The 8 Best Patio Umbrellas of 2018

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Long gone are the days of having to organize your porch or patio furniture under a shady tree to block out the sizzling hot summer sun. Over the last decade the best manufacturers of patio umbrellas have performed extensive research and development to produce smart, highly functional, stylish and ergonomic patio umbrellas that are easier to assemble than ever and provide a variety of options for matching the aesthetics for a broad range of outdoor environments. The perfect patio umbrella is going to add a stylish addition to your deck or garden decor and welcome a significantly reduced temperature that establishes a cool and shady area, making outdoor relaxation and dinner parties more comfortable for everyone at the table. You might also be interested in our articles about the best canopies and the best zero gravity chairs.

Whether you’re in the market to buy a patio umbrella to provide shade for a single table on your own back patio, or deck out a multi-table layout for a restaurant, outdoor cafeteria or swimming pool area, you need a sturdy patio umbrella that provides extensive relief from the sun and there are thousands of options to choose between. This article is all about helping you find the best patio umbrellas to buy and before exploring the top eight picks on our site, it’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with the key components of patio umbrellas and what to look out for before you add one to your shopping cart! These are the most important features you should evaluate to make the smartest choice for your next purchase of a patio umbrella.

1. The Patio Umbrella Size

The actual fabric on a patio umbrella is referred to as the ‘canopy’ or the ‘umbrella’, and there are a variety of different sizes to choose between. As you browse the best patio umbrellas in our list, take note that the canopy size is measured by the diameter length in feet – the distance from one end of the canopy to the other, straight across.

2. The Crank Mechanism Type

One of the most important aspects of a patio umbrella that can either simplify your life or cause plenty of headache is the mechanism that enables you to open and close the canopy. Each of the patio umbrellas on this list feature some style of the classic crank mechanism. Not only has this proven to become the easiest method to open and close the umbrella, but it’s also the most safe.

3. Fabric Quality & Wind Control  

The best patio umbrellas are comprised of thick and durable polyester material used for the canopy that vary by certain attributes including UV protection, waterproof, mildew resistance and tear strength. You also want to look out for the canopy design that ensures the umbrella remains sturdy even during the harshest wind. There’s nothing worse than an umbrella flipping inside out, and manufacturers have developed a unique feature to avoid this pitfall. The best patio umbrellas have a wind vent that allows air to easily pass through.

4. The Installation Location

Before purchasing a patio umbrella, you need to know everything about the location where you are going to position it. If you’re in the market for an umbrella for a patio table then be sure to calculate the dimensions of the table and the surroundings before making a purchase. I tracked down all of the best umbrellas, and a little bit of research on your end will go a long way. Take down the dimensions of the installation location, including the hole in the middle of the table and placement of the surrounding trees. While most of the best patio umbrellas are designed to stand straight up through the table centerpiece, other variations are offset and make for the perfect choice to provide shade around outdoor furniture. The following eight patio umbrellas have been precisely picked based upon careful consideration of each of the above features, in addition to the price point. The list is diverse enough to accommodate every type of budget, and while on the topic of outdoor furniture you might also enjoy our article on the best zero gravity chairs.

1. The Abba 7.5 Foot Patio Umbrella With Push Button Tilt

For those on a smaller budget looking to decorate their space with a functional, convenient and stylish patio umbrella, look no further than The Abba, featuring everything you need to find your shade without breaking the bank. The Abba Patio brand is known for creating lightweight outdoor furniture products and this 13 pound patio umbrella truly delivers on the promise of shading smaller tables with 2 to 4 chairs. Even though the color options are limited to beige, green and a vibrant red, there are a variety of features that make it a top notch patio umbrella.

The durable polyester fabric is waterproof and provides UV protection that creates a pleasant and ultra safe shaded area. For the price, most people wouldn’t expect such a high quality stitching job and durable frame that The Abba patio umbrella provides. The elegant frame is powder-coated to resist rust and corrosion and features steel arms to support the canopy even on the windiest days. In addition to the solid frame, the canopy is designed to allow air to pass through from every angle to prevent inversion and reduce it from shaking the table in windy climates.

As the sun sets, you can take advantage of the push button tilt feature to simply adjust the canopy at an angle and rotate the frame as desired. Pushing the button requires little to zero effort and the canopy just falls into place. You cannot adjust the angle that the umbrella rests at and there is just one angle option when you push the button, but it always holds into place. This patio umbrella, like most on our list, does not come with the actual base stand, but there are a variety of options to choose from to fit the decor of your patio. The velcro sashes that are built in to the top of the canopy make it easy to bundle up before a storm blows in. Because the velcro stashes are always connected to the umbrella, you don’t have to worry about losing track of any ropes or straps – it’s altogether.

When the sun comes out to play, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect shade with this versatile and easy to use patio umbrella. It balances functionality with a strong emphasis on elegance. The six sided canopy sits on a shiny bronze shaft and is topped with a nice cover over the ventilated area. All in all, The Abba 7.5 foot patio umbrella is reasonably priced for all of the features it provides. Plus it’s a piece of cake to assemble and definitely a good choice.

Key Product Features:

  • Simple push button tilt
  • Effortless crank open/close mechanic system
  • Rust- Free Powder Coated Aluminum Pole
  • Wind control ventilation system

2. FARLAND 10 Foot Offset Hanging Patio Umbrella

The Farland 10 foot offset hanging patio umbrella is designed and engineered by Farland, a renowned manufacturer of outdoor furniture known for developing multi-functional and easy to use products. As previously mentioned, a couple of the most important things to consider on your patio umbrella shopping journey is ‘where you’re going to use it’ and ‘how much shade do you need’. While most patio umbrellas are designed to provide shade for a table environment and are assembled through the center of the table, this particular model is offset – giving you greater flexibility in where you can position it. This is a great option if you have have sofa style furniture surrounding a low style coffee table. Just move it into your desired position. The ‘offset’ aspect of this patio umbrella means that you can place it wherever you want to enjoy a wide 1- foot coverage from the sun. Whether you want to slide it behind a few chairs on your pool deck or station it near an ensemble of patio furniture, you get all the shade without a pole in the middle. From beige, bold red, dark green to navy blue, you have four unique color options that pair nicely with the aesthetics of most commercial and residential areas.

Compared to the other patio umbrellas on our list which do not include the base stand, this model ships out with a sturdy and durable cross base that prevents the umbrella from wobbling, making it an all-in-one ready to use product the moment it’s delivered. If you live in high wind areas, a few sandbags on each cross will ensure maximum stability. Sandbags are not required, but given the large 10 foot span of the canopy they provide a practical solution to reinforce the umbrella. The compact cross base design enables you to slide it under furniture to maximize any space and root it in any direction.

One reason that makes this patio umbrella one of the best on the market is the simplicity of the crank shaft mechanism that allows you to raise it up and down. A small amount of effort is required to rotate the crank and thanks to the easy-to-turn handle you can pop open the umbrella in seconds. When the sun goes down, just twist the crank and watch the umbrella fold onto itself. The included velcro strap is attached to the umbrella so you can wrap it up around the base pole. The vented canopy allows wind and heat to escape from the top so it doesn’t blow over during high winds. The strong and waterproof polyester material prevents molding and color fading often caused by heavy rainfall. There is nothing worse than sitting under a stinky umbrella and thanks to the easy to clean fabric that designed to last many years, you won’t have this problem.

This is probably the best option if you need a patio umbrella that can be moved around and positioned anywhere you desire. The canopy can also be positioned at an angle or set to hang parallel to the ground, so you can block out the sun no matter where it’s coming from. Whether you need shade on your front porch, balcony, backyard, terrace or by the pool, this is a rock solid, versatile and long lasting patio umbrella at a good price.

Key Product Features:

  • Versatile offset design lets you position it anywhere
  • Strong UV protected polyester fabric
  • Ergonomic open and close crankshaft
  • Support base cross is included

3. California 9 Foot Patio Umbrella With Easy Crank And Auto Tilt

Serving up your shade needs since 1946, the California Umbrella company knows what it takes to block out the sun in style. This is a vibrant, compact and fully functional patio umbrella that comes in 21 beautiful colors. The huge color spectrum gives you plenty of choice to match the umbrella with every type, style and color of building material, patio furniture and lighting. From black, yellow, orange and green to almost every color in between this patio umbrella truly balances style with functionality – an affordable option for a multi season umbrella.

The durable Olefin canopy fabric forms an opening at the top of the umbrella to create a unique air flow system that prevents wind from knocking it around. The fabric is woven together to form a durable and long lasting canopy that is seamless from edge to edge to efficiently shade space. You can use the California Patio Umbrella as both a free standing shade provider or place it in a table, however, the umbrella base is not included.

The strong aluminum frame is manufactured using a thick gauge aluminum that prevents buckling and bending that can occur with other models of patio umbrellas. The frame is powder coated and features a unique and subtle speckle design that adds a fancy flair. Not only is the umbrella just 11 pounds, which is pretty feather light compared to other models, but it also comes with a sturdy and easy to operate crank shaft to open and close the canopy and an auto-tilt feature that angles the canopy.

The auto-tilt mechanism requires no buttons or additional action to tilt the canopy – you just have to keep cranking the shaft and the canopy automatically lowers into a tilted position. The first thing you’ll notice is the smooth functionality of the sturdy crankshaft. A smooth turn of the wrist puts the umbrella in place in just a few rotations. A couple more rotations automatically tilts the canopy and you can rotate the shaft to find your desired shaded area. This feature alone makes the California Umbrella a one-of-a-kind and unique product that is not available in most models. All in all, the umbrella provides shade, in style and at an affordable price that justifies the variety of features and easy to use functionality. Considering the simple assembly and versatility, this umbrella is worth the price.

Key Product Features:

  • Super easy auto-tilt mechanism
  • Available in 21 vibrant colors
  • Strong, long lasting fabric canopy

4. Best Choice Patio Umbrella With Solar Powered Lights

The Best Choice brand takes the patio umbrella as we know it to the next level with a stylish, functional and hip design comprised of solar powered LED lights that transform any sunny environment into a cozy and shady space. The canopy is available in 10 different colors and the durable aluminum ribs feature 24 decorative built-in lights that can run for up to 9-12 hours.

Block out the rays with a giant 9-foot diameter canopy that is wide enough to shade a 48-inch table. Perfect for circle or square tables, the solar powered panels soak up the sun’s energy by day and emit a relaxing light by night – perfect for illuminating family dinners and evening get-togethers with friends. This unique patio umbrella sets the tone for relaxing enjoyment all year round. It features an easy tilt system that allows you to position the canopy to block out the sun from any direction and a wind vent cools the air under the umbrella. It also comes in a model with a powerbank to ensure your LED lights are always working, even when the sun doesn’t shine.

Perfect for terrace tables, the Best Choice Patio Umbrella can also be fixed into a base and positioned anywhere you prefer. Like most patio umbrellas on our list, the actual base is not included, but this model fits a variety of sleek designed bases to any patio style. The solid construction features an aluminum pole and eight ribs that give the umbrella a sturdy feel. The simple crankshaft allows you to position the canopy to block out the rays at any angle. It features a push button that allows the canopy to tilt, and gives you the freedom to rotate the pole to align the canopy just right. When you crank the canopy as high as possible, you will achieve the largest shaded area the umbrella delivers. The fabric is easy to clean and thanks to the thick polyester material, barely any sun shines through it. If casting a wide range of shade to really block out the sun is an important feature for you to have in a patio umbrella, then this is the perfect choice. Plus, it sets the mood under the moon with unique LED lights at a great price altogether.

Key Product Features:

  • 24 solar powered white LED lights
  • Push button tilt mechanism
  • 10 vibrant colors
  • Easy crankshaft mechanism

5. The Abba Large Patio Umbrella With Push Button Tilt

Our number five pick for one of the best patio umbrellas on the market today is brought to you by the Abba Patio company who have years of experience in developing and manufacturing outdoor furniture that’s sleek, durable and easy to use. Available in an array of beige, red, and dark green, the turquoise color pairs nicely with beach front patio furniture and pool side areas. The large 9-foot canopy casts a broad shadow that easily covers two people laying on lounge furniture and it provides shade for up to six people at a table. Even though if you purchase this patio umbrella, you’ll have to find a matching base to keep it up right and it’s not included, it includes all of the best features that you need for an easy to operate and durable umbrella.

Sometimes just a little bit of shade is not that safe. For example, all patio umbrellas allow a certain amount of sunlight to shine through the canopy – some more than others. This model in particular features a thick 100% polyester fabric that is UV protected. Not only does this add longevity to the product, but it serves the purpose of blocking out the rays on even the sunniest days so you stay cooler for longer. The first thing I did to put the water repellent capabilities to the test was toss a bucket of water on the top. Not a drop dripped through the canopy and it quickly shed off as if it was coated in wax. Rest assure that there is no wax coating. The fabric properties are premium and perform as expected.

From the ground up, this patio umbrella stands at 8 feet tall so you’ll never have to worry about bumping your head and you can angle the canopy in any direction by pressing a simple button on the upper part of the shaft. The push button is located a bit higher on this model which makes it a bit harder to reach, however, there is plenty of space above it to make it easy to grab the upper part of the shaft for lowering the canopy. An ergonomic crankshaft system really simplifies the process of opening and closing the umbrella and makes a subtle click sound when the umbrella is fully expanded so you know when to stop turning it. The entire shaft is rust-free and powder coated and so are the steel ribs that support the canopy. This provides a sturdy feel gives the patio umbrella a strong foundation even on super windy days.

Speaking of windy days, the last thing you want is for your patio umbrella to flip inside out. Thanks to the vented air flow construction at the top, the wind is not able to build up pressure under the canopy that causes the inversion that most rain umbrellas are guilty of. Instead, the wind passes through the ventilated openings, which are covered with a decorative fabric that adds a finishing touch to the top. All-in-all, this is a highly recommended patio umbrella if you are a bit sensitive on the budget and looking for a great deal. The velcro strap is included and attached to the canopy so you bundle it up when you’re not using it and never worry about misplacing it. It’s a great product and assembly is a piece of cake and it only weighs 15 pounds.

Key Product Features:

  • 4 cool color options
  • Two directional simple push button tilt
  • Ergonomic crankshaft
  • Ventilated, air controlled canopy
  • Rust resistant

6. Best Choice Patio Umbrella With Crank Tilt

The Best Choice patio umbrella is a sleek, modern and easy to operate sun blocker that comes in a variety of color options to match the aesthetics of any outdoor patio environment. From beige, brown, burgundy and green to an eye popping light blue and light green no matter where you want to place the patio umbrella you’re bound to find the perfect color. The design is modern and simple with a canopy that is 9 feet long in diameter that provides all the shade you need to cover a table that fits up to eight people. This is a perfect option if you’re looking for a high quality patio umbrella that features most of the bells and whistles of the others on this list, but at a much more affordable price.

Not only does the canopy cast a cool shadow wide enough to shade a 48-inch table, but the thick and durable polyester fabric is UV protected. This prevents color fading and ensures the people sitting underneath it are not receiving the harmful sun rays. The UV protected fabric preserves the color of the polyester for longer so you don’t have to worry about the beautiful color fading away. I found the assembly process a cinch – it practically ships out ready to use and only requires you to connect a few parts. Starting with the top to the bottom, you’ll notice a ventilation system that allows wind to pass through the canopy. This is pretty much a mandatory feature you want in a patio umbrella, especially if you will place it in an open area where the breeze is constantly in motion. The ventilation system prevents the canopy and the inner ribs from turning inside out, but water cannot get through thanks to the ‘top hat’ like fabric that covers the opening. The canopy is support by eight reinforced aluminum ribs that spread the fabric out from seam to seam when you use the crankshaft to open it all the way.

Escape the sun and find your shady area with the help of the push button tilt which allows you to position the canopy at a 45 degree angle in any direction. The feature is easy to operate and the button doesn’t require any effort. As the sun’s path completes it course, from sunrise to sunset, the push button tilt on this patio umbrella guarantees you shade all day long. A bit further down you’ll find the crankshaft unit. Turning it clockwise opens the canopy and the counterclockwise direction closes it. It’s smooth, easy to operate and makes a quiet click sound to alert you when the canopy has reached the maximum height.

The total weight of the patio umbrella is just 10 pounds and that does not include the base. 10 pounds is fairly light for most people to carry around making it a great choice for taking on family vacations or moving around your patio area. Whether you plan on placing this patio umbrella through the middle of your terrace table or attaching it to one of the matching bases and position it next to lawn chairs or the BBQ, it has a strong and solid foundation and doesn’t wobble or tip over easily. Just because it’s a on the lower end of the budget spectrum doesn’t mean it’s not a fair quality product. In fact, it’s probably one of the best options for price sensitive consumers and is one of the main reasons it found its’ way onto our list of the best patio umbrellas.

Key Product Features:

  • Ventilation system prevents inversion
  • Easy-to-operate crankshaft
  • Strong aluminum shaft and ribs
  • Lightweight 10 pounds
  • Available in six unique colors

7. Sunny Glade Patio Umbrella With Wind Ventilation

Looking for a beautiful patio umbrella to add to your summertime oasis without breaking the bank? Not only is the Sunny Glade model one of the lightest patio umbrellas on the market (at only 9.7 pounds), but it’s available in four unique colors including aqua blue, red and dark green. Plus, there is black version which looks beautiful alongside grey or white patio furniture. You’ll notice that not many patio umbrellas are available in black, so this could be the special keeper if you’ve been looking for the flat bold look that black provides.

The Sunny Glade brand is renowned for creating world class outdoor furniture, and it’s obviously recognizable in this sturdy and versatile patio umbrella. The canopy is 100% polyester, comprised of a thick fabric that blocks out the sun to keep you cool even on the brightest days. The fabric is easy to clean and features a UV protection that makes the color last longer and prevents harmful rays from reaching your skin. This is a great option if you want to shade a round, rectangle or square table because the canopy reaches a maximum diameter of 9 feet. That means it can cast a shade to cover tables that are 42” to 54” round fitting up to six people at once. The crankshaft mechanism is easy to operate and requires a minimum amount of effort to expand the canopy to its fullest.

The patio umbrella has a dazzling skinny and simple flair making it a nice accent for any environment. There is a super convenient feature that allows you angle the umbrella at 45 degrees just by pressing a button, which comes in handy when you need to find that perfect position to block out the sun. All in all, the Sunny Glade patio umbrella is a top choice for a sturdy, durable and affordable high performance product that delivers a cool and comfortable shade with style.

Key Product Features:

  • Anti-corrosion powder coated aluminum poles
  • Ventilation system adds stability
  • Ergonomic crankshaft mechanic

8. Patio Watcher 9 Foot Aluminum Patio Umbrella With Push Button Tilt And Crank

Last on our list to finalize the best eight patio umbrellas is brought to you by the Patio Watcher brand. They manufacture high quality gardening and outdoor patio furniture that is tested for durability and made for simple assembly and functionality. This model features a cool octagon shape canopy that is 100% waterproof and available in beige, lime green and a bold red. The durable polyester fabric provides a strong protection under sunlight and the patio umbrella is available in both a 7.5 foot diameter with 6 ribs or a larger canopy with 8 ribs that is 9 feet. The 8 rib model has a slightly higher price, but if you need to shade a bigger area then that’s the recommended choice. Each model has a strong 1.5 inch pipe that is powder coated and stronger than ordinary patio umbrellas on the market. This keeps the umbrella more stable in windy conditions. It’s easy to open up and close down thanks to the handy crankshaft handle that is easy to rotate and the top of the canopy has a small vent for wind to pass through rather than knock the umbrella over.

The umbrella fully expands to create a tight and flat canopy surface and there is no need to stick a pin through the pole to keep it up – it automatically clicks into place and you’re not able to crank it any further. As recommended, you should always fold down the umbrella when you are not using it and the Patio Watcher makes it easy to bundle up into a nice and tidy roll with an attached velcro strap. Once you crank down the canopy, the velcro strap is available to wrap around the fabric to form a secure closure.

From the simple two piece assembly process, to the push button tilt that allows you to angle the umbrella at 45 degrees to conveniently block out the sun this is a highly valuable option for a basic, but very functional patio umbrella.

Key Product Features:

  • Easy open/close crankshaft
  • Built-in velcro strap
  • Air vent to prevent inversion
  • Waterproof canopy