First off, I'm a HUGE Yakima fan. I've run Yakima for 17+ years now on multiple vehicles, and currently have the new Timerline Towers, JetStream Aero bars, Loadwarrior & extension on my Forester. This setup is perfect for anything we can throw at it. I wanted to add the SlimShady as the ARB & Rhino awnings are much more expensive & require non-included brackets to mount them. With the Slim Shady, you can mount it to literally any type bar you have (round, square, aero, whatever...) right out of the box AND it comes with SKS cores...for $259 that's a great value. Overall, the setup is pretty nice, it's smaller than I would have liked, I believe it's about 5.5-6' out from the vehicle, depending on how for inboard you mount it. It's also about 6' in length. That's a great middle-point size since Yakima only makes 1 size...you can fit more vehicles and that just makes sense.
With the sky riser tent on the other side wasn't sure at first But now very happy with it. I even set it up at work to for a meeting outside and everyone though it was very cool
While I was very excited about the price point on this product and was hopeful that Yakima (an established manufacturer) would have good quality, I was concerned with it being their first foray into the awning market. Unfortunately when I unravelled the shade it had lots of aluminum shavings in it from where the screws were drilled into the metal poles. The way some of the screws were installed also caused scratches on other metal parts of the product. It was concerning enough that I took extra time to inspect the shade. In doing so I also discovered that the mounting bar for connecting to the crossbars mounts was installed backwards. Rendering it impossible to put on the brackets without figuring out a way to disassemble it from the shade and then putting back on the correct way. At that point I decided to return it.
So, I read the mixed reviews and got this anyway. I am pretty much glad I did. I'd really call this a 3.5 star review, but that's not an option. Anyway, this was super easy to install on my van by myself the night before going on a camping trip. It easily mounted on the roof rails (the ones going side-to-side) on my GMC Safari van. (And it's pretty much the length of the roof behind the front seats so that's rad too.) If you only have the front-to-back rails, you'd be out of luck I guess. Some reviewers mentioned that the mechanism to lock the poles out at a certain length (like with trekking poles) failed on them. This was the case for me just one, one of the ones that supports the awning cloth, not the vertical one. If it was one of the vertical ones, I'd be way more annoyed. Other reviewers indicated that it's impossible to roll it back up and zip it into the cover on the rack, but I have had zero issues with that. The collection of metal shavings that some found in the box was true for me too, but it was just a mess and not a sign that it was going to fly off the roof as soon as I hit the highway. Others have recommended other awnings like the ARB but for me I'd rather have something that easily mounts quickly and deal with any pole issues by way of clamps down the road as opposed to immediately having to mess with ARB brackets and drilling into my roof rails or finding weird special hardware before I can even mount the dang thing. So if you like convenience and are kinda handy for possible future repairs (and many will think I am crazy for that), go ahead and try this.
This is absolutely the most flimsy, cheapest made product that I have ever see made by Yakima. It is VERY flimsy and wil not stand up to even a moderate amount of wind, and the legs will bend or rip out of there attachments. Yakima. Customer service will not back up this awning and they have NO replacement parts. It's a horrible product!!!!!!
I read the reviews, but gave it a chance based on price. Repack is not an issue for me. After I installed the SlimShady, I was mindful of observing how it was packed as I unpacked it. I first unpacked it half way, then packed it back up to confirm the storage bag would zip up. I had no problem.
I will say it is infinitely easier to set up if you're not doing it alone. That being said, one person can get it set up in a couple minutes, you'll just have to adjust back and forth until you get it right. It will attach and detach to your roof rack rather easily, quick unlock and hand twist and it's off.
Installed the Slim Shady on a rack on my truck and it is killer! Can pull up to the beach, open it up and have shade in seconds! Rolls up very easily and is simple to use. I have had no issues fitting it back into its carrying bag as some have mentioned.
Used this warning from Arizona to the east coast and back. Was totally secure on the highway and during camping windstorms. No problems with poles or reliability. Had some tree sap fall on it but pretty much washed right off with a damp rag.
Great for camping and great for outdoor fun in the sun