Umbrellas are a great way to spend time outside, but still have protection against the elements. There are many different umbrella designs from golf umbrellas and travel umbrellas, but if you are spending time at home a patio umbrella can be a great addition to your home because it can give you, your family, and your guests protection from the sun. With a top rated outdoor umbrella, you can entertain to your heart’s delight. Whether you throw a pool party or host a backyard barbecue, a patio umbrella can provide you with shade.
The tricky part is choosing which patio umbrella to buy. There are many different styles, types, colors, and shapes that you can choose from. Not every umbrella is made the same; some may have features that would better suit your needs. It is important that you look at a patio umbrella’s design and feature before you buy, so that you find the perfect design for your needs.
Our list of the 10 Best Patio Umbrellas in 2019 gives our top picks for investment worthy and quality outdoor umbrellas. We will also provide a guide to help you select which features you should consider for your patio umbrella. With a patio umbrella you can make your entertaining outdoor space stylish and functional.
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How To Choose A Patio Umbrella — Buying Guide
When you are deciding which patio umbrella is the best to buy, it is important to consider a few key features. You will have to decide which umbrella design best suits your needs. There are many different patio umbrella styles, materials, and features to choose from. Each design may have features that can enhance your outdoor experience when using your umbrella.
Patio umbrellas are a great way to provide shade in an outdoor space. They can be placed almost anywhere, to provide you with a layer of protection against the sun. It is best to consider the differences of each design to see what features will best suit your needs.
Here we have a guide of some features of patio umbrellas that you should take into consideration before making a purchase. We also have some frequently asked questions and their answers to give you all the information you need to choose the best patio umbrella for your needs!
Size is one of the first features that you need to consider when purchasing a patio umbrella. Size is important because the diameter and height of your patio umbrella, determines the size of the area that it can provide coverage for. The umbrella size needs to fit the space or area you want covered. An umbrella should not the too big, but it also shouldn’t be too small. An umbrella that is too small will be virtually useless to you.
The most common canopy diameters range from 6 feet to 14 feet. The umbrella height can reach up to 10 feet. However, 7 feet in height is commonly sufficient for most people to comfortably stand under without hitting their head. The best rule of thumb to use to determine the size umbrella you need is to shade the area you want, plus 2 feet on all sides. For example, if you want to shade a 6ft table, you should get an umbrella with a 10 foot diameter to ensure the table and chairs are fully covered.
You should do your best to find an umbrella that suits your needs. It would be silly to invest in an umbrella that is too large for your needs, but frustrating to buy one that is too small and won’t serve for protecting you. Measure the area you want covered and determine which size is best, keeping in mind the 2 feet rule, to ensure you are happy with your umbrella in the space you want it.
The material used in your umbrella will affect both the style and durability of the umbrellas’s design. There are two parts of the umbrella where the type of material used is important. First, the frame and second, the canopy.
Common types of materials used in the frame of patio umbrellas is aluminum, steel, wood, and fiberglass. You want your frame to be durable and also match the local weather conditions. If you are in a windier area, a metal frame would be sturdier and most likely, suit your needs better. You should also consider your area and it’s weather because of corrosion and rust. If you are by the ocean, salt can be extremely corrosive, so having a metal frame would be a better and longer lasting investment. Aluminum and steel are both excellent choices that are rust and corrosion resistant. If they are powder coated, you should have even more protection against the elements.
Your canopy should be made of durable material too. The canopy material should be waterproof, windproof, and have UV protection. Fabric that is durable will provide you with a top rated outdoor umbrella that serves its purpose and looks stylish for longer. Typically, the better the material the easier it is to clean as well. Pick a material that is easy to maintain and to resist color fading, find fabric that has been solution dyed.
Ideally, the materials of both the frame and the canopy should work together to give you an umbrella that is durable in its design, resistant to the weather conditions, and long lasting. High quality materials will produce a better patio umbrella. Look for quality metals and quality polyester umbrellas. These materials are the most common and durable materials you’ll find on the market.
A base is an additional investment to the umbrella. A base is a weight that your umbrella can be placed into, which ensures that it won’t move and is more stable in the wind. Every umbrella needs a type of base that provides weight for structural stability and security.
Commonly, a base is a heavy block that has a hole where the umbrella pole can be inserted. The umbrella pole rests in the base, which ensures the umbrella won’t just rip over. Even if you are using your umbrella with a table, it is smart to have a weight under the table to stabilize your umbrella.
While the base is often sold separately, the manufacturer of your umbrella should give a suggestion or weight recommendations that you can use to find a suitable base for your umbrella. Use the provided information to ensure you aren’t getting a weight that is too large and difficult to move. Like the size of the umbrella, the base should match your umbrella and it’s needs. You don’t need to invest in something three times heavier if less weight will add sufficient stability to your umbrella.
The design of your umbrella should suit your needs. There are many different aspects to the design of a patio umbrella, but overall you should find an umbrella that is durable and versatile.
You want an umbrella to be durable to ensure it can withstand how it is intended to be used. Durability means your umbrella can withstand the rays of the sun or some rain, but still be able to be used multiple times in the future.
As well, a patio umbrella should be versatile in terms of where it is set up and used. A versatile patio umbrella can be used with or without a table and should be able to be set up on concrete, grass, or even by the poolside.
The best design will serve you well and keep you satisfied. You should find an umbrella design that you feel fits your space and your needs. With a top rated patio umbrella shade can become décor. However, there are different aspects to the design, which we will continue to review below.
The style of the umbrella is similar in nature to design and type. There are different types of umbrellas that each have their own style that visually differs from other patio umbrellas. However, style can also include the materials used for the umbrella and the color of the umbrella.
A person’s design preferences will change the overall style of the umbrella. If you choose a wood umbrella, you will have a more natural look to the design because wood is an an organic material. Metal can look more industrial. The color of the umbrella can alter its style too. Darker colors will made a space look smaller, but lighter colors tend to show dirt and stains more.
It is up to you to determine what style best suits your outdoor space. Style isn’t the most important aspect, when it comes to choosing a patio umbrella, but because there are many different styles to choose from, it is worth the time spent to find one that makes you happy and looks good in the intended space.
A patio umbrella doesn’t need to be the most portable umbrella, because it will mostly be used around a home. However, it still needs to be manageable because it can be repositioned around the backyard.
While you likely won’t be traveling with your patio umbrella, you still shouldn’t struggle to carry it to another spot in your yard. The umbrella should be able to be collapsed and store easily or collapsed and moved easily. Patio umbrellas aren’t the most compact objects, but you should be able to still easily carry the umbrella, minding the ends and where you are going.
Portability is important for short distances because you shouldn’t be sick only using your umbrella in one spot. You want a patio umbrella that is portability enough to give you the freedom to move it around your outdoor space and change where the shade goes. In terms of storing your umbrella for off season, the design should also be portable a that you can take it inside and store it for the winter.
However, you should always ensure that you can lift the umbrella alone, and if it is too heavy, find a friend to help you. Most patio umbrellas are about 30 pounds, some even less, but a double canopy umbrella can be up to 50 pounds. It never hurts to ask for help if you need it, especially when it comes to moving an awkwardly shaped and large umbrella.
There are different types of patio umbrellas and one type may suit your needs or preferences better than the other. The most common types of patio umbrellas are the market style, cantilever style, tilting style, and rotating style.
Market: These are standalone umbrellas or they fit in the center of a table. They have a straight pole that is the main structure of the umbrella. These umbrella are the type that will most likely be used with a base. The base makes it easier to set up this type of umbrella and ensures it is more stable in the wind.
Cantilever: These are sturdy patio umbrellas that can cover larger areas and are popular because of their out of the way pole design. The pole of these patio umbrellas is curved, which means the canopy is hanging overhead and you can stand directly in the middle, underneath, and not have a pole obstruction. These patio umbrellas tend to do well in harsh weather conditions.
Tilting: These patio umbrellas have a canopy angle that can be changed by being tilted. The tilting feature is nice because you can change the area that is shaded as the sun moves throughout the day.
Rotating: A rotating patio umbrella allows you to change the area of shade, without moving around furniture. As well, these umbrellas tend to cover a wider area.
The shape refers to the shape of the canopy or umbrella. There are many different shapes that umbrellas can have for a canopy. You can find umbrellas that are round, square, octagonal, or rectangular.
The shape of the umbrella is mostly up to personal preference. Some people like a round umbrellas and others prefer to have a square umbrella. Some umbrella shapes can be paired with another umbrella to cover a larger space. For example, if you want to cover two tables, two square umbrellas may be better for you than one larger rectangular umbrella.
You should think about the area you want protected, the space you need covered, and which shape would most efficiently provide the cover needed. As well, take into consideration your personal preference as to which shape you think looks best.
The ribs are the pieces of structural support that hold the canopy of your umbrella up and open. The material of the ribs should be lightweight, durable, and rust/corrosion free. Common materials used are wood, aluminum, and steel.
Wood gives a natural look to the design, but you should keep in mind that wood tends to weather faster and may not be as durable as aluminum or steel. Aluminum or steel are excellent choices because they fit the conditions of being lightweight, durable, and rust/corrosive resistant.
A patio umbrella should have about 6-8 ribs in the canopy design. However, you may find umbrellas with more. More ribs may sound great for stability and support but remember that the more ribs there are, the heavier the umbrella will be. If you don’t mind the weight, more ribs can make your umbrella more wind resistant and less likely to collapse. However, 6-8 ribs should be sufficient support for the canopy of your patio umbrella.
The lifting method is how you raise and lower the canopy of your umbrella. When your umbrella is not in use, it should always be stored with the canopy collapsed and closed. There are three common lifting methods: crank, push up, and pulley.
Crank: A crank lift is the most common used in patio umbrella designs because it is the easiest to operate. There is a minimal amount of physical strength required to turn the crank and push the canopy up and open. The crank is much like continually turning the knob on a door. Not much strength is needed to start the turns.
Push Up: This is a more difficult way to push up and open the canopy, however it is still extremely common. This method is better for smaller umbrellas and uses the method similar to opening a personal umbrella. You place one hand on the pole and use the other to push up and open the canopy. You push until you hear a click. To release the canopy, you have to find the pin or button that pushes in to release the lock. Take caution for your fingers, hands, and head as the canopy closes.
Pulley: This is not a common method, but it does bring a hybrid of the crank and push up methods. Rather than turning a crank, you pull a cord that pushes the canopy up and pulls it open, as if it were being opened using the crank. Again to close the canopy, you have to find the pin or button that releases the lock. Then, use the cord to slowly lower the canopy into the fully closed position.
The tilting methods are what you will use to tilt the canopy of your umbrella. A canopy that tilts allows you to change the angle at which it rests, allowing you to change the area that is shaded. The three most common methods used are the collar tilt, crank, and push button.
Collar tilt: With the collar tilt you can adjust the canopy from a seated position, if you can reach the pole. You can then twist part of the pole in one direction or the other to change the angle of the canopy.
Crank: The same crank that is used to open and close the canopy can also be used to tilt the canopy. This is the easiest method because you just have to use the crank, rather than physically move the entire umbrella.
Push Button: The push button is the most difficult method and often requires two people to execute. One person will needs to push the button in and ensure that it does not lock again. The second person has to adjust the angle of the umbrella. The metal button is more like a pin that is locked into another piece of metal. You have to push it in to release it from the slot, and move it to another hole and lock it back in place. This is, however, the least expensive method.
A patio umbrella should be durable. It will be set up in the hot sun for hours and may be subjected to wind and rain too. You want an umbrella that is made of high quality materials that make it durable against the weather elements. As well, a durable umbrella will provide you with years of reliable use.
Durability will give you peace of mind and ensure that you always have a shaded area in your outdoor space. The best patio umbrella will be extremely durable in its design and you should take the time to find durability. Don’t skimp when it comes to the durability of your patio umbrella. It is the most important aspect to your umbrella that can put a damper on your barbecue or a smile on your face for years to come.
Q: How do I clean patio umbrellas?
A: Patio umbrellas are large, awkwardly shaped objects that can make cleaning difficult. The manufacturer of your patio umbrella should provide a user’s guide or manual with directions on how best to clean the umbrella.
The cleaning methods will also be dependent on the materials used for the frame and canopy. Different materials may have cleaning solutions that can break them down faster, so you should use caution with what you use to clean the umbrella.
In general, a wipe down with water on both the canopy and frame should be safe and sufficient to give it a quick clean. If there are deep stains, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean the umbrella so you don’t risk damage.
Q: Will my umbrella fade?
A: A high quality patio umbrella should not fade for many years. On top of high quality materials, if you properly care for your umbrella, it can look like new throughout the years. However, a canopy will always fade. The sun is harsh and if you use your umbrella constantly, the colors find it difficult to last.
The best fabric you can invest in will be solution dyed. Solution dyed fabric tends to fade less and keeps its color for longer. Lighter colors will also show fading less. Choosing an ivory over red, means having more color for longer.
To help preserve the color, you should also always close your umbrella when it is not in use. This can help the color last longer. On top of storing the umbrella daily during the summer season, the umbrella should be stored indoors during the off season when it won’t be used daily.
Q: How do I measure patio umbrella size?
A: Patio umbrellas are measured by the diameter of the canopy and the height of the pole. The diameter of the canopy will give you an idea of the size of the area that it can cover, while the height will tell you whether you’ll have to duck underneath or if you can stand fully upright and comfortable under the open canopy.
Q: Can I install lights in the umbrella?
A: Yes. Some patio umbrellas may have lights that compliment the design or vice versa. Certain patio umbrellas place lights in their design and you can easily purchase the lights separately. In general, any umbrella can have lights added. If you purchase small and lightweight string lights, they can be easily attached and detached to your umbrella.
Keep in mind that the lights may get in the way of closing and storing your umbrella. It may be best to set up and store the lights, as you would your umbrella.
Q: Do I need to buy a stand or base?
A: If a stand or base is not included with your purchase, it is highly recommended to invest in one. Having a stand or base means that you can easily set up your umbrella in any location and have less risk of it being blown away or falling over.
It can also be a pain trying to set up a umbrella without a base on concrete or grass. You wouldn’t want to drive the end into the ground and risk damage to your umbrella. A stand or base gives you a way to securely set up your umbrella in a location that won’t damage your pole.
Q: What should I use as a weight to keep the umbrella from blowing away?
A: Ideally, if you purchase a stand or base, it would come weighted. Stands or bases that have weights are commonly built to have a structure that is filled with sand.
However, there are some stands and bases that aren’t weighted. You can buy your own sandbags or use rocks to weight them down. You should take caution that you have it enough weight on top of the stand or base, so that the weights don’t get picked up by the wind and become a danger. Remember that even a slight breeze can catch a large canopy and move the entire umbrella. Adequate weight would ensure that the umbrella is not lifted from the ground by a breeze.
Globo Surf Overview
When it comes to choosing a patio umbrella, the task can seem daunting. With so many designs to choose from, one can feel lost in selecting just one for their backyard. This guide helps you break down the design and features that can determine which patio umbrella is the top rated outdoor umbrella. It is important to choose a patio umbrella that you enjoy using and makes your yard look stylish. You can learn how to make a sunburn go away faster, but you can also prevent from burning yourself in the first place.
As well, you want to be sure that your umbrella can handle the constant use in all weather conditions. A patio umbrella is meant to enhance your time outside, so you shouldn’t have to struggle to set up your shady area. Whether you use it only with a table or take it in the grass, your patio umbrella can become a relatable companion to provide comfortable shade. The best patio umbrella will provide protection for years to come.
Do you own one of the patio umbrellas that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for your outdoor needs in the comments section below.
Globo Surf Patio Umbrellas Reviews