Gazebo or awning – which is best? Only you can answer that question as it really depends on what you want it for and how often you plan on using it.
There are pros and cons to both. When it comes to camping with your 4WD the humble awning could arguably be your most used accessory. They provide shelter to you and your gear from the elements, provide shade and most importantly mark out the little piece of territory that you are claiming for your adventure. While others prefer to use a gazebo.
We have recently made a change to our 4WD and camping set up in favour of trying something a little different. We have removed the awning and have been using an OZtrail Fiesta Compact 2.4 gazebo for our adventures lately.
OZtrail Fiesta Compact 2.4 gazebo review
Why did we make the change from the awning to the OZtrail Fiesta Compact 2.4 gazebo? Freedom. Not having the car locked in as part of camp when the awning is set up is a nice change. There is nothing wrong with a 4WD awning that is mounted to your vehicle, but there are some downsides that we have come across in our travels. It’s an inconvenience if you want to go for a quick drive once it’s out. It’s a pain to take off your 4wd and it will always be adding to your fuel consumption (yes, it’s minimal).
There are many more but we’re not here to bash the vehicle-mounted awning, after all, we still think they are a great option.
Why we chose the Fiesta Compact gazebo
The main reason we chose the OZtrail Fiesta Compact gazebo is that it packs up small and compact. We also use the OZtrail Fiesta Gazebo 3×3 when we take out the camper trailer so thought we’d give the smaller size a go for the 4WD. Here’s what we thought.
- Lightweight – Weighing only 15kg it’s not much heavier than a vehicle-mounted awning.
- Compact – Packing up to only 102 x 25 x 20cm it is easy to bring along and doesn’t take up a heap of space.
- Canopy – The gazebo has a 2.4m x 2.4m coverage. It is waterproof with heat-taped seams. Quality built with bolstered corners and it’s even fire retardant. The pointed roof ensures water always runs off.
- Height adjustment – The Fiesta Compact gazebo has 3 stage legs. This provides adjustability options should the wind pick up. The top section has 3 small adjustments to fine-tune your height.
- Sturdy – Being compact you’d be forgiven for thinking it would be lacking a little in this department. We can confirm that it’s the complete opposite, it’s actually quite sturdy and even certified to the Australian Building code. Each leg can be staked to the ground and a guide rope on each corner making it feel rock solid.
- Walls – OZtrail gazebo walls are available as an additional purchase but they are great quality. There is mesh and solid options so you can make your own bug-free paradise or private space.
- Quick set up – It is quick to set up, taking no more 2 minutes by yourself.
- Quality – Strong, stands up to the task and feels like it will last.
- Pack it – The only real con is that you have to remember to pack it.
OZtrail Fiesta Compact 2.4 gazebo specs
1. Canopy size: 2.4×2.4 m
2. Stored size: 102 x 25 x 20cm
3. Weighs: 15kg
4. Height: 2 x adjustments: 183cm or 191cm head clearance with a maximum height of 276cm.
5. Comes with: guide ropes, pegs and an easy carry bag with wheels.
6. Fabric: Silver Coated UVtex® 2000 Sun Tough canopy fabric, 150 Denier fabric thickness with a waterproof barrier.
If you don’t want your 4WD to be locked in as a part of your camp, the OZtrail Fiesta Compact 2.4 gazebo is definitely a good alternative to a vehicle mounted awning. You can find out more here. From our experience, OZtrail gazebos are a great bit of gear. They are easy to use, sturdy, well-built and will last a long time. Our other Oztrail gazebo is a couple of years old now and we cannot fault it.