Parasol Buying Guide: Ultimate Garden Protection

Parasol Buying Guide

The sun is out and our selection of contemporary outdoor parasols are just what you need to add style as well as shade to your garden, poolside, or balcony over the bright summer months.

Choosing the right outdoor parasol could add a stylish focal point to your garden furniture or perfect for relaxing in the sun on your sun lounger, so we have gathered a selection of the best garden parasols to help you make the right choice for your outdoor space.

Whatever your style or needs, we have a wide range of garden patio umbrellas in various shapes, sizes, and styles (from colourful to classic) that will help you to stay safe in the shade this summer and make the most of the time you spend relaxing or socialising outside.

How to Choose a Garden Parasol

When selecting the best quality garden parasol for your outdoor space, there are a number of things that you will need to consider before purchasing:

Cantilever Parasol with Furniture

Location

The main function of outdoor parasols is to provide protection from direct sunshine. The first thing you should do before purchasing a garden parasol, in our opinion, is decide where it will go because the location will determine where it is needed the most. It could be on an open patio or a corner of the garden where there is no shade.

Outdoor Dining Set with Parasol

Purpose

Choosing the right parasol for your garden also depends on how you plan to use it. For example, a rectangular canopy with a pole in the centre and base will fit exactly over a rectangular outdoor dining table, while a circular canopy fits well over a round or oval outdoor dining table.

On the other hand, if you are looking for one to not use for a table, we recommend a cantilever parasol to offer more versatility since they are free-standing, plus they are fully adjustable and can rotate up to 360°.

Round Parasol - Aerial Shot

Shape

Because they easily fit over an outdoor dining set, classic round parasols are a firm favourite. On the other hand, a lot of fresh designs on the market that are great outdoor shading options for different types of garden furniture (e.g. 3m x 2m rectangular garden parasol). 

Given the range of shapes available, consider which will complement your outdoor area and provide shade for your furniture.

Rectangular Cantilever Parasol

Size

Determine the estimated space available for a new parasol by measuring the area you are planning to place it outside. The canopy shouldn't get on anything above it (e.g. tree), so measurements are crucial. Consider the time that the canopy will be open and the amount of area it will need.

Grey Cantilever Parasol

Colour

When picking a canopy colour, there are a number of things to consider. Assess your garden's surroundings and what design you are aiming for. Pick earthy or dark shades (e.g. green, grey) if you would like the parasol to seamlessly integrate into the setting. However, if you want to make a dramatic impression or create a point of interest, try out a bright shade such as Sand.

You should also check the canopy's quality and if it provides protection from UV rays and rainfall when purchasing a garden parasol. Additionally, you should examine its size and shape because the canopy covers space above head height rather than at ground level.

Parasol Base

Parasol Base Options

Look to see if the parasol you choose comes with a base. If one isn't provided, select one that will fit the pole of your chosen parasol. We have a variety of sturdy parasol bases made of all kinds of materials (e.g. granite, concrete, plastic) made to fit parasols of all shapes and sizes.

If your parasol will be free-standing or situated in a windy area, the weight and strength of the base is a crucial consideration.

Parasol Crank System

Parasol Operating Systems

A majority of people are satisfied with a simple parasol with an easy-to-use canopy mechanism to open and close it. However, others would like the extra ability to tilt & crank a parasol that can be really useful, particularly when the sun drifts across their garden. A truly helpful function is the ability to tilt the parasol canopy to block the sun, particularly when the sun starts to set.

Look for a parasol with a crank & tilt option if you believe that you will find this characteristic handy. This attribute can also be found on a large number of cantilever and traditionally-shaped parasols.

Square Wood Effect Cantilever Parasol

Pole Structure

Select a robust parasol that will last year after year. Our garden parasols are made of a variety of materials (e.g. aluminium, wood). 

Aluminium parasols are often a good options as their frames are lightweight and will not corrode. However, there are multiple real wood poles and canopy designs you can also choose if you are looking for something more traditional.

Types of Parasols

  • Traditional: A majority of the garden umbrellas we sell are Traditional Parasols - a classic choice for sun protection. Available in different sizes, these parasols for the garden feature straight poles made of aluminium or wood that usually pass through the centre of an outdoor table. A simple mechanism open & closes the parasol and they are supported by a sturdy parasol base, making them great for al fresco dining. The canopies also come in a variety of colours and shapes (square, round, or rectangular) to bring style to any outdoor space. Even on the warmest days, traditional parasols provide great shade from the sun and can help create a calm sanctuary. When selecting one of these parasols, choose one that is both robust and simple to set up.
  • Crank & Tilt: Another excellent way to stay cool while shielding yourself and others from the sun's damaging rays is with Crank and Tilt Garden Parasols. The most significant advantage of a crank & tilt parasol is the ability to alter the angle of the canopy to keep out the sun at any point in the day. They can keep you in the shade whether you're attempting to avoid the midday sun or getting some protection from the setting sun. Like traditional parasols, another appealing characteristic of crank & tilt parasols is their availability in a variety of sizes and shapes.
  • Cantilever: One type of parasol that has become very popular in recent years are Cantilever Parasols. One of the reasons is that they provide shade without obstacles from the pole, which makes it a perfect choice if you like to entertain guests and dine outside regularly. A cantilever parasol is a type of umbrella supported by a single pole rather than multiples poles grouped in a circle. They rotate at 360°, so the canopy can easily be moved and allow you to stay protected in the shade all day long.
  • Wall-Mounted: If you're looking for an eye-catching way to stay cool this summer, you might want to think about purchasing a Wall-Mounted Parasol. Although parasols are typically free-standing, wall-mounted parasols have several advantages. For starters, they take up less room, making them great for small patios or balconies. They are also incredibly simple to set up and take down, allowing you to store them when the sun isn't out. Plus, they look fantastic. Any outdoor area will look stylish with a wall-mounted parasol. Therefore, if you're on the lookout for a useful and fashionable way to remain cool this summer, a wall-mounted parasol can be the best option for you.
  • UV-Protective: On a sunny day, it is not a good idea to remain totally open towards the sun. People are becoming increasingly aware of the amount of harm that the sun may bring to their skin. Consider buying a UV-protective parasol, which is effective in reducing the amount of UV light that the body is exposed to. A lot of these parasols feature a unique coating that reflects additional rays out, keeping the owner nice and cool while preventing a significant amount of UV light from entering.

    Parasol Examples

    Bracken Outdoors Grey 2.5m Crank and Tilt Round Garden Parasol Graphite pole

    Bracken Outdoors Grey 2.5m Crank & Tilt Round Parasol (Graphite Pole)

    The Bracken Outdoors Grey 2.5m Crank and Tilt Round Garden Parasol (Graphite Pole) is a large garden parasol with a wide canopy that is suitable for usage around a pool and on the patio with an outdoor dining set or as a stand-alone item. The most notable characteristic of this parasol is its crank and tilt technology. This makes the parasol simple to set up and can cover a range of angles with a single, simple button.

    The Polyester canopy provides excellent sun protection due to its UV rating of 50+ and resistance to sun bleaching and fading. The crank handle on this parasol makes it simple to collapse and we always recommend that it be left down when not being used.

    Also available in Ecru.

    Bracken Outdoors Siena Sand 3m Round Banana Cantilever Parasol

    Bracken Outdoors Siena Sand 3m Round Banana Cantilever Parasol

    A stunning addition to any patio, the Bracken Outdoors Siena Sand 3m Round Banana Cantilever Parasol is beautifully built to bring personality to your outdoor space. The free arm parasol features has an easy-to-use crank handle that makes it simple to raise and lower the parasol. Because of the foldable design, the canopy collapses into a compact size that takes up no room in your garden or patio.

    The powder-coated steel frame is built to withstand the elements. The canopy is constructed from 180 gr water and fade-resistant Polyester. Its lovely Sand colour offers a soft and calm touch that would go well with any garden.

    Also available in Grey.

    Bracken Outdoors Napoli Grey 3m x 3m Square Cantilever Parasol With LED Lights

    Bracken Outdoors Napoli Grey 3m x 3m Square Cantilever Parasol with LED Lights

    The Bracken Outdoors Napoli Grey 3m x 3m Square Cantilever Parasol with LED Lights is a fashionable addition to any garden and will bring character and flair to your outdoor living area. This 3m x 3m outdoor parasol blends practically with modern design thanks to its nice overhanging frame and LED lights inside the umbrella.

    The solar powered LED lights will light up your summer evenings in an economical and environmentally responsible manner. This stylish cantilever parasol with lights has a wind up crank design that makes it simple to open and close, allowing you to get shade quickly and with little effort.

    Also available in Sand.

    Bracken Outdoors Verona Grey 3m x 3m Square Wood Effect Cantilever Parasol

    Bracken Outdoors Verona Grey 3m x 3m Square Wood Effect Cantilever Parasol

    With this stunning Bracken Outdoors Verona Grey 3m x 3m Square Wood Effect Cantilever Parasol, you and your guests will remain safely protected from the sun. Its ingenious cantilever shape makes it an excellent choice for sheltering vast areas. It is a functional yet attractive addition to any outdoor setting.

    The Verona Grey is one of the highest-quality garden parasols available. Its simple to move if you need to and its attractively polished with a wood impression to give it a more modern appearance. This parasol is not visually appealing, but it is also simple to put up.

    Also available in Grey.

    Parasol Maintenance Guide

    To make sure your parasol and its base last all summer long and into the winter, they must be kept in good shape. Your outdoor shade solution will last longer if you do routine cleaning and maintenance to stop weather damage. Protective garden parasol covers are just one example that can help keep your parasol looking good and functioning properly.

    We do not recommend leaving parasols up in windy conditions as this could result in damage to the frame and/or fabric. Unattended parasols should not be left open. Any damage caused by neglect is not covered by warranty. 

    It is crucial that the correct base is used to support the parasol.

    By correctly preserving your parasol over the winter, you may shield it from wind, snow, and ice damage. You can make sure your parasol offers stylish and effective sun protection for many years by following these easy procedures.

    Cover Your Parasol:

    To maintain your parasol's condition when it is not being used, a protective cover is a must-have garden accessory. Rain, snow, wind, and other factors that could eventually damage your parasol are prevented from affecting the condition of your parasol thanks to a cover. They are commonly made of a weather-resistant material (e.g. Polyester), and is intended to keep your parasol dry and safe when it is not being used.

    Cantilever Parasol Cover

    You may prolong the life of your parasol and keep it looking excellent for a long time by applying a protective cover. To ensure a snug fit and optimal protection, choose a cover that is the correct size and shape for your parasol.

    Keep It Clean:

    Cleaning your garden parasol on an ongoing basis is essential for keeping its look and preserving it. On the fabric and frame, dirt, dust, and other debris can gather at periods of time and result in discolouration and breakage.

    The fabric of your parasol can sustain damage and eventually deteriorate if you use abrasive chemicals on it. Bleach and other chemical-based cleaners can remove the fabric's protective surface, leaving it more vulnerable to discolouration, tears, and other kinds of losses. Strong chemicals can also weaken fabric fibres, causing them to be more susceptible to breaking or unravelling when subjected to strong winds or other harsh weather conditions. Your parasol's canopy can be cleaned and maintained for years to come using a soft cloth or sponge and a little soapy water. Avoid strong chemicals will help your parasol last longer.

    Allow the parasol to air dry thoroughly after washing before putting it way or using it again. You can maintain your parasol whilst providing reliable shade for the future by cleaning it regularly.

    Keep It Stored:

    In order to prevent damage and increase the life of your parasol, it is crucial to store it properly when it is cold and/or wet. It is preferable to take down your parasol and keep it inside while it isn't in use. Otherwise, you can safeguard your parasol and keep it dry by using a cover. Before putting your parasol away, please be sure to secure any weak screws or nuts to guard against the wind or other environmental damage. Cleaning your parasol before putting it away is also a good idea, since dust and dirt could result in damage as time passes.

    Check It Frequently:

    Check your parasol frequently for damage (e.g. holes or rips in the canopy, loosened ribs, broken tilt system). If you find any defects, you should fix it quickly to avoid future damage.

    Moreover, looking after your parasol will guarantee that it lasts for many years and offers you necessary shade on hot summer days. By following these simple guidelines, you may enjoy shade for a long time and keep your parasol in good condition.


    If you have any questions about our garden parasols, please contact our dedicated Customer Service team on 0118 3800 381 or help@gardentrends.co.uk.
    You can also check out some of them at our showroom in Moss End Garden Village.

    It's almost Father's Day (Sunday 16th June) - a time to celebrate and express your love & gratitude for your dad, step-dad, granddad, or father-in-law. We know it can be challenging to choose the perfect present, so we have come up with a gift list to help you choose something for the garden that your dad will adore, whether it is grilling food on a Gas Barbecue or relaxing on a garden bench.

    In recent years, there has been a growing enthusiasm for hosting parties in our gardens and outdoor areas, which has led to an increase in the demand for outdoor kitchens as people look for imaginative ways for bringing the indoors outside. 

    If you want to improve the look of your outdoor space, now is the time to start thinking about the latest 2024 garden trends for this Spring.