Garden parasols are brilliant, and we’re not just saying that, they reduce glare, UV and heat all while looking stylish in the meantime. With a huge variety of parasols, both in terms of form and function, readily available we have no doubt that you’ll find one to perfectly fit your taste as well as your outdoor space.
Parasols are ideal for use over an outdoor furniture set or simply as a way to shade a favourite outdoor spot where you can lounge and socialise without being subject to sweltering summertime heat. If you’re wondering how to choose the perfect parasol for your garden, to suit the space as well as your taste, then don’t worry because we’ve got you covered.
Do I need a cantilever or table parasol?
The first decision you need to make is whether you’re looking for a cantilever or table parasol. Don’t be fooled be the names, you can use a cantilever to shade a table and you can stand a table parasol with its base away from a table.
Table parasols are so called because they are ideally used to project from outdoor garden furniture tables, many of which have a parasol hole in the centre. They are supported via a cylinder which shoots straight up from the base to hoist the parasol canopy at the top, sort of like a huge umbrella. However, if you want to shade a table or furniture set and there’s no hole for a parasol in the centre of your table then you’re most likely better off with a cantilever.
Cantilever parasols have an offset base so that the canopy reaches over your furniture set, or other area of choice, to provide shade. These come in a more diverse variety of shapes and sizes and some feature advanced mechanisms for altering the placement and angle of the canopy so that you can have the ultimate sunlight shield.
What kind of base should I get?
Parasol bases are incredibly important, if you didn’t have one then your parasol would blow away on a windy day in no time, so choosing the right base is crucial. For a parasol that you know will be placed through the centre of a table, a fairly low-weight base should be sufficient depending on the size of the parasol. For freestanding parasols, especially larger cantilevers, you’ll be looking for something quite a bit heftier, as it is the only stability against wind load etc.
These come in a variety of colours & sizes. Some have a projecting arm, with a support arm coming down from the top of the main post, as the Bramblecrest Chichester. This also allows the canopy to tilt sideways, as indicated below with 3m round canopy. It is also available with a 3m square canopy. These rotate 360 deg around the base.
Royalcraft have their 3.5m with LED lights as indicated below. No side tilt facility due to the larger diameter, but it does have the LED lights that are very effective at night. This rotates 360 deg around the base.
An alternative cantilever parasol design would be the Maze Banana 3m, here in grey. This has a centre hub, so may not be as stable as the designs with projecting and triangulating arms.
Centre pole parasols
These come in a variety of canopy sizes, with the most popular being the 2.7m or 3m round. Quality of product can generally be defined by the diameter of the centre pole – majority are 38mm diameter, but some by Bramblecrest are 48mm diameter. Be careful when selecting a parasol to ensure the parasol hole in the table top and the parasol base will take the larger 48mm diameter products.
As you can see they do come in a wide range of colours.