Here's my umbrella guide for this season. This past weekend, it was REAL hot in the New York area, and we had our market umbrellas up the whole time. Over the years, I've bought better and better quality umbrellas that last a lot longer, but if we're not careful in the late summer and early fall, the strong winds will bust up even the best of them.
After doing some online shopping yesterday, I purchased a new umbrella from Crate & Barrel (above left). Lots of good choices here, and please add your own recommendations to comments. Enjoy!
Siam from Janus et Cie
>> Tectona: Here's a new high end addition that ships directly from Europe. These guys specialize in outdoor garden furniture.
>> Restoration Hardware: I like these as a high/mid solution. They are made of beefy, durable teak and use Sunbrella fabric, which holds its color well. Sale on now
>> Janus et Cie: These guys are top of the line imports for fancy homes. Market umbrellas are a European creation, and all these are imported from the Continent. Mucho $$$.
>> Curran: An excellent source for Barlow Tyrie, Skagerak and Tuuci umbrellas and oriented towards retail customers. Pricing and service here is very good.
>> Westminster Teak: For the teak lovers out there, these are much $$$ but totally PC - "All our teak is sourced from Java exclusively from the highly reputable Perum Perhutani plantations, which are managed by the Indonesian government."
Santa Barbara Designs
>> Crate & Barrel: Excellent prices and nice style for very good, but not excellent umbrellas. Take care of them, and they'll last you.
>> Santa Barbara Designs: These are more unique, colorful and fun than any others we've seen.
>> Cushions & Umbrellas: This is a new source with a very nice website and good pricing. Could be a total score for non brand-name, but very good umbrellas.
>> Pottery Barn: I haven't bought these, but a number of readers have spoken highly of PB umbrellas. This year their colors and patterns are particularly catchy and cute. Prices here start low as well.
>> Patioshoppers.com: Another new source for mid to low end umbrellas, but a wide selection and some fun, quirky designs as well.
>> Pier One: "This week I bought two of Pier 1's 7 foot market umbrellas on sale for $35 each, which was such a bargain that I considered buying extras to put in storage for two years from now!" - Arkata
>> Overstock.com: Overstock rules the discount world and their lineup of umbrellas is impressive.
>> Ikea: On the low end, you just have to look at these guys.
>> Home Decorators Collection: Great selection of very affordable, white cotton umbrellas that look good. Don't expect them to fare well in bad weather. We've bought these when money was tight, but they barely make it through one season.
>> West Elm: Style and low prices.
>> Home Depot: "You might be surprised to hear that my Hampton Bay umbrella from Home Depot (with solar panel that lights up LED's inside at night) has held up two years so far, and we leave it outside from April through October." - funyellow