Best Patio Umbrella – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Patio Umbrella – Reviews & Buying Guide (October 2019)

Updated: June 17, 2019

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights

After 45 hours spent researching the best patio umbrellas, we think Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: waterproof, colors, fade resistant, lighting, cooling, adjustable tilting, pole material, base included, shade diameter, mechanism, offset, wind resistance, fabric, ribs, and UV protection, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingQualityAppearanceSturdinessMaintenanceValue for Moneywaterproofcolorsfade resistantlightingcoolingadjustable tiltingpole materialbase includedshade diametermechanismoffsetwind resistancefabricribsUV protection
Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsCabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsCheck Price4.34.54.54.04.04.5YesFiveYesYesYes360 degreesAluminumYes95 sq ftCrankYesPoorOlefin EightYes
Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaCheck Price3.73.54.03.53.54.0YesFourYesNoYesAutoAluminumNo46 inchesCrankNoPoorPolyesterEightYes
Ace Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaCheck Price4.34.54.04.04.05.0YesFourNoNoYesAutoAluminumSteel cross base54 inchesCrankYesPoorPolyesterEightYes
Best Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaBest Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaCheck Price3.83.54.03.53.54.5YesOneNoNoYesAutoAluminum and steelSteel cross base54 inchesCrankYesPoorPolyesterEightYes
TropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaTropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaCheck Price4.24.04.54.04.54.0YesOneNoNoYesThree-positionAluminumNo46 inchesCrankNoPoorPolyesterSixYes
Best Patio Umbrella

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.

A patio umbrella will help you stay out of the sun while you relax in your hammock, or while you prepare food with your propane grill.

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.

Selection Of The Best Patio Umbrellas

Here are the best patio umbrellas for most people according to Outlinist:

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights
(rated 4.3 / 5)
Quality
Appearance
Sturdiness
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

A patio umbrella is an enchanting addition to any garden – but usually, it can become redundant in the evenings without lighting.

This is normally sold separately – but this Cabana Way model bucks the trend, and guarantees you’ll have ambience at night.

Information

Cabana Way’s patio umbrella may be pricy, but you get a plethora of features to look forward to.

Cabana Way’s patio umbrella may be pricy, but you get a plethora of features to look forward to.

One minor annoyance of these products is often how they can’t be adjusted, to ensure that your shade follows the path of the sun during the day.

But the canopy on this product stops this problem by rotating a full 360 degrees.

There was one particular perspective on this Cabana Way patio umbrella which summed up the experience quite well: “It’s a great umbrella if there is no wind.”

When it comes to wind resistance, it’s sad to note that this Cabana Way product is left rather wanting. Sure, it does come with its very own umbrella base – meaning you don’t have to fork out extra for another stand – but many shoppers found that it needed to be weighted down further when there was a breeze, otherwise it was at risk of blowing over.

You also run the risk of countless fixtures and fittings from becoming damaged if it suddenly changes position – and there’s a good chance this won’t be covered in the guarantee that’s provided by Cabana Way.

waterproofYes
colorsFive
fade resistantYes
lightingYes
coolingYes
adjustable tilting360 degrees
pole materialAluminum
base includedYes
shade diameter95 sq ft
mechanismCrank
offsetYes
wind resistancePoor
fabricOlefin
ribsEight
UV protectionYes

Moving onto cheerier news, we were much more impressed by the overall size of the patio umbrella. Although it’s 11ft in circumference, the shade diameter is an impressive 95 sq ft.

The fact that it’s offset also means it won’t take up 11ft of space. That’s because of how the patio umbrella protrudes away the base and pole provided, helping you to use as little space as possible when installing this garden accessory. That’s in contrast to freestanding umbrellas, where the pole is typically placed in the center of the table, with the base going underneath.

Other nifty accessories you might want to consider include a discreet trash can which can be placed under the table to keep any mess out of sight.

Pros

Given this is quite a high-end model, it’s nice to know that you won’t have to fork out for an extra patio umbrella stand.

Now that we’re better acquainted with Cabana Way’s flagship patio umbrella, what else is there to look forward to in terms of unique selling points? There’s quite a lot to enjoy, it turns out – as the product boasts the following features:

  • It comes fully equipped with adjustable tilting: It’s annoying when the sun’s position means you still get bright light in your eyes, even though you’re meant to be shielded by the canopy. Whenever this becomes a problem, you can simply tweak the canopy’s positioning using the levers provided.
  • You save money on the round base, usually sold separately: Given this is quite a high-end model, it’s nice to know that you won’t have to fork out for an extra patio umbrella stand – which would probably have had a radically different design anyway. That’s because one is included in the box.
  • The shade diameter is an impressive 95 sq ft: That means the vast majority of your guests will be able to stay cool while under your patio umbrella. According to images provided by the manufacturer, this canopy can comfortably accommodate a table of six with minimal sun exposure.
  • There are an impressive five colors to choose from: Many patio umbrella makers have this attitude: “If you don’t like the shade of our canopy, tough.” That’s where Cabana Way breaks from the norm. Instead, you can opt for dark brown, green, mocha, salsa or, our personal favorite – sunset.
  • Overall, the crank is smooth and easy to operate: This is the handle which allows you to open and close the canopy whenever necessary. It isn’t too heavy to use, and thankfully, it seems to be a well-built mechanism that won’t be susceptible to breaking down unexpectedly.
  • You’ll have it assembled in no time at all: No need to swear profusely as you struggle to erect this patio umbrella in your garden. Constructing it is a doddle – and if you have any issues with the parts provided, you can just call customer service for advice on how to get a replacement.

Cons

There are several aspects of the Cabana Way patio umbrella that we have done differently. Although it’s clearly well-built, with an emphasis on quality, there are some practicality issues which can detract from your overall enjoyment of this canopy. They include:

  • The 24 solar lights provided are rather dim: At night, it’s highly likely that you will still need to invest in some brighter lights – especially if you were hoping to read a gripping novel underneath your patio umbrella. Alternatively, you could use the light fittings to install your own.
  • Some people say the patio umbrella stand is way too big: Although larger sizes are very rarely a complaint, the only reason why some shoppers claim its cavernous shade diameter is an issue is because of how the patio umbrella stand could be easier to topple over when a gust of wind hits.
  • This patio umbrella stand is quite an expensive model: Do bear in mind that there are many cheaper models available for you to consider in the market. However, it’s also worth considering that you’ll be missing out on an excellent construction, and the solar lights which can add atmosphere to your garden at night.

Comparison

 

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsCabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights

Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

Ace Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
waterproofYesYesYes
colorsFiveFourFour
fade resistantYesYesNo
lightingYesNoNo
coolingYesYesYes
adjustable tilting360 degreesAutoAuto
pole materialAluminumAluminumAluminum
base includedYesNoSteel cross base
shade diameter95 sq ft46 inches54 inches
mechanismCrankCrankCrank
offsetYesNoYes
wind resistancePoorPoorPoor
fabricOlefin PolyesterPolyester
ribsEightEightEight
UV protectionYesYesYes

Summary

Thanks to the offset nature of this model, placing your own garden furniture directly under the canopy is by no means an issue.

Overall, we have been incredibly pleased with the performance of the Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella. It’s sturdy when the winds are low, and thanks to the offset nature of this model, placing your own garden furniture directly under the canopy is by no means an issue.

We do wish that the lights were a little brighter for this patio umbrella. One idea could have been to include dimmers which allow you to adjust their brightness in accordance with your needs.

Finally, the array of colors available to choose from help to make this product fashionable in any garden where landscaping is something of a priority. There are very few people who regret investing in this patio umbrella for their home.


Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella
(rated 3.7 / 5)
Quality
Appearance
Sturdiness
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Are you looking for a patio umbrella which comes with a timeless design and an exciting array of colors that’ll make your garden look even more vibrant?

Well, your first and final stop may have to be this market umbrella from Ace Evert.

Information

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’s fair to say that this Ace Evert patio umbrella has had rave reviews online – with many delighted shoppers giving a full five stars to the product.

This is a quality brand, and their range is fairly well built, but there are some construction issues which could cause the umbrella to deteriorate prematurely.

As such, it’s all about maintenance to prevent any mishaps.

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.

This is particularly ideal if you want to make the most of the glorious sunshine during the summer without any fear of burning your skin or feeling sticky and uncomfortable.

If you do have young children, it’s unsurprising that safety will be your number one priority with any form of garden furniture. Thankfully, the crank on this Ace Evert umbrella is safe to use – and there’s no risk of fingers becoming trapped as you use this mechanism to open and close the umbrella.

waterproofYes
colorsFour
fade resistantYes
lightingNo
coolingYes
adjustable tiltingAuto
pole materialAluminum
base includedNo
shade diameter46 inches
mechanismCrank
offsetNo
wind resistancePoor
fabricPolyester
ribsEight
UV protectionYes

Overall, this market umbrella comes particularly recommended if your garden is a bit on the small side. It isn’t one of those behemoth models which will completely engulf your patio, making it impossible for any other pieces of garden furniture to fit.

We would have liked a storage cover to have been included, which could have shielded the fabric against damage during the winter. However, as the canopy uses polyester, it’s pretty resistant against water – and the subsequent mold and mildew that come along with it – to begin with.

When maintained right, you can enjoy several years of long-lasting use. Better still, absolutely no assembly is required with this product when it comes out of the box – and as long as you’ve got a stand ready and waiting, it can be erected and enjoyed in a matter of minutes.

Pros

The fact that metal has been used for the parts which keeps the canopy open without losing its shape is a good sign.

Now that we’ve kicked the tires of this Ace Evert patio umbrella, let’s explore the advantageous features of this product in further detail. It’s reasonably priced, and here’s a list of what you’ll get in return for your hard-earned cash:

  • The patio umbrella is really easy to clean: This is a pretty important form of maintenance to ensure that your product goes the distance. Every so often, giving the umbrella a onceover with a damp cloth will keep it looking fantastic – even if a few stains have formed along the way.
  • The eight ribs provided are made out of aluminum: The fact that metal has been used for the parts which keeps the canopy open without losing its shape is a good sign. It also reduces the chance of the umbrella unexpectedly shutting while you’re sat underneath, which is also helpful.
  • The diameter of the umbrella’s pole is 1.5 inches: This could be considered as a bit on the large side compared to rival products on the market, where the norm appears to be 1.375 inches. However, this won’t be a problem as long as the base can accommodate – and securely fasten – poles of this size.
  • An auto tilting mechanism maximizes shade area: You’ll find that this feature is beautifully simple to use, and it ensures that your patio umbrella is super effective at shielding you from the sunshine. This enables you to complete any activity outdoors – even if you’re working away on a laptop.
  • The polyester cover is strong, thick and water repellent: If there are any problems with the Ace Evert umbrella’s performance, it won’t be because of the fabric, made out of resilient polyester. A more expensive – and the most resilient – alternative would be Sunbrella, as this fabric alone comes with a five-year warranty.
  • A stand can maximize the height underneath the patio umbrella: No base has been included with this Ace Evert product – however, an advantage to purchasing one is how you’ll get even more space underneath the canopy, making it far more natural and open when you’re sitting outside for hours on end.

Cons

It’s a pity how Ace Evert actually provides very little information about their patio umbrella range online – not least because it makes it harder to make an informed purchasing decision. However, the downsides to bear in mind are:

  • There’s no strap provided to keep the patio umbrella closed: Normally, when your umbrella is not in use, it’s possible to use a Velcro strap to keep the ribs securely together. This ensures they don’t become damaged when flapping in the breeze. However, such a feature has not been provided by Ace Evert.
  • The aluminum pole can list, making the pole go wonky: We’ve seen a lot of complaints about the pole that runs up the center of the patio umbrella – amid reports it can become bent, causing the umbrella to tilt over time. This is usually caused by strong gusts of wind, which this product doesn’t handle well.
  • Fabric appears to be frayed around the edges: You may also notice that the polyester material which has been used for the canopy can begin to become stringy at the ends – considerably faster than you would hope. Although annoying, it’s quite easy to keep this under control.

Comparison

 

Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsCabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights

Ace Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
waterproofYesYesYes
colorsFourFiveFour
fade resistantYesYesNo
lightingNoYesNo
coolingYesYesYes
adjustable tiltingAuto360 degreesAuto
pole materialAluminumAluminumAluminum
base includedNoYesSteel cross base
shade diameter46 inches95 sq ft54 inches
mechanismCrankCrankCrank
offsetNoYesYes
wind resistancePoorPoorPoor
fabricPolyesterOlefin Polyester
ribsEightEightEight
UV protectionYesYesYes

Summary

We’d say that this Ace Evert patio umbrella is above average compared to some of the other products on the market which will be vying for your attention.

We’d say that this Ace Evert patio umbrella is above average compared to some of the other products on the market which will be vying for your attention. There are four colors to choose from with this particular model: beige, terracotta, khaki and dark green.

The main downside to selecting this product is the aluminum pole – which really doesn’t respond well to adverse weather conditions. There have been reports that the umbrella stand can become bent – or even snap – over time. In hindsight, the manufacturer should have used a stronger material to stop this from happening.

However, at half the price of other cheap patio umbrellas, you still get a lot of great features for your money, so don’t rule this product out entirely.


Ace Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

Ace Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella
(rated 4.3 / 5)
Quality
Appearance
Sturdiness
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

We all love pottering in the garden – but sometimes, the sunshine can become a little bit too much, and a patio umbrella becomes essential.

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.

Information

We were surprised to see that it can cost up to four to five times less than some of the other patio umbrellas available on the market.

Although made in China, this Ace Evert patio umbrella is nicely built, and competitively priced.

We were surprised to see that it can cost up to four to five times less than some of the other patio umbrellas available on the market, and it offers similar features.

It will also complement other pieces of garden furniture available from Ace Evert.

According to Ace Evert, their polyester patio umbrella has been designed to keep the whole family cool. Better still, it looks and feels elegant – meaning that it won’t become an eyesore in your garden which you regret purchasing.

waterproofYes
colorsFour
fade resistantNo
lightingNo
coolingYes
adjustable tiltingAuto
pole materialAluminum
base includedSteel cross base
shade diameter54 inches
mechanismCrank
offsetYes
wind resistancePoor
fabricPolyester
ribsEight
UV protectionYes

It’s worth going over the warranty details which have been provided by Ace Evert – as different components of the patio umbrella are placed under separate terms and conditions.

For example, the frame and ribs – which have been made out of powder coated aluminum – are covered for 12 months.

This means you’ll enjoy a full year of use, including throughout the summer, giving you the opportunity to spot any flaws in their workmanship. However, it is worth bearing in mind that this is not the most generous guarantee we have seen from patio umbrella manufacturers.

Meanwhile, the polyester fabric which has been used for the canopy is also covered for one year. This means you will be able to request a refund or replacement if any part of the material begins to split at the seams. Do bear in mind that this doesn’t cover any color fade which may have been caused by prolonged sun exposure.

You should bear in mind that an umbrella stand is not included – and this is for good reason. Because of how a cross base has been used, which is made out of steel, this model is actually incompatible with standard umbrella bases – because there isn’t one single central pole which can be slotted into place.

Pros

The instructions are simple and straightforward, and construction is easy to complete with just one person.

This patio umbrella has been received well by many shoppers online – but their 9′ alternative, which is freestanding, does appear to have more happy customers in comparison. The advantages to buying this particular model from Ace Evert are:

  • It’s an offset umbrella which gives you extra space: Compared to the freestanding model also available from Ace Evert, we like how the center pole doesn’t have to get in the way of any table or other piece of patio furniture which you want to place under the canopy.
  • The steel cross base is cheaper to keep weighed down: Do bear in mind that you should be using patio blocks to stop the umbrella from blowing away in the wind, rather than a base. Four cement blocks are all it takes – and this is normally half the price of a stand.
  • You’ll be able to assemble it in three minutes flat: The instructions are simple and straightforward, and construction is easy to complete with just one person. That way, you can enjoy all the spoils of a patio umbrella without any of the hassle. In comparison, other products can take half an hour to prepare.
  • The generous 10″ diameter means plenty of shade: You should expect around 54 inches of ground to be completely shielded from the sun when you’re sitting pretty under this Ace Evert umbrella. As you’d expect, the canopy is also fully adjustable for your convenience.
  • Comparable offset umbrellas can cost five times as much: Although this might not have the workmanship of some premium brands out there, there’s no arguing that the Ace Evert’s offset umbrella represents fantastic value for money. Even if you have to buy a replacement after a year, you’ll still be saving cash.
  • You’ll be completely spoiled for choice with four colors: Your only challenge that remains if you want to buy this Ace Evert patio umbrella is which shade’s going to be best for you. There’s beige, khaki, terracotta or dark green up for grabs – and each looks vibrant and stylish.

Cons

Now that we’ve enthused over the plus sides of this offset patio umbrella, let’s come back down to earth and explore some of the drawbacks to selecting this product over the products sold by other brands. They include:

  • You will need to ensure it’s closed after use: This is important to ensure the ribs on the canopy don’t become damaged prematurely. In many ways, it’s quite annoying that you’ll need to get into the habit of opening and closing the umbrella using the crank after every use.
  • Ace Evert’s customer service appears to be poor: According to some shoppers, the communication from this brand when there’s an issue with the patio umbrella is incredibly disappointing – with several follow-up emails required before requests are acknowledged and replacement parts are sent – if they’re sent at all.
  • The color of the patio umbrella will fade: Lastly, you will notice that the color of the patio umbrella’s canopy will be susceptible to fading as time wears on. However, given the height of this product, it’s barely going to be noticeable – so don’t treat this as a major issue.

Comparison

 

Ace Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsCabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights

Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
waterproofYesYesYes
colorsFourFiveFour
fade resistantNoYesYes
lightingNoYesNo
coolingYesYesYes
adjustable tiltingAuto360 degreesAuto
pole materialAluminumAluminumAluminum
base includedSteel cross baseYesNo
shade diameter54 inches95 sq ft46 inches
mechanismCrankCrankCrank
offsetYesYesNo
wind resistancePoorPoorPoor
fabricPolyesterOlefin Polyester
ribsEightEightEight
UV protectionYesYesYes

Summary

We’re enamored with the Ace Evert Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella for one major reason: how much it costs.

We’re enamored with the Ace Evert Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella for one major reason: how much it costs. This makes good-looking garden furniture affordable to most of us, and better still, it takes up little space on your patio.

It’ll look sublime when there’s a table underneath – and the diameter means you’ll have ample opportunity to protect three or four people from powerful sunshine as they sit and enjoy a meal in your garden.

As with most patio umbrellas on the market, do bear in mind that this hasn’t been designed for use when there’s strong winds. Also, to ensure that it doesn’t break unexpectedly, it’s important to close it completely when you’re not in the garden. Bear both of these features in mind, and you’ll be onto a winner!


Best Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

Best Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella
(rated 3.8 / 5)
Quality
Appearance
Sturdiness
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Offset patio umbrellas can be quite expensive these days – but this product from Best Choice really seems to buck the trend, and it’s stylish.

In this review, we’re going to explore the features offered by this brand in detail.

Information

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 in direct sunlight.

This patio umbrella is impressively affordable compared to rival products, so much so that some shoppers were concerned that the quality was shoddy.

However, Best Choice certainly hasn’t skimped on the workmanship with this model.

As a result, you can also have more of a budget for some of those essential patio umbrella accessories – including a sturdy base and a matching storage cover.

According to the manufacturer, this 10″ patio umbrella has been kitted out with “heavy duty” fabric. This offers several major advantages – the first being 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 in direct sunlight.

All of the fixtures and fittings have been given an anodized finish, which helps to stop the metal from rusting, even you choose not to purchase a storage cover separately. Not only is this product nice and cheap, but it also appears to be built to last!

There are several features we’re really fond of with this patio umbrella – especially how it’s really easy to open up the canopy at a tilted angle, ideal for when you’re watching the sun set (or, if you’re something of an early bird, the sun rise.)

waterproofYes
colorsOne
fade resistantNo
lightingNo
coolingYes
adjustable tiltingAuto
pole materialAluminum and steel
base includedSteel cross base
shade diameter54 inches
mechanismCrank
offsetYes
wind resistancePoor
fabricPolyester
ribsEight
UV protectionYes

One downside to this product is how it’s rather top heavy, and so you shouldn’t really attempt to use this patio umbrella with a base that’s been filled with sand or water.

This is because of how a single gust of wind means you run the risk of the pole bending or snapping in two – rendering the product completely unusable without replacement components. Worse still, you’d probably end up paying for a new pole yourself, owing to how wind damage isn’t covered by Best Choice’s warranty.

Now, let’s move on to the other advantages on offer from this Best Choice umbrella.

Pros

All of the metal fittings of this patio umbrella have been fully treated to stop them from rusting or tarnishing as they come into contact with air and water.

Once you’ve managed to kick the tires of the Best Choice Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella, there are several advantages that you’ll have to look forward to. Do bear in mind however that the color you see, tan, is the only one available.

  • It boasts an aluminum and steel frame: As we mentioned earlier, all of the metal fittings of this patio umbrella have been fully treated to stop them from rusting or tarnishing as they come into contact with air and water, too – adding to the product’s overall durability.
  • The offset umbrella really helps to save space: Unlike other patio umbrellas, which can appear to take up the whole patio – leaving no room for lounge chairs or children’s toys – this product is compact, whether you’ve got it erected or folded. This makes it perfect for saving space.
  • It boasts a diameter of approximately 10 inches: As a result, you will get around 54 inches of space to sit in the shade – enough to accommodate a family of four as they enjoy board games or dinners in the garden. This is one of the larger models available in the marketplace.
  • The cross base is designed for use with concrete blocks: It’s made out of steel – and offers four prongs for added stability. Better still, the sandbags or concrete blocks you’ll need to keep it weighted down cost mere dollars to buy and are available from all good home improvement and grocery stores.
  • Keeps you cool and comfortable and protects you from sunlight: The thick polyester fabric is perfect for shielding you from UVB rays, and it also helps to block out the heat on a sweltering summer’s day. Once you’ve bought this patio umbrella, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one!
  • When you’re opening the umbrella, the canopy is fully adjustable: We like how you can adjust the angle of the umbrella while you’re turning the crank to open it up. This means that you save time, and that you can also tilt this Best Choice product to the perfect angle for you.

Cons

Of course, with light comes shade – and this couldn’t be more true than the Best Choice Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella, in more ways than one. Do consider whether the drawbacks below would sway you against purchasing one:

  • The customer service department left some shoppers wanting: This is a really important consideration to make. Some disgruntled buyers soon discovered it was really difficult to get replacement parts – and others had a long wait before they were able to secure the refund they were entitled to.
  • The color isn’t dyed in very well: Unfortunately, this Best Choice product does lack in quality when it comes to fade resistance. You will find that the tan color will begin to ebb away quite quickly, so it’s highly worthwhile buying a storage cover as an accessory to protect your investment.
  • Some people say the base is far too clunky: This is especially going to be true if you have been looking for a patio umbrella to accompany a bistro table, where there is very little leg room. Unfortunately, the stand will take up even more room when you add concrete blocks or sandbags into the equation.

Comparison

 

Best Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio UmbrellaBest Choice 10′ Polyester Offset Patio Umbrella

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsCabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights

Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
waterproofYesYesYes
colorsOneFiveFour
fade resistantNoYesYes
lightingNoYesNo
coolingYesYesYes
adjustable tiltingAuto360 degreesAuto
pole materialAluminum and steelAluminumAluminum
base includedSteel cross baseYesNo
shade diameter54 inches95 sq ft46 inches
mechanismCrankCrankCrank
offsetYesYesNo
wind resistancePoorPoorPoor
fabricPolyesterOlefin Polyester
ribsEightEightEight
UV protectionYesYesYes

Summary

We like how both aluminum and steel have been used by this manufacturer to create the fixtures and fittings.

Based on everything we’ve seen with this product, it’s highly possible it could be the Best Choice for you – in more ways than one. It has a generous diameter, which is reflected in the amount of shade you’ll enjoy underneath.

We like how both aluminum and steel have been used by this manufacturer to create the fixtures and fittings – and we also felt that the color of the patio umbrella was very stylish, even if it did begin to fade quite fast without a storage cover.

Overall, we’d say this model is more suitable for use along with larger dining tables, considering the size of the base once it’s been weighted down properly. However, it’s easy to assemble, and really inexpensive to buy.


TropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

TropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella
(rated 4.2 / 5)
Quality
Appearance
Sturdiness
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

If you’re looking for a no-frills patio umbrella, it’s worth learning more about this particular offering from Tropishade.

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.

Information

We like the mechanism which has been included to help your patio umbrella open up, with a button ensuring it stays fixed in this position.

The sunset color of this patio umbrella means it will complement most types of furniture that can be found in your garden – especially if it’s been made out of wood.

We also like the mechanism which has been included to help your patio umbrella open up, with a button ensuring it stays fixed in this position.

And this is just the beginning.

TropiShade has become quite an established brand in the US – and patio umbrellas are their specialty product. Unfortunately, to keep costs at a minimum, it appears this manufacturer has chosen to get many of their products made in China, which means that there isn’t too much of a benefit to local economies here at home.

The fabric which has been used for this patio umbrella is polyester. This is quite a cost-effective material, and it does offer some protection against UV rays. It also helps to prevent mildew and mold from forming on the fabric, which can cause the fabric to weaken – and to emit unpleasant odors – as time wears on.

waterproofYes
colorsOne
fade resistantNo
lightingNo
coolingYes
adjustable tiltingThree-position
pole materialAluminum
base includedNo
shade diameter46 inches
mechanismCrank
offsetNo
wind resistancePoor
fabricPolyester
ribsSix
UV protectionYes

Unfortunately, a suitable base for this patio umbrella is not included in the box, so it is important that you remember to purchase one separately at the time of ordering.

Given how TropiShade doesn’t manufacture such stands, you will need to go for one from another company – and this means its appearance may clash with the umbrella if you don’t do your homework before making a purchase.

We like how the crank to this patio umbrella moves smoothly, meaning it won’t become stuck and affect your ability to open and close the umbrella at will. We’ve also found, however, that the fabric’s weather resistance is rather poor – and this can mean that the color will begin to fade within a couple of years.

This could have been prevented with the inclusion of a storage cover, something which many of TropiShade’s rivals do offer for free.

Pros

You can easily stay out of the sunshine – without having to move the entire patio umbrella – using the tilt that has been installed onto the aluminum, powder coated pole.

There’s quite a few good things to be said about Tropishade’s Polyester Market patio umbrella – and that’s despite its very reasonable price tag. Their product doesn’t break the bank, and likewise, doesn’t break immediately after it’s been assembled. Advantages include:

  • The polyester fabric is soft and won’t get dirty: Although this material is by no means of Sunbrella standard – where you get a five-year warranty – this is certainly the next-best alternative. Many shoppers have also been enchanted by its beautiful color, which adds a touch of class to any garden.
  • It comes with a three-position tilting mechanism: You can easily stay out of the sunshine – without having to move the entire patio umbrella – using the tilt that has been installed onto the aluminum, powder coated pole. It can be locked into three positions, which is more than sufficient.
  • The warranty will cover several potential defects: TropiShade is more than happy to offer replacement parts if certain aspects of the patio umbrella begin to fail. This includes if the aluminum poles begin to rust or discolor, or if the tilting mechanism fails to work. That’s pretty thorough.
  • It has six fiberglass ribs for added strength: The ribs are a crucial part of any patio umbrella. They ensure that the canopy doesn’t become misshapen – or close unexpectedly – during use. Thankfully, the fiberglass material used in its construction is one of the strongest on the market.
  • It’s a freestanding umbrella that’s easy to move around: This makes the Tropishade Polyester Market model perfect for use with a dining set, where a hole has been placed in the middle of the table for a patio umbrella. For your reference, the center pole measures in at 1.375 inches.
  • This TropiShade model offers 9ft of diameter: Overall, this is a middle-of-the-road patio umbrella in terms of size. You’ll get approximately 48 inches of shade. Although this isn’t much, don’t worry – you can tilt the canopy to ensure that you’re satisfied with where the shade is applied!

Cons

As we’ve already explored in this review, there are some upsides and downsides to choosing this TropiShade patio umbrella. In this section, we’re going to go through the potential disadvantages of this product in further detail. They include:

  • A smaller base won’t keep the patio umbrella secure: According to shoppers, a 30lbs stand won’t be enough to ensure that this TropiShade umbrella isn’t affected by the wind too much. Instead, you should opt for a 50lbs model that can be weighted down with water or sand.
  • Wind damage is not included in the TropiShade warranty: Although the company will reimburse you for other defects associated with its patio umbrella, this does not include any damage caused by strong gusts of wind. This could be a deal-breaker which causes you to take your custom elsewhere.
  • The fabric appears to fade dramatically in the sun: Some customers have also complained that the once beautiful color of the TropiShade umbrella’s canopy was quickly damaged by the sunshine during the hot summer months in their region. As such, fade resistance appears to be rather poor.

Comparison

 

TropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaTropiShade 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar LightsCabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights

Ace Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio UmbrellaAce Evert 9′ Polyester Market Patio Umbrella

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
waterproofYesYesYes
colorsOneFiveFour
fade resistantNoYesYes
lightingNoYesNo
coolingYesYesYes
adjustable tiltingThree-position360 degreesAuto
pole materialAluminumAluminumAluminum
base includedNoYesNo
shade diameter46 inches95 sq ft46 inches
mechanismCrankCrankCrank
offsetNoYesNo
wind resistancePoorPoorPoor
fabricPolyesterOlefin Polyester
ribsSixEightEight
UV protectionYesYesYes

Summary

We do like this umbrella for its price and its simplicity – as so often in the marketplace, you can invest in products which have gimmicky features that you’ll simply never use.

We do like this umbrella for its price and its simplicity – as so often in the marketplace, you can invest in products which have gimmicky features that you’ll simply never use.

On the flipside, however, this TropiShade model does seem to lack some of the most crucial things that a good patio umbrella needs. That includes fade resistance and an effective base which will keep the product weighted down. We were also saddened by how wind damage is included in the warranty.

So, as you can see, it’s a bit of a bittersweet review for the Tropishade Polyester Market patio umbrella. Thankfully, however, it requires a minimal investment to give it a try and see whether it’s right for you.

How To Choose The Best 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.

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
Our pick for the best patio umbrella is: Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching patio umbrellas.

Best Patio Umbrella Characteristics

best patio umbrella

If you want your garden to be somewhere extraordinary – the envy of the neighborhood – then it’s crucial that you invest in the finest furniture.

One particularly important accessory is a patio umbrella, allowing you to keep cool (in more ways than one!) as you spend time outside.

Patio umbrellas have become a popular mainstay of gardens across the US. This is because it gives you more opportunity to enjoy a stunning summer’s day without feeling too hot or burning your skin.

They help to keep you cool and refreshed, and can also provide shade so the sunlight doesn’t interfere with the screen of your tablet or laptop.

In some cases, these products are also built to be used at night – as they include enchanting lights which add to a wonderful ambiance when you’re hosting dinner parties or throwing a barbecue. They’re also perfect for a romantic meal outside with a loved one, as you cuddle and watch the sunset.

They help to keep you cool and refreshed, and can also provide shade so the sunlight doesn’t interfere with the screen of your tablet or laptop.

This means that, if you work from home, it’s now possible to enjoy plenty of fresh air while you whizz through your to-do list – adding to your overall happiness levels and stopping you from developing cabin fever because you’re constantly in the house.

If portability matters to you, consider a freestanding umbrella which doesn’t need to be supported by a table or another piece of furniture. This means that it can travel with you on camping vacations and to the beach.

Another crucial feature that you should rightfully expect from a compact patio umbrella is a fabric that’s easy to keep clean and well-maintained – as it’s likely that sand and dirt can begin to form if it’s thrown in the car and ferried to a plethora of destinations on a regular basis.

Patio umbrellas are nowhere near as expensive as they used to be – and offer far greater value for money than sun awnings because of their versatility. They also offer some respite if the weather is predicting the odd bit of light drizzle, not least because it doesn’t have to affect your activities outside.

Fade resistant

2-best-patio-umbrella-fade-resistantSo: let’s begin with one of the five characteristics which can be found in the best patio umbrellas out there. First up is fade resistance. This relates to how effective the fabric is going to be at preventing any damage to the color of the fabric over time.

There are a few factors which can cause the canopy to fade in the first instance. Oftentimes, it’s because of prolonged exposure to the sun – which can make that once vibrant color of your canopy look a lot lighter after a few months. This is just like when you’ve left a paperback book facing a window for a while, and it almost looks like the front cover has begun to turn white before your very eyes.

The main canopy fabrics which are going to keep your patio umbrella looking as good as new include Sunbrella.

Water can also be one of the main causes of fading. As such, you should double-check that the canopy has been dyed in a way that ensures that the colors won’t begin to bleed. Some materials are pre-treated with a water repellent coating to stop this from happening.

The main canopy fabrics which are going to keep your patio umbrella looking as good as new include Sunbrella. This is 100% acrylic – and works wonders in keeping your colors locked in.

Although you may think that it doesn’t matter whether a patio umbrella fades or not – given how most of the color is on the top of the canopy and well out of view – do remember that you’re probably going to be collapsing the umbrella when it’s not in use – and faded fabric can make your garden look unkempt and rather unsightly.

Another fade resistant fabric to take note of is olefin – and this has the added advantage of being a lot cheaper than Sunbrella.

Better still, you have a wide array of colors to choose from – and you won’t have to worry about bright colors becoming dull and ugly after a few summers.

Polyester is another fabric that’s relatively fade resistant, and worth a mention.

Base included

3-best-patio-umbrella-base-includedThis is another characteristic which you should be paying close attention to. If you forget, it could render your patio umbrella unusable for a short time while you wait until a suitable accessory arrives – and this could be days or weeks.

The base is what ensures that your patio umbrella won’t be rocking from side to side in the breeze, and keeps it anchored to the floor. There are two main types of stand available for you to consider.

The main advantage of such stands is how they are inexpensive. Plus, many of them come with handles that make it easy to move them around along with the patio umbrella when necessary.

First up, we have bases which can be filled up with sand or water in a dedicated compartment. From here, the pole of your patio umbrella slots into a specific hole in the top, and a screw fastens it into place so it isn’t loose.

The main advantage of such stands is how they are inexpensive. Plus, many of them come with handles that make it easy to move them around along with the patio umbrella when necessary.

The one thing you should watch out for with these bases is when using water to fill it up. Unfortunately, this won’t make the stand as heavy as sand will – and also, there is a risk that the stand could begin to crack if the water turns to ice during a cold winter, meaning you’ll need to purchase yet another one.

Around 50lbs of sand can normally be purchased from a good home improvement store for just a few bucks. Ideally, you should use a funnel – or the stand’s easy fill spout if one has been provided – to insert the sand without causing any mess.

Meanwhile, you might want to choose some cement breeze blocks, which will prove particularly ideal if your patio umbrella has four legs, making it incompatible with the water and sand-based stands we were mentioning earlier.

Overall, you might want to purchase one of these accessories at the same time as your patio umbrella, ensuring you don’t have an obstacle which stops you from using this product immediately.

Shade diameter

4-best-patio-umbrella-shade-diameterYou’re going to hear a lot of talk about the diameter of the patio umbrella as you browse the Internet for the perfect product. However, it’s important to bear in mind that this simply reflects how wide the canopy is from one side to another.

The real thing you should bear in mind is how much shade you’re going to receive from your new patio umbrella.

The real thing you should bear in mind is how much shade you’re going to receive from your new patio umbrella.

As such, you should try and measure out the area which you want to shield from sunlight once the patio umbrella has been opened. Otherwise, it’s possible that some of your guests might have no choice but to sit in the sunshine when they’re enjoying lunch at the dining table underneath the umbrella – which might not be too pleasant when the temperatures are sweltering.

Now, you might want to opt for one of the smaller patio umbrellas if you have quite a restrictive garden. One that’s about 6ft will offer around 30 inches of shade.

Meanwhile, a 9ft patio umbrella can provide 48 inches. Heading to the larger end of the marketplace – where 11ft and 13ft umbrellas are commonplace – the shade diameter extends to an impressive 60 and 72 inches respectively.

One little cheat to bear in mind, especially if you have a small garden, is to purchase an offset umbrella in order to save space. Although they may be slightly more expensive than freestanding models, it does allow you to enjoy an umbrella with a larger diameter – along with the added shade it brings along – without this piece of furniture taking over your whole patio.

That’s because the pole is located at the side of the canopy, and the actual umbrella swings away, instead of being directly underneath it.

Don’t forget that there are other ways to make the most out of the shade that your patio umbrella provides. For example, you can purchase one which offers a tilting mechanism, allowing you to adjust the angle of your patio umbrella at will.

Mechanisms

5-best-patio-umbrella-mechanismNext, let’s talk about the mechanisms which are included to help you make the most of the umbrella without any hassle. Often, the type of fittings which are included along with the product will depend on the frame materials that have been used.

Usually, a crank is provided – and this is a dial which can be twisted to open and close the patio umbrella. In some cases, turning the crank will also activate the tilting mechanism that’s been included with your patio umbrella – but this isn’t always the case.

Cranks are not typically found on umbrellas which have a wooden construction – and instead, it’s like that your product will be equipped with push-ups or pulleys instead.

Cranks are not typically found on umbrellas which have a wooden construction – and instead, it’s like that your product will be equipped with push-ups or pulleys instead.

Thankfully, these are frightfully easy to use – especially if you’re accustomed with how normal umbrellas work when you’re out and about and trying to shield yourself from the rain.

A pulley is operated by using a piece of rope to tug on the canopy so it begins to spread outwards, while the push-up works by clicking in a button and guiding the canopy upwards. You then insert a pin into one of several holes which run up the patio umbrella’s central pole to keep it in place. I ask you, what could be simpler?

To ensure that your patio umbrella doesn’t suffer from wear and tear over time, you should check to see that the frame which has been included with your product is made out of robust materials. One good example can be fiberglass, which often has four or five times the strength of aluminum and wood.

It’s also highly recommended that you head over to the manufacturer’s website to see whether or not they offer replacement parts for your patio umbrellas on sale – especially the ribs, which are embedded inside the fabric.

This way, once outside of the warranty period, you can repair your patio umbrella for just a few extra dollars without having to go and purchase a whole new model.

UV protection

6-best-patio-umbrella-uv-protectionLastly, it’s important to give the UV protection that’s provided by your patio umbrella a great deal of thought. Not all canopies are born equal, and although you may think that being shielded by any fabric is enough to prevent sunburn and damage, it isn’t.

It’s important to make sure that your patio umbrella – or at the very least, the fabric which has been used for the product’s canopy – is approved by the Skin Care Foundation. Some materials, such as Sunbrella, are more than sufficient because they offer 98% UV protection.

To ensure that you get the most UV protection, you should be plumping for large patio umbrellas with thick fabrics.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVB rays are widely regarded as the most harmful form of sunlight – not least because they can still affect our skin indirectly.

To ensure that you get the most UV protection, you should be plumping for large patio umbrellas with thick fabrics. Check to see that the product’s SPF value is high – as it can fluctuate from 3 to 106. Meanwhile, UPF is also worth paying attention to – and a good standard patio umbrella would be 50+.

Sadly, although a patio umbrella can provide complete UV protection, it doesn’t by any means guarantee that you will have no exposure to sunlight when you’re sat in the garden. If you can still see the sky from where you are sitting under your umbrella – even if you’re completely enshrouded in shade – it’s still possible that you are being exposed to UV indirectly.

Because of all this, you might find that it’s still worthwhile to wear sunscreen, especially if you have fair skin which burns easily.

So, in summary, here are those characteristics that you should be looking out for in a new patio umbrella once again. The first is fade resistance, as this ensures that the beautiful color of the fabric remains vibrant for years to come. Also, pay careful consideration to the base of your umbrella – as this isn’t always included for free. Third, double-check the surface area of the shade, which can be roughly calculated by multiplying the patio umbrella’s diameter by five. UV protection and the umbrella’s fixtures also matter.

Color

2-patio-umbrella-reviews-colorAlthough the various fixtures and fittings associated with patio umbrellas are naturally going to be more important during the purchasing process, it doesn’t hurt to think about the appearance of the product you’re going to buy.

Some manufacturers only provide their umbrellas in one color – taking a “like it or lump it” attitude to their product range. Despite the fact this may seem rather restrictive, it does mean that their manufacturing costs are lower, and in return, the savings can be passed onto you.

If you like breaking away from the norm and want to choose something unexpected, dark green might be another color to consider from some brands.

Typically, companies will offer four different shades for their patio umbrella at the most. Such firms usually do exhaustive market research so the most popular colors are available. As you’d expect, they tend to be shades of brown – such as beige and terracotta, mainly because they match wooden garden furniture.

However, if you like breaking away from the norm and want to choose something unexpected, dark green might be another color to consider from some brands.

There are some colors out there which are best avoided at all costs, though. One example which springs to mind is white – and that’s because of how dirt and other stains can begin to show up easily on the umbrella’s canopy, making it look unkempt and rather undesirable quite quickly. Understandably, this is something you’re going to want to avoid at all costs.

Block colors tend to be more popular than stripes or other patterns. One potential advantage to this is how your canopy will conceal fading more effectively. The same goes for light colors – as they won’t be anywhere near as susceptible to fading.

The dye which has been used to treat your fabric will usually fade as a result of continued exposure to sunlight – but reassuringly, this isn’t necessarily an indicator that the fabric itself has become damaged. Materials that have been treated with vegetable dye are far less likely to lose their vibrant colors over time, so bear this in mind when you’re making a selection.

Adjustable tilting

3-patio-umbrella-reviews-adjustable-tiltingIf your heart is set on a patio umbrella which can tilt – enhancing its ability to block the sun from a variety of angles – you should bear in mind that you’re going to need a product which uses a “crank.” This refers to the mechanism that has been included to open and close the patio umbrella whenever you wish.

A crank is normally found midway along the central pole, and in order to open the patio umbrella, you need to gradually turn it until the canopy has expanded. Alternatives include a pulley, which is essentially a rope which you tug on.

There are three main forms of adjustable tilting which are offered by patio umbrella manufacturers in their products.

There are three main forms of adjustable tilting which are offered by patio umbrella manufacturers in their products.

First up, you have a collar – which resembles a dial. This can be turned in a clockwise direction, allowing the angle of the umbrella to be adjusted incrementally. This is advantageous because you have full control of the canopy’s position – and it can be adjusted in seconds as the sun changes position throughout the day.

Second, you may find that the tilt feature is integrated into the crank itself. Once you have used it to fully open the umbrella, all that’s left is to carry on turning it until the patio umbrella is tilting in the right direction. Then, gradually return the umbrella to an upright position before closing the canopy to prevent any damage to the ribs.

Lastly, there’s also the opportunity to have a “push button” tilting mechanism – which is normally found above the fixture that’s used to open and close the shade. This is beautifully simple, as it consists of a button that’s used to tilt the canopy to one of two or three positions provided.

Adjustable tilting is really effective, and helps you to make the most of the shade diameter provided by your patio umbrella to full effect. Remember that you also have the option to move the umbrella itself a few inches away from its current position.

Fabric

4-patio-umbrella-reviews-fabricThere is an assortment of fabrics available for patio umbrellas – and as you’d imagine, each have their own advantages and drawbacks. They include:

Olefin: This is quite a cheap and cheerful fabric – and perfect if you have a patio umbrella that you’re only going to use on the odd occasion. It’s easy to clean and won’t pick up unsightly stains which are impossible to remove.

Sunbrella: You’ll normally find that most patio umbrellas on the market have been made using this synthetic fabric. It’s fantastic at repelling mold and mildew, and this is thanks to how a water-resistant coating is often applied by the manufacturer before it’s sent over to you. Widely regarded as the industry standard, you’ll find the largest color section when a manufacturer uses Sunbrella – and it’s even 98% resistant against UV, keeping you protected and safe in the shade.

Many manufacturers stand by the quality of their fabric, and offer extensive warranties that protect the patio umbrella’s canopy against mold, mildew and fading.

Sundura: This fabric is even more effective at keeping the sun’s harmful rays at bay. It is also coated with water repellant, which is known as polyurethane – or PE for short. You’ll also find that it’s slightly thicker than Sunbrella, and that the yarn-dyed material won’t lose its color very easily.

Texilk: In many ways, this material is similar to Olefin. However, there’s one key difference – it is machine washable. This will keep your patio umbrella looking and feeling fresh for years to come, without the colors beginning to bleed or fade.

Polyester: Arguably one of the more durable fabrics that you’ll be able to choose for your canopy, it’s not going to rot over time – and doesn’t break the bank, either. Perfect if you want quality without an inexpensive price tag.

Many manufacturers stand by the quality of their fabric, and offer extensive warranties that protect the patio umbrella’s canopy against mold, mildew and fading. This can fluctuate between one and four years, depending on the company’s workmanship and price point in the market.

Do bear in mind that very few firms will offer warranty protection against wind damage.

Pole material

5-patio-umbrella-reviews-pole-materialNow, let’s move away from the fabric of your patio umbrella and focus on the frame which has been used to construct your product – including the poles. Mainly, your choices include aluminum, wood and fiberglass, and each offer distinctive qualities.

First up, let’s see what wood has to offer. Generally, hardwoods are used for constructing these products – and that’s because they won’t absorb water or become a breeding ground for insects, which can cause the poles to rot over time.

They normally boast a wider diameter compared to other materials – up to two inches in some circumstances – so do bear this in mind if you’re buying a stand to go along with your patio umbrella at the same time.

They normally boast a wider diameter compared to other materials – up to two inches in some circumstances – so do bear this in mind if you’re buying a stand to go along with your patio umbrella at the same time.

If you do choose a wooden frame, do bear in mind that you’ll usually be foregoing the option to enjoy an adjustable tilt mechanism as a result. However, the ribs on the canopy will be sturdy, and easy to replace should there be a breakage.

Next up, we have aluminum. Some of the poles included in these patio umbrellas are included in one piece, which saves on the amount of time it takes to assemble. You will get greater flexibility when it comes to the closure system and the tilting mechanism, too.

In order to ensure that it doesn’t fall apart because of the weather, always check to see whether the aluminum has been anodized or powder coated before purchase.

And finally, time to consider fiberglass. This material is far, far stronger than aluminum or wood – yet it doesn’t weigh a ton. However, it’s likely that it won’t have an esthetic finish compared to these other two materials.

If you live in a windy area – or if your garden is especially exposed owing to a lack of hedges and trees – fiberglass is probably your best option, not least because the ribs embedded in the canopy are going to last up to five times longer on average.

Wind resistance

5-patio-umbrella-reviews-wind-resistanceLastly, let’s have a quick discussion about your patio umbrella’s wind resistance. You should bear in mind that products which have been designed for use when there are strong gusts or gale-force winds are few and far between, as these umbrellas are only really meant to handle a gentle breeze.

However, if you live in quite a windy area, you might want to go for something like a beach umbrella, which by design is meant to handle those strong breezes which you can normally find across coastal regions to begin with.

As we mentioned in the last section, the ribs which are included with your patio umbrella are going to be crucial in terms of the patio umbrella’s structural integrity in the wind.

As we mentioned in the last section, the ribs which are included with your patio umbrella are going to be crucial in terms of the patio umbrella’s structural integrity in the wind. Ribs made of fiberglass are the most resilient by a country mile.

One thing that you can do – in order to boost your patio umbrella’s capacity at staying upright in strong winds – is to purchase a suitable stand which will help to keep the product weighted down. You’re going to need one of these accessories in most circumstances anyway, as they are rarely included in the box.

A stand can be filled with sand or water that weighs up to 50lbs, and this helps to guarantee that your patio umbrella won’t blow away if the weather takes a turn for the worst overnight. They are normally really inexpensive to buy, and will prove really helpful in safeguarding your investment – stopping the central pole from bending or snapping unexpectedly.

An even cheaper alternative that you might want to consider are breeze blocks which are made of cement. Some home improvement stores sell blocks which are specifically designed to keep patio umbrellas weighted down.

Usually, you’ll need four blocks to keep your product in place – especially if the base of your umbrella has four legs. This also prevents the patio umbrella from listing unexpectedly.

Always use your patio umbrella when the weather calls for it. Most manufacturers do not include wind damage in their warranty.

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights
Our pick for the best patio umbrella is: Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching patio umbrellas.

Summary

patio umbrella reviews

Is the summer fast approaching? Are you refurbishing the backyard? There’s just one piece of furniture you’re going to need: a sturdy patio umbrella.

With hundreds available online, the only challenge is cutting through the noise and finding the best product.

Patio umbrellas have become must-have accessories for the garden. However, one thing you will have noticed while you’ve been shopping around is how many confusing phrases and terms are used by manufacturers to describe the different components found in the frame – meaning it can be hard to know what’s what if you’re a layman.

One thing you will have noticed while you’ve been shopping around is how many confusing phrases and terms are used by manufacturers to describe the different components found in the frame.

So, let’s talk first about the “crank” – which, as we’ll explore later on – is designed to help open and close your umbrella’s canopy safely. It’s a handle which can be rotated clockwise or anticlockwise.

Next, you will probably hear repeated references to “hubs” as you’re browsing the many product descriptions which are available online.

These help to keep the “ribs” – those poles which are embedded into the umbrella’s canopy like the spokes of a wheel – into place. One of these hubs moves as the umbrella opens and closes, while the other remains static throughout the process.

You also have the “finial” – and this is the component which is tasked with securing the umbrella’s canopy to the central pole which runs all the way to the floor.

Now you’ve been brought up to speed on the terminology that’s used to describe patio umbrella products, you’re already miles ahead of most shoppers. In this buying guide, we’re going to explore five key criteria to bear in mind when you’re whittling down the options and selecting the perfect patio umbrella for you.

It’s also worthwhile to consider the retailer’s reputation for producing quality products. You might want to purchase other pieces of garden furniture – such as tables and chairs – from them as well, as that way, you could benefit from a bulk discount if they provide a loyalty scheme of some description. As ever, you should also be a smart shopper by reading through their terms and conditions – and warranty – before clicking the “Buy” button.

Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights
Our pick for the best patio umbrella is: Cabana Way 11′ Cantilever Patio Umbrella, Solar Lights. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching patio umbrellas.

Sources

  1. How to Keep Your Belongings From Becoming Trashed by Hurricanes, Office of Response and Restoration, June 22, 2015
  2. The Best Patio Umbrella and Stand, The Wirecutter, May 12, 2017
  3. Best Patio Umbrellas, Ezvid Wiki, Oct 18, 2017
  4. The Patio Umbrella Buyers Guide with All the Answers, Patio Productions, April 29, 2014
  5. Our Review Of The 10 Best Patio Umbrellas, The Backyard Gnome, August 21, 2016
  6. Buying Guide: Find The Best Outdoor Patio Umbrella For Your Home, Huffington Post, May 14, 2012
  7. Patio Umbrella Buying Guide, PatioShoppers.com
  8. The Top 10 Outdoor Patio and Pool Umbrellas, The Spruce, October 23, 2017
  9. The 5 Best Patio Umbrella Styles, Umbrellify.net
  10. Garden Furniture, Wikipedia

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