Top positive review
Good Affordable Sun Umbrella
on October 20, 2015
Update: I've had the umbrella now for 2 years. And for two years I've carried it in my bag and it's been pretty abused with use and being tossed around. And it STILL WORKS. Seriously. This was a good buy. I'm really pleased.
I feel somewhat ridiculous using an umbrella to keep the sun off me while walking around or waiting for my train or bus. But since I don't wear hats, can't always remember to put on sunscreen and am outside a great deal due to my job and lack of a car, I have to find something in the middle. So the umbrella is my middle ground. I wasn't sure it was worth it, as there was only one scientific study done on the effectiveness of an umbrella or parasol to block UV rays and it was not extensive. But this particular umbrella was compact, reasonably well rated on Amazon and cheap enough I was willing to take the risk. If it was anything less than exactly as described, I would have just sent it back. But the whole purpose of this umbrella is to lessen the harshness of being in the sun (especially on a HOT day), protecting you from the UV and if it rains, keep you dry. And that's what this umbrella does. So hooray for that.
1) the umbrella canopy is fine, I feel like it's well stitched, fastened to the umbrella body well and though I did opt for a small umbrella that fits in my bag, it does keep me covered enough. It seems decently heavy enough material. The umbrella isn't very heavy.
2) The stem and plastic handle of the umbrella are a little wobbly together. And the handle can be a bit small and uncomfortable to hold for any length of time. Overall, it's not a huge issue but I don't expect this umbrella to last a year. To be fair, I wouldn't expect any $15 umbrella to last a year.
3) I find the button itself to open the umbrella to be a bit sticky. This is a minor issue for me, but might be a problem if you have weak hands or arthritis. But closing the umbrella is not difficult.
And yes, it can handle rain. But I wouldn't take it out for anything more than a drizzle or light rain. It's not that large and I don't think it could handle any serious winds (I'd go with a gustbuster or something of equal reputation for real weather).
Overall, I feel like this is a good summer/spring sunny day umbrella and my money was well spent. But I admit freely that when this one breaks, if I find an equally well rated sun umbrella for more money, I'll buy that first and hope it's sturdier. But overall, this wasn't a bad choice either.