No locking mechanisms
Fabric may fade
Pure Garden is an Ohio-based patio and garden brand that sells through big box stores such as Target and Kohl’s. To see if Pure Garden’s simple 9-foot Aluminum Patio Umbrella delivered on looks and performance, I installed it in my deck’s four-person table and tested it over several weeks. I assessed the affordable patio umbrella’s durability and stability, as well as its aesthetics. Read on for my insights.
Setup: Hardly any assembly required
The time from unboxing to installed and open was less than five minutes. The umbrella comes mostly built; I just had to attach a separate section of the post to the umbrella frame’s post and then crank. If you don’t already have a base, you’ll want to acquire one before the umbrella arrives. The fairly standard 1.5-inch pole should fit most bases and tables; look for one with some kind of set screw to lock the post in place.
I installed this umbrella myself through a patio table that had previously held a smaller canopy. In addition to the base (not included), which clamps the post in place, patio tables provide additional stability to umbrellas. I didn’t test it this way, but I’d have concerns about the umbrella standing alone (say if you wanted to use it over a couple of chaise lounge chairs) in high winds.
Design: Utilitarian but attractive
The price suggests a plain Jane model, but I found this umbrella just as attractive as more expensive options on the market. The powder-coated pole goes unnoticed (as it should), and the fabric (my model is red) looks like canvas despite being polyester, which matched my other umbrella over my outdoor couch.
Picking colors based on online swatches and photos is notoriously difficult, so it’s worth noting that the “red” I received isn’t quite a fire-engine red, but somewhere between a wine red and a brick red. I wouldn’t recommend trying to match it to an existing red you may have outdoors already; instead, it’s probably best to employ it as a complementary color that can stand alone in the red family.
The price suggests a plain Jane model, but I found this umbrella just as attractive as more expensive options on the market.
During the two weeks of my testing, I didn’t notice any fading. However, the only negative reviews I’ve seen for this umbrella called out fading as a major gripe. Since the product description doesn’t specifically mention any fade-resistant fabric or coatings, it’s safe to assume there are none. If you live in an area that gets lots of sun (my high-elevation Colorado home gets nearly 300 days of sunshine per year), you’ll want to take the umbrella down and out of the sun during the offseason to maximize its lifespan.
The frame itself (upon which the canvas stretches) is made of a combination of thick plastic and aluminum ribs fanning out from the center. The materials are lightweight (about 12 pounds for the entire unit) but stiff, making it easy to get the umbrella into place.
Performance: Durable and stable, even when windy
The description for this product claims it is “wind-resistant.” I’m not exactly sure that means (is it a special geometry/design that prevents it from becoming a giant kite?), but regardless, the seams and pockets for the frame seem duly reinforced. From the first extra windy day of my testing, I was impressed to find that the patio umbrella delivered on rigidity and stability. I’ve had umbrellas fly away before, so I knew it was a possibility, but this one stayed put. The stiff winds didn’t knock over the umbrella nor the table in which it was placed, but I did eventually lower the umbrella just in case.
One gripe is that there’s no mechanism to lock the umbrella out at its uppermost position.
I wasn’t sure how large 9 feet in diameter would feel above my 4 x 4-foot deck table, but as soon as I opened it up, I realized it was obviously larger than the umbrella I had previously—which was a good thing. With a smaller umbrella, the shade provided was only complete at midday and, with the sun at an angle, one or two of the seats would be at least partially in the sun, leading to a game of musical chairs to stay out of it.
This umbrella is big, but not so big to seem excessive and, as a result, the shade it provides kept the seats in the shade all day.
Features: Auto-crank is helpful
At its ultra-low price, I didn’t expect a lot of bells and whistles, but the umbrella’s lone “feature” is the built-in crank, which makes raising and lowering a breeze. The smooth action doesn’t take too many cranks to reach full spread, and it lowers even more easily. One gripe is that there’s no mechanism to lock the umbrella out at its uppermost position.
My only other complaint is that the crank is the only part of this umbrella that looks as cheap as it is. The faux-chrome painted plastic made me question its durability (though I had no issues with it during my testing).
Price: Very affordable
At around $40, this umbrella is about as cheap as you’ll find without sacrificing much quality and style. Sure, you aren’t getting features such as tilting or UV-resistant coatings, but those generally will triple the price.
Pure Garden 9-Foot Patio Umbrella vs. Threshold 9-Foot Round Solar Patio Umbrella
If you like the size and design of this Pure Garden model but are worried about the fabric’s lifespan without a UV treatment, you can spend about three times more on the Threshold patio umbrella (also available from Target). Everything is the same for the most part, aside from the UV treatment and the ability to tilt this umbrella. The UV-resistance alone might not be reason enough to pay the premium, but if you value the tilt feature, the Threshold may be a better option in the long run.
- Product Name 9-Foot Aluminum Patio Umbrella
- Product Brand Pure Garden
- MPN 009-15-0877
- Price $45.99
- Weight 11.9 lbs.
- Height 9 ft.
- Diameter 9 ft.
- Materials PVC, aluminum
- Warranty None indicated