There are several things that need to be considered when shopping for your new patio umbrella. This will outline the various aspects.
1. The frame – the most popular options are wood or metal. Wood frames do not rotate, metal ones do. Along with this you should consider if you're getting a free standing one or if it will be bought together with a table. You may even need a stand to hold it in place.
2. Tilt options – there are three common methods including collar tilt, crank tilt and push button. Collar tilt is the most popular and generally considered the fastest method. You will not even need to leave your chair.
3. Size – consider the general area where the umbrella will be setup and whether you're trying to shade on person or a large table. Typically the sizes range from 4 1/2 to 11 feet.
4. Fabric – pick a fabric type and appearance that suits you. Perhaps you prefer bold prints or solid colors. Our best suggestion is that you pick something that matches the general decor of your other patio furniture. Perhaps even get it to match the outside of your house. If you're getting one that will be used more often on the beach you may want to get something bright so it can be easily spotted. There are many choices available so get one that's fun for you!
5. Care and maintenance – Cleaning usually involves a damp rag or perhaps a quick rinse from the hose. Stains should be tackled with a mild soap. Check the fabric care instructions to see what the rules are about bleach or other cleaning materials. The fabric may have a tendency to fade in sunlight so it's not a bad idea to store your umbrella in a shaded area or out of direct lighting to keep it bright for a longer period.
6. Ease of opening and closing – it sounds obvious, but you do not want to fight with it every time you need it. Get one that has a smooth motion and locks into place (whether open or closed) securely.
Good luck with your purchase and enjoy the beautiful summer days until your new patio umbrella!