Patio Umbrella creates shade and ambiance

Florida–the Sunshine State–is the perfect place to evaluate the EliteShade 9-foot Solar Market Umbrella. The punishing sun and temperatures will render any area completely unusable for 5 months each year and so my neighbors and other area residents regularly invest in umbrellas and sunshades. But buying a new umbrella each year is expensive.

*This review may contain affiliate links for which I earn commissions.*

On the surface, the EliteShade 9-foot Solar Patio Umbrella is built to combat Florida’s bright sun. It is a big umbrella that provides shelter and sun protection by day, and its built-in solar lights extend family outdoor time into the cooler night. If you are shopping for patio umbrellas, this review will outline some of the things to consider about this model so you make the best buying decision regarding this unit.

I use my outdoor umbrella almost every day of the year. Florida averages 237 days of sunshine annually and more than 130 days exceeded 90-degrees in 2020. My question is whether to buy a lesser quality and cheaper outdoor umbrella and just throw it out at the end of the season or to invest in a better unit that would last several seasons. This review aims to help you make the best buying decision for your outdoor space by focusing on the features I considered before buying.

Vented 9-foot solar-light patio umbrella by EliteShade

Description

This outdoor solar market umbrella is a beautiful way to add shade and design to your outdoor patio or backyard.

The overall size is 8-feet tall and 9-feet wide. It weighs just over 16 pounds and comes in 13 different, vibrant colors.

The solar lights are tucked neatly into the spines of the canopy. They are cool white — haven’t seen a warm white option yet.

EliteShade Solar Market Umbrella

The solar lights can be turned on or off easily with a glide switch at the base of one umbrella rib. The lights are cool-toned and bright enough to comfortably light a dinner table or even allow for an evening card game.

Sturdy Construction

The EliteShade Solar Umbrella is 9-feet wide when fully open. The frame, ribs, and pole are all constructed of heavy gauge aluminum. The pole is two pieces that snap together easily. The pole diameter is 1 1/2 inches and easily fits into the standard umbrella tables or bases. The base is not included in the purchase. I was surprised how many people complained in reviews that they didn’t realize the base is not part of the purchase package.

Assembly could not be easier and is just a process of threading the canopy segment to the base pole. It can easily be accomplished by one person.

This patio umbrella stands 6 1/2 feet tall when assembled.

The crank, open/close mechanism, is at the base of the canopy pole situated about 3 feet from the ground.

The tilt mechanic is operated with an easy push-button near the top of the canopy. This allows the umbrella to be tilted at 45 degrees to block the sun or throw a larger patch of shade.

The patio umbrella assembled height is 6 1/2 feet. At 5 foot 2 inches, I need a footstool or a chair to stand on to reach the tilt button.

While you should never leave any umbrella open in storms or strong winds, the EliteShade’s construction can easily withstand a sea breeze at the beach or modest backyard winds. Some reviewers warned that in winds of 20 mph or higher the pole may give way and break.

EliteShade Solar Patio Umbrella Canopy Features

Colors

The EliteShade Patio Umbrella is available in 13 different colors. Something to match every decor. The single-vent canopy helps lower the air temperature by nearly 20 degrees with shade and airflow. The top vent allows wind to pass through easily and keeps the umbrella from blowing over or tearing.

Fabric

The EliteShade canopy fabric is substantial and the manufacturer claims “5 years non-fading” in its description. The fabric is manufactured by Sunbrella© and is a medium-weight acrylic blend. Sunbrella© manufactures many fabrics for the outdoor furniture and marine market. It’s well-known for its durable water repellant and fade-resistant product line. This canopy shade is silky to the touch compared to some canvas umbrellas and the seams feature reinforced stitching. The fabric lets heat escape quickly but doesn’t let the rain come through.

Sun-blocking UV Filtering

How a patio umbrella can protect your skin from UV rays

Patio umbrellas can be life-saving for anyone who is prone to skin cancer and/or sunburns. As a Melanoma survivor, I look for fabrics and devices that will block out sun damage. Any functional umbrella blocks some UV light. This umbrella should block 70-100 percent of UV radiation according to a study by JAMA Dermatology. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends products made from Acrylic fabrics to prevent damaging sun.

Built-In Solar Market Umbrella Lights

The EliteShade Sunumbrella includes 80 cool white LED lights, the most solar lights I could find in an umbrella.

The lights are built into the metal supports to protect the strands from weather and aging. This design also keeps the lights from getting tangled or damaged during umbrella operation. Umbrella lights turn on with a slide switchsolar LEDs patio umbrella

The on/off light slide switch is located at the bottom of one of the ribs. It is easy to switch them on or off when the umbrella is partially extended.

LED lights generally have a life of up to 50,000 hours or literally 11 years if they are on for 12 hours every day.

The 16-cell solar charging panel fits snuggly at the top of the umbrella pole. It uses 2 rechargeable batteries (included). The panel may be disconnected and removed via a small connection plug to change the batteries out.

Some reviewers have stated their lights failed within the first year, but they also praise the company’s customer service in replacing defective units. My own experience was positive with the lights. The batteries do wear out and are unable to hold a charge after 10 to 12 months, but all the lights are still functional at this time.

Price

I am writing this at the end of the summer season when patio umbrellas and outdoor furniture is heavily discounted. Late summer and early fall is the best time to get a deal on patio or market umbrellas because retailers are clearing out the inventory. There are dozens of outdoor umbrellas available for as little as $50.00, but the EliteShade 9-foot Umbrella is a high-end product with big claims and a price tag to match.

Warranties

The frame and ribs of this umbrella are warrantied for 1 year from the manufacturer’s defects. The vented Sunbrella™ canopy is covered for 5-years against fading or degradation.

Base Stand (Not Included)

Dimensions

  • Overall Height: 8.1 feet
  • Canopy: Round, 9 foot diameter
  • 80 LED rib-encased lights in cool white
  • UV-resistant 100% Acrylic fabric
  • Pole Diameter: 1.5 inch (38 mm)
  • Package Weight: 17 pounds

Pros

  • Beautiful color-rich 100% Acrylic fabrics
  • Plenty of light from the Solar LEDs
  • Easy on/off switch for lights
  • Lights stay lit for up to 12 hours
  • Great Customer Service
  • 5-year warranty on umbrella canopy

Cons

  • The crank mechanism can be hard to close
  • Canopy is water-resistant, not waterproof
  • No way to replace lights when they stop working
Vented 9-foot solar-light patio umbrella by EliteShade

Summary

The EliteShade Solar Market Umbrella is well-made and will last several seasons under regular use. It provides much-needed shade to my pool deck and, because of the lighting feature, allowed our family to host birthday parties and card nights outside.

I purchased patio umbrellas annually for two decades. Each year I would spend $50 each on two umbrellas and the canopies would be faded and sad looking by the end of the season. My EliteShade Umbrella still looks almost new as we begin year three. The rechargeable batteries for the solar lights need to be replaced each year and the solar panel needs a good cleaning. But the investment in the high-end umbrella has saved me money in the long run.

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