If you live in parts of the country where the sun and heat effects you during a majority of the year you definitely want to look into the portable shade of the patio umbrella.
These types of umbrellas come in free standing and the table version also known as a Market Umbrella.
I personally prefer the free standing variety because it allows for more table top space and can be placed just about anywhere I need it at the moment.
Free standing umbrellas can also be called Cantilever umbrellas (usually used for cafe seating or pool seating areas) or Drape umbrellas that have a decorative flair.
Make sure to ask yourself a few questions and take down a few measurements before you start shopping.
- Where are you going to be using your patio umbrella most?
- How much room to you have for the placement of the umbrella and its storage?
- What are the average wind speed in your area and the number of high wind days in your area?
- What kind of accessories will you want to include when buying your patio umbrella?
Umbrella size and height
According to Home Depot, you want an umbrella that is 2 feet larger than the area you wish to shade.
Sizes come in as small as 5 and a half feet all the way up to over 10 feet.
A majority of umbrella heights start at 8 feet and over.
You might want to consider the height of the tallest members of your family and visitors.
Another thing you might want to think about is the average wind speed in your area and number of high wind days.
In some parts of the country, high winds can happen without warning.
These considerations would also go into the weight of the base you choose.
Bases usually come in at least 50-pound weights as well as any number of styles and materials.
The most popular base material seems to be cast-iron.
Pole materials usually come in two materials fiberglass and aluminum.
If you live in a windy area you might want to invest in a fiberglass pole.
The fabric of the umbrella itself is important as well.
Look for weather hardy fabric to withstand summer weather.
According to Houzz Sunbrella fabric is the best option.
Wayfair has a nice range of umbrella accessories like; weights, storage covers, lighting, netting, and wind stabilizers.
I am most intrigued by the netting specially made to go over these umbrellas.
Living in an area where it seems the bugs are big enough to carry you away, I would definitely add this to my shopping list when purchasing my next patio umbrella.
The most important thing is storage for your umbrella while off season.
Covers are nice and I can see them being the only storage for places where you will more than likely use your patio umbrella all year round.
But a majority of the country will have a lot of the year where a patio umbrella just can not be stored away in a cover.
Snow, ice, and heavy rain can even break down a storage cover.
You might want to ensure that you get an umbrella that can be stored out of the elements during the winter.