If you are thinking about buying a retractable awning, keep in mind that they are for sun protection only. Do not plan on using them during a rain storm to protect your food and guests at a scheduled party.
They are wonderful for sun protection at a moments notice. Most are very durable under the right conditions, but remember they are only tested to withstand a certain amount of wind. I tell my customers to get the awning back in when the winds are 20 mi. per hr., or less. Some manufacturers have a remote wind sensor that ties in to motorized awnings which will eliminate worry.
Motors are an added expense, but well worth the price because you will get much more use of your awning. There won’t be a question whether it’s worth winding the awning out, for say, a half hour’s use.