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Outdoor Umbrellas – The Buyers Guide For Your Garden Or Patio

Home Helpful Hints Outdoor Umbrellas – The Buyers Guide For Your Garden Or Patio
  • By intesolsseo
  • June 29, 2023

Outdoor Umbrellas - The Ultimate Buyers Guide for Your Garden or Patio

Bring the party outdoors for everyone to enjoy with an outdoor umbrella providing shade and style to your outdoor area. Instant Shade Umbrellas are industry leaders when it comes to quality Outdoor Umbrellas. From the classic octagonal market umbrella to giant cantilever umbrellas and wall-mounted umbrellas, here is our guide to help you select the right outdoor umbrella for your family.

Types of Outdoor Umbrellas available for your home:

Cantilever vs Market Umbrellas vs Wall Mount Umbrellas



For many years market umbrellas with a pole in the center of the shade and a rope-and-pulley opening mechanism were the most popular option for Australian backyards. These days cantilever umbrellas are much more popular, allowing for better shade coverage over furniture and swimming pools due to the main post being off to the side of the canopy. Wall mount umbrellas are a variation of cantilever umbrellas that are fixed to a wall rather than being ground mounted. They are a great option for small spaces since the canopies are restricted to smaller sizes and the wind resistance is less than a ground mounted market or cantilever umbrella.


  • Market or Patio Umbrellas are equipped with a centre-pole, making them classic in design and feel. They are usually a simpler construction and feature less mechanics making them a less expensive option, but the build quality is the same as all our other products. They are the perfect option for small areas like balconies and courtyards, or for covering a small table that has a hole in the center to accommodate the umbrella pole. They can be used on weighted bases and easily moved around.
  • Cantilever Umbrellas feature a side pole that allows for more free space under the area shaded by the canopy. They are perfect for covering large furniture settings or over swimming pools. The degree of adjustability is far greater than that of a market umbrella, with quality models allowing them to be spun 360-degrees and conveniently tilted to offer shade from the low afternoon sun. Although they can be used on weighted bases, they are more stable in the wind if professionally installed (refer further info below).

Outdoor Umbrellas construction – Timber or Aluminium?



All our umbrellas are constructed with marine-grade anodised aluminium frames. There is a long list of advantages that come with using aluminium. The primary benefits include a long life free from regular maintenance, lighter weight and ever-lasting good looks. On the other hand, timber is heavier and can weather and crack in the harsh Australian conditions. The choice is clear.

Shape – Classic Octagonal vs Contemporary Square



Most umbrellas will come in either an Octagonal or Square shape. Octagonal (8-panel) gives a round look to the canopy and is more often associated with a classic European or “beach umbrella” look. Square (4-panel) gives a more streamlined and contemporary aesthetic.

The shape preference depends on certain key aspects such as the area that needs to be shaded and design preferences. Square umbrellas are definitely a better option if you are considering having multiple umbrellas side by side, as you can position them closer together with less gaps between them. However for those looking for a more classic look, octagonal umbrellas are the best choice. Also when comparing sizes, be aware that octagonal umbrellas are measured by the diameter (tip to tip through the middle) whereas square umbrellas are measured by the length of the sides (the distance along the edge between the corners). For example, a 3m Square Umbrella is much bigger than a 3m Octagonal one.

Moveable Base or Fixed Installation


Umbrellas can be used on freestanding moveable bases or installed to the ground surface. Movable bases allow for freedom of movement within your area while a fixed base installation offers more safety and stability in the wind. The bigger the umbrella the more likely it is that it should be installed.

If using freestanding bases it is important that they are heavy enough to safely stabilize the umbrella in case of wind. The biggest risk with freestanding bases is if they are not heavy enough and the umbrella topples over in the wind, causing damage to the umbrella and surrounding furniture. This is particularly important with cantilever umbrellas as they are inherently more vulnerable to wind.

Quality umbrellas will always have a wide range of heavy base and fixed installation accessories available. 

To find out more about the best Outdoor Umbrella for your home, contact our stockists today!

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