Picking out a proper gazebo for your backyard can be a tricky process. There are lots to consider from design and aesthetics to size and functionality, all through the delicate balance of price and quality. Particularly worth considering are the so called ‘hardtop gazebos’, which exactly as the name implies, have a hard overtop covering. These ones are generally stronger, more durable and also look that much more elegant in your backyard. That being said, they also have a lot more features to consider which is why we have compiled this handy guide just for you. We will be taking a look at simply the best hardtop gazebos we could locate out in the world, discussing the features of each, while also taking a look at what you should consider when picking out the best gazebo for your backyard enjoyment.
Sojag Messina Gazebo Sun Shelter
The Sojag Messina Gazebo Sun Shelter is one of the most stunning out there. If you are looking for nothing short of luxury and excellence, look no further. The 12 by 16 foot build allows for quite the spacious layout, however, it does so without being too difficult to work with. Totalling at 192 square feet, it’s perfect for setting up a full dining table with chairs along with some cozy lounging furniture. It does a great job at fitting a dining set along with two lounge chairs and a loveseat on top of it all too. Before you even know it, this gazebo is all set up to be a dining room as well as a living room. Put all your plans on hold and let’s get some guests over!
Let’s take a look at some of the beautiful features included with the Messina hardtop gazebo / sun shelter. First thing you’ll notice is the very well designed finish. It comes in an elegant dark hue, but it isn’t fully black. The aluminium build will always come in darker colours for these types of gazebos, however, Messina definitely nailed the finish making it a shade that is easy to pair with any decor, while proudly popping and standing out as a centrepiece in your backyard.
As we’ve discussed in our buyer’s guide, the proper roof design and whether it has proper ventilation or not, can really make or break your gazebo experience. Vents are critical in a gazebo design because it prevents them from turning into accidental greenhouses. While we all enjoy a good dose of summer heat, we definitely don’t want to be sweating profusely while trying to recline in the backyard. The vents are built in specifically for that purpose and make the air circulation just right. Additionally, the Messina comes with a slanted roof design that helps rainwater trickle down easy without the hassle of it pooling and having to be cleared out from the roof of your gazebo. This way you can have a great experience no matter the weather. Rain or shine, this gazebo has got you covered!
The next important feature is the included mosquito net. As discussed, there are many ways to protect yourself from invading hordes of mosquitos trying to ruin your fun, however this gazebo takes care of all that for you. The elegant and oh so effective mosquito net is sure to keep out any insects that might want to bother you or your guests.
Finally, all of the above wouldn’t go too far if it wasn’t properly weatherproofed. Because it will be diligently sheltering you from the elements, it only makes sense that it needs to be properly equipped to handle it. Without a doubt, the Messina hardtop gazebo is designed to be especially durable, and also comes with extra reinforcement against rust.
Now, before being able to sit back and enjoy your gazebo, it will require a bit of setup. Sadly, because they are such large products, there are no gazebos out there that simply come ready out of the box. Every gazebo will require some assembly. Fear not, however, because the Messina design lends itself to very easy and straightforward installation, thus making sure that there is as little as possible standing between you and your relaxing day in the backyard.
To wrap it all up, you might ask “is the Messina hardtop gazebo right for me?” Well, let’s take a quick look. All in all, the Messina hardtop gazebo is designed for those who really enjoy the extra space. If you have a family, like to frequently entertain guests, or just really like reclining in a very spacious environment, then shop no more. At the same time, if you are like us and are picky about quality and durability, this gazebo is sure to deliver on its promises. It has a very stylish and elegant build that is also rugged and durable. Indeed, our research shows that customers can expect to enjoy this product anywhere from 5 years to up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance. Truly a hard bargain to overlook!
Palram Palermo 3000
Next in our top lineup is the Palram Palermo 3000 hardtop gazebo. This one is a change of pace from the Messina, being designed to be extra compact and space-efficient. The 10×10 design isn’t as spacious as the 12×16, however, a large gazebo might not be what you need depending on the layout of your backyard. Clocking in at 100 square feet and able to easily host a table and four chairs, the Palermo 3000 hardtop gazebo is a beautifully space-effective and versatile centrepiece. If you’re looking for something more compact, but an equally stylish and quality build, then this gazebo might be just right for you.
Taking a look at the features, the first thing you’ll notice is the dazzling polycarbonate roof. Not only is it stylish and durable, but also much more effective at sheltering you from the heat and sun. Most hardtop gazebos are made from aluminum which can allow heat to build up, however, the Palermo 3000’s roof lets light shine through while blocking out UV rays. This lets you get some much needed sun without overheating and also reduces your risk of sunburn.
Adding to the intriguing design, this gazebo has built in fixtures to help hang lights and plants. This sets it apart from most gazebos as they usually do not come with any hanging systems, making it very easy to light up and decorate without taking up extra space.
In terms of functionality the Palermo 3000 cannot be beat. Unlike most gazebos, this one comes with a so called anchor kit which makes it extra sturdy and allows it to withstand gusts of wind or less than perfect ground much better. This is coupled with a very easy to assemble design which is praised for its straightforwardness because you will not need any tools to set it up and you can effortlessly do it all by yourself (a feat which is difficult to accomplish with most gazebos, especially the larger types). All in all, this is all also covered by one of the best warranties in the industry. While most manufacturers can give you anywhere between one and five years, the Palermo 3000 hardtop gazebo is covered for up to ten full years. Definitely a worthwhile purchase in our books!
The only thing to consider for this gazebo is the sizing and whether that will work out for you. Don’t get us wrong, this tiny champion does more than most gazebos and will certainly go a long way. However, the 10 by 10 feet can be a little small if you are part of a large family or are having a large number of people over. Overall, this gazebo will work great for up to four people. The compact design makes it easy to work with and to integrate in any backyard. On the other hand, if you are expecting to hang out with more than four people, some of the larger hardtops in this lineup might be better suited for you.
Sojag Castel Hardtop Bronze Gazebo
The Castel Hardtop Bronze Gazebo is truly one to take it to the next level in the world of backyard entertainment. We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of a stable and sturdy hardtop, but what about solid panelling all around? Indeed, the Castel Bronze Hardtop does not mess around and actually comes with full scale sliding screen doors. It simply screams of luxury and elegance, while being uncompromising in functionality. Most gazebos would come with netting or curtains, but this is something else. The Castel allows you to recline worry free in nothing less than a stylish room set up in the middle of your backyard. The screen doors protect you from insects and the elements without getting in the way of the beautiful view and sunshine around you. This is complemented very nicely by the tinted roof which allows some light in without making it overwhelming. At the same time, should you grow tired of the screen doors, they are easily removable so you can switch to a more standard hardtop design.
In case you were wondering if this gazebo got any more versatile, we are here to say that it certainly does. The doors and panelling come with screens which allow you to either close it up to keep the temperature steady, or you can leave it open with the screens up to allow for more air circulation. The screens keep bugs out while keeping the gazebo nice and breezy, simple as that!
The next thing you will notice is that the finish on this item is absolutely stunning. It’s coated in bronze for a stylish and durable design which will be the envy of everyone that comes across it. This does make it a bit on the pricier side, but review, after review, after review, on this product says that you will not be disappointed.
Further on the functionality front, while it is one of the larger gazebos, it does not require too extensive of an assembly. It will require some installation to get it up in place, however, it is nothing that will require specialized tools or too much technical know-how. One person can definitely pull it off, but two people might have the easiest time doing it. The best part is that, once it’s up, it can stay up as long as you please because this one is all season. Indeed, this gazebo can withstand all of the elements season-round. The bronze coating makes it particularly resistant to rust and temperature changes, meaning that you don’t have to worry about it being out during the winter.
Sunjoy Full Chatham Steel Gazebo
Up next in our lineup is the wonderful Chatham Steel Gazebo.
Coming it at a perfectly moderate size of 10 by 12 feet, this item will absolutely dazzle you with it’s feature loaded design. The aesthetics and overall look are gorgeous. It features an opaque roof which is perfect for shade and has a very sturdy weather resistant build.
Not only is it resistant to weather and rust, it is especially designed to endure moisture, making it the perfect candidate for placing over a hot tub. If you have ever wanted a splendid canopy above your hot tub, this is the gazebo to do it with as it will not rust or let you down.
Aside from that, should you wish to go the traditional route, the spacious yet not oversized design will let you comfortably fit in up to three chairs or a couple of chairs and a loveseat. In fact, it gives you a little more to work with because of the particularly high clearing.
The Sunjoy Chatham is a lot taller than most models meaning that your taller friends and relatives will never have the hassle of bumping into the ceiling. All in all, it has our vote as one of the most well rounded gazebos as it boasts endurance coupled with impressive style and design, while also being very fairly priced.
Indeed, given all the Chatham Steel Gazebo has to offer, it retails very close to the budget friendly variety despite not looking nor feeling like it at all.
Sojag Meridien Charcoal Hardtop Gazebo
Another champion of the mid-sized gazebos, the Sojag 500 Meridien Charcoal Aluminium Hardtop Gazebo takes it a stretch further. While most common mid-sized hardtop gazebos are ranking in at 10 by 12 feet, this one takes it up a notch to 10 by 14 feet. While it doesn’t seem much of a difference, the extra 20 square feet truly make it feel a lot more breathable and spacious. Not only does the extra square footage make it feel more comfy, it usually makes the difference between getting in that extra piece of furniture to complete the set. Have you ever tried to arrange a room or a gazebo and found that you were short just a few feet? This is exactly why the makers of the Meridien opted to have the extra 20 square feet. It’s because they know a small improvement in the right place can make all the difference. At the same time, the marginal increase does not at all make it difficult to work with and there is no change in price despite the fact that you’re getting a little more.
Taking a look at the features of the Meridien we’ll notice more than a few neat things. The roof is of the see-through variety. It allows sunlight to light it up while also blocking out UV rays, therefore reducing risk of sunburn and overheating. It comes with a netting to protect you from mosquitos and it happens to be particularly fancy. While mosquito netting overall is a great feature to have and is often a trademark of higher end gazebos, they can become unwieldy from time to time. Despite making an appearance on a higher end product, the nets themselves might not be of the highest quality, or might be hard to work with. In the case of the Meridien, they are absolutely flawless. In fact, they almost feel like draperies.
In the durability department, this gazebo certainly over-performs. It is a particularly high-endurance build which is made to last through all seasons. This means you can have it set up year-round without having to worry. On top of that, it comes with a killer warranty that has you covered for up to ten years. If you’re planning on making a long-term investment in a product that will not let you down, you have all you need in the Meridien.
On a final note, the Sojag Meridien Charcoal Aluminium Hardtop Gazebo is also designed to be easy and straightforward to assemble. Always keep in mind that gazebos of all shapes and sizes will require some work to properly install, however, that doesn’t mean it needs to be a hassle and a half. While some effort can’t be avoided, it’s certainly worthwhile to look at models that lend themselves to easier assembly.
The Gazebo Penguin
Up next in our lineup is the Gazebo Penguin hardtop. So far we’ve reviewed gazebos of different shapes and sizes, with an assortment of features, however this one made it into our ranks for being simply huge. The absolutely luxurious 12 by 16 feet ensemble totals at 192 square feet and is perfect for those who really want a large indulgent patio. Whether you’re having a lot of people over, or simply want to decorate it with all the best reclining furniture, the Gazebo Penguin is ready to take on whatever layout you have in mind. At the same time, one would easily expect that the larger sized high end hardtop gazebos are quite a bit more expensive. That is usually true, however the Gazebo Penguin defeats the odds by being luxuriously large while maintaining a very moderate price. The impressive size, coupled with excellent pricing make it a product that is difficult to overlook.
Let’s take a look at some of the features. Like several other selections in our listing, it features the gorgeous see-through ceiling, which as mentioned above, will let some sunshine in while blocking out the UV rays. This way you get to enjoy some sun and sky without worrying about overheating or catching a bad sunburn. As far as the accessories are concerned, this hardtop gazebo comes with some very beautiful curtains to keep out the mosquitos or to provide some extra shade if needed. The curtains for the Gazebo Penguin actually come in a variety of colours and you can order additional ones separately if you want to change them up. At the same time, it sports some handy hanging systems which are absolutely great for hanging plants and/or lighting to decorate the interior of your gazebo. Like we’ve said before, this is not something that comes as a default with many gazebos and is very useful for both decorating and space management.
In terms of the physical functionality of the Gazebo Penguin, it is definitely one of the more durable ones out there. It is certified rust and weather resistant, which ensures it will not fail you down the road. With that said, however, the size does lead to two slight drawbacks of this particular item. As one would expect, the larger layout will take a bit more effort to set up than smaller gazebo models. This is why we recommend at least two people tackle such a project. At the same time, while it is particularly resistant and durable, the large roof does not do well against snowstorms (in areas where applicable) therefore making it not an all season gazebo. While the temptation might be there, we strongly recommend you do not leave it up over the wintertime for it may cause much more hassle than it saves.
At the end of the day, the Gazebo Penguin if treated right, is a wonder of luxury and price, making it a true nest for relaxation and indulgence.
SunJoy Harper Grilling Hardtop Gazebo
Last one up in our pick of the best of the best is the Sunjoy Harper Grilling Hardtop Gazebo. This one has some unique features to consider which is why it has made it’s way into our lineup. First things first, it is a very budget friendly hardtop gazebo. While a lot of members of the hardtop world can be fairly pricy, this on stays at a very effective pricepoint. At the same time, you’ll notice in the name that it is a so called “grilling” gazebo, which paves the way to some interesting differences in its build and use. Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at it.
A grilling gazebo, as the name would imply, is typically used to provide shelter from the sun while manning a grill or barbecue. Consider a very hot and sunny summer day. Friends and family are over, the grill is ablaze with delicious food, but someone needs to take matters into their own hands and keep an eye on it. While an important role in entertaining, which carries great honour and responsibility, having to operate the grill during a hot sunny day can be quite exhausting. This is where grilling gazebos come into play. They are the best solution to provide you with some shade while tending to one of the most important tasks of the day.
The Harper Grilling Hardtop Gazebo by Sunjoy is especially equipped to cover you when you need it the most. Coming in at a compact 8 by 8.7 feet, it features a non-transparent roof to fully block out the sun, and a well-ventilated design to ensure the smoke escapes and there is proper air circulation to keep you cool. Setting it apart from most gazebos, the Harper actually comes with shelving so that you can set up all of your cooking tools and accessories to be ready right when you need it. At the same time, the small, compact design makes this the absolute easiest and quickest to set up. Truly no hassle! All in all it is perfect for the grillmaster to set up as his own or even to have a friend sit by to keep them company.
On one final note, some might be wondering if using a grilling gazebo for regular relaxation and lounging is at all an option. While not a primary purpose, the answer is still a firm yes. In fact, the compact and easy to set up design along with the accessories and pricepoint make it quite an attractive product to consider. The only thing to keep in mind is that you will be working with limited space and limited coverage. It would be best suited for one, possibly two people to recline in fairly close proximity.
If you still find yourself wondering what more is out there you should check out our review of the best canvas canopy gazebos. They are a lighter weight and more flexible variety of gazebos. Of course, they come with pros as well as cons, so do read carefully. For more information on what to pick out here’s what you need to know about backyard gazebos.