A standard patio umbrella provides a shady respite on hot and sunny days. If you’re more interested in a unique and stylish outdoor covering, consider a cantilever umbrella. Unlike a standard patio umbrella with a center pole, a cantilever umbrella features an offset pole that suspends the umbrella from the side. The umbrella then hovers over a patio or a seating area to provide shade.
The best cantilever umbrella is weather resistant, sturdy, and attractive to bring elegant sun coverage to an outdoor space. Keep reading to learn more about the factors to consider when shopping for a cantilever umbrella, and then explore some of the top picks on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: LE CONTE METZ 10 ft. Offset Hanging Patio Umbrella
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Devoko 10 Ft Patio Offset Cantilever Umbrella
- BEST MIDRANGE: LE CONTE Grenoble 10 ft. Cantilever Umbrella
- BEST WITH LIGHTS: Best Choice Products 10ft Solar LED Offset Umbrella
- ALSO CONSIDER: wikiwiki H Series Patio Offset Hanging Umbrella
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cantilever Umbrella
Also known as offset umbrellas, cantilever umbrellas are an eye-catching choice for covering outdoor spaces. They maximize shade and provide an open and unobstructed seating space—no need to position furniture around an unwieldy central pole. When choosing the best cantilever umbrella, consider the canopy size and shape, material and fabric options, operating mechanism, adjustability, and more.
Shape and Coverage
Size is an important factor when selecting the best cantilever umbrella. Look for an option that provides enough shady coverage but isn’t too large. While shoppers might be tempted to choose a broad umbrella for the extra shade, it can be too imposing and throw off the balance of a patio or seating area. Consider an umbrella about 2 feet wider than all sides of a patio dining table or seating area.
Cantilever umbrellas come in a variety of shapes, including round (hexagonal and octagonal), square, and rectangular options. Most umbrellas range from 6 to 13 feet in diameter to provide ample cover from the sun.
High-quality cantilever umbrellas are made from durable materials to withstand sun, rain, and wind. Specifically, the canopy should block UV rays to protect from the sun and be water resistant if a summer shower rolls over. To maintain both the look and overall sturdiness, look for an umbrella with a fade-, weather-, and mildew-resistant canopy as well as a rust-resistant frame.
Common cantilever canopy fabrics include acrylic, Sunbrella, polyester, and olefin.
- Acrylic: Acrylic is a soft and versatile fabric that is easy to dye in a range of colors and patterns. Acrylic canopies retain their shape and resist wrinkling, making them a great pick for decorative and protective umbrellas.
- Sunbrella: Sunbrella is a durable UV- and weather-resistant acrylic fabric that holds up to outdoor conditions without fading. Designed for outdoor use, it is also mold and mildew resistant and easy to wipe clean.
- Polyester: Polyester is a cost-friendly fabric that is quick to dry. To offer proper protection and resist sun damage, look for a UV-treated option.
- Olefin: Olefin offers superior UV resistance and is a quick-drying fabric ideal for the outdoors. It is also easy to wipe clean of mold or mildew.
Popular frame materials include stainless steel, aluminum, and fiberglass.
- Stainless steel: Sleek and modern stainless steel is durable and naturally corrosion resistant, making it a great pick to handle rain and moisture. However, saltwater can cause steel to corrode, which is a possibility in seaside locations.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is sturdy, lightweight, and affordable. Most aluminum frames are powder coated or anodized to make them corrosion resistant. They are available in a variety of color and finish options.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass tends to be a costlier option, but this durable material is worth the cost in areas with a lot of inclement weather. It is lightweight and performs well in windy conditions, offering more flexibility than stainless steel or aluminum. Fiberglass also won’t rust or rot in stormy and wet climates. Some umbrellas feature fiberglass ribs under a metal framing to combine the sturdiness of both materials.
The sun’s UV rays can damage the skin, causing everything from wrinkles to skin cancer. To provide proper cover from the sun, many cantilever umbrellas feature UV-resistant fabrics to block some of these damaging UV rays.
One way to measure the UV resistance of a patio UV umbrella is the UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating. This rating refers to the fabric’s ability to block a certain amount of UV rays. A higher UPF rating means better protection, with most ratings ranging between 15 and 50+. A UPF 15 fabric blocks around 93.3 percent of UV radiation, while a 50+ UPF fabric blocks around 98 percent of UV radiation.
The fabric weave, color, thickness, and stretch can affect its UPF rating. To ensure proper sun protection, look for a cantilever umbrella with a certain level of UV resistance. For example, Sunbrella provides up to 98 percent protection from harmful UV rays.
Cantilever umbrellas can be quite heavy, so an easy-to-use opening and closing mechanism is a must. Most cantilever mechanisms use a crank system to open and close the canopy. The crank is usually mounted on the pole to stay within easy reach.
Users turn the crank in one direction to open the canopy and in the other direction to close it. Compared to push-up or pulley systems, a crank mechanism requires the least amount of effort, making it a logical choice for heavy cantilever umbrellas. An additional crank or slider mechanism is often present to adjust the angle or the height of the canopy once it’s fully open.
Tilt and Rotation
Many cantilever umbrellas feature a tilt or rotation option to shield UV rays from all directions. These options allow the umbrella canopy to sit at an angle or rotate around the pole to keep users covered during a full day of outdoor fun.
For flexible sun coverage, a tilt function allows you to angle the canopy to block UV rays without moving the umbrella. A rotating cantilever umbrella swivels around its base—up to 360 degrees—to permit versatile patio seating arrangements.
Weight and Stability
A sturdy base prevents the umbrella from falling over or blowing away. Its weight and stability are important safety considerations—a stable base prevents damage to the umbrella and keeps everyone in the vicinity safe.
Most cantilever umbrella bases are an extension of the frame, shaped in an X or a T design and made of steel, aluminum, or fiberglass. If it isn’t bolted to the ground, a cantilever umbrella must be paired with a weighted base. These bases can be built in, included with the umbrella, or sold separately. They usually take the form of weight bags or hollow plastic bases ready to fill with sand or water. Weighted bases can range from 40 to over 100 pounds.
A wheeled base adds portability to move the umbrella around the yard—have it beside a pool during the day and in an outdoor dining area at dusk.
The large canopy of a cantilever umbrella makes a statement in an outdoor space. These umbrellas combine form and function, protecting you from the sun while also providing a stylish backdrop to warm summer nights.
- Canopy color and design: Canopies come in a wide range of colors and patterns to make the umbrella stand out from or blend in with the surrounding decor. Choosing a loud color or a busy pattern will make the umbrella pop, while neutral colors and simple patterns will blend with the outdoor aesthetic.
- Lights: Lights can add a bit of ambiance to an outdoor space and create a lovely glow for evening and after-dark hours. Some umbrellas feature built-in lights along the frame. Adding a strand of outdoor string lights is a low-cost option to decorate a cantilever umbrella.
- Hanging decorations: Lightweight decorations can hang from the umbrella frame or along its perimeter. Hanging decorations like wind chimes and other decor add a pop of personality and dress up an outdoor space for seasonal events and holidays.
Our Top Picks
The best cantilever umbrella blends function and style. These top picks offer protection from the sun, hovering over a seating area to provide an unobstructed shady space for patios and backyards. With the above considerations in mind, these cantilever umbrellas were selected due to their sturdiness, durability, and attractiveness. Read on to discover some of the best cantilever umbrellas for elegant outdoor living on the market today.
Add a pop of color to a patio with this cantilever umbrella from Le Conte. With a 10-foot round canopy, the umbrella provides plenty of all-day shade. The solution-dyed fabric canopy features five layers and a polyurethane coating. It is waterproof, UV protective, and fade resistant, ensuring protection against UV rays and light rain.
The rust-resistant and powder-coated iron frame also makes this umbrella a sturdy pick for outdoor living. Reinforced joints keep the umbrella sturdy in windy conditions.
Adjustable features include a smooth crank system to open and close the canopy and a tilt lever to adjust the umbrella angle with ease. This umbrella comes in a rich burgundy color, but other solid hues are available. Pair this umbrella with a weighted base (not included) to ensure safe use.
An elegant cantilever umbrella doesn’t need to come with a luxury price tag. This 10-foot cantilever umbrella from Devoko is an affordable pick to dress up an outdoor space.
Made of budget-friendly polyester, this umbrella is waterproof, UV resistant, and fade resistant. The canopy also features air vents to help keep shady areas cool. The frame is made of powder-coated iron and features an easy crank to open and close the canopy. A tilt and height adjustment mechanism makes it easy to provide sun and rain protection from morning until night.
The round canopy comes in a classic neutral beige color, but other solid shades are also available. For safe installation, pair the umbrella with a weighted base (not included).
For sturdy and stylish shade, consider this 10-foot round cantilever umbrella from Le Conte. The umbrella comes in a light beige color to turn an outdoor space into a shady oasis, and other solid hues are also available. The thick canopy is made of five layers of solution-dyed fabric that is fade resistant, waterproof, and protects against UV rays. It also features a polyurethane coating to protect from rain.
Despite the midrange price point, this umbrella offers extra features, including tilt and rotation adjustments. Both the ample tilt angle and the 360-degree rotation helps to provide shade from all directions.
A rust-resistant aluminum alloy frame withstands the effects of inclement weather. The frame features reinforced joints and a strengthened crank mechanism for durable support and smooth adjustments. Be sure to secure the umbrella with a weighted base (not included).
Lighting can add a bit of sparkle and shine to an umbrella setup. This 10-foot round cantilever umbrella from Best Choice Products features built-in solar LED lighting to keep the party going from day to night.
The frame includes 24 built-in LED lights powered by solar panels to save energy while providing pretty evening lighting. Made from powder-coated steel, the frame is also rust and scratch resistant. A weighted base (not included) helps keep the umbrella stable.
This umbrella also boasts many of the features of other high-quality cantilever umbrellas. The hand crank makes it simple to open and close the umbrella, while an easy tilt system blocks the sun from all angles. The polyester canopy is water and fade resistant and provides a small vent to enhance airflow. This umbrella is available in several solid color choices.
This simple cantilever umbrella from wikiwiki measures 10 feet in diameter to provide pleasant shade on sunny days. Made of thick solution-dyed fabric with a polyurethane coating, the canopy is fade resistant, water resistant, and UV protective.
A sturdy coated aluminum frame brings structure to this round umbrella. To add more flexibility and strength, the crank mechanism, the locking mechanism, and the canopy joint are reinforced with industrial-grade nylon rather than breakable plastic parts. This allows users to open, close, and tilt the umbrella with ease.
This umbrella is available in several color shades. To install, pair this umbrella with a weighted base (not included) for stable and long-lasting sun protection.
FAQs About Cantilever Umbrellas
Whether for a barbecue, an outdoor lunch, or a pool day, a cantilever umbrella provides stylish protection from the sun. Keep reading for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about choosing and using a cantilever umbrella.
Q. How does a cantilever umbrella work?
A cantilever umbrella features an offset canopy held up by a sturdy base and a curved pole. This heavy base and strong pole allow the canopy to suspend over a space and provide unobstructed shade.
Q. What do you look for in a cantilever umbrella?
The best cantilever umbrella is sturdy, long-lasting, and offers ample shade for your outdoor space. Look for durable and weather-resistant materials that will stay protective and attractive through many patio seasons.
Q. How do I know the best size for a cantilever umbrella?
An easy rule of thumb is to choose a cantilever umbrella that extends over the table or the seating area by 2 feet on each side. Consider selecting a shape that matches the shape of the outdoor living area. For example, a rectangular umbrella may work best on a rectangular balcony or over a long dining table. A symmetrical round or square umbrella will bring balance to a bistro set or a square patio.
Q. What’s the most durable fabric for cantilever umbrella canopies?
Sunbrella is generally regarded as one of the best fabrics for cantilever umbrella canopies. It is durable, weather resistant, fade resistant, and easy to clean.
Q. How do you keep a cantilever umbrella from falling over?
A hefty, weighted base will keep a cantilever umbrella upright. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to choose the appropriate weight for your chosen umbrella.