While the COVID-19 outbreak has us all stuck at home, there's no reason you and your household can't enjoy your outdoor living space. In fact, staying inside all the time is downright unhealthy.
Our bodies need exposure to sunlight to produce enough vitamin D, a key component of a healthy immune system. Of course, too much sunlight exposure is unhealthy, too.
So, for the health of all those living in your household, there's never been a better time to invest in outdoor umbrellas. That way, you can get out and have fun in the sun without getting too much of it.
Of course, you want to invest in the best—an umbrella that's easy to use, works great, and lasts. That's why we've written you this guide.
To help you decide, we've reviewed the best outdoor umbrella australia available today, split into 3 categories, Home, Cafe/Restaurant, and Commercial/Heavy-Duty. Find the perfect one for you right here.
First, let's look at outdoor umbrellas for general home use. The most popular type of umbrella in this category is the Standard Centre Post umbrella.
These are great for garden, patio, or backyard use. And they often fit into patio tables for heavy-duty support. They also tend to be the most affordable.
Also included in this section are Cantilever umbrellas, also known as Side Post or Offset umbrellas. Because their support pole is located on the side instead of the center, they are much more versatile than centre post umbrellas.
You can position cantilever umbrellas however you want without the pole being in the way. Plus, you can reposition them throughout the day as the sun moves. Cantilever umbrellas are the preferred choice for shading a pool.
Shadowspec is our top choice for outdoor umbrellas to use at home. They use marine-grade components for unparalleled durability and functionality. And they offer a large variety of top-grade umbrellas to suit your needs, along with excellent after-sales support.
Here are a few of our favorite Shadowspec models.
The Serenity is a stylish cantilever umbrella with a large shade that covers up to 36 meters squared. It's made of marine-grade aluminium and stainless steel that is heat-treated for extra structural integrity. Plus, it features very easy operation.
The Unity umbrella is essentially the same as the Serenity except that it can have anywhere from 1 to 4 shades off a single post. Like the Serenity model, each shade covers an area of 36 meters squared.
SU3 is one of the most convenient umbrellas you can buy. It's made of non-corrosive metals and is wall-mounted to survive many years as a permanent installation.
The SU3 uses a patented system for easy opening and can swivel back and forth horizontally for no-hassle repositioning.
Australian-based Shelta is our top pick for availability and affordability. You can find Shelta umbrellas pretty much anywhere (including Project Shade).
But the best part about Shelta is the extensive variety of umbrellas and umbrella accessories they offer, priced to fit any budget. And each canopy is available in a variety of colours/patterns.
With so many choices of styles and features to choose from, there's no need for us to share our favorite models. They make it easy for you to choose your own.
Ultrashade is another Australian sun-shade company that's known for variety. But, rather than providing a diverse line of retail umbrellas, Ultrashade prides itself on offering customized shade solutions. These custom shade projects are commercial quality products, for use at homes or businesses.
They're built to last and made to order in a QLD factory, according to your needs and budget. And they're 100% Australian-made.
Bambrella is the most unique choice on our list as their umbrellas are made of 100% renewable bamboo. Thus, they're indisputably the most eco-friendly shade option. Bambrella even uses careful, ecological practices when growing and harvesting bamboo to ensure environmental sustainability.
Besides that, their umbrellas are breathtakingly gorgeous. They give your outdoor living space a natural, tropical look. Plus, bamboo is famous for its strength and durability.
Revolvashade is our favorite for durable, simple, yet versatile pool umbrellas. Their pool shades are built tough to withstand permanent installation. And they're easy to operate and reposition as needed.
The Deluxe is a standard albeit very high-quality standing pool umbrella. It tilts for repositioning and is fully retractable and wind rated.
The Ultimate Deluxe
The Ultimate Deluxe is an extremely versatile upgrade of the Deluxe model. It swings, tilts, and has 4 height settings to keep any desired area well-shaded throughout the day. So, even though the Ultimate Deluxe costs more than the Deluxe, it's best at covering a very large area all day long.
The tandem is a sturdy, heavy-duty, dual canopy shade umbrella for covering very large areas with shade.
Cafe/restaurant-style umbrellas are typically centre post umbrellas but can include cantilever as well. Because they are commercial-grade, they're made for heavy use.
This means they are durable umbrellas that are exceptionally easy to set up and take down. They're also very stylish and usually portable.
But all this also means that they're more expensive than a standard patio umbrella for home use. Still, it's worth it to purchase one for home use if you want a beautiful outdoor living space that looks like an actual restaurant.
There are so many good things to say about Aussie-made Sunranger Umbrellas. First, they are specifically designed as brandable products for business use or promotion.
That's why they're one of the most affordable commercial-grade umbrellas you can get. Companies who need a lot of umbrellas fast, perhaps to host an event or set up an outdoor seating area, look first to Sunranger.
And, besides that, Sunranger's cafe-style umbrellas are just as effective as shade tools for personal use as they are for branding. Plus, they come in a variety of colours, patterns, and materials. They are wind-rated for heavy-duty use and come with superior after-sales support.
Star Outdoor is our second choice for restaurant-style umbrellas for all the same reasons Sunranger was our first. They, too, are made for branding and company use across Australia.
And they're even cheaper than Sunranger. There's a reason for that, though.
Star Outdoor umbrellas are not built to last like Sunranger. They'll need replacing about every 12 months. Still, they qualify as a great (and cheap) short-term option.
Perhaps the exact opposite of Star Outdoor, Instant Shade is highest in price, but also in quality. From simple cafe table umbrellas to large, collapsable gazebos, every shade solution they offer is impressively elegant. They are also brandable.
Whether you want your backyard to look like a resort or you actually own a resort, Instant Shade offers the most premium look and feel.
Shadowspec provides the same level of quality and service with their cafe-style umbrellas that they do with their residential options. Our favorite is the SU2.
Highly waterproof and made of commercial-grade aluminium, the SU2 is made to last a very, very long time. It utilises a heavy-duty double pulley system for easy use. And, as always, it comes with Shadowspec's unreproachable after-sales support.
Also worth a second mention, Ultrashade makes customized, premium-quality cafe umbrellas that are worthy (and hardy) enough for any business. If you want an extremely durable, fashionable, unique shade solution for outdoor dining, buy Ultrashade.
In this last section are the most heavy-duty umbrellas you can buy. They are wind-rated and strong enough for commercial use. They're even sturdy enough to be installed as a permanent fixture.
If money is no object and you want the absolute highest-quality, heavy-duty, luxury shade solutions money can buy, you have one option: Tucci. Though the name is Italian, Tucci is actually based in Miami. And, as you'd expect from such a renowned centre of art and culture, each Tucci shade solution is an extravagant work of art.
Additionally, they are durable and convenient. And they can be customized with loads of additional features, including electronic automation.
For those of you who don't have unlimited funds but still want the best heavy-duty umbrellas you can afford, Ultrashade is our top choice. In every way, Ultrashade is a more affordable Tucci, offering beauty, durability, and customizability you can't (affordably) get anywhere else.
If it's possible to have a third, tied-for-first-place option on our commercial umbrella list, it would have to be Makmax. Everything we said about Ultrashade is true, for standard types of umbrellas/shade options. But if you want an umbrella that's basically a building—with the same level of quality and customization you get from Ultrashade—check out Makmax.
This world-renowned, Australian company engineers massive shade structures from heavy steel and tensile membranes. All the while, they carefully adhere to Australian engineering standards for safety and legality.
Or, as an alternative to Makmax, consider Skyspan a slightly less original runner-up. Still, they have impressive structures all over the world including the Maldives and Dubai.
They also make premium umbrellas out of heavy steel while obeying Australian engineering standards. Some of their models are even retractable.
Our final worthy mention in the commercial umbrella category is the SU10 by Shadowspec, designed in New Zealand. It's nowhere near as flashy and extravagant as the others in this category.
But it's an extremely heavy-duty, permanent option that won't let you down. It's also extremely affordable compared to Tuuci, Skyspan, and Makmax. Without a doubt, Shadowspec is the best low-budget commercial option.
Want to stay cool and safe this summer but still get a healthy dose of fresh air and sunlight? Then invest in a well-functioning, high-quality, durable outdoor patio umbrella that lasts. In other words, choose one of the top outdoor umbrellas on this list.
Want to know more about your outdoor umbrella/sunshade options? Then read Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor Umbrellas and Sun Shades.
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