it’s fair to say that even locking models don’t offer a huge amount of protection from a determined thief. If security is a major concern, or the goal is to install a workbench, refrigerator, or other convenience, then it might be worth investing in a prefabricated garage.

Keep in mind that local zoning laws may prevent someone from installing a carport. There may be outright bans or restrictions on size or how close it can be placed to a neighbor’s property line, and a permit (and a fee) may also be necessary. Make sure to check with the local municipality before buying. Don’t make assumptions just because someone nearby has added a carport.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Carports

There are hundreds of good carports on the market with something to suit virtually every need. In order to get the right balance between features and value, each of the following aspects are important to consider.

Fixed vs. Collapsible 

At the budget end of the market, collapsible carports are little more than a fabric canopy over a steel or aluminum frame. Good ones are nevertheless capable of protecting a car from bad weather or from strong sunlight that can bleach the car’s paintwork. Other models can have enclosed sides, zippered doors, and even windows. Other than cost, the big advantage with collapsible carports is that they are relatively easy to move from one place to another, and some can be easily packed away. However, over time, the fabric cover can degrade.

Fixed carports can be either attached to an existing building or freestanding. Frames are stronger than the frames of collapsible models. Roofs are steel, aluminum, or polycarbonate. These are usually intended as permanent structures, so plenty of thought needs to go into positioning.

Size

The floor space provided by a carport is obviously a key issue. While 10 feet by 20 feet is the most popular, we found those that range from a compact 10 feet by 10 feet to an enormous 20 feet by 29 feet. While most are used to protect cars or trucks, they can also be used for boats, motorcycles, garden tractors, mowers, and more. It can be difficult to visualize sizes, so it may be a good idea to tape out an area in the yard to represent the amount of space a particular carport will need.

It is also important to consider clearance height. The differences between a compact car and a large truck or a trailered boat are considerable. Be sure to check the door opening if the carport has one.

Protection

Many carports are open sided—not just collapsible models, but fixed ones, too. While these don’t offer the same level of overall protection as fully enclosed models, positioning them in a sheltered spot out of strong winds can help.

While enclosed carports provide much better defense against rain and snow, the roof and sides are invariably made of some kind of fabric. The strength and durability of this is then a key issue. Waterproofing and UV resistance are common. Nylon, polyester, and polyethylene offer good strength. So-called “ripstop” materials help prevent small tears from growing. It’s nice to find actual material thickness quoted, but often manufacturers just use phrases like “triple-layer” or “heavy-duty,” which aren’t particularly informative or helpful when trying to compare options.

Assembly and Installation

Carport assembly and installation is generally considered a job for at least two people. Although components are not particularly heavy, they can still be unwieldy. When it comes to assembling the roof, for example, it might well be necessary for someone to be standing on a ladder while the other person supports the components being fixed.

Many carports can be assembled with the tools provided, but it’s not always the case. It is an area worth checking when looking at products. There’s also the question of an appropriate surface. Collapsible carports can go just about anywhere, but fixed models generally need a hard concrete or tile base.

Our Top Picks

Having discussed the key features of the high-quality carports, it’s now time to look at some real-world examples. The following comprehensive list offers some of the best carports for just about every situation.

Best Overall

The Best Carports Option: ShelterLogic AutoShelter Instant Garage
Photo: amazon.com

With so many good models available, choosing the single best carport isn’t easy. However, the ShelterLogic AutoShelter Instant Garage has a number of features that make it suitable for a wide range of situations.

At 20 feet long by 10 feet wide by 8 feet high, this carport will accommodate most vehicles, including large sedans, SUVs, and pickups. The frame tubes are 1⅜-inch steel that have been powder coated (a tough plastic skin is baked on at a high temperature) to prevent rust. The ShelterLogic AutoShelter has five ribs, making it more sturdy than many, plus ShelterLock stabilizers clamp the crossrails to keep the structure rigid.

The polyethylene ripstop fabric cover is waterproof, UVA-resistant, and UVB-resistant. A ratchet system is used to keep it taut, giving a nice, smooth look to the finished carport. The front opening has two zippers for closure. The 15-inch auger anchors are supplied to keep the carport held down.

The ShelterLogic AutoShelter will take two people most of the day to put together properly. There have been complaints that the cover material lacks strength. While it isn’t designed to withstand regular storm conditions, both heavy-duty and ultraheavy-duty replacements are available from the manufacturer.

Product Specs

  • Frame: Powder-coated steel
  • Cover: Ripstop polyethylene
  • Weight: 132 pounds

Pros

  • Rust-resistant steel frame
  • 5 ribs offer good stability
  • Ratchets properly tighten cover

Cons

  • 6-hour assembly (2 people)
  • Cover has modest durability

Get the ShelterLogic carport on Amazon

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Carports Option: Abba Patio 20' x 10' Heavy Duty Carport Garage
Photo: amazon.com

The Abba Patio carport canopy is a budget-friendly option that works well as a vehicle cover or as a garden shelter for parties. The powder-coated steel frame uses 1½-inch-diameter tubes, providing stronger support than many similar rivals. The cover is waterproof, and it is made from UV-resistant ripstop polyurethane. It measures 20 feet long by 10 feet wide by 9½ feet high, so there is plenty of height clearance for most typical users.

Assembly is simple and probably won’t take two people more than an hour. The canopy is held down with bungees that slip easily over the frame, and there are leg clips for further security. The bottom of each leg has a footpad for stability with holes for ground anchors, though the ones included are very thin.

The Abba Patio carport is described as heavy duty. However, it is perhaps better for providing summer shade and shower protection than for all-year use.

Product Specs 

  • Frame: Powder-coated steel
  • Cover: Ripstop polyethylene
  • Weight: 92 pounds

Pros

  • Substantial frame members
  • Good portability
  • Simple, rapid assembly

Cons

  • No side protection
  • Ground anchors could be stronger

Get the Abba Patio carport on Amazon.

Best Aluminum

The Best Carports Option: Hanover 19' x 10' Aluminum Arch-Roof Carport

The frame of the Hanover carport is made from extruded aluminum, which is the same material often used for sunrooms and conservatories. It is light but strong, and it’s naturally resistant to corrosion. However, it has also been powder coated for further protection.

The ribbed roof holds polycarbonate panels. With its 200-pound weight capacity, it will be of interest to those looking for the best carport for snow. Proper gutters channel water to outlets at the end rather than allowing it to run off all over. When assembled, the structure is 19 feet long by 10 feet wide by 7 feet high. However, because the roof is curved, maximum clearance is about 6½ feet. This may be too low for some large SUVs and trucks.

The Hanover aluminum carport is intended for installation on a hard surface, and an anchor kit is provided. While assembly isn’t technically difficult, there are a lot of components, so care is needed and the process is likely to take most of a day.

Product Specs 

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Cover: Double-walled polycarbonate
  • Weight: 184 pounds

Pros

  • Durable and stylish
  • 200-pound snow capacity
  • Built-in gutters

Cons

  • Significant cost
  • Not for tall vehicles

Get the Hanover carport on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Compact

The Best Carports Option: Ikuby Foldable Carport
Photo: amazon.com

The Ikuby carport is unusual in that it is designed to enclose a single vehicle completely. The hinged frame is galvanized steel. The cover is made of heavy-duty Oxford fabric, which is a tough woven polyester. Once assembled, it is a breeze to lift up and over, providing protection against rain, snow, dust, and accidental bumps and scratches.

The footprint is 20 feet long by 9 feet wide, and it is 7½ feet tall at the highest point. It can accommodate big sedans, but it will not be suitable for some large SUVs and trucks due to the curved profile. A smaller model is available for compact cars.

Several people have commented that the instructions could be better, but assembly is straightforward, with each component numbered to avoid confusion.

Product Specs 

  • Frame: Galvanized steel
  • Cover: Oxford fabric
  • Weight: 220 pounds

Pros

  • Space-saving design
  • Completely encloses vehicle
  • Lockable (padlock not included)

Cons

  • Limited height clearance
  • Comparatively expensive

Get the Ikuby carport on Amazon.

Best Attached

The Best Carports Option: Integra 20' x 12' Aluminum Attached Carport
Photo: homedepot.com

Lean-to carports have long been popular. The use of an existing wall gives strong support for the frame and added protection for the vehicle being sheltered.

Integra’s attached carport is made from corrosion-resistant aluminum throughout and features channels in the roof to manage rainfall. The roof has a snow-load rating of 30 pounds. The footprint is about 20 feet long by 10 feet wide, and the supplied uprights extend 10 feet high. However, it is relatively easy to cut these down to adjust the height.

While assembly isn’t technically difficult, the Integra does need to be bolted to an existing building and to a solid floor (typically concrete). This is time-consuming, and we suggest allowing a full weekend for the work.

Product Specs 

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Cover: Aluminum
  • Weight: 260 pounds

Pros

  • Rigid, easy-clean structure
  • Built-in drainage
  • Height adjustable

Cons

  • Time-consuming construction
  • Roof has relatively low weight rating

Get the Integra carport at The Home Depot.

Best Steel-Roof

The Best Carports Option: Arrow 15' x 10' All-Steel Carport
Photo: amazon.com

The Arrow All-Steel Carport is among the best metal carports we found. It is based on a very rigid frame made from 2-inch square-section steel that has been powder coated for rust prevention. Fixed to the top are galvanized steel roof sections. In this case, the steel has been electroplated with zinc, which provides long-term corrosion resistance.

The resulting 15-foot-long by 10-foot-wide structure is 7 feet tall. When correctly assembled, it is very strong, durable, and heavy. It is rated to withstand winds of up to 100 mph and is one of the best carports for heavy snow with a load rating of 35 pounds per square foot.

Construction requires at least two people and will likely take all day because of the number of bolts that need to be fastened. It requires a level surface and care needs to be taken to align the roof panels properly or leaks can occur. A full fabric enclosure with zippered door is available at extra cost. Numerous other sizes are available up to 20 feet wide, and they are extendable to 100 feet long.

Product Specs 

  • Frame: Powder-coated steel
  • Cover: Galvanized steel
  • Weight: 408 pounds

Pros

  • Strong and very durable
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Enclosure kit available (extra cost)

Cons

  • Not easy to assemble
  • Significant cost

Get the Arrow carport on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Most Versatile

The Best Carports Option: Outsunny 32' x 16' Large Outdoor Carport Canopy
Photo: amazon.com

One of our picks for best carport canopy, the Outsunny Carport Canopy will appeal to anyone who needs shelter for more than one vehicle, cover for a variety of equipment, or substantial cover for outside events. The 32-foot-long by 16-foot-wide space has a roof height of 9 feet, so there should be no difficulty with clearance.

Assembling the powder-coated steel frame and polyethylene cover is straightforward, but it’s likely to take at least 4 hours due to its size. Individual side panels can easily be removed if required. The front door has twin zippers. Corner ropes and ground anchors are provided for soft surfaces, or expansion screws can be used for hard surfaces.

Though large, this is very much a temporary structure. It is not designed to withstand strong winds or heavy snowfalls.

Product Specs 

  • Frame: Powder-coated steel
  • Cover: UV-resistant polyethylene
  • Weight: 250 pounds

Pros

  • Large, multipurpose space
  • Fasteners for hard or soft ground
  • Relatively simple assembly

Cons

  • Poor storm/snow resistance
  • Substantial cost

Get the Outsunny carport on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Portable

The Best Carports Option: Advance Outdoor 10' x10' Heavy Duty Carport
Photo: amazon.com

The Advance Outdoor carport is the best portable canopy on our list, designed for rapid assembly and disassembly by a single person. The 1½-inch diameter rust-resistant galvanized steel frame clips together, and the one-piece cover is held in place with bungees and Velcro straps. When completed, the 10-foot-long by 10-foot-wide structure is 8 feet tall at the peak, with 6-foot-tall sides.

There are doors at both ends of the portable carport, rather than just one. Both have quality YKK zippers and are held up with easy-to-use buckles. Air vents in each reduce condensation. Heavy-duty ground pegs are provided to hold this best portable garage down.

While 10 feet is too short to accommodate even the most compact of modern cars, it does provide a useful shelter for motorcycles, garden machinery, or other small equipment, and it is easy to move from place to place if necessary.

Product Specs 

  • Frame: Galvanized steel
  • Cover: Ripstop polyethylene
  • Weight: 90 pounds

Pros

  • Tool-free assembly
  • Doors at both ends
  • Quality YKK zippers

Cons

  • Modest space
  • Instructions could be better

Get the Advance Outdoor carport on Amazon.

Best for Trucks or Boats

The Best Carports Option: Peaktop Outdoor 20' x 12' Upgraded Carport
Photo: amazon.com

With a floor area of 20 feet long by 12 feet wide and a peak height of 9½ feet, the Peaktop Outdoor carport offers lots of usable space for owners of big trucks or boats. Making sure it all stays rigidly in place are thick-walled, 1½-inch diameter galvanized steel poles, braced corner sections, and reinforced roof beams. There are also weight bags for the outside and ground anchors. Heavy-duty cover fabric is tear-resistant and UV-protected.

The Peaktop Outdoor carport can be used with just the roof cover or fully enclosed. On some large carports, the side panels are individually removable, but that’s not the case here. There is a single door that rolls up easily, but the zippers could be of better quality. Assembly isn’t complicated but, given its size, it is likely to take two people several hours.

Product Specs 

  • Frame: Galvanized steel
  • Cover: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 154 pounds

Pros

  • Space for large trucks and boats
  • Reinforced roof and corners
  • Weight bags included

Cons

  • Side panels not removable
  • Poor-quality zippers

Get the Peaktop Outdoor carport on Amazon.

Best Lightweight

The Best Carports Option: Quictent 20' x 10' Basic Car Canopy
Photo: amazon.com

The Quictent car canopy is a smart, clean design that will provide temporary shelter for vehicles or party guests. It can be put together in just a couple of hours and is relatively easy to store when not in use. The steel frame could not be called heavy duty, but it is galvanized and painted to combat rust. The polyethylene cover is UV-resistant and waterproof.

Its erected size is 20 feet long by 10 feet wide, with 6-foot-tall walls and a peak of 8 feet 8½ inches. The frame will stand on its own, but it’s best when anchored. A set of guide ropes is included for additional stability. These are strong but thin, and they do present something of a trip hazard. The Quictent basic car canopy is great for shade and provides protection from summer rain but is not an all-weather carport, and it is not the best carport for high winds, as the manufacturer warns.

Product Specs 

  • Frame: Galvanized and painted steel
  • Cover: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 83 pounds

Pros

  • Light and easy to assemble
  • Triple-coated steel
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Not for winter use
  • Ropes can get in the way

Get the Quictent carport on Amazon.

Our Verdict

The ShelterLogic carport is a great all-around pick for most typical carport needs. It is a popular size, the five-rib steel frame provides plenty of support, and it’s also very affordable. It isn’t difficult to assemble, but the manufacturer recommends that two people allow for 6 hours to put it together.

For those on a stricter budget, the Abba Patio carport is low cost, lightweight, and ideal for temporary shelter. However, some owners have been critical of the canopy seams and how easily they tear. We consider it a temporary carport and not a year-round solution.

How We Chose the Best Carports

Our primary concern when choosing the best carports was to showcase a variety of high-quality carports so we could offer solutions for as many different needs as possible.

The physical considerations discussed at the beginning of the article had a major impact, particularly strength and durability. Ease of assembly is a key issue, especially with carports that might get moved from time to time or packed away. Versatility is a bonus. It’s nice to be able to use the carport as a party venue for family events and special occasions, for example.

Finally there’s value. It’s not difficult to find cheap carports in discount stores, but often they don’t even have UV protection and the cover may disintegrate in a matter of months. While not all of our picks are from well-known brands, each represents good value for the money.

FAQs

We have covered a lot of information at this point, and by now you may have a good understanding of the important considerations when choosing the right carport. However, during our research we found a few questions that cropped up quite regularly, so for convenience, we have provided answers to those here.

Q. How do I choose a carport?

The article above includes the important things to consider in detail, like size, material, type, and assembly needs, and provides a comprehensive guide to choosing the best carport for your needs.

Q.What is a good carport?

A “good” carport really depends on the user’s needs. Some shoppers want a low-cost, compact model that can be taken down easily. Others want a more solid, long-term structure but without the expense of building a garage. Our top picks provide some of the most popular options for specific needs.

Q. Which is cheaper: a garage or a carport?

Size and materials make a huge difference, but a carport is usually much cheaper than a garage. One source we checked suggested the cost of a garage would be around $30 per square foot, whereas the most expensive carport that made our top picks is less than half that cost.

Q. What is a good size carport for two cars?

The standard size for a two-car garage is 24 feet long by 24 feet wide. Carports tend to be a little narrower, and an 18-foot-wide model could accommodate a couple of compact cars. For sedans, SUVs, and small trucks, we would recommend 20 feet as a minimum.