With the weather warming up, it is time again to start venturing outdoors to take advantage of the beautiful sun and the vibrant blooming foliage. Some love to bask in the sun—absorbing all of its rays in an attempt to achieve a skin tone of golden perfection. While others seek, shade and enjoy the art of observation. For the later, the sun can be a burden, causing sunburn and other skin irritations.

Fortunately, the world is a very accommodating place, and society has taught businesses to offer luxury, comfort, and efficiency in enjoying life. We see the advancements and know that things are only getting more efficient and the quality of life only improving. Outdoor umbrellas are timeless outdoor pieces and can be used to accent patio decor, provide shield from the sun, or even act as a protector from the rain.

You may see them labeled as sun umbrellas, patio umbrellas, commercial and even market or logo umbrellas, but they are all essentially the same. The main two are cantilever umbrellas and tilt umbrellas. These two are growing in popularity and offer more than standard patio umbrellas. While they are not the same, they do both offer uniqueness and serve certain purposes around the patio. Let us take a look at what each has to offer.

Offset Umbrellas

Cantilever or offset umbrellas are structured with a pole off to the side and hangs over a table or area without a pole taking up room in the middle. There are various models, but most are manufactured with similar design, only modifying the slightest of features.

Base The base of offset umbrellas are typically cross-sectioned, and weights are needed to keep them from toppling over or being blown away. Weights are usually sold separately; however, there are some bases that have a weighted container for you to fill with water or sand. How the bases are secured on offset umbrellas is crucial due to the weight of the canopy being supported off to the side instead of resting on top.

Frame The frame of this style of patio umbrella is made from the same material that most other types of outdoor umbrellas are. Aluminum patio umbrellas are sold most often, but the fiberglass and wood patio umbrellas are climbing in popularity.

Canopy Canopies on patio or sun umbrellas have endless design, shape, color, and texture possibilities. No matter if it is offset, tilted, or just a regular beach umbrella, you will find any and every color scheme or pattern you can imagine.

Tilt Umbrellas

How often on a bright sunny day, do you look down and barely see a shadow, as if the sun was directly over top of you? That is because the sun is in constant motion as it takes on its daily routine route moving east to west. This key factor already sets tilt umbrellas apart from other styles of patio umbrellas. A tilt umbrella can be angled to fight the sun’s direct beam of heat, offering maximum shading against the sun as it moves across the sky.

Base Like most umbrellas, bases are usually cross-sectioned, but some can be sand loadable. Typically, this type of umbrella will be used at a table where it will rest in the provided hole or will be found attached to the standard cross-sectioned based. The tilt function increases its susceptibility to the wind, but that can easily be judged while angling.

Frame Much like offsets, there is only a few selection of materials that these can be made from. You will find wood patio umbrellas, aluminum, fiberglass, and even sturdy plastic in some cases. Tilt Umbrellas are common seen made from aluminum, with the tilting feature being comprised of a hard plastic.

Canopy Ranging from 6 feet to 11 feet and beyond, the canopies are more for decor in terms of design. The fabric of the canopy is what plays a major factor when it comes to deciding on the canopy. Thicker and more durable fabrics offer more protection from harmful UV rays.