For rain and sun protection, an umbrella is the best and most commonly used tool. Today, umbrellas come in a vast array of sizes, shapes, and styles, and among them are the compact umbrellas, bubble umbrellas, larger stick-style umbrellas etc. When looking at bubble umbrellas vs regular umbrellas, which protects better?
When it comes to purchasing an umbrella, there are so many features and styles to choose from. The first thing to think about is the general weather condition. The other features come next.
Bubble Umbrellas vs Regular Umbrellas
Whether you’re looking for a bubble umbrella or a regular umbrella, the important thing is that the umbrella provides you with the best protection and is durable to withstand the weather and other elements.
The Regular Umbrella
A regular umbrella was once the only type used by people. Clear bubble umbrellas came along later. Regular umbrellas comes in compact and non-compact options.
A stick-style umbrella can take many forms, such as a golf umbrella or a walking umbrella. It has a long shaft often between 80cm and 110cm long. The shaft is usually made of metal or fiberglass. The shaft does not collapse or fold, therefore the umbrella must be carried and cannot be stored in a bag such as a handbag or rucksack.
Further, stick-style umbrellas usually have larger canopies, often with a diameter of over 110cm. This is achieved due to the “flatter” nature of the canopy and thus means it can easily cover 2 or even 3 people.
In fact, the ribs of the frame do not have as many hinges because the canopy doesn’t need to fold down to fit into a bag. This feature makes the stick-style umbrellas more durable.
- The Compact Umbrella
The great point about a compact umbrella is it is smaller and thus more portable. When closed, a compact umbrella is usually between 20cm and 35cm. This is achieved by very clever engineering that allows the frame to fold into 2, 3 or sometimes 4 parts. Naturally, this does mean that the umbrella is built with more moving parts including a telescopic shaft. It is more convenient when traveling because it can fit inside a bag or suitcase. Also, the compact nature of the umbrella usually means the canopy size will be smaller, perhaps with a diameter of around 90cm to 100cm so is most suitable for 1 person.
However, the compact umbrella tends to be less durable due to the increased number of moving parts. The repeated closing and extending of these parts weaken the hinges and increases the tendency to get damaged.
The Bubble Umbrella
You’ve probably heard about and seen people using this fun type of umbrella. It’s distinctive feature is the clear, usually plastic canopy. The canopy can be completely clear or have a pattern printed on it. The canopy covers more than just the head compared to regular umbrellas, it covers the head and shoulders due to the increased curvature of the ribs.
A brilliant advantage of a bubble umbrella is that it withstands strong wind. With its bubble-like design, the ribs have an increased curve and this makes canopy inversion almost impossible.
Due to the transparent nature of the bubble umbrella, a massive benefit is that you can see through the canopy when walking. This contrasts with a regular umbrella where you can’t see where you’re going when you hold it too low and by contrast it doesn’t give much protection when you hold it too high, the bubble umbrella allows you to see everything while keeping you protected against the rain.
Factors to Look For
Now that we have looked into the key features of each type of umbrella, which one best matches your needs and preferences? In order to help you decide between bubble umbrella vs regular umbrella, here are the factors that you should take into consideration when purchasing:
Do you live in a warmer climate? Most likely, you need an umbrella that will protect you against the sun and rain. For protection from the sun, a regular (compact or stick-style) umbrella should be seriously considered as it gives more protection. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, a nylon or polyester canopy will block more of the sun’s rays when compared to a clear canopy. Secondly, they will have a larger canopy diameter meaning more shade from the sun. Some models even come with UV protection, so do look out for that too if protection from the sun is important.
The portability of an umbrella is an important factor when deciding which one is better. A compact umbrella, usually under 35cm when closed, can be easily stored in a bag. It can be forgotten in the knowledge that it is always available should you get caught out by an unexpected rain shower. Bubble umbrella are usually stick-style umbrellas so cannot be easily stored in a bag (unless the bag is very big), so it can be considered a less portable umbrella. It is invariably carried in the hand, stored in your car trunk etc.
The umbrella should be reliable enough to protect you against the sun and rain. Hence, it should be durable so it can last you season after season.
A stick-style umbrella will usually be stronger as it has fewer fulcrum points in the frame, put simply there are fewer folds required as it doesn’t need to fold down to fit in a bag. Therefore when comparing a bubble umbrella to a regular stick-style golf umbrella, there are very few differences, both will be strong and durable. However when comparing a bubble umbrella to a compact folding umbrella, the bubble umbrella has an advantage as there are fewer folds and it can reasonably be expected to last longer than it’s smaller rival. Always try to go for a fiberglass frame, they are super-strong and durable.
The three major factors when making a purchase decision for umbrella are the weather conditions you are going to encounter, portability, and durability. A regular umbrella is a trusted, conventional type of the umbrella that can offer portability and durability depending if you opt for a compact or larger stick-style. However, if you are looking for a brolly that is a little different, one that has durability and excellent visibility, the bubble umbrella is a superb choice.
See below for our Top Pick clear umbrellas: