Choosing An Umbrella — Essential Umbrella Buying Tips
While choosing an umbrella, the first thing to consider, of course, is what do you need the umbrella for? Is it for rain protection, protection from sun or purely as an accessory (personal branding)? In this article, we will talk about choosing an umbrella that is primarily meant for protection against spring, summer or fall showers. And in the end, we may also have a word or two to add about sun/beach umbrellas. As for personal branding pieces, we leave it for a future date.
As for rain umbrellas, the most common factors you need to consider include water repellency, ease of opening/closing, weight, size and durability.
Unless it clashes with your personal styling idea, we recommend that you go for larger, domed canopy fashion umbrellas that are about 10-11 inches long. You can go for larger ones still if you prefer. However, we have found that when it comes to a combination of compactness and coverage, umbrellas this size work best.
Vented or Layered Canopy
If you’ve ever got stuck in rain accompanied with hard, breezy wind (and who of us haven’t? we would like to hear!), then you know that the most embarrassing thing (not to mention the discomfort of it) is to watch your umbrella flipping inside out. By the time you get it back in shape again, you are already comfortably drenched so you may not need use the umbrella anymore! Well, in order to avoid the like experience, choose an umbrella with either a vented canopy or one that comes with a two-layer fabric canopy. With these umbrellas, the wind passes through the canopy and cannot get to invert it. The result: you stay dry!
These days, many people tend to prefer the compact umbrellas that break and bend into too many sections. Yes, these are comfortable to carry around and do look somewhat more trendy. However, we’ll still suggest that you go for an umbrella with a two-section shaft. These are generally sturdier, operate smoothly and last longer (fewer breaks and bends mean fewer opportunities for things to go wrong). And although not as compact as shafts with many breaks, you can still tote them around comfortably enough.
Sturdy and Comfortable Handle
Look for an umbrella with a cushioned and slim grip but which still feels sturdy enough in your hand. Comfort is key here since, as often as not, you may be carrying other things when in the rain. As such, a firm and comfortable grip and one that works well for both your right and left hands is ideal. Stay clear of handles that feel bulky, heavy or otherwise hard to hold.
Now, as for beach umbrellas, they fall into a different category altogether. However, if you are looking for an umbrella that will provide protection both against sun and rain, make sure to check the UPF rating of the umbrella you are buying. Umbrellas with UPF rating of 15-24 provide sufficient UV protection and should be good enough as long as you don’t plan to spend a whole day on the beachside!
Ready to buy? We recommend these from repelumbrella.com.