10 Tips To Pick Out the Right Umbrella

Oh God, it's time to go pick out a patio umbrella.

What do you do now? I mean, there's big ones, little ones, aluminum ones, wood ones, garden ones....which of the ones do I pick. (see that really cool grammar?)

Stop for a moment and take the time to consider the following tips. They'll help, I swear.

  1. Stand alone or table top. Patio umbrellas can stand by themselves, or you can place them inside a table top. Umbrellas that sit on top of a table set a nice shade, but their pole can get in the way, and they're in the table, which means, you're not picking them up and taking them anywhere. Free standing patio umbrellas can be set next to table, but won't shade it all the way.
  2. Find the perfect place for your umbrella. A flat spot that needs shade to be comfortable works for both kinds, but put table models between the kitchen door and the outdoor cooking area for convenience.
  3. Measure your available space to decide what size and height umbrella suits you. Check that there's room for the table and chairs and that the open canopy clears nearby trees and structures.
  4. Balance the size of the umbrella and its base, especially if you purchase them separately.
  5. Don't put a small patio umbrella over a table 6 feet in diameter if you want to dine in the shade (besides, it looks funny).
  6. Be aware that single wind vent umbrellas in solid sheet vinyl can topple in a stiff breeze and trap heat, too. Check out double canopy designs made from Sunbrella Fabrics.
  7. Choose a pole that you will enjoy, but in any case be sure the pole can support your umbrella, opens and closes easily and fits your table. Go for a taller pole, if space permits, to cast a bigger shadow.
  8. Pick a heavy-duty umbrella base weighted with cement or water to make installing your patio umbrella a breeze - just put it in place and fill. If you choose a flatiron base, be sure its fittings fit your pole.
  9. Look for canopy fabrics that resist mildew and rot (like the aforementioned Sunbrella).
  10. Make sure you pick out a frame that suits your taste. Wood is elegant, but aluminum comes in different colors, and is a little more durable. Aluminum frames can come in any finish, like Bronze, Black, Champagne, etc., so be sure to check out all of them available.
Leave a Reply