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Common Umbrella Blunders
How many times have you been caught in the rain and had no place to duck in out of a downpour? By the time you reach your destination, all you can think about is how you might still be dry if you had brought an umbrella. Worse still are those times when you do bring an umbrella and the wind is so strong it collapses your little piece of sanctuary and you get wet anyway. Although seemingly low-tech in this age of wireless this and that, the umbrella is still the most practical way of keeping dry when you simply must get somewhere—no matter the weather. Here are some common blunders to avoid when shopping for an umbrella.
When possible, you want to actually open your umbrella up before buying. One of the common blunders people make is buy an umbrella without looking at the stitching. With cheaper models, it is possible to see light coming through little pinholes because the material is cheaper. The stitching itself should be taut and held firmly against the ribs. Pinholes and loose stitching will lead to leaks every time. A quality umbrella should be impervious to water from above so it needs quality material and taut stitching.
An umbrella collapses in high wind situations due to cheap or poorly crafted ribs. Thin ribs made out of substandard metals will not stand up to the stresses of Mother Nature for very long. An umbrella that cannot handle winds of up to at least 35 mph is not worth having.
The ribs should be thick and slide smoothly along the shaft. Well-made ribs crafted from quality materials will glide up and down the shaft and then lock into place. The locking mechanism on a quality umbrella should also be thick, made from quality material, and have a high-tension spring able to withstand the stresses of high wind situations. To test the quality of the ribs, try hitting your hand against the ribs in order to stimulate the blunt forces caused by high wind gusts. If the umbrella collapses or even seems flimsy when striking it, move on to the next model.
Finally, an umbrella handle needs to be sturdy and made from quality materials as well. Umbrella handles made from plastic tend to crack and deteriorate quickly. While these will be cheaper, it is important to remember that an umbrella lies dormant in a closet for most of the year. Plastic handles tend to dry out because the petroleum in them evaporates quickly. Umbrella handles made from wood or hard rubber evaporate at a much slower rate and therefore last much longer.
Buying an umbrella isn’t a difficult thing and there are only a few points to keep in mind: Look for quality material; taut stitching; quality, well-made ribs that glide along shaft and won’t collapse if you hit them; and lastly, handles made from wood or hard rubber. Keeping these simple points in mind when buying your next umbrella may help ensure you stay dry for many years to come!