Rated1out of5byJohn hiker and camperfromPoles Broke first time setting it upThe first time I set up the shelter, the aluminum back poles cracked. The poles are very long and are not strong enough for the design of the shelter. I have been a backpacker and car camper for many years and I am surprised that REI even sells this product.
The good news is that REI refunded by money. REI has a good return policy.
Date published: 2013-08-15
Rated1out of5byqueenjoan1fromAnother disappointing experienceI'm sorry to add another negative review of this canopy. I need a lightweight shelter that I can lift into my Westy's over cab storage and hopefully put up myself.
First time putting it up last week I laid it out carefully, read the instructions, inserted the poles, and with the help of two friends bent and lifted the first long pole. SNAP! The pole itself split at one of the upper joints. The two poles which bend are extremely long and not very stout.
We put the lopsided shelter up for shade anyway and called it "bird with broken wing in nylon". It has been returned and not replaced. Still looking for the right thing.
Date published: 2013-08-02
Rated1out of5byrsbridgesfromPoor design and cheap materialsI bought this shelter to use at the beach to replace one of those heavy easy shelters. I had used one of those several times and had no problems except they're heavy when you have to drag them out to the beach. I had researched these lighter ones for a while and decided to go with the Kelty Shade Maker because of their reputation and the reduced weight. I was excited to get this thing out on the beach.
It was a lot easier to get it out to the beach, but it takes two people to set it up if there's any kind of wind (without wind it can be set up by one person if you're strong enough to flex the pole by yourself to hook it into the pins - not easy). I bought some sand stakes and got it set up with a friend of mine helping. It was not an easy setup with light winds. If you don't use the guyouts it's virtually impossible to set up with light winds.
That was only the beginning of the problems. The design of it has two poles that make it stand and two poles that go across the top. In light winds one of the poles that makes it stand would flip a little and half of the shelter would basically invert so it was almost touching the ground.
The next day the winds were a little stronger (not much at all). Beach umbrellas were fine, plenty of the easy shelters were fine - even the little half dome beach shades were fine, but we really struggled getting the this shelter set up. It's like a big parachute. We got it together and were working on staking it down and one of the poles snapped. I could not believe it. The second time we were going to use the shelter it broke and was unusable. I spent a lot for a shelter that I was able to use once (and not well because it kept flipping). The cheaper easy shelters and cheap beach umbrellas were doing fine beside me and I was stuck with no shelter.
Even if you have no wind at all I would not get this shelter. After the first use the material was starting to tear in some places and it catches water on top if you have any rain.
Very, very disappointed. I would not recommend this product.
Date published: 2013-07-21
Rated1out of5byMichelleBfromUnfortunately, no luck with this oneUnfortunately, we have tried two Kelty Shade Maker Shelters, and both have broken during FIRST setup. The first one had a broken shock cord immediately. We were testing it at home and were able return it to REI and order a new one in time for a beach trip. As we were setting up the second shelter for the first time on our trip (bad move! but could a second Kelty really be bad, too?), the end of one of the poles cracked several inches before we even started to fully bend the pole! We have lots of experience with tents and shelters, and we have a Kelty Hula Shadehouse that we LOVE and which has been used MANY times for several years with great luck and durability--camping, at the beach, in our yard, in wind and rain. I am shocked that this replacement shelter has such terrible quality poles. After our experience and after reading the other review, I think we will only look at buying a Hula again. Something is not right with the Shade Maker poles, and I don't think it is worth going through pole repair with Kelty.
Date published: 2013-07-11
Rated1out of5bydrmgncolorfromSo Disappointed.This is the first review for the Kelty Shade Maker and unfortunately it is not going to be a good one. We bought this shelter to replace our older, but not yet retired Kelty Shadehouse... well, I think it's a Shadehouse. It's so old that I can't even find it accurately on Google.
Anyway, when we first opened the bag to set it up, my husband happened to comment, "These poles are cheap." I laughed and went on with setting it up. And then I noticed the last pole I grabbed was broken right out of the box. The stretch cord had been severed in two. But we needed shade... so I spent about 30 minutes and restrung the entire pole set-up, tied the cord back together in a double knot and that seemed to work.
Fast forward to our next camping trip a week later. I didn't have time to run to REI and make an exchange since I would have to order another online and have it shipped so we just decided to keep it as it was... even though I should not have to pay that much money for a broken out of the box item, but whatever, sometimes it is what it is. We set it up with minimal issues. (I could set up the previous Kelty sun shade on my own from day 1, but this one kind of requires two people.) We used it less than 24 hours on our 2nd camping trip with it before a gust of wind came along and flattened it. I will preface this by saying we are not new to camping or sunshades. We had all 4 corners staked and the 4 guy-lines in place too. The Shade Maker didn't move an inch, I will give it props for that. The problem was the long poles broke in half. Both of them. What made me so mad was that the off-brand sun/bug hut at the site next to ours stayed up, so I really don't think it was a matter of the wind being unbelievably strong. Also, our 6-man tent was perfect too with minimal guy-lines in place. The Shade Maker poles simply could not withstand the burst of wind. We have used our older Kelty extensively in all types of weather and at the NC outer banks (with tropical force winds) and not have it break... sure the poles bent a little but they never, in almost 9 years of use, broke. Sadly, the stitching is finally wearing out on that one and is the reason we bought a replacement.
We will be returning this item to the store and will be researching better options to replace our beloved shade shelter... just not sure we'll be looking at Kelty.
Date published: 2013-06-22
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