Things to Know Before Buying a Cantilever Parasol
Cantilever parasols are a great, versatile option for creating shade in the garden.
They have a multitude of uses: providing shade over tables, loungers or even paddling pools for the little ones.
So, if you’re looking for an effective parasol which works well when up, but can also be easily stored, you should get yourself a cantilever parasol.
The following tips will help you make an informed purchase.
What Size Parasol is Best?
The best cantilever parasol for you is, of course, the one which will fit in the space you have available.
There are three main considerations when purchasing one of these parasols:
- How much space do you have on your patio/in your garden?
- How much shade coverage do you need?
- How much storage space do you have?
The majority of the parasols that I have reviewed in this list have a 3 m canopy. This is quite common, and is a generous size. It gives enough shade for several people to sit comfortably under. Of course, if you can angle the canopy, you can create a longer shadow and more shade, which is a plus.
Bigger and smaller canopies are also available.
Sometimes the parasol height will vary, and it may or may not be extendable. Keep an eye on the product specifications to see how tall the cantilever parasol you are thinking about buying is. It goes without saying, but it’s always best to check measurements before buying – not when trying to squeeze your new parasol into your shed!
When it comes to finding a parasol to fit your garden space, you have a couple of options. Most of the cantilever parasols in this list are free standing. As a result, they take up some (but not much!) floor space. That said, there is another way: the Norfolk Leisure Cantilever Parasol attaches to the wall, thus taking up no floor at all. This is a great space-saving move if you’re a bit short on ground area.
Should You Buy a ‘Set’ or Just a Parasol?
Parasols are great for protecting us from the sun in hot weather. This much we know. But, of course, we’re also aware that the weather in the UK isn’t always reliably fair.
When buying a parasol, it’s necessary to consider how to protect it from the weather. This normally includes buying a cover, to protect your canopy from wind damage and fading; and some weights. These are added to the parasol base and stop it blowing over.
These items can be bought separately, or, if you buy your parasol as part of a ‘set’, like the Jarder Libra Parasol Set, you’ll get them all together.
The benefit of buying a set is that these items can be quite expensive when bought separately. Therefore, a set can help keep costs low. Furthermore, if you buy these items separately, you have to go to the extra effort of making sure they all fit your parasol correctly. In a set, compatibility is ensured.
That said, when you buy a set, you have to take what you’re given. Purchasing a set may mean that you don’t have as many colour options as when buying items separately. Equally, you have to be careful that the items are not of lower quality because they are being sold together. It’s a good idea to check reviews to find this out.
Look Out for UV Protection
Keeping safe in the sun is generally the number one reason to buy a parasol. With keeping cool as a close second.
The problem is, that just because you’re in the shade, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
When a parasol’s canopy does not have UV protection, the sun’s rays could still be harming your skin through the umbrella.
Making sure that the cantilever parasol you are thinking about buying has UV protection is important. It’s something to look out for especially if you sit outside a lot or have young children.
What Functions to Look For
Parasols can be surprisingly multi-functional.
Firstly, the basics: look out for a crank mechanism. This will make it easy to raise and lower your parasol. A smooth, robust mechanism will do wonders.
Secondly, a canopy that has the ability to ‘tilt’, and can be adjusted, will make it easier to block the sun at any angle. This is especially helpful if you want to spend long periods outside throughout the day; you can keep up with the changing angle of the sun.
Lastly, if you’re interested in having a parasol with an added ‘wow’ factor, you may want to look out for one with features like lights inside the canopy. This can create a really special ambiance and can be a great way to make use of your parasol even when night draws in.
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Cantilever Parasol FAQs
What weight base will I need to use with my parasol?
The following table offers a guide to recommended parasol base weights
||9 – 12 kg
|2 m, 2.1 m and 2.3 m
||12 – 15 kg
|2.5 m and 2.7 m
||15 – 20 kg
|3 m and 3 m x 2 m
||20 – 30 kg
|3m x 4m
||30 – 50 kg
Can I leave my parasol out all night and in all weather?
To get the best out of your cantilever parasol it is wise to lower the canopy and use a protective cover at night and during adverse weather conditions. This will protect the canopy from damage and from fading. During the winter months, it is best to store your parasol in a dry place such as a garage or shed as this will protect the metal parts from rust and corrosion.
How can I keep my cantilever parasol secure?
Cantilever parasols tend to have a relatively secure stand and base (unless you’ve bought a wall-attaching parasol, of course!). That said, they will need to be secured if it is windy.
It’s advisable to place your parasol on firm, flat ground if you want it to be really secure. Cantilever parasols will work on grass, but the uneven ground will likely make them unsteady. Concrete is more appropriate terrain.
Purchase a weighted base to make sure your parasol doesn’t topple or blow around in the wind.
How do I close my cantilever parasol?
All models vary and you should refer to your manufacturer’s handbook, but here is some general advice:
- Unsure the canopy is not tilted
- Turn the crank handle counter-clockwise
- With your other hand, gently support the main frame bracket as it comes down
- When the canopy is fully closed, stop turning the crank
- Affix cover if using one
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