BRADCOT, ONE OF THE most respected names in awnings, has launched the five-piece Concept full awning for this season and offers a 10-year warranty against fading.

The roof, two front panels and interchangeable sides are of solution-dyed acrylic, and the roof also has Bradcot’s unique heat reflective coating. One side panel has a large insect/ventilation screen behind the window and there are smaller mesh screens in all four panels, as well as a door in each.

A bead has been sewn along the bottom of each panel and awning anchors can be slid along it. This is an improvement on the usual arrangement of anchors stitched into place on the canvas. Bradcot’s innovation allows them to be moved to avoid stones for easier, more secure pegging.

We were less pleased by the ladder-style pegging elastics, which have to be fitted and removed every time you set up. Bradcot says this reduces the chance of getting mud on the canvas when you dismantle the awning. However, it makes erecting and dismantling take longer. The only other disadvantage is that the Concept is available in only one colour combination – dark blue and grey.

The standard frame is corrosion-resistant steel but for an extra £80 you can have the company’s Easy System alloy frame. This has only three assemblies, making it much easier to put up, and the poles automatically lock in position when extended.

There is no need to lock any other parts. To retract them, simply press a slider at the end of the larger pole. There is also the optional fibreglass frame costing £100.

The awning is designed to fit caravans with ground-to-ground dimensions ranging from 780cm-1050cm, and all models are 240cm deep. They also take standard and tall annexes, which can be fitted at either side. Once fitted, the original side panel can then be zipped back in to separate the annex from the rest of the awning.

Reviewed in the August 2010 issue of Practical Caravan.