The Best Patio Umbrella

The Best Patio Umbrella

We can debate about what the "best patio umbrella" is until we're blue in the face, but in all honesty, the best patio umbrella for your outdoor space is the one that makes you the happiest.   The best patio umbrella is the one that you feel makes that perfect addition to your patio outdoor room.

But to get to perfect patio umbrella, you have to ask yourself these questions;

  • Does it make your idea of an outdoor room seem complete?
  • Are you happy with the frame colors and canopy colors you've chosen?
  • Does it make your outdoor living experience better for you and your guests?
  • Did the cost of the umbrella match your expectations for the performance you received?

Believe it or not, those are the only questions you need to answer in order to know whether you purchased the best patio umbrella for you.

But sometimes we all need a starting point to start answering those questions.  We need to look at the patio or outdoor space we've created and decide on the best patio umbrella, in our own minds, that fits the space we've created.

This isn't the easiest task if you take your outdoor decor seriously.  Of course, you can always go with the outdoor umbrella that is on sale at your local shop, or the umbrella that comes with the outdoor furniture set you just purchased, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with those choices.

However, over the years our customers at have often asked us on our opinions on the best patio umbrella choice for their particular space, and we've come up with a few guides to help in the process of eliminating umbrellas our customer doesn't  need in order to pick a selection of umbrellas they do need.

The Best Patio Umbrellas for Wind

If I had to choose the number one question that we get all the time the best patio umbrella, it would be "What is the best patio umbrella for wind?"  Windy spaces or infrequent wind gusts seems to be the bane of an outdoor decor enthusiast existence, and for good reason.   A toppled or broken umbrella is one of the worst things that happen to your perfect patio decor.    Sustained winds can bend or brake regular patio umbrella ribs, such as aluminum or wood.  But there are some awesome alternatives that can withstand winds up to 50 mph and not break if accidentally toppled over.

Fiberglass rib umbrellas, also known as Wind Resistant Umbrellas, used to be the most expensive umbrella available on the market, but because of manufacturing and engineering advances, have become as affordable if not more affordable than traditional aluminum and wooden umbrellas.  In fact, many of our aluminum patio umbrellas and wood market umbrellas have been redesigned with fiberglass ribs for even more durability for wind conditions and accidental falls.

Fiberglass rib umbrellas are designed to bend and reshape as wind hits them, bringing them back to their original shape and avoiding falls and breaks in the ribs, which is the most common failure in outdoor patio umbrellas.

Dual wind vent umbrellas allow for more air to pass through the canopy, making the bending of ribs or the fall of an outdoor umbrella less likely.

So if you have a windy area that you need covered with the best patio umbrella for wind, we suggest some of the following:


For large tables or areas that need larger shade, we suggest an 11 Foot Wind Resistant Patio Umbrellas.

11 foot wind resistant patio umbrella

The fiberglass ribs are perfect for deflecting high winds and the aluminum construction ensures that you get a long life out of your umbrella.   Adding Pacifica fabrics which have a 3 (three) year warranty on fade resistance makes this a great large patio umbrella for windy areas.


For standard tables or areas where you need adequate shade but wind resistance, we suggest the 9 Foot Wind Resistant Patio Umbrellas.

9 foot wind resistant patio umbrella

To call it the standard among wind resistant umbrellas is just an inadequate term for the features this patio umbrellas has to offer.   The collar tilt function is easy to use and is great for a full day of shading, and it features a beautiful line of Sunbrella Umbrella fabrics for any decor.


The Best Patio Umbrella Stand for Wind

Heavier umbrella stands, also called umbrella bases, are much better under windy conditions than standard bases that are meant to sit under tables or poolside.  75lb to 95lb bases are particularly well suited to keep your patio umbrellas in place or from toppling over in windy conditions.

best umbrella base for wind



The Best Patio Umbrellas for Small Spaces - Apartments, Condos and Small Gardens

Smaller spaces need adequate shading just as much as larger spots.  In fact, our second most asked question about patio umbrellas are all about smaller spots.  Questions like:

  • What's the best patio umbrella for my apartment balcony?
  • What's the best patio umbrella for my condo balcony?
  • What's the best patio umbrella for my small garden area?
  • What's the best patio umbrella for my bistro table?
  • Do you have small umbrellas?

We have a line of small patio umbrellas that are a great choice for smaller areas.

Of course, that doesn't mean a standard umbrella wouldn't work.  Some balconies and garden areas are large enough that you can use a 9 foot umbrella and it would work just fine.

But most of the time, you want an umbrella that fits your space and patio furniture a bit more proportionately.  Our smaller patio umbrellas measure 7 foot or 6 foot in size and come in either aluminum, wood or fiberglass.

If you have particular small space needs, here are some of our most popular suggestions:

  • If you have a sizeable balcony for your apartment or condo, with or without a bistro furniture set, our 7 foot patio umbrellas, also called bistro umbrellas, are great choices.  They offer a larger canopy for a bit more shading, and are a better fit for slightly larger...small spaces.
  • If you have a really small balcony, or a small garden area with cafe furniture, our line of 6 foot patio umbrellas, also called cafe umbrellas, are usually the perfect fit for any small patio space.


The Best Patio Umbrellas for Large Spaces

A lot of our customers have large spaces to cover.  Sometimes it's a large or long and oval patio table that needs to covered, or a larger patio space like poolside patio or backyard areas.

There are three types of large patio umbrellas that are the best for covering large tables or areas.

11 Foot Patio Umbrellas are standard octagonal umbrellas that share the same design as most standard patio umbrellas, but measure 11 feet in diameter.   They come in aluminum, wood, and fiberglass construction, and feature Sunbrella, Pacifica and Suncrylic Fabrics.

11 foot patio umbrella

11 Foot Oval Umbrellas are made for long rectangular outdoor tables or oval table.  They come in aluminum construction and feature Sunbrella Fabrics.

oval patio umbrella

Cantilever Umbrellas, also known as offset umbrellas, offer large canopies with the added bonus of no center pole that can obstruct views ore get in the way of great family and friends gatherings.

offset canitlever umbrella


The Best Patio Umbrellas for Weddings, Restaurants or Hotels

The perfect outdoor wedding wouldn't be complete without the grand vista the right outdoor umbrella to complete the look.  Think about it, every beautiful outdoor and garden wedding picture you've seen has a grand view of market umbrellas creating a dream like canopy across a orchard of tables.

garden wedding picture

The top choice of patio umbrellas by wedding event coordinators happens to be a market umbrellas with white or neutral fabrics.

Why?  Because they are simple, elegant and add an exotic touch without overwhelming the main floral and table decorations.

But weddings aren't the only outdoor gathering area that needs a patio umbrella.

Restaurants, Hotels and Home Communities also need shading that fits the need, and commercial umbrellas are specially designed for this purpose.

The best restaurant patio umbrella, or any commercial umbrella for that matter, provides an event or establishment with three basic but important features; safety, ease of use, and style.

Umbrellas designed for commercial use do not tilt, usually featuring a pulley and lift system to open and secure the umbrella.  With dozens, if not hundreds of people using the umbrella all day, a cranking mechanism can be mishandled or put under more physical stress than it was designed for.  This can cause the umbrella to not work the way it was intended, like tilting suddenly and bopping someone on the head.  Not a good look at a wedding or an outdoor restaurant.

Also, commercial umbrellas are meant for heavy, long term use, so they don't have to be replaced as often.  Staff and event coordinators can easily place and secure a commercial umbrella, open it and secure it for the entire day.  And since a lot of commercial umbrellas are built out of heavy duty aluminum and stainless steel hardware, they can be left in place for a longer duration.


The Best Patio Umbrella Brands

A lot of people don't think of patio umbrellas as being branded products, however there are some absolutely stunning brands with long histories making feature rich patio and market umbrellas, so as:

  • Galtech International - The Galtech Umbrella brand has been a sought after  high-end patio product for over 20 years.  Featuring aluminum umbrellas with stainless steel hardware and wood umbrellas with 6 layers of varnish, it's hard to find an umbrella brand with a better standard of quality.
  • California Umbrella Patio Umbrellas - California Umbrella has been around since 1946, longer than almost any other umbrella company today.  The originators and inventors of the collar-tilt umbrella, California Umbrella excels at manufacturing top of the line patio umbrellas for fantastic value.
  • Sunbrella - The premier outdoor fabric for any outdoor shade, Sunbrella by Glen Raven Mills has been so popular with patio decor buyers that most people call any patio umbrella with this fabric a Sunbrella Umbrella.  Recommended by the Skin Care Foundation, it's UV resistant, has a soft hand (soft cotton-like touch) and comes in the largest array of outdoor fabric colors.


The Best Patio Umbrella

I know it's important to do research and consider opinions when making an important decision, especially one on an item that you want to make a positive impact on your outdoor room and your satisfaction in your homes' decor.  Many online sources are simply going to give you a list of patio umbrellas that they think are amongst the best, and others that will just copy that list.  I think it's important to give you the tools to make the choice for...

...the best patio umbrella for you.

Leave a Reply