What Are Umbrella Tilts?
This entry was posted on April 18, 2010.
I've seen this question in Yahoo! Answers that read:
And the best answer was
Just press the button and tilt the top to whichever direction you want.
Now, this answer was..mezzo mezzo, IF the umbrella was a push-button tilt. But there are three different kinds of tilt currently available for aluminum patio umbrellas, so it drove me a little crazy when I saw the answer. What if was an auto tilt umbrella? Or what if was a collar tilt umbrella? Very different tilt functions that not everybody knows.
Push-Button Tilt: The above answer really wasn't good enough. Sorry Yahoo Answers. Push-button tilts work in one distinct way. There is a button near the top of the pole, about thumb sized, that when pushed, will release the catch the tilts the top part of the umbrella over it's pivot point. Really exciting huh? Usually push-button's have three position tilts. Basically, they will tilt to three different position relative to the pole, and in only one direction. For most patio umbrella applications, this is fine. If you're happy with this simple tilt function, enjoy with all my blessings, you've got a great umbrella.
But sometimes a push-button tilt is not enough, and without knowing that there are options out there, no wonder it's hard to find a good article or blog post about patio umbrellas, because there's also Auto-tilt patio umbrellas and Collar tilt patio umbrellas. Aha, now this is getting to sound a little more exciting.
Auto-Tilt: This is a very neat feature and, in the past, has been known to be the most popular patio umbrella feature in the US. Let's say you open up your patio umbrella by cranking it open. Pretty straight forward. But now you want to tilt it because the sun in right there in the early afternoon, beaming down into your eyes as you try to enjoy lounging on your chaise cushion. Right, so instead of having to stretch up, push a button and them manually tilt the umbrella cover, you can just turn the crank once more and Bob's Your Uncle (I always wanted an occasion to say that) your umbrella tilts. Not just three positions either. The Auto-Tilt functions with a cord and lever system, allowing your umbrella to tilt in a string of positions from just a little to all the way.
But the fun doesn't just stop there. You can move up to another tilt that's making headway all across the US for the past couple of years, and this year seems that the Collar Tilt will really make it's mark.
Collar-Tilt: The automatic tilt is great, but still a bit manual none the less. The collar tilt work on a similar principle, in as far as ease of use is concerned. Instead of cranking the handle to make your umbrella tilt, you turn a collar that's just above the crank housing. Really easy to use, and great for table umbrellas as well (because the crank won't hit the table every time you turn it) The collar tilt allows for a little more precision and a lot less give in the tilt. Just dial it in to your desired tilt, let go, and that's it. Sometimes with an auto tilt or a push button tilt, you get a little "give" when your trying to get the right tilt. Not so with the collar tilt. And a lot of patio umbrella owners have related in how much easier it is to use.
In the end, it really is up to you as the consumer to decide what kind of tilt is best for you. All of them offer a great function, so your decision, in the end, is solely up to what your looking to invest and what your using your patio umbrella for.