A Rain fly is a tarp made to cover the tent top. The benefits achieved from a rain fly over your tent top can vary depending on how you plan to use your tent. The late season elk hunters normally use a rain fly to help slide the snow (as a plastic tarp is slicker than the canvas) and the protection it offers keeping the sparks from the wood burning stove from landing on their tent top. While a person setting a tent up for extended use will enjoy the benefit of the UV protection the fly offers - extending the longevity of their tent.
Awnings - there are several ways awnings are done. The most common way is an oversized rain fly. The fly covers the tent as always but is made oversized to protrude out over the front of the tent to accomplish an awning.
183.40A polypropylene ("poly") rain fly is a great way to protect your tent from the sun and sparks from the wood stove. It will also slide the snow better than the canvas and help hold the heat in on those cold nights.
Note: picture shows a green fly; however, we use a "milky white" material which allows the light through (shown on the right with the optional awning).
Comes with its own ropes and a cut-out for venting the wood stove.