Good Questions: Best Outdoor Umbrella Picks?

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Hello AT,

With the nice weather finally here, I'm looking into purchasing an outdoor umbrella for our terrace. Unfortunately, almost every furniture vendor seems to have a similar "9' Outdoor Umbrella" at significantly different prices:

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Ikea $60.00
Pottery Barn: $99.00
West Elm: $109.00
Crate and Barrel $279.00
Ballard Designs: $349.00

I've seen the West Elm version in person, and its pretty flimsy and insubstantial feeling, but at the other end of the spectrum, $300 seems abit steep for an umbrella. Can anyone attest to the quality of the Pottery Barn umbrella, or have any other recommendations?

Thanks, Rog

Dear Rog,

We covered this a year or so back (Top 10 Market Umbrellas), and we find - having bought a lot of them - that the prices are pretty much on the money with the quality. So, buy the best you can afford.

The best ones we've bought yet are the Restoration Hardware ones, which are heavy, well made and come with Sunbrella fabric that is durable, cleanable and doesn't fade too quickly.

Anyone else??

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.