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Sometimes, interrupting a pleasant gathering in the patio is unavoidable, when a storm rolls in. A gentler rain, however, is something to be enjoyed. Here, we will show you how to find an umbrella that can provide appropriate shelter, and will present you with some pretty good choices to help you in your search.
The Best Patio Umbrella for Rain Reviewed
Between material, features, color (when it varies) and even shape, there’s a plethora of options to pick from, and some will be better against rain than others (which we will cover shortly). To start with, let’s go over a few ways an umbrella may be different than another.
Styles of Patio Umbrellas
Umbrellas are categorized mainly depending on how their pole runs. By this definition, there are two main divisions:
This type is the one that most closely resembles the traditional, personal umbrellas we use against rain or sun. Their pole runs straight up to the center, and are therefore more apt to be used as a standalone. Within this category, you get the following subtypes:
Market: The most common type, seen in locations such as dining tables. Round or octagonal.
Beach: Usually round, with hanging portions at the edges and a spike at the bottom end of the pole so the umbrella can be stuck into the ground.
Half: Featuring one flat side, it’s intended for propping up against a wall. The opposite, non-flat side can also feature hanging portions for additional shade.
Also known as cantilever, the pole runs at a curve that ends with it pointing backwards; as such, the canopy does not rest at the top; instead, it hangs from the pole. In this way, they provide more freedom to arrange the space underneath, as there is no pole in the way. As they also lend themselves to losing stability more easily, they require heavier bases than their centered pole counterparts; they are also more expensive on average.
The chief concern here, is the area you want to cover with the umbrella. A 5 to 6′ will be good for a single bistro set, or 2-4 chairs. For as many as 10 chairs, you should be looking for an umbrella 11 to 13′ in size.
Patio Umbrella Materials
Here we have two variations as well: pole, and canopy. The pole can be made of wood (specially selected and treated to endure the outdoors), aluminum (lightweight, low-maintenance, variety of finishes available), or fiberglass (reinforced plastic that is also flexible and thus unlikely to snap under heavy winds). Canopies for patio umbrellas are manufactured in olefin, acrylic, polyester and the fairly resilient—and expensive—Sunbrella.
Windproof Wind Vents
This layer at the top of the canopy helps with airflow; some umbrellas come with only one, some will feature two, which makes them especially apt for areas with frequent strong winds.
Keeping Warm on Your Patio
We’ve reviewed a whole bunch of products to help take the chill off of your patio, but these umbrellas pair really nicely with these hanging patio heaters which we’ve also taken an in-depth look at!
A Note On Bases
In short, many umbrellas don’t include one. Fortunately, they are not hard to find.
Eye-Catching Shelter: The Ones We Like
These umbrellas are of varying sizes, shapes and configurations; quite likely, the one you’ve been looking for is right here.
Blissun Outdoor Aluminum Patio Umbrella
Canopy is made in polyester, well known for its water-repelling capability, and with a selection of 12 colors and patterns to pick from, it is unlikely anyone will want for something to suit their taste. At 9′ size, it can cover 4-6 chairs, per the manufacturer.
•Impressive variety of colors and patterns, not easily matched by any other manufacturer.
•Inexpensive; well within reach of almost any budget.
•Its pole is so light it might require additional weight to stay in place.
•Fabric is reportedly somewhat flimsy; unit should be treated with some care to avoid tears.
PURPLE LEAF Round Pool Deck Umbrella
If you’re seeking to cover anywhere from 10 to 13′, then this model got something for you, as it comes available in a total of 4 sizes, and it also offers a total of 7 colors (worth noting that not all colors come in all sizes; might be advisable to verify compatibility before making your final choice). The canopy is polyester, and the frame is alloy steel, which, along with the vent at the top, makes it decently resilient against strong winds. The base is not included, but the manufacturer offers two compatible options to purchase separately, as well as a light so the gathering won’t have to break up come night time.
•Variety of sizes and colors makes it compatible with a wider range of area sizes and palettes.
•Decent number of compatible accessories available separately.
•Its asking price is quite high, especially considering other umbrellas with more coverage are less expensive; likely to be feasible only for hefty budgets.
ABCCANOPY Patio Solar Umbrella
At a glance, it looks like a fairly average model—9′ in size, 10 colors to select from—, but what makes this one truly stand out is its built-in set of LED lights, which will not add in the inconvenience of unsightly wires running from your home to the patio, as they are charged by sunlight; a single light will be enough for the 32 lights to stay on for about 12 hours without interruption. The pole is aluminum, which is powdercoated to boost protection against rain and sun, and the canopy features a solution dye and sunscreen coating to match.
•Thoroughly treated canopy and pole for optimal resilience against just about any sort of elemental exposure.
•Built-in lights can help make any gathering at the patio last beyond bedtime, without impacting the power bill in the slightest.
•Umbrella can be somewhat difficult to open and close, per some reports.
PHI VILLA 15ft Patio Umbrella Double-Sided
If you’re looking to provide shade (and shelter from unexpected rain) to a larger area—say about 3 lounge chairs—, then your search might be over, as this umbrella features a double canopy that measures 9′ in width and a full 15 in length. The 12 ribs and pole—all made in alloy steel—, aided by the vents on top, provide decent wind resistance, and operation is simpler than could be expected for such a large item: all it takes to open and close it, is to engage the crank in the appropriate direction. There is no need to worry if beige just isn’t your thing, as this umbrella is also available in red, blue, and dark red.
•Ideal for effortlessly covering a particularly large area without having to set multiple umbrellas in a row.
•Good deal in terms of accessories included: unlike so many others, this one includes a base, and it also comes with two oxford bags for the canopy and a cover for the base.
•Cannot tilt in any direction; this may limit the coverage it offers, especially at certain hours.
BLUU Redwood Square Patio Umbrella
(Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PK46Y4H/)This one is definitely on the expensive side, and it technically comes in only one size, but it does go one step further: whereas most other alternatives come only in square or rectangular shapes, this one offers a square, 10′ x 10′ version, and a round one, 11′ in diameter. It can also be bought in any of 3 colors available, be it blue, beige, or a somewhat uncommon wood hue.
The canopy’ material is 280GSM fabric, solution-dyed and with PU coating for improved water-repelling capabilities. The pole and the ribs are aluminum, extra thick so it will endure more pressure than similar items while remaining lightweight.
•Proprietary ‘infinite adjustment’ system allows to change both tilt and rotation, for maximum adaptability to the sun’s varying positions.
•A good alternative for those who like supporting environmental causes, as a fraction of the sale goes towards planting trees.
•The included stand must be bolted to the ground in order to fulfill its intended purpose. Acquiring a weighted base separately might be necessary, if bolting is not practical for any reason.
Throws Shade Over All Others: BLUU Redwood Square Patio Umbrella
It does require a sufficiently hefty budget, but the value it delivers is hard to deny: it’s large enough to cover an area of decent size, it’s both lightweight and solid, the canopy boasts good resilience, and the color range, while nothing particularly impressive, should still be enough to fit most palettes. Its adjustment range is hard to beat, too. The most glaring potential drawback could be the base, but it’s not hard to remedy; all it needs is an appropriate weighted base.