Umbrella Guide : Don’t Get the Wrong Umbrella

Learning how to buy an umbrella involves more than just picking out the first one that catches your eye in the store. The design, style, size and your intended use of the umbrella are all important considerations when deciding which umbrella to buy. Different weather situations require different types of umbrellas, so knowing your own personal preferences and identifying what types of activities you're apt to use an umbrella for will help you narrow down your choices.

>> Which umbrella is right for you?

Umbrellas are not just used to shelter us from rain. They also offer effective protection from the sun. Umbrellas can be used on the beach, at the campground, in your back yard or while watching an outdoor sporting event. The size, shape and material used to make the umbrella all help to determine what type of protection it will offer. The best umbrella to buy is the one that fits your outdoor needs, your personal style and your budget. A sun umbrella is made of SPF material and is designed to protect you from the sun's rays while you enjoy outdoor activities. Durability is another important consideration when selecting your new umbrella. You want to choose one that will stand up to your anticipated weather conditions and one that will perform well, even after repeated use. Materials often used when making an umbrella include mildew-resistant, ultraviolet-reflecting and rip-resistant fabrics. The construction of the handle should also be considered when learning how to buy an umbrell a. It should be easy to hold and feel comfortable in your hand. A double canopy rain umbrella is made with overlapping slits of fabric to allow wind to flow through the slits and help keep your umbrella open in high winds.

>> How do you intend to use your umbrella?
Some umbrellas come with a stand that holds them up and allows you to position them over a chair or table for hands-free sun or rain protection. Commonly known as offset umbrellas, these stand-alone umbrellas offer attractive, functional sun and rain protection for your patio table or other outdoor social configuration. Combining several offset umbrellas next to one another will give you a large shaded area with room to move around freely. If storage space is a concern, you will want to take a look at the dimensions of your umbrella when folded.

When it comes to knowing how to buy an umbrella for everyday use, consider a small rain umbrella that fits in your purse, glovebox or briefcase. Choosing an umbrella that is made with vents increases the chances that it will stay upright even in windy conditions. If you walk to work or school, it's important to consider an umbrella that has a storage sleeve that protects other items you may carry with you from any moisture your umbrella may have encountered. For beach lovers, special beach style umbrellas make sun and surf days cool and relaxing. Beach umbrellas are designed with a handle that can easily be placed in the sand to stand up tall. Another style of beach umbrella offers a side-resting handle feature.

>> Choosing an umbrella that meets your style

Your own personal style is important when it comes to deciding how to buy an umbrella. The possibilities are endless -from solid colored fabrics, to multi-colored creations, to graphic designed styles. You can even choose an umbrella that features your favorite sports team logo. Choose a color or pattern that matches your briefcase or works with any type of clothing. Umbrellas made for kids are smaller in size for little hands to grip comfortably. Some even feature cartoon characters or cute animal prints. When deciding how to buy an umbrella you should consider the shape of the umbrella. For patio umbrellas, the most common shapes are the pyramidal and dome top. When choosing which umbrella to buy for your patio you need to consider its weight. A patio umbrellas should weigh enough so it is protected from the wind, but still maintain a lightness to allow for easy transport from one location to another. The color of your patio umbrella should complement the rest of your patio furnitu re or your overall outdoor color scheme. A wind-resistant umbrella is recommended if you live in a high wind area or if you plan to leave the patio umbrella up all year long.

>> Consider the size of your umbrella

Umbrellas are measured from the bottom of the handle to the top tip. When you shop for umbrellas you need to determine what you will be covering and what umbrella size will best cover that area. The following chart can be used to compare umbrellas based on type, diameter and the material used in the construction of each.

Types of Umbrellas Diameter Material Patio 5-9 feet Weather-resistant fabric Rain 46-48 inches Polyester fabric Beach 7-9 feet Sun-smart fabric With a little research, you're sure to find an umbrella that works with your needs and will provided lasting weather protection for you and your family.

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