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We’re warmer!
The clear vinyl shades did the trick!
Thanks so much!
Steve Krantz, Afton, VA

Fortress Clear Vinyl

Outdoor Shades For Heavy Winds
The Fortress™ Zipper Track System with clear vinyl and solid borders is the strongest retractable shade available against the elements, critters and insects. Withstands winds up to 50 mph and operable down to -20 degrees F without cracking.  Allow the sun’s warmth, add a safe heater and make yourself toasty warm outdoors. Made with 20 ml Marine Grade Double Polished Vinyl that blocks 90% of the UV. Manual or motorized.

Maximum Dimensions: 18’w x 12’h (216″w x 144″h) Crank operated or motorized.


View More: Clear Vinyl Shades | Fortress High Wind Shades | Outdoor Shades

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On All Shade Purchases

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Ends December 21, 2018

Call Now to Order: 866.230.4700

We will guide you through the entire process.

  • Fortress Clear Vinyl Description

    The Fortress™ Zipper Track System is the strongest retractable shade system against the elements. It is ideal for enclosing a patio, pergola or covered roof restaurant or café area against high winds and inclement weather.  Fortress™ Zipper Track Clear Vinyl shades are prefect for water front vacation homes where high winds may be an issue.

    The scratch resistant 20 m. Clear Vinyl is double polished with UV inhibitors. It can withstand temperatures down to minus 20 degrees without cracking.  It insulates by allowing the warmth of the sun to fully penetrate the interior while creating a barrier against the elements.  Combined with outdoor heaters, these shades make otherwise too chilly areas warm and cozy.

    This shade is  “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 The Fortress Zipper Track System™ the solid border fabric of the clear vinyl material 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 be stopped at any position. At the top, the matching powder coated aluminum housing is also different than the standard fare.  The bottom weight bar is fitted with a brush that ensures a flush fit to the ground. For crank operated shades, one hand brace provided PER ORDER.

    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 Clear Vinyl (Strataglass)
    Self-Extinguishing (ANSI Z26 1, test 5.23) Strataglass is the only clear vinyl approved by the Ft. Lauderdale Fire Department as an acceptably safe enclosure material for use in semi- permanent porches and beachfront restaurants.

    Care & Warranty

    Cleaning Clear Vinyl
    Packaging & Shipping


    1. DON’T ROLL SHADES DOWN in windy conditions–however,  you may roll them UP in windy conditions.
    2. Housing box and side rails must be mounted flush with each other. Housing must be level. Side rails must be plumb and parallel.
    3. Watch the shades when you are operating them. Stop the shade if it is not operating correctly. Do not continue to operate a shade that appears to be jammed. Reverse the direction and inspect the track for debris, etc.
    4. Keep tracks clear of debris. Hose the shades and tracks occasionally, especially if you have not operated them for a while.
    5. Lubricate the zippers and PVC inserts inside the rails with a dry silicone spray regularly to ensure smooth operation.
    6. Do NOT use oil based lubricants as these will cause dirt to build up and affect the way the zipper operates.
    7.  It is best to cover all openings and have them all up or all down. If you have most closed but a few open and it’s windy, air pressure will build up inside and the shades that are down may malfunction
    8. Fortress Shades are designed to be installed so that the wind hits them from the front for best results. If you mount them with the back facing the wind it is more likely that the rails could be forced off by the shade fabric and bottom bar being forced against the fronts of the rails

  • Fortress Clear Vinyl

    General Info about Motors

    Outdoor shades are standardly motorized with XQ5 Premium Radio Controlled Motors with a built in radio receiver.  These motors have a 5 year warranty.  They are cost effective and reliable and have all the options of Somfy motors EXCEPT they do not work with home automation. If you need home automation, you will need to order the Somfy Motors. As with all motors, the factory programs the remotes to the motors and you merely set the limit stops. Instructions for programming limit stops are found on the Installation/Videos tab. Motors can be ordered on the left or the right.  XQ5 Motors come with an 8’ power cord.  (16’4” and 32’9”  power cords are available.) Somfy Motors come with a 6’power cord. (12', 18', and 24' power cords are available.)

    Motors plug into grounded outlets. You may hard wire them, but must install a shut off switch for each motor so you can disconnect each motor from power separately should you ever need to reprogram. Motors are 120V and draw about 1.6 amps.  Outdoor shades with motors are best ordered with housing boxes to prevent water from getting into the motor. Make sure you create a drip loop to keep water from running down the cord into the motor head. (This means you run the power cord down from the motor and then up to the outlet so the water will drip off the bottom of the cord and can't run up the cord.) Operating temperature range for motors is 14 degrees F to 104 degrees F (-10 degrees C to 40 degrees C.) If you are installing your shade in a completely weather tight pocket, you may order a motorized shade with exposed roll brackets. Call for pricing.

    With the XQ5 Premium Motors, you can cut the power cord as short as you want because the antenna is not the ground wire.  For Somfy Motors you cannot cut it shorter than 3 feet.

    Remotes and surface mounted wall switches are all wireless. They enable you to control one or more motors with one receiver. They are either single channel when ordering just one shade or multi channel which can operate each shade individually or as a group. See Motor Accessories Link for more information.

    Motor Accessories

    XQ5 Premium Motor Controls

    “WhiteWhite slim line remote
    “BlackBlack slim line remote

    Hand held Slim Line Remotes come as 1 channel or 5 channel and are available in both black and white. They have table/wall support with a re-verso transparent bracket that allows the transmitter to stand on a table or to be fixed on the wall.Battery is CR2430.





    “WhiteWhite Wall Mounted
    “Silver”Silver Wall Mounted
    “BlackBlack Wall Mounted

    Surface Mounted control is a wireless wall switch and avoids cutting into drywall. It does not require an electrician. Available as single channel or four channel it is battery operated and easy to install. The remote can be used as a hand held or a wall mounted control simply by sliding on and off the surface mounted bracket.  Available in white, silver, or black.



    “WhiteWhite Timer
    “BlackBlack Timer

    Slim Line Timers
    available in both black and white.  The timer is a multifunction remote with 90 channels display and timer.  You can program up to 6 groups of 15 channels each. It also has a clear plastic wall bracket.





    “WindWind Sensor ( Click To Enlarge)
    “WindSOL One Channel Remote


    Climate Sensors
    Wind Climate Sensors and Sun and Wind Climate Sensors are available and automatically control your motorized shades based on current weather conditions to help prevent damage. Please read Installation Instructions on the Installation Tab before installing these items. Wind sensors can be programmed to retract the shade between 6-31 mph. The sensors plug into a standard grounded outlet. You can set the shade limit stops with any QX5 remote. You so not need the SOL remote. If you have the Sun and Wind Sensor, you also need to order the SOL one channel remote to turn the sun sensor function on and off. It is best to have one sensor for each direction your shades are facing as the wind will come at the shades differently. When wind higher than your setting is sensed for a duration of 2 minutes, the shades will automatically retract. Once the wind speed has lowered to below your setting and has remained lower for 20 minutes, you will be able to control your shade with your remote. If you have the Sun and Wind Sensor, the shades will go down by themselves when the wind stops. Bear in mind that the 20 minutes is from when the wind is reduced. If it goes back above your setting before the 20 minutes is up it will be yet another 20 minutes before you or the sun sensor can lower the shade.
    In other words, if you have the Sun and Wind Sensor, after the 20 minutes of calm, if the sun is still shining on the sun sensor, the shade WILL go back down.
    If all you have is the wind sensor, it will not.



    Somfy offers a variety of ways to control you shades that go beyond the simple RTS hand held or wall mounted single and wall mounted remotes. Use the following information to select the right accessories to control your environment and safeguard your shades.


    1 Channel Remote

    Multi Channel Hand Held Remote (4 individual channels for shades or groups of shades, and one channel for 'all'

    16 Channel Hand Held Remote

    Wall Mounted 1 or 5 Channel-available white, ivory, and black. Wireless. We recommend that you also order a hand held remote to program your limit stops as it’s difficult to do with the wall mount units.

    Wireless Wall Switch


    The DecoFlex ™ RTS Switch is battery-powered and a completely wireless wall switch that provides an ideal way to control motorized products when entering or exiting a room. Available as either single or multi- channel it is available in white or ivory.



    If being used with one shade, the Telis 1 Chronis timer can be used to set the limit stops. For more than one shade you will also need the multi channel remote to set the limit stops.

    The timer can be set to lower the shades once a day and raise them once a day.

    If used in conjunction with the wind sensor, the wind sensor will raise them as described above, and you can lower them with your remote after the wind dies down, but the timer will not lower the shades again that same day as it only sends one ‘lower’ signal and one ‘raise’ signal per day.



    You must have a special ‘Soliris’ hand held remote to set the sun sensor, which can also be used to set your limit stops. Wall mounted remotes can’t set the sun sensor, so if you want one of those it would be in addition to the Soliris.

    The wind sensor plugs in with a transformer and can control multiple shades. It is best to have one for each direction your shades are facing as wind will come at the shades differently.

    You can set the wind speed anywhere from 6-31 mph.

    When wind higher than your setting is sensed for a duration of 2 minutes, the shades are automatically retracted.

    The sun sensor lowers the shade when it senses enough light. When the light dims (either because of nightfall, clouds, or shadows from trees etc.) the shades are retracted. If the sun sensor has lowered the shade, but the wind exceeds your setting, the wind sensor will over ride the sun sensor and raise the shade. Once the wind is reduced to below your setting for 15 minutes with the sun shining on the sensor, the shade will be lowered again.

    Bear in mind that passing clouds and shadows will raise and lower the shade possibly many times a day, with the wind sensor also raising it for wind. You may disconnect the sun sensor and just operate it manually, but you can’t disconnect the wind sensor as the shade will then behave erratically, searching for a signal from the disconnected wind sensor every hour.

    You must purchase the Soliris Remote for programming the Sun Sensor.


    You must have a special ‘Soliris’ hand held remote to set the sun sensor, which can also be used to set your limit stops. Wall mounted remotes can’t set the sun sensor, so if you want one of those it would be in addition to the Soliris. Solar-powered, so there is no need to plug the sensor in. We would recommend this for vinyl shades, when you want to have the shades lowered whenever it rains.

    You can set the rain sensor from condensation/fog to heavy rain. Snow will also activate the sensor.

    The sun sensor would be set to raise the shade when it senses enough light. When the light dims (either because of nightfall, clouds, or shadows from trees etc.) the shades are lowered. If the sun sensor has raised the shade because it is sunny, but the rain exceeds your setting, the rain sensor will over ride the sun sensor and lower the shade. This would take care of sun showers. Once the rain is reduced to below your setting for 2 minutes, with the sun shining on the sensor, the shade will be raised again.

    Bear in mind that passing clouds and shadows will raise and lower the shade possibly many times a day, with the rain sensor also lowering it for rain. You may disconnect the sun sensor and just operate it with the remote, but you can’t disconnect the rain sensor as the shade will then behave erratically, searching for a signal from the disconnected rain sensor every 20 minutes or so.

    MY LINK (App is free, but you buy the MyLink)

    You must have a regular hand held or wall mounted remote to set the limit stops.

    My Link is a smart phone app that you can use to control your shades from afar. You won’t have a way of knowing if your shade is up or down from the app; you would have to have some sort of home security camera for knowing this. If you use it with a wind sensor you would be able to lower the shade again with the app as long as the 15’ of reduced wind has gone by, again you would need to have a security camera that would tell you if the shade was up or down.

    My Link has a built in timer that you can set for 5 scenarios (5 ups and 5 downs a day.) If used with a wind sensor and the shade was put up because of wind, you could have the shade automatically go down again at a preset time—as long as the wind was not blowing at that time.

  • Fortress shades are wind rated at 50mph. Shades must be mounted to the underside of a beam/ceiling or to the face of a beam/wall, and cannot be 'end mounted.'

    1. Side Rail System Fabric has industrial zippers on the edges which lock securely into the side rails. Order with L Channel brackets when inside mounting for an easy installation.
    Side rails are approximately 2" wide, available in  8 colors.

    2. Housings are powder coated extruded aluminum housings to hide and protect the roll.
    5 1/2" Square housings are available in 8 colors. Also available with 4 1/2" housing on shades up to 14' x 10'.

    3. Bottom bar: Powder coated aluminum to match the side rails and housing. Fitted with a brush to seal the shade to the floor.
    (When fully retracted, there will be about 2” of bottom slat and ¼”—1/2” of brush that will still hang below the housing.) Standard Pile Brush 1/2". 2" Pile Brush available to compensate for slanted floors.

    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. Move the hand brace from shade to shade to operate them.
    Comes in your choice of 3 colors. Available in 48", 60", 72", 84" and 97" long, you may order extras for convenience.

    8. Vinyl Window Insert Configuration: Fortress Vinyl shades have solid borders on the sides, top, and bottom. Side borders are a minimum of 10 ¼”, including the side rails.  Top Border is a minimum of 17”, including the 5 ½” box.  Bottom Border is minimum of 15 ½”, including the hembar.  Any dividing borders are a minimum of 8”.  The widest horizontally oriented insert we can make is 105”, so any shades wider than 125 ½” wide will have more than one insert. Call for assistance in figuring out the layout of your window inserts.

    9.You will need to supply your own lag bolts for mounting your shades.

  • Fortress Clear Vinyl Samples

    Click swatches to add to cart.

    Black Border


    White Border


    Clear Vinyl Shade


    Sandy Beige Border


    Boulder Border


    Pepper Border


    Teak Border


    Champagne Border

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    Product Description

    Border Colors for Clear Vinyl Zipper Track Inserts

    Clear vinyl is 20 Mil Marine Grade Double Polished with UV Inhibitors. These shades have a scratch resistant coating and can withstand temperatures down to -20 degrees without cracking.

    Housing & rails                            Recommended Border

    White                                             White

    Bronze                                           Teak

    Gray                                               Boulder

    Adobe                                            Pepper

    Light Beige, Dark Beige              Sandy Beige

    Cream                                           Champagne

    Black                                             Black

    Additional Information


    Black Border, White Border, Clear Vinyl Shade, Sandy Beige Border, Boulder Border, Pepper Border, Teak Border, Champagne Border

  • Fortress Clear Vinyl

    Some videos may show components that do not look exactly like the ones you will receive (for instance, the housing box is square shaped and does NOT have brushes)  but the procedure being demonstrated is correct. The clip that shows the programming of the remote actually has a Grande shade in the background, which is why you can detect a gap beside the fabric. Your Fortress shade will be sealed in the rails.Note that programming instructions on the videos are for Somfy motors. If you have the XQ5 motor, please refer to the pdf instructions for how to program.


    Q: What is the depth required?
    For a flush mount, 5 1/2”  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.