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.