At first glance buying an umbrella might seem like an easy process, however there are always pitfalls to avoid when there are so many options out there, and not all of them are ideal. Choosing the best one for your needs will end up saving you the trouble, time, and money for when the rainy season arrives. This guide will assist you with what to look for in an umbrella so that you can make the most informed decision that is suited for your specific needs.
Frequency of Use
The first factor to consider is how often you plan on using the umbrella. For instance, if you live in an area where there is little rain, then a low-cost telescoping umbrella is more than adequate for your needs. On the other hand, if you live in Seattle, Vancouver, or other such rainy cities, you should aim for a sturdier umbrella that will not turn inside out against strong winds. In general, people who live in areas that experiences frequent rain should look for larger and hardier umbrellas, as it is more difficult to keep oneself dry with a smaller umbrella when faced against fierce winds.
Telescope or Dome Style
For the most part, people who want sturdy umbrellas will also want longer umbrellas rather than the telescoping type. The handle will typically be constructed from wood or hard plastic, and the overhead section will be larger than their telescoping counterparts. A domed umbrella will cover further down and in some cases can even provide cover for the chest area. Since one’s vision might be obstructed by this, they are designed so that the material is a see-through plastic which is helpful when navigating crowded areas.
Decorative or No
Umbrellas of Italian make are favored by many. They are often flamboyant in color, and tend to come with a water-resistant cotton canvas that raindrops will simply slide off from. As a result of this, it is extremely quick to dry. Some sport decorative handles because in rainy areas where one must carry an umbrella often, it is considered to be not only a necessity for staying dry, but as a fashion accessory as well.
Straight Handle or C-Curve
There are typically two kinds of handles one will encounter: the straight handle, and the C-curve. This is purely based on preference, so you will want to test out several of both types to help you determine which you prefer. Many people recommend the curved handle as they feel it provides superior handling when faced with heavy winds. On the other hand, others report that a curved handle is cumbersome to manage when one’s hands have become wet from rain.
Size of Umbrella
In general, the larger the umbrella, the more expensive it is. And, if you are trying to make a fashion statement by purchasing from a designer brand, you can be certain that you are paying a premium. Typically, a high-quality umbrella will run you about $40 USD, but designer umbrellas will cost significantly higher.
Purchasing for a Child
If you are buying an umbrella for a child, there are various children’s umbrellas available that sport cute designs, though some may go overboard and favor fashion over function. For toddlers, don’t spend too much money. What will likely happen is the umbrella will be abused and break, it will be lost at school, or they will simply grow out of it very quickly.
After Purchase: Practicing Umbrella Etiquette
For those who tend to walk in the rain through congested areas, you might want to practice a little bit of umbrella courtesy. For instance, those who use a very large umbrella in a congested street will occupy more space and may crash into other umbrellas, both of which should be avoided. For individuals who really need large coverage, dome umbrellas are smaller in diameter, and will reduce the chances of collisions with others. Furthermore, to prevent dripping, remember to buy an umbrella cover so that your umbrella will not create puddles all over the floor. In short, be mindful of others when using your umbrella by practicing this etiquette.