Last updated on June 8th, 2022
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Your garden should be a place of relaxation where you can sit out anytime you want. The long, hot, sunny days of summer – when you should be outside – may present a problem if you have no shade. An outdoor patio umbrella is just what you need to protect you from the sun and sunburn. You can choose from a cantilever umbrella that you can place anywhere in your garden (not just on your patio) or a table umbrella that you put through the hole in the middle of your table. Both do the job of providing shade when you need it.
My Best Patio Umbrellas review looks at both cantilever and table umbrellas. In some ways, they are similar, such as with the parasol, but they differ in others. My buyer’s guide explains what to look for in a patio umbrella and describes why those features are important. We’ve reviewed five umbrellas, some of each type, and presented their pros and cons with an explanation. We hope you find one here that fits your needs.
My Best Pick for an outdoor patio umbrella is the Jarder Libra Cantilever Umbrella Set. You can take this umbrella wherever you like in your garden and on your patio. The cantilever style banana-shaped frame sets the umbrella away from the people underneath the parasol.
The Runner-up for best garden parasol is the VonHaus 2.7M Steel Powder Coated Umbrella. This is a tabletop umbrella for your outdoor table. While the tilt of the parasol is adjustable, the height of the frame is not.
The set comes with the umbrella, the base and a storm cover. The height of the stand and the tilt angle of the parasol are both adjustable. A simple crank handle lets you raise and lower the umbrella.
The heavy-plastic base comes empty and in four parts. You assemble it and then fill it with either water or sand to create a very heavy foundation for the umbrella. If you’re looking for a fully featured cantilever patio umbrella, this is one that you don’t want to miss.
You receive just the umbrella; the base and storm cover are additional. This is a relatively large patio umbrella (diameter of 2.7m) with a durable and rust-resistant powder-coated steel frame.
The parasol tilts to offer you refuge from the sun whenever you need it but the height is not adjustable. If you want an umbrella that goes over your garden table, this one may be for you.
The Top Patio Umbrellas reviews
1. Jarder Libra Garden Parasol Set Cantilever Umbrella
The Jarder Libra Garden Parasol Set Cantilever Umbrella is, as its name says, a cantilever garden umbrella in which the parasol is suspended from a curved frame. The lower part of the frame is straight and the curved part extends out from it.
The Jarder Libra is easy to put together and the assembly instructions are well written. The stand is made of steel and is sturdy. You can adjust the height of the stand to suit your circumstances and the height of the people underneath it which is a nice feature and one that separates the premium models from the cheaper alternatives.
The 3m diameter of the parasol allows a small crowd of people to shelter from the sun. The mid-grey polyester fabric of the parasol doesn’t lose its colour quickly and has a long life.
You raise the parasol by turning a crank handle on the pole which is well designed and easy to operate. This takes less effort than raising the parasol manually as you do with other models. You can tilt the parasol to ensure that you’re in shadow, no matter where the sun is.
The base (included) of the Jarder Libra is interesting because it comes in four separate parts. It’s made of heavy-duty plastic and this material makes it lightweight when it’s empty. Fill the base with water for a weight of 62kg which is the easiest option, making it a heavy base. Use sand in the base for a heavier weight of 80kg. A base this heavy should keep your umbrella in place through gusty winds but don’t forget to put it down in windy weather to protect it from getting damaged.
Along with the umbrella, the base and the assembly instructions comes a water-resistant storm cover that also protects this garden umbrella from UV rays.
- Assembly instructions are well written for people to set up the umbrella easily.
- Cantilevered umbrella; suspends the parasol from a steel frame so the pole doesn’t get in your way.
- Three-metre diameter 180g/m2 parasol is made of polyester for the long life of the umbrella.
- The neutral mid-grey colour fits in with all your flowers, furniture and garden themes.
- An adjustable height to change how far the umbrella is above you.
- An adjustable cantilever tilt angle to put the umbrella between you and the sun.
- You can fill the base with sand (80kg) or with water (62kg) for the stability of a heavy base.
- The water-resistant cover protects the umbrella when you’re not using it.
- Assembly instructions are well written for the people setting up the umbrella.
- Three-year warranty for peace of mind.
- The large base takes up space on your patio floor or when storing it in the garage.
- The plastic ring on the pole is not durable and breaks easily if you’re not careful.
The Jarder Libra Garden Parasol Set Cantilever Umbrella is a convenient way to buy a cantilever outdoor umbrella because everything you need is included in the set, which is not always the case with other models. The base is one of the heaviest of the umbrellas in this review and it is lightweight when it’s empty making it easy to move around the garden or into the shed for storage during the winter.
This is a good garden umbrella and both the height of the umbrella and the tilt of the parasol are easily adjustable. Although the stand is made of steel, there are some plastic parts, such as the ring on the pole, that are flimsy and breakable so a little care is needed.
The Jarder Libra Garden Parasol Set Cantilever Umbrella covers a large area and has all the features and extras you might need in your umbrella. It’s the Best Pick of the outdoor patio umbrellas we review and would be our top recommendation, which is why we named it our best pick.
Are you looking for an umbrella base? – Check out our top recommended parasol bases here (opens in a new window)
2. VonHaus 2.7m Steel Powder Coated Parasol
The VonHaus 2.7 Metre Steel Powder Coated Parasol is a tabletop model that fits into the hole in the centre of your patio table for shade, particularly during meal times.
This VonHaus umbrella has a powder-coated steel frame that is weather-resistant and won’t fade in the sun, much better quality than some of the cheaper models. The 2.7m diameter parasol is octagonal with six spokes for strength. This shape of umbrella is also known as a market umbrella. The grey parasol fits in with any décor schemes on the patio and in the flowerbeds, especially if they have a contemporary look. The air vent in the parasol allows a continuous flow of air so that the wind won’t pull or damage the canopy which is a nice little design feature.
The parasol is adjustable and tilts in a wide arc. You won’t have to move this umbrella to follow the sun. A simple crank handle raises and lowers the parasol so anyone can use it. However, the height of the stand is not adjustable. Some reviewers have just sawn a piece off the bottom of the pole to make it the height they want, if you want to bring it down a little that is.
The VonHaus 2.7M Steel Powder Coated Parasol comes with just the umbrella. You need to purchase the base and perhaps a storm cover separately, something that is worth bearing in mind before ordering one.
- Tabletop model for your patio table.
- The steel frame is powder-coated so you have durability and style.
- Parasol is grey in colour and neutrally blends in with all the colours in your garden.
- A six-sided canopy is three metres in diameter so you can fit your family or friends comfortably underneath.
- An air vent in the canopy allows fresh air to continuously flow.
- The adjustable crank handle tilt protects you from the sun wherever it is in the sky.
- A simple crank mechanism to easily raise the parasol.
- A two-year manufacturer’s warranty takes the worry out of the purchase.
- The parasol moves and spins if the wind picks up a little.
- Base and storm cover not included.
The VonHaus 2.7M Steel Powder Coated Parasol is a smart-looking and effective table umbrella. Its large diameter (3m) allows you to use it over a large square table, a smaller rectangle or even a round table. Everyone at the table will be in the shade, especially if you use the umbrella’s tilt feature to block out the sun.
Other online reviewers have reported some minor problems with the VonHaus 2.7M Steel Powder Coated Parasol. It moves and spins in light winds, which appears to be a common problem with many garden umbrellas. Remember that the base is not included with the set so you will need to purchase one at the same time you buy the umbrella. We recommend that you buy a heavy base, especially if you plan to use it as a standalone umbrella. Although this umbrella comes in just two parts, you really need two people to assemble it.
The VonHaus 2.7M Steel Powder Coated Parasol earns our recommendation as to the Runner-up (and best table umbrella) in our review of the best patio parasols.
3. VonHaus Cantilever Parasol Set
The VonHaus Cantilever Parasol Set has similar features to our Best Pick, the Jarder Libra Garden Parasol Set Cantilever Umbrella. It’s also a similar price. Both sets come with the umbrella, base and storm cover. The main difference is in the colour of the canopy. The Jarder parasol is grey while the VonHaus one is beige.
The metal parts of the frame are powder-coated in grey which offsets the colour of the canopy. The base is in four parts and is easy to assemble. It’s made of lightweight plastic and comes empty, as do all bases. When you’ve assembled it, fill the base with water (62kg) or with sand (80kg). When filled, this base is heavier than many other bases that are available.
At a diameter of 3m, the hexagonal parasol provides a significant circle of shade. The parasol’s fabric is coated to have a sun factor protection of 30+. This gives an added protection factor, along with your sun cream. Raising, lowering and securing the parasol is made easy using the crank handle, which we like to see in garden umbrellas.
The umbrella is adjustable in two ways: height and tilt. The height at maximum extension is 237cm. Tilting the parasol involves using a crank handle with a locking mechanism so the parasol won’t suddenly move on its own.
You receive the umbrella, the assembly instructions, the base and a water-resistant storm cover with SPF50+. If you want to keep your VonHaus umbrella in shape, protect it from bad weather or from the sun by using the cover when the umbrella is folded down.
- A cantilever outdoor patio umbrella that you can move around your garden as needed.
- The powder-coated parts are grey and the parasol is beige, with neutral hues to offset the colours in your patio décor.
- The base is in four parts and at 101cm by 101cm is easily assembled.
- The base can be filled with water or with sand for a heavier weight.
- Parasol is 3m in diameter and has SPF30+ protection for when you’re brown (or sunburnt) enough and want to stay out of the sun.
- The parasol is raised by a simple and easily turned crank.
- The parasol fabric has an SPF30+ rating for added protection when outside.
- Height when fully opened (to the top of the stand) is 237cm making it easy to stand under.
- Adjustable height to fit whether you’re sitting or standing.
- Adjustable tilt angle to keep the sun off you, whether you are sitting or standing.
- Two-year warranty so you’re covered if something happens to the umbrella.
- The weight of the filled base is not enough to stop the umbrella from tipping over if the wind picks up.
- The pole bends a little and moves in the wind.
The VonHaus Cantilever Parasol Set is a high-quality outdoor umbrella that you can use on your patio or anywhere else in the garden. Its banana-shape frame lets you sit or lay away from the stand, keeping it out of the way of your chairs, table and sun lounger. The generous size of the beige hexagonal parasol (at 3m in diameter) fits most needs for escaping the hot and bright sun without having to move indoors.
While it’s useful to have a base that you fill yourself, the heaviness that makes for a sturdy foundation also makes it difficult to move when it’s filled. It may be worth anchoring the umbrella to the ground with bungee cords to increase its stability.
We recommend the VonHaus Cantilever Parasol Set if you have the space to put it up on your patio or in your garden and is a good alternative to our best pick.
4. Scelto 2.7m Garden Umbrella with Crank and Tilt
The Scelto 2.7M Garden Umbrella with Crank and Tilt is another table umbrella that fits into your patio table. Unlike the other umbrellas we review, it’s made of powder-coated aluminium and not steel. The powder coating gives the black stand a polished look.
This hexagonal parasol has six struts and comes in black for a contemporary appearance. It will complement the colour scheme you have in your garden and on your patio. The parasol is made of 100% polyester fabric that is weather resistant – and it won’t fade in the sunlight. The Scelto Garden Umbrella measures 2.7m in diameter so it’s slightly smaller than most of the other umbrellas in this review – but only by 30cm. Even so, as long as you don’t have too large an area to cover, this may be the perfect size for you. The parasol has an air vent at the top which is useful in windy weather to prevent the wind from billowing under the parasol and lifting the umbrella.
You use a crank handle to open and close the parasol. The tilt angle of the Scelto 2.7m umbrella is adjustable by using a push button. Both of these take minimal effort and this makes them easier to use and adjust.
One extra that comes with this patio umbrella is a strap. As this umbrella doesn’t come with a storm cover you can use the strap to put around the parasol when you’ve lowered it. This stops the parasol from flapping around in the wind, but we do personally recommend buying a separate cover to give the umbrella a little extra protection.
This garden umbrella doesn’t come with a base so you have to purchase that separately, which makes it a little more expensive so bear this in mind when comparing prices of similar models. Make sure that the base is heavy enough to cope with any winds in your area.
- The umbrella fits into the hole in the middle of your patio table.
- The aluminium pole is powder-coated for rust resistance and durability.
- The parasol is 2.7m in diameter and will shade a table that seats six people.
- The parasol is made of 100% polyester fabric making it weather-resistant.
- Parasol is black for a dramatic and stylish look.
- Easy to use crank adjusts to open and close the parasol.
- Tilting the parasol by pushing a button makes it easy for anyone to do.
- An air vented canopy at the top designed for airflow will help to keep you cool.
- The parasol wraps around the pole and has straps to secure it.
- The base is not included with the umbrella.
- The parasol fabric is a little thin compared to some umbrellas.
- You need to bend down when lowering the parasol.
- You can’t adjust the height of the pole.
The Scelto 2.7M Garden Umbrella with Crank and Tilt is a table umbrella that has many of the features of other table models. Its 2.7m polyester canopy will throw shade on a 1.2m square table with four or six chairs. It’s easy to assemble; a crank handle and a push button make it also easy to use.
The base and a storm cover are not included with this umbrella. You can probably do without the storm cover because there is a strap to hold the parasol to the frame when it’s not in use, however, we would really recommend investing in a separate cover and you do also need to buy a base. You do have to bend down low when closing the parasol, otherwise, it lands on your head. This problem may be true of garden umbrellas in general.
If you’re looking for a slightly smaller table umbrella, consider this Scelto 2.7M umbrella.
5. Charles Bentley Metal Patio Garden Umbrella
The Charles Bentley Metal Patio Garden Umbrella is a table umbrella that has the same canopy size as the Scelto 2.7m Garden Umbrella. It’s easy to assemble this umbrella because there are only two parts to fit together.
The frame is straight and is made of powder-coated steel. Not only is this material durable, but it’s also rust-resistant.
The parasol is cream coloured and hexagonal. It has six struts that give solid support to the parasol. You tilt the parasol by pushing a button and moving the parasol to the angle that you want. One other useful feature is that the parasol is showerproof so you can stay outside in a light drizzle. However, raindrops from heavy rain may come through the parasol as light drizzle.
- The umbrella fits into the hole in the centre of your patio table for shade when sitting there.
- The frame is made of powder-coated steel for weather resistance and durability.
- The frame is 236cm high so most people can stand up underneath it.
- The parasol comes in a cream colour so it’s as unobtrusive as possible.
- The parasol canopy is hexagonal and spans 2.7m for ample shade for a family.
- Parasol is made of 160g/m2 polyester so it shouldn’t flap in the wind.
- The crank lever makes putting the canopy up and down simple and easy.
- The tilt function ensures that the parasol will always be between you and the sun.
- A showerproof canopy protects you from showers and light rain.
- Assembly is simple because you just connect two parts together.
- Doesn’t come with a protective cover or a base; these need to be purchased separately.
- No strap to tie the lowered parasol around the stand.
- Non-adjustable height.
The Charles Bentley Metal Patio Garden Umbrella has both crank and tilt features so you can open it easily and stay away from the sun at any time of day. The frame is 236cm high so most people can stand underneath it.
One common observation from online reviewers is that the cream/off-white colour isn’t the colour of the umbrella they received. Variously, it was described as a yellow, buttermilk or banana colour. These users did not necessarily like the colour, whatever they called it. Reviewers praised the Charles Bentley company for its customer service, especially when they needed replacement parts.
When you order the Charles Bentley Metal Patio Garden Umbrella, that’s what you receive – just the umbrella. You have to buy the base and the storm cover or strap separately. This isn’t really a problem as long as you remember to do so. The Charles Bentley company sells bases that fit this umbrella.
If you want a basic umbrella with most of the features of a more expensive garden parasol, take a look at this one.
Type of umbrella
Patio umbrellas are usually one of two types – table model and cantilever. The table design has a straight pole that fits through the hole in your patio table. This model throws shade directly onto what’s beneath it, including a crowd eating lunch at the table. You can also use the table model as a freestanding umbrella if you have a heavy base for it.
The cantilever type of umbrella is a standalone umbrella that has a curved or banana-shaped frame. The curved frame is sometimes on top of a straight pole. This type of outdoor umbrella stands offset from wherever you want to shade. Its advantage is that it’s out of your way while providing you with shade. A cantilever umbrella needs a heavy base.
Assembly of outdoor patio umbrellas is usually quite straightforward. They generally come in two or three parts that you fit together. Many patio umbrellas don’t need tools to put them together. You can assemble some umbrellas by yourself while for others you may need someone to help you.
The construction of the frame is key to its durability, weather resistance and stability. The stand can be made of steel, tin, aluminium, wood or fibreglass. Look for powder-coated stands for umbrellas that will stand the test of time and still look good.
The height of the frame is also important. You want to be able to stand up under the parasol/canopy. Many current umbrellas have adjustable heights and their specifications sometimes tell you their maximum height.
The shape of the frame may depend on where and how you want to use the umbrella. Offset cantilever umbrellas usually have a curved banana shape for some or all of the pole. You can use a straight-frame umbrella on a patio table or by itself somewhere else in your garden.
The shape and weight of the base add to the stability of your patio umbrella. You need a heavy enough base so the umbrella won’t tip over if it’s bumped or if there’s a strong wind when it’s up. Sometimes the umbrella comes with a base but you need to make sure that it’s heavy enough.
You should look at 16kg or 35kg bases to start with. Bear in mind that you might need to move the base and umbrella around your garden or into storage. Our Best Pick umbrella, the Jarder Libra Cantilever Parasol Set, comes with a base that you fill with either sand or water. Once you empty it out, it’s lightweight and easy to move.
The size and shape of the base should fit into the available space for the umbrella. If you have a small patio, some of the umbrellas reviewed here may be too large. In addition, the base takes up quite a bit of floor space. Measure your floor area and the size of the base to see if they’re compatible. Most bases are square, some may be hexagonal (also known as a market umbrella), round or octagonal. If you’re buying a table patio umbrella, make sure that you can still sit comfortably at the table with the base underneath.
Also known as the canopy, this is the part of the outside umbrella that actually keeps out the sun. The material the canopy is made of affects how much sun is kept out and how long the colour will last before fading. Some materials are more water-resistant than others. Material labelled as showerproof might let some of the heavy rain through in a storm though.
Many parasols are made out of polyester that has been treated for mildew and is colourfast. Check the weight of the polyester fabric because some are heavier than others and will be more stable and durable.
The more expensive umbrellas are made from Sunbrella. This is a fabric made specifically for outdoor umbrellas and marine use. This tightly woven fabric is waterproof and its properties (mould, mildew, and stain resistant) are within the fabric itself and not painted on top. A good question to ask is if the parasol has a Sun Protection Factor built in.
Parasols for garden umbrellas come in a variety of shapes – the round, square, hexagonal and octagonal are the popular choices. The number of spokes that hold the umbrella in its extended position varies with the shape. For example, a square parasol has four spokes and the hexagonal one has six spokes. The more spokes you have the sturdier the parasol structure.
You often have a choice of colour in the parasol ranging from off-white to black, with many colours in-between. You can choose the off-white or cream for your umbrella to be quite unobtrusive or go with a strong colour to match your outside décor. Check also if the canopy has an air vent so you won’t stifle when underneath it.
Perhaps the most important question is whether the position of the canopy is adjustable. If it is, you can tilt it in a range of degrees so that you can always block the sun out. Some umbrellas let you position the canopy anywhere within a specified arc; others have a number of set positions for it.
Most canopies are adjustable by using a crank handle to raise and lower them, as shown in the picture above. This usually doesn’t require much effort. Other methods of adjusting are manual (which takes some strength) and a pulley system (which takes some tugging to use). Check which method each umbrella uses and make sure that you can handle it.
Not all garden umbrellas come with a base so you might have to buy one separately. Make sure to buy one with enough weight so the umbrella won’t blow away.
Some umbrellas come with a storm-resistant cover that you use to protect the parasol when it’s in its wound-down state. The cover protects the umbrella in bad weather and from UV rays on sunny days. It also stops the colour of the parasol from fading quickly. It’s worth having one of these covers for the longevity of your umbrella.
Check also if your umbrella comes with a strap or a tie to put around the closed parasol. This keeps the parasol in place, especially in windy weather.
If you’re thinking about adding to your comfort in your garden, consider one of the patio umbrellas in this review. The first decision to make is how you plan to use the patio umbrella and where you will put it. That will help with the key choice between a table model and a cantilever model, and the size and shape you need.
Our Best Pick is the Jarder Libra Garden Parasol Set Cantilever Umbrella. This model comes with a four-piece easily moveable base that you can fill with either sand or with water for more weight.
The VonHaus 2.7M Steel Powder Coated Parasol is the Runner-up for the best garden parasol. It fits into your garden table and the base goes underneath the table, out of sight.
If you have your heart set on a cantilever patio umbrella, we have information about them in our Best Cantilever Parasol review.
Last update on 2023-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API