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An outdoor umbrella is an essential purchase for any area that experiences prolonged sun exposure, choosing the right one requires the careful consideration of a variety of factors.

Need help? See our umbrella shopping guide below or contact our team of experts to find the right umbrella for you.

Greenwich | Square Market Umbrella

Shopping Guide

Curran's premium patio umbrellas all provide instant relief and refreshment on a sweltering summer day. While wicker loungers by the pool or a rustic teak dining table might take center stage in your outdoor living area, modern shade solutions are designed to unfurl quietly and elegantly, year after year, providing adjustable all-day shade and protection from rain and wind.

While an outdoor umbrella is an essential purchase for any area that experiences prolonged sun exposure, choosing the right one requires the careful consideration of a variety of factors. For a complete resource on all of the considerations that go into purchasing the perfect patio umbrella, consult our Patio Umbrella Buying Guide. The following summary will introduce you to the main topics to consider and familiarize you with some basic facts surrounding premium patio umbrellas.

Market vs. Cantilever Umbrellas

Market umbrellas and cantilever umbrellas share many features but have different capabilities.

Market/Center-Pole Umbrellas: 

The traditional market umbrella, also known as a center-pole umbrella due to its centrally located pole, resembles a larger ground-mounted version of the time-honored handheld umbrella. The pole, historically made of wood and also known as the mast, is located directly beneath the canopy dome. Barlow Tyrie's Napoli Parasol is about as classic of an example of this style as you can get, with a gorgeous eucalyptus wood telescopic pole and an ivory Sunbrella fabric canopy.

While the basic structure of a market umbrella is straightforward, our collections include models with a number of special features. Some customizations include vented awnings for improved airflow, a tilted axis to protect against the sun as it shifts, additional struts for bolstered wind protection, and more. 

Market umbrellas also have a variety of bases and lift mechanisms to meet your desired performance, whether it is an umbrella that can be wheeled around the deck or planted firmly in the ground. Additional accessories like reducer rings may also be required for a secure fit in dining tables.

Cantilever/Offset Umbrellas: 

In this style, the mast is structurally removed to the side of the canopy. This inverted L-shaped support makes the canopy more maneuverable on multiple axes for improved shade coverage and directional shade throughout the day. They typically come at a higher price point and premium features, like Garpa's Roma Swivel Umbrella, which rotates on its own axis and can be adjusted up to 90° to block the sun. Some cantilever umbrellas can be mounted directly to a wall, without the need of a heavy weighted base.

Footprint

Market umbrella canopies come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from 6 to 16 feet wide. Resorts and restaurants favor giant market umbrellas, with canopies 13 feet and larger supported by heavy bases or fixed mounts. On the other hand, most market umbrellas for residential customers are relatively lightweight, weighing less than 100 pounds with a base.

Cantilever umbrellas can be significantly heavier. They range from 8 to 13 feet wide and require a base of 400 pounds or more to support the remote canopy’s offset center of gravity.

Performance

Cantilever umbrellas justify their larger footprint (and price point) by offering enhanced canopy maneuverability. A cantilever umbrella with a 360-degree rotating base provides shade to up to four times as much space as a comparably sized stationary market umbrella. The canopy’s vertical and horizontal tilt functionality allows you to provide directional shade anywhere within that radius as the sun moves overhead throughout the day.

Cantilever umbrellas have an additional advantage in that the shadow they provide is largely free of obstructions. A market umbrella, even if it is secured within the umbrella hole of an outdoor dining table, does require you to arrange your patio furniture relative to the central pole and base of the umbrella.

Selecting the right umbrella style is only the first in a long line of considerations to determine what shade system is best for you. Here are a few of the main ones to keep in mind.

Weather: A good umbrella exists to protect you from the elements, but that doesn't mean it doesn't need protection from mother nature as well. While some basic upkeep applies no matter where you live (close the canopy when it is extremely windy, use an umbrella cover or put your umbrella indoors during a storm), more extreme environments call for more exacting performance. A market umbrella that may suffice for a garden that never sees more than a gentle breeze or spring shower might not meet the standards for a patio on a seaside bluff where strong gusts of wind and salty ocean spray are part of daily life. 

If you live at a high altitude or under relentless sun, high UV protection is a must. South African manufacturer Woodline knows this, which is why their state-of-the-art Picollo Cantilever fade-resistant patio umbrella uses solution-dyed acrylic fabric yarns that are infused with color at the molecular level to be 7/8 colorfast. The treated woven fabrics are water-repellent, as well as mildew- and stain-resistant. 

Windy and humid environments benefit from wind vents, which allow hot air to escape and bolster canopy stability. A heavier base also reinforces the umbrella in windy environments. 

Canopy Size: Before making any outdoor purchases, we recommend drafting a detailed floor plan of your space, complete with furniture dimensions and layout. Knowing what you need shaded and the direction of sun exposure will keep you blanketed in shade and enjoying your outdoor oasis. 

As a general rule, market umbrellas with a canopy diameter under 10 feet are ideal for a smaller dining set or a pair of casual chairs. Larger cantilever umbrellas can have diameters of 13 feet or more, providing ample cover for a modular deep seating set or generously sized dining tables. Gloster's elegant Halo Parasol collection offers a variety of sizes to suit your needs.

Canopy Shape: 

Round & octagonal canopies are ideal for compact circular spaces such as hot tubs, circular sofas, dining tables, fire pits, bar tables, and groupings of poolside chaise lounges. Octagonal umbrellas with a valance, like the Catalina Patio Umbrella, also foster a sense of intimacy and privacy. 

Square canopies are bulkier but provide maximum shade coverage for symmetrical set-ups such as bistro tables, square dining tables, and lounge seating islands anchored around a coffee table.

Rectangular canopies are less common but are ideal for asymmetrical furniture layouts such as long rectangular or oval tables and extended sectional sofas.

Brand

Collection

Style

Canopy Shape

Canopy Size

Height

Closed Clearance for Table

Approx. Weight w/ Base

Tilt

360° Rotate

Wind Rating

Operation

Frankford

Cantilever

Round

13'

9'2"

650 lbs

y

y

35 mph

Crank

Frankford

Eclipse

Cantilever

Square

10'

9'2"

650 lbs

y

y

35 mph

Crank

Frankford

Cantilever

Round

11'

9'2"

450 lbs

y

y

25 mph

Crank

Frankford

Giant Market

Round

16'

14'

66"

750 lbs

n

n

50 mph

Crank

Frankford

Nova

Giant Market

Square

13'

14'

52"

750 lbs

n

n

50 mph

Crank

Frankford

Giant Market

Round

13'

9'7"

30"

250 lbs

n

n

40 mph

Pulley

Frankford

Monterey Giant

Giant Market

Rectangular

8'6" x 11'

9'7"

27.5"

250 lbs

n

n

40 mph

Pulley

Frankford

Market

Square

7'6"

9'

40"

100 lbs

n

n

35 mph

Pulley

Frankford

Market

Round

11'

8'11"

41"

90 lbs

y

n

40 mph

Crank

Frankford

Market

Round

7'6"

8'2"

85 lbs

y

n

Crank

Frankford

Catalina

Market

Round

7'6"

7'7"

85 lbs

n

n

Manual Push

Umbrosa

Cantilever

Square

8'2"

8'7"

450 lbs

y

y

31 mph

Manual Fan

Umbrosa

Cantilever

Square

9'10"

8'6"

500 lbs

y

y

18 mph

Manual Fan

Umbrosa

Cantilever (Multi-Canopy)

Square

6'3"/ea

7'6"

450 lbs

y

n

31 mph

Manual Push

Woodline

Market

Square

9'5"

11'5"

25"

100 lbs

n

n

17 mph

Self-Lift

Woodline

Market

Round

11'6"

8'4"

31"

330 lbs

n

n

50 mph

Pulley

Woodline

Cantilever

Rectangular

9'10" x 13'1"

10'1"

400 lbs

n

y

23 mph

Crank

Woodline

Market

Square

11.5"

9'3"

20"

75 lbs

n

n

17 mph

Pulley

Woodline

Bravura

Market

Rectangular

7'2" x 9'10"

8'3"

30"

75 lbs

n

n

17 mph

Pulley

Woodline

Cantilever

Round

11'6"

8'10"

400 lbs

y

y

31 mph

Crank

Woodline

Cantilever

Square

9'10"

8'10"

400 lbs

y

y

12 mph

Crank

Woodline

Market

Square

9'10"

8'3"

17"

75 lbs

n

n

17 mph

Pulley

Woodline

Market

Round

8'

7'8"

50 lbs

n

n

17 mph

Pulley

Note: This is a representative sampling of Curran patio umbrella models and collections.

For patio umbrella purchases, the base is typically not included. Consult our complete Patio Umbrellas Buying Guide for details on how to select the proper free-standing base or in-ground/surface-mounted system.

Cabana: A staple of sandy beaches, sprawling poolside patios, and rooftop clubs, beach cabanas are spacious accommodations found in exclusive hospitality settings where vacationers travel in search of la dolce vita.  

Traditional outdoor cabanas drape weather-resistant fabric over a sturdy aluminum frame with a fixed roof and adjustable curtains. More modern interpretations, such as the minimalist Woodline Sky, remove excess fabric in favor of a floating canopy that still provides shade for a large group.