Outdoor umbrellas Australia – Top brands reviewed (Costs, pros, cons, and more)

Searching for shade solutions? Wondering what outdoor umbrellas will work best for your patio, garden, pool or outdoor area? In this article we review 5 umbrella brands for sale in Australia to help you find the best option for you.

If you’re on the hunt for an outdoor umbrella, you’re probably realising that there are many on the market that look great, come in a range of colours, designs, features, accessories and of course – provide shade.

You may also know that the price, quality and longevity of outdoor umbrellas can vary greatly, depending on where you shop. Then there’s the type of umbrella to buy – cantilevered , wall mounted, centre pole umbrella or something else?

To help with your decision-making, we’ve reviewed (in no particular order) the top outdoor umbrella brands for sale in Australia.

In this review, we’ve considered a number of factors including materials, design, durability, protection and their retailers. We’ve also included background information on each company.

In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd, the parent company of Spa World™. You can see the list of the brand owners at the bottom of this article. All information, including product details, was accurate at the time of writing (March 4, 2021) and may change without notice.

Shadowspec™ Umbrellas Review™

Shadowspec™ is a family owned New Zealand business with more than 25 years experience in the outdoor umbrella industry.

Based in New Zealand, they manufacture a range of cantilever, centre pole and wall mounted umbrellas. Shadowspec™ has an in-house engineer who designed their Shadowspec Serenity™ and Shadowspec Unity™ umbrellas.

The company uses marine grade materials including for the umbrella frame, canopy, solid-mould aluminium and stainless steel spigot. Its patented ‘shadow glide and lift’ system also makes the opening and closing of the umbrella easier.

Shadowspec™ umbrellas are priced at the higher end of the market, ranging from $539 (inc GST) to more than $4,700 (incl GST)

All Shadowspec™ umbrellas are made in China, except for the Shadowspec™ Serenity and Shadowspec™ Unity which are made in New Zealand.

Pros

  • Solution dyed fabric. Fabrics made by brands such as Sunbrella® prevent fading, lasting rich colour, new colours released each season, canopies can be custom made. Think of 100% solution dyed fabric like a beetroot which is coloured right through, compared to a radish which is colourless inside.
  • Good sun protection. 50+ UPF shade rating on all umbrellas.
  • Built to last. Made with stainless steel components and 100% marine-grade components and materials.
  • Competitive warranties. The premium ranges have 10 year warranties on fabric and 6 years on frame.
  • Special features. Shadowspec’s upper range of umbrellas come with four patent-pending features ShadowLift™ (to make the lifting of the umbrella easier), ShadowGlide™ (enables you to open or close umbrella in 3 seconds) ShadowLock™ (provides wind protection and the ability to rotate umbrella 360 degrees) ShadowHub (built in LED lights into central hub).

Cons

  • Expensive. Compared with entry level to mid-market umbrellas. However the price does reflect the quality of the product
  • Varying warranties. While some umbrellas have frame and fabric warranties that range from 6-10 years, some of the lower priced Shadowspec umbrellas have lower warranties. For example SU2 umbrella has a 2 year fabric warranty and 4 year frame warranty. However, the varying warranties do reflect the quality of materials used for each umbrella model.
  • Protective covers don't come with every purchase. Not included as standard with premium Serenity™ or Unity™ models, an additional purchase
  • Canopy strap. This is not attached to the umbrella so needs to be stored separately when not in use.

Shelta Australia® review

Shelta Australia® is more than 100 years old and has a range of shade umbrellas, beach umbrellas and rain umbrellas for sale on its website.

Shelta Australia® products are manufactured overseas and can be found in many retail stores including Shade Australia® and Harvey Norman®.

Shelta Australia® uses Sunbrella® solution-dyed acrylic fabric for some of its canopies. The Siena model also comes with a gas lift which eliminates the use of ropes, pulleys and winders.

There is no mention of UPF sun protection ratings in the product detail section of each product but you will find it in the warranty section.

UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor. Its rating, according to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, indicates how well material blocks solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). The higher the UPF the less UVR you will be exposed to. To get an idea of what’s considered good sun protection, UPF 30 is considered ‘good’ and UPF 50, 50+ ‘excellent’. (Australia and New Zealand have the same rating standard for UPF).

Pros

  • Quality shade materials. Olefin® and O’Bravia™ fabric for canopies as well as marine grade Sunbrella®. Some products also have an anodised aluminium frame which is more likely to look better for longer, when compared to a frame with a powder coat.
  • Wind resistance. Shelta Australia® claims its umbrellas can resist winds up to 60kph
  • Widely available. Shelta Australia® products are available through a number of retailers including Shade Australia® Mitre10® and Harvey Norman®.
  • Ease of use. Some umbrellas come with a gas lift that eliminates ropes, pulleys and winders

Cons

  • Prices not displayed. Umbrella prices aren’t displayed on the Shelta Australia® website. You will need to make an enquiry online.
  • Powder coatings on majority of umbrella frames. Powder coatings can flake over time and may not be as durable as an anodised frame Coatings can flake off over time compared to an anodised layer which is penetrated into the frame surface.
  • Variable warranties. Differ depending on materials used e.g fabric. For example, they offer a 5 year “guarantee” on Sunbrella fabric and 3 years on O’bravia fabric. Their frames have a guarantee between 1 and 2 years. However, the varying warranties do reflect the quality of materials used for each umbrella model.

Coolaroo®

Coolaroo®, supplies its outdoor products, which are manufactured in Australia, worldwide. 80% of its market and cantilever umbrellas displayed on their website are also endorsed by the Cancer Council.

Shade sails, shade cloths and gazebos are some of the other shade solutions that Coolaroo® has on offer. Their products are accessible through big box retailers Bunnings® Warehouse, Mitre 10® and Home Timber and Hardware®.

Coolaroo® doesn’t specify if the umbrella fabrics they use are marine grade. This is important to note because in harsher weather conditions, the canopy material may not withstand water, sun and wind as well as other fabrics specifically designed for maritime climates.

Pros

  • Widely available. Coolaroo® umbrellas can be purchased through Bunnings® Warehouse, Mitre 10® and Home Timber & Hardware®
  • Good sun protection. factor endorsed by (98% UV cover factor) Cancer Council.
  • Hard-wearing materials. Some umbrellas come with an anodised aluminium frame – more durable than powder coated options.

Cons

  • Canopy durability. Some umbrella canopies are labelled as ‘premium all weather fabric’ on Coolaroo® website, but not marine grade.
  • Length of warranties. Maximum - 2 year frame warranty, 5 year fabric warranty. On the shorter end compared to other warranties on products mentioned in this article.

Kmart®

Kmart® is a discount department store that started in Victoria in the late 1960s and has grown to more than 200 stores in Australia and New Zealand.

Kmart® stocks cantilever and centre pole umbrellas. The canitlever umbrella is made in China and the two products are priced between $49-$79 – making them some of the cheapest umbrellas for sale in Australia.

With umbrellas, as with most products, you tend to get what you pay for. For example, Kmart® umbrellas may not be as durable as some of the other brands we’ve mentioned as they do not have marine grade fabric and are lightweight (11.3kg for cantilever and 4.2kg for market umbrella) compared with mid-market to high-end umbrellas, meaning they may not withstand stronger weather conditions. Kmart® umbrellas would be a good short-term shade option but we would not recommend them as a permanent shade solution.

Pros

  • Cheap price market and cantilever umbrellas are priced from $49 to $79.
  • Simple, stylish design and versatile fabric colours natural, charcoal and grey.
  • Consumer guarantee customers are entitled to a replacement or refund of a product if there is a major or minor failure with the product and if the quality of the product is not acceptable.

Cons

  • Lack of rain and wind protection, one of the two umbrellas displayed on the website is intended only as a sunshade and recommended to remain closed on windy days.
  • Canopy fabric not stated as ‘marine grade’ meaning the fabric colour could fade quicker than other umbrellas.
  • Umbrella frame has a powder coating proteaction and may not last as long as anodised aluminium – our preferred umbrella framing.

IKEA®

IKEA® started off as a small Swedish mail-order catalogue business and is now one of the most well-known furniture brands in the world.

Among the many products they offer are parasols. Parasols look just like an umbrella but they are commonly thought of as a more light-weight version. IKEA® offers a range of parasols in different colours, sizes and designs.

IKEA® parasols range in price from $35 to $369, meaning there’s a product to suit most budgets. The designs are simple and stylish and would suit most outdoor settings. IKEA® products are designed, manufactured and packaged in many different locations.

It’s important to bear in mind that IKEA® recommends to never use parasols when windy. This means they may not be suitable in an outdoor setting located in an exposed area.

Pros

  • Price parasol cost between $35 to $369.
  • Installation options. Parasols are available on a stand, freestanding or hanging and half parasol (with base).
  • Recycled materials and easy to use. Some parasols are made using recycled polyester. Strap with buckle or hook and loop strap to keep umbrella canopy in place when closed.
  • Sun protection. Most umbrellas have a canopy with a UPF 50+ protection rating (according to the IKEA® website)

Cons

  • Materials not specified on the IKEA® website as marine grade. Marine grade material is prefered for umbrellas as it is less likely to fade and more tolerant to sun and rain.
  • Wind. Unlike some of the other umbrella brands we’ve mentioned that can withstand strong winds, IKEA® recommends on its website that users take their parasols down when windy.

In Summary

With so many options out there it can be hard deciding which umbrella is best to buy, how much to spend and what features to look out for.

These days, shade is one of the most important components of any backyard. It is worth investing in a quality product that is built to last and will protect you and your family from the harsh sun.

Here are the key features we think any quality umbrella should have:

  • anodised aluminium framing
  • marine grade canopy material
  • solution dyed fabric to prevent discolouration
  • UV protection
  • level of wind resistance
  • a good warranty
  • easy to use

The brands mentioned above all vary in quality and price. Whichever option you choose, the most important thing is that you will use and enjoy it.

If affordability is a priority over durability and longevity, then an umbrella from Kmart® and IKEA® will do the job - albeit in the short-term.

For a mid-range range outdoor umbrella you could consider Coolaroo®.

If you are prepared to pay a little more for a durable, heavy duty umbrella that can withstand harsh weather and provide maximum sun protection, we would recommend Shadowspec™ and Shelta Australia®.

Now that you know more about the top umbrella brands for sale in Australia, we hope you have a better idea of which option will suit you best.

For expert advice and ideas on shade solutions contact us or visit your nearest Spa World™ showroom.

You can view our full range of umbrellas and pergolas on our website.

Disclaimer: In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd, the parent company of Spa World™.

All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing (March, 4 2021) and may change without notice. The following registered trademarks are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd:

Bunnings® trademark is owned by Bunnings Group Limited. Coolaroo® trademark is owned by Gale Pacific Limited. Harvey Norman® trademark is owned by Harvey Norman Retailing Pty Ltd. Home Timber & Hardware® trademark is owned by Home Timber & Hardware Group Pty Ltd. Ikea® trademark is owned by Inter Ikea Systems B.V. Mitre 10® trademark is owned by Mitre10 Pty Ltd. Kmart® trademark is owned by Kmart Australia Limited. Olefin®. Shade Australia® trademark is owned by Shadowspec™ trademark is owned by Unicrest Group Limited. Shelta Australia® trademark is owned by Zhun-An Ma. Sunbrella® trademark is owned by Glen Raven, Inc. Trustpilot® trademark is owned by Trustpilot A/S.

Affiliations: Vortex® Spas, Fisher™ Spas and Spa World® are trademarks owned by Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd. Spa World™ is a trademark owned by Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd. The Shadowspec brand is owned by Unicrest Group Limited and licensed for use to Spa World™ in Australia and New Zealand.

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