Not to be a patio-weather killjoy, but the time has come to consider how to protect that expensive and heavy cantilever umbrella, where to store all those cute throw pillows and how to shield an outdoor dining table from birds doing what birds do.
These pieces are all about quality and function, with notes on sizing, user reviews and price for each pick.
OUTDOOR UMBRELLAS NEED THEIR OWN PROTECTION
Cantilever umbrellas are an investment piece worth protecting from sun (which fades the fabric), rain, snow and bird poop. Come late summer/fall, finding one that is available to ship ASAP is a little more challenging, so we’ve rounded up a few options that are available in Canada right now.
Space it's ideal for: This Island Umbrella All-Weather Protective Umbrella Cover is made to cover 10’-13’ options. It’s fabricated from durable polyester, has a zipper and drawcord to adjust the fit and is machine washable.
Why we're endorsing it: Waterproof, positive reviews, availability. Walmart has the lowest price we could find.
Where it could use improvements: Only comes in one colour (sandstone).
Size/weight/dimensions: 68” circumference x 110” H.
Space it's ideal for: For a less-expensive Amazon option, this Bomoo cover can fit umbrellas from 7’-11’ and the cover’s PU coating ensures it’s waterproof and flexible with a rust-proof zipper.
Space we're endorsing it: Price, lightweight fabric.
Where it could use improvements: Not available with overnight Prime shipping (delivery is currently about two weeks out).
Size/weight/dimensions: Fits 7’-11’ cantilever umbrellas.
Space it's ideal for: This is the bestselling option on Amazon; it's made from Oxford 210D polyester with a protective and easy-to-clean finish.
Why we're endorsing it: Hundreds of positive user reviews as well as detailed information and photos in the Q&A and manufacturer information.
Where it could use improvements: Most complaints centre around the UV protection effectiveness and durability, something to measure against cost.
Size/weight/dimensions: Fits 9’-11’ cantilever umbrellas.
CHAIR AND COUCH COVERS
Even the toughest patio furniture is no match for Canadian elements, with the weather so harsh that it can void a warranty. Furniture covers can cost a bit of money but they save larger pieces (like tables and couches) from being ruined by rain, snow, sun, tree sap and bird poop.
Space it's ideal for: If patio chairs are stackable, this one cover can take care of the set, protecting it from inclement weather and pests.
Why we're endorsing it: Price, ease of use, user reviews, brand trust.
Where it could use improvements: Does not list how many chairs can be stacked and covered, so the best way to figure it out would be to stack the chairs, then measure the height and width to ensure coverage.
Size/weight/dimensions: 27" L x 28" W x 31/49" H.
Space it's ideal for: A large waterproof cover for outdoor dining set that can be handled by one person.
Why we're endorsing it: Excellent user reviews and convenience of being able to cover an outdoor table and six chairs. Adjustable belts, vented mesh sides to prevent mildew, sturdy fabric.
Where it could use improvements: There is no umbrella hole.
Size/weight/dimensions: 128" L x 82" W x 23" H.
(For a large patio set cover with an umbrella hole, check out this nearly sold-out option before it’s gone.)
Space it's ideal for: This is a heavy-duty option for covering an outdoor sectional sofa. There's a click-close belt to keep it in place in windy conditions; fade safe and waterproof woven polyester fabric.
Why we're endorsing it: Comes in multiple sizes, positive user reviews, mid-range price.
Where it could use improvements: Per the manufacturer’s note, this will not cover the entire leg. Read specs carefully to choose size and side (left-facing vs. right-facing).
Size/weight/dimensions: Five different size options.
PILLOW HOLDER AND PROTECTORS
Need somewhere to store the cushions and throw pillows before the weather turns them into a sopping wet, mildewy mess? We’ve sourced options for outdoor storage that don’t require garage space.
Space it's ideal for: A year-round outdoor box that protects against the elements.
Why we're endorsing it: It’s extremely difficult to find an in-stock, highly rated deck box that is waterproof — this one hits all of the above.
Where it could use improvements: Currently only available in one size.
Size/weight/dimensions: 48.4” L x 27.9” H.
Space it's ideal for: This bag can be stored under a deck, in a shed or garage, but is not meant to be left outside 24/7.
Why we're endorsing it: Flexibility, woven polyester fabric, warranty, excellent user reviews.
Where it could use improvements: It is water-resistant but not waterproof; it is only suitable for storing pillows in a covered area.
Size/weight/dimensions: Holds cushions 45.5" L x 13.75" wide x 20" H.
AN OUTDOOR MAT THAT ISN’T BORING
Space it's ideal for: High-traffic areas.
Why we're endorsing it: Made to withstand inclement weather, dirt and mud, this LL Bean outdoor mat won't mold or fade. It comes in multiple colours and has a printed design, unique for outdoor mats (which tend to be plain black rubber most of the time). Can be vacuumed or hosed down.
Where it could use improvements: Outdoor doormats are not as absorbent as indoor mats.
Size/weight/dimensions: Medium (23”x35”) and large (3’x5’).
For more outdoor ideas, check out our guide for planting a fall veggie garden.