Kelty - Discovery Shade Shelter

Category: Tent

Our old shelter fell victim to a windstorm, into the fire, then the lake! We do some car camping, in addition to lots of backpacking. This shade is just the best! We love the extra sunscreen. It’s durable and meets all of our needs in the desert sun.

We bought this for camping and going to the beach. It’s far superior than those run of the mill expandable canopies. Lighter to carry and it’s angled design takes into account the setting of the sun. Quality material, and looks way cooler.

The canopy is sturdy and easy to set up. It's a few pounds heavier than I was hoping but it is a good tradeoff. I'm glad I bought it. I goes into a small bag and I can carry it about anywhere.

Went car camping with my wife and two dogs west of Denver over a long holiday weekend. When we showed up we realized the campsite looked nothing like what we expected when booking online, pretty sure they put us in a different loop. Anyways, there wasn't any shade in our portion of the campground other than under the picnic table. We drove back into town and bought this as it was on sale and we needed some form of shade (July sun in CO is no joke). The first of two star deduction comes for directions making the initial setup a pain in the rear. The instructions are not written well at all as it doesn't explain which pole attaches to which corner and so on. The second star deduction comes from the wire clips you push while inserting one pole into the connection piece are very difficult to push in and can dig into your fingers or pinch you. Not sure why they didn't design the clips to be push buttons but the current design is not very functional. I imagine if you tried to do this with cold fingers you'd never get the canopy setup. At the end of the day the product serves its purpose but the design could be done better.

Pros: Moveable section adapts to changing position of sun, fairly stable without using guys. Cons: Complex setup, heavier than I'd like

Easy to set up, one person can easily do it. Its fairly intuitive even with the somewhat vague instructions. Keeps the rain off nicely

Absolutely love, love, love this sun cover. The ocean winds can't bring it down.

I read many of the reviews before going ahead and purchasing the sunshade. I am a 5' 2" woman and had no problems assembling it and putting it up by myself. So far so good. Other than the poles being bright red (not that color in the picture). I guess that'll make them easier to see so they won't be tripped over.

Setup was easy, a lot of thought was put into making parts easy to identify and secure. The shade cloth was what sold me on the product. The downside was that there were little half inch rips in the fabric all along one seam right out of the box. By the end of the weekend, one seam ripped out to an inch long.

I am impressed!!!! This shelter is well made. Can be set up by 1 person. It is rugged and durable. I purchased a shade shelter that was cheaper, it didnt last a week. This should last for years. Once the guys lines are secured it is very stable in the wind. The material does pool up in rain, so it does need to be drained.

We used this as a sun shield when we went down to Kentucky to photograph the eclipse. Was a great respite from the sum. Easy to set up and take down -- but if you are looking for light weight not your product. But it worked really well!

First off, the storage bag it came in tore the minute I loaded it on my truck. Then, the plastic joints for the poles cracked with the wind on the first trip and left me without shade on the first day of my camping trip in the Eastern Sierras. the wind wasn't blowing hard and I secured it using the guylines.

I would recommend this shelter for people who have been putting together tents for a while; the instructions are not clear and not sufficient. Connecting the poles is painful. Just finished labeling every pole and connector so when we actually use the shelter it won't take an hour to set up, and we will use gloves. The top sags and will need bungee cords to prevent pooling in rain. More rickety overall than expected, but when staked will be OK fine in mild weather. Overall, not the expected quality for a Kelty product - but maybe in the field we'll be more impressed. Certainly have purchased many other Kelty products over the last 20 years. Few other equivalent options for the price.

We bought this sun-shade for a 4-day camping trip where we knew we would have no shade whatsoever. It worked very well. The moveable side was easy to switch for morning and afternoon. It withstood moderate winds (25-30 mph) very well when fully staked out. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it is difficult to figure how how to assemble the frame properly. Once you get that figured out, the rest is easy. You will need at least two people to assemble the shelter.

Simply put, this "shelter" will not seriously shade you from the hot rays of mid-summer sun. The fabric is not actually a true sun-blocking material. It may be fine for a casual picnic, but if you're seeking to escape from the blistering heat, the Kelty's light-porous tenting material will not protect you the way a genuinely opaque canopy is supposed to. You wouldn't buy an umbrella that leaked moisture, why buy a shade canopy that leaks light and heat? If you're seeking a place to cool off, this is not the answer.

I really want to like this shelter. It's easy enough to set up, and it provided protection from the Sun. Haven't tested the water handling capability yet. During the first trip, we had a gust of wind, and one of the plastic corner joints failed. I called Kelty, and they said they don't have any parts for this model. I can't even find it on their web site, so it looks like it's an REI exclusive. So what do I do now? I guess my only recourse is to return it and get something else...

I bought this shelter today, and set it up this evening. First thing I noticed was that there were a small series of small holes on the folds. The holes were in the middle of the top, so they would leak right on top of a picnic table. I will be returning it tomorrow. This is a disappointment, Kelty, as I have had a sleeping bag from Kelty for almost 20 years, and it has been fantastic! I hope this was a one-time problem!

We bought this as a replacement for our "First Up" style shade, hoping for something less bulky and heavy. While it does pack up smaller, it is not meaningfully lighter and set-up is straight out of a "Vacation" scene.

Purchased and set up, but not yet field tested. Directions were clear and setting it up alone took about 15 minutes for first setup. I look forward to using it and seeing how it does in the elements. Purchased to use with a teardrop trailer. Size is excellent.

I bought this 2 weeks ago as I was heading out on a camping trip and knew a tropical storm was approaching and wanted something to keep our camp boxes and chairs somewhat dry. The shelter seemed flimsy, but made it through the storm no problem. Of course, all of our stuff was wet the next morning, but that was to be expected as 3 sides are open. Rain had collected in the front and back of the canopy, but we used it for cooking so that worked out. I took the shelter camping the next weekend and it rained on and off multiple times over 3 days. This time we weren't in a deluge so the rain beaded off the roof and all of our stuff kept dry underneath the shelter. The included stakes are pretty heavy duty so the shelter stayed put.

My 14 year old son and I set this up in 15 minutes and found it really roomy under a picnic table. The bag is too flimsy for the 20lbs but that is the only thing I didn't like about this. I found that I could move the side wall around as the sun moved and it made for a nice shady spot to be under.

I used it twice and have returned it.

First get out of your mind that this is like the big, husky popups you've undoubtedly seen in various places. The idea is that this is light and compact. It's 19 pounds so clearly not for backpacking. The poles go together with bungees and the fabric is very lightweight. So if you treat it like it's similar to backpacking gear that has to be cared for, you'll be fine.

I purchased the shade shelter as an alternative to a beach umbrella and worked out perfectly. Easy set up and was just what we needed for upwards of 10-12 folks needing a break from the sun.

Last minute to purchase tent, and we love it! Spacious! To set it up for first tim, two people then do it on your own. I am 5 feet and two inches tall.

Works well for shade, but not so great for rain. Pockets of water form during rain despite tightening as much as possible.

Once this shelter is up it works great and is sturdy. I will be returning it because the pins that lock the poles into place on the connectors are very difficult to depress. I have to push so hard with my thumbs to push these pins down - both for set up and take down - that my thumb pad is numb by the time I'm done. This might not be an issue for everyone but it is for me.

This is a shade shelter and is not purpose built for rain. That said this was a great alternative to the 75# behemoth I was carrying. It does stand up to some rain. I had some problems with the REI version,(not in production anymore) and returned it to an REI 4 states away. NO problem, they replaced it with this. Very easy to put up if you've ever put a tent up.

I bought this shelter on a last minute whim to cover a picnic table. You know how stuff falls from the trees all the time and I didn't want it on my food and other stuff. The directions aren't all that great but I recruited some fellow campers to assist and we figured it out. It's a keeper and good investment/addition to my gear.

This shelter survived a rainfall, which is more than the REI Alcove managed. The design is good and poor points: Good: the 'gutter' that diverts rain off the main canopy; the many guylines and additional; optional guy lines (make sure to attach these to the middle edges of the sloping roof if you want it to survive rain); the size covers most picnic tables/camp tables; it includes a privacy/wind/rain wall (but see 'poor' section comments below), the REI alcove windwall will fit this shelter, turning it into a tunnel shelter. Poor: it is really quite difficult to put up and the instructions/labelling of the poles is terrible (try at home first!); the fabric is very, very thin: ours came with holes already in the canopy caused by the carry bag having been dropped: the poles had punched or rubbed through four layers of fabric whilst it was packed in the shop/warehouse (seam sealer saved the day for us); the wall included is 3/4 length, which results in limited shelter from wind/rain and limited privacy.

Wish REI made their version. It is awesome and I want another.

Bought this for a recent beach trip that my wife and I took. Couldn't be happier. Easy to set up and provided great coverage.

Easy set up shade shelter with wind wall and easy to carry. Also fits Alcove wind walls

I've only done a trial test of this shelter in my backyard, but from it's first set-up I was impressed with the item. On my own, and only briefly reviewing the directions, I was able to set the shelter up in a little over 20-minutes.

I bought this because I wanted to be able to extend my time outside with my pale friends and fiance and it definitely did the trick. It is easy to set up so great for anywhere you might need shade. It's pretty big, and I would say could comfortably fit five people beneath it sitting on the ground, so good for medium groups. My only complaint is the poles are a little heavy so you can't carry it very far.

It takes too long to ensamble and poles are way too fragile....not what l was expecting for the price.

This is a fab tent. Much better than 10 by 10 canopy because it is HEAVY and huge. I was looking for compact where I can store it in my SUV with my third row seat intact and well as other stuff (chairs etc). I set it up last weekend - took me a while to figure where it goes (the instruction is VERY vague). We figured it out just fine and we had some rain and it is not designed for rain but it held it very well. This weekend will be our second time using it and it will be HOT and sunny so will see how it works out since last weekend, it was cloudy and rainy. I will take a picture and post it here this Saturday.



We got several gallons of water puddled on top of the shelter, even when assembled as indicated, including the 4 guy cords on each leg. There is one other cord with several loops, not mentioned in the instructions. What’s it for?

We inspected the complete shelter and contents and did not find a part that matched your description. Please give us a call at (800) 426-4840 for additional assistance.


Once set up, can it be moved to another location a few feet away? If so, could this be done by one person alone.

Once set up this shelter can be moved short distance by one person if needed.


can this shade perfect match with rei kingdom 6people tent? i try to buy REI alcover, but it is out of stock......thanks

​This shelter is a great choice for your campsite. However, it will not attach to the Kingdom 6.

Joni Lund

Can I just get the fabric without the poles?  

​We do not sell just the canopy for this shelter.

Its a long story

Can the kingdom 4 tent fit underneath this without the roof touching the top?

While the Kingdom 4 can fit underneath this shelter, the side walls of the tent will touch the underside of the shelter.


A friend disassembled poles and connecting pieces were scattered. Where can i find assembly instructions?

We can send you set-up instructions for this shelter. Please contact us via e-mail using the link below.

northcoast camper

Do the Alcove Windwalls fit the Kelty Discovery Shade Shelter. An REI service response to a similar question was NO, but in another question a customer said they DID. So, do they fit or not?

The REI Alcove Windwalls are compatible with the Discovery Shade Shelter.


Does this tent provide UV protection?

The manufacturer does not offer a UV rating for this shelter.


I am looking to purchase an extra side wall for my Discovery Shade in castle rock grey color.  Do you know where I can purchase one?

​As of July 2017, there are no side walls available for this shelter.


Is it Fiame resistant certified?

This shade is made with flame resistant fabric which meets CPAI-84 specifications.


Does the sheltor provide any UV protection? The Alcove does not, which is a huge dissapointment.

Kelty does not list a specific UPF rating for this shelter. That said, the canopy is made from polyester which is one of the better fabrics for blocking UV rays.


Does the sidewall cover one side or two (like the aclove)? are sidewalls available for purchase anywhere?

Kelty does not sell the side walls separately as on option for the Discovery Shade Shelter.


Is it possible to purchase a replacement or 2nd backwall to the Kelty discovery shade?

The manufacturer does not sell the side walls separately as on option for the Discovery Shade Shelter.


Could anyone please post the height from the ground to the top of the "arch" on the shelter? It looks like it is about 4" lower than the peak height and I'd like to know if I can back my pick-up (with topper) under this. Thank you!

​The height of the side opening measures approximately 6' 2". This can vary depending on how far apart the legs are spaced during setup.


How can I buy a replacement cover for this shelter?

As of July 2018, we do not carry replacement covers for this shelter. We recommend contacting the manufacturer directly for more solutions.


How much wind will this shelter handle.  We live in OK where we can have gusts up to 50mph

This shelter is not built for use in the wind, though it could handle sustained winds of 20 mph. It may take a gust upwards of 35 mph, however, if you expect stronger winds you might experience some damage.


Has anyone used this at the beach? Will it withstand a good amount of wind? 

This shade is a great option to be used at the beach. However, we encourage you to use sand stakes like the MSR ToughStakes.

Dave R

Where are assembly directions?

Paper instructions are included in the package. Please contact us through the following link if you need them.


I see negative reviews on the fabric but they are dated almost a year ago. Has manufacturer responded with fabric modification? My hesitation to purchase is not price but rather durability.

​As of June 2018, there have been no design changes to the fabric of this shelter.


The curved side entrance how high is it at the center?

​The height of the side opening measures approximately 6' 2". This can vary depending on how far apart the legs are spaced during setup.


How many sides does this come with? Can additional sides be purchased? (I saw q/a's about rei alcove being a good fit but may not be available)

This shelter includes 1 half wall. As of March 2018, additional walls are not available for purchase.


Is this as good as the Alcove? I love my Alcove and want another one like it.

This shelter is very comparable to the Alcove in terms of both dimensions and quality.


I would like to get the best shade from REI any suggestions? Thanks

These shelter will provide a sufficient amount of shade to protect you from the sun and keep you cool. For more suggestions on shelters, we recommend giving us a call at 1-800-426-4840.


Does this really weigh 20+ pounds?

The packaged weight is 19 lbs. 13 oz. We will have our specifications corrected.


Can I set this up on my patio or does it require stakes and guywires?

This can be set-up on a deck or patio. Stakes and guywire are recommended in windy conditions.


Is the side shade panel included?

​Yes, the side shade panel is included.


USB the side panel included or a separate purchased?

A single side wall is included.


Does this come with a carry bag/sleeve for keeping the parts together/transporting/storing ?

The Discovery comes in an 8" x 29" nylon bag with an adjustable shoulder strap.


Is the height able to be adjusted? Or is it a fixed height?

​The height is fixed.


Does this come with guy-wire cords and stakes, or would I need to buy those separately? (If so, how many should I buy?) I also bought one REI Alcove wind-wall attachment to cover two sides of this canopy.

​Stakes and guylines are included with this shelter.


Can someone tell me the eave height at the highest end? I would like to set this up next to my camper and use it as a awning. The door on my camper is 8' high from ground to the top of the door and I was wondering if it would still be able to swing open.

The eave height at the front and the back of the shelter measures 73.75 inches. The eave height on each of the sides measures 60 inches without the sidewall.

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