The 2021 Patio Umbrella Buying Guide

Yes, Annie!
The sun’ll come out tomorrow!
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya’ tomorrow!

 

After all we’ve been through over the last 12+ months…

Wondering or doubting if the sun will ever shine again…

The sun is shining again!

As day follows night many of us will now look for shade when we’re on our patios or in our backyards enjoying the summer weather.

That means, you might want to buy a new patio umbrella, under which you can enjoy the bright sunshine and summer temps.

But before you rush out to buy the first one you see on sale…

There’s a lot to think about when choosing the best umbrella for your space.

So let's begin...

First, determine the size you’ll need. 

The size of your umbrella will determine the type of base you’ll need to keep your umbrella from turning into a missile when the winds pick up (more on that below).

And if you’re looking for an umbrella to shade your outdoor dining space…

You’ll want your umbrella to extend over your dining table by at least two feet on each side for optimal shade.

So, to help you find the best umbrella for your needs, we’ve assembled a choice selection of some the best umbrella’s on the market today.

And we took into consideration what today’s value conscious shoppers are demanding.

The 3 most sort after umbrella features

They are:

  1.  Strength and durability of pole and fabric
  2. Ease of opening and closing
  3. Size of canopy

Note: most outdoor umbrellas don’t come with bases, so you’ll need to buy that separately. 

How heavy of a base will you need?

Quick answer: multiply the diameter of your umbrella by 10.

In other words, for a 9-foot-wide umbrella, you’ll need a base that weighs at least 90 pounds—at the bare minimum.

Accordingly, we’ll look at a few heavy-duty bases that’ll keep your umbrella upright in anything less than hurricane strength winds—after we show you these 11 choice umbrellas…

In no particular order…

2021’s eleven best outdoor umbrellas:

BTW, if you purchase an umbrella through some of the links below we may earn a small, and I mean ridiculously small, commission.

Center-pole “market” umbrellas

Market umbrella #1:

The stylish tiered-petal-fringe classic from Beachcrest: $135

Buy it on Wayfair.com

Wayfair outdoor umbrella

Possessing a hand-crank lift, for easy raising and opening, and a push-button directional tilt hinge to block the sun as it moves higher and lower across the sky.

The powder-coated aluminum pole (to prevent rust) stands 8 feet tall.

The canopy has a top vent to let the wind pass through, and when fully opened the canopy has a 9-foot diameter.

The canopy’s fabric is non-branded polyester. Not a top-of-the-line material, but for the price, it’s a good deal.

Market umbrella #2:

A Sunbrella, the Rolls-Royce of all-weather fabrics. $399

Buy it at L.L.Bean

The pole is powder-coated aluminum with a bronze finish, and stands over 8 feet tall.

The canopy diameter is 9 feet when fully opened. The famous state of the art Sunbrella fabric is tough as nails, fade-proof and mildew-resistant.

A skirted vent on top keeps the umbrella stable in sudden gusts of wind.

It opens with a hand-crank lift and has push-button tilt control.

Market umbrella #3:

The always dependable and durable Treasure Garden umbrella. $219

Buy it at Patioliving.com

It comes in dozens of colors, patterns, fabrics and finishes.

The umbrella pole stands 8.5 feet tall and can be purchased with extenders to make it even taller.

The shade’s Sunbrella canopy has a 9-foot diameter, and a topside wind vent.

It comes with a hand-crank lift and a push-button tilt hinge.

You can also purchase an under-the-umbrella solar-powered LED light attachment for those warm summer nights when you want to linger outside.

Market umbrella #4:

The large and affordable Hampton Bay umbrella. $109

Buy it at Home Depot

 

What makes this hand-crank lift umbrella stand out from the pack, aside from its low price, is its 10-foot diameter canopy.

Plus, it has a hand-crank tilt mechanism for effortless tilting of the canopy.

The only downside: the canopy is made with Olefin, a thick fabric that’s more affordable (but less durable) than the popular Sunbrella fabric.

Market umbrella #5:

The Sunnyglade extremely budget-friendly umbrella. $49

Buy it on Amazon

 

It won’t last you a lifetime. A few summers at best. But you can’t beat the price.

The canopy has a 9-foot diameter and the fabric is polyester, which will not be anywhere near as durable as Sunbrella fabrics.

It comes with a hand-crank lift and a push-button tilt hinge.

At about 10 pounds it’s lightweight and therefore easy to maneuver (compared with 16 pounds for the Treasure Garden and 14 pounds for the Hampton Bay).

Market umbrella #6:

The very large diameter Safavieh umbrella. $168

Buy it on QVC

If you want lots of shade this Safavieh umbrella sports a 11-foot diameter canopy.

The fabric is polyester and the pole is aluminum.

It has a hand-crank lift and a push button tilt mechanism.

If you want shade at an affordable price this might be the one for you.

Market umbrella #7:

The lighted umbrella from Blissun. $72

Buy it Amazon

During the day this Blissun’s 9-foot diameter canopy will certainly shield you from the sun.

But at night, it’ll light up your patio or deck with 32 built-in LED bulbs.

The pole has a convenient on/off switch to control the lighting, which is powered through a solar panel on top of the canopy.

It comes with a hand-crank lift and a push-button tilt hinge.

Cantilever umbrellas

Outdoor umbrellas with cantilever frames allow you to adjust their typically larger canopy to your preferred height and angle using construction designs that provide support and balance.

Cantilever umbrella #1:

The affordable cantilever umbrella from Bluu. $119

Buy it on Amazon

This budget-friendly cantilever umbrella has 10-foot round canopy.

And though the fabric is polyester, typically not the best material for a canopy—it’s 5 layers thick!

The fabric offers UV-protection and is color-fast.

It comes with a hand-crank lift and a push-button tilt hinge.

Cantilever umbrella #2:

The Hampton Bay cantilever umbrella has it all. $499

Buy it at Home Depot

The 11-foot diameter olefin fabric canopy is supported by a steel frame.

And for nighttime entertaining the underside of the canopy sports 4o solar-powered LED lights.

The canopy is raised using a hand-crank lift and can be manually tilted.

Cantilever umbrella #3:

The stylish and popular Grand Patio cantilever umbrella with weighted base. $500

Buy it on Amazon

The 12-foot diameter heavy-duty double-layer polyester canopy with wind vent is water-resistant, UV protected and fade-resistant.

The umbrella opens and closes with a hand-crank lift. And the auto-lock system allows the angle of the umbrella to be adjusted up to 90 degrees.

The aluminum frame is powder-coated to keep it from rusting

A-typically for most large umbrellas, it comes with a weighted base with hidden wheels to make it easy to reposition.

Cantilever umbrella #4:

The luxurious and very large Treasure Garden cantilever umbrella. $1,496

Buy it at the Umbrella Patio StoThis umbrella can do almost anything except give you a sunburn.

It easily tilts and swivels in almost every direction and angle with the use of a convenient foot pedal, lever and hand-crank.

The Sunbrella double-vent canopy has a 13-foot diameter, and can be fitted with optional LED lights and Bluetooth speakers.

Fabric design colors and patterns are nearly endless.

All you need is the space to position it in.

Umbrella bases

A weighted umbrella stand or base ensures your patio umbrella won't tip over or take a cue from Hollywood and be gone with the wind.

Here are some worthy umbrella bases for your consideration.

Base #1:

The stylish Abba Patio 50-pound base. $117

Buy it on Amazon

Built from recycled plastic this 23” diameter base can be filled with either sand or water, though the manufacturer recommends you use water.

Because it’s a 50-lb rated base, it’s only suitable for small umbrellas.

Base #2:

The Shademobile 125-pound base. $397

Buy it on Amazon

 

Designed for medium size umbrellas, it can be filled with sand or water, or both.

A nice feature is the hidden and lockable wheels that make it easy to move along flat surfaces when filled.

Base #3:

The Giantex cantilever 260-pound base. $190

Buy it on Amazon

 

 

Fill it with water or sand through two topside injection ports.

And glide it around your patio on its four hidden and lockable wheels.

When you’re ready to store it, empty the sand or water through a built-in drainage port.

Umbrella Care and Maintenance

The single most important thing to do to extend your umbrella’s life is to close it when you’re finished using it.

Otherwise, a sudden gust of wind can tip it over or send it sailing, and when it lands the spokes can break and tear the fabric.

General Cleaning:

All fabrics should be hosed off on a monthly basis with clean water. 

Sunbrella fabrics, because they’re remarkably strong and durable, can be cleaned with a bleach solution without fear of color loss or degradation of the fabric.

Other fabrics may require a gentler approach.

Light Cleaning:

  • Brush off loose dirt
  • Hose the fabric
  • Prepare a cleaning solution of water and mild soap such as Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • Scrub the fabric with a soft bristle brush
  • Let the cleaning solution soak into the fabric for about 15 minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed
  • Air dry

Heavy Cleaning for Stubborn Stains and Mildew

Some fabrics are mold and mildew resistant.

However, mold and mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the fabric.

So, to clean stubborn stains:

  • Prepare a solution of 1 cup bleach (for Sunbrella fabrics), or white vinegar (all other fabrics), and 1/4 cup laundry detergent per gallon of clean water
  • Let mixture soak into fabric for up to 15 minutes
  • Clean with soft bristle brush 
  • Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed
  • Air dry
  • Repeat if necessary

 Now go out and enjoy your summer!

Hey, if you found this month’s Teakster post mind-boggling-fascinating… share it with someone you think will enjoy it, too!

And don't forget to write something below-I need to hear from you-I get awfully lonely inside your phone (or computer).

Until the next time… stay teak strong!

Faithfully yours,

Barry

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