How to Choose the Right Umbrella

How to Choose an Umbrella

At San Luis Umbrella, we want to help you purchase the perfect umbrella―one that will give you years of protection and enjoyment. Knowing what to look for will make it easy for you to make a smart choice. There are several things to consider when choosing the ideal covering for your outdoor space:


  • Canopy fabric 


What color will fit your lifestyle and decor? We have many beautiful options to choose from.


The type of fabric affects the price. Our less expensive patio umbrellas are available in a vinyl-coated weave and spun polyester. Our mid-range umbrellas are available in Olefin and Pacifica fabrics. 


For an umbrella constructed to last many years, look to our best marine-grade and furniture-grade Outdura and Sunbrella fabrics, which are made of 100-percent solution-dyed acrylic fabric. This means that the dye is cast into the solution that is used to spin the thread into existence. That increases the color life of the material under exposure. Outdura is marine-grade acrylic, and Sunbrella manufactures both furniture-grade and marine-grade acrylic.


Sunbrella fabric is also rated UPF 50, which is the maximum UPF rating for fabric. UPF is a rating that indicates a fabric’s capacity to block the sun’s ultraviolet rays, similar to the SPF rating of a sunblock. Sunbrella fabrics can disrupt UV rays and help to prevent the effects of exposure, primarily sunburns and sunlight sensitivity. 


To learn more about fabrics used for umbrella canopies and outdoor furniture, please see 

 What makes outdoor fabrics so different?” on our blog page.



  • Size

Your umbrella should fit comfortably in your desired location, with plenty of space to open and close it, and move around it. Our umbrella canopies are available in sizes ranging from 6 feet to 20 feet. 


  • Shape

Our umbrella canopies are available in various shapes, including octagon, hexagon, square and rectangle. Choosing the right shape will maximize your shade coverage. 


Some canopies are flat or have a valance designed to fall over the edge and create a short ornamental curtain. 


  • Wind endurance

What kind of wind environment will the umbrella be in? Windy, moderately windy, or in an area protected from wind?

Venting reduces wind pressure on your umbrella, which protects it from wind damage and from blowing away. Our collections include single- and double-vented umbrellas. 

If high winds are a serious concern, consider FiberBuilt™ umbrellas. They’re very sturdy and flexible, and can withstand winds up to 50 mph. 


  • Tilt capability

Umbrellas with a tilt feature are designed for residential use and can be easily adjusted to block the sun’s rays. There are push-button tilt, auto-tilt and twist-tilt options. 


  • Frame type 

Frames are available in several colors: bronze, black, white, aluminum, bamboo, and more. The pole materials range from hardwood to aluminum to fiberglass. Hardwood provides a very decorative appearance. Aluminum is great for resisting rust, is lightweight, and has a nice finish. Fiberglass is a new trend in frames. It has the look of wood, resists rust, and is lightweight. Most importantly, fiberglass frames are flexible and can bounce back easily from strong gusts of wind.


  • Lift mechanism

What kind of lift mechanism do you prefer for raising your umbrella canopy? This is a feature that varies, depending on the umbrella model. The choices are the standard push-up, crank, or pulley & pin.


  • Base

Lastly, don’t forget to choose a matching base that is compatible with your umbrella. Bases come in various weights, colors, sizes, and materials such as concrete, aluminum, resin, plastic, and steel. Whether your umbrella is being used in a table or not, an umbrella base will keep it in place and upright.

Thank you for visiting San Luis Umbrella! We hope your shopping experience will be easy, educational, and enjoyable―to help you make a quality purchase.