FAQ How to Choose an Offset Patio Umbrella?

As with any potentially big purchase, a consumer should not make this choice lightly.

Consider how big or small your umbrella needs to be. Where do you plan to put it? Do you have ample space to store it when the season is over or will it need to fit into a narrow space in your garage? The bigger the umbrella the harder it can be to fit it where you want it to go. On the other hand, a smaller umbrella may not offer enough protection from the sun at certain times of the day.

Think about which features you want in an offset patio umbrella. Do you want an umbrella with lights so you and your guests can stay out at night? Do you want an umbrella that adjusts to multiple angles or just a couple of angles? The features you want will be influenced by where you plan to put the umbrella. For example, if you want an umbrella to put by your pool, you may want one which can be adjusted to multiple angles so you can block as much sunlight as possible and create a shaded spot for lots of people to sit in after they come out of the water.

Think about what materials you would prefer your umbrella to be made of. Perhaps you’d like one with an aluminum frame because it is lighter and easier to handle. Do you want a waterproof canopy, or are you fine with putting a little extra work to make it so? Some manufacturers make completely waterproof cantilever umbrellas, but they can cost more. Some materials make it easier to clean and care for your umbrella.

Steel is not as light as aluminum, but it is far stronger and sturdier. The material the canopy is made can make a difference not just in price but in how long the umbrella lasts. Pick an umbrella with a canopy that’s made of heavy polyester or even canvas if durability is a concern.

If you live where it rains quite a bit, consider investing in an umbrella with a powder-coated or otherwise treated frame and stand. The coating will slow the development of rust. Also, check that the canopy is water-resistant at least. If you would prefer a waterproof umbrella, check to see if the manufacturer lists the rating (IPX) that their umbrella has. If you can’t find one, assume that the umbrella is not water-repellent at all and plan to buy sealant to put on it. We know it is possible to waterproof a tent on your own. We don’t think it would be hard to do the same to a patio umbrella.

If you live where it can get very windy, you will want an umbrella which can stand up to strong gusts. Under such conditions, a patio umbrella should be kept closed, but sometimes the wind changes without warning. A sturdy patio umbrella is less likely to get blown over, bent, or broken by the wind.

Bear in mind that some materials used to manufacture patio umbrellas are potentially carcinogenic. There are plenty of umbrellas out there which do not present that concern, though. This brings us to the next factor you should consider.

Think about who will be using the patio umbrella and their needs. If this is a gift for your parents or for anyone who is getting on in age and isn’t as strong as they once were, try to avoid buying one which would be too big and heavy for them to move and disassemble by themselves. Ideally, you or someone else would be free to help, but just in case there’s ever a time when no one is, make sure to look at fairly lightweight options.

Do you live alone and want a patio umbrella for days when you want to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather, or for when you have friends or family over? You will want an umbrella that’s not too small or too big, or too heavy. You can go as fancy as you like, though. You’re the only person living at your house and you get to decide what sort of extra features you want with your patio umbrella.

If you have children, especially young children, who like to help out, get an umbrella that they could help assemble and that they can use on their own. It’s good for children to learn how to do such tasks, since it will teach them patience and other valuable skills, plus they will be occupied for a while and not getting into trouble. (Although with some, learning how to put an umbrella together is itself a chance for trouble to happen. Better keep an eye on your kids while they work.)

Speaking of needs, people can have or develop allergies to certain metals or chemicals which are used to make patio umbrellas. They may develop a nasty rash or show other symptoms of an allergic reaction when they come into contact with an allergen. Try to get as much information from the manufacturer as possible regarding what materials they used. This is very important if you know someone has severe allergies. If there’s not enough information to convince you that an umbrella would be a safe choice, forget about it and keep looking.

If you own a business and are looking for a patio umbrella for an outdoor seating area, consider the location and where you’ll need to position the umbrella. If you need more than one, it’s even more important to plan out how you will arrange them. Think about what the weather tends to be like in the city, village, or town where your business is located. Will you and your employees have enough energy at the end of the day to clean the umbrellas if needed before closing them up? If an umbrella breaks, will you be able to order a new one right away or get replacement parts?

Consider the style and price as well. A business owner will want to pay attention to the styles of patio umbrellas available. You want the umbrella to add to the ambiance and work well with the furniture. And you want this without paying too much for something that turns out to be a piece of junk. The right patio umbrella can not only keep your customers comfortable and cool, but it can attract more people just by adding the right amount of elegance, or because of its bright colors – not for nothing do interior designers recommend certain colors and styles to evoke certain feelings and a certain atmosphere.

Depending on the style and color of your patio furniture at home, you may wish to play around with mixing and matching. Don’t get your heart set on an umbrella just because it matches your furniture. It may not be sturdy enough, or it may be too heavy. Sometimes you find the umbrella that meets your requirements only to find out it’s not available in the color you want.

If you have a strict budget, you must stick to it. No matter how pretty that more expensive umbrella is, resist the urge to splurge. You set up a budget for a reason, stick to it! If you have a flexible budget with lots of wiggle room, we still suggest that you should consider how much you are willing to spend on a well-made patio umbrella. Sometimes cheaper models outperform their fancier counterparts.

Benefits of Using an Offset Patio Umbrella

1) You don’t need to worry that you will drop the umbrella because it’s too heavy to guide through a small hole in a patio table.

2) You don’t need to worry about breaking your patio table because you lost your grip on the umbrella, causing it to come crashing down.

3) You don’t need to bruise your fingers while trying to guide it into the base, because there is no need to thread it through a hole in the center of your patio table.

4) If you get one with wheels installed in the base, an offset patio umbrella is far easier to move to a new location than a regular one. You can also wheel it closer to the garage or wherever you plan to store it so you don’t need to walk far after disassembling it.

5) Offset patio umbrellas can be adjusted to different angles as well as different heights to get the maximum amount of shade. You can’t do that with a regular patio umbrella.

How to Install an Offset Patio Umbrella?

The simple answer is: Read the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow those instructions carefully.

The more involved answer starts from the moment you decide that you want to buy an offset patio umbrella. You will need to know where you want to put it if the ground is uneven, will you be anchoring it to your deck or patio, how much space there is, etc. After that, pick which umbrella you want.

Before you even click “add to cart” or, if you are in a store, place the umbrella into your cart, check to see what parts are supposed to be in the box. If you need to buy a separate weighted base or weights to hold the included base in place, make sure you get the right item(s). If you are going to make this installation a success, you need all the right parts and the right tools.

Now that you’ve got your umbrella and the spot for it picked out, it’s time to assemble. Hopefully, the box has everything you need. If not, you will need to contact the manufacturer and tell them what you need. Then you’ll have to wait until the right parts are delivered.

This doesn’t always work out in the customer’s favor – sometimes the manufacturer doesn’t have spare parts to sell or send as free replacements. If the umbrella was purchased from a third-party seller, the seller may refuse to help. You can try sending the umbrella back to the manufacturer in exchange for a refund, or they may send you a replacement umbrella with all the parts intact. If you get a refund, we advise taking a little time to research before trying to get a new patio umbrella.

Let’s assume luck was on your side and you have all the right parts and the tools you need. If the manufacturer included set-up instructions, follow them carefully. Sometimes the instructions aren’t clear and you will need to do some guesswork. Give yourself plenty of time to finish the job, even if that means you have to pause to look at an instructional video every two minutes.

Once you’ve got your patio umbrella assembled, double-check that everything is in working order. Open and close the canopy. If the umbrella is the type that can be adjusted to multiple angles, test it to make sure the mechanism is working. Test everything to make sure your umbrella will work right.

Put it where you want it to go. Now is the time when you place the weights on the base to hold the umbrella securely. You’re ready to enjoy your new offset patio umbrella!

What’s the Difference Between an Offset Umbrella and a Regular Umbrella?

The biggest difference between a regular umbrella and an offset patio umbrella lies in how they are set up. A regular patio umbrella is carefully (and with much struggle) guided through a hole in the center of a table. The bottom rests in a holder or pedestal placed under the table. Sometimes getting the bottom into this holder takes several tries because the weight of the umbrella makes it difficult to keep steady as you move it. Ideally, you would have at least one other person helping you.

An offset patio umbrella doesn’t present that problem. Instead, it has a stand with an arm attached. This allows you to bypass the hassle of trying to fit an umbrella through your table into a holder. The arm holds the canopy in place over the table, and the separate stand means you can move the umbrella to where you need it most. Given how big some are and how much they weigh, you will probably still need one person to help you. Others are easy enough for one person to assemble.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a patio umbrella to your backyard is not always an easy choice to make. Keep in mind what features you consider to be the most important, and what your budget is. Remember that just because an umbrella looks good and has a high price tag does not mean that it is the one you should choose, and in fact, price is not a reliable indication of quality. We hope our list has helped you figure out what you want in your new offset patio umbrella.