Cheap Fabric Shelters – The Myth


You Get What You Pay for!

Allshelter is not a supplier of cheap fabric shelters. We know that our shelters are not the cheapest on the market. But there’s a good reason for that. Our clients come to us time and time again because they know that their shelter is going to be fully engineered.

As you scroll through the many pages of fabric shelters that are on the market, there are plenty (typically standard sizes – 6m & 12m) that are advertised at extremely cheap prices. They may look fine from a distance, but most of these shelters are imported from overseas, which means they’re not designed to Australian Standards. Or, for Australian weather conditions.

Fabric Shelter Steel Framing

Unlike other fabric shelter suppliers, Allshelter uses SHS steel – approved high-grade C350 and C450 galvanised steel, with a minimum wall thickness of 4mm. When combined with our certified welding procedures, the shelter frames are accredited to strict ISO standards (ISO 9001, ISO 45001 and ISO 14001).

Cheaper and imported shelters tend to use a thin, 1.6mm round tube steel. These thin tube frames, typically use around 30% of the steel that Allshelter uses. (yes, really!) These structures don’t necessarily meet the Australian Wind Code or Australian Standards.

Image showing comparison of steel used in cheap fabric shelters, vs a steel used in an Allshelter structure

Fabrics for Fabric Shelters

Have you ever wondered what type of material is used for container shelter fabric and how the material can withstand the harsh conditions of the environment?

The two types of fabrics that are generally used for Fabric Shelters are High-Density Polyethelene (HDPE) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Whilst these fabrics may seem similar, they have very different properties.

  • High-Density Polyethelene (HDPE) is known for superior performance in extreme weather. It is harder, more resistant to salt and corrosive materials and abrasion-resistant. This means its ability to wear from rubbing and friction is a lot less. This is because of its thick interior coating which can handle the abrasion. As a result, it has a much longer lifespan.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a heavier and stronger material but becomes hard and brittle in the sun, meaning it may only last a few years. PVC tarps are cheaper which is why they are frequently used by homeowners and tradies.

At Allshelter, we use high-density polyethylene fabric for all our shelters and fabric structures. We use this fabric because we know it is going to last and withstand extreme weather conditions. Whether it be extreme temperatures, rain stress, wind or snow.

Cheaper shelters generally use inferior fabric, which doesn’t have the same strength and resistance as HDPE fabric. The inferior fabric can deteriorate quickly in the harsh UV, which causes the fabric to harden and become brittle eventually causing the fabric cover to disintegrate.

Cheaper shelters, particularly imported shelters don’t align with the Australian Wind Codes or Australian Standards. This means they’re more likely to fail or fall apart when put to the test in Australia’s harsh weather conditions.

Is an engineered structure important to you?

If so, you need to consider an engineered structure that is suited to the location where it will be installed. Consider compliance with the Australian Wind Code and Standards.

Fabrics used in cheaper, imported structures simply do not last. Poor quality fabric can become much weaker over time and may deteriorate from UV. These covers are not engineered to consider:

  • Membrane stress
  • Tensioning of Fabric
  • Fabric attachment points

When considering buying a shelter, ensure you consider the risks you are willing to take. Choose wisely. And, avoid buying a ‘cheap fabric shelter’, because it might not turn out too cheap!


Recent Case Studies

For the latest news
and innovations

Case Studies