FAQs

How To Choose A BEACH UMBRELLA– Buying Guide

There are several factors to consider when deciding on the best beach umbrella in the store. The largest might not be the best for you, and always going for the cheapest is not recommended. You want something that won’t break easily or it would just be a waste of time and money.

Here are the conditions that will help you choose the best beach umbrella for sale.

Size

The size of the umbrella is proportional to the number of people you have with you. It also depends upon the purposes for which you’re buying this beach umbrella.

If you want something that can cover a chair or a table, and you don’t have any ground to stab a metal spike onto, then clamp on beach umbrellas are the best fit for your needs. Just secure it to a chair or table edge, and you’re ready to go. These tend to be smaller than the others though.

If you’re looking for 1 or 2 person umbrella, then a span of about five to seven feet is enough. That will cover two beach chairs nicely. A tilt angle pole would be useful to keep the shade maximized depending on the time of the day.

If you want to be sure of having all-around shade as the day moves, then a cabana-style canvas beach umbrella will fit you and your family.

If you want to keep the sun off while dining, then 8 foot beach umbrella or larger will be necessary. It has to be big enough to cover a table or picnic area.

Then if you want to cover a large gathering, only a 15-foot or larger portable umbrella will suffice. These types of large umbrellas still have a very minimal footprint compared to the shade they provide when likened against tents and gazebos – very useful for patio and street installations!

Weatherproofing

This means not just stability against the wind but also moisture and sand grit. Just how good does the beach umbrella canopy perform as an actual umbrella?

A double canopy design with vent holes helps the umbrella withstand being turned inside-out by the wind. Thicker fiberglass rods that resist stretching or bending would do the same, though unlike steel ribs once they shatter they can’t be bent back into shape.

Polyester is a good and versatile type of fabric, but tighter weaves offer greater strength and waterproofing, if at the slight drawback of being less breathable. Nylon is a stretchier friction-free fabric that is soft and feels like silk but has a slight problem of shrinking when impacted by high hair humidity.

There are higher quality fabrics like Pongee, which is composed of a high-density weave of synthetic threads that can block a high degree of ultraviolet rays, up to 99%. Satin is the best quality of fabrics but this luxurious shimmering material is made of woven silk yarns.

UPF Rating

UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) or SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicates how effectively the fabric blocks ultraviolet radiation from reaching your skin under the shade. UPF 50+ blocks out 95% or more of the sun’s rays.

Part of the UV protection is brought about by the dyes and coatings used on the fabric. UV-resistant chemicals are added to the threads, or the canopy may be made of multiple layers. Synthetic fibers like polyester are more protective against UV than natural fabrics like cotton.

Dark colors also absorb more UV rays, though bright colors reflect more heat. It is largely a matter of personal preference here.

Portability

An important concern, since due to the rigid steel pole that forms the main structural support of the beach umbrella it can get heavy and can’t fold down all that much. Smaller beach umbrellas are better at this, of course, but you can also mitigate these concerns for bigger umbrellas. Aluminum is lighter than steel and doesn’t rust. Fiberglass is strong and doesn’t weaken after long exposure to the sun (unlike plastics).

If you happen to select a canvas beach umbrella with wooden pole support, wood might not be all that less heavy compared to a hollow steel pole. Still, wood does conduct far less heat. Such a traditionally crafted umbrella will need to watch for abrasion but has greater ability against the wind because it can flex slightly and will never rust.

Accessories

Beach umbrella accessories can add a lot of value to your purchase. Apart from included accessories like sand bags, trowels, oversized multi-purpose carry bags, etc. there are also things like beach umbrella holders you can fix onto tables to hold up a large beach umbrella if the surface below is too hard (or too valuable, like wooden floors) to support it. How about clamps on tables and trays to make your beach umbrella even more useful and negate the need to bring along a side table to put in between your beach chairs? Hold your drinks well without spilling with sunken drink trays.

Heavy-duty rotating clamps can turn almost any umbrella into a clamp-on umbrella. Meanwhile, beach umbrella tethers and

sand bags can add even more wind resistance and peace of mind. Towel hooks just below the canopy can hold loose towels, clothing, lights, and other small electronic devices.

Because the main rod of the beach umbrella is so strong and supports only so little weight in comparison, as long as it is securely fixed to the ground it can accept more affixed weights and accessories, unlike pop-up beach tents that are stable only from the bracing of thin structural rods.

Price

And of course, price. Buy beach umbrellas that will last you a long time, not just whatever is cheapest. A good quality beach umbrella is well worth not having your vacation suddenly ruined from a crappy cheap umbrella failing at the most inconvenient time.

Good umbrella brands offer a lengthy or even lifetime warranty.

How do I anchor a beach umbrella?

Portable sun umbrellas have a variety of anchoring options.

The most common is a spike at the end of the pole. Just stab that deep into the ground. This works best with sand, but when you want to use it with rougher soils then you might need to dig a bit. Better are those with the beach umbrella screw point, which have an easier time digging into harder soils.

Beach umbrella with sand anchors can go deep or pile sand over itself for extra stability.

Of course, sharp-pointed poles can’t bite into concrete and brick. For that, you will need portable umbrellas with stands. These have metal bars for their footing, weighed down by sand bags to prevent movement. These have the benefit of being usable anywhere there is a flat surface, though you do need to fill in the sand bags first.

The last option is if your portable beach umbrellas is a clamp-on time, in which case you can just tighten the clamp onto any suitable surface like a chair rod, a pole, or the edge of a table.

How do I keep a beach umbrella from blowing away?

Anchoring a beach umbrella is one of the ways to keep it from being blown away by the wind. Make sure that it is secured deep into the sand. Some portable beach umbrellas have the additional feature of retaining sand bags for more retaining mass.

Cabana-style beach umbrellas have stakes that can be driven into the ground to hold down the fabric walls. Open the windows to allow wind to pass through.

Buying a beach umbrella with double canopy wind vents also help add wind resistance.

However, perhaps the best way to prevent the beach umbrella from being blown away is simply to angle its canopy towards the wind. Umbrellas are very resilient facing the wind head-on, while a breeze that reaches behind it turns it into a sail that will flip it over. Umbrellas with tilt function can do this with ease.

If your beach umbrella can’t tilt, most of them can lower their heights. Remember that the wind tends to get faster and stronger the higher you go. A lower incident angle will mean that the gusts might just bounce off the top of the umbrella.

And lastly, if you have a little enthusiasm about DIY-ing things, there’s nothing that prevents beach umbrellas from using guy wires like tents for even more stability.

Q: How Do I Clean A Beach Umbrella?

Cleaning a beach umbrella before storing it is often as simple as shaking loose whatever sand that may have found its way to the canopy and folding it down. Most water-resistant umbrellas need only to be dry before being stored.

However, more of a concern is the supporting rib structure. Soapy water would help even steel frames because even that is vastly less corrosive than salt water. Wash your beach umbrella and let it dry before storing it to prevent the growth of mold and mildew on the fabric or rust spots on the metal pole and frame.

Some Final Thoughts on BEACH UMBRELLA

Beach umbrellas have long been a feature of the beach-going lifestyle. Imagine any movie, any show that has to communicate a fun day out at the beach. What do you see? Beach umbrellas.

Skimpy clad actors and actresses bouncing, playing volleyball, and in the background – beach umbrellas.

Going topless near – more beach umbrellas, for when a bronze tan is enough and any more would turn into sunburn.

A pair of beach lounge chairs underneath a round canopy, faintly flapping in the breeze. Lying down with a fruity drink with those little umbrellas in it, now that’s the symbol for utter relaxation.

When you express a desire to go to the beach, people have all sorts of ideas about it. Now at this point, you may be recommended to check out things like beach tents, with people touting features like high ventilation, roomy internals, ease of setup, or wind resistance. The practicals, they cry out. There are many advantages to not going with the old traditional beach umbrella.

But these features only exist to mitigate their inherent shortcomings when compared to the traditional beach umbrella.

Ventilation?

With a beach umbrella, there’s nothing in between you and the cooling sea breeze.

Roominess?

How can you possibly have more room than a beach umbrella? An eight-foot beach tent is considered large size but for a beach umbrella, that just the standard size! There’s no walls or protruding guy lines that could be a tripping hazard. Some beach umbrellas can go for a fifteen-foot span or even more with an exceptional support rib construction scheme that doesn’t require any assembly, and with an effortless crank-open system. The only thing that can compete are tall square-post beach tents without walls, but then we’re talking steel frames, laborious setup times, and really – isn’t that just a gazebo or a commercial sun tent at that point?

Covered floors?

Floors get wet and you need to waste more time making sure all the sand is out before you can pack the thing. With a beach tent, you can lay down as large of a canvas flooring as you want, shake loose any remaining sand, and be on your way.

Wind resistance?

Yes, we all know the old stereotype of umbrellas blowing away in the wind. But there’s nothing that prevents beach umbrellas from being secured to the ground like beach tents either. A steel pole can dig deeper into the ground than little stakes into the beach sand.

Ease of installation?

There can’t be anything as easy as just sliding open an umbrella and sticking it into the ground. No messing about with guy wires, stakes or filling sandbags (unless the type of standing frame beach umbrella requires it). Those instant pop up tents tout their effortless setup and fail to mention needing to wrestle the spring steel back into its compacted form. Beach umbrellas are as easy to take down as they are to put up.

Endurance?

Tents have thin metal strips or fiberglass rods to support their weight and grant rigidity to their volume.  The strong steel or aluminum pole of a beach umbrella is very difficult to damage. An umbrella with broken ribs can still be repaired, but a tent with broken support struts is just completely unable to hold its shape anymore.

 

But perhaps the most pressing reason to take a beach umbrella is: You’re not a tryhard.

 

You’re not acting like your time at the beach should be stiff and regimental. You’re not trying to claim a section of the beach as your very own property with your tent as your castle. An open space is a friendlier space.

 

While it would also make sense for the whole family, consider also the situation beach-side – maybe it would be better if you could eat off a table and just stick a beach umbrella canopy overhead. Bringing along beach chairs and tables and use them is vastly superior to eating off the ground. There is a distinct difference between a beach outing and camping. Many popular tourist destinations already offer accommodations. It is somewhat uncomfortable to admit, but wealthy vacationers do more with less; while the harried budget family trip overloads with things from home, trying to make their section of the beach look like a home away from home. It strongly limits interaction to a safe bubble around themselves.

 

There’s a lot to be said about the sheer casualness of a beach umbrella – the openness – the very symbol of a day out in the sun, of fun and joy without restrictions.  If it looks like you have to work for your vacation time, you’re not spending your time correctly.

Get a beach umbrella and take it easy. You deserve nothing but the best.