The modern outdoor umbrella comes in a wide variety of iterations. The beach umbrella and the patio umbrella are two different variations of this ubiquitous accessory. What sets them apart? Let’s compare them and understand.
The beach umbrella is the all-important accessory for your trips to the sandy beaches. You want to soak up the warmth of the sun and not burn in it. Besides, the UV rays in sunlight can cause you a lot of long-term discomfort. The key part of the beach umbrella’s utilitarian design is its light weight. Packing and carrying it is a breeze. You can carry it to your favourite sunny spot and chill in its shade.
The patio umbrellas are a different beast. They are designed to give you a portable or fixed shade in your patio. They don’t need to be hauled around across long distances. So they are heavier than the beach umbrellas. If you have a nice pool in your backyard you can order yourself a commercial pool umbrella. A bunch of loungers in the shade of a bespoke pool umbrella can turn your poolside into a cool place to hang out in the sun.
If you have a large outdoor space and are planning to turn it into a lounge, go for the large cantilever patio umbrellas. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The offset post or mast of the cantilever patio umbrella gives you a lot of room for a generous furniture setup. You can tilt the canopy up and down and also rotate it around the mast with the help of its swivel-arm.
Since patio umbrellas are designed to stay in your patio and not to be carried around, they come with different mounting options. This leads us to our second comparison parameter.
Beach umbrellas are not only much lighter than the patio umbrellas, they also have very different mounting mechanisms. The standard beach umbrella comes with a pole that has a pointy bottom. You can use the spike to fix the umbrella firmly into the beach-sand. Some smaller variations of the beach umbrella come with clamps at the end of the poles. You can use the clamp to fix your umbrella to your lounge chair if the beach has one.
Large cantilever patio umbrellas come with a range of mounting options. The mast of such an umbrella normally has a flat base. A freestanding cantilever umbrella has a heavy base with wheels for mobility across the patio. A wall-mounted cantilever umbrella on the other hand lets you fix it to a wall if you have space constraints. And then there is the bolt-down mounting mechanism for the really large commercial cantilever umbrellas. You just need a hard flooring and the bolt-down mounting mechanism will make sure that your umbrella stays put in rain or shine.
Because the beach umbrella has to be lightweight and easy-to-carry, the frame is made of lightweight materials like PVC, fibreglass or aluminium. Make no mistake! These materials may be light, but they are very sturdy. Both fibreglass and aluminium are resistant to the elements and will last years before needing replacement.
A patio umbrella is a heavy-duty accessory. It not only functions as a practical shade solution, but also gives a touch of class to your outdoor space. The frame of a patio umbrella has to be robust in order for it to last really long in the sun and in trying weather conditions. Popular materials include powder coated aluminium, corrosion resistant steel and fibreglass. Wood is also used to make the frames of classic centre-pole outdoor umbrellas. They lend a classic feel to a traditional décor and furniture setup.
The canopy is that part of the umbrella that saves you from the harmful UV radiation and the sporadic showers. It is made up of water and UV proof materials like olefin, polyester and acrylic. But its application isn’t limited to just giving you shade.
The canopy is the canvas that carries your signature style. You can have your outdoor umbrella built according to your taste. If you have a business, use the umbrella to promote your brand by having your brand colours and logo printed on the canopy.
Your beach umbrella canopy can set your apart from the crowd on a sunny beach. A two tiered top adorned in contrasting colours, bold or quaint patterns, a scalloped valance with contrasting fringe – these are some of the design cues that can make your umbrella stand out among others.
You can take your patio umbrella a few notches above the rest by having it designed according to your taste. While centre-pole outdoor umbrellas normally come with a classic octagonal canopy, the cantilever patio umbrellas come with more contemporary canopy designs. The square and rectangular canopies look the part on these umbrellas and give your patio an avant-garde vibe.
Both the beach and the patio umbrellas have evolved into ubiquitous objects that aren’t just drab accessories anymore. They do their job with unparalleled panache. Choose one that serves your purpose and suits your fashion sense at the same time, and have as much fun in the sun as you want!