How to choose an umbrella

An umbrella is needed at any time of the year. It protects us from rain and hail, snow, direct sunlight and other weather conditions. But, unfortunately, not all umbrellas can withstand heavy loads – the spokes break under strong gusts of wind, the fasteners become unusable, the canopy is rubbed, fades and fades.

To choose a comfortable and high-quality umbrella that will last more than one season, pay attention to the weight of the product and its compactness, the material and diameter of the dome, the number of spokes, the quality of fasteners and other parameters – which ones, we will tell in our article.

choose an umbrella

Design and types of umbrellas

All umbrellas have a similar design. They consist of:

  1. Rod and handle:

  2. Cloth part or dome;

  3. Spokes.

The durability of the umbrella depends on the reliability of the rod. The rods of inexpensive models can bend and break under strong gusts of wind, while the strong, most often monolithic rods can withstand more severe loads.

The spokes support the canopy of the umbrella, and when one of them breaks or breaks off, this disturbs the shape of the awning and reduces the functionality of the product. The more spokes, the stronger the frame of the dome.

The canopy of the umbrella is made of different types of materials: nylon, polyester, satin, etc. The main characteristics of the awning depend on the properties of these fabrics, such as moisture resistance, strength and protection from the wind.

Umbrellas can be mechanical, semi-automatic, automatic, as well as folding umbrellas and cane umbrellas. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each.

Mechanical umbrellas

Mechanical umbrellas

Closing and expanding these models is done manually only. Perhaps it is not very convenient, but this design is considered one of the most reliable and durable.


  • Durability. The simplicity of the mechanism reduces the likelihood of breakage;

  • Affordable price.


  • It is not always convenient to close / open an umbrella, especially if the rain has taken you by surprise or you are getting to your destination with many transfers.

Semi-automatic umbrellas

Semi-automatic umbrellas

Semi-automatic models are opened by pressing a button, but they must be closed manually by pulling on the ring to which the spokes are attached. This is one of the most common types of umbrellas.


  • Affordable price;

  • Light weight and size;

  • Ease of use (compared to mechanical models);


  • They break faster than mechanical models.

Automatic umbrellas

Automatic umbrellas

The most convenient, but also the most unreliable option. Due to the complexity of the design, such products break most often. Closing and opening of the umbrella is performed automatically by pressing a special button.


  • Quick opening and closing;

  • The convenience of use.


  • Short service life;

  • High price;

  • Automatic mechanism can jam;

Folding (compact) umbrellas

Folding (compact) umbrellas

Compact umbrellas are a great travel option. They take up little space and are lightweight, so they can be placed in a bag or backpack. Some models even fit into a coat or jacket pocket. You can take these umbrellas with you to work or for a walk. It will not be difficult for you to carry the product in your purse all day, and in case of rain you will be protected.

Such products have a cover in which you can hide a wet umbrella, if it has not dried out after the rain, and there is nowhere to dry it.


  • Small weight and small size;

  • Suitable for travelers and people who often go on business trips;

  • Low price;


  • Most models are of low strength;

  • During strong winds, the dome of the product may turn inside out.

Cane umbrellas

Cane umbrellas

These models are usually opened and closed manually. They have a solid core, which reduces the chance of breakage. Due to the simplicity of the design, umbrella-canes are distinguished by high strength and durability.


  • Reliability and durability – can last more than 10 years;

  • Beautiful appearance;

  • Resistant to wind gusts;


  • Big sizes;

  • High price.

Which umbrella handle to choose

Handles are often made of rubber, plastic, wood, or metal:

  1. The most unreliable are plastic – they can crack or split when hit or dropped. In addition, over time, the paint on the plastic fades and peels off. But they are lightweight and quickly heat up from the owner's hand.

  2. Metal handles are rarely used. They are distinguished by high strength and durability, but they weigh a lot and cool the hand.

  3. Wooden handles, treated with colorless varnish, keep the hand warm for a long time, they are stronger than plastic ones and weigh a little. In addition, they do not lose their color over time, unlike plastic ones, and do not 'paint' your hands. When choosing an umbrella with a wooden handle, it is important to pay attention to its surface. If the tree is poorly processed, the purchase should be abandoned.

  4. The rubber handles are pleasant to the touch, they are perfectly fixed in the palm and do not slip out of the hands. In addition, they are considered one of the most reliable – nothing will happen to them when dropped or hit.


It is important that the handle is well attached to the shaft and does not wobble or 'ride'. The most comfortable and reliable handles are hooks that are used in cane umbrellas.

What should be the rod and knitting needles

umbrella rod and spokes

The umbrella rods can be monolithic and folding. Folding can have from two to five folds. The smallest umbrella has about four or five folds of the shaft, and the largest (most often male) has two or three folds. Remember, the simpler the design and the fewer folds, the more reliable the product.

In the production of knitting needles and a rod can be used:

  1. Aluminum (spokes and rod of matte color) – is resistant to corrosion and supports the fabric part of the umbrella well. Aluminum products are very light and compact, which is why they are often chosen by women and children. But they are unreliable – the knitting needles bend under the influence of the wind, the rod quickly deforms, and the fabric part is often turned inside out.

  2. Steel (the spokes and the rod are shiny) is the most reliable and durable material. Models with steel rods and spokes are wind-resistant, but heavy and take up a lot of space even when folded.

  3. Fiberglass (similar in appearance to plastic) is a strong and flexible material that is often used to make knitting needles. Umbrellas with such spokes are lightweight, and the canopy retains its shape well during the wind.

  4. Also, when buying, you should pay attention to the number of knitting needles. The more there are, the better they hold the dome. Their number can vary from 6 to 24 pieces, but most often 8 pieces are used. – this is the best option. The larger the diameter of the fabric part of the umbrella, the more needles should be.

  5. Each of the spokes must be attached to the dome at several points. The more such connections, the stronger the design and more durable the product.

  6. Some umbrellas are equipped with the Antiwind system – a spring complex that ensures the integrity of the spokes even in case of strong gusts of wind and 'eversion' of the product. To return the umbrella to its normal state, it must be closed and reopened.

The material from which the umbrella dome is made

For the manufacture of the covering of the umbrella is often used:

  1. Nylon. Cheap and unreliable material. It wears out and frays quickly. It is easy to tear, it often sheds and even shrinks. If you place a damp nylon item next to other items, they may dye the color of the umbrella.

  2. Polyester. This material has good moisture-repellent characteristics, but after long-term use these properties noticeably decrease. In addition, it often frays and tears at the spoke attachment points. Polyester does not fade or shrink when wet.

  3. Polyester with Teflon. This material is more durable and stronger than nylon and regular polyester. It dries quickly, holds its shape well and retains its color.

  4. Satin is one of the most expensive and durable materials. Has a special water-repellent coating, thanks to which it protects well from rain. It is characterized by high strength, wear resistance and durability. In addition, satin retains its shape well and dries quickly.

  5. Pongee – has excellent moisture-repellent properties, dries instantly and does not wrinkle.

How to choose a quality umbrella – tips for choosing

When buying, pay attention to the tension of the fabric. There should be no folds, wrinkles or bubbles on it.

  1. The buttons of semi-automatic and automatic models should not sink, and the mechanism itself should not jam;

  2. Open your umbrella before buying. If the joints of the rod are loose, and the handle is poorly attached to the rod, you should not take the goods;

  3. The protruding ends of the needles in children's umbrellas must have protective caps;

  4. Make sure that the umbrella does not make any strange sounds when opening and closing;

  5. Do not buy items that have less than 8 spokes. They do not withstand gusts of wind and quickly deteriorate.

In the following articles, our experts will tell you how to choose the right pearls and the secrets of choosing a wedding ring.

Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.

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