Garden & Lawn

6 Best Cantilever Parasols – Tested For Durability Against Strong Winds

Last updated on March 26th, 2024

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Over the years, I’ve tried to create areas of shade in my garden, especially now I have two beautiful girls who needed shade in the garden so they could play safely out of the sun. I also wanted a way to create shade over my rattan 8 seater patio set. I found that shade sails are great for providing consistent shade in the garden in one position, but I needed some way to create shade that could move around with the sun.

The Jarder Libra cantilever parasol is one of the best more affordable options I've used
The Jarder Libra cantilever parasol is one of the best most affordable options I’ve used

After at least 5 years of trying different pop-up gazebos, as documented here, as well as more permanent hardtop gazebos and, of course, shade sails, by far, the best way to create shade in your garden is by using the best cantilever parasol.

The problem with other methods of providing shade, garden umbrellas included, is that once they’re set up, there is no way of moving them around as the sun sets or at least not easily. You can move a pop up gazebo around, but they idealy need to be fixed or weighted down by gazebo weights, and shade sails are permanent and fixed into place.

This is where cantilever parasols really come into their own!

A decent cantilever parasol can be rotated 360 degrees, you can tilt the parasol at different angles, and when you combine all this, you can move the position of the parasol canopy in seconds to control where the shade is cast. There is no easier way of doing it, or at least not one I’ve found. You also have the advantage of the pole and base being to the side and out of the way unlike a standard garden umbrella where the pole is in the centre.

What to Consider when buying a cantilever parasol

Over the last 8 years, I have tested and owned a handful of the best cantilever parasols and can confidently say there’s a perfect option for everyone, depending on your budget and needs. What I have found is that most models are very similar in design but miles a part in build quality and with different price options from £100 to well over £600. This means it can be challenging to choose the right one as they all look very similar, if not identical, especially if you shop online as I do.

From my experience, to get a good cantilever parasol, you need to be budgeting £200+ and, for the very best, upwards of £600 or more. This is where you will notice the differences in the materials used, the durability and how windproof they are as well as the quality of the fabric. Basiclly, these are the parasols you don’t need to take down because of a light breeze and some will even handle 30mph winds with no problem, although they all have their limitations as they are like giant sails after all.

Purple Leaf Gazebo is expensive but the sliding handle and poles are much more substantial to handle windy day
Purple Leaf Gazebo is expensive but the sliding handle and poles are much more substantial to handle windy day

Here is a quick rundown of some of the cantilever parasols I have tested over the last few years before I get into the detailed reviews further down. This Purple Leaf Gazebo pictured above, is my personal favourite and by far the best but it was quite the investment. Only the Sorara Roma Deluxe parasol which I review further down as well is a good fair alturnative, they both offer unmatched quality and durability, but they both come with a hefty price point, and you have to buy the base separately, and I don’t think they included the cover either. These two are probably more expensive than what most people are willing to pay. However, they can stay up all year round, including winter and will easily handle 30mph winds with no problem. If money is not an issue, and it’s within your budget. You won’t two find better parasols.

Jarder Libra Cantilever parasol is a great more affordable option
Jarder Libra Cantilever parasol is a great more affordable option

At the same time, I’ve been really impressed with my more affordable Jarder Libra Canalever Parasol which was one of the first parasols I purchased and still have today. It’s a great mid-range option that’s less than half the price of the Purple Leaf and Roma parsols. While I found that each of these cantilever parasols offers unique advantages, the Jarder Libra Cantilever Parasol remains my top pick for most people, considering the price, build quality, and ease of use.

Our top recommended parasol tilting to create the most shade

I’ve had this model for 3 years going on 4, and it’s still going strong. It comes with everything you need including the base and cover too. It seems the more you pay the less you get when it comes to base and cover. However, my Jarder came with everything you need. The build quality is also decent, and the fabric used is heavy-duty 180g/m² polyester. Basiclly for the price, you won’t get much better, and it’s basiclly tried and tested, 3 years going on 4 and it’s still going strong, needs a little cleaning but apart from that it’s in perfect condition.

However, if you do have a larger budget, the Purple Leaf Gazebo is a fantastic choice for those who want the best of the best. It’s simply at another level, and it has more functionality and is easier to manoeuvre, it will even handle winds of at least 30mph as previously mentioned which is impressive.

I’ve also included the Sorara Roma Deluxe Parasol as an alternative, as my brother invested in one last year and although it is only a little over a year old, it has proved a great alternative in the same price range as my Purple Leaf Parasol, with a similar level of quality and functionality. What I will say is both of these parasols are very heavy. The bases alone must be 200kg. Let’s just say their not something you want to be physically moving from the patio to the lawn, for example. However, you can do what I do and rotate the parasol 180 degrees from the patio and over the lawn if they are next to each other. Thats what I love about cantilever parasols the ability to be able to rotate them into different positions.

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Norfolk Leisure 2m Square Wall Mounted Cantilever Parasol Aluminium Frame 220g Polyester Canopy and 14 strong 14mm Ribs

Before digging into the individual reviews below, I want to point out that you cannot place any of these standard cantilever parasols right next to a wall as they need a little space to open and function. However, the Norfolk Leisure 2m Square Wall Mounted Cantilever Parasol is the answer that solves this issue. This cantilever parasol can actually be fixed to the wall, and it opens outwards. It’s a fantastic piece of kit and an excellent option for some people, so it is worth mentioning here in case you have limited space and wanted to have your parasol against a wall or fence.


  1. Jarder Libra Parasol Set – 3m Cantilever Parasol With Base & Cover – Probably the best option for most people, great price everything included. I’ve had one for 4 years, and it’s still in excellent condition!
  2. Purple Leaf 3.3 X 3.3M Heavy Duty Cantilever parasol – Simply the best, personally had this one for just over a year, solid piece of kit, even on windy days but it wa super expensive
  3. SORARA ROMA Deluxe 3m Cantilever Parasol Garden Umbrella – A good alternative to the Purple leaf Parasol but also very expensive
  4. Mayfair 3m x 3m Cantilever Parasol
  5. Norfolk Leisure 2m Square Wall Mounted Cantilever Parasol
  6. Greenbay Cantilever Parasol With Solar LED Lights

Top 6 Garden Parasol Reviews

1. Jarder Libra 3m Cantilever Garden Parasols with Base & Cover


I have been lucky enough to try a handful of different cantilever parasols for this review over the last few years, and for the money, I still think this parasol by Jarder is one of the best cantilever parasols for the price.

I had decided that the Jarder Libra Cantilever Parasol was the one I would be using personally and even though I now have the Purple Leaf Cantilever parasol, I still use the Jarder parasol too.

The reason this is still my ‘BEST PICK’ so to speak, is the Purple Leaf Parasol, as good as it is, and yes it’s fantastic, it’s simply in a different league, and more importantly, 3 times the price!

Your talking about £500-£600 with the base? This Jarder Libra parasol is a little over £200 all in, base and cover included. I have found it to be better than the cheaper models such as the Vonhaus parasol and the ones at B&Q or Homebase for around £100-£130. Some are even cheaper, but you’re lucky if they last a season. My Jarder has been kept outside for 4 years now and it’s still going strong.

Watch my video review below

The first thing to note is that it comes with everything you need, the parasol, the stand and maybe, more importantly, the weights which you fill with water or sand (I opted for water as it’s easy to do with hose pipe) and a good quality cover. Bear in mind that most alternatives don’t include the weights that most people will need or a cover.

Jarder Parasol Cover Comes Included
Jarder Parasol Cover Comes Included

Set up in only 5 minutes

So when it arrived it comes in two parcels, one for the umbrella, pole and a few bits and pieces and the second has the weights. Setting up takes 5 minutes. All you need to do is fasten the pole base (which the umbrella slides into) to the base. A simple spanner and the job is done, no instructions are required. Weight the base down with the included weights and insert the umbrella pole. That’s it; it’s ready to use. I have now used 4 Indian stone flags to match my patio and just placed them on the base frame instead.

Jarder parasol weight which also come included
Jarder parasol weights that comes included

The best quality canopy of nearly all parasols

Now quality-wise, this is where it stands out from the cheaper alternatives you see at maybe half the price that look identical but trust me, they’re not, they’re cheap for a reason. The canopy itself is made from 180g/m² polyester which is good quality, Mine is coming on 3 years old now, and the fabric is just fine, it’s kept outside but with the included cover on when not in use.

The main pole and bars are also sturdy and are made from quality steel. The plastic parts, which include the sliding handle on the central pole and on the top of the parasol, are all made from high-quality plastic and have stood up well to the weather and general use over the last 3 years. What I will say is there is a big difference in the thickness and quality of the frame and poles when compared to the Purple leaf and ROMA parasols. They are more industrial and windproof as well as made from aluminium and much more substantial. The frame on this Jarder is plenty strong enough, I’ve had no issues even in light wind but they’re not 30mph wind strong like the Purple Leaf parasol is.

How it handles the British weather

First off, I had it open in the rain, and it’s not leaked. However, I’ve never left it up in heavy rain and would advise you don’t either. I’m just not sure how it would handle the weight of the rain on the canopy.

It does handle light wind reasonably well, but I have always taken it down if it gets too windy. However, on what I would describe as a breezy day, it’s been fine and always held up well. What you have got to understand about parasols is that most are not designed for leaving up on windy days, after all, they are like a giant sail. I just don’t take the chance.

So in terms of using the parasol, I only have one niggle, but it doesn’t affect its use; it’s a little jumpy when you move the handle on the main pole up and down. Other than this, everything is smooth. I like that it has a few different positions. You can move it 360 degrees, left and right, and you can adjust the angle of the parasol to a point so that it’s almost on its side to get the most amount of shade. It is pretty flexible with how you can have it positioned.

That’s about it; the metal handle is easy to crank to open and close the umbrella, it folds down nicely, and the cover is included which is nice.

My recommendation

When I first started researching cantilever parasols and trying a few out over 8 years ago. I thought they were all the same; a cantilever parasol was just an umbrella, and they almost all looked identical. However, the more I used them and compared the fabrics and the frame, the more I realised there was a big difference between parasols that was £100 and one that was £200, even though they looked identical. Both the Purple leaf and Roma model was simply on another level, but so was the price.

I honestly think that the Jarder Cantilever Parasol is the best model for most people when comparing the build quality, ease of use and more importantly, the price.

I think with the exception of the very expensive ROMA, this is probably one of the best parasol sets currently available
I think, except for the very expensive Purple Leaf and ROMA parasol, this is probably one of the best parasols sets currently available at an affordable price

If I had to recommend just one cantilever parasol, this would probably be it when I take the price into consideration. Well, I think that sums it up nicely.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below

2. Purple Leaf Heavy Duty Cantilever Parasol


PURPLE LEAF 3.3 X 3.3 M Garden Cantilever Parasol, Large Square Overhanging Patio Umbrella with Crank Handle and Tilt for Balcony and Outdoor, Gray

There are plenty of low-quality cantilever parasols, and I’ve tried a few of them over the years. Most will be lucky to last a season or two with the exception of a handful of more affordable models which included my Jarder Libra Parasol and even the Mayfair 3m Cantilever Parasol, both of which I have reviewed in this review. The problem is that these are mostly what I would perhaps call domestic quality. Don’t get me wrong, the two I mentioned are excellent parasols, but there is simply no comparison between them, and this Purple Leaf 3.3 x 3.3M Cantilever Parasol.

At first, I thought it was far too expensive for a cantilever parasol, at least for by budget originally. The thing is, when I review products, I’ve got to appreciate that everyone’s budgets are different, and some people do want to pay extra for the extra durability and build quality.

Crank sliding handle which allows you to easy open up the parasol and rotate it 360 degrees
Crank sliding handle which allows you to easy open up the parasol and rotate it 360 degrees

What I will say about this Purple Leaf Parasol, once you’ve used it, you really do appreciate why it’s expensive, and it quickly became clear to me it was worth every penny even if you do have to shell out more money for the base. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the build quality, especially the aluminium frame and the quality of the fabric used. It really is one of those gardened products you buy once and it outlives you.

So, a little more information about it, this elegant cantilever parasol is available in a variety of colours and sizes. I can confidently say it’s the best one I’ve ever owned. However, it’s worth mentioning that my Jarder Libra 3m parasol is still an excellent, more affordable option, which I also recommend. I continue using my Jarder Libra, which has held up well for nearly four years. That said, the Purple Leaf parasol, being about three times more expensive, is worth every penny for those seeking a premium, commercial-grade cantilever parasol.

I think this Purple Leaf parasol sports a sleek, neutral shade of grey that seamlessly complements any patio décor, but it is also available in a few different colours. With a generous 3.3m x 3.3m size, it efficiently provides shade and shelter for an eight-person dining table which is what I currently have. And since it’s cantilevered, the pole stays out of the way, making your outdoor space even more inviting.

Strong aluminium braces and frame of the Purple Leaf cantilever parasol
Strong aluminium braces and frame of the Purple Leaf cantilever parasol

But what sets this parasol apart is its top-notch fabric – a heavy-duty 240gm2 polyester that’s UV resistant, water repellent, yarn-dyed, and colourfast. You won’t have to worry about sunburn or getting drenched during those unexpected drizzles! To compare, the Jarder has 180g/m² fabric.

The durability doesn’t stop there. The parasol’s pole and eight sturdy ribs are crafted from galvanised aluminium, which means they’re rust-proof and can handle winds up to 30mph. I never dared to leave my Jarder parasol up in windy conditions, but I have no worries with the Purple Leaf parasol. It’s truly built to last. You can even use it in winter, and I’ve noticed that since the fabric is heavier, it’s great for attaching a parasol heater too. The Purple leaf parasol seems to help retain heat better than my open-sided pop-up gazebo, making it perfect for those chilly evenings.

Purple leaf base for cantilever parasol you have to purchase separately
Purple leaf base for cantilever parasol you have to purchase separately

Now, there’s one thing to keep in mind, the base isn’t included, and you’ll need to purchase it separately. The pole is specifically designed to fit the base sold by Purple Leaf, although you could potentially DIY something together or fix it into a permanent position using bolts, such as into decking or a patio.

My recommendation

The Purple Laef Garden Cantilever Parasol is genuinely a game-changer. With its array of sizes, colours, and unmatched quality, it’s an investment worth making for your outdoor space. And while the Jarder Libra 3m parasol remains a fantastic, more affordable option, the Purple Leaf parasol offers that premium touch for those who are happy to invest in a commercial-grade experience. Trust me; you won’t regret it!

If you want to compare it to another cantilever parasol, the Sorara Roma Deluxe is the best alternative, within the same price range. It’s a very similar model, the build quality, design and fabric are very similar, and if the Purple leaf wasn’t available and I had the budget, the Sorara Roma is probably what I would get. I review this model below!

3. SORARA ROMA Deluxe 3m x 3m Cantilever Garden Parasol

No products found.

No products found.

The SORARA ROMA Deluxe Cantilever Parasol Garden Umbrella is a premium parasol that adds style and top-of-the-line functionality to your outdoor space. Its neutral grey colour easily blends into any patio, garden or swimming pool area décor. With a 3m x 3m canopy, it’s big enough for even the largest of patio sets.

I’ve not personally owned this parasol but my brother does which is why I have included it in this review. I would say is very similar to the Purple leaf parasol and so is the price.

Its parasol is made from heavy-duty 250g/m² polyester so you can rest easy knowing that it will last for a long time, giving you value for money. The polyester has been treated to keep away harmful UV rays that are damaging to both fabric and people. The colour will remain bright and the rain won’t get through. You stay dry under this cover during the summer downpours that always seem to appear when having a BBQ with friends and family on Sunday afternoons.

Back to the parasol, the supporting pole and ribs are made of aluminium. This makes it strong and rusts resistant for longevity. Even in a windy area it won’t blow over, assuming you have a good heavy base. The pole is supported by a cross base to provide good stability but you do have to buy the base separately that fits over the cross base. In total this parasol weighs 32kgs which means it is a nice heavy piece of kit, and is very strong and stable.

This unit doesn’t have much work attached to it if you think about it. It features a 360 degree mechanism that rotates the parasol to the angle needed. You don’t need to move that manually either because a very well designed pedal is dedicated to that function. Simply press the pedal and the umbrella rotates.

To open up the parasol, the device on duty is the crankshaft and this is also very easy to operate. This provides automated stops when you reach the coverage that you need. Finally as previously mentioned, this unit covers an area of 300cm x 300cm which is enough for an eight-piece dining set. Your purchase comes with a protective cover to use when the parasol is not in use.

My recommendation

The SORARA ROMA Deluxe 3m x 3m Cantilever Garden Parasol is an excellent choice for a top-end umbrella. It has some amazing features for pure ease of use, however, it is on the more pricey side. It can rotate to protect you from the moving sun and, if installed properly, hold its own when strong winds abide. Overall, simply a work of art that is worth every penny. It’s just a shame that you need to purchase the weights separately to cover the included cross base.

We’ve made the SORARA ROMA Deluxe 3m x 3m Cantilever Garden Parasol our Runner-up in this review. We like its high-quality construction and its well-designed features that make using it simple and effortless.

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4. Mayfair 3m x 3m Premium Cantilever Parasol

Mayfair 3m Cantilever Parasol - Taupe - Base Not Included

Let me tell you about this hidden gem of a cantilever parasol that is that affordable; I thought the price was an error at first. Spoiler alert, it turns out it wasn’t – the Mayfair 3m x 3m Cantilever Parasol. This parasol is not only beautifully built but also has an amazing price point that I just touched on a few seconds ago. It’s somewhere between the Jarder and Purple Leaf cantilever parasols in terms of quality, probably closer to the Purple leaf parasol, but its price is closer to the more affordable Jarder Cantilever Parasol. Honestly, it could easily retail at double the price, and I would still be more than happy to pay for it.

What truly sets this Mayfair parasol apart is that it comes with a solid granite base instead of the typical plastic one. This feature alone makes it an outstanding piece of kit, complete with aluminium ribs and frame, and a foot pedal for easy rotation through 360 degrees. Its much easier to rotate than the Jarder cantilever parasol.

Setting up the Mayfair parasol was a breeze, although it takes two people to lift the heavy granite base into position, at least safely, without doing your back in like I do. Once in place, this 3m x 3m parasol covers a large area, providing ample shade for a south-facing patio like I have. The 360° rotation and adjustable height and angles make it incredibly versatile, allowing you to cover your garden or patio as needed. Even in windy conditions, it remains stable and secure. I paid around £270 for this parasol, and I genuinely believe it’s a steal. I’d easily pay £500 for it!

The Mayfair parasol features a thick, hard-wearing canvas (likely around 220-240gsm) in a lovely beige colour, which strikes the perfect balance between not showing dirt and not being too dark overhead.

This parasol is best suited for those looking for flexibility and the ability to move it 360° to cover different areas. The UV-resistant canopy, along with the powder-coated aluminium structure, adds elegance and durability to the parasol.
In short, the Mayfair 3m Cantilever Parasol with its Granite Base offers a complete package, with no need to purchase anything separately except for the cover, but you can pick one up for around £10 off Amazon. It’s a stylish, high-quality parasol that provides great value for money.

My recommendation

If you’re struggling to find the perfect cantalever parasol for your patio, this is a great model that I would say is better than my Jarder but more expensive, much better quality than the cheaper big box stores like B&Q and supermarket examples that get put on display over summer but its not at the same level as the Purple Leaf Cantilever parasol, but its also half the price. Basiclly this is an excellent cantilever parasol that is worth every penny.

5. Norfolk Leisure 2m Square Wall Mounted Cantilever Parasol

Norfolk Leisure 2m Square Wall Mounted Cantilever Parasol Aluminium Frame 220g Polyester Canopy and 14 strong 14mm Ribs

The Norfolk Leisure 2m Square Wall Mounted Cantilever Parasol is a good solution if you have an outdoor space that just isn’t large enough to take a standing umbrella, even one that goes through your dining table. This umbrella is attached to a convenient outside wall and shades whatever ground space is beneath it.

The parasol is 2m square and this provides a large enough shaded area for a dining table and chairs or a couple of sun loungers. While you can move this umbrella from side to side horizontally to follow the sun, it isn’t tiltable to block the sun when it gets lower in the sky.

The parasol is made of a heavy grade of polyester (220g/m2) to keep the most harmful of the sun’s rays off you. It’s also weather-resistant to keep you dry in light showers. The neutral grey colour fits in with any home or garden décor.

When installing this umbrella, we recommend that you have a friend or family member to help. And that you also buy some heavier bolts to fix the frame to the wall for added security. This umbrella folds away compactly and locks against the wall tidily when not in use.

My recommendation

The Norfolk Leisure 2m Square Wall Mounted Cantilever Parasol is a great solution to provide shade to a small sunny area near a wall. The structure fixes to that wall and shades whatever ground is beneath and off to the side a bit if you move the parasol horizontally. It folds away compactly when not in use and stays out of the way against the wall in its (included) protective cover. This is a neat solution for shade in a small space.

6. Greenbay Cantilever Parasol With Solar LED Lights

Green Bay Garden Banana Parasol Solar LED Lights 3m Sun Shade Shelter Crank Hanging Rattan Cantilever Outdoor Umbrella Grey

The Greenbay Cantilever Parasol With Solar LED Lights is dual purpose – keeping you cool and in the shade during sunny days and lighting up your relaxing area on romantic evenings in the garden during the warm, balmy summer evenings.

This cantilever umbrella performs its daytime tasks with the help of the 3m diameter parasol made of good quality 200g/m2 polyester fabric. This fabric is water-resistant (but not waterproof) and deflects most of the sun’s harmful rays.

This model is tiltable so you can angle it to follow the sun and keep you in the shade during your time spent relaxing hours outdoors. The sturdy structure is made of steel tubing for long-lasting service.

The base is supplied with this unit. The cross legs are a sturdy design but you do need to provide your own weights (sandbags, concrete blocks etc.) to hold this unit down. This model waves a little on windy days so be generous with the weights that you use.

At night time, this cantilevered umbrella comes alive. Thirty-two LED lights, powered by the solar energy collected passively during the day, light up the underside of the umbrella. You won’t need to worry about having candles that may blow out on your dining table underneath the parasol. Or place this umbrella over your Jacuzzi for a romantic ambience. Just press the ON switch.

My recommendation

If you spend as much time outdoors in the evenings as during the day in the summer, the Greenbay Cantilever Parasol With Solar LED Lights is the umbrella for you. This quality model provides shade during the day and ambient lighting during the darker hours. The solar collector automatically collects the solar energy so there’s no work involved beyond cranking up the parasol when you want to use it and turning on the lights.

Buyer’s Guide

My Buyer’s Guide introduces you to the benefits of cantilevered umbrellas and discusses the features to look out for when making your purchase decision.

Why buy a cantilevered umbrella?

Cantilevered umbrellas are garden umbrellas on a banana-shaped stand. They are designed to stand away from your garden furniture and yet cast shade over it. The umbrellas may seem as if they take up a lot of space, but their footprint (the base) is very small and that’s their main advantage. They take up very little ground space and yet provide a significant amount of shade. Plus you can easily move them around your garden, even if you’re using weights to hold them down.

The stand

The stands of all the cantilever umbrellas I review here are made of metal.

Aluminium is a lightweight metal that’s strong and durable. It’s easy to move around and can stand up to British weather. However, umbrella stands made of this metal need to be firmly anchored down on their bases (sandbags, concrete stones, etc.) and are known to wave about in winds, even medium force winds.

Steel is another popular material for these umbrellas. It’s heavier than aluminium, even if steel tubing is used. As such, it holds up better in windy conditions but still needs to be weighed down.

Both aluminium and steel are usually powder coated to make them rust- and weather-resistant and to give them some colour. You will need to keep an eye on this and apply another layer of protection to the bare metal if the powder coating is scratched or peeled off.

Another alternative material is fibreglass, which is extremely durable and easy to care for. It’s able to face what the weather throws at it, and you need not worry about rust or moisture damage.

Garden parasol hanging over wicker furniture set

The parasol fabric

The parasol keeps you in the shade and protects you from the most harmful of the sun’s rays. It also protects the umbrella stand from sun damage.

The most common fabric used to make the parasol is polyester. This is a synthetic fabric that comes in different weights, rated in gm/m2. The higher the number of gm/m2, the thicker, tougher and stronger the fabric is. Most polyester parasols have been UV-treated to protect against colour fading and sun damage, and all are either water-resistant or waterproof. Many parasols come in neutral colours such as cream, beige or black, while a few offer brighter colours including green, blue and red. Just wipe down polyester parasols to clean them.

Canvas is another choice for parasol fabric. This is a natural fabric that works well in hot climates. It doesn’t fare too well in wet areas because the moisture is absorbed and leads to mould on the parasol. The material is also likely to get heavy when wet and cleaning may prove a frequent and energy consuming task.

Size and stability

Parasol stability

The size of the parasol relates to the area of your garden that you want shaded. Shading an eight-seater dining table needs a larger umbrella than proving cover for two sun loungers in the middle of your lawn. And the larger umbrellas need more weight on their bases to keep them stable when it’s windy or someone knocks into them. Also, check whether your cantilevered umbrella comes with a base (many don’t) and that it’s sufficient for the umbrella’s needs.

And you need to take into consideration how exposed the area is that you want to shade. If it is the middle of your grass, then look for a tiltable parasol so that you can adjust its angle to follow the sun around the sky. If it’s a conversation area that’s always in the corner of your patio, you may only need an umbrella that opens in a horizontal position (and they’re cheaper).

Outdoor cantilever umbrella over patio dining set

Ease of Use

Sometimes when a parasol is new or has been in storage for a while, the joints and ribs are a bit stiff. This, in turn, makes you have to force the parasol open. For parasols that are made from materials that are prone to rust, regular lubrication may be needed.

Parasol frames that have a fine finish are less likely to incur a lot of friction opening up. Over time, the mechanisms get used to the motion and the movements are more fluid.

In the same spirit, easy cleaning and maintenance are crucial. There are fabrics that would look great for the parasol but would be a pain to clean. Stick to fabrics recommended by parasol experts.

For a bit more pizzazz and function, some parasols have lights for illumination. The little lights look great at night and create an air of romance. The Greenbay Cantilever Parasol With Solar LED Lights is one such model.

Another thing to look out for is the parasol covers. These covers protect the material from getting dirty when the parasol is not in use. If there are any replaceable parts, make certain that the spare parts are easy to find. This will save you a lot of frustration.

Opening and closing

Some lifting mechanisms to open and close the parasol are easier to use than others. Check where they are on the stand as we came across some online reviews from people who were not tall enough to easily reach them.

A pulley works like raising a flag. You pull on the rope in order to open the parasol. You need some strength to do this if it’s a large parasol.

A crank is one of the simpler methods to use. You simply rotate a gear that locks the parasol into the position that you require. As this is gear-based, it takes less effort than the other methods.

Slide up has you pushing up a ring attached to the ribs as you would in a regular umbrella. You stop when the ribs are fully extended and the ring rests on a ridge at the top. This is best for small parasols because they can be a bit stiff to operate.


What is the best base for a cantilever umbrella?

Choosing a parasol base

The best base for such an umbrella is a heavy one. This can be a contained base that you fill up with water or sand, or it can be a cross brace on that you place sandbags or concrete blocks. The larger the parasol, the more weight should be on or in the base.

What additional features should I look for in a cantilever umbrella?

First of all, make sure that your purchase comes with a protective cover, or buy one separately. This will keep your umbrella looking as good as new and protect it from dust, grime and scratches when it’s not in use. Then, if you can’t find a canopy large enough to cover your outdoor space, choose a modular model that lets you attach an additional canopy.

Our top recommended parasol tilting to create the most shade

If you intend on staying outside for hours at a time, you need a canopy that tilts so you can change the angle of the parasol to cover the sun as it gets higher or lower in the sky.  And if you move about during the daylight hours, an umbrella that lets you swivel the entire parasol in a 360 degree circle is more than useful.

If you entertain outdoors frequently in the evening, you may be interested in a cantilever umbrella that has solar power LED lights for nighttime lighting. The Greenbay Cantilever Parasol With Solar LED Lights in our review provides ambient lighting through 32 LED lights on the underside of the parasol.

Last update on 2024-03-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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