Aluminium and aluminium based carports are lightweight and are available in a wide range of colors to coordinate with house colors. Carports need not be permanent structures and aluminium carports are available in portable or permanent options. Although not as strong as steel, aluminium has the advantage of being more lightweight and therefore many portable metal carports are made from aluminium. A portable carport may have a lightweight aluminium frame and a cloth canopy. These types of carports are often used for outdoor recreation such as sun protection during beach camping or wind protection during hunting trips.
Carport kits offer a lower priced option compared to custom-built carports. All types of carports have open sides, yet the weather protection they offer vehicles is adequate in most areas. Although garages usually offer much more shelving and storage space, larger carports allow some room for these options. Since carports are roofed, yet also open on the sides, some people like to add a picnic table for rainy day outdoor eating if the carport is located off the kitchen.