When it comes to outdoor shading, cantilever umbrellas are some of the best products around. These umbrellas are designed to shade a specific area of the yard such as a dining set or pool side. Depending on the quality and canopy material, they can reduce outdoor temperatures by up to 30 degrees. They are different from standard umbrellas in that they have a cantilever, or "offset" style frame. This type of frame suspends the umbrella shade over a specified area. The mount sits freely on the ground off to the side. This leaves the shaded area open and free, allowing for freestyle placement of outdoor furniture. Umbrellas like these come in several different shapes such as circular or square. Multiple colors are available to match any yard decor.
Standard umbrellas have a central pole that usually gets placed in a patio table mount. This type of setup can be restrictive in terms of setting up furniture exactly where you want it. Cantilever frames change this by offsetting the mount to the side where it can;t get in the way. The shaded area below is left wide open and can be used in a variety of applications ranging from covering a barbecue to shielding pool occupants.
Cantilever frames can be adjusted as needed to be most effective at blocking the sun. Since the sun changes angles during the day, it helps to be able to change the tilt of the cantilever umbrella. On some models this is done manually by reaching up and tilting it. On higher end models, this action is done automatically with "auto tilt" functionality. Using the hand crank on the back, users open the umbrella fully and continue cranking. The umbrella will then tilt until it reaches maximum angle
In addition to tilting, cantilever umbrellas can also change height. This is also done with the hand crank on the rear. This allows the umbrella to be lowered in the morning and evening when the sun is at extreme angles. The canopy can be heightened during the peak of the day when the sun is directly overhead.
Cantilever Canopy Shapes
The canopy is the fabric part of the umbrella that does the shielding. On a cantilevered umbrella, these canopies come in several shapes, including circular, square, rectangular and hexagonal. Choosing a shape depends on the area it will be used in. A rectangular patio set should be coupled with a rectangular cantilever patio umbrella for best coverage. On the other hand, a circular table set would best be paired with a circular umbrella cover. If you are covering furniture set up against a wall, a flat sided umbrella is the best choice because it can be set up directly against the wall.
The fabric on umbrella canopies is supported by jointed bars called ribs. These ribs give the fabric its defined shape and can fold up the canopy for storage. Polyester is a common fabric used in these umbrellas. Higher end umbrellas such as the ones from Coolaroo use patented sun-blocking fabric such as Sunbrella. A darker colored canopy will block more UV light than one that is light colored.