Large coverage area
Takes up a lot of deck space
Difficult to move
Sol 72 Outdoor sells patio furniture via online retailers ranging from Wayfair to Walmart. To see if its large 10-foot Square Cantilever Umbrella delivered, I tested it over a month on my newly rebuilt deck high in the Rockies in Colorado. I assessed the patio umbrella’s performance, durability, stability, as well as its aesthetics.
Setup: Some assembly required
Though tools are included and the “construction” is limited to affixing a post to the base, there are multiple steps to assembling this item. Plus, the somewhat lacking directions led to errors that forced me to backtrack and redo steps.
The unit weighs 60 pounds, and since the offset umbrella can be unwieldy, I recommend asking a partner to help you with the initial setup and adjustments. The included base is weighted by water, so you’ll need access to a hose or other means of filling. This requires about 10 gallons of water. All told, assembly took about a half-hour, after which I started adjusting the umbrella to best shade my deck’s sectional sofa.
Despite the space we lost, we were thankful for the shade it provided.
The entire post rotates 360 degrees at the base, so there’s a radius of shade available to you at any time centered on where you place the base (and moving it isn’t something you want to do more than a couple of times a year).
There’s also a hinge controlled by a sliding handle on the post that adjusts the angle of the umbrella relative to the ground. This comes in handy since the angle of the sun gets lower later in the day. An easy-to-use crank controls the aperture of the umbrella itself (think of a flower opening or closing). This meant I had the option of closing it down and bringing it to the base to eliminate shade entirely.
The three different adjustments aren’t overly demanding physically, but because of the sheer size of the umbrella, it is again easier to do if you have a helper.
Design: Attractive umbrella, space-hogging base
The first thing I noticed after setting up was how big and unattractive the hard plastic stand seemed. Due to the large size of the umbrella and the many possible adjustments, the base must be heavy (water-filled) and large (33 x 33 inches), but I was still taken aback somewhat.
My initial impression was summed up by my significant other who said, “It looks like we put a driveway basketball hoop on our deck.” We quickly got used to it being there, though, and despite the space we lost, we were thankful for the shade it provided.
The first thing I noticed after setting up was how big and unattractive the hard plastic base seemed.
The square, rather than circular, shape makes a lot of sense for my purpose, as my seating area is arranged in a square corner of my deck. The offset design is also perfect for above my outdoor sectional—you wouldn’t want a central pole on this kind of umbrella. However, it does take up additional deck space as a result, thanks to the 10-foot-tall aluminum pole.
The umbrella itself is attractive, with a canvas-style polyester fabric. The one I tested was light blue, which in practice looks more like a washed-out navy than a true light blue or anything in the turquoise family. The other available colorway is cream.
Performance: Durable, stable, and adjustable
As mentioned, the water-filled base designed to anchor the umbrella is heavy and large, but upon seeing the significant size of the 10-foot square umbrella, I had concerns about how the umbrella would hold up on a windy day.
Luckily, the umbrella and its stand are designed so that the umbrella can twist and flex pretty significantly in the wind when needed. Additionally, the vented fabric cap in the center of the umbrella allows air to flow through instead of becoming a gigantic kite that wants to fly off your property.
My property is fairly sheltered from the wind, but during the month-long testing period, we had some very high-wind days, and the umbrella stayed put—even when fully opened. As some other customer reviews noted, the base can move a bit if the wind really tugs at it, but that only happened once in 30 days, and it’s easy enough to readjust. There were days where I preemptively cranked the umbrella down anticipating a stormy day.
During the month-long testing period, we had some very high-wind days, and the umbrella stayed put—even when fully opened.
Where this umbrella really shines is in its primary job: providing shade. Before I had it, the cushions got so hot on some summer days that we couldn’t even sit on them. And even when we could, we wouldn’t last long given the exposure. At more than 10,000 feet elevation in the Rockies, the sun can get pretty intense, so I was excited to see how this umbrella worked to give us refuge.
At midday, the Boracay perfectly covered my 4 x 8-foot sectional. At other times, I needed to make use of its ability to adjust in terms of tilt, rotation, and height to properly block the sun.
Price: A slight investment
At around $400, the Boracay isn’t cheap, but considering comparable umbrellas regularly sell for more than $500, it’s one of the more affordable options in this category. Plus, if you don’t like it or experience other issues, there’s a 30-day return policy and a 90-day manufacturer's warranty. You can also purchase a protection plan through the retailer that will cover accidents such as stains, rips, burns, and chips for three years ($46.99) or five years ($56.99).
Sol 72 Outdoor Boracay 10-Foot Square Cantilever Umbrella vs. Freeport Park Anna 9.5-Foot Cantilever Umbrella
If you need a cantilever-style umbrella but don’t need quite the coverage of this square umbrella, you can get the Freeport Park Anna for about a third to half of the cost. With a circular shape, this umbrella won’t cover nearly the area of the Boracay despite having a 9.5-foot diameter, but if you’re just looking for offset shade for, say, a couple of chairs, the savings might be worth it.
- Product Name Boracay 10-Foot Square Cantilever Umbrella
- Product Brand Sol 72 Outdoor
- MPN W000569297
- Price $395.99
- Weight 60 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 2.9 x 2.9 x 5.29 in.
- Pole Diameter 3 in.
- Diameter 9 ft. 10 in.
- Height 8 ft. 6 13/32 in.
- Materials Plastic, aluminum, polyester
- Warranty 90 days