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What is a Cantilever Parasol?

What is a Cantilever Parasol?

In short, a cantilever parasol is a parasol with a side stand. This means the parasol overhangs your garden furniture without having the stand in the way. And with the 360° rotation option, you can move the parasol easily so you’re always in the shade.

With the weather improving and the prospect of glorious days in the garden for summer 2021, it’s time to brush off the garden furniture and create that all relaxing space in the garden.

Outdoor living is very popular these days and we see a lot of people buying garden furniture. But sometimes with so many choices available it’s easy to get confused with what’s out there.

What is rattan and how is it different to other garden furniture?

What is the difference between a gazebo, a awning and a pergola?

And just what is a Cantilever Parasol?

Is it just a fancy name for a garden umbrella?

Or is there more to it?

We try to answer all of these questions (and more) in our Garden Furniture Section.

If you want to find out which Cantilever Parasols are our favourite, then click here.

As a starting point why do we think Cantilever Umbrellas are so much better than standard parasols?

The video might give you a clue!



So what is a Cantilever Parasol?

A cantilever parasol is a parasol which overhangs your furniture. It has 2 poles rather than one, so the stand is out of the way. The parasol rotates 360° so you can easily move it and stay shaded all day long. 

Click on any of the links above to quickly skip to the particular section.


wall mounted cantilever umbrella

Wall Mounted Cantilever Garden Parasol (Buy here)

What is a Cantilever Parasol and how is it different from other parasols?

Firstly it’s worth mentioning that the cantilever parasol is also known as a ‘banana umbrella’ and also as a ‘hanging umbrella’.

Sometimes you might also come across the term ‘side pole umbrella’ which again works with the same design idea.

Having different terms for the same item can make shopping confusing, so keep this in mind.

Also worth mentioning is the interchangeable use of the words parasol and umbrella.

While umbrellas were originally designed to protect against the rain and parasols to protect against the sun, for the sake of garden furniture, the terms have become interchanged.

The standard garden parasol

Now the standard parasol we all know, it comes with a straight pole, which may or may not bend at a certain angle somewhere near the top of the pole.

These umbrellas can be set up through a hole in the middle of your table, or added to a stand.

These parasols come in all colours and sizes and I’m sure you are familiar with these.

The downside of the standard parasol is they tend to cover just part of your seating area as the parasol hangs above the stand.

When put in the middle of the table, it will cover the table, but often not the guests.

When put in a stand, the stand will be next to the table, covering some guests and leaving others unprotected.

So great for soaking up the sun on a beach, but if you’re dining ‘Al Fresco’ using a parasol will keep you partially in the shade!

The Cantilever

The cantilever parasol solves all this by having a unique base which makes it possible for the umbrella to overhang your furniture and seating area and give everyone the UV protection needed on those sunny days.

Where the cantilever umbrella is truly different is that the base is out of the way, while the parasol hangs above you, your table and your guests.

It’s basically suspended in the air, supported from the side rather than the centre, offering open, unobstructed view while being sheltered from the sun. 

So how does it work?

The cantilever umbrella does not have one pole as a stand, but two.

One vertical, and one horizontal on top, which is adjustable, meaning you can have the umbrella either close or further away from the stand, depending on the size of your seating area.

A handle will help you set up and take down the umbrella.


Cantilever Parasol explained

What are the benefits of having a Cantilever Umbrella?

The cantilever parasol comes in different sizes, and are generally pretty big – they create a large shaded area.

 Are there any other benefits?

Yes there are!

  •  Super styleful designs which complement any patio, decking or seating area.
  • Keeps ALL your guests in the shade
  • UV protection for everyone.
  • Three different ways of securing your cantilever parasol – so suitable regardless of your available space.
  • Keeps your food fresh and shaded at your garden parties.
  • You can easily create a large shaded play area for your (grand) children.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Many are waterproof and secure on windy days.
  • Super quick to set up and position adjustment.
  • Most have weather cover for when not in use.
cantilever umbrella top view

What materials are Cantilever Umbrellas made from?

There are different components to the umbrella, and the ones we discuss here are the stand, the pole and the umbrella material itself.

The material used often decides the price tag on the umbrella as does the brand reputation.

Umbrella Stand

The umbrella stand is optional with many side pole umbrellas. This is because there are various installation options.

You could indeed purchase a separate stand (if not included)  for a movable umbrella, or the umbrella can be attached to either the wall or your decking.

Umbrella stands can be plastic containers which you can fill with either water or sand. These will be the cheaper options and the weight of the stand depends on how large the fillable area of the stand is.

A better solution is a concrete stand. Don’t worry they are not ugly grey blocks of concrete, but rather nicely finished stands, like the universal cantilever 90kg black stand in the image.


Universal cantilever parasol stand

Umbrella Pole

The stand is often made of aluminium and it is important to remember that there is a wide range of quality within aluminium.

Important with aluminium poles is the thickness and the finishing layer.

Some high-end, durable aluminium poles are made from Marine Grade Anodised Aluminium and will come with a guarantee.

The budget and mid range will be made from plain aluminium.

Stainless steel stands will be stronger and more durable. This will also increase the price tag.

Top range cantilver umbrellas are made from bamboo as this makes the umbrella stand not only very strong but also environmentally friendly.

Umbrella Canopy Material

Three things to look out for:

  • Mold and mildew resistant qualities
  • Fade-resistant qualities
  • Protection from UV rays

The umbrella canopy is the overhead material of the umbrella which keeps you shaded and protected from UV rays and possibly rain.

This part of the garden umbrella adds significant aesthetic value to your outdoor area. This of course could be your patio, decking area, backyard, poolside or balcony.

Besides size and pole mateiral, choosing the canopy fabric is one of your most important decisions when purchasing a cantilever umbrella.

While the colour on the canopy is the most visible aspect of the umbrella, it also needs to protect you from the sun’s heat and glare. 

Canopies can be made from various materials, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

Some fabrics are coated with PVC or styrene-acrylic. This improves weather resistance, but the downside is that this process can weaken the textile’s tensile tearing strength.

Fabrics which can withstand UV fading and do not absorb any water, are the best canopy material for cantilever parasols.

Sunbrella fabric is the most popular fabric for garden cantilever umbrellas as:

  • It’s durable.
  • UV and fade resistant
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • High in UPF protection which protects you from the sun.

Polyester fabric is also popular and the most commonly used. It’s the budget choice. It’s soft, lightweight, and can easily be dyed in colourful and vibrant shades.

However, the best polyester fabrics are solution dyed and dyed at thread level before being woven.

Polyester resists shrinking and retains its shape well, though it can be sensitive to high temperatures.

The right fabric choice for you will depend on your budget, and while there are many budget choices on the market, it’s worth remembering that you might need to replace your umbrella a lot sooner than expected.

We have put our favourite cantilever umbrellas at the bottom of this post, including some budget options which we believe offer good value.


bamboo side pole umbrella

Available Colours and Sizes

As with normal umbrellas and parasols, the cantilever parasol comes in many colours and sizes, however some are more popular than others.


While you will be able to find a cantilever umbrella in about any colour you can think off, you’ll be hard pushed to find a multi colour one.

These umbrellas are styleful and modern and many designers have tried to blend the umbrellas in with the patio and garden furniture, rather then making it the centre piece which would attract all the attention.

The Cantilever Umbrella Canopies are available in a variety of colours to compliment any outdoor colour scheme.

The main colours you will find the umbrella canopies in, are some kind of shade of light and dark grey, beige, cream, green and blue.

However, you will be able to find them in other colours too, like the Lime Green Peninsula Cantilever Umbrella from the Garden Furniture Centre  in the image below.

Banana Umbrella Sizes

The banana umbrellas (cantilever) tend to be large, so they can shade a large area of your patio or seating area.

And in all honesty this is definately a large selling point of this type of umbrella. After all that’s why you invest in a good garden umbrella in the first place, right?

They tend to be square or octagonal and most are sized between 2.5 and 3 m².

Larger umbrellas tend to be commercially used umbrellas which you might see in beer gardens, on events and on terraces.


LED Cantilever Parasols

Very popular at the moment are LED parasols.

This is basically a cantilever parasol with LED lights under the canopy. The LED’s are solar powered and will give a nice glow on those summer evenings.

Lime Green Canopy Peninsula Cantilever 3x3M Parasol

How to look after your hanging umbrella Cantilever Parasol?

Your umbrella is likely to be made of polyester or canvas, and if you want your parasol to last, it’s important to look after it well.

While most canopies are treated, it’s still important to keep your canvas clean to avoid mold growth.

You can brush off any dry, loose dirt with a soft brush. Stains can be removed using tepid water, a soft brush and mild detergent, then it needs to be rinsed thoroughly with clean water.

It’s best not to leave your parasol outside when not in use as fabrics will fade and become brittle when left exposed to our climate for long periods.

And while your parasol will be weighted down, wind gusts are one of the biggest causes of table damage. But with the easy handle on the pole, it’s easy to put down your side pole umbrella when not in use.


Round Cantilever garden umbrella

How much can you expect to pay for a cantilever garden umbrella

One of the first things you will realise when you are looking for cantilever umbrellas and parasols, is that there is a wide range of prices.

They range in price from £79.99 (Alfresia 3m Cantilever Parasolto £1838.00 (Outdoor Patio Offset Umbrella) and beyond.

The price is dependent on the quality, the material and the brand, though not all high end umbrellas are superior quality, nor are the lower priced umbrellas neccesarily bad quality.

If steel is used opposed to aluminium expect to pay more.

If you’re looking for a cantilever umbrella which you can use throughout the summer and store away in winter?

Opting for something mid range should suffice.

Here you are looking at umbrellas between £250 and £750.

Again, the price goes up the better the quality and if a warranty is available.

To help you find the right Cantilever, we have put our favourites in the list below, with the pros and cons, the price and where you can buy one.

With the prospect of staycations throughout summer 2021, everyone is updating their garden furniture.

Keep yourself and your guests cool and sun protected, buy a cantilever parasol.


What is a Cantilever Parasol?



Charles Bentley Cantilever Umbrella
Charles Bently Cantilever Umbrella Details

This large cantilever umbrella benefits from an extra large canopy (3.5m) and looks great!

It’s easy to position and provides shade for any important lunch or something more relaxing!

Features include:

  • Easy to use crank and tilt handle
  • Water resistant umbrella canopy
  • 360 degree rotation

What’s it made of:

  • Aluminium frame
  • 220g polyester canopy 

What area does it cover?

  • Total Diameter – 350cm
  • Pole height (250cm) – Total height once assembled (262cm)
  • Roof Edge height – 180 cm

What else?

The total weight is 24kg and there is only one colour available (grey).

What do we like about it?

It’s an easy to assemble free standing umbrella and can be moved around easily. Yes, it’s polyester but the weight of the polyester (220g) is good. The overall coverage is more than sufficient for most outdoor dining and it’s easy to grab from the garage or shed and assemble. It’s only available in grey but a blending type of grey.

Charles Bentley Cantilever Umbrella
What is a Cantilever Parasol

This is a stylish cantilever umbrella that can be left standing in most areas. It benefits from a very strong aluminium frame and heavier base.

Features include:

  • 360 degree rotation
  • Well manufactured operating mechanism allowing firm fixed positions
  • High quality heavy strong base
  • Folds down with minimal effort

What’s it made of:

Strong Aluminium frame

300g polyester canopy with air vents

What area does it cover?

Total area of 3 sq m

What we like about this one:

The parasol cover tilts forwards and backwards from a smooth runner on the mainframe and  there’s a foot pedal on the base to facilitate 360 degree movement. 


Outsunny Cantilever Parasol
Cantilever Umbrella Outsunny Details

Features include:

  • Made of steel for extra strength
  • Canopy vents


What’s it made of:

  • Steel
  • 180g polyester canopy 


What area does it cover?

  • Total area of 2.92 sq m


What we like about this one:

It’s stylish and feels like it will last many years. The heavy duty thickenen steel pole and 8 ribs provde excellent support.

Hawaii Cantilever Parasol
Hawaii Cantilever Parasol

The thing that sets this cantilever parasol out from the others is that each ‘rib’ (these provide support for the parasol) has an embedded spring. This means the cover is kept tight at all times. Another distinctive feature is its 90kg granite base which means this parasol isn’t going anywhere.

Features include:

  • Internal ribs are made of stainless steel providing superior structural strength
  • High quality heavy strong granite base
  • Dark grey covering
  • 2 year warranty

What’s it made of:

  • Strong powder coated aluminium 
  • 250g polyester canopy 

What area does it cover?

  • Total area of 3 sq m

What we like about this one:

It’s stylish and feels like it will last many years. It folds down compactly and the polished granite base (on lockable wheels) adds a superior level of security (in the sense of not moving).

AIRWAVE Cantilever


Super Budget Cantilever Umbrella
Super Budget Cantilever Umbrella

The Airwave is the least expensive option with a lighter canopy and light frame so perfect for scorching days with a slight breeze.

Features include:

  • Easy-open hand crank function.
  • Cross base with room for weights to provide extra stability.
  • Tilts backwards and forwards and rotates 360 degrees.

What’s it made of:

  • Powder coated steel frame
  • 160g polyester canopy.

What area does it cover?

  • Total area of 3 sq m.

What we like about this one:

For the price this offers very good value for money. A compromise is on the thickness of the canopy but if you’re looking for occasional use this will do the job. It’s a good idea to buy extra weights to position when necessary.


That rounds up our summary of Cantilever umbrellas.

Enjoy the summer!

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