6 Features You Must Look for When Buying an Outdoor Umbrella

outdoor umbrellas

Umbrellas are an invaluable addition to any outdoor space. Aside from protecting us from the rain and sun, they can also add a beautiful aesthetic to the environment. Outdoor umbrellas can provide a pleasant and inviting atmosphere and even transform a common outdoor area into something remarkable.

By nature, outdoor umbrellas are larger and more durable than regular umbrellas, designed to withstand outdoor weather conditions. They come in various sizes, shapes, and colors to fit any outdoor space. However, the tricky part is making an outdoor umbrella work to your advantage because the wrong size, shape, or color can ruin the desired look.

With this in mind, there are certain features you must consider when getting an outdoor umbrella, including:

#1 – Canopy Material

The canopy material is the most critical feature when choosing an outdoor umbrella. Opting for a waterproof, UV-resistant, and fade-resistant canopy material is best to ensure the umbrella can withstand the outdoor elements and last for years.

The best canopy materials for outdoor umbrellas are polyester, acrylic, and solution-dyed acrylic. Polyester is lightweight and affordable but less durable than acrylic, but acrylic is more durable and expensive. In most cases, solution-dyed acrylic is recommended because it is the most durable and offers superior protection against UV rays and fading. Regardless, one must maintain regular maintenance because these traits will be irrelevant if you leave your outdoor umbrella outdoors 24/7.

#2 – Pole Material

The umbrella’s pole material should be corrosion-resistant, rust-resistant, and strong enough to withstand strong winds. Aluminum is the most popular choice for outdoor umbrella poles as it is strong and lightweight. It is also corrosion-resistant and rust-resistant, making it an ideal choice for outdoor umbrellas.

Steel and wood are also great options for outdoor umbrella poles. Steel is strong and durable, but it is heavier than aluminum. Wood is also strong and durable but is more susceptible to weather damage and should be treated regularly with a sealant or waterproofing agent. Regardless, you must ensure the pole is thick enough to support the canopy. A thicker pole can stabilize and prevent the umbrella from blowing away in strong winds.

#3 – Base Weight

The umbrella’s base must be heavy enough to keep the umbrella stable and secure. The weight of the base should be proportional to the size of the umbrella, so the heavier the umbrella, the heavier the base should be.

Small umbrellas should have a base weight of at least 20 pounds, while larger umbrellas should have a base weight of at least 50 pounds. The base should be solid and evenly weighted. Some bases are filled with sand or water to add extra weight, but these are not always necessary.

#4 – Lift Features

The lift mechanism is what allows the umbrella to open and close. It consists of a frame, a handle, and a pulley system. The frame is the structure that holds the umbrella fabric in place. The handle is the lever used to open and close the umbrella. The pulley system consists of a cable and two gears connected to the handle and the frame.

When the handle is pulled, the cable wraps around the gears, creating tension and lifting the umbrella. The tension created by the pulley system is what keeps the umbrella open and allows it to be closed.

#5 – Tilt Options

The tilt option on an umbrella is a feature that allows the user to adjust the angle of the canopy to block the sun or other elements from a specific direction.

Most outdoor umbrellas have a locking mechanism that allows users to adjust the canopy’s angle. This is typically done by turning a knob or lever near the handle. On the other hand, motorized umbrellas can be adjusted using a switch or remote control.

#6 – Ventilation

While it may seem nonsensical to consider ventilation when getting an outdoor umbrella, it is a significant factor that can make or break the user experience. Ventilation is important because it helps keep the canopy cool and provides airflow around the umbrella. The canopy can become too hot and uncomfortable to use without sufficient ventilation.

Selecting an umbrella with a vented canopy is the best way to ensure adequate ventilation. This canopy has an opening at the top, allowing air to flow and keep the canopy cool. Additionally, vented canopies are more resistant to windy conditions, as the wind can pass through the opening and reduce the overall force on the canopy.


An outdoor umbrella is an excellent way to make your open space functional and aesthetically pleasing, but you must weigh your options carefully. Finding the best outdoor umbrella will be tricky, but it will be worth it because you can enjoy outdoor living in comfort and style. All that matters is knowing your needs and preferences to ensure you get the best outdoor umbrella.

If you are looking for outdoor furniture in Florida, Palm Casual has what you need! We offer various selections to ensure you can relax in your backyard for affordable prices. Browse our catalog today and take your pick!

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