Windproof parasols - Which parasol to use in strong winds?


You probably know it: It's a beautiful summer day, but the wind is blowing a little stronger than usual. The parasol sways dangerously, falls over or is even damaged. Such situations occur more frequently near the coast, in the lowlands or in the mountains.

It does not matter if you are a restaurateur and need to maintain an outdoor area with plenty of parasols, or if you want to relax privately on the terrace or balcony. Stronger gusts can quickly become dangerous for a parasol.

Therefore, in this guide, we would like to address the question of which parasol is actually particularly suitable for windy weather and what you should also pay attention to.

The quality of the parasol

The most obvious first: When choosing the right parasol, pay attention to the quality. A parasol made of metal is generally more stable than plastic or wood. Especially in windy weather, the mast and the struts have to withstand enormous loads. A full metal construction is the right choice here. The sunshade struts can also be reinforced, for example with an additional internal aluminium profile.

The larger the parasol diameter, the thicker the parasol mast should be. For smaller parasols, we recommend a mast diameter of at least 35 mm and a wall thickness of 2 to 5.5 mm. For very large parasols, for example with a diameter of more than 5 meters, there should be at least a mast diameter of 100 mm and a wall thickness of 4.5 mm or more.

Put quality before quantity here and spend a little more on a parasol than have it get damaged in the next unexpected change in the weather.


Anchor a parasol or use a parasol stand?

Another important question to ask yourself is anchoring the parasol. Here you have different options. Either you have the parasol firmly anchored in the ground with ground sockets or you use a classic parasol stand.

Fastening using ground sockets basically offers the best protection against wind if it is implemented correctly. Ground sockets are available with and without embedding in concrete and for different types of ground (e.g. pavement, concrete, soil, etc.). Fixed anchoring offers some advantages, such as stability and space saving, but also some disadvantages. So it is not possible to move your parasol, which can become a problem especially when walking in the sun every day. The installation of the ground sockets is also not without its problems, as they can quickly be used incorrectly if you are a little careless.

If you want to remain flexible when placing your parasol, then we recommend using a parasol stand. The weight of the stand is particularly important to note. For a parasol with a diameter of 3 m, at least 50 kg should be planned. From a diameter of 3.5 m it should already be 100 kg. Traffic light parasols generally require a higher weight of at least 100 to 150 kg. In very wind-prone locations in particular, however, you should plan for a weight class higher so that the parasol is protected as best as possible.

You can find out more about parasol stands and their weight classes here.

Central mast parasols or cantilever parasols? Which type of parasol is more windproof?

There are different types of parasols. The two most common are central mast parasols and cantilever parasols. With cantilever parasols, the supporting mast is positioned to the side of the parasol, providing more shade for you or your guests. As the name suggests, the mast of the classic central mast parasol is in the middle. Which of the two variants is more windproof? Definitely the central mast parasol. Due to its construction, less wind gets under the parasol and the central supporting weight of a parasol stand or anchor makes the parasol more wind-stable than a cantilever parasol.

But what does that mean in terms of numbers? When open, a high-quality central mast parasol can withstand wind speeds of up to 100 km/h (corresponds to wind force 10) - provided it is firmly anchored to the ground. However, this describes the absolute maximum value and you should rather not test this in practice. A wind force of 10 is already considered a severe storm, which means that staying outdoors is generally no longer recommended. With a non-anchored and sufficiently heavy parasol stand, you should retract your parasol from a wind force of 6 to 7 (approx. 50 to 60 km/h). For particularly large parasols or cantilever parasols, 50 km/h is already the absolute maximum.


Do you prefer one large parasol or two small ones?

In places that are very wind-prone, the motto should always apply: it is better to have several small parasols than fewer large ones. Even if very large parasols have the advantage of providing shade for more guests at once, they are also far more susceptible to wind due to their increased surface area. However, a robust and high-quality parasol with a diameter of 5 m can still withstand wind speeds of up to 7 (maximum 50 km/h). Smaller umbrella stands can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h.

Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself which parasol size you prefer. If you don't want to do without the advantages of a large parasol and can live with the somewhat higher susceptibility to wind, then it is all the more important to pay attention to high-quality materials, a particularly robust construction and good anchoring.


Additional canopy stabilizers: Wind hoods/wind roofs

The fabric hood at the top of the parasol is called a wind hood or wind roof. It is sewn onto the actual cover. In stronger winds, it can rise and clear an opening in the umbrella, reducing the surface area exposed to the wind.

This further increases the parasol's wind stability. So when you buy it, make sure that the parasol has a wind hood.

What to do in a storm

Should the weather deteriorate to such an extent that stronger gusts or storms occur, it is better to close your parasol. No matter how robust and high-quality your equipment is, even the best parasols cannot withstand a storm. In addition, storm damage is usually not covered by the guarantee or warranty of a parasol manufacturer.

Be sure to order additional protective covers for your parasols as well. These not only protect against the weather, but also offer a smaller surface area for the wind to attack. Without a protective cover, the fabric fibres of the umbrella can rub against each other in a storm and thus wear out faster.

The most important things are hereby summarised again. How to make your parasol windproof:

  • Pay attention to high-quality materials, ideally the entire parasol construction should be made of metal
  • Make sure you have a sufficiently thick parasol mast and reinforced parasol struts
  • Opt for two small parasols rather than one large one
  • Opt for a centre mast umbrella instead of a cantilever umbrella
  • Have your parasol firmly anchored or use sufficiently heavy parasol bases
  • A wind hood ensures even greater wind stability

Are you still missing a parasol stand?

Are you still missing the right parasol stand for your parasol? With the LIRO parasol base, we have launched an innovative and unique product that allows you to move your parasol from A to B effortlessly.

With the patented Lift & Roll technology, a carriage can be extended from the umbrella stand and retracted at the desired location with just one movement. This allows you to move parasols of almost any size without any problems and anchor the parasol stand firmly again thanks to the retracted rollers. This offers you maximum flexibility with firm anchoring at the same time. Also perfect for windy weather.

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