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Not to worry. This is not something that takes years of study and an eagle eye to detect.  The discerning customer however can use the checklist below to spot those features that differentiate a Prestige umbrella whose components show that it’s Built to Last from the average umbrella that will need to be replaced every year.

Fiberglass ribs provide durable performance in high wind environments because the canopy flexes through gusts instead of snapping and therefore last far longer than ribs made of steel or wood.  

The rest of the frame should also be produced with a robust construction including rust resistant hardware and molded nylon joints.  The end of each rib should have a molded nylon end tip so that the ribs hold their place in the canopy’s pockets and the ribs won’t poke through the pocket after a few seasons of wear.  The Pocket itself should be double stitched to ensure it’s reinforced.

A truly great canopy should be made of marine or furniture grade solution dyed acrylics not a thin polyester material that doesn’t provide much protection from UV rays.  FiberBuilt uses only acrylic fabrics made by industry leading manufacturers, including Sunbrella and Outdura, that maintain their color and integrity while exposed to the elements year after year remaining fade-, stain-, mold- and mildew-resistant through normal wear and cleaning.

The canopy should be made with single, double or extra large vents depending on if your area is prone to high winds or breezy days with possible gusts whether located seaside, by a lake, in the mountains or dessert.

 

The poles are made of heavy gauge aluminum (.125 wall thickness) and have a powder coated finish.  Or, if a wood look is desired, a FiberTeak™ finish.  This proprietary, simulated wood or bamboo finish is available in a variety of tones and provides the warm look of wood without any of the disadvantages of the natural material, such as checking, warping or splitting.

The hub should be heavy duty for lasting wear as the hub holds the ribs in place and should effortlessly glide up and down the pole and rest securely on the pin

Is the company able to manufacture special options to meet your specific needs, such as provide a market style umbrella with a valance or with alternating fabrics on vents or panels, or with your logo (either silk screened or embroidered)?

How to spot a great umbrella?  Look for the Fiberbuilt name.  That ensures you’re purchasing a high quality umbrella made by a company manufacturing here in America for the past 20 years.