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Best Retractable Awning Review & Buyer’s Guide (Patio & Garden Awnings)

Having a shaded area just in front of your home where you can relax with friends and family on comfy furniture sounds just like my type of summer…

Owning one of the best retractable awnings, whether it’s a manual or electric retractable sun shade will provide fast shade to your relaxation spot, whether it’s your patio, deck or concreted area.

A retractable awning is much easier to roll in and out rather than having to assemble a pop-up gazebo every time you need it.

A retractable awning is also much more effective than a parasol umbrella that’s attached to your patio set and will provide shade for a much larger area.

Below I have provided information about two Primrose awnings (2.5m & 4m) and also one from Greenbay and another from Greenhurst.

Retractable Awnings for UK Patio & Gardens

In a rush? – Then take a look at my top recommendations for 2.5m, 3×2.5m and 4m patio awnings below.

Last update was on: April 21, 2021 9:25 am

Primrose 2.5m Hand Winding Retractable Awning Review

This 2.5m Primrose patio awning is ideal at providing a quick shaded area as its extremely easy to wind in and out with the operating arm.

The manual operating arm is situated to the left of the awning when looking towards it attached to your wall.

Primrose 2.5m Awning Review

It’s available in 6 different colours, including striped and also entirely one colour too (Terrocota & green).

The fabric is 300gsm polyester which basically means that every square metre of fabric weighs 300 grams.

It’s completely water resistant as it has a PU coating applied by the manufacturer and it will also offer UV rays protection and is rot proof too for good measure.

This is a good level of quality for a patio awning fabric and it will definitely keep you dry if it happens to start raining.

Should you need to clean the fabric you’ll require just a sponge with warm soapy water.

The wall brackets, bolts and frame are all powder coated to help prevent rust and ensure longevity.

The canopy can be extended out as much or as little as you desire whilst the elliptical arm enables you to alter the tilt which is ideal if the sun is low or if it begins to rain and helps the rain run-off quicker.

I do advise caution if the wind picks up because even though this awning is strong it can be damaged by strong gusts of wind.

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Ease of Use

Let’s be honest, when your retractable awning arrives, you’re likely going to want to get outside and enjoy the shaded area as soon as possible – this isn’t going to happen if you’re faced with the laborious task of installing the product.

This worry is completely removed when purchasing the Primrose since installation is a cinch and even the most averagely skilled DIY’er will find it a breeze. Installing the awning takes just a couple of hours.

The awning is secured to the wall using powder-coated brackets that will stand up against the elements and keep your awning where it should be.

What’s more, the product can easily be taken down when you need to store it away by detaching it from the bracket and operating it is as simple as using the winding handle.

Versatile Shade

There are some awnings that have two options – fully retracted or completely extended but the Primrose offers the versatility of being able to wind or unwind the product as much or as little as you’d like.

This is ideal for days where you want partial shade and gives you the freedom to use the product to adapt to your needs. It will not limit you.

Strong And Durable Awning

Fitting an awning to your home is not to be taken lightly, substandard fittings can mean the difference between successfully installing the awning and causing structural damage to the brickwork.

This could be devastating and costly to repair.

However, for those of you who are concerned that the awning may pull on the house, never fear – the Primrose comes with a superbly tough design and is made from materials that aren’t going to buckle.

Namely aluminium for the poles and steel for the support cables. You may think that being a lightweight metal, aluminium isn’t as durable but this isn’t true as this metal has been proven to withstand whatever is thrown at it.

What’s more, those powder-coated brackets that we have already mentioned, mean that you will have no concerns that the product will come loose after being outside over the years.

Protection From Sun Damage

One of the most common reasons for purchasing an awning is to provide protection from the harmful rays of the sun.

Whilst some sun exposure is healthy, it is vital to ensure that your skin is protected, especially in those midday hours when the sun is at its peak.

The 300psg material is not only durable and water resistant but also offers superior protection from sun damage via UV rays and is able to filter out up to 98% of those harmful UV rays.

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Greenbay 3 x 2.5m Patio Manual Retractable Awning Review

Designing your outdoor space is as important as the decor on the interior of the home – it requires an injection of personality.

Greenbay 3 x 2.5m DIY Patio Retractable Manual Awning Garden Sun Shade Canopy Gazebo Multi-Stripe with Fittings and Crank Handle

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However, many awnings only offer one design or pattern choice but that is where Greenbay reigns supreme.

You’re given the option of 8 designs – either striped or block colour so showing off your style has never been easier.

Where functionality is concerned, this product certainly isn’t lacking and provides a strong structure that is one of the most durable in its category.

Featuring a tough steel torsion bar and aluminium roller, you can be confident that this will measure up.

What’s more, the PU coated material means that the awning will remain waterproof, keeping you dry and comfortable.

PU coating is a simple practice that uses a polyurethane coating on one side of the material and delivers exceptional water-resistant protection.

If you’re looking to get a shade over a larger patio or decked space, this is an ideal option thanks to its generous size.

And operating the awning couldn’t be any simpler – the steel turning handle makes extending and retracting the product a piece of cake. Moreover, there is the option to adjust the angle of the awning.

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Outdoor entertaining is an integral part of the great British summertime, only with that comes the high likelihood of rain. But you shouldn’t let this dampen your spirits because it certainly won’t be dampening your party.

The Greenbay awning is made from super strong 300gsm material that has been treated with a PU coating. This means that it is completely water-resistant and that, no matter what the weather, you are free to make the most of your outdoor space.

Versatile Design

During different hours of the day, the suns light will alter and this demands an awning that can adapt and provide shade no matter what.

The versatile aluminium arms can easily be adjusted from anywhere between 5º and 35º so that you are able to use the product in a variety of ways.

The superior strength of these arms will withstand as much alteration as you see fit so you needn’t be worried that doing so will weaken the overall structure.

Ease Of Use

You don’t want to have to take part in a full-body workout just to extend your awning and this will never be the case with the super easy-to-use product.

For starters, the steel handle is used as a crank to extend and retract the awning smoothly and effortlessly. But to further aid the process, you will notice that the product comes with two steel cables that are fitted within the fabric to make winding and unwinding a breeze.

Not only does this make the process easier but it also gives you greater control when using the product. Additionally, these steel cables provide extra support for the awning when fully extended meaning that it won’t sag or falter.

Spacious Shaded Area

If you have a larger patio, it can be difficult to find an awning that will meet your needs but the Greenbay will quite easily cover a large area and if you’re looking for something bigger, you are free to select a larger size before buying.

You may be concerned that with a more generous design, the security of the product may be compromised but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The durable materials and strong fittings that are used to install this awning ensure that its grand size doesn’t mean limited staying power.

What’s more, those steel cable we have already discussed mean superior staying power and durability.

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Primrose 4.0m Electric Retractable Patio Awning with Remote Control & All Fittings Review

When you have a bigger area to cover in shade, you’re going to need an awning that is reliable and strong as well as pleasing to the eye.

Primrose 4.0m Electric Awning - Green and White Mayfair DIY Patio Awning Gazebo Canopy (13ft 1") Complete with Fittings, Remote Control and Winder Handle

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It’s not always easy to get everything you want from one product but that needn’t be a concern with the Primrose 4-metre awning.

It’s clear that the most notable aspect of this impressive product is that it is operated electrically so any strain that you may have found with manual options is completely eliminated – ideal for those with limited strength perhaps.

The setup couldn’t be easier with an internal electric control box which can be fitted along with the awning itself in just a couple of hours.

It also comes with two remote controls so you never have to leave the comfort of your seat to move from the sun into the shade.

That being said, the product does also come with a manual winder should you wish to operate it yourself – it’s nothing short of one of the most diverse awnings on the market!

Not only are you getting a decent choice of colours with this one, so you’re easily able to make your garden your own, but you are also being offered a superior material which has been PU coated to ensure maximum weatherproofing and water-resistance.

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Easy To Clean

It’ll come as no surprise that keeping anything outside means that dirt, grime and other nasties will begin to form on it and your new awning is no exception to this rule.

But we know that you aren’t going to want to put up with this.

So, being able to clean the awning with ease is super important and you won’t be disappointed when you hear that the Primrose 4-metre awning canopy can be cleaned quickly and efficiently using just soap and water.

Simply take a sponge or cloth and give the awning a wipe with some soapy water to see the dirt removed and the product looking like it did when it came out of the box.

Electric Extension And Retraction

For some people, particularly those who struggle with strength, winding and unwinding a manual awning can prove to be too much.

But with the innovative electric controls of this product, operating the awning is nothing short of a dream. The control box is easily installed and then you are able to use the simple remotes to extend and retract the awning.

However, there is also the option to manually control the product if the moment calls for it. Ideal if there is a power cut and you need to retract the product to protect it from the wind.

Secure Wall Brackets

Putting an awning on the side of your home can be an intimidating concept, especially if you aren’t sure whether the brackets will hold the product securely without causing damage to the wall.

That’s where the Primrose is a cut above the rest. The super sturdy wall brackets and bolts that are supplied with this product mean that you can rest assured that once installed, your awning isn’t going to budge.

This is thanks to the powder-coated design which essentially means that the metal has been treated with a special coating that gives it added durability.

On top of this, treating metal in this way means that it will be resistant to rust that would otherwise weaken the structure.


You never know when the heavens are going to open – one minute you are enjoying a drink on a beautiful sunny afternoon and the next, there is a torrential downpour and your awning is bursting more leaks than you can count. Not with this product!

Owing to the 300psg fabric which has been specially designed to withstand water, the Primrose awning, provides you with sufficient shelter from even the harshest rainfall.

Rainwater will simply roll off the material and onto the floor leaving you sheltered and safe in the knowledge that no matter how often it rains, the awning will not fall victim to it.

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Greenhurst 2.5m Retractable Patio Awning Review (Grey And White Striped)

As far as awnings go, this is definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing with its sleek grey and white striped design, it will easily fit into any modern garden – or those that are more traditional by design.

2.5m Patio Awning. Easy to Fitting Canopy: Grey and White Stripe Berkeley Retractable Awning

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But looks aren’t everything and we know that functionality is a must when purchasing an awning – this one will not let you down.

The Berkeley is a small awning that is ideal for less spacious patios and smaller decked areas but its size doesn’t mean that it isn’t strong. Quite the opposite.

This product boasts superior durability and strength and comes with hard-wearing brackets that are sure to stand the test of time.

Its lightweight design means that installing the awning is a breeze and won’t prove to be back-breaking work in the short amount of time that it takes to put up.

But one of the most notable things about this one is that it comes with a built-in spirit level to ensure that it is fitted exactly on point.

So if you’re not overly confident or have never attempted this kind of DIY before, you’re begin given an advantageous helping hand.

The fabric is made from 100% polyester which gives you a waterproof shelter allowing you to continue to enjoy the outdoors even when the weather isn’t at its best.

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Durable Frame

The last thing anyone wants when installing an awning is something that isn’t going to last but with this product, you can feel confident that the super strong and durable frame will stand up against everyday use and not cave under the pressure.

The frame is made from lightweight aluminium but this metal is also seriously hard-wearing and ideal for products such as this that are being elevated in a fixed position.

What’s more, the frame has been powder-coated, giving it superiority where weather-resistance is concerned.

Of course, the awning is going to be exposed to a variety of weather conditions so being able to withstand these is essential in prolonging the life of your awning.

Easy Storage

If you are looking to make your awning last even longer then storing it away during those cold winter months is a great idea. Now, whilst we have talked about the weatherproof metalwork on this awning, and it will do what it claims, keeping the awning out of the weather altogether is going to be a preferable choice.

Taking the awning down is as simple as it is to install so that when winter comes around, you won’t need to be spending hours battling with an awkward product. Simply detach the awning from the bracket and you’re good to go.

Easy Cleaning

Having an awning doesn’t need to be a chore where cleaning is concerned. Whilst other products might require a more professional approach, this one can be cleaned using things that you already have around the home.

Thanks to the water-resistant fabric and the treated frame, you can take a damp sponge and some normal household detergent to simply wipe away any dirt or grime that may have appeared on the awning.

Waterproof And Rot Proof

It will come as no surprise that when things are left outside and exposed to water and oxygen if they are not properly treated, damp and mould can occur – this eventually leads to the product rotting and becoming useless.

But due to the top-notch materials used in manufacturing, you can be sure that this will never be a problem with this awning. The fabric is made from 300psg polyester which is fully waterproof – the water will simply roll off leaving no lasting damage.

As a result of this, the product will never suffer from mould or rot.

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Do you have a large garden?  Why not watch the kids play in their very own Climbing frame?

Hi. I'm a keen gardener with a passion for spending time outdoors whether it's on my own property or travelling around the UK.

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