Umbrellas have been around for centuries; the idea of raising a collapsible canopy above the head to shield from rain or sun can be traced back to the first and second centuries in ancient China when emperors would proudly hold an umbrella above their head when performing ceremonial duties.
The word umbrella derives from the Latin word Umbra, meaning shade. Initially, it was designed to primarily protect from the sun. In more modern times it has evolved greatly into a wide variety of designs and sizes, mainly aimed at shielding the carrier from the rain.
The humble umbrella has now become a very necessary and practical item to own. If you’re planning to buy an umbrella, there are so many reasons why a large umbrella should be a consideration.
Canopy size is so important
The umbrella canopy, or the fabric covering the umbrella ribs, can be measured in one of two ways. A diameter measurement from one tip to the opposite tip, or alternatively with an arc measurement measuring along the curvature of the ribs up one side then down the other. As an example, the diameter can vary from below 70cm to over 130cm, therefore demonstrating what a wide range of sizes is available. When choosing an umbrella, if you’re looking for a large umbrella, we recommend choosing a canopy diameter of at least 100cm; in fact the closer you can get to 130cm the better!
Broadly, there are two styles of the umbrella, a compact folding umbrella and a larger stick-style umbrella. As the compact style umbrella needs to fold into a small space when not in use, the canopy size will be naturally more restricted when compared to a stick-style umbrella. Typically you can expect 30-40% more coverage when opting for a stick-style umbrella.
Coverage for two people or more
Another great advantage of choosing a large umbrella is that it can give protection to more than one person. One person can then have their hands free to carry bags, talk on their ‘phone, open doors etc. It is practical on so many levels and in numerous everyday scenarios such as walking a child to school, going for a romantic walk in the park etc.
A strong frame will serve you well
Another key benefit of owning a larger stick style umbrella is the strength of the umbrella frame itself. A smaller folding umbrella has many bends in its frame, each bend can be considered a weak point, more susceptible to breakages in a strong gust of wind. A stick-style umbrella, on the other hand, has a frame without those bends, each rib is a continuous piece of metal, plastic or fibreglass. As a result, the stick-style umbrella will be stronger and more capable of lasting you for years to come.
Tip – When considering which umbrella to go for, look closely at the material that makes up the frame. Stronger materials to look out for are fibreglass and stainless steel. By choosing these materials, your umbrella will last you longer when compared to more inferior materials.
Consider the arc
An important benefit of a large umbrella relates to the arc measurement we outlined earlier in this article. Larger umbrellas very often have a greater curve to their canopies and this means a greater depth to the protection provided by the umbrella. This can give important extra protection from the elements to not just the head but to the shoulder and potentially the body too.
Choose a comfortable handle
Another tip we have relates to the handle on large umbrellas. Quite simply, the handle on a stick-style umbrella is much more likely to be more comfortable, easier to hold and stronger. The umbrella handle will usually be larger which makes gripping the umbrella so much easier. Compare this to a compact folding umbrella, the handle needs to be small so it can be stowed away in a small space, however, this can be harder to grip and on some umbrellas actually uncomfortable to hold for any length of time! Stick-style umbrellas also often have a curved handle which looks very stylish and is very practical as it allows the brolly to be hooked over the arm when not in use.
Choosing the right umbrella for your needs can be quite a daunting task, mainly due to the fact that there’s such a huge variety to choose from! There are literally thousands of different models to choose from. We hope this article has helped you narrow your choice considerably. When deciding which umbrella to purchase, look carefully at the canopy diameter, give careful consideration to the materials used to construct the frame and don’t forget the umbrella handle too so it is both comfortable and stylish. Buying the perfect umbrella will now be a breeze!