Things to Consider When Buying an Umbrella:

Style:
  • Market Umbrellas - Market umbrellas are constructed with 4 to 8 crossbars coming off a center pole for support, and are available in many different shapes and sizes. Market umbrellas can be used freestanding or with a patio table that will accommodate the pole.
  • Cantilever & Offset Umbrellas - This refers to any type of patio umbrella that does not have a center pole. While constructed similar to market umbrellas, the cantilever style has a pole located either to the side or on the outside of the canopy. Cantilever umbrellas will provided needed shade without obstructing the view between guests.
  • Garden/Drape Umbrellas - This style of umbrella closely resembles a rain umbrella with an aluminum center pole and many steel ribs to support the fabric. Drape umbrellas usually have a valance extending down from the edge of the umbrella.
Fabric:
  • Sunbrella - A high-performance 100% solution-dyed acrylic, Sunbrella is one of the most well-known brands in the outdoor furniture industry. Made to withstand rain, UV rays, fading, and stains, it's easy to clean and mildew resistant.
  • Olefin - A great choice if looking for an affordable option without having to sacrifice quality. Olefin is a highly durable synthetic material with improved fade resistance over lesser grade fabrics.
  • Polyester - A quick-drying, synthetic fabric. Polyester is an affordable choice that will bring several seasons of enjoyment.
  • Vinyl - A strong, economical plastic that is moisture resistant.
Frame:
  • Aluminum Umbrellas - The most common material for umbrella frames, aluminum is lightweight, naturally rust resistant, and has the strength to support umbrellas in windy conditions. Aluminum is available in many different colors and finishes.
  • Wood Umbrellas - Usually made from teak or something comparable, wood umbrella frames offer a timeless and elegant look. Although beautiful, they do require a little extra care compared to other frame types.
  • Fiberglass Umbrellas - A fiberglass frame is the best option for extremely windy areas. Strong and flexible, they withstand wind better than any other material. Fiberglass is also resistant to saltwater, so they're great for coastal locations.
Lift Method:
  • Push - A push-up umbrella is raised by manually pushing up the canopy and securing it with a pin underneath the hub.
  • Pulley - An advancement to the push-up system, pulley umbrellas use an integrated cord system that raises and lowers the canopy by pulling a string.
  • Crank - The most convenient lift method, this system incorporates an internal pulley that uses an external crank to raise and lower the canopy.
Tilt Method:
  • Push Button - A button on the umbrella is pushed in to release a lock that allows the umbrella to tilt. Once the button is released, the umbrella locks back into place.
  • Collar - An umbrella with a collar tilt uses a ring (or collar) located above the crank mechanism to engage the tilting system/
  • Auto-Tilt/Crank - With crank umbrellas, the same crank used for raising and lowering the canopy also has the ability to tilt the umbrella to desired position