Also known as an “offset umbrella”, the cantilever patio umbrella is an extremely practical product for those of you that like to spend time outside in the yard during the summer, but don’t want to face the consequences of direct sunlight exposure.
Whether you’re reading a book, lounging by the pool, or enjoying brunch outside with the family, a cantilever umbrella is an investment that offers all the benefits of a regular umbrella, but without the pole obstructing the view. Today, we’re going to learn more about these products, what you need to know before choosing one, and what are some of the best cantilever patio umbrellas that money can buy in 2021.
Top 3 Picks
Customer’s Choice: Guzman Cantilever Umbrella
“Wow! I am very surprised at the quality of this umbrella. It is very sturdy, waterproof, and has a very large coverage from the sun when popped open!” (Customer review)
Budget Pick: PHI VILLA 10′ Cantilever Umbrella
If you want a cantilever patio umbrella that doesn’t break the bank, the Phi Villa umbrella is a solid product that’s suitable for people who are on a budget.
Best for Large Tables: Goetz Cantilever Umbrella
“Order two and they cover our entire deck! Love the look.” (Customer review)
Benefits of a Cantilever Patio Umbrella
Cantilever umbrellas offer a number of benefits compared to center-pole models. In fact, the only true drawback is the price, with every other anecdotal benefit being merely subjective. Some of the reasons why cantilevers are so great to include:
Ease of setup
It is extremely easy to set up a cantilever umbrella. They are portable in spite of their heavyweight, but they are really easy to install. You can pack them and store them away during the winter. Different models also have different mounting options, so there’s plenty of versatility in that as well.
Cantilevers are designed with telescopic arms, which means that you can move the shade and tilt it to change its angle. That means that instead of moving the entire thing around, you can easily manipulate it to redirect the shade it offers.
One of the most annoying things about a center-pole umbrella is that it literally sticks out from the middle of your table. When you’re sharing a table and engaged in a conversation with someone sitting across from you, that pole is always going to block your field of view, which is pretty annoying. With cantilevers, the pole is located depending on how you position the umbrella, but it surely won’t be as annoying as with the other category.
How to Choose a Patio Umbrella
Before you venture out to buy an umbrella, there are a few things you should know about that will put you on the right track towards making the smart shopping decision.
Determine whether a cantilever patio umbrella is what you really need or if maybe you’re in a search of a different type. Patio umbrellas are divided into two main categories: cantilever and center-pole umbrellas. The former category includes three different other types of umbrella: the market umbrella (most popular of all the center-pole styles, usually with a around or octagonal shape and a clean edge), the beach umbrella (as minimalist style, usually comes with valances hanging around the edge), and half umbrella (they have one flat side that makes it idea for flushing against a wall; works great in balconies).
A cantilever umbrella, on the other hand, is designed with a jointed or arched pole that’s positioned off to one side. These umbrellas are great for creating shade over tables that don’t have center holes or for use with hot tubs.
The pole and frame material is important not just because you want your outdoor furniture pieces to match, but also because whatever is designed for outdoor use needs to be weather-resistant so you don’t have to replace it every year. When it comes to patio umbrella poles, there are typically three main material choices.
- Wooden umbrellas will always be appreciated thanks to their timeless appeal, but also because they can match a variety of different decor setups. Who’s to say wood can’t easily find its way into a modern-looking yard? If you truly want a high-quality product, go for one that’s made from hardwoods such as teak, bamboo, or eucalyptus. It’s important to note that, while wooden umbrellas are treated to resist weather damage or insect attacks, continuous exposure to sun and rain will eventually take a toll. Generally speaking, wooden poles are less resistant compared to those made from metal or fiberglass. It’s also not unusual for rough winds to make them snap.
- Metal umbrellas are usually made from aluminum and stainless steel, and they have a modern appeal to them, but they can also look pretty vintage, depending on the metal’s finish. Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant by nature because it contains nickel and chromium. Even so, it doesn’t do really well when lying in a saltwater environment. If you want more resistant stainless steel, then look for marine-grade one, as it has molybdenum, which makes it stronger.
- Aluminum is a less expensive choice, but also one that’s pretty durable. Aluminum poles are usually powder-coated to make them more corrosion-resistant. Naturally strong, aluminum is pretty easy to work with, so manufacturers can bend it into unusual shapes and create all sorts of designs with it. It’s also important to note that aluminum is highly wind-resistant, but it can warp when it stays in the sun for too long.
- Fiberglass is another material that can be used to make umbrella poles. In fact, it makes the most durable poles on the market, which is why fiberglass umbrellas are more resistant compared to those made from wood or metal. Lightweight, strong, but flexible, fiberglass can be bent without breaking. It doesn’t rust or rot, and it can’t be attacked by insects. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, fiberglass should definitely be your material of choice. It’s a good long-term investment and it’s also available in a variety of different colors, so it’s easy to style with all kinds of outdoor setups.
There is also the matter of the stand or base to consider. This is really important because you want your umbrella to be stable even when it’s a little windy outside. Both types of patio umbrellas have either fixed or mobile bases, so let’s talk about them for a bit.
Mobile bases might be heavy, but they can be moved from one spot to another without too much effort. These bases are usually made from stone, concrete, or iron. Mode models are made of hollow plastic and allow you to place sand inside them to make them heavier.
Fixed bases are very common in large umbrellas, commercial installations, and are highly recommended when you live in a windy area. They usually come with attachment kits that vary depending on the surface you want to place them on. Fixed bases are available as:
Being the most popular base structure, this type of fixture allows you to secure the sleeve and base plate to a cement, hardwood, or concrete ground.
They are only available for cantilever umbrellas because this is the only type that can support vertical mounting. They are ideal for small spaces where you want to place the seating area next to a wall.
As the name implies, these bases are inserted into the ground and concrete is usually poured around them to make them stable. They are typically used for small umbrellas.
There are some additional features to look out for that we have to mention as well, including:
- Tilt feature – Cantilever umbrellas have this feature in all models. It allows you to adjust the angle of the canopy so you can redirect the shade without having to move the entire umbrella.
- Swivel option – You will notice that some cantilever have the ability to swivel at 360 degrees, meaning they can cover larger areas even as the base stays in place.
- Multi-canopy models – These units have a modular design with multiple canopies that help multiply the coverage of the umbrellas. They are commonly found in restaurants and cafes because tables are grouped closer together and it gives the possibility to offer a large shaded area without having to install multiple poles.
- Extras – Some cantilever umbrellas are equipped with all sorts of extra goodies (if not, you can purchase some of these separately). Lights are interesting to have when you want to spend time outside and the seating area is located further away from a lighting fixture. Heaters are mostly used in restaurant settings, but you might want to consider one of these if you like spending time outside in the evening and the weather is a bit chilly.
Best Cantilever Patio Umbrellas
Our first cantilever patio umbrellas suggestion is a UV-resistant monster going by the name of Vassalboro. This weather-resistant product weighs 13.5 pounds and measures 10′ W x 10′ D when fully open. The pole is a little over 9 feet in height and it’s made from aluminum. It has a crank lift opening mechanism and features a canopy that’s made from polyester and available in 10 different color options.
The Phi Villa cantilever umbrella is a budget-oriented product for all those of you that don’t want to spend a small fortune to hide from the sun. It is constructed with a steel pole that measures 6′ 8 1/32”. The canopy is made from polyester and it’s available in three color options: navy blue, beige, and orange-red. It sports a weather-resistant construction, including a 50-rate UV protection. Using the crank lift mechanism, you can open the umbrella to its maximum measurements, which are 10′ W x 6′ 8 13/32” D.
Similar to the models we’ve shown you earlier, the Hawkinsville cantilever patio umbrella brings forth six different canopy colors to choose from, including an eye-catching red or a more discreet beige. Whatever color you choose, you will be getting a weather-resistant product that uses a crank lift mechanism to open to a maximum of 10′ W x 10′ D. Made from aluminum and featuring a powder coating for added resistance, the pole measures 6′ 9 19/32” in height.
The Luciano cantilever umbrella is the kind of product that impresses you with its quality and shows you that it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to get a quality product. It comes with a metal frame that reaches 8′ 5” in height, pairing well with the 9′ 8” W x 9′ 8” D measurements of the open umbrella. It comes with a polyester canopy available in nine different color options. You can easily rotate it due to the 360-degrees rotation feature. The shade is adjustable thanks to the gliding handle, and you have five tilt settings to choose from.
At first, it was a surprise for us as well to discover that cantilevers can have integrated light, but it is a feature that we will gladly embrace any day of the week. The Sheehan is made with an aluminum pole and a polyester octagonal canopy that results in an umbrella that measures 9′ 8” W x 9′ 8” D when fully open. The lights that you see are attached to the spike of the umbrella and use solar power to charge the battery that powers them up in low light conditions.
Another amazing product that’s been highly praised by its customers is the Guzman cantilever umbrella. When you look at the specifications, it doesn’t seem to be that much different compared to some of the other products we’ve looked at today. It has a metal pole that rises 8′ 2” high. It uses the same crank lift mechanism to open and has a canopy made from polyester that’s available in orange, beige, and brown.
The Roberson cantilever is a square-shaped umbrella with a canopy that’s made from polyester and available in four different color options. The aluminum pole has a weather-resistant construction and uses a crank lift mechanism to open the umbrella. It has a tilt feature that allows you to adjust the shade to your utmost convenience. The frame is powder-coated to prevent rust for as long as possible.
If you have a large table or outdoor patio setting with plenty of seating space and you need a cantilever that can provide shade for that space, the Goetz is definitely a product worth checking out. Unlike the other options, it comes with a plastic stand that’s painted in black to deliver an elegant appeal. The polyester canopy has a UV-resistant construction and is available in three different color options. When fully open, the umbrella measures 15′ W x 8′ 10 13/16” D and has a rectangular shape that can provide well for long tables.
We wanted to add a cantilever with a wooden pole to this list, just to show you how amazing these look. It is made with bamboo wood and it’s designed for commercial and residential use. The canopy is made from Suncrylic and is available in eight different color options for you to choose from. The pole measures 10’ 6” in height and the open umbrella is 10′ W x 10′ D. It has a crank lift opening mechanism, a winch pulley system, and the shade is tiltable so you can adjust the angle.
Our last suggestion for today is another quality cantilever umbrella that would look amazing on any patio, by the pool, or a corner of your yard where you want to stare at a rose bush while drinking your coffee. It is constructed with an aluminum pole that measures 8′ 2” in height. It has a polyester canopy with a square shape that delivers shade with its 9′ 8 17/32” W x 7′ 4 31/32” D opening measurements. It is weather-resistant, uses a crank lift to open, and it’s available in five different color options.
There are a lot of reasons why cantilever umbrellas are way better compared to center-pole models. Even if they cost more, they are constructed with quality weather-resistant materials and the entire design concept makes it easy to get that nasty pole out of your line of sight so that you can enjoy the view in front of you or have a conversation with someone without that obstruction. Keep in mind that not all cantilevers are created alike, so it’s really important for you to be able to judge their quality based on their features and construction.