The For-Keeps Guide to UmbrellasBuying an umbrella is not something that should need to be undertaken often. However, with the prevalence of poorly made mass-market editions, you may find yourself frustrated with the inability of your umbrella to withstand rain or wind. You may be equally frustrated with the lack of an answer to the question: “What makes a quality umbrella?”
This For-Keeps guide aims to resolve those frustrations and provide you with the information necessary to make an informed decision on upgrading your umbrella.
Factors to consider
Size matters. What a smaller umbrella lacks in canopy coverage, it makes up for in portability, and vice versa with full-length umbrellas. Decide what you are planning on using your umbrella for. A compact umbrella (small and collapsible) suits business travellers and those who prefer to keep accessories hidden. A stick umbrella (long, non-foldable) is more traditional and can provide more comfort to the user in the rain.
Whichever umbrella you choose, make sure to look for a canopy width between 88 cm - 100 cm to guarantee a dry stroll and optimum wind protection. Additionally, oversized umbrellas can cover up to 150 cm, making them perfect for you and a fellow traveller. Ultimately, it is a matter of preference, and For-Keeps strives to provide you with a wide variety of suitable options.
Some umbrellas have ultra-lightweight frames, while others are more substantial. How the umbrella simply feels in your hand may influence your decision. Consider how evenly the weight of the umbrella is distributed when carrying it. Think about how far you will be travelling with your umbrella, and how you would like to carry your umbrella with you.
Compact umbrellas often weigh between 170g - 360g, while stick umbrellas range from 450g - 650g. If you are planning on using your umbrella occasionally, a stick umbrella may very well suit your preferences. If you are planning on carrying your umbrella with you every day, a light, compact umbrella would be more comfortable.
Flimsy aluminium frames that turn inside-out with a strong gust of wind may be cheaper in the short-term but will only ensure long-term misery as you repeatedly replace your defunct umbrella. Invest in a quality umbrella that will last. To ensure that your umbrella is durable, make sure to check that the fabric canopy has reinforced seams to prevent an all-too-familiar drip. Keep in mind that some umbrellas, such as a travel umbrella, are not designed for continuous use.
Look for a super-strong steel or fibreglass frame, and make sure there is a quality guarantee on the item before making a purchase. The standard guarantee for umbrellas is about 24 months, while higher-quality ones are now offering up to a 5 year guarantee! For-Keeps carries Doppler ‘Carbonsteel’ umbrellas that are proven to last.
4) Ease of Use
The last thing you need on a wet day is to struggle with opening your umbrella as the rain hammers down. When buying an umbrella, look for push-button ease. There are several options you can consider for your umbrella: manual, automatic opening or automatic opening and closing. Pick an umbrella with a well-designed lock and release mechanism to ensure you can be quickly protected in a downpour when time is of the essence.
For-Keeps has many different varieties of umbrella for the discerning customer. We stock umbrellas in timeless, understated colours for a classic look, as well as patterned umbrellas that will set you apart from the crowd. For-Keeps also offers printed umbrellas that can be used to finish off your signature look. It is ultimately a matter of personal taste and style; whatever your preferences, For Keeps has an umbrella that is suitable for your needs.
With this guide in mind, we invite you to view our selection of umbrellas on the For-Keeps website: www.for-keeps.co.uk.