One of the hottest (and coolest) new umbrella products is what is known as an offset or cantilever umbrella. Instead of having a pole in the center, the cantilever umbrella is held up by a sturdy pole to the side and a rotating arm that connects to the “skin” of the umbrella. This means you can use and enjoy the entire shade area of the umbrella. It also means you can easily rotate the umbrella as the sun moves to keep providing shade without having to move a heavy base.
Some models are equipped with a tilt and lock feature, meaning the capabilities for providing shade are almost limitless.
A cantilever umbrella makes a great choice for poolside where, in some situations, you can position the umbrella to provide protection from the sun while you’re in the water.
Another advantage to a cantilever or offset umbrella is that it can be used to shade a patio table without the need for a hole in the center of the table. Then everyone seated at the table has an unobstructed view of everyone else.
There are three important factors to consider though, before you buy an offset umbrella. First, manufacturers do not recommend these large umbrellas (10 ft. – 11ft. diameter) for use where conditions tend to be windy. Although they are usually well built, their design makes them vulnerable to instability in high wind.
Secondly, cantilever umbrellas require heavy bases for sufficient stability. The recommended weight is 100 lbs., although heavier is better. Special cantilever umbrella bases are available in 110 lb. resin models and also in hollow style. Hollow bases are less expensive, but you must fill them with sand or concrete.
The third consideration is price. Cantilever umbrellas must be well made or they can be more trouble than they are worth. A good 11ft. cantilever umbrella can cost three times what a comparable size crank and tilt market umbrella costs.
The growing popularity of cantilever umbrellas means you will certainly notice them more and more. Their distinctive look and adaptability make them the right choice for anyone wanting a premium shade product with maximum usefulness.