Market umbrellas are a versatile shade option that can be used to complement the style of a home backyard, to add value to a property, or to create a welcoming invitation for customers. They are also a practical and valuable way to add to the atmosphere of a café or restaurant. These umbrellas are usually octagonal, or round, but they can also be square or hexagonal and can range from 2.1m to 4.3m wide. Market umbrellas always have a centre pole and are not to be confused with cantilever umbrellas (or offset umbrellas) which have the pole to the side – these types of umbrellas are not usually suitable for commercial use as their asymmetrical design makes them susceptible to wind damage. Many market umbrellas share similar features, but not all are created equal. While this is not necessarily a bad thing as every customer has different needs, it’s important to understand what makes a market umbrella stand out from the hundreds of others available. The following are the best market umbrellas currently available in 2021.
The Sunranger Umbrella Café Series is a workhorse which was designed with the everyday needs of cafés and restaurants in mind. It has a strong black powdercoated frame which is light enough to be wheeled outside every morning and back in at night. This umbrella is available in a wide range of colours with a high quality canvas canopy that is highly weather-resistant- from the harsh UV rays of the Australian summer to dashing rain, and it is also wind resistant! Another great aspect of the Sunranger Café Series is that it is available in three popular sizes and it can be printed. While it was designed with commercial spaces in mind, this umbrella also looks great in a backyard or garden, and with plenty of canopy options, there’s sure to be one that suits. The comprehensive nature of this umbrella is also reflected in the installation options available – it can be made permanent or moved around with ease.
There are not many downsides to this umbrella as it is strong, rust and fade resistant, and available in a large range of colours while also being great value for money. While the canopy can be printed, the frame and powder-coated aluminium pole of this umbrella is only available in black. The fact that it is only available in three sizes could also be somewhat limited depending on the space.
Best Timber Commercial
The Sunranger Premium Timber umbrella is a beautifully designed shade suitable for both commercial and domestic use where a natural flourishing atmosphere is a goal. Featuring sustainably grown hardwood and a superior colourfast outdoor canopy fabric available in an elegant range of natural tones, this umbrella effortlessly adds a luxurious element to its surroundings, be it at a restaurant, resort, pool area, or backyard. The Spuncrylic umbrella canopy provides a UPF 50+ rating for supreme UV protection and is also highly rain and fade resistant. The hardwood frame is treated with a protective lacquer for longevity which also brings out the beautiful patterns of the grain. In regard to installation options, this umbrella can be made permanent or left in a heavy and stable moveable base.
The Premium Timber is a fantastic shade solution that is hand crafted to create a relaxed and stately feel in a commercial or home environment. To keep it looking beautiful, the manufacturers recommend maintenance with a hardwood shield to protect it from water and dirt. This is additional upkeep that is not required for many of the other umbrellas on this list, however, it is one of the more impressive looking umbrellas as well as being sustainably made, and this type of upkeep is recommended for any type of timber umbrella. This umbrella range also starts at a fairly large size which may not suit some smaller sized commercial spaces.
Best in Show
The Hurricane Premium Parasol is a world-class umbrella range designed for upscale cafes and restaurants, polished commercial spaces, and homes that want to create a modern, high-caliber pool or entertainment area. Admirably sleek, this umbrella features an incredibly strong aluminium frame topped by a premium outdoor canvas canopy which is available in both eye-catching and natural colours that will resist fading and is highly water resistant. The Hurricane has been engineered to withstand strong winds with heavy duty reinforced interlocking arms, which is a great aspect for commercial use when it may be too busy to keep an eye on the umbrellas throughout the day. As the Hurricane Premium Parasol range takes advantage of an anodized aluminium frame, it can be used confidently near the water without worrying about rust or damage to the frame. Another reason that the Hurricane is one of the best market umbrellas of 2021 is that it is available in seven sizes, which means that it will fit into a multitude of spaces and looks especially good as part of an installation. Finding the best umbrella stand for these umbrellas will depend on the surroundings as well as the size of the umbrella but like many other market umbrellas the Hurricane can be both installed permanently or in a moveable base with sufficient weight.
The Hurricane is one of the most well-engineered and refined market umbrellas available. It’s commercial nature means that it is easy to source replacement parts while it’s stunning aesthetic fits comfortably into any modern scenario. This umbrella is a high-end shade solution which means that it may not fit into everyone’s budget. If this is the case, the Sunranger Café Series is an impressive and cost-effective option.
Best Luxury Timber
The Bambrella Levante range is an elegant shade option for commercial and domestic applications. Made with FSC certified bamboo which lends a warm, natural presence to an outdoor space, this market patio umbrella range is strong and available in a variety of natural colours that allow this umbrella to create a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere. The canopy is made of premium quality Spuncrylic fabric which means that it won’t fade in a few years and that it has a very high UV block with a UPF of 50+. As the frame of this umbrella is made of sustainably harvested bamboo, it is naturally flexible and has been lacquered to add to its durability which is especially important for commercial use. As is the case with most of the other market umbrellas on this list, the Bambrella range can be installed on a permanent basis or in a moveable base.
The Bambrella Levante umbrella range sets a sophisticated, contemporary tone for both commercial and home décor alike, and just like the Sunranger Premium Timber umbrella, it is encouraged to maintain the Bambrella Levante range with a hardwood shield to protect from the prolonged effects of years of water and dirt on the pole.
Most Affordable Domestic
The Shelta Harbord is a great shade option for the home – it is affordable, available in a range of colours, is height adjustable, and features a tilting option. The frame of this umbrella is lightweight aluminium which means that adjusting the height is easy, as is moving it around the backyard. To tilt the umbrella, there is a simple push button near the top, and opening the umbrella is easier than all of the other umbrellas in this list: simply push up and it will lock open! This umbrella has a polyester canopy that will block up to 95% of UV radiation, and it is available in two sizes.
The fun and easy-to-use Harbord is a reliable shade solution for any backyard or personal outdoor space. Its affordable price makes it a good value for money, though it is important to note that the polyester canopy will fade quicker than the other market umbrellas on this list. It is recommended to use an umbrella cover for any umbrella but especially in a home setting where it may not be used every day to prevent fading and other damage.
Best Custom Commercial
The Café and Courtyard umbrella range is one of the best market umbrellas on this list because it is customisable and fully made in Australia. The size, shape, frame colour and canopy colour are all made to order which means that this umbrella can be hand crafted for a specific area, be it a commercial space or domestic entertainment area. The frame of this umbrella has been deliberately overengineered for long-lasting and reliable use, and the umbrella canopy fabric is marine grade acrylic which is fade resistant, highly water resistant, and UPF 50+. It can also be printed to display a brand or logo and is very hard-wearing, which is proven by a 5 year warranty against UV degradation. These umbrellas are perfect for permanent installation but they are also able to be set up in moveable bases.
The Café and Courtyard range is a brilliant, long-lasting choice for day in and day out use, especially in the harsh weather that Australia is known for. Its substantial price reflects the Australian craftsmanship that has gone into making the umbrella, as well as its dedication to keeping Aussies safe under the sun. The fact that it is made to order means that there is a lead time of at least a few weeks – but it is worth it!
Best Domestic Umbrella
The Shelta Fairview is another terrific domestic market umbrella which is available in two sizes, multiple colours, and has a unique collar tilt function. This umbrella uses a winder which opens and closes the umbrella easily – perfect for home use, and the umbrella tilts by twisting a collar handle above the winder. This means that the umbrella can be tilted while the user is still seated, which is not possible with many other market umbrellas. The frame of this umbrella is anodised aluminium which means it is rust resistant, and the O’Bravia canopy is UPF 50+ for great protection from the sun. This umbrella can be permanently installed or used in a base – it is light enough to be mobile.
The Fairview is a useful backyard umbrella with a fade-resistant canopy that is light enough to move around and is easy to use even while sitting down. While it does have excellent features, this umbrella would not be suitable for commercial use as it does not have the reinforced aspects that many of the other umbrellas on this list feature to cope with constant, daily use.
Best Fibreglass Umbrella
The Fibresun umbrella has a fibreglass frame which has been styled to look like teak-grain timber- this allows for a natural aesthetic while being lighter than timber and possessing the superior strength of fibreglass. The Fibresun frame will not fade and does not have the ability to crack or blister over time like timber may, and the umbrella is available in three neutral shades of durable SpunPoly fabric- a polyester fabric that will resist fading and is showerproof. Fibreglass is particularly apt for commercial use near the water or in rainy areas because it does not rust or rot like natural materials can. The Fibresun is available in two sizes that can be installed both permanently and in a portable base.
The Fibresun is a very realistic fibreglass umbrella that successfully incorporates high-performing materials with a classic wooden style. This allows for it to be used in commercial spaces without worrying about timber upkeep! These umbrellas, however, are only available in two sizes and very similar colours, which could be a deal breaker when it comes to outfitting a commercial area. The polyester fabric is also less fade resistant than the Spuncrylic canopies used on Premium Timber or Bambrella umbrellas.
When it comes to securing a market umbrella, there are a few different ways that this can be done, and it depends on the surroundings and situation of the umbrella. If an umbrella is likely to be in the same place for a long time, it can be bolted down or installed into an inground base which is the most secure option for an umbrella and is recommended for commercial areas. If the umbrella is going on a footpath, it can be installed into a removeable inground base which has a flap that closes up when the umbrella has been removed to maintain ground level.
For umbrellas that need portable bases, there are plenty of options available. It’s important to take note of the pole diameter of the umbrella which can range from 38mm to 59mm as they need to fit snugly into a base to be properly secured. The larger the umbrella, the more weight that needs to be on the end of it and there are multiple bases available at various weights and made of different materials. The more hard-wearing bases are made of steel that has either been powdercoated or electroplated, and these are best suited for commercial use. Cheaper bases are made of concrete which are more fragile and so are not suitable to being moved around, but are a good choice for domestic use. Another more stylish choice includes granite bases – these look great but are also fragile and so are best left in one place. Weight bags can be used for additional weight, though many bases also come with the option for a matching weight plate, which is a much sleeker and professional way of increasing the weight.