The ARB Awning is one of the most popular vehicle awnings on the 4×4 awning market, and for good reason. The ARB is versatile; useful for both shade, and protection from the weather, and the price point (£200-300 for a stock model) places the ARB awning at the more economical end of the scale when it comes to vehicle awnings.
The ARB awning is available in three widths – 1.25m, 2m, and 2.5 metres – All with a 2-metre projection from the vehicle. One of the most key factors when looking at 4×4 vehicle awnings is set-up time. We found the ARB awning to have a set-up time of 3-4 minutes with two people. This rises to around 5-6 when trying to erect the awning on your own. As vehicle awnings go, this is pretty good – Not as quick as some of the more expensive awnings on the overland/weekend camping awning market, but very respectable all the same.
The awning has a robust aluminium construction. This attaches to the vehicle, usually onto a roof rack. The outer edges are fold-out aluminium which makes a nice solid square frame. To set it up. open the cover, undo the straps, and roll everything out. Fold out and the side bars, unroll the awning and fit the side bars into the end bar. Then simply unfold the telescopic legs and adjust them to your desired height. The vehicle awning can be used free-standing, but if there is any chance of wind then we recommend you deploy the guy ropes and peg them out. When you’re done with the awning, it all zips back neatly into its heavy-duty PVC cover on the side of the vehicle roof rack. The build quality of this 4×4 awning is very reasonable; especially considering it is one of the cheaper models on the market.
The awning fabric itself is PU polyester, which is fully waterproof, and the aluminium construction and telescopic legs are durable. As regards installation, the ARB Awning is very simple to fit on standard 4×4 roof racks. The rear of the awning features a simple track and bolt system, which can be mounted via the six bolts supplied to the rack. If you have roof bars, ARB can supply specific roof bar mounting brackets.
The ARB awning is customizable with room sides, mosquito nets, and a windbreak, which are all available separately to tailor the awning to your needs, whether it be for occasional weekend use or rugged overland adventure. In summary, the ARB 4×4 Awning is a very good basic vehicle awning at a great price. It takes longer to set up than some awnings, and may not have as many time-saving and wind-proof features as some of the more expensive awnings out there, but this offset by its durable construction, simplicity, and affordable price. Overall, we rate the ARB awning as a great mid-range 4×4 vehicle awning.