Setting yourself up with a good patio umbrella is often essential to enjoying a leisurely barbeque with the family on the patio or outdoor lunch around the picnic table. Unfortunately, most umbrellas aren’t built to withstand even “Very low” wind speeds of 20 MPH, as the National Weather Service describes.
To help you find a strong and reliable outdoor umbrella that can withstand strong winds so that you can enjoy your outdoor space as much as possible, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best patio umbrellas for use in windy conditions for your perusal – as well as advice and general knowledge of umbrellas and what to look for when purchasing one that I have learned over the years.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 How Much Wind Does It Take to Blow A Patio Umbrella Down?
- 0.2 What to Consider When Buying a Heavy-Duty Patio Umbrella?
- 1 10 Best Patio Umbrellas for Windy Conditions
- 1.1 1. PURPLE LEAF 10′ X 12′ Large Patio Cantilever Umbrella
- 1.2 2. GRAND PATIO 12 FT Deluxe NAPOLI Curvy Aluminum Offset Umbrella
- 1.3 3. Treasure Garden 9-Foot Starlux Deluxe Collar-Tilt Market Umbrella
- 1.4 4. Alannah 9.6 Ft. Outdoor Canopy Sunshade Umbrella
- 1.5 5. EliteShade USA 9Ft 3 Tiers Market Umbrella
- 1.6 6. JEAREY Cantilever Patio Umbrella Double Top
- 1.7 7. Sunnyglade 10x10Ft Cantilever Patio Umbrella
- 1.8 8. ABBLE Outdoor Patio Umbrella 9 Ft Pagoda
- 1.9 9. Grand Patio 10 Ft Offset Patio Umbrella
- 1.10 10. Sahara Outdoor Water Resistant Canopy w/ Plastic Base Aluminum Pole
- 1.11 How to Secure Your Patio Umbrella Against Heavy Winds?
- 1.12 Related Questions
- 1.13 Final Thoughts
How Much Wind Does It Take to Blow A Patio Umbrella Down?
Umbrellas are built using different designs to maximize shade, optimize weight, and resist high wind speeds efficiently. To quantify the wind speeds that any given umbrella can safely withstand, retailers often make use of a wind resistance rating that accompanies their products for your consideration.
As a frame of reference, standard patio umbrellas utilizing a simple design to prioritize shade with light-weight materials will normally struggle in winds above 20 MPH and the recommendation is to close and cover them as soon as the wind picks up.
Another scale sometimes used is the Beaufort Wind Scale which, having originally been made for use at sea, describes the effects you can visually notice. A wind speed of 19-24 MPH, therefore, correlates to a force rating of 5 on the Beaufort scale.
What to Consider When Buying a Heavy-Duty Patio Umbrella?
Your umbrella’s design and the materials used to make it will affect how heavy the umbrella is, and it’s important to note that a heavier cantilever umbrella would need a heavier base than a center-pole umbrella. An umbrella weighing around 20 lbs would be considered light, while 50 lbs or more will need a heavier base to handle the same wind speeds.
The Base Weight
Because you want to make sure your umbrella can withstand higher wind speeds, the base will need to weigh at least 10 times the diameter of the opened umbrella in feet more if the umbrella is heavier. The rule of thumb is for every foot the umbrella span extends; you need 10 lbs of weight for the average umbrella (e.g. a 12” umbrella needs a 120 lbs stand).
Umbrellas on the heavier end, around 50 lbs or more, would need a weightier base that will overcome the offset center of gravity and still offer ample weight for wind resistance. Allow an extra 10-20 lbs for heavier umbrellas.
Read our guide 10 Best Patio Umbrella Stands for Wind
Wind Resistance Rating
Patio umbrella manufacturers perform various types of wind-resistance tests to provide a rating in wind speeds using MPH or the Beaufort Wind Scale. This indicates the maximum wind speeds that their umbrella can withstand safely before it should be closed and covered.
Once the wind reaches these higher speeds you’ll likely want to go inside anyway since things will be blowing over and it will become rather uncomfortable to remain outdoors.
Number of Tiers/Vents
An umbrella with tiers or vents allows for the wind to pass through with low resistance, providing less swaying in the wind and allowing heat to pass through the top of the umbrella unhindered. The tiered design provides better wind resistance the more tiers the umbrella has, at the cost of needing a more intricate support structure.
The upside is that the tiers are each held firmly in place whereas vents rest loosely on the top of the umbrella to allow more wind flow as the wind picks up. Working similarly to tiers, the downside for loose vent flaps is that they can move in the wind to make noise.
Cantilever umbrellas have the edge in winds thanks in part to their suspended design. The umbrella has room to sway in strong sudden gusts without stressing the pole as much as would be the case with center-pole umbrellas.
Adding to these benefits, the use of tiers or vents allows better distribution of pressure when exposed to wind that reduces strain on all parts of the umbrella, both the pole and ribs. The 3 center-pole umbrellas that I have recommended have vents and tiers that put them on equal footing with the more efficient cantilever designs.
10 Best Patio Umbrellas for Windy Conditions
With a reliable four and a half stars on Amazon, this first umbrella by PURPLE LEAF is a rectangular 10’ X 12’ umbrella which neatly covers your table and seating area, with adjustments for 6 angle and height settings to keep your skin protected from sun-up to sun-down.
Rated for 30 MPH winds, this umbrella also makes use of polyester fabric for a fast drying time and steadfast color which is backed up by a 3-year warranty. Also available in 10’ with an octagon shape if a rectangle umbrella doesn’t suit your outdoor area’s design, these umbrellas are both available in many colors and can be mounted to a ground anchor or fillable umbrella stand.
The GRAND PATIO 12’ deluxe Napoli cantilever umbrella with a polyester canopy and vent for better airflow has a clever and easy-to-use crank system and extending arm to open your umbrella fast and with minimal effort.
Since the extending arm is on a curve you can lock the umbrella at any angle you need with the turn of a knob, and because the umbrella comes with a stable base that can be filled to 300 lbs, there’s no fuss for trying to find a suitable umbrella stand. As a bonus, the base even has wheels to make it easier to move around!
The 9’ Starlux Collar-tilt umbrella is made from durable and long-lasting materials. It uses Sunbrella fabric, which is 100% solution-dyed acrylic with a 5-year fade-resistant warranty, and a powder-coated aluminum frame with an exclusive 3-year warranty. Adding to the sturdy build and vented top for better wind resistance, the umbrella has built-in battery-powered lights and a USB charging port.
No power cables running to your umbrella are needed, as the battery pack is just unplugged to recharge after 6-8 hours of operation. Lastly, tilting this umbrella up to 30 degrees is nice and easy with the twisting mechanism right above the crank that opens and closes the umbrella. This umbrella is an easy choice for the utility of the included electrical features.
4. Alannah 9.6 Ft. Outdoor Canopy Sunshade Umbrella
For a water-resistant 9.6’ umbrella with a vent for added wind resistance, the Alannah outdoor umbrella fashions a chic modern design that can fit almost any outdoor decor. The fabric adorned on this umbrella is non-porous polyester so the water will simply roll straight off without soaking into the material and the umbrella will remain dry when closed or stored.
And for ease of setup, the umbrella comes with a fillable resin base, so a hose pipe is all you need to fill and secure the umbrella stand to remain sturdy in a strong wind.
A full brown powder-coated aluminum frame gives this 3-tiered tilting umbrella strength while remaining lightweight. With all the options available for long-lasting bright colors, choosing the right umbrella for your patio will be a breeze! And speaking of breezes, thanks to the 3-tier design air smoothly passes through the canopy of this umbrella so that even in windy conditions it won’t bend and break.
Even when tilted, the tier system reduces strain when exposed to strong gusts of wind, giving you more time to return the umbrella into the upright position before any damage may be done.
This 9-foot, 2-tiered cantilever umbrella produced by JEAREY comes together with a cover for maximum protection when not in use and during storms. If you need a larger umbrella JEAREY has quite an extensive selection of these cantilever umbrellas increasing in 1’ increments up to 13 feet, to suit any outdoor space.
Made with aluminum, steel, and a polyester canopy, you can rest easy knowing this outdoor umbrella will last you for years to come. If any issues arise in setting up and using your new umbrella, JEAREY is eager to help with their 3-year warranty service and 24/7 customer support.
Sunnyglade had an innovative idea for making this umbrella that I’m quite excited about. For the large 10-square-foot canopy to tightly fit the ribs, the four corners wrap around the edges and still have zips closing in the ends of the ribs to increase the tautness of the fabric and minimize possible movement in wind.
Coupled with the vent at the apex of the umbrella, the design of Sunnyglade’s cantilever umbrella is perfect for large tables or hot tubs needing shaded coverage. The umbrella does not come together with a base so be sure to find an appropriate umbrella stand, like this fillable wheeled base by Sunnyglade.
The center-pole style of this 9ft patio umbrella pagoda makes it ideal for use in an outdoor table’s center umbrella hole, or above a couple of pool loungers with a base stand. The combination of tiers and vents gives it fantastic wind resistance and the alloy steel frame grants strength while remaining lightweight.
If used through an outdoor table then it can be paired with a lighter umbrella stand of 50 lbs, but if it’s on its own then make use of the 1:10 rule and acquire an umbrella stand of at least 90 lbs for reliable performance in windy conditions. Available in tan, lime green, red, and aqua, this cheaper patio umbrella won’t easily be outperformed by others in this list.
This 10’ offset patio umbrella by Grand Patio has a versatile tilt function which gives it an incredible range of motion together with the 360 degrees of rotation around the pole, and the adjustable angle granted by raising and lowering the handle as some other cantilever umbrellas have done in the past.
This umbrella is purchasable in either the 10’ octagonal canopy shape or an 8.3’ canopy square and both have the movement functionality to provide shade wherever it is needed at any time of the day. All you’ll need is a weighted base, for which Grand Patio recommends 176 lbs or greater, and setup is quick and easy so you’ll be ready to sit back and relax in almost no time at all!
10. Sahara Outdoor Water Resistant Canopy w/ Plastic Base Aluminum Pole
The 9.7’ Sahara canopy patio umbrella and fillable base are a gorgeous addition to any patio. Available with a gray or sand-colored canopy from 100% polyester and an aluminum structure, this umbrella can serve you and your family stress-free for years to come without fretting over fading color or rust in wind and rain.
Even with an affordable price tag, there’s still no fuss trying to find the right base for it. Simply fill the accompanying hollow base with a mixture of sand and water and you’ll have peace of mind that your umbrella is well prepared to withstand the elements.
How to Secure Your Patio Umbrella Against Heavy Winds?
1. Tie it Down
A great choice for an umbrella that you don’t plan to move around would be fastening it to the ground. Bolted into a concrete mount or screwed securely to a wooden patio floor, the base of your umbrella can take up less space and look neater. You could also use a rope to tie the pole of your patio umbrella to a fence, small tree, or outdoor furniture to help secure it in place if need be.
Do be cautious though, as tying it too tightly can actually do more harm than good! Don’t tie it with too much strain on the pole to the point that it might bend out of shape, and be sure to tie it to something that can take the strain without being damaged! You wouldn’t want to tie the umbrella to too small a chair and have them both fly across the patio in a storm…
2. Add Extra Weight
An umbrella that isn’t weighted down properly can be toppled by a gust of wind, so make sure that there’s enough weight keeping your umbrella secured. There are sandbags and extra weights that can be purchased to add to existing umbrella stands that aren’t up to the job, like these movable Baser sandbags or this more permanent umbrella base weight bag.
3. Close the Umbrella
When a storm is brewing or you’re closing your umbrella for the night, make sure to tie it closed to protect it from the strongest gusts of wind and bouts of rain. The canopy will easily dry when open, but make sure to dry it out before closing to reduce the chances for mildew to take hold.
If you can get a cover, that’s even better so no parts of the umbrella are unnecessarily exposed to gales and damage from external factors. Patio umbrellas normally come with a strap for closing them but if you’re worried it’s not enough for a harsh storm you can wrap the umbrella closed using rope or bungee cord.
4. Don’t have a good Umbrella Stand? Get Creative
There are many great ideas that others have shared. If you can’t afford a better umbrella base or want something pretty and unique, ideas like this garden planter on Pinterest might catch your interest.
What are Patio Umbrellas Tiers?
A tiered umbrella is one with a canopy that has multiple layers. Instead of one solid piece of fabric covering the umbrella, it uses overlapping layers that allow wind flow and distributes the pressure exerted by a strong wind.
A plain patio umbrella without any tiers of vents will easily catch the wind and experience the full force until it breaks or flies across the patio, whereas a tiered umbrella can withstand that same force with relative ease allowing the wind to flow more freely through the gaps.
Do All Patio Umbrellas Come with a Weighted Base?
Unfortunately, not. Patio umbrellas that do come with a weighted umbrella base have the added benefit of not having to make sure the base fits beforehand or is heavy enough for your umbrella, but when you have to decide on a base yourself it’s important to remember that 1:10 rule from earlier and side with getting something heavier. The heavier the base is, the more securely your umbrella will be held in a strong wind.
When Should You Store Away Your Patio Umbrella?
If there is a storm approaching then you should always close your umbrella to protect both the umbrella and the rest of your property, and when it’s not in use it should be closed to give it the longest possible working life.
If you want to be absolutely certain that no harm will befall your umbrella in a storm, closing it and storing it indoors would be best, and you should store it indoors during any seasons that it won’t be used or when you leave on holiday.
What Size Patio Umbrella Should You Consider?
To ensure you have adequate shade coverage from the umbrella you are purchasing, first, measure the distance across your seating area’s longest width. Add to that length 2 or 3 feet, and that’s how wide an umbrella you’re looking for will be. Since patio umbrellas come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes from roughly 4-13ft, knowing what you need is important.
A good patio umbrella will last you for years if you look after it well. Make sure that you’ve studied up on what you need and want from this article, and read the instructions from the umbrella’s manufacturer carefully to know how to best look after your new patio umbrella well. I hope you’ve found the ideal patio umbrella for your outdoor space.
If you do need a great umbrella stand, please read through my article on the best umbrella stands for windy conditions to help you find the one that best suits your needs.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.