How easy is it to choose an umbrella? Is it only the size and color that matters? Have you thought about the handle style? In this article, we will discuss the various types of umbrellas, the sizes available, and how there is a significant difference in the extent of convenience each type offers.
When you shop online, you will be presented with hundreds of options. We have done the hard work for you. Choose from our list of top 10 best umbrellas featuring the finest products from popular brands Sun Umbrellas, Popy, John's, and more.
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Along with the most commonly found models, like the straight and foldable umbrellas, we will introduce to you some lesser-known varieties. Learn about the benefits of various types of umbrellas, including how they act as a proponent of your fashion sense, the level of protection they offer from the sun and rain, and more.
Depending on the kind of convenience you prefer and your fashion sense, you may choose from various umbrella types that vary in size, shape, and design. Find out more about them in the sections below.
Aren't all umbrellas foldable? Yes, they are. But "foldable" is the label given to an umbrella whose ribs (part of an umbrella stitched to the canopy and gives the canopy its shape) can fold multiple times, effectively reducing the overall length of the umbrella. The idea behind owning a foldable umbrella is portability.
Umbrellas whose canopy can fold twice is called a 2-fold umbrella. The most common model in the market is the 3-fold umbrella. If portability is of utmost importance, you can try products like Popy nano, which is a 5-fold umbrella that has an overall length of just 16cm when folded. That's just one centimeter more than the standard ruler kids use at school!
As the name suggests, a double canopy umbrella has two layers of fabric. But one is smaller and is on top of the other with space in between. A double canopy umbrella allows wind to pass through, thus preventing an umbrella from inverting.
But don't worry about getting wet. The smaller canopy overlaps a small part of the bigger one, preventing water from entering. Umbrella inversion puts stress on the ribs and the joints, which can cause them to break. A double canopy umbrella prevents that, thus increasing its longevity.
A bubble umbrella or a birdcage umbrella has a canopy that looks like half a sphere. Your head will literally be inside the dome-shaped canopy, unlike other umbrellas! Because of the bubble design, it is almost impossible for even strong winds to invert the umbrella. Your torso also has a lesser chance of getting wet compared to a person holding a regular umbrella.
Bubble umbrellas are usually transparent, with some models having minimal designs. But you will definitely be able to see what's in front of you clearly. Bubble umbrellas also make a fashion statement as it goes well with your rainy season style. Since they are transparent, bubble umbrellas don't offer any UV protection.
Umbrellas come in different sizes. But what makes a golf umbrella stand out is the unusually large canopy size and long handle. The standard canopy diameter of a golf umbrella is 50 to 60 inches. You can fit more than one person inside. If you carry backpacks or luggage, a golf umbrella can offer more protection from the sun and rain compared to regular ones in the 40 to 45 inches range.
Companies that make golf umbrellas tend to emphasize their UPF rating too. Apart from that, there is nothing special about golf umbrellas other than making it easy for us to search for oversized umbrellas. A search query for golf umbrellas is more likely to present you with results featuring umbrellas in the over-50 inches category.
An inverted or reverse folding umbrella folds outwards, unlike all other types that fold inwards (as you already know!). The inside of the canopy, which is the dry part, comes outside when you fold a reverse folding umbrella. When folding a regular umbrella, you may end up getting wet as the water droplets already on the canopy may splatter on you.
A reverse folding umbrella keeps the water droplets inside. You don't have to worry about the floor or the carpet in your office getting wet from dripping water, which can happen with other types. When you get home, you can open the umbrella and set it to dry.
Canopy size is a matter of personal preference. For example, a person with broad shoulders and carries a backpack may require an umbrella with a large canopy to protect themselves and the backpack from getting wet.
Some companies mention the umbrella arc size (the measurement of the canopy curvature), while others mention the diameter of the canopy. It's the diameter that will give you a clear picture of the size of the umbrella, as arc size can vary from one umbrella to another.
The standard umbrella diameter is 40 inches. It is suitable for one person and may protect your backpack from getting wet. If you want an umbrella for more than one person or you usually carry bulky luggage, try going for about 52 inches.
The pole that extends from the handle is called the shaft. Ribs provide support for the canopy, which is the fabric that protects us from the sun and the rain. A runner is a piece that moves along the shaft. The stretchers connect the runner to the ribs. When you push the runner up, the umbrella unfolds.
What matters the most are the materials used to make the shaft, canopy, and ribs. Nylon and polyester are two commonly used canopy materials. Both are resistant to abrasion and dries quickly, but nylon is stronger than polyester (better tear resistance). Pongee is a Chinese fabric and is more expensive than nylon and polyester. Since the fabric is tightly woven, raindrops easily slide off from it.
The choice of materials for the shaft includes steel and aluminum. Steel is strong but can rust easily. Aluminum is lightweight but could bend when used frequently during strong winds. Since inversion is one of the prime causes of umbrella damage, you can find fiberglass or fiberglass-reinforced ribs being used. They bend and return to the normal state but won't break.
There are two types of automatic umbrellas. Ones that open and close with the press of a button and the others that open automatically but require you to close it manually. When you close a manual umbrella, there is a chance that you can splash the water droplets on yourself. Trying to close a manual umbrella while getting into a car can be difficult too.
The automatic closing option is convenient in such situations. Remember that auto close only folds the canopy. You still have to push the shaft in and lock it manually. Auto opening umbrellas are useful when you have luggage in one hand.
You just have to extend your hand and press the button to open it. Read the product description carefully to find out if an umbrella offers both auto open/close or just auto open. During our research, we came across many reviews where customers mistakenly bought an auto open-only umbrella when they wanted both auto open and close.
If you are looking for an umbrella that will serve you in the rain and the sun, look for a silver coating. It works by reflecting the harmful UV rays of the sun. Silver coating is usually found on the inside of the umbrella, but you can find ones with silver coating on the outside too.
Umbrellas come with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) too. It is a rating system that shows how much UV protection a piece of fabric can offer. In this case, the canopy of the umbrellas. UPF 15 and 20 offers 93.3% - 95.8% protection, 25, 30, and 35 offers 96.0% - 97.4%, and 40, 45, 50, and 50+ offers 97.5% - 98.0% protection.
UPF rating is not that popular in India, so you will find many silver coated umbrellas with no UPF rating. But if you have vitiligo or sun allergy, we recommend buying an umbrella that mentions the UPF rating, like the John's SUNBLOCK UPF 50+ umbrella.
An umbrella with an ergonomic handle will be long enough for our palm to wrap around comfortably. It will also have a rubber coating that helps us grip the umbrella, even if it is wet. Umbrellas meant to be portable usually have small handles. This reduces the space it takes and also the weight.
Two of the most popular styles are J-shaped and C-shaped handles. J-shaped handles allow you to hang the umbrella on a rod. It is usually seen in straight umbrellas. Older people will find a J-shaped handle easy to hold while using the straight umbrella as a support for walking. You can find walking stick umbrellas with handles shaped exactly like that of a walking stick too.
A C-shaped handle allows you to rest the umbrella on your wrist while you open your backpack or purse or handle money. Then there are the fancy handles, for example, Katana sword handle, shotgun stock handle (Popy 007 is an example), etc. They are usually meant for kids and are rarely available online.
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Tesla 3 Fold
Silver Coating Offers UV Protection
Ten Fiberglass Reinforced Ribs Can Withstand Powerful Winds
Compact Automatic Travel Umbrella
Double Canopy Prevents the Umbrella From Inverting
Wooden Ferrule With Plastic Tip for Walking
Large Canopy Can Protect Your Backpack and Luggage Too
With a Length of Just 16cm
Clear Bubble Umbrella
See Through Bubble Umbrella for Rainy Seasons
Upside Down Reverse Umbrella
Prevents You From Getting Wet
For Those Who Love Floral Designs
3D Unicorn Design Umbrella
For Kids 3 to 10 Years of Age
If you are looking for an umbrella that functions well in rainy and summer seasons, Fendo Tesla 3 Fold is for you. It has a canopy size of 41 inches, which is perfect for a single person. The canopy is made of polyester with silver on the inside that provides UV protection. A strong metal frame ensures the umbrella doesn't break even if it gets inverted.
The folded length is just 31.5cm and weighs less than 400 grams. It only allows automatic opening; you need to close it manually, which could get you wet if you are trying to get into a car. Black and navy blue are the only color choices available. We recommend this umbrella to everyone looking for a budget umbrella with quality build materials.
With a canopy size of 41 inches, Destinio 3-fold umbrella is suitable for one person. The standard number of ribs on an umbrella is eight. But Destinio comes with ten fiberglass-reinforced ribs, which provide strength and prevent the umbrella from breaking or inverting in strong winds.
After it is completely folded, the total length is just 34cm, allowing you to easily carry it in your backpack. Water droplets easily fall off from the canopy without getting absorbed as the canopy material is pongee. The umbrella is automatic (open and close) and comes with a rubberized ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip.
If you are looking for an umbrella for rainy and stormy weather, go for the AmazonBasics Compact Automatic Travel Umbrella. Its wind vent (double canopy) allows wind to pass through, which prevents the umbrella from inverting. Since it is vented, you won't feel the force of the wind either.
The canopy size is 38 inches, which is below the standard canopy size for umbrellas. But if you feel regular umbrellas to be too big for you and looking for an alternative, we say, go for this product. When completely folded, it is only 11 inches (28cm) long.
It allows automatic open and close, which is convenient while you get into a car. The umbrella doesn't have any UV coating, so you will feel the heat of the sun. The frame is made of sturdy steel, and the canopy build material is polyester, which is wrinkle-resistant and easy to dry. Available colors: Green, light blue, pink, red, and yellow.
Fendo Marshal has a canopy diameter of 46 inches, which can fit two people. The handle and shaft are made of strong wood, making it rustproof. You don't have to worry about the ribs and stretchers breaking, even if the umbrella inverts as they are made of heavy-duty metal.
Fendo Marshal is only suitable for rainy seasons, as there is no UV coating inside. You can buy this umbrella for older people too. The wooden ferrule (the tip of the umbrella on top of the canopy) with a plastic tip can support them while walking. Available colors include Blue, brown, green, maroon, violet, and white.
Golf umbrellas have large canopies by design. Sun Umbrellas' Golf umbrella has a canopy made of pongee material, which is abrasion-resistant, easy to clean, and dries quickly. You don't have to worry about strong winds as the fiberglass ribs are strong and flexible.
There is an internal silver coating to reflect off UV rays. This golf umbrella has the signature long handle, making it easy to hold. We recommend buying this umbrella if you need a large canopy umbrella for protecting your backpack too, as the canopy size is 52 inches.
You may need an umbrella holder at your house or office as the closed length is about 100cm with no curved handle for hanging it.
If you feel that carrying an umbrella is an extra burden, go for Popy nano. This 5-fold umbrella has a length of just 16cm after it is folded. It will fit inside a purse. The frame is made of stainless steel and aluminum, which makes it lightweight but not durable. The canopy has a silver coating on the inside to reflect UV light.
With a canopy size of 40 inches, it can fit 1 person. Since the umbrella is lightweight, there is a chance that it will get blown away by strong winds. The nylon canopy is durable as it is resistant to chemicals, insects, and fungi. We recommend Popy nano to those who are looking for an extremely compact and lightweight umbrella.
Clear Bubble Umbrella by totes is only fit for rainy seasons. The canopy material is transparent plastic, allowing you to see through it clearly. It can keep you dry during stormy weather and can be used as a fashion accessory to match your rainy season attire. The bubble shape also prevents it from inverting during strong winds.
Even though the plastic canopy is waterproof, the company has added an invisible spray coating that repels water to stay four times drier. The shaft and the ribs are made of strong aluminum that also makes the umbrella lightweight. You also get a plastic J-shaped handle for convenient storage anywhere you go.
With SHOPPOSTREET's Upside Down Reverse Umbrella, you don't have to worry about getting wet when you close the umbrella. You can also get into a vehicle without the inconvenience of an open umbrella getting in your way. You can open it with the press of a button, but closing it has to be done manually.
The umbrella features a double canopy that holds the water inside when it is folded, thus protecting you from getting wet. It also makes the umbrella durable and windproof. It has a unique C-shaped handle that stays on your wrist while you are handling your wallet or money. SHOPPOSTREET Upside Down Reverse Umbrella is suitable for both summer and rainy seasons.
Sun Umbrellas Nirali Compact umbrella is for people looking for a smaller than the standard sized umbrella. It has a canopy diameter of 37.5 inches, which is much lesser than the standard 40 inches seen in most umbrellas. You can carry it easily as it has a length of just 10 inches when folded and weighs only 375 grams.
The umbrella will invert in strong winds but won't break as the ribs are made of fiberglass. It is color coated on the inside to provide you UV protection. Its canopy made of pongee fabric is mildew and mold resistant, and the colors and floral designs don't fade easily. For the price, we feel the umbrella provides good value for money as the materials are premium.
Your kid will love the 3D design and vibrant colors of the Babyhug 3D Unicorn umbrella. It is lightweight and only has a canopy diameter of 27 inches, making it easy for your kid to carry.
We recommended this umbrella for kids aged between three and ten. The shaft is made of durable steel, and the tips are covered with plastic rounded caps for the safety of your kid and others.
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What do you expect from an umbrella? Just protect you from sun and rain or add to your style too? An umbrella can do both. If you want one just for you, a 40-inch umbrella will do just fine. But if you own one that is larger, like over 50 inches, you can help your family or colleagues in need too.
Find out the build materials to get an idea about the quality of the umbrella and judge if it is worth the price. You may also choose from various types like bubble, reverse folding, etc., and consider the handle style based on the provisions for storing umbrellas at your home or office.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
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