How to choose a parasol base is a question we get asked at Shade Specialists on a regular occurrence. There are a few key factors to consider when making that decision. Firstly, you cannot go too heavy. Nobody ever complains because their garden parasol is still upright and in good working order!

What Parasol Base Do I Need?

We would recommend a minimum weight of 30kg for the base if the parasol is free-standing and not through the table centre.Despite going through a sturdy table, you will however still require a base to provide the stability and maintain the position of the pole. When planning to buy a parasol base, consider how your parasol will be used. If your garden umbrella is going through the middle of a sturdy table, you can afford to go lighter on the umbrella base. The table will act as ballast and will provide stability too.

parasol going through the centre of the table

If you have found the perfect spot for your parasol and decided you don’t want to move it, then we recommend choosing a heavier weight or in-ground base. If you plan to move it with the sun or closer to the pool, you may consider one with a pull-out handle and wheels.
Should you be choosing a parasol and parasol base for your own garden, for a restaurantcaféhotel or pub we can offer you the correct base option. The type of surface involved, the size of the canopy required (see our parasol size guide for more details), and whether you would like to move the umbrella or not, all affect which umbrella base option you should consider.

How Heavy Should A Parasol Base Be?

Ranging from 30kg to 120kg, the heavy-duty base weights are perfect for keeping your centre pole umbrella or cantilever parasol grounded. Great for commercial usage or larger parasols with high exposure to the wind, reducing the risk of damaging your umbrella and ensuring it will not be blown away is essential. Keep in mind that the cantilever style of parasol requires a heavier base to counterbalance the canopy while open. Smaller parasols (2-3m) can be held securely with a 50kg base if free-standing, while larger ones (3-4m+) will require a minimum of 50-70kg. If your garden umbrella will be free standing, it is essential to have adequate weight. You will also find that the larger parasol bases are not only heavier, but also have a larger footprint, which reduces the chances of the garden parasol tipping over.

cantilever parasol with portable base

Can you put a parasol base into the ground?

For the ultimate security you could install an in ground parasol base. A ground base requires a hole to be dug of approximately 80 cm3, which would be filled with concrete, and the steel tube sunk level with the ground. This is the cheapest method in terms of parts, but costlier in terms of labour.

concrete foundation table for in ground parasol base -


In Ground Base Installation and Instructions:

1. When positioning the ground base, if you have parasols going next to each other, leave at least 20cm
between the canopies when they are open.
2. For the concrete, use 4 parts sand ballast to 1 part cement.
3. Leave the top square metal plate of the ground base, level with the concrete base. Unless you have a
winter plate which is 10mm thick you need to allow for this and have the ground base metal plate 10mm
lower than the level of the concrete.
4. Make sure to leave the concrete for at least 7 days before fixing the parasol, depending on the
climate to ensure the concrete has set before installing the parasol.

A concrete base is a popular method for cantilevers or large commercial umbrellas, the type most commonly found in pubs, restaurants, hotels and commercial properties due to the added security they offer. A secondary benefit to an in ground base is the reduced footprint which also removes the tripping hazard, making it an extremely popular option in eating and drinking establishment.
You must take additional care in windy conditions. Shade Specialists does not recommend or warrant the use of their parasols in winds exceeding 25mph (40 kph). The parasols must also be collapsed when left unattended.


What Size Tube Should My Parasol Base Have?

The most common sizes for parasol poles vary from 38mm to 48mm in diameter. Generally, the tubes that attach to the top of the base of the parasol will be 40mm or 58mm. Make sure you  correctly measure the parasol’s pole and that the base tube is the correct diameter for the pole when purchasing. After installing the parasol into the base tube, don’t forget to tighten the screw at the base to make sure that the parasol remains fixed.
A parasol base must be easy to assemble and always hold tight around the pole of the umbrella.

in ground parasol base


Materials and Colours for Cantilevers and Parasol Bases:

Materials and colours are important to think about when making your decision to purchase a base for your umbrella. We offer 3 types of materials: granite, metal and concrete. Though you can never go wrong with the polished, durable and very elegant looking black granite parasol base, for some gardens or patios the grey granite parasol base version may be a better fit. The tube is made of stainless steel and powder-coated to ensure it remains rust-free.

  black granite parasol baseparasol base with tilesconcrete round parasol base

Parasol Bases for Small or Narrow Places:

The newest invention in portable base design is the Plinthit portable base. The adjustable plastic frame, dark grey in colour, can be fixed with plastic lined, Teflon-coated olefin bags that can be filled with sand to create 2 x 25kg base weights. This great design of base makes it possible to safely secure your parasol in small and narrow places like your balcony, close to your sun chair or perhaps near the table-legs.
These design benefits make the Plinthit base an ideal option, reducing shipping costs and providing an eco-friendly solution to securing your parasol. Fully recyclable and free of harmful chemicals, these portable weights even provide a comfortable resting place for your pet cat or dog!
Shade Specialists have delivered tens of thousands of high-quality durable parasols and bases for parasols to hundreds of satisfied customers throughout the world.

plinthit parasol base with plastic sand bags

What should I fill my parasol base with?

If your parasol comes with an empty plastic base, it can be filled with water or sand, depending on how heavy you want it to be. If you plan to relocate its position, water is recommended. Otherwise, for a better stability, it should be filled with sand, because sand it is heavier than water. Plastic parasol bases have the advantage of different weight possibilities, depending what you fill it with, better mobility and easier storage. Some of their cons ar that they coud be damaged easier and they have shorter life than the solid ones.

parasol water base

How do I stop my patio umbrella from spinning?

To stop your patio umbrella from spinning, you have to reduce as possible the free space in between the parasol pole and the base tube. Generally, the base tube should be slightly larger than the pole diameter, but you can fill it with small rubber or wooden pieces (like a popsicle stick). The second step is to tighten the tube screw at maximum and lock it in to place.   

A beautiful umbrella can instantly transform any outdoor area. With more and more people craving the outdoor lifestyle parasols are becoming an essential accessory for anyone wishing to extend their outdoor lifestyle. A stylish and practical parasol will enhance any outdoor area, creating a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy alfresco dining, or a tranquil environment as you laze by the pool.

If you haven't decided yet on what parasol should you purchase, have a look at our Parasol Buyer's Guide to find answers that might help you.
Shade Specialists supply high quality parasols and parasol bases from industry leading brands including, Bambrella, Elbrau, Heritage, Quattro, Shelter and Stellar.
Our mission at Shade Specialists is simple. Supply strong durable and well-designed parasols with robust and rugged parasol bases that will last for many years to come!
If you have any questions about bases for parasols, need help, or require further information about parasol bases, please contact us.