Having fun in your boat can make you lose track of time and even the sense of it. At the end of the day, you’ll be surprised that you have a sunburn. If you’re fond of spending time in the waters during hot, sunny days, it’s wise to get yourself one of the best bimini tops and add it to your boat. It will only protect you from both UV rays and rain.
You can be worry-free any time you choose to sail if you have a bimini top on your boat. Sudden weather changes won’t catch you off guard either. Aside from the protection and comfort, a bimini top also improves your vessel’s appearance.
This review reveals today’s trusted bimini top manufacturers in the market. Go through the features and functions of each to pick one that allows you to have a carefree and fun time in the waters.
Table of Contents
- Top 12 Bimini Top Reviews
- 1. NaviSkin B019PR55VW Bimini Top Cover
- 2. Leader Accessories Bow Bimini Tops
- 3. 4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover
- 4. VINGLI Bimini Top Boat Cover
- 5. X-GEAR Bow Bimini Top
- 6. MSC Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover
- 7. KING BIRD Bimini Top
- 8. SereneLife SLBTW90G Bimini Top Cover
- 9. Kemimoto Bow Bimini Top
- 10. 4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover
- 11. Oceansouth Bow Bimini Top
- 12. SoGudio Bimini Top Cover
- What is a Bimini Top and How Does It Work
- Types of Bimini Tops for Boats
- Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Bimini Tops
- How Do I Choose a Bimini Top
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 12 Bimini Top Reviews
When it comes to shade coverage and suitability, this bimini top is terrific! It is without a doubt, a high-quality product at an affordable price. It comes with a nice hardware kit that is composed of stainless steel screws for mounting too.
The aluminum frame is quite sturdy with quick-release mounts for convenience. I was amazed when I found out about the storage boot, which I thought is only available in expensive bimini tops. To withstand sun, rain, and saltwater, the cover is marine-grade, coupled with 600D polyester canvas and PU coating.
There are 13 different sizes, so you can get a large bimini top suitable for your boat. It won’t be hard to fit in the appropriate size as there are two straps located at the front and back sides. I tighten them to secure the cover in place. Adjustments are possible to align the cover and framework to your vessel.
Since the frame is flexible, it’s fine to choose the wider cover. You may also identify the ideal size based on comprehensive instructions given by the manufacturer. In addition, there is an instruction manual that makes installation simple.
You don’t have to fret because the required procedures only need basic, mechanical knowledge. However, one drawback is that you must o use double-sided tape on mounting hardware before you drill any holes.
2. Leader Accessories Bow Bimini Tops
Since I’m used to standing at the console to control my boat, adequate headroom is a must. By scanning through other bimini top reviews, I was able to select this item to achieve just that! I also use it on rafts, catarafts, and pontoons for generous headroom.
Many cases have proven that this bimini top can withstand the test of extensive use even in adverse conditions. It accompanies me through cold, rainy river trips. It stands firm under the blistering sun during my journey in a hot desert as well. The shade coming from it can counter the harshest sunlight. It works wonders in keeping me from getting fried.
Class III-IV rapids and gusting winds are not a threat with this top as it stays solid. It can survive 40 mph wind. It’s necessary when you have kids with you based on the aforementioned effects.
The durability of the marine-grade 600D polyester fabric for covering is dependable. Moreover, adjustable straps located on the front and back make fittings easy.
No flapping will occur during transport. The white and navy stripes make my boat look spectacular with a clean and bright appeal. There are 12 colors that you can choose from and each has two tones.
The aluminum frame is one of the most important parts to look at in a bimini top. For maximum strength, this one has double-wall main bow legs to lift the covering and make room for everyone in the vessel. There are quick mounts for convenience too.
3. 4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover
This item is unique among bikini tops for boats. Who would ever think that a 7-year warranty is being offered for it? I’m impressed with the quality of the entire top. I was able to get a lot of shade from its waterproof, 600 Denier fabric. Protection from sunlight is achieved with the 8-foot shade it offers for my aluminum boat.
You can set the cover aside when not in use with the matching boot. It comes in beige, black, burgundy, navy blue, and grey. The top stands still with the help of a doubled wall, anodized aluminum frame. There are heavy-duty nylon fittings that act as support poles for the frame as well.
Measurement is an important factor before installation takes place. The other aspect that needs to be measured is the width. This brand offers 46-foot and 54-foot frames, so you can pick one that suits your vessel. The proper arrangement is also necessary.
The screws that come along the package are great as they’re similar to the ones used on fiberglass boats. However, make pre-drill holes before attachment to avoid breaking them. You don’t need to use a lot of tools during installation based on my experience.
The installation is simple and it took me 20 minutes to complete. I did it myself without taking it to a boat shop. If I let others do it for me, the cost will triple!
4. VINGLI Bimini Top Boat Cover
This product offers high-quality parts at an affordable price. The bimini top canvas is lightweight but tough and durable. All you need is to unzip the extra flap to spread the covering and zip it close when not in use. Thus, storage is breezy.
The aluminum tubes have spring-together clips and there’s no need to worry about loosen metal screws and rust. Although the fittings are not made of steel, they are hardy thanks to heavy nylon that is deemed long-lasting. The hardware is molded from stainless steel and some spare parts are included.
I find the thumb hinge fitting screw favorable in removal or reinstallation. It’s a feature that makes putting up this bimini top trouble-free. However, I needed to dab a silicone sealant on the fittings to tightly hold the nuts. A screwdriver is included in the package, so I only used my drill and drill bit.
If you need to replace canvas or cotton biminis, this is a good choice. I made it as a small boat canopy for my mini pontoon. The 72-inch width of this bimini is not an issue for my 19-foot Bayliner.
Outdoor elements can’t ruin the composure of this top. Due to the tough stainless steel hook, saddles, and buckles, it remains undisturbed by the tempest winds from the sea.
5. X-GEAR Bow Bimini Top
The 10 color choices let you improve your vessel’s appearance by picking one that is most suitable. In addition, you won’t have problems finding the right measurement for your vessel with the 13 size options that this mini top offers.
In short, it’s an excellent bimini top. It saves me from mixing up sizes and ending up frustrated. I found the right size for my newly restored 14-foot, 1986 Garvey. I’m more than impressed as it’s a perfect match for the classic boat. Nevertheless, several colors and sizes are not the only advantages that you can gain from this boat bimini top.
The marine-grade 600D polyester canvas of this top is much thicker than I anticipated. I can tell that it has a superior kind of material that is efficient in providing shade. It does a great job of blocking sunlight. Not a bit of leaking was noticed from the canvas and that’s why I like it a lot!
Double overlapped stitching adds up to its durability. It’s this feature that blocks the rain from seeping through the canvas. The ample amount of space and shade remains even when this bimini is used at a cruising speed.
If you’re handy and know the structure of portable bimini tops, assembling will only take 10 minutes. It’s almost like ‘no installation’!
6. MSC Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover
I have delicate skin and sensitive blue eyes. Gone were the days that I could manage to comfortably bask under the sun with sunglasses on. Adequate coverage of this MSC bimini top is what someone like me needs. The durability and reliability are definite as the polyester canvas is marine-grade with PU coating.
The canvas is offered in seven colors and I chose Pacific blue to unite with the sea. Since the frame is aluminum, you can trust its rust resistance ability. Four sizes are available and I got the biggest size for my 22-foot bay boat. Sufficient coverage was provided for UV ray protection.
Though I’m no longer in my youth, I was able to finish the installation in half an hour. I must say that this portable bimini top is partially assembled. You must measure the area from the rear or the front of the deck to the mounting points.
The first step is sliding the poles into the bottom sleeves, then you connect the parts with the hardware included in the package. They are made of sturdy nylon and stainless steel.
It erects high on my boat and I can stand upright with my height of 6’2”. There’s still enough room to spare! Once this canopy is properly installed, it’s well-established with no chance of flapping.
7. KING BIRD Bimini Top
Due to the quality and excellence of this top’s cloth covering, heavy-duty tubing, and fittings, I suspect it’s tailored to fit my boat. I should have bought it earlier to avoid feeling frustrated in finding the appropriate size for my bass boat. It’s also an ideal bimini top for Jon boats, inflatable, V-hull boats, fiberglass boats, and runabout boats.
The marine-grade and extra-thick polyester canvas is anti-UV ray and waterproof. It’s quite helpful to me as summer in my area is brutally hot. Regardless of whether the sun shines or the rain falls, the material won’t fade quickly. Dirt doesn’t cling to it too. The seams are double stitched for durability and a neat appearance.
Based on my experience of using it a couple of times in a year, it can endure a higher wind rating better than other biminis that I used before. The sewn-on, integral boot has a huge contribution to this aspect. It has two rear stabilizing poles to heighten the wind loading. Thus, it remains stable.
Hooks, buckles, and saddles are all made of stainless steel. However, I don’t approve of the brackets attached to the poles as they are made of plastic. So, I replaced them with nylon ones.
8. SereneLife SLBTW90G Bimini Top Cover
A decent amount of space and shade is provided by this bimini top. Two adults and two dogs usually stay under it and I have nothing to complain about. I don’t have to hunch when standing. It can conclude that it excels among its counterparts in terms of longevity due to the following reasons.
I’m not afraid to go sailing or fishing under the sun due to the protection provided by this bimini. The usual rain or even the one caused by a hurricane can’t bring it down. My boat can go as fast as 40 mph and this canopy stays in its place. It doesn’t bow down to the force of the wind.
Although the color is limited to blue and gray, it’s fine as it can survive harsh outdoor conditions because of quality parts and solid construction. The cover is a marine-grade denier polyester canvas with double-stitched seams. That’s why it looks neat and nice. To my delight, it’s lightweight too. It has components similar to sunbrella bimini top replacement parts.
The aluminum frame is supported by rear poles and front straps. Just like what I expect from a good bimini system, it has a storage boot that you can just zip in for storage. This style saves space and prevents it from being easily blown away.
9. Kemimoto Bow Bimini Top
This is the perfect bimini top in giving the shade that I need when I go fishing. I’m grateful for the comfort that it provides. I like the solid rare brace, which is far greater than the straps that are seen on other bimini tops. The goal of this feature is to make it stable and resistant to the wind.
The covering is top-notch with three layers, which are UV coating, 600D Oxford fabric, and PU coating. These materials can resist and repel water. Hence, water or rain won’t sag it down. Storage is a breeze even when there are strong winds.
The hardware set contains sturdy parts. There are back pins for quick release, which are used for dropping the rear support bar so it can lay flat. Secured positioning is guaranteed by the hinges and screws.
Aluminum tubes are not prone to corrosion and rust. Although the frame is lightweight, it’s sturdy while standing still. I’m happy with the hardware and I don’t need replacements as they are all reliable. Furthermore, the parts in the hardware set promote durability.
10. 4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover
The apparent sturdiness of this bimini is the sign that tells me that it can last for a long time. It’s not just a guess that the manufacturer is uber-confident about this product since a 7-year warranty is offered. I’m so happy with my purchase as it’s way better than what I’ve expected considering the price.
The cover is in three colors, which are gray, navy blue, and burgundy. 600 Denier fabric is the material that makes it waterproof. A matching boot is available for easy storage. It’s a perfect fit for my 34-year old fiberglass boat.
This bimini top is a game-changer as it can be adjusted and moved forward and backward. I also pull it up and down without any issue. Since the frame is composed of anodized aluminum, you can rely on its durability. Straps are provided to be attached on four sides for more support. However, some of the connectors are made of flimsy plastic, so I replaced them with metal ones.
I like the mounting screws and eye hooks that are all made of stainless steel. They give more strength to the construction of this bimini top. Installation is fairly easy and can be accomplished in less than an hour.
11. Oceansouth Bow Bimini Top
I never thought that I could enjoy the functions of a sturdy and well-built bimini top from a relatively affordable option. With three size variations, you can surely find one that fits your boat. It fits well on my Jon boat and I couldn’t be happier.
UV ray protection is benefited by every user of this top because of the heavy-duty polyester webbing. It lasts for a long period despite prolonged exposure to sunlight. It protects both my skin and boat. Sadly, it only comes in a blue hue, but I’m personally fine with it as it’s similar to the seawater color.
It can withstand 45 knots or 51.79 mph wind. A little bit of wind is great when I go sailing on a good day. It can enhance the relaxing feeling out in the sea.
To secure its structure, dipped aluminum tubing is added for support. I like how it shines, so the new look can be maintained. A single purchase gives you a complete unit, which means that you don’t have to separately buy the necessary parts.
I’m impressed with the deck hinges and rigid snap lock for a secured set-up. Hence, I don’t have to worry that this top will suddenly fail. It’s reliable so it stands out among other bimini top frames. Assembly and installation are not too complex. I can do it by myself without any problems.
12. SoGudio Bimini Top Cover
What sets this bimini top apart from its counterparts is the terrific canvas. The Oxford fabric outshines other materials as it’s durable and resistant to tearing. It’s not prone to shrinking or stretching as well.
The waterproof feature is also commendable. Silver material is found in the inner side to ensure that no water can pass through. You don’t have to worry about water sprinkles and rain!
The cover is multifunctional and suitable for all seasons. Dust can’t penetrate and degrade its surface. You are assured that it can withstand snow during winter. Sailing in summer is pure enjoyment as this bimini gives you much-needed sun protection. Even a windbreak can’t make it surrender. Therefore, it can be your reliable partner for a long time.
Color choices are black, blue, silver, gray, dark green, and wine red. I picked dark green to put an accent on the color of the sky and water. Finding one that suits your watercraft won’t be hard as this is sold in four different sizes. It’s not an issue as any, from small, medium, large, or extra-large, will fit your boat.
What is a Bimini Top and How Does It Work
A bimini top on your boat is similar to a roof that protects you from outdoor elements. It’s usually in the form of an open-top canvas, which is supported by a metal framework. When you no longer need to use it, you can fold or let it collapse for storage.
The canvas together with the framework is attached to the boat. Most bimini tops can be easily assembled as instructions are provided. So, there’s no need to worry about setting it up. For effortless storage, a boot should be one of the features.
Types of Bimini Tops for Boats
The canvas and framework are the two parts that complete a bimini top. Size, style, and efficiency are the factors that you should give importance to when using this boat accessory.
There are OEM bimini tops, Off-the-shelf bimini tops, empire bimini tops, aftermarket bimini tops, high-speed bimini tops, custom bimini tops for boats, and many more.
There are various types and each of them has their own strengths that matches users’ needs and preferences. There’s a collapsible type that can be taken down when not in use. A portable type is small and makes removal easy.
There are hard tops and soft top types too. The former is non-fabric and usually composed of fiberglass, sheet metals, and polycarbonate. The latter is built of special fabrics and metal frames.
A hard bimini top can add more weight which you may need. However, you may find it in a limited size. On the other hand, the advantage of using a soft bimini top is the possibility of extending the fabric on a larger section of the boat.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Bimini Tops
Here are the benefits that you can get in using a bimini top. They can improve your sailing experience for sure.
A sunny day is an ideal time for every boater to be on the waters. But, too much sunlight is not good for everyone. That’s why you need to have protection through a bimini top. According to experts, UV rays can damage your skin in as quickly as 15 minutes. Skin diseases should be avoided by shielding from the harmful sun.
Most people rely on sunscreen but they still find reprieve from a shade, especially those who have sensitive skin. Bimini tops are available in various sizes and can be placed in different areas. So, you’ll be able to get as much or as little shade based on your needs.
A bimini is flexible as you may lower or raise it at any time. It’s simple to get a break from heat exposure.
Protection from Other Elements
It’s normal for boaters to get caught by rain as the weather is sometimes fickle. No one can tell when the pouring will stop. Uncertainty is also present in occasional rainstorms.
When it starts to drizzle, all you have to do is pop up the canopy. Then, you can lower the top when the rain or storm goes away. Set it aside then resume the fun.
Taking Care of Your Investment
A bimini top is your assistance in taking care of the things that you’ve invested in your boat. Components and pieces of equipment found in a water vessel are not cheap. The sun and rain can also harm pricey objects just like what they do to your skin and health.
The shade from a bimini top shields the cockpit from unneeded sun damage. This cover is also a shelter for electronics and other possessions when the rain comes. While the other parts of your boat are crowded, some space under the bimini can be a fortress.
Screens are Easier to Read
Aside from protecting your skin, a bimini top also takes care of your eyes. Some screens are utilized in a fishing outing. To counter the bright sun, a shaded area is what you need. You’ll be able to read the GPS screen and decipher what’s being shown on a fish finder. Your eyes are safe from being hurt while you’re effective on your tasks at hand.
There may be drawbacks in using a bimini top but you can avoid them by being careful and attentive. For instance, you’re passing through shallow waters with trees beside them. A bimini can make some boats bulky, so it may catch on branches which cause damage.
When going fishing, a bimini may be an obstruction as you do the casting. When that happens, it can ruin your mood.
How Do I Choose a Bimini Top
When choosing the appropriate bimini boat top, it’s not only about the size. The following factors will help you on how to choose a bimini top.
You will encounter various materials in a long array of bimini boats. The first one on the list is vinyl-coated fabric. It’s waterproof, so it won’t allow water or rain to seep through. Cleaning this material doesn’t need much effort. It’s known for its high quality and durability.
An extremely rich-colored material is polyester as it undergoes a process with dye solution. It’s known for its strength as it remains tough when exposed to UV rays. Moreover, it doesn’t fade quickly. It needs to be re-waterproofed after extensive cleaning.
Another good material is acrylic. Even though it’s soft to touch, its strength is incredible. It can resist the destructive effects of fading and sunlight.
The threads have a vital role in connecting all the parts of the bimini top. Unfortunately, the weakest point is also found in them. They may rot because of outdoor elements, like sun, bird droppings, and moisture. With this information, you would likely get a high-quality thread.
Polyester thread needs to be restitched before the fabric or canvas wears out. It’s the typical type but it serves its purpose well.
A bimini top is not complete if there are no frames. Aluminum and stainless steel are the usual materials for them. Aluminum is economical and it’s enough for your needs when you sail on freshwater. It’s a fact that stainless steel is stronger as it can’t succumb to corrosion and rust.
Stainless steel is good for seawater exposure. It’s always the choice of the owners of powerboats. It remains sturdy against high wind and speed.
Frames consisting of tubes that range from half an inch to one inch are usually used on biminis. When these tubes are extruded or drawn, it results in profound strength. Denser consistency and additional strength can be collected from drawn tubing, which goes through the dye process. Extruded tubing is otherwise pushed through the same process so it may have some weak points.
They should be made of stainless steel for the sake of durability. Most kits or sets have this hardware. There are also brass-coated fittings but you should know that they can peel and corrode.
You can let your boat be laid out for a long time but not your bimini. They should be cleaned, dried, and stored. It must be done every winter. Bear in mind that snow and strong wind can destroy them. Bird droppings can deteriorate threads and cloth too.
Manufacturers make it convenient for users to keep their bimini tops by adding a storage boot.
The price of the bimini doesn’t depend on what you want. The difference in price tags is like how price and quality are not the same between an old Jon boat and a new Bayliner.
But, it doesn’t mean that the more affordable brand is absolutely lower in quality. You can find some that won’t disappoint you even though they’re relatively cheaper. You must check the quality.
A no-good bimini top causes various consequences like being loose and floppy. One sign that the product can be trusted is the length of the warranty that it offers.
Care and Maintenance
Caring and maintaining a bimini top are done through regular cleaning. Using a hose means that it has some pressure to get rid of the dirt. A brush with soft bristles is an essential tool to scrub accumulated dirt. You can also use mild soap when cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who makes the most favorite Bimini tops for boats?
West Marine is a popular company in producing water gear including bimini tops. The common ones are Northstar bimini tops, Shademate bimini tops, and Carver bimini tops. However, a dependable cover doesn’t need to be well-known.
Some brands are tested and proven in serving as excellent biminis. They are NaviSkin, Leader Accessories, 4 Seasons, VINGLI, X-Gear, MSC, KING BIRD, SereneLife, and Kemimoto.
What is better, 3 bow or 4 bow Bimini?
The length of the bimini is what you have to consider in knowing which bow is better for your boat. The 3 bows are usually for 6-foot length while the 4 bows are for 8-foot.
The 3 bows are ideal for ski boats, performance boats, V-hull runabouts, and center consoles. The 4 bows are compatible with larger boats, like deck boats and pontoons. Thus, you know that it’s the better bow when it fits your vessel.
What is the best Bimini top material?
The best material for a bimini top is either vinyl or polyester composite. You may wonder why. It’s because they meet the requirements of being good marine fabric. They’re soft and lightweight. Due to the ease of fabrication, you can shape it to the frame.
Both vinyl and polyester can resist mildew. That’s what makes them easy to clean and maintain. They’re colorfast so they can help improve the appearance of your boat. Attributive qualities such as waterproof and anti-UV rays are what you need in a marine journey.
How do I know what size Bimini top to buy?
Knowing the size of what bimini top to buy requires doing some measurements. A measuring tape can assist you with this process. Bear in mind that the important mounting point is the center of the bimini.
Identify the mounting point on every side of the boat. Then, get the distance between the two points. Getting the measurement means you have the right width of bimini that suits your water vessel. In finding the appropriate height, you have to stand straight in the middle part of your boat. Measure that part to the mounting point.
Are bimini tops universal?
The need to have a bimini top is universal. Whichever part of the world you are in, the protection given by a bimini is always necessary. However, the matter of size is not universal. You may find one that promotes itself as in free size. It’s still best that you get the exact measurement of your boat to find the right bimini.
The best bimini tops are the providers of protection against sun, rain, wind, dirt, and other outdoor elements. Its significance shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re out in the sea and other bodies of water. It’s an indispensable accessory to your boat as it gives comfort for better enjoyment. Also, it gives your boat a nice look.