Hands-on Gear Review

Lightspeed Quick Canopy Review

Price:  $100 List | $95.74 at Amazon
Pros:  Quick and easy to set-up, lightweight
Cons:  Not durable, bulky packed size, catches wind
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Floor Dimensions:  5' x 5'
Weight:  7 lbs
Peak Height:  4' 7"
Manufacturer:   Lightspeed

Our Verdict

The Lightspeed Canopy Shelter is a small and very lightweight dome-style canopy that comes with permanently built-in structure poles. This shade system stands out from all of the other canopies tested because it has a bottom pull drawstring hub system that makes set-up and take down a breeze. This shelter is fully self-contained in that it has no removable parts other than the stakes. The Lightspeed is a good shelter for a few people to use at the beach, park, or on the sidelines of sporting events. Despite these benefits, it was the lowest scoring product in our review due to its large packed size, lack of durability, and small amount of usable livable space.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Beach Canopy Review


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Valentine Cullen

Last Updated:
Friday
October 23, 2015

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The Lightspeed Canopy Shelter is unique in that it opens quite similar to an umbrella. It takes only a few minutes for one person to unpack and set this shade shelter up in good weather. You simply pull down the drawstring and push up a tightening toggle towards the top of the canopy and, voila - that's it, it's up! It does take a little bit of extra time to set guylines and/or anchors in bad weather.

Performance Comparison


The Quick Canopy on the shore of Lake Berryessa in Napa  CA. Although this product earned our lowest scores  it has its place for situations where quick set-up is prioritized.
The Quick Canopy on the shore of Lake Berryessa in Napa, CA. Although this product earned our lowest scores, it has its place for situations where quick set-up is prioritized.

Livability


At 4'7" the Lightspeed is the shortest shade shelter tested. It is not possible for tall people to stand under. There is room underneath for two adults and two small children to fit fairly comfortably. It comes with a back wall that is not removable. We found that in extremely hot conditions with no wind, this wall can impede airflow and make the temperature inside the shelter a degree or two warmer. This is also the only canopy that we tested that comes with a permanent floor (that can also get very hot) and sandbags attached.

If you are looking for a dome-style canopy that is taller and provides more headroom, check out our Editors' Choice winner, the Big Agnes Three Forks Shelter or the Kelty Shade Maker 2.

Ease of Set-Up


The Lightspeed takes less than five minutes for one person to unpack and set-up. While we loved this, it takes a tiny bit of practice to fold it back up to a size that will fit back into its bag, but after a couple of times, it's pretty easy.

Unique bottom-pull hub system that allows for umbrella type set up.
Unique bottom-pull hub system that allows for umbrella type set up.

Wind Resistance


This product will blow away in the wind without the guy lines being staked in. The permanently attached sidewall acts as a bit of a wind catch. The Lightspeed does come with built-in anchor pockets on each corner and eight plastic stakes to secure the corners of the shelter and the guy lines.

Side view of the back wall of this shelter. Eight plastic stakes are included for securing the corners and the guylines.
Side view of the back wall of this shelter. Eight plastic stakes are included for securing the corners and the guylines.

Durability


This shelter is not very durable. After just a few uses, one of the permanently attached fiberglass poles became damaged and bent. Even more disappointing was the fact that the pull drawstring hub system didn't stay as tight as desired. After a few uses, the toggle at the top of the tent that holds the whole canopy together started loosening by itself as soon as you took your hands off of it. Fortunately this shelter does come with a warranty.

View of the bent fiberglass pole on the right.
View of the bent fiberglass pole on the right.

Portability


The the Quick Canopy is the lightest beach canopy we tested, yet it has the largest carrying bag. Its packed size measures 50" x 5" x 5" which takes up a lot of room in your vehicle. The carrying bag does come with a large shoulder strap that makes slinging it over your shoulder a breeze and it is also nice because that leaves your arms free to carry other stuff.

Best Applications


This is a good product for those looking to quickly set-up a small shade spot just about anywhere.

Value


We think this canopy would be a good value for the price if it was more durable. It was disappointing to have the fiberglass pole bend after so few uses and it was also frustrating that the pull drawstring hub didn't stay as tight as we would have liked.

Conclusion


The Lightspeed Canopy Shelter is a free-standing sunshade constructed of breathable polyester with water-resistant coating rated at 50+ SPF. It comes with permanently attached fiberglass poles and built-in corner anchors that you can fill with sand or rocks for added stability. It comes with a 1-year limited warranty from the date of purchase that protects against defects in materials and workmanship.

Camera shy gear testers. Even though there's not much shade on the floor  there is still an ample amount of shade underneath this product. There are two adults and two small children shown here seeking shelter from the sun under the Lightspeed Quick Canopy.
Camera shy gear testers. Even though there's not much shade on the floor, there is still an ample amount of shade underneath this product. There are two adults and two small children shown here seeking shelter from the sun under the Lightspeed Quick Canopy.
Valentine Cullen


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Most recent review: October 23, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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