Umbrella manufacturers have come a really long way since the days of Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins, the heroine of a 1964 American musical fantasy film, was a magical nanny who travelled far and wide much to the amazement of her wards, on the power of her black nondescript umbrella, which she would casually close after a smooth landing. One can be certain her powers would be greatly enhanced if she was using one of the colorful promotional golf umbrellas that are so in vogue today!Umbrellas have been around since 3000 years and today the sheer variety of them, which can be viewed online on any manufacturer’s website can take your breath away. Here are the popular ones in no particular order:· Fashion umbrellas – exclusive pieces with a special feature here and there like a C shaped handle, a personal monogram, a princess lace dome parasol, a severely plain stick umbrella – pick one to suit your fashion statement· Rain umbrellas – with motifs suggestive of rain, like raindrops, clouds, a suitable black or a cheerful color to contrast the skies; utility efficient like inverted umbrellas and golf umbrellas for the rain· Folding umbrellas – These have anti UV coatings and are printed with pretty motifs. They have telescoping shafts and are easy to carry in a bag.· Straight umbrellas – usually about 2 feet tall, and are super thin to make up for their straightness. They are fashioned separately for men and women and come with auto open and close features· LED Umbrellas come with LED lights incorporated in the main shaft that come on with pressing of a button. These are useful when walking on dark roads in the rain.· Golf Umbrellas – are usually made for golfers for protecting themselves and their golf bags. They are oversized. Since they offer greater protection from the rain, they are preferred by the general public too.· Kids Umbrellas – are lightweight and are styled after popular cartoons, or characters from Walt Disney’s children’s movies. They are routinely fitted with ear like appendages so that overall they look like cute characters themselves. Kids umbrellas usually have six panels· Creative Umbrellas – color change, inverted umbrellas and auto close features take the concept of umbrellas out of the ordinary into something new and exciting· Mini Umbrellas – Fivefold umbrellas that are really tiny when closed are a marvel in design and would easily fit into an evening bag.· Wedding Umbrellas – Weddings preparations include the wedding umbrella just in case it rains. Traditionally made of cotton and lace, these are ideal for photo shoots too. They are large enough for a couple. Chinese handmade lace is an important element of these.· Transparent Umbrellas – are dome shaped and quite popular, as they afford a view of the rain while being protected from it!· Beach Umbrellas – These heavy duty 8 feet high vented umbrellas are ideal for beaches and picnics and come in gaily stripes and multicolor rainbow designs that can be spotted from afar.Patio Umbrellas are the ideal accessory for your spacious patio, maybe to provide shade to a couple of deckchairs alongside a swimming pool. These are offset hanging umbrellas, discreet and spacious.
Are you having as much difficulty as I am figuring out the difference between an offset patio umbrella and a cantilever patio umbrella? I finally decided to tackle this issue once and for all. After much research I have come to the conclusion that there really isn’t much difference other than some mere technicalities.An offset umbrella has typically aluminum or wood support pole extending up from the support stand and then at the top bends and angles abruptly out over the shaded area and a canopy is attached to the end of the pole. A cantilever similarly has an aluminum or wood support pole extending up from the support stand but then will typically have another piece of aluminum or wood affixed to the main support pole that extends out over the shaded area and an umbrella is then suspended from this second piece of aluminum or wood.Is there any added benefit of having an offset patio umbrella over a cantilever? The only added benefit that I could find would be the easy ability of the lowering the height from the ground to the umbrella with the cantilever umbrella. Typically by raising the lever pole you can raise and lower the umbrella quite easily. The offset umbrella on the other hand would require a two piece support pole that fit inside of each other with a pin apparatus with holes drilled through the poles allowing for raising and lowering of the entire pole and then placement of a pin to secure the poles in position. (This is very similar to the standard market umbrellas)Both the offset and the cantilever umbrellas will usually allow for tilting to track the movements of the sun in the sky. This will maximize the shade potential of the umbrellas when the sun is low in the sky during sunrise and sunset.The stand or base support structure is essentially identical for the offset umbrella as it is for the cantilever umbrella. They base units are typically weighted down to prevent the umbrella from toppling in high winds. Both offset umbrellas and cantilever umbrellas have an increased risk of toppling in high winds compared to the standard market umbrella with its center support pole.Optional accessories for the cantilever umbrella are the same as for the offset umbrella. Most manufacturers include optional LED and fiber optic add-on lighting kits and add-on speakers for digital music players.Total cost for the offset umbrella and cantilever umbrella appear to be almost identical. The majority of the cost is determined by the material of the support pole, base, fabric, etc. Availability for both types of umbrellas is the same. They can be purchased at most major hardware stores and outdoor furniture stores. The majority of online retailers carry both types of umbrellas.I hope you have enjoyed this article finally putting to rest the difference between offset patio umbrellas and cantilever umbrellas. Stay tuned for more upcoming articles expounding on additional features and benefits of patio umbrellas.