Last updated on May 5th, 2022
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Choosing The Best Garden Parasol & Buyer’s Guide
A cantilever umbrella stands out of the way and off to the side of your dining table or outdoor furniture, fitting more people under its shade than a regular patio umbrella. Our review recommends the best cantilever models available and lists their pros and cons along with their best features. Our Buyer’s Guide tells you what you need to consider in choosing the best cantilever umbrella for your outdoor space. The FAQ at the end covers the most popular questions asked.
The Jarder Libra Cantilever Parasol is My Best Pick choice. This is a more affordable alternative to our Runner-up though, it’s also a more basic model while still being well ahead of the competition on quality.
I even have a video review further down where I show it in action.
My Runner-up is the fully-featured SORARA ROMA Deluxe 3m x 3m Cantilever Garden Parasol. This is a premium umbrella with an aluminium frame which, while lightweight, stands up to the weather elements and is simply the Rolls Royce of the parasol world, its also four times the price.
Need a parasol base? Check out our best parasol bases here.
Our top 6 recommended cantilever parasols in the UK:
- Jarder Libra Parasol Set – 3m Cantilever Parasol With Base & Cover – BEST PICK
- SORARA ROMA Deluxe 3m Cantilever Parasol Garden Umbrella – RUNNER-UP
- Norfolk Leisure 2m Square Wall Mounted Cantilever Parasol
- Greenbay Cantilever Parasol With Solar LED Lights
- TecTake Aluminium Garden Cantilever Parasol
- Outsunny 3m Garden Patio Parasol Sun Shade
Top 6 Garden Parasol Reviews
1. Jarder Libra 3m Cantilever Garden Parasols with Base & Cover
So I have been lucky enough to try a few different cantilever parasols for this review. When I needed my own, I decided that the Jarder Libra Cantilever Parasol was the one I was going to be keeping.
I could also see what it was really like over the long term, something that is not always possible when I review items. I am writing this review after using it for over 12 months. Keeping reading to learn why I think this is probably the best cantilever parasol for most people.
Watch my video review below
There was one parasol I liked more, the Roma. The problem is, I couldn’t justify keeping the Roma because it was just too expensive, coming in at four times the price of most other models, so the Jarder parasol was the next best option.
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) and a good quality cover. Bear in mind that most alternatives don’t include the weights that most people will need or a cover.
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 required. Weight the base down with the included weights and insert the umbrella pole. That’s it; it’s ready to use.
The best quality canopy of nearly all parasols
Now quality-wise, this is where it stands out from the cheaper alternatives you see. The canopy itself is made from 350g/m² Polyester, compare this to most other models, which are usually 180-200 g/m² Polyester, and this is where the quality shows, only the Roma parasol had a better canopy at 400g/m², but this is also four times the price.
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 12 months.
How it handles the British weather
First off, I have it 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.
I did notice that it handles light wind fairly 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 big 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 with is nice.
- Large 3m x 3m coverage making it ideal for larger dining and patio furniture sets.
- Can be easily tilted to provide constant shade.
- Features a steel pole that is rust-resistant and strong.
- Made from treated 350g/m² Polyester polyester to resist moisture or sun damage.
- Features a large base that can be filled with sand or water for extra stability.
- Easy to open and close due to the ratchet handle installed.
- Simple to clean and is provided with a protective cover.
- Comes with a three-year limited warranty for full peace of mind.
- Difficult to reach the opening ratchet if you’re short.
- Pole sways in the wind.
When I first started researching cantilever parasols and trying a few out. I thought they were all the same; after all, a cantilever parasol was just an umbrella, and they almost all look identical. However, the more I used them and compared the fabrics and the steel frame, the more I realised there was a difference between a model that was £100 and one that was £200 even though they looked identical. The Roma model was simply on another level, but so was the price, so for me, this was ruled out, although if I had the budget, I would choose that model.
I honestly think that the Jarder Cantilever Parasol is the best model for most people when comparing the build quality, ease of use and price.
Now the fabric quality is better than most cheaper models. Remember, it’s 350g/m² Polyester and most alternatives are only 180-200g/m² Polyester. This quality difference is huge, hence how some brands can make a model for half the price.
If I had to recommend just one cantilever parasol, this would be it, which is why it’s also the one I use in my garden. Well, I think that sums it up nicely. If you are wondering, yes, I paid for it (around £200) with my own money and wasn’t given it to review for free, in fact, Jarder has not even asked me to review it at all.
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2. SORARA ROMA Deluxe 3m x 3m Cantilever Garden Parasol
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.
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.
- Very high quality parasol ideal for covering an eight-piece patio dining set.
- The 360 degree mechanism allows for shade adjustment depending on the position of the sun simply by pressing a pedal.
- Made from strong aluminium and is powder coated for extra protection against the British weather.
- Features a simply easy to turn crank mechanism for smooth parasol opening and closing.
- Comes with a protective cover to keep the parasol from getting dirty while not in use.
- Well finished and easy to clean due to the quality polyester material used to cover the frame.
- You need to purchase the weights separately to put on the base which further adds to the cost.
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.
3. Norfolk Leisure 2m Square Wall Mounted Cantilever Parasol
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.
- Wall-mounted umbrella fixes to your home or garage wall to provide shade on your patio.
- Parasol is 2m square and covers a four-person dining table or two comfy chairs.
- The crank handle provides an easy to open mechanism.
- Heavy 220g/m2 polyester fabric is water-resistant and has UV-protection to keep you dry and cool.
- An aluminium frame with 14 ribs is powder coated for strength and durability.
- The medium grey colour is neutral and fits in with all patio decors.
- Rotates only horizontally to provide moveable shade.
- Parasol is not tiltable.
- Wall bolts supplied are best replaced for stronger ones.
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.
4. Greenbay Cantilever Parasol With Solar LED Lights
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.
- Multi-function 3m diameter umbrella provides shade by day and lighting by night.
- The structure is 1.0mm steel tubing for strength and long life.
- The neutral grey colour matches any patio and dining décor.
- Built-in solar-powered lights provide ambient lighting after dark when you’re entertaining or just relaxing outdoors.
- The solar panel on the top of the stand passively collects sunlight during the day.
- Good quality 200g/ m2 polyester fabric is water-resistant as well as protected from harmful UV rays.
- The crank winding mechanism lets you easily open the parasol.
- The base is included with your purchase.
- Need to supply your own weights to anchor the base.
- Waves a little on windy days.
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.
5. TecTake Aluminium Garden Cantilever Parasol
The TecTake Aluminium Garden Cantilever Parasol provides a shade coverage of 3.5m by 3.5m, making it larger than our Best Pick and our Runner-up choices. It comes in a small range of colours, with cream being neutral and the red and green being more bold choices.
A strong base is essential for secure day to day use and durability of the cantilever umbrella. The 1m2 base of this model can be anchored by concrete slabs or drilled into concrete to stabilise it. But the latter suggestions take away the mobility advantage of having a freestanding and mobile cantilevered umbrella. Those living in windy areas should bear this in mind before you find your parasol mangled.
The aluminium pole and ribs make a strong structure for the polyester cover to fit over. The polyester cover has UV protection and waterproof abilities. Many ventilation points keep everything in pristine condition and help keep moisture and mould at bay.
For opening and closing the parasol, you use a crank mechanism that is simply a small handle you turn. This 12kg unit is one of the lighter models we review and the parasol is tiltable to protect you from the rays of the sun. When you are done with it, wind the parasol down, slip on the (included) protective cover and go about your business. It is as simple as that and one of the most affordable models on the market.
- Large 3.5 meter coverage for shade for the whole family and a few friends.
- Base and cover are included so you just need to think about concrete slabs to hold the base down.
- UV- and water-resistant cover for day to day protection and durability.
- Uses a crank system for easy opening and closing of the parasol.
- Aluminium pole for a light weight and long life.
- Can be tilted to one side to shield the user.
- Structure is a little flimsy.
- Parasol wobbles, even in light wind.
The TecTake Aluminium Garden Cantilever Parasol with its base and protective cover, is a budget-friendly umbrella with a large parasol. It is a little flimsy in windy conditions, however, the manufacturer has a solution for that, all involving the use of concrete. If you don’t live in a wind-swept area or want to use your umbrella in a sheltered part of your garden, this is a simple and cost-effective choice.
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6. Outsunny 3m Garden Patio Parasol
The Outsunny 3m Garden Patio Parasol is another affordable model at the standard size of 3m by 3m. This installation features a steel frame and a cover made from 180g/m2 Terylene fabric. This fabric has waterproof abilities and elasticity that increases durability. The parasol also has UV protection and allows air to circulate, making it comfortable to sit underneath.
The frame is supported by a cross-shaped base, also made from steel. The base can be reinforced with a sandbag or you can optionally purchase the appropriate parasol bases. Online reviewers report that you need to do this as the base is not stable enough by itself.
Alternatively, you can make this freestanding mobile structure permanently stationary by bolting it down to the patio. However, problems arise when you need to move or replace the structure.
When the sun gets too hot, you tilt the parasol to provide ample shade. The unit measures 300 x 300 x 260cm and weighs 13kgs. A cover is included in your purchase for the unit’s protection when the parasol is not in use.
- Steel frame and 180g/m2 Terylene fabric for strength and protection.
- Can be tilted to offer sun protection to avoid sunburn.
- Made from waterproof materials that have been treated to prevent sun damage.
- Easy to clean, just wipe everything down.
- Features a cross base to offer better stability.
- Includes a protective cover to keep everything clean and scratch free when not in use.
- Swivels during strong winds.
- Needs additional weight on base for stability.
- Parasol is water-resistant, not waterproof.
- Only comes in red.
The Outsunny 3m Garden Patio Parasol is a simple and basic cantilever umbrella, but it is tiltable. It comes only in red and is best for calm and sheltered places without much wind. This is an affordable umbrella but is without the high quality and some of the features you find in the more expensive models. It’s a smaller alternative to the TecTake Aluminium Parasol for those who don’t have a large garden space.
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Our 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 stands of all the cantilever umbrellas we 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.
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
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).
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?
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.
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.
A cantilever umbrella stands conveniently out of the way while providing a large area of shade on your patio or lawn. The best umbrellas tilt to follow the sun and keep you cool, and dry from any sudden rain showers. They may even have LED lights (solar powered, is best) to heighten the romance of your outdoor dining space in the evening. Regular maintenance is important for these garden devices, and if you look after your parasol and choose wisely, you should be using it for years to come.
The Jarder 3m Parasol Set comes with the Base & Cover and is probably the best cantilever parasol for most people, affordable while still being a quality product with a good quality canvas on the umbrella. Everything you need is included which is one of the reasons I felt it deserved to be crowned our Best Pick spot.
We chose the Sorara Roma Deluxe Cantilever Garden Parasol as the Runner-up of the excellent umbrellas in our review. This top of the line model has all high-quality features and is easy to operate but it is really expensive which is why it wasn’t named our Best Pick.
If you’re not sure whether a cantilever umbrella is a right style for you, head over to our Best Garden Patio Umbrellas review for information and recommendations on other styles of garden umbrellas.
And we have some excellent recommendations if you now need to upgrade your outdoor dining furniture.
Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API