Are you tired of moving around that hard to move patio umbrella with the heavy sand base during the warmer months? Those type of patio umbrellas are definitely awkward, bulky and too heavy to slide.
So what are you supposed to do when you want to get some sun or move that umbrella to another spot? The answer is to look into replacing that umbrella with what is known as a ‘cantilever umbrella’ (sometimes referred to as hanging umbrellas or offset umbrellas).
These can do everything that a regular patio umbrella does but they don’t have to be moved because they can simply be retracted upright and out of the way.
In this article, we will help you find the best cantilever umbrella for your needs by doing a series of reviews on the top models and telling you more information about these clever shade providing devices.
**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
A cantilever is often described as an independent structure that is supported on only one end. That in essence is exactly what a cantilever umbrella is. The umbrella itself is only supported by one pivot point that is directly above the center of it.
Here is a photo of a cantilever umbrella:
Although there are different designs cantilever umbrellas for the most part are all built and work along the same guidelines. They also come in all different sizes.
That is one of the nice things about cantilever umbrellas is that they can be made a lot larger than regular patio umbrellas because they do not have to be moved, put up or taken down as often.
Keep the photo that we referenced above handy because if you are not familiar with cantilever umbrellas you will need to refer to it at times.
As you look at the photo from above you can clearly see that the umbrella is only attached in one spot through the center. You may be wondering then why the umbrella stand does not tip over while supporting all that weight.
The reason for that is the physics that go into the design of the cantilever umbrella support. They are designed very similar to the way professional basketball hoops are designed.
It all starts with the long curved arm that attaches to the center of the umbrella. The arch that umbrella arm has is designed with the aid of a computer to shift as much of the weight of the umbrella as it can back toward the umbrella support structure.
The second part that physics plays in the design is that the base acts as a counterweight for the umbrella. In the photo, you see thick, heavy metal legs but sometimes cantilever umbrellas are built with heavy metal square plates instead of legs.
These legs are also designed to only contact the ground where necessary to support the umbrella. See the photo below:
So by the way that the cantilever umbrella is strategically designed is how it can easily support the weight of the umbrella without tipping over.
Different designs of cantilever umbrellas can retract differently from each other but they all basically use similar methods to do this.
The preferred way is to have a hand crank on the vertical support structure. When this hand crank is turned one way, it folds up and retracts the umbrella. When it is cranked in the other direction it opens the umbrella and places it directly over what are usually patio tables or beach chairs.
The photo below is what a cantilever umbrella looks like when it is fully retracted:
So if you didn’t before now you have a basic idea how cantilever umbrellas support themselves and operate.
You don’t just want to take out your credit card and buy the first cantilever umbrella model that you come across. There is much to factor into your buying decision.
Here are the key characteristics of cantilever umbrellas that you should consider when making your purchasing decision:
There is a very wide variety of the price range that cantilever umbrellas can be bought in. Some are just a few hundred dollars and others can run into the thousands.
The best way to start your cantilever umbrella shopping is by setting a budget for yourself. This should be done factoring in both what you can spend and are willing to spend on a new umbrella.
Setting a budget will help narrow down your choices in a big product market because you won’t waste time looking at cantilever umbrella models you are never going to buy. Once you have determined your shopping budget you can then start factoring in the other umbrella characteristics on the list.
You will need to know what size cantilever umbrella you want to purchase. You can figure this out simply by putting a measuring tape flat across the ground on the area that you want to cover.
The furthest distance you measure will be the diameter of the umbrella that you need. Keep in mind if it’s too big of an area you may need more than one umbrella.
You are going to be purchasing an item that is going to be subjected to wind, rain and other elements. Given that fact you certainly want it to be durable. Make sure your umbrella is built using sturdy plastics, synthetic materials and non-corrosive metals.
Most people will consider their cantilever umbrella to be a part of their yard décor. Spend a little bit extra if you have to in order to get one that compliments the style of where you are setting it up.
You most certainly want an umbrella that can be cranked open easily and retracted back closed easily too. On some umbrella cranking devices, they have a lot of tension on them that makes them more difficult to crank.
Fancier cranking systems will have pulleys built into them and such to make this process easier.
We mentioned that cantilever umbrellas can get expensive. The more you spend the more important having a good comprehensive warranty becomes.
Here is what we feel are the top cantilever umbrella models:
Here is a really well-designed and well-built offset umbrella. It has the distinction of being one of the few cantilever umbrellas that have a curved support pole. That helps keep the pole well away from where you are using this product to create shade.
The umbrella itself on this model is 10 feet wide and comes in your choice of red or beige. The cover itself is nicely designed and made of sturdy and long lasting fabric. Eight heavy duty ribs support the umbrella.
The support pole is not only uniquely shaped but it is made out of a powder coated aluminum alloy. That makes it lightweight but sturdy. The base on this unit is a little large but that is so it can be filled with sand to give this hanging umbrella secure support.
Most customers really like how easy it is to open and close too.
Here is a cantilever umbrella that is bigger in diameter than most of the other models on our top review list. It opens up to a full 11 feet across. It can really cast some nice shade over a wide area.
The umbrella on this model is nicely supported by 8 sturdy ribs. The decorative polyester umbrella material comes in two nice color choices and is UV protected, waterproof and fade resistant.
Its support pole is made out of corrosion resistant and lightweight aluminum. The pole even has a built-in tilt mechanism so you can make slight umbrella adjustments without moving the whole umbrella setup.
The base length on this unit is over 3 feet cross dimensionally to provide sturdy support. You will need to support the base with some weight and once you do this hanging umbrella unit is sturdy like a tree.
There is also an included matching color cover to help protect the umbrella when it is folded up.
The support pole is made of 2 inch thick aluminum so it looks good and is very durable. This umbrella support also has a tilt feature which makes using this hanging umbrella very convenient.
The base of this umbrella will allow you to easily rotate it 360 degrees. Everything on this cantilever umbrella model is easy to operate including the well-designed hand cranking system.
It only comes in one color but that is a beige earth tome so it will go good in most any setting,
This is a really well designed and good size cantilever umbrella. It is very sturdy when set up, operates easily and is built to last. Giantex really did a great job putting this hanging umbrella together.
The umbrella diameter on this model cantilever umbrella is a very generous 10 feet. That is big enough to cover any picnic table, patio table or a few sets of lounge chairs.
There are three distinct colors that the umbrella itself comes in too. These are beige, burgundy and tan. So it’s easy to find a color that will go with your other patio furniture and look good where you set it up.
The steel pole and arm on this model umbrella reach up to a height of 8 feet. That is plenty of distance to clear anything you place it over comfortably. All the components that go into making the cranking system work are high quality too.
Here is another nicely designed 10 foot wide hanging umbrella. It is the most affordable model on our review list. It may be budget friendly but it is still a very good working cantilever umbrella product.
The breathable fabric is UV coated and will stop over 90% of the sun’s harmful rays. The umbrella portion is also nicely supported by eight sturdy ribs. There are three fabric colors to choose from.
The support pole is made of a mostly heavy rigid pipe material. The umbrella easily cranks up and down and there is even a tilt feature built into the support system.
The base nicely keeps this cantilever umbrella model from falling over but you will need to add some weight to the base yourself too.
All of the cantilever models that we reviewed certainly seem to be quality products that anyone would want to own. The one we were most impressed with was the Grand Patio Deluxe 10 FT Curvy Aluminum Offset Umbrella.
We liked the fact that unlike some of the other models it was made of lightweight and durable aluminum alloy material. It is very easy to crank open and closed too. It is also a stylish umbrella thanks to the color choices it comes in and because of its unusual and attractive curved support pole.
Do yourself a favor and take a good look at this model cantilever umbrella before you decide which model you will purchase.
Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.