If you spend a lot of time on Twitter, you may have seen a typically British viral meme. It shows two guys enjoying sandwiches and beer. They’re huddled under a parasol with ni masks and downpours all around. Or maybe the one about The Umbrella Shop surviving the pandemic.
That one inspired a spirited debate about telescopes and canes. Apparently, we take our rain cover very seriously. Possibly because it rains every other day. But which brand makes the best one? Let’s find the best cantilever parasol or balcony dining and other garden activities.
The Best Cantilever Parasol In UK 2023
1. Jarder Libra 4-Piece Cantilever Parasol
In the world of watches, your timepiece can be waterproof or water-resistant. The difference is generally depth and duration. You can safely swim or dive with a waterproof watch. Water resistance means you can dash through the rain or do the dishes without ruining your watch … but you should probably remove it in the shower or the tub. What about outdoor furniture?
These are generally water-resistant because they’ll be exposed to snow and rain but they’re unlikely to be submerged. So the water-resistant setting on this cantilever parasol is sufficient. The polyester fabric covers 3m and you can tilt it for better cover. This fabric is 600D 180g/m2. It has six ribs, a 70cm central arch, and a PVC coating that keeps off moisture and solar damage.
The parasol cover is polyester as well but it’s 350g/m2. The cover has a drawstring, an extra-long zipper, and vents. This lets air circulate inside the cover, reducing mould and nasty smells. And unlike some parasols, this one comes with an anchor. The base of the parasol is a square cross but when you need extra support, you can slip in the plastic modular 4-piece hollow anchor.
These retractable bits have holes in the bottom or added … traction and enhanced stability. The top is solid though – the holes don’t poke through. You can fill the plastic with water or sand when you needed added weight. When it’s empty, this stand weighs 8kg. But you can upgrade to 62kg by filling it with water or 80kg when it’s full of sand. Each piece is 50cm by 50cm by 7cm.
The Jarder parasol comes with a stand and a cover. It has an alloy steel pole and a plastic handle. You can easily assemble it though you may need an extra pair of hands for leverage.
- The polyester canopy has a coverage of 3m.
- It comes with a stand, a cover, and a tilting feature.
- The fabric is UV-treated and water-resistant.
- The plastic base is pretty and portable but it doesn’t always hold up in strong with or heavy rain. Even when filled, it may still topple.
2. VonHaus Cantilever Parasol
Cantilever parasols have one key advantage over regular parasols – you can adjust the position of the overhang. This doesn’t just mean tilting (though some parasols do). It means you can tug it forward or to the side when you want to tweak your seating area. They’re also not intended as permanent fixtures. They can be retracted and some have covers or prolonged storage.
This VonHaus parasol is a good sample of the above advantages. It has a drawstring storm cover or extended protection. This cover measures 255cm by 8cm. This comfortably shields the 295cm parasol. Be sure the canopy is dry before you store it though – you don’t want it moulding or rusting before your next use. The pole alloy steel though so it’s far less susceptible to oxidation.
This pole is supported by a 4-piece modular base that can be hollow or stuffed. ‘Stuffing’ options include water and sand, giving your parasol added leverage or stormy weather. Once assembled, this base forms a 101cm square with rounded corners. It’s 8cm deep. The parasol uses a crank or opening, closing, and collapsing the steel ribs but it can take a few tries to figure out how.
It’s not difficult – it’s just … drawn out, pun intended. The process takes 3 steps. First, release the lever to unlock the ribs. Then turn the crank to close the canopy. Then lit the protective sleeve to expose the vertical shat. Slide this shaft down and slip the cover on it. This sounds convoluted but a quick YouTube guide will show you step by step. Watch your fingers though.
This VonHaus cantilever parasol comes with a 2-year warranty. Its banana styling lets you stretch it over furniture and tilt the angle when needed. It covers a diameter of 3 metres.
- The protective cover extends the lifespan of your parasol.
- Its dimensions are 295cm by 295cm by 7cm.
- The parasol has a steel frame and a polyester canopy.
- The lowering mechanism takes some time to figure out …
3. Divine Style Cantilever Parasol
Cantilever parasols can seem intimidating. All those cranks and levers may feel impossible to figure out. Luckily, Divine Style parasols have an easy 4-step assembly process. You could do it yourself in a pinch. But let’s look at basic features first. The parasol can spin 36o° on its axis.
So you can easily change its direction to dodge (or follow) the sun. And it can tilt too. Many parasols are good with sun and rain but not so much with wind. But this one has a wind lap, meaning it can withstand gales and storms better than your average outdoor canopies. But when the weather is especially bad, it may be smarter to fold the umbrella and stash it indoors.
The best part of this parasol is the lights. It has 24 LED bulbs mounted on the underside of the umbrella. These bulbs are solar powered so they won’t dent utility bills. They enable you to use he parasol at night without attracting too many bugs or pests. Remember though – this parasol has cross-shaped feet but doesn’t have any anchors. You may have to rivet it to the deck instead.
Divine Style is one of the most versatile cantilever parasols on the market. It can spin 360° and has solar lights built into the canopy. And it comes in five stylish anti-fading colour selections.
- 24 solar LEDs are fitted below the canopy.
- It comes with a wind flap.
- You can order it in contemporary colours.
- It doesn’t come with an anchor and isn’t very good in heavy downpours.
4. Sorara Rama Cantilever Parasol
So far, the parasols we’ve looked at had 6 ribs. This one has 8 ribs spread across a square-shaped fabric. The extra leverage spreads the weight evenly and helps this parasol fare better against daily drizzles. The pole is aluminium so the parasol isn’t excessively heavy. Said ribs are sturdy enough to support the 250g/m2 canopy. And it can live through UV damage of 50+.
What it can’t handle well are extreme wind and stormy weather. The cross-shaped feet can be screwed onto a wooden deck or riveted into concrete paving. But if you plan to use the parasol on sand or grass, you’ll need to order anchors separately. The umbrella crank is positioned lower than typical cantilever parasols – it sits closer to the feet. A second clip sits higher up the pole.
This second clip secures the tilted parasol in a locked position. It’s a helpful safety feature and a loop from the canopy keeps the lever handle in place. Beneath the crank, a rotary knob facilitates the raising or lowering of the parasol pole. The whole kit weighs 34kg and ships with all the tools you need or assembly. This versatile parasol tilts both vertically and horizontally.
The 8-ribbed Sorara parasol has a sturdy square fabric and easily adjustable angles. The canopy is 250g/m2 and is coated to protect it from UV damage. The canopy has a 2-year warranty.
- It’s safe or UV50+.
- The aluminium pole is powder-coated or rust protection.
- Its 2-year warranty is valid throughout the UK.
- The pole is lightweight aluminium and doesn’t come with an anchor so you may need extra support if your area is especially windy.
5. 909 Outdoor Cantilever Parasol (Our Top Pick)
The stability of your cantilever parasol is dictated by several things. But the balance of its base is possibly the most important. A lot of the parasols we’ve looked at had plus-shaped bases. On this one, the joint is higher up the base, forming an overlapping L-shape on the ground.
This offers a suitable counterbalance for the cantilever arm and the overhanging umbrella. Especially since this parasol doesn’t come with an anchor. It has lots of other features though. It’s a lightweight parasol that weighs 11.5kg and measures 300cm across. The maximum height of this outdoor umbrella is 250cm. The canopy is polyester and the pole is alloy steel.
You use a crank to work this parasol. It’s located at the joint and it controls how the parasol hangs over your seating area. The two rotary knobs allow you to extend (or shrink) the height of the parasol. You can order this parasol in three colours. And the manufacturer does recommend buying a base or extra support. The side positioning and easy tilt make it the shade ideal shade.
909 Outdoor Parasols are both pretty and functional. The curved arm facilitates fuss-free tilting. The canopy is 160g/m and provides UV40+ protection to keep the colour bright and crack-free.
- You can order it in cream, green, or black.
- It’s easy to clean the fabric.
- The crank is conveniently positioned.
- It easily tips if you don’t reinforce the base. And it can sway disconcertingly in the wind.
6. Outsunny Cantilever Parasol
Certain cantilever parasols are described as banana umbrellas. We might say this generically to refer to the swinging arm. More often the word ‘banana’ implies the umbrellas tilting arm is curved. So it gives you more of an overhang effect compared to a straight tilt. Outsunny falls in the banana category, with its wine-red canopy and its gently bending cantilever pole.
And while we’ve looked at ‘square crosses’ and ‘overlapping Ls’ … this canopy has a base shaped like a Christian cross. Meaning the arms are longer below the criss-cross joint. This layout helps counterbalance the banana cantilever. But it’s not enough to support the parasol in strong wind and harsh weather. So it’s advisable to buy (or build) base bags to weigh down the parasol’s feet.
This 3m umbrella weighs about 13 kilos fully assembled. It has 8 ribs to hold up the fabric, which is 180g/m polyester. The crank comfortably opens and closes the parasol and the umbrella stands at 260cm at its maximum height. A curvy lever locks the shade in position while two knobs let you set the height of your umbrella. The top vents help you reduce condensation.
Outsunny is a well-named product. But given our climate, it’s more likely to battle wind and rain. It has 8 ribs and a banana arm or titling. The parasol is easy to assemble and UV protected.
- It has sturdy 48mm poles.
- The polyester canopy is 180g/m2 and has vents.
- It’s waterproof and UV-proof.
- It comes without base support … and it needs base support.
7. Wall-Mounted Cantilever Parasol
The word ‘cantilever’ means ‘a long projecting beam that’s fixed at one end and flexible on the other’. The unfixed end can also ‘float’ over an empty space. You see these floating bits a lot in bridges and architecture. On umbrellas and parasols, the fixed end is attached permanently to the pole while the floating end is bolted to the apex of your umbrella canopy. It’s locked in place.
We might think all cantilevers are telescopic. Usually, it’s the mounting pole that’s extendable. The cantilever has a set length but the clips on either end let it control the angle, direction, and tilt o your garden umbrella. This model mounts horizontally and you drill its brackets straight to the wall. This can be useful if you have a tiny balcony or a small open porch. Or even a driveway.
By mounting this parasol over the garden corner or a section of the driveway, you can set up a relaxing nook even if you don’t have grass. Add some chairs and artificial turf or an instant ‘garden’. This is a clever hack or bedroom balconies and squashed urban spaces that have no green areas. This model has 5 solar-powered LEDs that can run for 6 to 7 hours on a full charge.
This parasol is made from breathable fabric coated with protective layers. The layers prevent UV damage and mould, keeping the parasol waterproof. Its arm is made of lightweight aluminium.
- It installs directly on the wall.
- The parasol has LED bulbs.
- It has a telescopic rod.
- It can’t be adjusted or floor mounting.
8. Greenbay Cantilever Patio Parasol
What’s the best position for outdoor garden lights? Especially on a parasol? Greenbay has chosen to place its bulbs on the 8 ribs that hold up the fabric. 4 LEDs dot each rib, creating a starlit effect beneath your garden brolly. These lights are solar-powered and the parasol ships with a solar battery. Many cantilever parasols use wide hollow tubes to effectively counterbalance.
But this model uses thinner alloy steel tubes. They’re 1mm in diameter but the steel is solid. The poles are supported by a square cross at the base. And o€ course the base isn’t steady enough so add 50kg weights to hold it down. You might think you can resolve the issue by permanently drilling the base into the ground. More so if your garden or balcony surfaces are concrete.
Remember though – as pretty as these parasols are, they’re designed to be retracted and stashed indoors when the weather gets extreme. Anything graded above Level 4 on the Beaufort scale. So mounting it permanently on the ground isn’t the best idea. Instead, get something portable that can be carried inside when the rain or snow is heaviest. Separate pieces are easier to move.
Greenbay cantilever parasols are beloved for their vibrant colours and innovative features. This model has solar bulbs and air vents in the polyester canopy. The umbrella stand 2.5m tall.
- It has 32 LED bulbs.
- The fabric is 200g/m2
- The frame is alloy steel.
- You need to buy (or make) weights or the base.
9. Norfolk Cantilever Wall-Mounted Parasol
If your house has a porch or balcony, installing a canopy will instantly turn it alfresco. It stretches your outdoor entertainment space – and your entertainment ours too! But you may not have much room. Or maybe you have a small household so you only need seating or one or two people. In that case, consider getting this wall-mounted Norfolk cantilever parasol.
The advantage is obvious – with wall-mounting, you don’t have to worry about weighing down the base or extended the vertical pole. Downside? You can stretch it sideways but its vertical position is permanent, so choose it carefully! Also, you may prefer to leave your parasol out in the rain. You can old it and lean it against the wall if you have wide eaves or overhangs.
But the folded umbrella will look bulky and unsightly. And it doesn’t have a cover. You may have to tie it shut with a makeshift ribbon or cord. It’s easy to mount though – it only takes a few minutes. The fabric is square and it’s held up by 14 ribs. These solid metal rods are made of solid aluminium and are each 14mm thick. The vents at the top of the umbrella minimise rust.
This lightweight parasol has arms painted in a powder coat of anthracite. You can move the parasol sideways but not vertically or diagonally. And you’ll need to buy mounting screws.
- The fabric is 220g/m2.
- It’s supported by 14 ribs.
- The shade covers a 2m by 2m area.
- You can only move the cantilever left to right (or vice versa). It doesn’t tilt.
10. Airwave Apollo Cantilever Parasol
From what you’ve seen so far, you can probably tell that cantilever parasols have three sets of controls. The cantilever clip slides up and down the pole to adjust the angle of your shade. The crank opens or closing the brolly section. And the (two) knobs at the bottom are or shrinking or extending the pole. This parasol has that standard set-up plus LED bulbs on its eight ribs.
This parasol has a rust-free banana arm powder-coated or extra protection. You can order the parasol in 5 colours ranging from beige to black. The LEDs are solar-powered but the solar cell does need a battery. It uses a single AA so that’s simple to source. The base of the parasol is a square cross so look into external anchors to ensure it doesn’t get kicked by the kids or the wind.
The advantage of square crosses is you can buy generic modular weights. They’re often shaped as square half-metre tiles with rounded corners. You can get hollow ones and fill them with sand or water. The parasol weighs 13 kilos and its fabric weave is 180g/m2 polyester. This fabric is coated with a polyurethane film to help it resist rainfall, snow, and ultraviolet radiation.
- You can order it in different colours.
- The steel ribs are rust-resistant.
- The parasol has LED bulbs on its underside.
- The parasol dances in the breeze … which can make you queasy and uneasy.
In tropical spaces, parasols are generally used for sun protection. You’ll find them in clubs, bars, restaurants, beaches, or even on patios and decks. But while we don’t mind sheltering from the sweltering summer sun (and that resulting sunburn), parasols in the UK are mostly or the rain. So let’s look at the top features to seek when you’re shopping or the best cantilever parasol.
Outdoor parasols have two main parts – the pole and the fabric. The fabric is usually polyester or canvas. Canvas is dense, heavy, and organic, so you might prefer it for ethical reasons. But it’s not the best or drizzly weather since it can get mouldy in constant moisture. And it sags in heavy precipitation. Polyester is lighter and withstands the rain better. And it can be UV treated.
UV coating prevents fading and sun damage. Polyester also gives you a wider range of colours than canvas. As for the pole, it can be plastic, aluminium, steel or fibreglass. Aluminium is fine for wet UK weather but can topple in strong wind if it’s not well anchored. Steel is sturdier and both metals should be powder-coated to reduce rust. You may need to repaint them regularly.
A cantilever parasol has one key advantage over regular outdoor parasols. The cantilever lets you push the brolly to the side. And the moving mechanism plays a big role in usability. These moving parts sometimes need cleaning and lubrication so pick a parasol that has easily accessible parts or hygiene and maintenance. You don’t want to snag or slice your fingers!
The opening and closing of your parasol are key factors as well. The simplest method is a slider. You use a ring to push the ‘spokes’ upward, just like you would in a regular umbrella. The second option is a pulley system. It has a rope or cord that you pull to raise the ribs of your parasol. Finally, you can select a parasol with a crank. Turn the crank to lift or lower your ribs.
Sizing and Extras
Ideally, you want your cantilever parasol to cover the table and provide a little overlap. So larger seating areas will require bigger parasols. You can also consider the shape of your table, both or practicality and style preference. Parasols rarely ship with a base so or bigger sizes, buy a base that can support its weight and width, even in harsh weather and heavy (human) traffic.
Also, many brands include features that add value to your cantilever parasol. These might be light bulbs mounted under the canopy. Or the parasol may have a tilting feature that lets you adjust the angle of coverage. You might want a wall-mounted parasol that stretches out flat and has a valance. These can be good for angular corner gardens. Buy a parasol that’s easy to clean.
Based on our research, we recommend buying the 909 Outdoor Parasol. Here’s why:
- It’s a 3m parasol and weighs a little under 12 kilos.
- The L-shaped base is a good counterbalance.
- It comes in three colours to suit your outdoor décor.
- The parasol comes as a complete kit with mounting screws.
- The pole is on the side so it won’t interrupt conversation or mobility.
- You can conveniently control the height, position, and tilt of your parasol.
- The steel rust-proof frame has a black powder-coat finish.
Which cantilever parasol are you using at the moment? Show us photos in the comments!