THE ISABELLA SUN BLUE isn’t an awning in the accepted sense of the word as it has no front panels and even the side ones don’t need to be zipped in. But that said, it is priced at the same level as many full awnings. In other words: it’s not cheap!

Essentially, the Sun Blue is a canopy designed to fit caravans with ground-to-ground dimensions ranging from 850cm to 1175cm. Being a canopy it can be erected and taken down quickly. It comprises a roof panel which slides into the awning channel, two side panels and a frame – either Zinox steel or Isabella’s exclusive CarbonX.

As a product we believe it will find more enthusiasts among caravanners who regularly take their outfits to southern Europe rather than those who holiday in the UK where wall-to-wall sunshine day in day out, is rarer than hens’ teeth.

If you already have an awning there’s no reason why you couldn’t buy the canvas only and use it with your existing full awning frame because Isabella does offer the canvas for sale as a separate item.

One of the main features of the Sun Blue is the fact that the sides can be zipped in when required – on breezy days for example. Importantly, the sides have pockets into which the front legs of the frame are zipped.

The material used throughout is 100% polyester, the roof being 180gm/sq m and the sides and mudflaps 195gm/sq m. Included in the kit are pegs, guylines and Fixon bracket pads but no awning skirt.

However, as the intention is to keep you cool on sunny days, the lack of a skirt will ensure that there is always a gentle breeze wafting from under the caravan.

Erecting and taking down the canopy is a doddle, but it is important to remember that if the weather changes you may need to do take it down quickly. So if you decide to go out for the day leaving the Sun Blue erected, we strongly advise you to check what the weather is going to do first and act accordingly.

Reviewed in the January 2010 issue of Practical Caravan.