Just wanted to let you know we received and installed our solar screen and it looks great. With the help of the videos on your website, the installation went very well.
Tom Ashman, PA

Fortress Solar

Outdoor Shades For Heavy Winds
The Fortress™ Zipper Track System is the strongest retractable shade available against the elements, insects and critters. Available up to 20 ft w x 16 ft h, in a multitude of solar shade fabrics, it allows outward visibility and daytime privacy while taming the harsh sun. It withstands winds up to 50 mph.


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  • Fortress Solar Zipper Track Description

    The Fortress™ Zipper Track System is the strongest custom made retractable shade system against the elements. It is ideal for totally enclosing a patio, pergola or covered roof area against high winds, insects, critters, dirt and the elements. The deluxe all-weather outdoor solar shade fabric is actually “framed out” with sturdy, non-rusting powder coated extruded aluminum parts. But this system is different from the standard outdoor shade with side rails and housing. With the Fortress™ Zipper Track System, the fabric is actually constructed with heavy duty zippers on the sides. These zippers lock into slotted powder coated aluminum side rails so the wind cannot blow the shade out of them. The shade glides up and down smoothly and can be stopped at any position. Powder coated aluminum housing at the top comes in a choice of six matching colors.  The bottom weight bar is fitted with a brush that ensures a flush fit to the ground.

    Transparent, all weather, outdoor solar shade fabrics cut the heat, glare and fading of outdoor furnishings. They turn outdoor areas into comfortable living spaces.  On your exterior windows, outdoor solar shades stop more heat than indoor ones. The 10% openness blocks 90% of the light, 5% openness blocks 95% of the light and 3% openness blocks 97% of the light. Eastern and western exposures generally require tighter weaves. Solar shade fabrics provide daytime privacy with full vision out. Darker colors give sharper outward visibility and better glare reduction. The mesh allows air to pass through for ventilation. Also available in Insect Screening.  All fabrics contain Microban, a biocide to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.  We use wide fabrics to help eliminate the need for seaming. All seaming is sonically welded so it will not come apart.

    Fortress™ Zipper Track outdoor shades are perfect for water front vacation homes in which high winds may be an issue. Instead of moving big pieces of outdoor furniture inside when you leave for a season, enclose them with the Fortress Zipper Track. When you return simply hose down the tracks to make sure they are clear of dirt and debris before lifting the shades.

    Shades can be raised in windy conditions but must be lowered in calm conditions so the zipper can lock into the slots in the track.

    Fire Rating For Solar Shade Fabrics
    National Fire Protection Association
    NFPA No. 101
    “Life Safety Code”

    Care & Warranty

    Cleaning & Care
    Packaging & Shipping

    1. We highly recommend that you watch your Fortress Zipper Track Shade when it is going up and down and stop it if it does not appear to be operating correctly.

    2. Keep tracks free of dirt and debris. It is a good idea to hose the tracks out before operating the shades if they have been up (retracted for a while.

    3. Lubricate the zippers with a dry silicone spray regularly to ensure smooth operation.

    4. Do NOT use oil based lubricants, they will cause dirt to build up and affect the way your zipper operates.


  • Fortress Solar Zipper Track

    Motorization Options

    Fortress Zipper Track shades are motorized with Somfy Altus 525 Radio motors (120V, 1.6amps). Your choice of 1, 5, or 16 channel remotes, handheld or wall mounted. Factory programs remotes to the motors and you merely set the limit stops.

    Motors plug into the grounded outlets. You may hardwire them but must install off switch for each motor so you can disconnect each motor from power separately should you ever need to reprogram.

    RTS Motor Installation with Drip Loop

    Click Images below for details

    smartmotor Altus Motor
    Motorized shades are ready to plug into a grounded outlet or they can be hardwired to a junction box. To hardwire to a junction box, install a shut off switch for each motor or disconnect each motor from the power source to program.. Remotes are pre-programmed at the factory. Motorized Shade Junction Box
    4+1 Channel Telis Radio Remote and 1 Channel Telis Radio Remote. Remotes hang on the wall with a matching peg. Channel Telis Radio Remotes
    White 5 Channel Wall Mounted Wireless Switch Wall Mounted Wireless Switch

  • Fortress Solar Zipper Track Construction

    Fortress shades are wind rated at 50mph

    1. Side Rail System Fabric has industrial zippers on the edges which lock securely  into the side rails. Shades up to 18' wide will have side rails 2" wide, available in 6 colors. Shades over 18' wide and up to 20' wide will have side rails 2 1/4" wide, available in 4 colors.

    2. Housings are powder coated extruded aluminum housings to hide and protect the roll. Shades up to 18' wide will be in
    5 1/2" Square housings, available in 6 colors.  Shades over 18' wide and up to
    20' wide will be in 5" Rounded housings, available in 4 colors. Call for pricing on shades over 18' wide.

    3. Bottom bar: Powder coated aluminum to match the side rails and housing. Fitted with a brush to seal the shade to the floor.

    4. Rollers: Are 3" in diameter to prevent sagging.

    5. Splines: Fabric is secured to the roller with a sturdy spline that runs the full width of the shade. The ends are sealed to prevent the fabric from sliding.

    6. Components are all made of corrosion resistant materials (powder coated aluminum, powder coated steel, stainless steel,
    or galvanized steel.)

    7. Hand Brace: Each crank operated shade order comes with one free properly sized hand brace.
    Available in 48", 60", 72", 84" and 97" long, you may order extras for convenience.

  • Fortress Transparent Outdoor Shade Samples

    Click swatches to add to cart

    10% Openness


    Beige* 10%


    Buckwheat* 10%


    Chestnut* 10%


    Ebony* 10%


    Gray** 10%


    Snow-White* 10%

    5% Openness


    Alpaca* 5%


    Graphite* 5%


    Mocha* 5%


    Nickelstone* 5%


    Quartz* 5%


    White* 5%


    Galaxy-Black* 5%


    Tobacco-Leaf* 5%


    Grey-White* 5%

    3% Openness


    Pewter*** 3%


    Alabaster*** 3%


    Ash*** 3%


    Chalk*** 3%


    Ebony*** 3%


    Granite*** 3%


    Greystone*** 3%


    Pebblestone*** 3%


    Tobacco*** 3%

    Sample has successfully been added to cart  » Checkout

    Product Description

    Now available is 3% Openness, as well as Insect Screen, only up to 18′ wide

    10% openness means the fabric is 90% dense and keeps out 90% of the sun.

    5% openness means the fabric is 95% dense and keeps out 95% of the sun.
    (Best for Eastern and Western exposures.)

    3% openness means the fabric is 97% dense and keeps out 97% of the sun.
    (Best for Eastern and Western exposures.)

    Insect Screen is very easy to see through, tear and puncture resistant. Not intended for solar protection.

    Darker colors provide sharper outward visibility and 10% more heat rejection than lighter colors. Shades need to be retracted under windy conditions.

    *Shades larger than 119″wide x 117″high will require a horizontal sonically welded seam.
    **Shades larger than 96″wide x 94″high will require a horizontal sonically welded seam.
    ***Shades larger than 126″wide x 123″high will require a horizontal sonically welded seam.

    These fabrics include microban antimicrobial additives which inhibit the growth of stain and odor causing mold and mildew.

    We are happy to send you up to SIX swatches per shade type.

    Fortress Transparent Outdoor – Insect Screen

    Click swatches to add to cart

    Insect Screen

    Sample has successfully been added to cart  » Checkout

  • Fortress Solar Zipper Track

    Some materials may show components that do not look exactly like the ones you will receive, but the procedure being demonstrated is correct.


    Q: What is the depth required?
    For a flush mount either  5 1/2" or 5” depending on the size of the shade. If mounting inside a ‘pocket’ you will need about twice this depth to install the shade.
    Q: What is the fabric width?
    Fabric zips into side channels. There is no gap.
    Q: Will Solar Shades save me money?
    Exterior Solar Shades are the best defense against the heat. They started in Europe as a way to keep buildings cool. Because they absorb the solar radiation before it passes through and needs to be reflected out, they keep the interior much cooler. Darker colors on the exterior absorb more light and are therefore 10% more effective than light colors against the heat.