When I was looking for a cantilever umbrella for my pool, I saw a lot of them selling in the $300 and up range. Being a bargain hunter, I decided to keep looking and came across this umbrella. Reviews were just below 4 stars at the time, and the price was great, so I took a...
When I was looking for a cantilever umbrella for my pool, I saw a lot of them selling in the $300 and up range. Being a bargain hunter, I decided to keep looking and came across this umbrella. Reviews were just below 4 stars at the time, and the price was great, so I took a chance.
Let me begin by saying I live in Oklahoma. Wind is pretty much a given on most days. We consider 10 mph to be calm. More on this later. Set up of the stand was fairly simple. Now for each failure point:
Base post washer
Right off the bat, I notice that the base vertical pipe that the umbrella stand slides into has a cheap plastic washer meant to hold some pins in place so the umbrella won''t shear in the wind. Without this piece of plastic, the pole can rotate the full width of the pin in both horizontal directions. The washer is broke. It will stay in place, but it does not lock in the pins now. I figure it''s not a huge deal and move on. I finish setting up the base, adding base weights, erect the umbrella into the stand, and start to crank it open.
Umbrella Rib Spoke and Stopper
While I was looking at the crank, apparently a piece of plastic drops out of the umbrella and is floating in my pool. The umbrella is "deployed" with a crank that winds a cable (more like string) that runs through the umbrella down through the spoke that connects all the ribs, to a cheap plastic stopper that is meant to slide into the spoke. The higher the spoke is pulled, the more the umbrella deploys. This stopper had a thin lip circumventing it that was the only thing keeping it from pulling through the spoke. Half of that lip had broken off (I didn''t realize it at the time as it was flush with the spoke. The next day, we deploy the umbrella with winds around 10 mph, and the whole thing is flailing around like we''re in a typhoon. Suddenly, there''s a pop, and the umbrella collapses. The rest of the lip had given way. Being handy and not wanting to deal with returning a giant umbrella, I cobble together a fix using chain clip that prevents the stopper from pulling through the spoke. Looks janky, but still better than processing a return.
Cantilever Arm Sleeve
If you look in the photo, you''ll notice a crank that attaches to a 45 degree angled arm that attaches to the main pole. This arm is locked into place when extended by a - wait for it - cheap plastic sleeve. On the third use of the umbrella, again in low winds, the sleeve split length-wise, so the arm won''t lock in place. Queue me grabbing my bag of 3/8" wide zip ties. After "bandaging" the sleeve with five of those suckers, the sleeve is functional, and my umbrella is starting to look like something out of a Dr. Suess book.
So we have three failures of parts, all involving plastic in spots that really should have been, at the very least, aluminum. Now I''m getting nervous while I''m watching the 10 mph wind whip this thing around, because the whole thing is shearing at the top where the main umbrella arm is attached to the top of the pole, and - surprise - that whole assembly is made of more of that crappy plastic. Oh, and so is the crank housing and most of the assembly that the umbrella hangs from at the end of the main arm. At this point, I''ve resigned myself to the fact that the only time I''ll be able to use this is if either a) it''s dead calm or b) I move it indoors. Will likely have to box the sucker up and send it back...which is sad, considering I gave it multiple chances.
At least the solar-powered LED lights work.
Cons: absolutely cheap plastic parts used in high stress areas of the pole and cranking mechanism. Whole thing thrashes about in a slight breeze, and would be in the next county if an actual gust of wind blew up.
Conclusion: avoid this like the plague. Spend the extra $200 and buy some piece of mind.