Selection of Patio Umbrellas

 Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsCabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsAce Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaBest Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaBest Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaTropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaTropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella
PriceCheck Price »Check Price »Check Price »Check Price »Check Price »
WaterproofYesYesYesYesYes
ColorsFiveFourFourOneOne
Fade resistantYesNoYesNoNo
LightingYesNoNoNoNo
CoolingYesYesYesYesYes
Adjustable tilting360 degreesAutoAutoAutoThree-position
Pole materialAluminumAluminumAluminumAluminum and steelAluminum
Base includedYesSteel cross baseNoSteel cross baseNo
Shade diameter95 sq ft54 inches46 inches54 inches46 inches
MechanismCrankCrankCrankCrankCrank
OffsetYesYesNoYesNo
Wind resistancePoorPoorPoorPoorPoor
FabricOlefin PolyesterPolyesterPolyesterPolyester
RibsEightEightEightEightSix
UV protectionYesYesYesYesYes
 Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsCabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsAce Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaBest Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaBest Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaTropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaTropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

Patio Umbrella Buying Guide

Updated: January 1, 2017

Patio Umbrella Buying Guide on Amazon

Patio Umbrella Buying Guide

Dining outside in the garden can be really pleasant during the summer – but when the sun’s beating down on your neck, the enjoyment can be diminished.

However, a patio umbrella will come to the rescue – giving you the freedom to enjoy the great outdoors whatever the temperatures outside.

Patio umbrellas come in all shapes and sizes these days – and it’s never been easier to find the perfect one for your garden thanks to the Internet.

Even if the size of your patio is a little on the modest side, finding a model with a smaller diameter is no hassle at all – meaning you can shield two people from the sun instead of four or six.

Even if the size of your patio is a little on the modest side, finding a model with a smaller diameter is no hassle at all – meaning you can shield two people from the sun instead of four or six.

As we’ll be exploring later, there are two main types of patio umbrella: offset or freestanding. Generally, they need to be secured to be ground to ensure they don’t blow away, or constantly rock from side to side.

Resultantly, you’ll need to purchase a patio umbrella stand – or some cement blocks – which weight it down. These products, which cost a fraction of the umbrella itself, can either be filled with sand or water – and many of them standalone, too. That means you won’t have to feed the pole through a garden table first.

Patio umbrellas don’t have to be ugly, either. Many manufacturers have reacted to the demands of their consumers by ensuring their products are beautifully colored – in shades that’ll complement any existing furniture you have in the garden as well.

Choosing the Right Patio Umbrella

2-patio-umbrella-buying-guide-choiceOf course, most of our purchasing decisions in life boil down to how much a product is going to cost – and even more crucially, how long it’s going to last. Often, there can be a trade-off between the two, though – the cheaper the model you choose, the less likely it will be to last for many, many years to come.

On average, patio umbrellas aren't ridiculously expensive. However, if you decide to go for a quality fabric – such as Sunbrella, Sundura or treated polyester – it’s likely that there will be a premium placed onto the recommended retail price.

Other materials are normally going to be infinitely cheaper, but they could be susceptible to tearing unexpectedly.

Other materials are normally going to be infinitely cheaper, but they could be susceptible to tearing unexpectedly.

You may also have to contend with the fact that the fabric’s color is going to fade dramatically over time, meaning it could make your garden look unkempt and rather shabby when compared to your other furniture.

It’s also important to take a look at the mechanisms which have been included along with your patio umbrella. You’ll want a system for opening and closing the umbrella which is really nice and simple – without the prospect of any trapped fingers, or it breaking down unexpectedly and leaving you with no shade at all.

Likewise, pay attention to the adjustable tilting which has been included in the product. Whereas some patio umbrellas are going to be able to rotate a full 360 degrees, others only offer three positions where you can lock the umbrella into place. To be honest, both allow you to get the shade you need quite effectively.

Now that we’ve covered some of the key attributes that you should be looking for in a decent patio umbrella – let’s go in depth and explore five other features that’ll maximize your enjoyment out of this new addition to your garden.

Patio Umbrella Buying Specifications

Is the canopy water repellent?

3-patio-umbrella-buying-guide-water-repellentNaturally, most of us dream of being able to use our patio umbrella in the sunshine – and conventionally, this product is meant to keep us comfortable and cool in the heat of the midday sun.

However, it’s sad but true that the weather isn’t always going to be on our side – and that’s where selecting a patio umbrella which can cope with the odd occasional downpour is going to come in handy.

Resilient fabric also goes a long way to ensuring that you can keep your patio furniture protected – especially if it was an expensive investment to make.

The canopy of a patio umbrella should have tightly sewn seams which stop droplets of water from trickling through and getting you wet.

Resilient fabric also goes a long way to ensuring that you can keep your patio furniture protected – especially if it was an expensive investment to make.

You will find that shielding your garden’s table and chairs from rainwater can become particularly necessary if it’s made out of wood, as otherwise, it can cause this material to rot – and you may even notice that mold begins to form.

Also pay consideration to the shape of the canopy. Under no circumstances do you want water to have the opportunity to gather in the middle of the patio umbrella – as otherwise, it can cause the canopy to become misshapen as it begins to dip. It’s also highly annoying that you’ll constantly have to tilt the umbrella to its side in order to get rid of the puddle that’s formed.

So the fabric isn’t damaged over its lifespan, consider material which has been coated with a water repellent substance for added durability. Sunbrella and Sundura fabrics both fit into this category, as they are usually coated with something like polyurethane for added protection. Such coating is by far the norm in these products.

How many ribs does it have?

4-patio-umbrella-buying-guide-ribsAlthough this is quite an unusual name for a component of a patio umbrella, they are crucial for ensuring that your new product will function normally for years to come.

The “ribs” of a patio umbrella refer to the poles which can be found in the canopy, which protrude from the center to the edges of the umbrella. It shouldn’t be confused with the central pole which works its way downwards to the ground.

Although patio umbrellas are typically not very wind resistant, ribs that have been made of a durable substance – such as fiberglass or aluminum – are far more likely to weather a strong breeze without becoming damaged.

Their role is to ensure that the canopy doesn’t lose its shape over time, and ribs also play a part in opening and closing the patio umbrella. It’s important that they are made out of a strong and resilient material – as if one of the ribs snaps, it can stop the umbrella from staying open, and can also cause a safety hazard because of its sharp edges.

Although patio umbrellas are typically not very wind resistant, ribs that have been made of a durable substance – such as fiberglass or aluminum – are far more likely to weather a strong breeze without becoming damaged.

You’ll notice that the ribs work in tandem with another part of the patio umbrella.

These are the hubs, which are secured to the end of each rib to keep it secure. They are accompanied by a so-called “runner hub” which works to help the ribs spread out evenly when the patio umbrella is being opened.

Generally, the rule of thumb appears to be this: the more ribs that your patio umbrella has, the better. That’s because this helps the structural integrity of your chosen product to remain intact – and it’s likely it won’t lose its shape even if one of ribs becomes damaged.

Is the patio umbrella offset or freestanding?

5-patio-umbrella-buying-guide-offsetThere are two main types of patio umbrella which are available to buy in the market today. You have freestanding umbrellas – where the canopy stays directly above the center pole, or offset umbrellas, where the bulk of the umbrella swings away from the main pole keeping it connected to the ground.

Freestanding umbrellas are particularly ideal if you want the pole to run through the hole which is provided in the middle of your garden table.

Meanwhile, offset umbrellas are more advantageous when space is at a premium in your garden – or if you want to accommodate a larger table underneath your canopy.

From here, you can then place the patio umbrella into a base which will keep it weighted downwards, stopping both your table and umbrella from being blown away by gusty winds.

Meanwhile, offset umbrellas are more advantageous when space is at a premium in your garden – or if you want to accommodate a larger table underneath your canopy.

You will normally find that these products are a lot easier to maneuver, too – and that’s thanks to the patio umbrella can normally rotate a full 360 degrees, and can be tilted upwards and downwards for maximum protection from the sunshine.

Offset umbrellas are also perfect when you want added versatility in your garden, and want sun protection for several reasons. For example, it might be the case that you want to place the patio umbrella over a bench as you become absorbed in a novel, or want to shield a barbecue so it doesn’t become too hot in the sun.

The one downside to remember is that offset umbrellas are normally considerably more expensive than their freestanding counterparts. As such, you will also need to think about your budget before you draw a conclusion on which model you would prefer to purchase.

Are there lights included with the patio umbrella?

6-patio-umbrella-buying-guide-lightsYou’re probably purchasing a patio umbrella because you want to give your garden a welcoming and enchanting ambiance – not to mention a bit of character. However, it’s also important to make your backyard a place where you can spend those hazy summer nights we all love – not just sweltering afternoons.

Several patio umbrellas on the market come equipped with solar lights which can be interspersed throughout the canopy. The number that will be provided by the manufacturer does vary – and it can be anywhere from 12 upwards.

The downside to opting for a patio umbrella which comes equipped with solar lights is how they can be quite dim, meaning they’re not really suitable for nighttime use.

Whereas some of these lights will be solar-powered, others will work off a battery which may need to be replaced.

The downside to opting for a patio umbrella which comes equipped with solar lights is how they can be quite dim, meaning they’re not really suitable for nighttime use. Usually, you’ll get enough brightness to see your loved ones around the garden table as you chat the night away – but not enough if you want to read a book as dusk falls.

In this case, you might want to consider more powerful LED lights instead. All you need to do is make sure that the ones you buy are suitable for outdoor use, as they’re going to need to be fully waterproof.

After all, if rain begins to fall, you don’t want there to be a fire hazard in your garden which could damage your patio umbrella – not to mention the other bits and bobs of furniture that you’ve probably spent hundreds of dollars on in total.

If your patio umbrella hasn’t been equipped with lighting as standard, don’t worry, as it doesn’t need to be a deal breaker. Purchasing and installing your own could not be easier – and it’s really inexpensive to do, as well.

Will it keep you cool?

7-patio-umbrella-buying-guide-coolIf the patio umbrella’s fabric is pretty thick, you should also find that it will work wonders in keeping you nice and cool – even if the midday sun is beating down. They also provide the added advantage of being fully UV resistant.

This matters because although you might not be in direct sunlight, it remains possible for UV rays to penetrate through the fabric and cause considerable harm with prolonged exposure.

This matters because although you might not be in direct sunlight, it remains possible for UV rays to penetrate through the fabric and cause considerable harm with prolonged exposure.

In many ways, a patio umbrella is a far more practical alternative to a sun awning. Firstly, it’ll cost considerably less to install – and it won’t look like an eyesore on the side of your house. Better still, a patio umbrella can be fully collapsed whenever you want – helping you to save space and enjoy the sunshine properly.

Other top tips to help you stay cool include drinking plenty of water, as it can be easy to become dehydrated during a heat wave. Handheld fans are also a really nice idea, or you can get a miniature fan that stands on the table to provide a breath of fresh air if you’re outside working on the laptop or reading a book.

So, in summary, there are five specifications that you should look for when you’re on the market for a patio umbrella.

They include making sure that the canopy is waterproof, and equipped with several ribs so the umbrella doesn’t lose its shape and disintegrate prematurely. Plus, you should decide whether or not you want your patio umbrella to be offset or freestanding – and if you’d like lighting to be included for nighttime use.

From here, you'll be able to find your dream patio umbrella, which makes chilling out in the garden even more luxurious!

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights

This is normally sold separately – but this Cabana Way model bucks the trend, and guarantees you’ll have ambience at night. Introducing the Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella with Solar Lights Cabana Way’s patio umbrella may be pricy, but you get a plethora of features to look forward to. Cabana Way’s patio umbrella […]

Pro: Easy to operate crank
Con: Lights are rather dim

Ace Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

Ace Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

This Ace Evert umbrella offers shade in spades – and better still, it’s an eye-catching piece of kit that’ll look great in any garden. Introducing the Ace Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella We were surprised to see that it can cost up to four to five times less than some of the other patio […]

Pro: Easy to assemble
Con: Poor customer service

Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

Well, your first and final stop may have to be this market umbrella from Ace Evert. Introducing the Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella One thing we’ve noticed is how this patio umbrella offers plenty of shade, enough to keep a whole family cool as they read the morning newspaper or enjoy breakfast. It’ […]

Pro: Auto tilting mechanism
Con: Aluminum pole can list

TropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

TropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

Made out of polyester, it has a simplistic design and it’s very affordable. There is also plenty of headroom, ensuring you won’t feel claustrophobic underneath. Introducing the TropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella We like the mechanism which has been included to help your patio umbrella open up, with a button ensuring it stays […]

Pro: Six fiberglass ribs
Con: Fabric appears to fade

Best Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

Best Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

In this review, we’re going to explore the features offered by this brand in detail. Introducing the Best Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella It’ll help you to keep you cool while blocking out some of those harmful UV rays which can still come into contact with the skin even when you’re not […]

Pro: Offset saves space
Con: Base can be clunky

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