Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Looking for a tent-- have been advised to go with a trimline or light dome tent. Any one have any advice? Thought the light dome was a no brainer but it looks like putting up a trimline might be easier in spite of the weight.

Can anyone explain how/where to use tent weights and how much each weight should be?

Some people have suggested tractor weights --and although they are expensive, packing space is an issue in the car and at home. 

Appreciate hearing your advice. I am new to out door shows. 


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Hi Ellen. I’m new too and just researched the same question. I was initially going to go with lightdone, but some seasoned art fair veterans sterered me toward Trimline as it is sturdier. I’ve heard people mention seeing light some poles snap in high winds. Probably uncommon, but they say they’ve seen it happen.
With Trimline you have more parts, it is heavier, and maybe more complex setting up - but hopefully sturdier. I just bought a used Trimline and their website sells bags that you can fill with sand or gravel to make each one 40lbs. The couple I bought the Trimline from said they took 4” diameter pvc pipe, capped an end and filled it with concrete. I thought that was a great idea!

Hope that helps. Cheers to much success on your journey!

Thanks Adair- I am leaning toward  the Trimline myself. Good luck and hopefully I will find a used Tramline too! I am hearing they are sturdier and somehow putting the canopy on while it is on the ground seems easier than trying to fight the wind over your head. Guess it is all tradeoffs.

Thanks again for sharing


Dumbells work great. You can buy them in a wide variety of weight and they are compact and easy to carry...  I tapped 1/4" threads in mine so I could put in an eye-bolt for hanging..Inexpensive and readily available at places such as Walmart.

Thanks Greg- that is brilliant! Are those 30 lb weights? And do you need to weight the tent anywhere other than the bottom corners?

Those are 40 lbs each. I also fastened 1/2" thick rubber pads to the underside of each tent leg and also to the bottom of the weights. This provides great anti-skid properties...especially when you have to set up metal tent legs on a cement street.

I have to say after years of using pc pipe with concrete I have recently purchased "US Weight Tailgater Canopy Weights".  They are made for canopies and worth the price (about $30 per leg if you put 20 pounds per leg but you can get more weights if you want).  I found out about them right here on Art Fair Insiders.  One nice thing is they come in 5 pounds each so you aren't killing yourself lifting them and you can tuck them where ever you can in your very full vehicle.  Plus they look really nice and professional at shows.  OH and they work- attaching to the bottom of the tent leg which is what you want for the best stability.  

Good luck!


Thanks Layl- sounds like a great option -- and they come ready to go! 

I bought a used Trimline canopy and it works great.  It takes a little extra time to set up, but it has not moved on windy days.

For weights, I filled 4" diameter x 36" long PVC pipe with concrete.  Prior to filling, I attached a carry handle on the side of the tube and a cap on the top with a large eye-bolt.  Each weight is about 45 lbs.

Good to know- I have reached the decision that a used Tramline is the way to go--now all I have to do is find one in the Northeast!

Thank you 

Weights are the key.  I would suggest at least 40-50 pounds per leg as a minimum.  The weights should be low to the ground and attached to the leg.  Otherwise they will have a tendency to shift in the wind. I have seen a tent pulled down by the weights as when they shift they are pulling at an angle that the legs are not meant to bear.

I use velcro straps to secure each weight to the leg and a hold down strap to suspend the weight from the top of the leg, with the weight just off the ground.

very useful information-thanks -- and that sounds like it would be the easiest place to put them.


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