The 5 Best Outdoor Patio Umbrellas

7 min read

The 5 Best Outdoor Patio Umbrellas

Patios are often exposed to the sun, as you've likely experienced during the summer. And unless you have a great tree cover or a large canopy, your outdoor furniture will not be as relaxing when it's roasting hot out.  Installing one of the best patio umbrellas can beat the heat as well as UV exposure, and enjoy the added bonus of a trendy and vibrant pop of color in your chosen spot outdoors.

Choose the Umbrella Size and Shape

The search for the perfect outdoor umbrella is tricky and if you're a beginner and this is your first time shopping for a  patio umbrella then choosing its size and shape according to where and how you want to use it is a good place to start. The size of the umbrella will determine the type of base you need to keep it stable all all season long. It's essential to measure the size of the canopy to determine whether its size will provide enough coverage or perhaps you need to buy more.

A freestanding umbrella must be extend over the patio furniture by at least two feet on all sides to enjoy maximum coverage. Or, approximately 5 feet larger in diameter than the intended coverage area. Whether you're using it over a dining table set, a conversation set or a set of loungers by the pool, take that under consideration. Umbrellas start around five feet in diameter and can be about 15 feet or more.

Such that an outdoor patio umbrella with a 5' to 6' canopy is perfect for bistro sets, with a table that is approximately 30" table or smaller and can perhaps accommodate 2-4 sseats. The larger ones can accommodate up to 10 to 12 seats, and can shade a 48" table or more with 10 seats.

For a more cohesive look visually, choose a canopy's shape that matches the table or the seating arrangement to easier calculate the size. So if your patio table is round then choose a round canopy as well. 

 

Select the Umbrella Style 

Two dominant characters emerge in this category wherein they vie which is more famous and better preferred by the homeowners, the center pole umbrella and the offset umbrella more popularly known as cantilever patio umbrella. 

Center Pole Umbrella. There are 3 variants under this type of patio umbrella. The most popular is the Market Umbrella distinctly identifiable by its round ot octagonal shape with a clean edge. Beach Umbrellas are also widely popular not only in the beach scene but also among residences. Its canopy usually has a round shape with hanging valances around the edge with a simple base buried under the sand. Half Umbrellas are constructed with one flat side which is placed right against the wall and useful in confined outdoor spaces like small porches.

Offset Patio Umbrellas. Suppose you want to explore getting shaded while dining without the center pole of an umbrella, obstructing a portion of the view or a part of your guest's profile. Buy offset outdoor umbrellas, also known as Cantilevers, instead. They are highlighted with an arched or jointed pole positioned off to one side. The canopy hangs freely with strong side support, which can cover various seating and table arrangements.

Most canopies are designed to pivot from side-to-side and even rotate 360°. They are typically 9 to 13 ft. wide and customize further according to the area size, available space, and buyer's preference.

The principal advantage of modern cantilever umbrellas is that they can shelter a large area without the center pole. Vital if you are shading a dining table with no umbrella hole. Offset patio umbrellas require heavier bases than center poles and are pricier. 

Choose the Materials Wisely 

The three primary materials used to construct patio umbrella poles and frames are wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. Each material has its benefits and characteristics, so you'll have to decide which one best suits your needs.

Wooden umbrellas have appeal. Their natural, sophisticated look works well in lush green environments, where nature is at the forefront. A well-maintained wooden umbrella is a beautiful accent to rich woodgrain furniture and a hardwood deck. The most common hardwoods used are teak, eucalyptus, and bamboo.

Aluminum is an inexpensive alloy, lightweight, and durable, making it an excellent choice for outdoor shades. Most aluminum frames are powder-coated or anodized to resist corrosion and other signs of wear. It can be shaped into extraordinarily dynamic and exciting shapes that wood cannot attain.

Outdoor umbrellas with fiberglass poles and frames are among the most durable on the market. Fiberglass is lightweight, strong, and far more flexible than wood or aluminum. This flexibility allows it to bend without breaking in even the most severe wind storms. Additionally, fiberglass does not rust or rot, so it even performs well in wet conditions.

 

Outdoor modern umbrellas use UV-resistant fabrics made of synthetic materials and are available in various textures, finishes, prints, solids, and colors. Other commonly used material includes canvas, polyester, and olefin.

Acrylic fabric is an excellent option for umbrellas. The reason manufacturers choose acrylic is because it's soft, colorful, and is usually UV resistant. Sunbrella is the world's number one outdoor performance fabric that is water-repellent and offers unsurpassed durability, stain, weather, and fade resistance. The canvas is lightweight and has a flat, consistent weave, providing up to 98% UV protection. It is easy-care and withstands the elements beautifully.

Polyester is usually cheaper and isn't as lightfast or UV resistant as olefin or acrylic fabric. Polyester must be treated with a water repellent finish and UV inhibitor to last longer than a year in the outdoors.

Olefin is a fantastic umbrella fabric with exceptional UV resistance. It dries quickly when wet making it an excellent fabric for outdoor use. Olefin is a robust and cleanable fabric at a great price point for umbrella fabric. It's stain-resistant and durable enough to withstand bleach and chlorine cleaning.

The Charming Bench Company is thrilled to present our 5 picks for the best outdoor patio umbrellas for 2021. They are incredibly functional high-quality outdoor umbrellas with awesome aesthetic in full-on display, designed and executed by the best manufacturers of patio umbrellas.

 

1. 10' Patio Umbrella & Canopy

We bring you our first pick on a center pole umbrella that looks great on a patio round table. It is the spectacular 10-ft Patio Umbrella from All Things Cedar.

Its canopy boasts of an impressive Roman flap design using a sturdy 220g polyester canvas and comes with a 2-piece aluminum powder-coated pole. The wind vent at the canopy crown will enable winds to pass through, which strengthens pole stability. An 8 spoke cage with a reinforced hub allows for easy raising and lowering with the built-in hand crank. Block out the early and late day sun with an easy tilt feature with a push of a button to block out the early and late day sun.

Pair it with a 40"-48" patio dining table that seats 6-8 diners comfortably. Set it up with an adequate stand or weighted base.

2. 10' Teak Market Umbrella & Canopy

 

 

Stylish, reliable, and above all, a high-performing umbrella that's naturally appealing to our valued customers is one of our top sellers. Our 10-ft Teak Market Umbrella and Canopy from All Things Cedar are handcrafted from Indonesian Teak, with a java-colored finish, and fitted with solid brass hardware.

Natural oils and rubbers in Teak reinforce weather and insect resistance compared to other types of wood. It is naturally durable and has only minor shrinkage. It doesn't rust with steel, and more importantly, it ages gracefully, turning into a charming silvery-gray tone.

This umbrella size is great with an 6 or 8-seater round, oval or octagon shaped outdoor dining table. Mount on a good stand or weighted base proportional to its size.

    3. 9 ft Market Umbrella

     

    A classic performer, the 9 ft Market Umbrella is perfect when both style and longevity are essential. Its canopy brings exceptional design inspired by cozy outdoor living using Sunbrella fabric with 17 gorgeous color and print choices. Sunbrella fabrics do best in unmistakable style – supplying protection from harmful elements outdoors, comfort in the summer's heat, and shelter from a sudden downpour.

    Its umbrella head tilts with the push of a button for the shade that moves with the sun. A 45" extension is an option you can explore for its frame in 3 color variants: black, white, and champagne. Crafted using aluminum Treasure Garden for its frame.

    Grab a 6-person patio dining set, patio conversation set or a set of chaise lounges to match this gorgeous market umbrella. 

    4. Aurora Cantilever Umbrella

    Maximize your space less the traditional center post with our Aurora Cantiliver Umbrella is manufactured using industry best materials and fabric to provide years of enjoyment. Its awesome infinity tilt allows you to change positions effortlessly, providing hours of maximum shade regardless of the position of the sun.

    This stylish cantilever is suitable for low to moderate wind conditions. It guarantees hours of protection. The crank lift is manufactured for commercial use yet invented for smooth and effortless performance in any setting. The mast and all critical joints are extruded aluminum, ensuring strength and durability.

    Engineered to withstand 25 MPH winds. Included wind stabilizer kit increases by 5 MPH. 

    5. Eclipse Cantilever Umbrella

    Lastly, taking the spotlight is the Eclipse Cantilever Umbrella, which offers style, functionality, and long-lasting materials, as well as a smooth crank system, allowing for effortless opening and closing. It's a crowd favorite with its elegant profile. Combining versatility, durability, and aesthetic design makes it one of the best shade companions for your patio.

    With its Infinity Tilt and 360° rotation, the Eclipse provides total shade flexibility. It supports countless tilt angles, affording hours of maximum protection regardless of the sun's position. The crank lift is commercial-grade yet designed for smooth and effortless operation in any environment, including your home.

    The 10" square sized canopy is great for 6 to 8-person or larger patio dining set or patio conversation set. While the 13" octagon canopy can accommodate a 10-seater dining set and a large conversation set.

    Care Tips from our Pro Team!

    To keep your umbrella looking good and functioning at its best for as long as possible, follow these simple tips:

    • Open gently. Forcing it could damage the ribs or the mechanics.
    • Close when not in use to reduce the chance of breaking the ribs in strong winds.
    • Use an umbrella cover. It's easy to slip on and can lengthen its productive life by blocking excessive moisture and heat.
    • Store during the off-season, if possible.



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