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Ways to Weigh Down a Canopy or Tent

Updated: May 2, 2020

The last thing you want to have happen after you have set everything up for your outdoor event, is for it to be carried off by a gust of wind or an unexpected storm. There are many horror stories of flying tents, wares and people. Below are a few ways to secure your tent for an outdoor event.

Depending on your budget and your creativity, you can either purchase tent/canopy weights or you can make your own.

On a Budget? Save some of your milk cartons. A quick way to help weigh down your tent is to secure milk jugs filled with water toward the base of each pole. The beauty of the water is that you can water nearby plants and flowers at the end of the show. These may not hold the tent down from a major gust of wind, but will help with keeping things steady.

A variety of found objects can be used, such as 15 pound dumbbells or cinder blocks, secured at each post of the canopy, although these can be and also look cumbersome, unless you incorporate them somehow into your display.

Another DIY weight is to head over to your local hardware store and for about $35, you can create your own weights for your canopy.

You will need the following:

  • 4 pieces of 4 inch PVC pipe, each about 36 inches long (or more)

  • 4 flat PVC end caps for each section

  • 4 PVC end caps of your choice

  • 4 Long eyebolts with nuts

  • pvc adhesive, epoxy, etc

  • 2 bags of Quick Crete

  • (optional) but helpful, a heavy duty handle for each length of pipe.

Using the PVC adhesive, secure one end of each piece of PVC with an end cap. Drill a hole in each of the other 4 end caps, enough for the eye bolts to go through. Insert the bolt in each cap and tighten the nut on the inside. If you plan to add a handle, now's the time to do it. Bolt and secure each handle to the side of each piece of PVC. Now is the time to mix the concrete according to the instructions and add your concrete fill each tube. Sometimes using a small shovel or garden trowel makes this part a little easier. Once that is complete, secure the bolted end cap with PVC adhesive. Give it a couple of days to dry and you are good to go.

To secure these PVC weights to your canopy, you can use lengths of chain and S-hooks, rope, bungee cords, ratchet straps. Secure one on each corner with the weight toward the bottom. For added stability, you can use Velcro or small bungee cords to secure each weight to the post. Hanging the weight from the top of the canopy could potentially create a pendulum effect if the wind starts to pick don't want to take out your customers while they are trying to shop :)

You of course can also purchase a variety of Canopy Weights

The Tailgator Canopy Weights are one option, although they have mixed reviews with them sliding around instead of staying secure along the posts.

  • Eco-weights made from recycled materials and filled with safe, recycled iron cement

  • Help secure tents, canopies, and umbrellas at outdoor events with interlocking weights

  • Includes four 10 lb. weights or 40 lbs. total, twice the weight of competitors

  • Easily transport with sustainable carry strap and storage handle.

  • Interlocking no-pinch design weights securely fit all canopy poles up to 1 ¼” wide

  • Set of 4 weight bags. Stabilize any Instant Canopy, Pop Up canopy or folding gazebo structures with a set of durable universal weight bags

  • Eurmax universal weight bags can be filled with Sand, Rocks, Snow or any available material near by

  • Specially designed lock system will ensure the weight bags stay securely attached to your Instant Canopy legs

  • HEAVY DUTY MATERIAL: The weight bags are made of durable backed polyester. Easy to put up and release. Each bag weight capacity is about 30-35 LBS when fully filled with Sand

The Eurmax Water Weight is another option, although a bit more pricey.

  • New upgraded canopy water weight feet, well designed, can provide enough weight to keep canopy tent stable, also won’t affect the use of canopy walls

  • Set of 4 canopy water weight feet, dimensions: 21.6" x 12.52" x 12.52" , weight: 7.75 LBS. Can be filled with water, sand, gravel, pebbles, snow and etc. Weight filled with water (4 bottles): 88 LBS, Weight filled with sand (4 bottles): 124 LBS

  • Specially designed Velcro lock system, can attach it to pop up tent leg in seconds. No tool required

  • The handle on the side of canopy weight, makes it easier to fill, empty, and carry them around

Some additional ideas are using ratchet straps to hold down each corner of the canopy. One potential issue with this method is that it may become a tripping hazard to your customers. There are also tent stakes available (usually some come with your canopy), although, I have found over the years that they don't hold the canopy down during any gusts as there main function is to keep the legs of the canopy in place. They also can't be used on hard surfaces.

As with any show, check with the organizers for their rules of their event. Each show tends to have their own set of rules and guidelines and may differ from other events.

Have a great time and enjoy your event!!

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