The 10 Best Patio Umbrellas

Updated March 09, 2018 by Melissa Harr

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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. No matter where you live, at the height of summer, the strong sun can make your outdoor space unbearably hot. The right patio umbrella can provide both a stylish addition to your deck or garden decor and a significant reduction in temperature. Our selection even includes models that come with built-in lighting for entertaining at night. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best patio umbrella on Amazon.

10. Tropishade Tropilight

The festive Tropishade Tropilight is available in five smart colors, all paired with warm amber lights to create the perfect ambiance for nighttime parties. It features an articulation locking button that holds it securely in place.
  • includes a low voltage adapter
  • must be plugged into a power source
  • canopy material is pretty thin
Brand Tropishade
Model 637B13
Weight 10.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Destination Summer Round Solar

Loaded with bells and whistles, the Destination Summer Round Solar is large, at 11 feet in diameter, and bright, thanks to 24 LEDs. Its cantilever design lets it cover just about any table comfortably, while the steel frame helps it crank open effortlessly.
  • tough and hardy fabric
  • can rotate 360 degrees
  • on the more expensive side
Brand Destination Summer
Model pending
Weight 78.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Sundale Outdoor Solar

If you're looking for a light-up model that comes in a variety of attractive colors, then the Sundale Outdoor Solar may be the practical choice. Each rib has four solar-powered LEDs on it that will last between 9 and 12 hours when fully charged.
  • velcro strap for storage
  • solar panel premounted on top
  • cloth fades too quickly
Brand Sundale Outdoor
Model PU017
Weight 14.9 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Abba Patio Sunbrella

The extra robust canopy of the Abba Patio Sunbrella resists up to 98 percent of UV rays and is colorfast enough to handle cleaning with bleach. It also has a flap over the wind vent that serves to cover and protect the top of the pole when it is closed.
  • antique finishing
  • mid-range price
  • crank mechanism is too slow
Brand Abba Patio
Model AP9388CTBG
Weight 17 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Trademark Innovations Half

The Trademark Innovations Half is unique in that it fits flush up against a doorway or wall, making it perfect for small backyards and condo balconies. Some buyers have noted occasional pinholes in the fabric, though, so it may not stand up well to the elements.
  • strong steel ribs
  • cranks smoothly
  • canopy could be better quality
Brand Trademark Innovations
Weight 10.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

5. Hampton Bay 9-Foot Aluminum

The Hampton Bay 9-Foot Aluminum doesn’t have tons of frills and embellishments. Instead, it offers you a solid addition to your outdoor furniture that is easy to operate, durable, and designed to give you exactly what you need, which is relief from the hot sun.
  • fabric resists stains and mildew
  • stylishly rich deep red
  • charcoal finish aluminum frame
Brand Hampton Bay
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Bayside21 Hula Thatched

Complement your tiki torches and piña coladas with this Bayside21 Hula Thatched. It’s covered in plastic raffia to give that luau aesthetic, while the canopy itself is supported by 16 fiberglass ribs for stability. You'll also get a carrying bag for transport.
  • vented to help it stay up in wind
  • good for pool parties
  • thatching could be a little thicker
Brand Bayside21
Model pending
Weight 13 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Abba Patio 11-Foot Offset

The Abba Patio 11-Foot Offset includes an extra-sturdy pole and eight steel ribs that are specifically made to resist rust and corrosion, and the versatile cantilever design allows it to be used for large dining tables or lounging by the pool.
  • tilts to 5 different positions
  • comes with a storage cover
  • neutral tan fits almost any decor
Brand Abba Patio
Model APRC330T
Weight 74 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Abba Patio Outdoor Push Button

It’s tough to beat the Abba Patio Outdoor Push Button when looking at value for the cost, since it offers great functionality without breaking the bank. Its 9-foot diameter shades tables seating between four and six people, while the vented canopy helps keep you cooler.
  • patriotic flag option available
  • fade-resistant polyester fabric
  • assembles with little trouble
Brand Abba Patio
Model AP9386CTR
Weight 17.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Treasure Garden Deluxe Auto-Tilt

The Treasure Garden Deluxe Auto-Tilt has been designed with all of the best features for a long-lasting product, including a powder-coated aluminum frame, a Kevlar braided cable, and a high-performance Sunbrella fabric that comes with a 5-year warranty.
  • tilts up to 30 degrees
  • many colors available
  • resistant to rust
Brand Treasure Garden
Model UM8100-5404
Weight 17.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Don't Succumb To The Melt

Even for those of us with darker complexions whose skin is much more amenable to the crushing UV rays of our great solar body in the sky, it's nearly impossible to keep from melting when outdoors on a hot, sunny day.

I'm mostly Italian, so I tan like it's nobody's business. Even when I burn (which is rare), the red turns to a deep, rich tan within about 48 hours. Still, when it's too hot, it's too hot. So, what's a person to do if they're even more sensitive to sunlight than I am? Sunscreen can help keep you from burning, but it won't keep you from melting.

That's where the umbrella comes in, and it's the patio umbrella, with its increased surface area and stable grounding mechanisms that will save you from turning into a human puddle.

Now, it isn't that the shade created by an umbrella actually makes the air underneath it any cooler. If you measured the temperature of the air in the shade and in the sunlight, it'd be about the same. To a human being, though, and not to a thermometer, direct sunlight increases your perception of the heat by 10-15 degrees. Think of it as the opposite of wind chill. Under the shade of an umbrella, you feel the air for what it actually is.

On a 85˚ day, sitting in direct sunlight would make you feel like you were suffering a 100˚ heat wave. In the shade, that temperature would feel like 85˚, if not a degree or two cooler. This is especially true on brick patios. Bricks absorb heat from the sun and radiates it back up at you, baking you like a fine NY-style brick oven pizza. Keeping the bricks beneath you under the shade of an umbrella will help reduce the rise in temperature even further.

A Lifestyle In The Shade

You don't have to look too deeply within your soul to decide on the right patio umbrella, but that doesn't mean it's a decision you should just toss out there. After all, this is your summertime comfort we're talking about, not to mention the look of your carefully curated outdoor space.

The first parts of your decision are liable to be practical, whether or not a certain umbrella will be a good fit for the space at hand, whether it's big enough or too big, for example, or whether to opt for a fancier umbrella on a boom pole over a more traditional design. This part of your decision is going to come from the outside in, instead of the other way around.

After that, however, your aesthetic takes over, and style becomes the number one consideration among available umbrellas. One of the special features that some of these umbrellas boast is a built-in mood lighting system. Either charged by simple batteries, a solar charge, or electricity run to the umbrella, these lights line the underside of the umbrella's ribs and cast a favorable glow on all who sit underneath them.

You'll see the prices of any good patio umbrella increase along with an increase in the durability of the frame materials and weather-resistant canopy. If you opt for a cheaper solution, your canopy is liable to fade in the sun and tear more easily over the years. It's also likely that the ribs, stretcher, and shaft materials will break more easily if the umbrella gets carried off by the wind or even simply dropped by a handler. It's better to make an investment in materials that will last.

Made In China?

I'm don't mean to imply that the umbrellas on our list are universally made overseas. That's not the case at all. The very first collapsible umbrella, however, was chronicled in China back around the year 21 CE. It was outfitted for a carriage to keep both driver and riders shaded from the sun in what I assume was very heavy, regal clothing.

There is evidence suggesting the use of umbrellas prior to this Chinese example elsewhere in the country, but it's hard to know for sure whether or not these umbrellas were collapsible. These records date back to the 6th century BCE, so the idea of the umbrella has been with us for at least 2600 years, collapsible or not.

Images of Egyptian parasols have been dated back almost 3000 years, but these were much lighter devices used only for protection from the sun, and couldn't withstand the environmental conditions against which the Chinese developed their umbrellas.

What the Egyptians most notably contributed to the umbrella is its superstitious danger, specifically if you open it indoors. This was considered in Egyptian times to be an insult to the Sun God, and would bring misfortune on anyone silly enough to do it.

Whoever came up with it first, there's a curious European period of almost 1000 years after the fall of the Roman Empire, during which wealthy families abandoned the umbrella as a status symbol and protection from the sun. It wasn't until the Renaissance that the umbrella came back into fashion in Europe, where they developed into the common umbrellas and patio umbrellas we use today.

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Last updated on March 09, 2018 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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