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Aluminum is a good choice for a portable or collapsible gazebo because it is lightweight and relatively strong. Choosing the best aluminum gazebo means factoring in cost versus features: the materials used for the canopy of the aluminum gazebo will have a great effect on the gazebo's usability and durability, but it can also drive up the price. Thicker gauge aluminum can also cost more, but it will be stronger than thinner gauges and only slightly heavier. Choose an aluminum gazebo that fits your needs and price range as accurately as possible, and remember to choose a gazebo with high-quality materials that will last a long time.
Most people choose an aluminum gazebo over other materials for two primary reasons: first, aluminum is resistant to corrosion and rust, meaning it will last a long time; second, it is lightweight, making storage and packing quite easy. Regardless of how light the aluminum is, however, the gazebo must feature a set-up and take-down method that is easy to execute, and should fold up small enough to be stored in a basement or garage. Otherwise, the benefits of the light weight are lost to a cumbersome unit.
Be sure to consider what type of materials are used in conjunction with the aluminum gazebo frame. Many aluminum gazebo designs use a lightweight synthetic fabric such as rip-stop nylon; this material is easy to pack up for storage, and when set up for use, the nylon will be durable enough to withstand the elements. It is far from the most durable, however, and other materials such as canvas can be used for more durability. Canvas is much heavier and more difficult to pack, however, so you must choose what your priorities are before choosing a model.
The aluminum gazebo will have to be secured to the ground somehow, so be sure to research the different methods by which the unit can be secured. If the unit is not secured at all, it may be lightweight enough to be blown over by moderate wind, and it runs the risk of damage from other weather elements. Remember that aluminum is fairly strong, but when struck by a direct blow, it is likely to bend and crack, unlike steel, which can be bent back into shape. Be sure to choose an appropriate thickness for the aluminum frame of the gazebo.