Outdoor Patio Umbrella

by lakeerieartists

I wanted to have an outdoor patio umbrella with at least a bit of style, so we started to research patio umbrellas online. We found out that Ebay was the best place to buy.

Buying an outdoor patio umbrella can be difficult to do locally, because it seems that they are only available to purchase for a few short weeks in the spring, and then they are gone until next year. However, many people may not be able to buy an outdoor patio umbrella until summer arrives, or they need to replace either the outdoor patio umbrella itself or the stand for the umbrella, mid-summer.

My husband and I bought an outdoor patio set--table and chairs--when we moved into our house almost 20 years ago, but even though the furniture is still in good shape, our seat cushions and outdoor patio umbrella are shredded and torn. This year we decided it was time to replace both the seat cushions and umbrella, but by the time we were ready to buy them, local stores had a poor selection, and even those were mostly gone.

I wanted to have an outdoor patio umbrella with a least a bit of style, so we started to research patio umbrellas online. And what we found out was that Ebay was the best place to buy outdoor patio umbrellas (patio furniture and cushions too!).

Patio Umbrella Styles

Outdoor patio umbrellas are not just indoor or rain umbrellas made bigger.  Patio umbrellas have design and style of their own.  You have to make some choices when you are looking for a patio umbrella for your deck or patio.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Size: how much room do you have for your umbrella on your patio?  height may be an issue as well as width.
  • Color: do you have a specific color that you need to match your other patio furniture?
  • Stand: does the umbrella stand by itself or is it part of a table?
  • Location: do you need an umbrella that can change position and tilt?
  • Material: will this umbrella travel with you or is it stationary?  does it need to withstand weather?

Yellow Patio Umbrellas

Tiki Patio Umbrella

Solid Color or Matching Pattern

Most patio umbrellas come in solid colors, most likely because they please both men and women, and are easy to match to both solid colors and patterns.  However, you can find patterned umbrellas with matching furniture cushions that are more visually interesting.

There are also patio umbrellas that are not made of fabric, and have a thatched top.

The more expensive and better outdoor patio umbrellas will have better fabric, stronger center posts, and flexibility.  Some umbrellas are even made out of teak or other popular outdoor patio wood bases.

Outdoor Patio Umbrella w/Solar Led Lights

Green Patio Umbrellas

Offset Patio Umbrellas

Patio Umbrella Bases

Whether your outdoor patio umbrella is stationary or moves, it is a good idea to have a weighted umbrella base for it.  Umbrellas are similar to tent tops, and windsails and they catch the wind easily.  If you do not weigh down the umbrella with a base, then it may be damaged, blow away, or hurt a guest during high winds.

Square Patio Umbrella Stands

Burgundy Patio Umbrellas

Patio Umbrella Metal Crank

Your patio umbrella will work best if it has a metal crank to open and close the umbrella top.  A crank controls the flow of the umbrella and is harder to break.  A metal crank can also usually be replaced without replacing the entire umbrella.

If your umbrella tilts, make sure that the tilt position can be locked into place, so that it won't move around in the wind.  No one needs Grandma or Aunt Alice to be knocked over by an umbrella at the family party.

Outdoor Umbrella Screen

If you would like your outdoor experience in a bug free environment, you can buy an outdoor umbrella table screen that covers your outdoor patio umbrella with a light mesh screen, then falls all the way to the ground to keep out most bugs and insects.

This is a great help if you are allergic to bugs, or are in a highly buggy area. 

The screen also keeps bugs off your food outdoors, and you can remove it after your meal.

In some climates, owning an outdoor propane tabletop or freestanding heater allows you to eat outside the entire year round.
Updated: 09/27/2014, lakeerieartists
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AJ on 04/08/2012

Patio umbrellas tend to be on sale for most of the spring and summer in the UK - I guess it is just in case we actually get some prolonged sunshine :)

lakeerieartists on 03/20/2012

@Dustytoes I was very pleased with the variety of styles, sizes, and shapes of the patio umbrellas. We like one with a directional pole so we can move it with the sun.

dustytoes on 03/20/2012

Just yesterday I was sitting on my sunny deck and thinking I would need a patio umbrella by summer. My deck is very small, so I definitely need to consider the size and I guess the base comes separately? Good info here Paula.

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