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What is the difference between offset and cantilever patio umbrellas? This is a question that many people ask themselves when they are looking for an umbrella to set up on their deck or patio.

When you start your patio umbrella research, the basics of offset and cantilever umbrellas will begin to reveal themselves.

One can easily learn that both offset and cantilever umbrellas provide shade for patios, however, each design has varying levels of features.

Difference Between An Offset And Cantilever Patio Umbrella?

Difference Between An Offset And Cantilever Patio Umbrella?

Cantilever umbrellas provide more shade and coverage than offset patio umbrellas. These types of umbrella frames are heavier and offer a sturdy base to support the weight of the canopy and stand. The curved trusses also add to the strength, stability, and ease in opening/closing them.

Difference Between An Offset And Cantilever Patio Umbrella?
offset umbrella

What Is A Patio Cantilever Umbrella?

This type of umbrella provides shade over a table or seating area, however, unlike an offset patio umbrella, this type is designed so that its pole extends from one side down into the center of your patio.

The pole is attached to the pole sleeve in the center of the umbrella fabric via an adjustable pin and clip system.

Each cantilever umbrella has its own unique design with respect to how far down from the pole it hangs and how much it extends out from the top of the canopy, which makes it more difficult to compare between models.

When deciding on a cantilever umbrella size, you want to consider the width of your patio along with your intended usage under this type of umbrella.

The most common coverage sizes are 9’ – 10’, 11’ – 12’, 13’ – 14’ or 15’ – 16’.

Cantilever umbrellas are often used for patios that have limited space since the pole does not extend out to one side of your patio.

However, these types of umbrellas are not as sturdy compared to offset umbrellas since their weight is distributed across two points instead of one.

As a result, you will need to make sure they are raised and lowered carefully in order to avoid damage or tipping over during windy conditions.

For this reason, it’s recommended to use long poles with cantilever umbrellas to ensure additional stability.

Cantilever Patio Umbrella Benefits:

Provide more shade coverage over a smaller area compared to offset patio umbrellas; less bulky design that can be moved around foot traffic with ease.

These are great for areas with limited space since the pole is not anchored into the ground at one end.

Cantilever Patio Umbrella Drawbacks:

Less sturdy compared to offset patio umbrellas due to its two-point anchoring system vs one point for offset patio umbrellas.

May blow over easily during high wind conditions since it has more surface area exposed above the umbrella opening. Cantilever umbrellas are not as heavy compared to offset patio umbrellas.

However, we recommend installing a weighted umbrella base to keep it secure during windy conditions.

Difference Between An Offset And Cantilever Patio Umbrella?
cantilever umbrella

What Is A Offset Patio Umbrella?

This type of patio umbrella provides shade over a table or seating area where it’s anchored into the ground by one point.

The umbrella pole is placed on one side of the base and can’t be moved. Providing shade over a larger area than other umbrellas, offset umbrellas are often used for large areas such as rooftop patios or poolside cabanas.

The pole is attached to the pole sleeve in the center of the umbrella fabric via a spring-loaded button.

Poles come in a few different materials including aluminum, steel, or fiberglass which affect weight and sturdiness.

The pole then extends from the canopy to one side where it’s anchored to the ground using a base plate that covers about 10″ – 18″ in diameter depending on size.

This allows you to easily rotate any section of your patio under this type of umbrella providing much more flexibility regarding sun angles when compared to a stationary umbrella.

More durable than cantilever umbrellas, offset patio umbrellas are designed for minimal movement in high wind conditions.

However, the single point of anchoring into the ground can be a drawback when wind speeds increase since it’s more likely to blow over.

For this reason, larger offset patio umbrellas often come with stabilizing weights around their bases to help keep them secure in breezy weather.

Offset Patio Umbrella Benefits:

Thicker fabric provides better sun protection (UPF 50+) compared to other types of umbrellas.

Optional Sunbrella outdoor fabrics are available for low maintenance and fade-resistant color options; solid pole which is sturdier comparable to cantilever umbrellas.

Offset Patio Umbrella Drawbacks:

Less flexibility since it doesn’t cantilever out over a seating area where you may want to move it around.

Anchored to the ground requiring additional space for moving chairs and tables in and out under the umbrella opening.

Heavier than other types of umbrellas which makes them more difficult to move and store.

Which Is Better Offset patio Umbrella Or Cantilever?

Offset patio umbrellas or cantilever umbrellas? The answer depends on your needs and preference. Both have their own unique advantages that suit a variety of budgets and requirements.

Off-set Patio Umbrella

If you are looking for a more affordable option with the option to add more shade, an offset patio umbrella is a great choice.

They also offer different styles from traditional to contemporary looks, which makes it easy to choose one that matches your décor.

Since they’re lightweight in design, they’re easy to move around the yard if you’d like some extra coverage in another part of your outdoor space.

An offset patio umbrella is also a good choice when you need wind protection but not full sun coverage or shade all day.

Cantilever Umbrella

A cantilever umbrella is more expensive than an offset patio umbrella but offers a lot of additional features and benefits.

They come in a variety of frame materials from aluminum to rust-proof powder-coated steel for a strong structure that can handle high winds and harsh weather conditions.

The double-curved trusses give the canopy even more strength and stability for added peace of mind if you live in windy areas or have young children playing outside under them.

They also come with one-touch tilt capabilities for shading your space as the sun moves throughout the day.

These umbrellas are perfect when you need complete shade coverage from sunrise until sunset, plus added protection from wind gusts, rain, snow, and debris.


Meet Bob Vil, is a seasoned patio enthusiast and the author behind the informative and engaging content on our patio website. Bob Vil has a degree in Civil Engineering (BSCE). With over a decade of experience designing, building, and maintaining patios, fire pits, and porches, Bob Vil is an expert in all things outdoor living. Throughout his career, Bob Vil has worked on a wide range of projects, from small, intimate patios for residential clients to large-scale commercial installations. His knowledge and expertise have helped countless homeowners create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces that they can enjoy for years to come.

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