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Umbrellas: Your Best Friend When the Rain Won’t Go Away

Rain is that undeniable weather phenomenon you can’t avoid (unless you live in the desert). So, save yourself the misery of walking around in wet clothes (or a plastic poncho) and get yourself an umbrella. These rain-protecting, sun-shielding devices have been around for centuries, originally symbolizing wealth. Today, they’re everyday staples that help keep you dry when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Things to Consider When Buying an Umbrella

An umbrella may seem like a simple contraption, but there’s more than just colour and pattern to consider when shopping for the best one. Here are some things to consider when searching for your ideal umbrella.


From a light drizzle to a deluge of cats and dogs, there’s an umbrella for every type of rain shower. A traditional full-sized umbrella offers reprieve on stormier days and has more room for two – when you’re inclined to share. A collapsible or compact umbrella fits neatly into a handbag, backpack, or briefcase, so you can keep it on hand in case it rains.

Method of Opening

Some umbrellas open automatically at the press of a button. Others need to be opened manually. An automatic umbrella is quick and easy to open when you’ve got one hand full. A manual umbrella takes more effort to open but may be cheaper and more lightweight than its automatic cousin.


Don’t be that person caught in a storm with an inverted umbrella. Save yourself from suffering in a torrential downpour by choosing an umbrella with a durable domed canopy. A dual-layer canopy can stand up better to the wind, while venting will allow gusts to pass through the canopy rather than flip it.


If the rain won’t let off, you could be carrying an umbrella all day. So, look for one with a comfortable handle. A hook-shaped handle is convenient for hanging from your arm, but may make the umbrella more cumbersome if it’s made from heavier materials like wood. A non-slip material like rubber will help you get a good grip on the umbrella, while a wrist strap makes it convenient to carry when it’s not raining.


An umbrella’s frame can affect its durability, weight, and longevity. The material of the ribs – the pieces that support the canopy – is especially important to consider. Aluminum and fibreglass are two great options because they won’t rust when wet. Steel and iron, on the other hand, are more robust but more likely to rust.

Types of Umbrellas

Light rain? High wind? Fashion statement? There’s an umbrella for that. Here are some common types of umbrellas and their best uses.

Classic Umbrellas

The standard umbrella is not only a great companion in a downpour; it can also serve as a walking stick or prop for your next dance number.

Compact Umbrellas

A compact umbrella is a no-brainer when you’re on the go or travelling. Because it’s small, it’s easy to take with you to avoid getting caught in a drizzle.

Reversible Umbrellas

A more recent innovation, a reversible umbrella folds inside out to keep you dry when you close the umbrella. With a reversible umbrella, you’ll no longer have to hold a wet, sopping umbrella – because the water stays on the inside.

Golf Umbrellas

Designed to shield golfers and their carts, golf umbrellas are larger than standard ones. Though large, golf umbrellas are lightweight and wind-resistant, making them great for city dwellers, too.

Fashion Umbrellas

Ditch that boring black umbrella and make a statement with a fashion umbrella. Designed with style in mind, fashion umbrellas can be colourful or patterned to brighten any rainy day.

Doorman Umbrellas

Designed for attendants and doormen, doorman umbrellas have large canopies for covering others. Their curved handles make it easy for doormen to tilt the umbrella when they need to cover someone else.

Bubble Umbrellas

Often clear and deeply domed, bubble umbrellas are best suited for one. Their reinforced designs make them great for windy days.

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A brief history of umbrellas