Tari Schreider

We have a great pool area; however, not much shade to escape the sun between swimming and hanging out with friends and family. We did a lot of research and found these Purple Leaf umbrellas. We bought two 11' and one 10' umbrellas to provide needed shade for sitting areas around our pool. The combination of all three umbrellas gives us 342 sq. ft. of shaded area. The umbrellas also work great in the rain (without high winds). Like any umbrella, they would act as a sail in stormy weather, but they can be collapsed in less than two minutes. They arrived within just a few days and are sturdily built. We love that they have two cranks, one to rotate the entire umbrella and another to angle and fold down. The umbrella fabric is thick and substantial. We also bought the water filled plastic weights to hold down the umbrella. I suggest you acquire the larger water weights to hold more securely. We added landscape stakes on the edges of the water weights to provide more stability. Also, if you're in colder weather, add some antifreeze to the water weights to keep them from freezing and burst in sub-zero weather. We opted to position the umbrellas as far from the sitting area as reasonable to take advantage of the offset. This allowed us to cover the bases with pine straw. One umbrella arrived with only one crank, but a quick email to Purple Leaf resolved that and they sent us one in just a few days. They also followed up to make sure we received the crank - great customer service. We had considered building a patio to provide shade, but our space would have only provided 120 sq. ft. of shade vs. the 342 sq. ft. that we get with the umbrellas. This saved us over $8,000 and provides disbursed shade around the pool vs. us all having to share a smaller space under a patio. Make sure you measure to get the right size for your area. If you haven't had an offset umbrella keep in mind that they provide much more usable shade than conventional umbrellas. This means you have to measure the distance from walls, etc. for proper clearance. Tip: Adjust your furniture under the 11' umbrellas to make sure they clear when collapsing the umbrella. We also love that they come with covers for use during the off season. When setting up the umbrellas use a level to make sure they will look level when they're open. I was able to set these up myself, but if you are not very strong and in good shape, setting the umbrella mast down on the base can be challenging as they are tall and a bit heavy and you have to lift the mast up to clear the base post. Setting up each umbrella should take 30 minutes including filling the water weights. I suggest you use two people to avoid an accident or straining your back. Update 06.22.19 - tried the covers for the first time. They have an ingenious rod that allows you to place on mast without needing a ladder. In our opinion they are worth every cent! 08.30.19 - The umbrellas experienced their first real wind test. A sudden thunderstorm occurred catching us off guard with no time to collapse umbrellas. We could watch outside the windows the umbrellas twisting and turning violently in the wind. I am sure the winds hit 40+ mph. I was sure they would get destroyed. But they didn’t! One base came partially out of the ground even with water weights and hold down spikes. These as any large umbrella will act like a sail in the wind. These are definitely well built, but don’t leave them up if you expect storms.