The Difference Between Fiberglass and Aluminum Umbrella Ribs

The Difference Between Fiberglass and Aluminum Umbrella Ribs

Want to be ready for summer and spring? Whether you’re running a café with an alfresco dining area or just spending a lot of time outdoors, there’s nothing like a nice sturdy umbrella to protect you from the elements. If you’re looking for a reliable and beautifully designed umbrella to shelter you from the sun and the rain, then you’re in the right place.

The perfect umbrella is made up of two essential factors: ribs and fabric. Choosing well-made ribs in the right material will help your umbrella stay upright even on a windy day. The right fabric, on the other hand, is durable, easy on the eyes, and will give you shade while keeping you cool.

Umbrella Ribs and Their Use

Umbrella ribs give shape and structure to your umbrella. The topmost part of the frame holds up the top of the umbrella while the lower ends of the ribs protect it from blowing outwards and away with the wind.

Fixed umbrellas used for outdoor patios and other outside applications are typically 23 to 25 inches high. They allow us to enjoy the weather outside without becoming too exposed to the elements. To achieve this, its structure and fabric need to stay in place. Ribs are important because they perform two jobs at once by holding the fabric down and keeping the umbrella in shape.

Outdoor Umbrellas: Frame Build

Common materials used in umbrella frames are aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. Wood umbrellas can add beauty to your outdoor aesthetics. However, they have many drawbacks. They are weaker in strength, durability, and quality. Hence, they aren’t suited for long-term outdoor use. This is why we’ll only discuss the other two frame builds in detail.

Aluminum Ribs

Aluminum is a lightweight alternative to wooden frame umbrellas. They are more flexible than wooden frames and can withstand gusts of wind better. Aluminum is low maintenance, affordable, and durable so your umbrella won’t snap when a strong wind comes along.

Aluminum is available in different colors and finishes. To make them even more durable, aluminum frames are treated with a powered coat or anodization. This coating makes it resistant to corrosion and other types of deterioration.

Fiberglass Ribs

If you live in a place with a lot of wind, umbrellas with fiberglass ribs are worth considering. These types of ribs are even better at withstanding wind than aluminum ribs.

What is fiberglass? Fiberglass is reinforced plastic. To create fiberglass, glass fibers are woven together and combined with resin. This process and the materials used are what give fiberglass its durability and strength. Fiberglass ribs are pliable, bendy, and durable. If a gust of wind comes your way, they’ll snap right back into position.

An umbrella using fiberglass ribs won’t rust or rot easily so it’s a great material for rainy weather as well.

Compared to aluminum and other frame materials, fiberglass builds are much more durable and lighter. Because of all these advantages, fiberglass is naturally a more expensive option. If you’re interested in getting an umbrella with fiberglass ribs, you’ll find them in a range of colors.

Wooden frames have their own aesthetic value, but with the practicality of fiberglass and aluminum, it’s worth considering these materials too.

Which Rib Material Is Best for You?

If you’re looking for a quality umbrella that provides shade and protects you from light wind, aluminum ribs are best. They’re also a practical and affordable choice for commercial and residential uses.

However, if durability and weight are the key features you’re looking for, fiberglass is the clear winner. These umbrellas can withstand the strongest winds with only minor overturning which is why they're excellent for outdoor patios and outdoor dining areas.

Are the Number of Ribs on an Umbrella Important?

Absolutely. An umbrella with more ribs will be stronger and more stable.

Midtown and Sunbrella: Your Shade and Umbrella Experts

If you’re looking for quality, beautifully designed umbrellas based on sound engineering, then Midtown Umbrellas is the right place for you. Midtown has spent years in the patio umbrella industry while offering Terylast and Sunbrella fabrics that specialize in durable and beautiful umbrella fabrics designed to resist the harshest outdoor conditions.

Umbrella Fabrics at Midtown Umbrellas

Midtown features two fabric materials: Terylast and Sunbrella.

Terylast fabrics are solution-dyed high-end polyester. They come with a 10-year limited warranty against fading, mold, and deterioration. Terylast umbrellas will last you a long time and provide greater resistance against the wind.

Sunbrella fabrics are 100% solution-dyed acrylic with resistance against water, stain, mildew, and UV.


When it comes to residential and commercial outdoor shade solutions, an outdoor umbrella is an essential accessory. They’re affordable, useful, convenient, and add to your outdoor aesthetics.

Midtown makes it easy for you to find the perfect outdoor umbrella. All of Midtown’s umbrellas are designed by a specialized team of engineers and designers and are assembled in Canada.

To ensure that customers get the best support, Midtown has a toll-free line that’s open seven days a week.

Push and Pop: An Outdoor Umbrella with Fiberglass and Aluminum

The Push and Pop Umbrella from Midtown’s Fiberglass series contains fiberglass and aluminum. It’s made of eight custom fiberglass ribs and a rust-proof, weather-resistant commercial-grade aluminum pole that’s 2.5mm thick.

This umbrella is very easy to use with its push and pop mechanism and comes in a variety of colors. You can choose from two fabric options: Terylast and Sunbrella. Both are solution-dyed, UV resistant, and waterproof.

With its twistable top, it’s easy to change canopies. Its bottom pole will fit a diameter base of 1.5 inches.

Add all these features together and you get a thick, ultra-sturdy, and weather-resistant umbrella.

Best Umbrellas and Umbrella Fabrics: Midtown and Sunbrella

Umbrellas and outdoor shades are a science for us at Midtown and Sunbrella. Creating the perfect shade for you is a craft and a continuing commitment for us over the years.

Sunbrella has been developing the perfect canvas for consumers since the 1960s while Midtown has deep expertise in wholesale patio umbrellas. Whether for indoor or outdoor use, let us help you find the perfect solution.

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