Buying an umbrella may seem a simple process, but selecting the correct one will save time and trouble when the rainy season starts. There are a few things to consider when purchasing an umbrella that can help you make the best choice for your personal needs.
The first consideration is to assess how often the umbrella will be used. If you live in area with infrequent rain, then an inexpensive telescoping umbrella is probably the best choice. If you live in Seattle or other rainy climates, you will naturally want a very sturdy umbrella, and preferably one not easily blown away by high winds. For those who live in rainy climates, it is generally better to purchase larger and hardier umbrellas. It is harder to get away with smaller umbrellas when rain is particularly fierce or driving.
Most who want a sturdy umbrella favor long umbrellas, as opposed to the telescoping type. Usually the handle is made of wood or hard plastic, and the overhead portion tends to be larger than telescoping varieties. The domed umbrella reaches farther down and may successfully provide coverage to the middle of the chest. They are often available in see through plastics, which help navigating congested areas easier.
Many favor umbrellas of Italian make, which are often bright in color, and generally have a water-treated cotton canvas that is quite water resistant. As well, the cotton dries quickly. Some come with decorative handles since in rainy areas, the umbrella may well be considered a fashion accessory as well as a necessity.
Choice between a c-curve and a straight handle is highly individual. You may want to try out several of each type to discover which feels best to the hand. Many find the curved handle to be a bit more manageable in keeping the umbrella straight during heavy winds. Others feel the curved handle is harder to manage when the umbrella or the hands are wet from rain.
Larger umbrellas will be more expensive, and if you want to make a fashion statement by using a designer umbrella, you will pay even more. Generally, a good quality umbrella will cost about 40 US dollars (USD). Designer umbrellas can be significantly more expensive.
If you are selecting an umbrella for a child, there are a number of cute designs available, although function over fashion may be preferred. For very young children, don’t invest a lot of money. Chances are, abusive use of a small umbrella will result in breakage, or frequently, umbrellas are lost at school. Perhaps the best bet for young children is the Totes® umbrella, which is a compact, telescopic umbrella. They are sold with a cover and are easily fit into backpacks. They are also inexpensive, usually less than 10 USD.
If you walk in the rain through busy areas, you may also want to observe a bit of umbrella courtesy. Very large umbrellas on a small crowded street may mean taking up a bit more space than is needed for coverage, and crashing one’s umbrella into others should be avoided. For those who really need the coverage, dome umbrellas are slightly narrower in diameter, and will help one avoid unnecessary collisions with others hurrying through the rain. Also, to avoid dripping, be sure to purchase an umbrella cover, so that you can conscientiously preserve the floor when you come in from the rain.