The Orion Hotel shade structure installed by Versatile Structures

Looking for the Best Shade Sails Under the Sun

 Jamie Howard      In ,

Not all shade structures require a complex and expensive installation process. Some products, like a custom shade sail, can provide straightforward sun protection that’s cost-effective and low-maintenance. Also known as sun sails, shade sails can provide reliable UVR protection and shelter from the sun in any outdoor space, making them ideal for different applications. You can find them in properties like sports clubs, commercial outdoor areas, childcare centres, playgrounds, and council parks.

If you’re looking for the best custom shade sails, some reputable manufacturers can help provide the exact products you need based on your specifications and site requirements. A custom shade is always a good investment and an important asset that can increase your property’s value as well as increase the usable area which is key to getting a return on investment.

Consult with an experienced manufacturer to ensure you’re getting the right shade sails that meet your aesthetic and functional requirements while providing sufficient protection and cover.

Types of shade sails

Top manufacturers offer a good selection of custom shade sails in Brisbane, and they can customise every product with waterproof PVC or fabric. Here’s an overview of each:

  • Waterproof shade sails – These shade sails offer protection from light rain when made water-resistant. They can be fully leak-proof or waterproof in torrential downpours. A waterproof custom shade sailis low-maintenance and self-cleaning using rainwater. It effectively blocks out UV rays, too.
  • Retractable If you need flexible custom shade sails, retractable ones that can close and open manually or electronically can make your outdoor areas practical and comfortable all year. They are great for alfresco restaurants and cafes looking to extend their footprint.
  • Fixed shade sails – These have a design that spans greater distances without support structures, making them ideal for commercial car parks, grandstands, swimming pools and other similar applications.

Fire performance

Fire resistant shade cloth is important to commercial industry as one of the biggest risks a business can face is fire. Not only is a fire debilitating to a business when damage and destruction bring trading to a standstill, but even more so when the lives and careers of employees being impacted. Older shade fabric haven’t had the best reputation for being flame retardant. Read more here about shade cloth fire performance

Best fabrics

Not only does the shade fabric you choose have to look good, complement your environment, be UV resistant and fire retardant but it also has to meet the needs of the people using it. This can be a daunting task to select fabric that meets all these criteria. We have selected our top 5 shade fabric here.

Choose high-quality features and materials.

Established and reputable manufacturers of custom shade sails in Brisbane will inspect your site and design a unique solution for your needs. Their products are made of high-quality materials to make the custom shade sail last for about 30 years. Look for a warranty that’s good for 10 to 15 years.

In summary

At the end of the day the best shade sail is the one that meets your needs the best. There isn’t a one size fits all approach with shade sails. Our recommendation is to speak to a supplier that spends time to understand your needs, the environment the shade structure is in and the functions it needs to perform to build a custom shade structure that meets those needs.


  • Versatile Structures Headshots

    Jamie Howard - Director

    Co-founder and Director Jamie has been hands-on in the shade and steel industry since leaving school. With over 15 years’ experience in shade, membrane and steel projects, Jamie is excited about the design opportunities shade structures offer in the commercial and industrial sectors. Jamie’s extensive design skills give him a competitive edge in situations with technical design complexity. He has won two personal industry awards for his designs, alongside many company-won awards.