I have a small open area, it's like a small balcony. The issue is that I get wet when it rains.

I ended up buying a regular tarp that covers this open area, and it works well. The issue is that this material isn't breathable, plus it also blocks the sunlight. It tends to get a little warm with the tarp.

Is there any type of material that will let sunlight and air through, but is tightly knitted so that it blocks rain drops?

Just wanted to add that the fabric or mesh will be at a slope, something like this. Also, this "fabric" will never be hit by direct rain. It also doesn't have to be waterproof, it just needs to bead and run off.

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Also wanted to add that I usually use this area at night, so ideally, I would like to be able to see some of the sky while being protected from rain. I can't see anything with the tarp, plus it gets slightly warm at night.

  • a lot of tent meshes fit that bill, especially if you camp-dri them. They won't hold water as a bucket or anything, but 99% of the water that hits them beads and runs off, given enough slope.
    – dandavis
    Aug 19 '19 at 22:16
  • Thanks. What material do you recommend? It's essentially what you mentioned in the comment.
    – rbhat
    Aug 20 '19 at 13:40
  • 1
    This is why retractable canopies exist. You could make your own pretty easily with a couple bearings and a pole on two hinged legs.
    – isherwood
    Aug 20 '19 at 13:41
  • I'm curious to understand how a tarp over you can make it warm when it's blocking the sun. Even a coal black tarp isn't going to radiate more heat than the sun itself would if it passed through.
    – isherwood
    Aug 20 '19 at 13:46
  • mmawning.com/Outdoor_Fabrics.htm. The makers of awnings have good recommendations for fabrics
    – Kris
    Aug 20 '19 at 13:50

Sunlight, no. "Breathable", yes. That's what "Gore-tex" fabric is famous for. They were the first / biggest, but now many other suppliers have released similar breathable waterproof fabrics made from PTFE (a.k.a. "teflon") fibers. I don't think however that Gore-tex makes anything clear or even opaque.

And go get a second mortgage on your house if you want a large tarp made of it; the cost is very very high.

  • Got to upvote on multiple points breathable and size wise way expensive, I have not seen a fabric that is translucent but have seen thick Teflon material that will pass light, kinda like an old time light bulb used phos and other chemicals to create the soft white lamp the same wavelength lamp on the back side of 3/4” thick the other side would provide warm white light, so the fibers could transmit light but there is no market for that, (it’s not an efficient or practical way to do it) , wow tired so+
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 20 '19 at 1:52

Sounds like a place for a motorized retractable awning. These can be fitted with a variety of fabrics, including a sun mesh. The mesh filters sunlight and on a slope sheds most of the water.

Or get fancy and install two motorized awnings: one for shade the other for rain.

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