A sunshade isn’t something I generally find myself wanting, despite my predilection for getting pretty seriously burned on sunny days. However, having the Easton Sundial Shade Memorial Day weekend while at the Sasquatch! music festival proved very convenient for the car camping we were doing.

Easton Sundial Shade_1

Packing it was easy – just a matter of tossing the small bag into the back of my packed car and heading down the road. But I wouldn’t tote this along on a backpacking or hiking trip. The shelter, when packed, clocks in at 2 lbs, and is a bit bulky.

It was sunny and hot by 11 AM on Sunday and I wanted to hang around the campground before heading into the venue, so I brought out the Easton Sundial Shade. Setup was quick – under two minutes. Unfortunately, there was a breeze, and once the Sundial was up, I had to move quickly to stake it down. It was windy, and I think my neighbors got a laugh out of watching me try to prevent it blowing over the fence around the field we were in.

Easton Sundial Shade_2

There are two ways to set the Sundial Shade up. One offers more horizontal coverage, but I had to lie on my stomach to take advantage of the shade that way. The specs say that it’s a one to three person shelter and my two friends camping with me did both fit underneath it, though the three of us were a tight squeeze. Set up vertically, it’s possible to sit up under the shelter, but there’s less shade.

The horizontal setup worked for me, and I spent quite a while underneath it, reading and lounging. I did notice a certain amount of humidity inside the shelter when set up horizontally, but not enough to detract from having something to keep the direct sun off. When I was finished and ready to head into the venue, taking it down was quick work. I was happy to have avoided a sunburn in spite of a little more than two hours in the sunshine and just one sunscreen application.

Easton Sundial Shade_3

It’s likely that I’ll bring the Sundial along again if I am going on a weekend getaway this summer, but I won’t use it for backpacking. For backpackers after a substitute for a tent, I’d suggest a hammock. The Sundial is heavier than most ultralight tents on the market, and offers less protection from the elements. It might be a good option for summer camping where you can count on little to no rain, but out here in Washington, I wouldn’t want to take that risk.

Pros

  • Easy, quick one-person setup provides nice shade for a small group of people vertically, one or two people horizontally
  • Made from durable materials
  • Bright color makes finding group easy

Cons

  • Can’t sit up straight in horizontal setup, slightly humid inside shelter
  • Not suitable for backpacking or hiking

Easton Sundial Shade_4

Tech Specs

Manufacturer: Easton Mountain Products

Date available: 05/30/2013 (right away)

Manufacturer’s Website: www.eastonmountainproducts.com

MSRP: $99.00

Listed Weight: 2lbs 0 oz

Trail Weight: 1lb 14 oz

Materials: 75D RipStop Poly, Easton 7075 T9 Aluminum Poles

Warranty info: 1 year with proof of purchase

Colors Available: Yellow

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