In the automated world in which we live, very little has to be done manually. One can now order groceries from the comfort of one’s home computer, then have them delivered right to their door. This automation extends also into the realm of patio furniture, notably in the form of the auto tilt umbrella. There are three variations to this patio umbrella, each with special features to facilitate convenient outdoor entertaining.
First, let us begin with the basic form of auto tilt umbrella. The basic model is made out of an aluminum pole with a crank mechanism attached that opens and closes the umbrella. Once open, if the crank is turned more, the umbrella will then tilt in usually two to three preset angle positions, or some which have infinite locked positions. These automated versions are easier to open than manual umbrellas, and thus cause less strain to arms and backs. Also, by being able to tilt the umbrella, you can move the shade to where you most need it, which is great for smaller spaces and control. The only thing that can go wrong with an auto tilt umbrella is that in some cases the crank or locking mechanism can fail, but that is a rare occurrence and usually caused by poor quality factory manufacturing.
Similar to the basic auto tilt umbrella is the modified collar tilt feature. The fixture of the automated umbrella has been around almost as long as modern patio furniture, but the collar feature popped up in the 1990s. To operate these, you still crank the umbrella to open it, but rather than keep cranking, it stops when it’s fully open. From there, a specially designed ring or collar at the top is what tilts the umbrella. It can move into a number of positions and is preferred by some people for its smooth movements. It’s a nice umbrella for tables because it’s easier to reach up and twist the collar rather than crank or manually use a push button to re-angle. On the other hand, it is a more involved process than the auto tilt umbrella. This is because the collar requires two separate manual movements as far as opening and tilting. Also, the collar tilt may not be as easy to operate for some as a crank motion. In addition, if the umbrella is not securely attached to the base then the entire thing might fall over when you turn the collar.
Lastly, the most evolved model is the shade-dial. This trademarked feature does one better than the auto tilt umbrella because it tilts a full 360 degrees to accommodate. This way, you can enjoy around the clock shade from sunrise to sunset. It resembles the collar tilt in that there is the crank with a second mechanism situated above it. But rather than a collar, the second mechanism is the dial, which when turned will point the umbrella canopy in the sun’s direction. It’s much easier to turn a dial than either crank or twist the collar of the other models. However, like the collar tilt, the shade-dial comprises two manual motions, but neither is particularly difficult.
In conclusion, the three types of auto tilt umbrella are similar in look and operation. The differences lie in their price points and complexity, but all are a valuable asset to patio furniture which can make your time outdoors more pleasant.