How Does a Cantilever Parasol Work

A cantilever parasol could make an excellent addition to your garden furniture if you are looking to create a large shaded area in your garden, around your pool, or on a deck or patio over a table. They are highly adjustable, and many have a free-standing design to help block the sun without restricting the usable space beneath the canopy.

So, how is this possible, how does a cantilever parasol work, and do they all function in the same way? This article answers these questions and explores other aspects of cantilever parasols so you can decide whether or not you want to add one to your outdoor patio or garden space.

Cantilever Garden Parasols Explained

Let’s go through the basics first to make sure that we fully understand how a cantilever parasol works.

What Is a Cantilever Parasol?

A cantilever parasol is a specific type of garden umbrella that features a stand located on the side. They are also commonly called hanging parasols, banana parasols, or side pole umbrellas. Also, the words umbrella and parasol can be used interchangeably.

By design, a cantilever parasol is supported from the side, allowing it to hang over the top of garden furniture. They also have an adjustable horizontal pole that rotates. If they are not wall-mounted, they also have a vertical support pole attached to a base.

Most cantilever parasols feature a 360-degree rotation, so you can move the shaded area based on the sun’s direction without having to move the entire base. Typically, an umbrella or canopy measures between 2.5 and 3 metres squared. Larger sizes are also available and are commonly used in commercial settings like restaurants.

Do Cantilever Umbrellas Fold Up?

For the most part, a cantilever parasol canopy will fold up so you can choose to get some sun or protect it from inclement weather. Some cantilever parasols also have a folding stand that allows you to store them more compactly.

Thanks to a crank handle, most cantilever parasols are easy to put up or down and require minimal effort on your part. Some also come with a parasol cover that you can put on top after you crank it down.

Do All Cantilever Umbrellas Tilt and Rotate?

All cantilever parasols can tilt and rotate, but some more than others. For example, a rotation of 360 degrees is common with cantilever parasols with a stand, but some only allow a 90 or 180-degree rotation, particularly if they are wall-mounted. In addition, some only allow specific preset tilt angles, and others will enable you to choose any angle you want.

Do Cantilever Parasols Tilt in the Wind?

Due to the highly adjustable hanging design, cantilever parasols often tilt and sway in the wind, rain, or snow. For this reason, it is recommended that you secure your parasol and fold it down in windy weather. Of course, some wind should be fine, but too much could damage the crank handle or even the aluminium frame.

Are There Different Types of Cantilever Parasols?

Cantilever parasols come with a few variations, and one of the main differences is how they are mounted. The two main types of cantilever parasols are wall-mounted parasols and parasols with a vertical base. There is no need for a base with a wall-mounted cantilever, and the wall bracket should allow it to rotate up to 180 degrees. On the other hand, a parasol with a vertical pole requires a base or must be screwed into a deck. This type of umbrella typically facilitates a 360-degree rotation.

The shape of the parasol itself can also vary greatly. The most common shapes are square, rectangle, and octagon, but a circular parasol is unheard of.

Another type of cantilever parasol has solar-powered LED lights. The lights usually run along with the shape of the umbrella and add a gentle glow underneath the canopy.

How Is a Cantilever Parasol Different From a Typical Garden Parasol?

One of the main differences between a typical garden parasol and a cantilever parasol is their support. A typical garden parasol uses a vertical centre support pole to support the shade canopy.

Meanwhile, a cantilever parasol uses a side support system with a horizontal pole and a vertical support pole or wall mount. This means that a cantilever parasol can free up all of the space underneath the canopy without a centre pole. A cantilever parasol also allows for a wider range of tilt angles and can rotate, giving it a much wider range of motion.

What Materials Are Cantilever Parasols Made From?

In order to help a cantilever parasol work to the best of its ability, it must be made from quality materials and fabric.

The support on a parasol is often made from a durable aluminium frame. Some aluminium frames also have a powder-coated finish to help prevent rust and discolouration. Stainless steel is another material used for cantilever parasol frames, and while it comes at a higher price, it is also more durable. Some luxury parasols come with a bamboo frame.

When it comes to the umbrella, water-resistant material that is easy to clean, fade-resistant, UV resistant, durable, and mildew and mould resistant are best. The most common types of material used are canvas, polyester, and Sunbrella fabric. A polyester canopy fabric is the most common and budget-friendly when it comes to garden furniture. Polyester fabric also resists shrinking, is lightweight, and holds colour well even in a sunny outdoor space.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Cantilever Parasol?

Cantilever parasols offer a series of benefits. Aside from providing you with added shade in an outdoor space, the umbrella blocks UV rays providing your skin with UV protection without the need for sunscreen.

Depending on the size of the parasol, you can also use it to create shade over your garden furniture, an outdoor table, or poolside. Cantilever parasols can also add a stylish accent to your garden or lawn furniture creating a more welcoming and enjoyable environment for you and your friends.

How Do You Care for a Cantilever Umbrella?

To keep your cantilever parasol working for as long as possible, you must take care of it. The first thing you can do is brush off dirt and dust occasionally with a soft-bristled brush. Next, use lukewarm water, a mild laundry detergent, and a brush to remove spots and stains that naturally develop outdoors. Finally, if you put soap on the fabric, make sure you rinse it thoroughly.

Another way you can care for your parasol is to bring it indoors if you do not plan on using it for an extended time or when a significant amount of inclement weather is expected. While many parasols come with a cover to protect the canopy, bringing it into a garage or under an overhang can help preserve the materials even more.

Lastly, make sure it is folded down on windy days to help protect the crank mechanism, the frame, and the canopy material. While the materials should be sturdy enough to handle some wind, excessive force can damage the components and decrease their usability overall.

How Do You Secure a Cantilever Garden Parasol?

To secure a cantilever parasol, you can either wall mount it or attach it to a sturdy base. Most parasols come with an aluminium cross base but reinforcing them is strongly recommended. You can do this by screwing it into a deck or patio or adding a weighted parasol base. Most weighted bases are filled with water or sand, but concrete bases are also common.

Cantilever Parasol for Your Garden

Now that you have read through our detailed description of how cantilever parasols work and know all about what makes them useful, do you think adding one to your outdoor garden space could benefit you? If you are looking to get some added cover from the sun, a cantilever parasol could be just what you need.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.


  1. My 3 metre square parasol is vertical with four feet on the ground. There is a pedal on the base which I assume will let me rotate it in a different direction. However, a gust of wind caught it the other day, and it rotated 90 degrees. Now it can still be used OK but won’t stay in one position and I wonder if there is some sort of gearing controlled by the foot pedal which may have sheared off. You can’t see anything under the pedal as whatever is there is encased in the base/feet frame? The whole thing is quite heavy and I am weakened by age and sickness to lift it all out of its base. I wonder if there is some gear in the base, might it have done some damage to it? Can you offer any helpful advice, please? Thanx in advance of your kind reply.

  2. I totally sympathize as exactly the same thing happened to mine Now is of no use as it swivels round in all directions Hopefully some kind soul can provide a solution

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