Top 5 Best Portable Garage for Winter & Snow

Folks living in colder climates understand better than anyone else just how much havoc winter weather – especially heavy snow and ice – wreak on cars that are left out in the elements.

At the same time, not everyone is lucky enough to have an attached garage that they can pull their vehicle into every night to keep it out of all that Mother Nature throws at them.

Thankfully though investing in the best portable garages specifically designed to stand up to winter weather if you all the benefits of an attached garage without the skyhigh expense – and it lets you pull it down and pack away during the warmer months if you want to.

Below we dig a little deeper into almost everything you need to know about buying these kinds of portable garages and how to find the right one for your specific needs and budget.

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Portable Garage

But before we really get into the meat and potatoes of reviewing the top five portable garages for winter weather a little later it’s important to touch on some of the key features and considerations you’ll want to zero in on before you invest money in a portable garage.

Local Weather Conditions Matter

Right out of the gate you need to consider just how nasty your local winters get before you splash any cash on a portable garage.

A lot of states in the US get at least a little bit of snow throughout the winter (some of them maybe a couple of inches of “dust” throughout the winter months). Other states get absolutely slammed with snow and ice, living in a perpetual blizzard most of the winter.

Homeowners in lighter snow areas probably don’t need to spend as much money on super reinforced and heavy duty portable garages that can withstand hundreds of pounds of snow load for months on end the way that someone in the Northeast or the Snow Belt, for example.

Really think about what your needs are before you zero in on a specific model you’ll set up in your driveway.

Size is Everything

It’s also critically important that you really think about the type of vehicle you are going to be storing underneath these portable carports and portable garages, the number of vehicles that are going to need to be kept out of winter weather, and anything else you’re looking to store under cover as well.

Obviously, it’s a good idea to get as large a portable garage as you can reasonably afford (and that the available real estate in your yard or driveway allows) as you’ll always find something else you’d like to tuck away.

At the same time, you don’t necessarily have to go for a two-car portable garage if you’re looking to keep a couple of motorcycles and some your equipment out of the snow.

As we just mentioned, you want to consider the available real estate you have to work with when you buy a garage as well. Where and how you set up this new portable garage is going to make or break its usefulness in a big way.

Construction Materials are Hugely Important

The construction materials that your new portable garage has been made out of goes hand-in-hand with finding something that can stand up to the kind of winter weather you expect to see.

Super lightweight models that leverage aluminum and PVC (as well as other synthetics and plastics) are okay for mild winters where you are usually going to be dealing with more rain than snow or ice. That same kind of super lightweight garage in New England, however, would collapse underneath the weight of the first snowstorm of the season.

The overwhelming majority of portable garage options available on the market right now are made out of structural aluminum or steel components. This gives these garages strong “bones” to handle heavier snow loads and wind loads, two important factors you want to look into when researching any of the garages you are thinking about moving forward with.

A final note on construction quality and construction materials. Really focus on the overall pole diameter or thickness of the structural/frame components before you make a decision. You want something that’s going to offer a lot of stability – especially if you have high winds in your area – and the thicker poles and frame elements are always going to be able to withstand more than thinner options ever could.

Our 5 Favorite Portable Garages for Winter Weather

1. Ikuby All Weather Proof Medium Carport

If you only need a portable carport to protect a single vehicle (a regular sized sedan or a crossover/compact SUV) then this particular option is probably going to be right up your alley.

Featuring high strength structural steel frame components that have a 600 D Oxford fabric that has been waterproofed and protected with a PU coating, this is a pretty simple and straightforward option that gets the job done in more mild winters.

Capable of handling snow loads of up to 170 pounds (though you’ll want to stay away from this maximum capacity as much as possible to avoid any accidental collapses) those that aren’t going to see a lot of snow or a lot of ice will find this to be particularly useful.

The fact that you can actually lock this portable carport is a game changing feature that a lot of other fabric covered options do not include, though obviously this whole set up isn’t quite as secure as a traditional garage or a solid sided garage would be.

Why This Portable Garage
  • Relatively compact form factor for a single car solution
  • Really easy to set up and to take down
  • Works wonders in milder winter climates
  • Provides really cool locking mechanism that offers a lot of peace of mind
Keep in Mind
  • Tight confines even for smaller vehicles
  • A little on the more expensive side of things for a soft sided shell like this

2. Quictent 10’X20’ Heavy Duty Carport

Representing a bit of a step up from the soft sided portable garage we highlighted just a moment ago, this portable garage not only is a bit larger (measuring 10 feet wide by 20 feet long) but it’s also designed to withstand significantly more aggressive winter conditions, too.

Using a tubular steel frame made out of galvanized steel poles (almost 1.5 inches in diameter) you are going to be able to withstand some pretty heavy snow loads that can approach 4 inches deep all over the roof.

There aren’t a lot of soft sided portable garages out there that can rival that kind of protection.

The actual canopy system itself is made out of a heavy duty polyethylene material that not only provides full waterproofing protection for your vehicles (and anything else you store underneath) but also offers a lot of UV protection that other fabrics do not offer.

Why This Portable Garage
  • At 10 feet wide by 20 feet long (and 6.6 inches tall at the door) you can fit big trucks, SUVs, and a boat inside
  • Can handle snow loads of up to 4 inches across the entire roof before things get dicey
  • Very affordable for the extra storage and capabilities you are getting
Keep in Mind
  • At 10 feet wide by 20 feet long (and 6.6 inches tall at the door) you can fit big trucks, SUVs, and a boat inside
  • Can handle snow loads of up to 4 inches across the entire roof before things get dicey
  • Very affordable for the extra storage and capabilities you are getting

3. Abba Patio Outdoor Storage Shelter with Rollup Door

Another great portable garage that takes full advantage of tubular steel frame construction components, this particular option doesn’t leverage galvanized steel but instead chooses white powder coated options that are 1.5 inches in diameter.

This guarantees a certain level of strength and durability that you’re not going to get with tubular aluminum or fold up steel solutions that are never going to be able to handle the kinds of snow loads and wind issues that this portable garage handles quite easily.

We are talking about being able to withstand about 3 inches of snow across the entirety of the roof before you’re going to want to get out the snow rakes or do a bit of shoveling to lighten the load – not necessarily the best in its class, but ranking right up there for sure.

The inclusion of zippered doors and side panels to let things “air out” during the summer months is a neat little feature that does not compromise the waterproofing capabilities of the durable canopy cover, either.

Why This Portable Garage
  • Really easy to install thanks to intuitive tubular steel frame set up
  • Zippered doors and side panels are great accessibility options
  • The canopy material used is some of the most durable in the soft sided portable garage world
Keep in Mind
  • Cannot handle the same kind of snow load similar sized portable garages can
  • Measures in at just 10’ x 10’, without a lot of extra room for anything more than a single car, crossover, or compact SUV

4. ShelterLogic All-Steel Metal Frame Instant Garage

This portable garage proves that you don’t have to spend a mountain of money to get reliable and dependable winter weather protection.

Though it is a little bit narrower than some of the other options out there (mostly because of its unique “peak” style design), it still offers pretty of storage space for at least one large vehicle – including large trucks and SUVs, as well as boats – while still leaving lots of extra space for other things you want to store outdoors in the winter.

Made out of a tubular steel frame that is 1 3/8 inches thick and covered in a ripstop and waterproof synthetic material that attaches to the frame with a ratcheting style system to guarantee a tight fit and finish, this option is rock solid.

The roof design allows it to shed snow really efficiently, too. It’s strong enough to handle up to 3 or 4 inches of snow load during the winter but most of the time you won’t have to do with that kind of accumulation just because of the pitched nature of this roofing system.

Why This Portable Garage
  • Incredibly durable portable garage at this affordable price point
  • Top-tier waterproofing capabilities thanks to triple layer ripstop material and ratcheting system
  • Plenty of storage space from a garage that measures 10’ x 20’ x 8’
Keep in Mind
  • You’ll definitely need a second set of hands to help you set up this garage
  • Ratcheting system can be a little bit finicky when you’re trying to get everything to fit “just so” initially

5. Palram Vitoria Carport; Patio Cover 16 x 10 x 8

Rounding out our top five favorite portable garages that work well in the winter is an option that may not look like something that you want to use to fight back against heavy snow and ice initially – but about closer inspection that’s exactly what this system has been designed to do.

An “open bay” style portable garage, this particular option doesn’t have the tubular steel or flexible frame system that a lot of our other choices feature but instead uses galvanized steel and heavy duty aluminum (both of which have been powder coated) across the board.

The roof is clamshell style configuration made out of 6 mm thick (and nearly indestructible) poly carbonate panels that protect against the sun with UV blocking technology, securely locked into the galvanized steel structural supports and roof “rafters” that add extra strength and extra durability to the entire set up.

You’re also going to be able to handle significantly larger snow loads with this set up than you would with tubular steel and canvas/synthetic soft sided options. It’s not unreasonable to expect this portable garage to handle 6 to 8 inches of snow before you have to bust out the snow rake or shovel and start clearing things off lobe.

On the flip side of things, there are no “walls” to speak of with this portable garage. You can certainly add your own with heavy duty tarps or canvas covers that you set up all on your own (attaching them to the support structures that make up this portable garage) – but that’s a bit of extra work and expense you’ll have to factor into the finished product.

Why This Portable Garage
  • Incredibly strong galvanized steel and aluminum materials throughout
  • 6 mm Thick poly carbonate material provides improved snow load resistance and UV protection
  • 10 year warranty is one of the best in the business
Keep in Mind
  • No sidewalls to protect your vehicle from the winter weather, wind snow, and ice
  • Installation is definitely going to require two people (or more) to help you handle the heavy lifting

Final Verdict

You really can’t go wrong with any of the top five portable garage options for beating winter weather that we highlighted above, but of all the options that you can pick and choose from the ShelterLogic All-Steel Metal Frame Instant Garage really separates itself from the rest of the pack.

Offering plenty of storage space (even after you pull your vehicle in), a relatively simple installation process, top to bottom coverage on the roof and the wall, an intelligently designed roofing system to shed snow and wind pressure, and a ratcheting system that offers a really tight fit across the board this is a bit of a no-brainer choice.

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