The 5 Best Portable Garages [Ranked]

Portable Garage

A portable garage –also known as a garage in a box or a portable carport– is a good choice for someone who wants a garage but they don’t necessarily have the time or funds to build or buy a traditional garage (Source).

These car tents are an easy way to erect a temporary garage and protect your hobby, show, or regular car from inclement weather (Source).

The way that a portable or instant garage works is that it is assembled much like a tent and then used to store your car. It’s rather simple but many people have concerns when it comes to the auto safety that this offers to owners (Source).

If you are concerned about this, these pop-up garages can have an alarm system set up to alert you if anything suspicious or concerning happens.

How To Assemble the King Canopy Carport

The King Canopy is a universal option with 6 legs and nearly 9 feet of interior clearance. 

Buyer Advice

The first bit of advice that customers offer is to not try to assemble it yourself. Not only can some of the pop-up garage parts be heavy or awkward to maneuver, they also tend to take more than two hands to get everything the way you need.

Many also suggested that if your portable carport doesn’t have an anchoring system that you buy one separately so it doesn’t collapse onto your car instead of housing it.

Portable Garages Compared

How They Compare


The first consideration for these portable garages is size. For the Peaktop, Caravan Canopy, and ShelterLogic Model 62680, this measurement reaches 10 by 20 feet. The ShelterLogic Garage in a Box is slightly larger at 12 by 20 feet.

Unfortunately, the ShelterLogic Shed in a Box doesn’t disclose its exact measurements for comparison. The next thing you should consider is what sort of weather can you expect these portable garages to hold up to. Unfortunately, on a durability front, most of these portable garages couldn’t stand up to anything more than rain.

When it came to snow and storms, they caved rather easily. However, not every portable garage failed the durability test. Many customers of the ShelterLogic Shed in a Box were impressed by how well it held up.

One customer even noted that in 28 inches of snow, her instant garage didn’t collapse. Instead, this shed in a box has a design that allows snow to slide off. This allows the portable garage to not bear the weight of the snow, keeping it upright and standing up nicely to its competition.

How Do You Use a Portable Garage?


  1. Make sure you are on level ground. If you aren’t on level ground, try to level it using something such as wooden planks
  2. For most portable garages, set up is very simple and the first step is usually to set up the poles. You can reference your owner’s manual for instructions specific to your instant garage
  3. Next, you will need to brace the poles somehow. Once again, this exact method will depend a little bit on which prefab garage you choose.
  4. Finally, you will need to install the tarp over the poles.

Best Portable Garages For 2017

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This portable carport offered by Peaktop is affordable, heavy-duty, well-made, and easy to set up. Users love the heavy-duty, rust-resistant steel framework with a metal base, but some do note that it’s not suitable for windy days.

The Peaktop portable garage measures 20’ x 10’ x 9’, and it features a waterproofed polyethylene cover, two removable sidewalls, and a transparent pane window. Another great thing about this product is that it has 38mm-thick steel poles for stability and double zipper doors on both ends. However, the manufacturer advises that you don’t use this carport during heavy snow.

As a whole, buyers have a favorable opinion regarding Peaktop portable carport, and they praise its stability and usefulness. A reviewer comments that the portable car shelter is holding up better than he expected and that it’s rugged and durable.

He highly recommends it to anyone looking for an affordable portable carport. Another user mentions that it’s not difficult to set up the car shelter because the instructions are clear and easy to follow. He adds that he has been using it for a couple of months with no issues and that he is very pleased with his purchase.

However, some customers have said that the car canopy is not waterproofed and that a strong wind will break the poles. 

Pros

  • Heavy-duty
  • Well-made
  • Easy to set up
  • Rust-resistant framework
  • Two removable sidewalls
  • A clear pane window
  • Double zipper doors

Cons

  • Not suitable for windy weather
  • Not waterproofed according to some users

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you want to keep your car out of the harsh weather, you might take a look at this gray shed-in-a-box offered by Shelter Logic. Users love the quality of the shed, but some do note that it’s a nightmare to assemble it.

The Shelter Logic portable carport is available in several sizes from 6’ x 6’ to 12’ x 12’, and it features a high-grade steel frame, a premium powder coat finish, which is rust and corrosion-resistant, and a triple-layer polyethylene cover, heat-sealed for maximum water resistance. Another great thing about this portable garage is that it has a quality ratchet to keep the cover tight and an easy slide cross rail system.

A reviewer comments that the quality of the Shelter Logic shed-in-a-box is exceptional and everything is precisely cut and shaped. However, he warns that you need at least two people to assemble it and that the instructions are not well-written.

Another user mentions that the anchor system is one of the best he has ever seen and that it holds up well even in windy weather. A buyer also notes that the shed survived a New England winter with no issues and that he highly recommends it as the best portable garage.

However, some customers have said that parts were missing and that the glue that holds the tubes starts to melt on a hot day.

Unboxing The Shelter Logic Carport Shed

Pros

  • A high-grade steel frame
  • Rust-resistant finish
  • A quality ratchet
  • An easy slide cross rail
  • Available in different sizes

Cons

  • Missing parts
  • Hard to assemble
  • Glue melts

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This white portable carport offered by Caravan Canopy is affordable, easy to assemble and it’s also suitable for organizing parties and catering. Users love the price, but some do note that the package arrived damaged.

The Caravan Canopy car garage measures 10’ x 20’, and it features a water-resistant, heat-sealed top, a steel frame with a compression lock and a rust-resistant powdered finish, and 1-3/8-inch tubes for stability. Another great thing about this product is that the top is UV treated for durability. Moreover, the portable garage shed has a 1-year limited warranty.

In general, users have a favorable opinion regarding the Caravan Canopy carport, but they agree that the tubes are too light. A reviewer comments that it took him 30 minutes to assemble the car canopy and that he did it all by himself. He adds that it’s holding up pretty well on windy days. Another buyer mentions that his 19.5’-long boat fits perfectly inside and that he is very pleased with its stability.

A user also notes that if you properly stake the portable car garage, it will survive winds up to 30 mph. He highly recommends it to anyone looking for a cheap portable garage. However, some customers have said that the carport is cheaply made and that it’s not worth its price.  Some also say that even a small amount of wind will deform the poles.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Water-resistant
  • Heat-sealed top
  • A steel frame
  • A compression lock

Cons

  • Cheaply made according to some users
  • Not suitable for windy weather
  • Package arrived damaged

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you need a reliable portable carport, you might take a look at this instant garage shelter offered by Shelter Logic. Users love the easy slide cross rail system to lock down the cover, but some do note that parts were missing and the package was damaged.

The Shelter Logic portable garage measures 10’x 20’, and it features a 1-3/8” steel frame, a rust-resistant, thermoset finish, and a triple-layer, waterproofed cover, which is UV-treated to withstand the elements. Another great thing about this product is that it has patented Shelter Logic stabilizers for extra stability and durability.

A buyer comments that it takes time to assemble the sandstone carport because there are a lot of parts to be sorted. Nevertheless, he says that the structure seems sturdy and that it should survive a couple of seasons with no issues.

Another reviewer mentions that he has been using it for six months and that he is very pleased with the quality and stability of the Shelter Logic sandstone car garage. A user also notes that you need at least two people to set up the carport and that he doesn’t have issues with the zippers even during the winter.

However, some customers have said that the carport is not suitable for windy days and that the cover tears easily.

Pros

  • An easy slide cross rail system
  • A steel frame
  • A waterproofed cover
  • Stabilizers
  • Thermoset finish

Cons

  • Missing assembly parts
  • Not suitable for windy weather
  • Cover complaints

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This garage-in-a-box offered by Shelter Logic is practical, durable, and it’s available in two models – 12’ x 16 and 12’ x 20’. Users love the ratchet tile tensioning, but some do note that the cover isn’t very heavy.

The Shelter Logic portable garage features a 1-3/8” steel frame, a thermoset powdered coat finish, a patent Shelter Lock stabilizers for stability, and an easy slide cross rail system. Another great thing about this product is that it has a triple layer, waterproofed cover, which is UV-treated inside and out. Moreover, the carport also has bolt together hardware at every roof joint.

A reviewer observes that the assembly instructions are well-written and easy to follow. He adds that it took him 8 hours to build it by himself and that the portable carport is sturdier than he expected. A user also shares that the ratchet keeps the cover taut and that he highly recommends it as the best portable garage available.

Another purchaser states that he has been using the carport for two years and that he is very impressed with the steel construction. However, some customers have said that the cover won’t last more than a year and that there is a zipped door only on one side. Some also note that the car shelter collapses under heavy snow. 

Unboxing The Garage-In-A-Box

Pros

  • Available in two models
  • A steel frame
  • A quality ratchet
  • Thermoset finish
  • Stabilizers
  • A waterproofed cover

Cons

  • Only one zipped door
  • Cover is flimsy according to some users

What Are Car Owners Saying?

Examining buyer experience using portable garages, we checked out jalopyjournal.com and read through some of the forum message boards dedicated to this topic.

One individual had a project car they want to store in the winter- a car storage project. They were considering purchasing a portable canvas shelter that has a zippered front but were concerned about whether it would hold up in the snow.

One commenter chimed in to say that he has had one up and running for a little under a decade. It's held up pretty well, though the zipper was close to deteriorating. Another car restoration specialist said that he used a cheap one outside his automobile repair shop but it blew away in a storm.

Afterwards, he went to the local Home Depot and bought some heavy-duty wrecking bars and then pounded them into the ground outside his mechanic shop to serve as anchors- also using a rope spiderweb knot to secure it even further. Another commentator said that during strong wind storms gorgeous park his semi truck inside and tie the canvas garage down to the truck.

However, another car owner who restores and flips show cars says that the potential of snow collapse is real- during one winter both of his show cars were flattened by heavy snow pack.

Subsequent to that, a hobby car restoration specialist who lives in upstate New York, where they get a lot of snow, advises that you shouldn't buy a cheap one. Instead, invest in an American-made portable garage and take care to hand sew any torn seams around the zipper for the framework.

If you find the roof of your portable garage sagging under the weight of snow, one handy car owner used some two by fours and a snow rake- using the two by fours to push up from the roof from the bottom to have the snow slide off.

Yet another buyer who purchased a Harbor Freight model was pleased because there are replacement covers. In addition to that, you can use some ratchet straps to knot the garage's frame to the automobile's bumpers.

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