Yakima SlimShady Awning Review

A review of the SlimShady awning from Yakima. The awning system is designed to be compatible with a variety of rack and crossbar options. The SlimShady is easy to install and deploy, providing coverage and protection from the sun and weather no matter where you are.

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Yakima SlimShady Awning Review 4Runner | #scoutofmind

Introduction

Yakima SlimShady Awning System

When the Yakima SlimShady awning was first announced, I was immediately drawn to it as a perfect addition to my adventure vehicle. The addition of a Yakima Awning system and Roof Top Tent seemed like a very natural product extension for the world’s largest vehicle rack company. The Yakima SlimShady is designed to work with most rack systems and like all Yakima products is designed to be consumer friendly with easy installation. 

Product Details:

  • Universal mounting hardware fits most roof racks.
  • Provides 42 square feet of sun and weather protection – 6’6″ x 6’6″ awning cover
  • Rolls into a 6.5-foot wide case when not in use, leaving tons of room on your roof rack for other gear
  • 420D nylon fabric with PU coating is light, durable and waterproof
  • Easy to pitch – just pull it out, prop it up and settle in
  • Super-simple attachment – no tools required
  • Includes locks to roof rack with SKS Lock Cores for added security
  • MSRP: $279.00

Technical Specs:

  • Weight: 20.00 lbs
  • Dimensions: L 80.00in x W 4.00in x H 4.00in
  • Tool-Free Install
  • 5 Minute Install

Yakima SlimShady Awning Review 4Runner | #scoutofmind

Thoughts

At $279.00 the Yakima SlimShady is competitively priced compared to similar vehicle awnings. Thanks to Yakima’s economies of scale, they’re able to offer a well-built product at an affordable price. Unlike other awning systems, the SlimShady doesn’t require purchase of additional mounts or locks to use it which is great because everything you need is included in the system, including bungee cords to help secure the awning in windy conditions. This was a real selling point for me when choosing an awning system for my vehicle.

Yakima SlimShady Awning Review 4Runner | #scoutofmind

The Yakima SlimShady was very easy to install. Weighing in at 20lbs, the SlimShady is a lighter-alternative to some of the other awning systems out there. This makes it easy to handle when trying to install it on your cross-bars. I was able to easily lift it onto the Gobi Rack on my Toyota 4Runner by myself. 

Yakima SlimShady Awning Review 4Runner | #scoutofmind

A unique feature of the Yakima SlimShady awning is the clamp mounting system. The clamp mounting system makes for a tool-free installation and allows you to attach the awning to a variety of cross-bar systems. You simply twist to tighten and loosen the clamps to fit the size of your cross-bars. The Yakima locks are built into the clamps directly to help prevent theft.

Yakima SlimShady Awning Review 4Runner | #scoutofmind

Setting up the Yakima SlimShady awning is almost just as easy as the installation. Full-length zippers keep the awning secure in its casing. Once you unzip, the awning unrolls and the support rods and legs fold out from the base. The support rods and legs twist to tighten to the length you need. The height of the legs is adjustable allowing you to adjust the shade higher or lower to according to the sun and shade position.

Yakima SlimShady Awning Review 4Runner | #scoutofmind

The part I struggled with the most was putting the SlimShady away after use. It’s important that the awning is wrapped back up tightly and evenly to get it to fit inside its casing. The zipper system made it difficult to close if there was an area of the awning bundled up or not stored tightly.

Drawbacks

My only concern with the Yakima SlimShady awning is the zipper closure system. It doesn’t seem to be very heavy duty and I’m concerned how long it will last under stress. I’ll just need to be careful when packaging up the SlimShady for storage to make sure that the zipper holds up over time.  I’d be curious to see how heavy duty the zippers are on different awning systems.

Final Thoughts on the Yakima SlimShady Awning System

Yakima SlimShady Awning Review 4Runner | #scoutofmind

Yakima is an established manufacturer in the roof-mounted accessories space, so it’s easy to trust a brand standing behind a lifetime warranty on a product like this. The Yakima SlimShady is a complete-package awning system with easy installation and set-up. Yakima has put together a great value product in comparison to competitors in the space.

Click here to purchase the Yakima SlimShady

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