Best 4WD Awning

Best 4WD Awning Review

Adding an awning to a 4WD, overlander or recreational vehicle unlocks a whole new world of camping comfort and convenience. With shelter from harsh Aussie sun, wind, and rain, awnings create versatile covered spaces for lounging, cooking, storage, and more. 

But considering the countless awning sizes, mounting options, and feature sets available, it can be daunting to pick out the perfect match.

This comprehensive 4WD awning guide will walk you through all the factors to thoroughly consider when choosing the best awning for your vehicle and style of travel.

Best 4WD Awning
Best 4WD Awning

You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of the different awning mount types, from space-saving side mounts to wraparound 270-degree options.

We’ll compare awning sizes ranging from modest to massive, and materials from lightweight ripstop polyester to heavy-duty canvas. You’ll learn how waterproof ratings translate to real-world weather protection. 

Extra features like LED lighting, accessories, and convenience factors are also covered in detail. Plus, we share insider tips on loading up your vehicle roof safely.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to shop for your ideal 4WD awning with total confidence. A quality awning takes your adventures to the next level, so let’s dig in and make sure you find the perfect one to launch your next great journey!

4WD Awning Mounting Types

The first major decision is how the awning mounts and attaches to your 4WD or camper. There are three main configurations:

Side Mount Awnings

The most common awning style, side mount awnings attach to either the left or right side of the vehicle roof rack via brackets and clamps. This provides a straight covered space equal to about half the vehicle’s length, up to around 2.5 meters for most 4WDs and trucks.

Side awnings are best suited to fair-weather camping thanks to the open front. But optional accessories like front flaps help block wind and rain when needed. The long roof edge maximizes coverage, and the side setup leaves the rear open for gear access.

Rear Mount Awnings

As implied by the name, rear mount awnings assemble off the back of the vehicle using a mounting bracket that attaches to the rear roof rack crossbar. This creates a covered “porch” area hanging off the rear perfect for kitchen prep, grilling, or storing gear out of the elements.

The main drawback with rear awnings is limited coverage size. Any wider than about 2 meters and wind resistance causes problematic drooping and flapping. But combined with a side awning, rear awnings make perfect sheltered basecamp space.

270 Batwing Awnings

The largest awning option, 270-degree or “batwing” awnings provide shelter off both the rear and side of the vehicle for maximum wraparound coverage. The dual “wings” stretch around the back up to 2 meters while also covering the left or right side, providing over double the space of a side awning alone.

Batwing awnings give fully enclosed access between the vehicle and the awning, essentially adding a mobile room for true outdoor luxury. The sprawling coverage really expands your living space. But the size and cost do mean batwing awnings over-deliver for some needs.

How to Choose the Best 4WD Awning 

Awning Size and Coverage Area

After deciding on awning mounting, determine the overall size and coverage area needed. Consider not just headcount but furniture and activities under the awning:

  • Compact 2 x 2-meter awnings provide shade for 1-2 people plus gear storage.
  • 2.5 x 2.5-meter awnings comfortably fit a table and chairs for 4 people.
  • Larger 3 x 3-meter awnings create spacious group areas for 6+ people.

Make sure to measure your exact vehicle length and existing roof rack setup before purchasing. Consider possible add-ons like side panels, curtains, and front flaps that may max out your space.

Vehicle Roof Loading with Awnings

A key reality check before buying an awning is calculating the total roof weight capacity on your 4WD or camper. Even compact awnings weigh 15-30+ kg, so adding one on top of roof racks and other cargo could exceed limits:

  • Take note of the vehicle roof dynamic weight rating in the owner’s manual or on the door jamb sticker.
  • An average-sized awning mounted on one side can create a lopsided load. Strive to center weight evenly from side to side.
  • Consider leaving the middle roof rack open for mounting bulky gear like shovels/axes free of the awning.

Get your vehicle professionally weighed and fully loaded if concerned. An overloaded roof risks damage, accidents, and invalidated warranties. Safety first!

Awning Fabrics and Waterproof Ratings

An awning’s protective coverage depends hugely on choosing quality, durable fabrics designed to withstand the elements:

  • Look for ripstop polycotton canvas or polyester enhanced with UV stabilizers and waterproof coatings.
  • Lightweight 150-200D fabrics work decently for fair-weather use. Heavier 280-420D provides more waterproofing and durability.
  • 1000-1500mm waterproofness makes awnings “showerproof”. 2000-3000mm+ ratings handle sustained heavy rains.
  • UPF/UV ratings of 30-50+ indicate how well the fabric blocks harmful ultraviolet sunlight.

Sealed seam tape construction prevents leakage where fabric panels join. And durable fabrics last longer out on the trails.

Frames, Hardware, and Mounting Kits

The skeleton and hardware underneath the awning determine its stability:

  • Aluminum poles weigh less but can bend in heavy winds. Steel provides unmatched rigidity and wind resistance.
  • Plastic cam locks and hinges slash costs but compromise long-term durability compared to stainless steel and alloys.
  • Look for an awning-specific mounting kit with brackets suited to your exact vehicle and roof rack system. Universal kits often don’t fit right.

Rugged frames and mounting keep awnings safe and secure for the long haul. Especially in demanding outback environments prone to blasting winds and storms.

Extra Features for Convenience & Functionality

Beyond the basics, optional extras add even more convenience and versatility:

  • Zippered side panels and front flaps fully enclose space for extra protection.
  • Guy lines, pegs, and pole straps boost wind security in blustery conditions.
  • Interior LED strip lighting and exterior hang points illuminate the interior for nighttime visibility.
  • Look for an awning bag with ample padding plus wheels to simplify transport.
  • Wishbone spreader bars create arched canopy space for headroom underneath.

Best 4WD Awning Review

SUV With Awning with Tent on the Side
SUV With Awning with Tent on the Side

Darche Eclipse 270 Batwing Awning Review

The Darche Eclipse 270 batwing awning provides cavernous weather protection thanks to an expansive 11.5 square meter coverage area. The free-standing design sets up easily off the rear and side of vehicles without guide ropes.

The heavy-duty ripstop canvas and alloy poles stand up to harsh conditions. With UPF 50+ and a 1500mm waterproof rating, the Eclipse 270 excels at blocking sun, wind, and rain. You can even double the space by adding optional side panels and walls.

While the awning doesn’t include mounting bolts, it otherwise lives up to its premium price with incredible durability and coverage. For overlanders and remote adventurers needing ample protected space, the feature-packed Eclipse 270 delivers.


  • Massive 11.5 sq. meter coverage
  • Freestanding 270-degree setup
  • 1500mm waterproof ripstop canvas
  • UPF 50+ blocks UV rays
  • Extendable with additional panels


  • Mounting hardware not included

Rhino-Rack Batwing Awning Review

This Rhino-Rack batwing awning provides 270 degrees of coverage around the rear and side of vehicles from its integrated folding arms. The simple setup pops out of the included bag in minutes without disassembly.

Made from 210D ripstop polycotton canvas with 2000mm waterproofing, the Rhino-Rack awning stands up to the sun and wet weather. While the plastic hinges pose some durability concerns, they detach easily for replacement.

Add-ons like LED strip lights and mesh screens integrate seamlessly thanks to built-in toggles. For a well-priced awning with a hassle-free setup, the Rhino-Rack batwing is a great choice for weekend warriors and overlanders alike.


  • 270-degree setup in minutes
  • 2000mm waterproof ripstop canvas
  • Integrates accessories like lights
  • Removable hinges for replacements
  • Carry bag included


  • Questionable plastic hinge durability

Supapeg Stand Easy Awning Review

This freestanding Supapeg Stand Easy awning provides ample shade and shelter from the side of vehicles. The heavy-duty 275gsm canvas delivers both rain protection and breathability.

The convenient design pops out of its carry bag fully assembled for fast one-person setup. With 6.25 square meters of coverage, it’s among the larger side awnings available. The included mounting kit suits most roof racks for easy installation.

While pricey for a side awning, the quality materials like powder-coated poles and stainless steel hinges make this a long-lasting investment. For serious overlanders, the premium protection is worth it.


  • Heavy-duty canvas
  • Breathable yet 1500mm waterproof
  • Freestanding side awning design
  • Carry bag and mounting kit included
  • Spacious 6.25 sq. meter coverage


  • Expensive for its size

Oztent Foxwing 270 Batwing Awning Review

This Oztent Foxwing 270 batwing awning provides ample weather protection thanks to over 11 square meters of coverage stretching out the back and side of vehicles. The updated Mark II model features several key enhancements.

The ripstop polyester canvas remains highly water-resistant while gaining improved UPF 50 sun protection. The awning frame now uses reinforced extra-large poles and rust-resistant hardware for greater longevity out on the trails.

For easy setup, the entire awning packs into an included carry bag so it can pop open in one piece. With its spacious reach and rugged build, the Oztent Foxwing 270 is ideal for overlanders and desert trekkers who take on tough environments.


  • 11 sq. meter batwing coverage
  • Rust and mold-resistant hardware
  • UPF 50+ and waterproof canvas
  • Reinforced poles boost durability
  • One-piece folding setup


  • Mounting bolts could be beefier

Adventure Kings Side Awning Review

This value-focused Adventure Kings side awning provides ample shade coverage at a budget-friendly price point. The lightweight 170gsm ripstop polyester blocks UV rays and repels water while keeping weight low at 9 kg.

Thanks to a clever dual-channel folding design, the awning pops up and collapses easily into its carry bag for quick setup and takedown. The versatile 2 x 2.5-meter size suits most 4WDs, camper trailers, and RVs as a side shelter.

While not the most heavy-duty for extreme environments, the wallet-friendly Adventure Kings awning excels for fair-weather camping and weekends away on a tight budget.


  • Great low price point
  • Light 9kg weight
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Waterproof ripstop polyester
  • Dual channel easy fold design


  • Not the most heavy-duty
  • May lack mounting hardware

XTM 4WD 270 Batwing Awning Review

The XTM 4WD 270 Batwing Awning provides ample coverage off the rear and side of vehicles thanks to its wraparound design. The heavy-duty 280gsm polycotton canvas boasts 1500mm of waterproofing for wet weather protection.

While advertised for a one-person setup, an extra pair of hands makes getting this awning erect much easier. The poles and fabric are packed into an included PVC carry bag for storage and transport between adventures.

Guy ropes help secure the awning in gusty conditions, as the aluminum poles themselves aren’t the burliest. But the XTM 270 gets top marks for its spacious coverage area and weather-shedding ability once set up.


  • Wraparound 270-degree coverage
  • 1500mm waterproof polycotton canvas
  • Poles and fabric store in carry bag
  • Comes with the necessary guy ropes
  • Easy to assemble with two people


  • Aluminum poles aren’t super robust

Dune Quickstop II Car Awning Review

The uniquely designed Dune Quickstop II attaches to car doors and windows via heavy-duty suction cups, transforming any vehicle into a shaded oasis. The lightweight polyester stretches up to 2.5 meters but weighs only 1.6 kg stored.

Since no roof racks are required, the compact awning is a breeze to set up or take down. The adjustable guy ropes offer stability in the wind. While maxing out the suction cups takes some technique, the versatility and affordability can’t be beaten.

For casual weekenders and overflow sleeping space on family road trips, the little Quickstop II punches above its weight. The budget price means keeping cool shade always accessible.


  • No roof racks required
  • The awning attaches via suction cups
  • Very lightweight at 1.6 kg
  • Tent-grade 150D polyester
  • Ultra-compact packed size
  • Great low price point


  • Suction cups can be tricky

Supapeg Outbound Shield 6 Batwing Awning Review

The premium Supapeg Outbound Shield 6 batwing awning provides hardcore overlanders and remote adventurers ample weather protection thanks to its wraparound design and 17 sq. meter coverage area.

The heavy-duty 275gsm Dyneema canvas and stainless steel hinges shrug off harsh Aussie conditions. Quick-release brackets allow easy setup and takedown. The robust poles keep the awning stable even in strong winds.

While heavy and bulky when stored, the Outbound Shield 6 stands up to months of off-grid use thanks to quality materials and construction. For serious four-wheel drivers, the investment pays dividends in shelter.


  • Massive 17 sq. meter coverage
  • Quick-release mounting brackets
  • Heavy-duty Dyneema canvas
  • Stainless steel hinges


  • Bulky and heavy when packed

Rhino-Rack Sunseeker Side Awning Review

This premium Rhino-Rack Sunseeker Side awning lives up to its name by providing ample shade and sun protection from the side of vehicles. The 210D ripstop canvas boasts UPF 50+ sun protection and 2000mm waterproof rain protection.

Reinforced corners and heavy-duty stitching add strength right where it’s needed most. The included guy ropes and steel pegs keep the freestanding awning secured in blustery conditions.

While one of the more expensive side awnings, the quality materials and construction ensure this investment lasts across years of rugged adventures. For hardcore overlanders, the protection warrants the price.


  • UPF 50+ and 2000mm waterproofing
  • Durable reinforced corners
  • Made with heavy-duty ripstop canvas
  • Includes guy ropes and steel pegs
  • Backed by Rhino-Rack’s reputation


  • More costly than other side awnings

ARB Aluminium Retractable Awning Review

Camping Van with Awning in the Forest
Camping Van with Awning in the Forest

This ARB retractable awning stands out with its black aluminum frame that provides strength while looking sleek. The heavy 900gsm canvas offers water resistance yet breathes well.

Metal cam locks feel more robust than plastic versions, while anti-wear corner patches improve longevity. The LED light strip provides illumination, and marine-grade cords replace failure-prone zippers.

With ARB’s signature quality, this side awning excels at sheltering 4WDs and overland rigs from harsh Aussie sun and wet. The premium materials justify the higher but worthwhile investment.


  • Attractive black aluminum frame
  • Heavy 900gsm waterproof canvas
  • Metal cam locks instead of plastic
  • Integrated LED lighting strip
  • Marine-grade shock cord system


  • Requires separate mounting bracket 


We hope this detailed guide gives you total confidence to shop for your ideal 4WD awning for your specific vehicle, budget, and style of travel. 

Take time to ensure you select the right balance of mount type, coverage size, durable weather protection, and beneficial extras that align with your needs. Soon you’ll be equipped with the perfect camping companion to escape in comfort off the beaten track. Safe travels!

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