Weatherman's Travel Umbrella Listed as Best Overall on WIRED
What makes a great umbrella?
NEW YORK, NY; April 14, 2022 –
How many times have you been out in the rain, mid-storm and had your umbrella completely fail you? You’re headed to work for a big meeting with your boss or you have the first in-person date with the person you’ve been chatting with for a month and you’ve put so much effort into making this day perfect. You have two options, be late or risk it with the $10 umbrella you bought on the corner. Both of those options have the potential to ruin your big day. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on umbrellas that quickly ended up in the trash can and then in the landfill. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find a great umbrella that I could rely upon, but never really dissected what features actually make an umbrella great. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
There is real value in having an umbrella you can count on to get you to your destination dry, hair in-tact. A good umbrella can be worth its weight in gold and can save you money in the long run. Measure twice, cut once. Purchase a great umbrella and only purchase it once.
The best umbrella is strong in the wind
There are a few things that matter in an umbrella, but the one that matters most is having an umbrella that won’t turn inside out. That’s why Weatherman is in business. They set out to make an umbrella that won’t break at the first strong wind and that won’t flip inside out. It took over three years, engineering and patience to build their first umbrella, they call it The Collapsible. It has a double, vented canopy to allow air to release from under the canopy. This helps it not flip inside out when the wind is howling. That’s a common thing where I live in the northeast, you’ve heard of the nor’easter. Not only does it rain, but the winds blow in excess of 50 miles per hour. It can be a nightmare just crossing the street when these storms move in. The ribs are reinforced, and the fabric is sewn a bit looser than other umbrellas, giving it a bit more freedom to move and flex in the wind, instead of just breaking. Overall, for me and for where I live, a great umbrella has to be strong in the wind.
A great umbrella has a comfortable handle
A lot of average umbrellas have handles that are supposedly made with places for your fingers to grip onto. But what if that’s not the size of your hand? It’s frustrating and uncomfortable to hold an umbrella that doesn’t feel good in your hand or feel like it’s not made for YOUR hand. Many are also made out of materials that either become sticky over time or begin to peel off when you’re using it. Sometimes they begin to fade over time or in the heat. Weatherman made all of their handles in a shape that is comfortable and still universal. They focused more on the size of the handle instead of forcing the shape onto the user. I think this works because the grip is made out of the same material that gyms use on the pull up bar, or weight machines. It provides a really sturdy grip. This makes the handle feel like a very secure extension of your hand and during the really strong storms, when the wind is challenging the umbrella, it gives you the sense that you can hang on just as well as the umbrella is in the wind.
A great umbrella has water-repellent fabric
In some really strong storms, the fabric of an umbrella can become saturated and really sloppy to close when you wrap the closing strap around the umbrella. Or the umbrella gets saturated with water while you’re using it and begins to drip through the canopy. Weatherman umbrellas are made from fabric that is water repellent. This allows you to just shake the umbrella when you get out of the rain and most of the water flies right off. This makes wrapping the umbrella a much less messy process and keeps you dry all the way till you put the umbrella away. I didn’t know this mattered in an umbrella till I used the Weatherman umbrella in a flooding storm. I finally appreciated that they had thought through such detail.
The best umbrella has great canopy coverage
Another thing I used to take for granted in an umbrella was the shape and size of the canopy. Some umbrellas are very flat versus arched. If the canopy is fairly flat and the wind is blowing with the rain, a lot of rain hits the top of your torso. One of the things that I grew to love about Weatherman was the deep canopy. When you’re walking in a windy rain storm, you can pull the canopy deep over your body, tucking yourself into the canopy. This has kept my backpack dry and most of my torso. This is really notable on their Stick umbrella. It’s got a canopy that can comfortably cover two people if needed. It’s also the one I use while walking my dogs. My dogs hate going out in the rain, and their stick umbrella even gives some protection to my dogs, which makes all of us much happier. Somehow, it still doesn’t feel too large.
A great umbrella has safety features
Not only does a great umbrella have strong wind resistance and a comfortable handle and water repellent fabric and an ample canopy, it also has some safety features. In a highly pedestrian urban area, rain can make for a very dangerous commute. People are focused on getting to their destination as dry and fast as possible and sometimes don’t look hard enough while crossing the street. Focus is sometimes harder as you’re dodging puddles and looking for the closest shelter instead of looking both ways. Making matters more dangerous, drivers have a much harder time seeing in the rain. Windshield wipers are distracting, cars stop more suddenly, and they have a harder time seeing pedestrians, especially at dusk or in the dark. Because of this, Weatherman put reflective piping around the entire rim of all their umbrellas. Their really cool logo is also reflective. There is still some danger in the rain and dark, but having a Weatherman Umbrella gives an extra layer of protection, past just the great protection from the rain.
The best umbrella for your lifestyle
In my search for the best umbrella, I’ve realized that not only are all umbrellas not created equally, but all umbrellas aren’t made for all occasions. Weatherman set out to make the best umbrella, but really they have 5 best umbrellas. Their Collapsible umbrella was their first umbrella and set the standard for what all their future umbrellas would have to live up to. As the name states, it collapses into a great size for a backpack, but is very strong and sturdy in the wind. It’s like the workhorse of their offerings. That said, it’s not an umbrella that you want to carry with you everyday as it’s strong and tough and also heavier than a daily use umbrella. It should be used for the aforementioned nor’easter of the really windy, rainy day. The Stick umbrella is the one I use if I’m wearing a suit. It’s very strong and sturdy, but doesn’t collapse, so it’s like a walking stick and looks professional but is also large enough that you’ll keep your suit as dry as possible in the storm. They have also dominated the golf market in just four years. They have received the Golf Digest Editors’ Choice Award for Best Golf Umbrella four years in a row. Their strong canopy in the golf umbrella is still their strongest feature, but they added in a couple very cool ideas for their golf umbrella. They’ve included a mesh pocket under the canopy that is a perfect spot to keep your scorecard dry or maybe your golf glove. They also added a silicone coating to one of the ribs so that your golf towel doesn’t slip off the rib if you like to hang your towel under your umbrella. Also, unique to their golf umbrella is UPF coating. A lot of people are growing more aware of sun damage and skin cancer, so their umbrella isn’t only great for a rainy day on the course, but also a sunny day. Their golf umbrella comes in two sizes, basically large and larger. A traditional golf umbrella is very big, and so having a slightly smaller option is really handy if you don’t want to have such a large umbrella in your golf bag.
Their most recent addition to their line-up is The Travel. The travel is a small umbrella but is still strong giving you confidence to get outside. It fits perfectly in a purse or small bag and is light enough to carry with you everyday. It was the final umbrella in their line-up. After having tried all of their umbrellas, I’ve decided to have a few Weatherman. I keep the Travel in my bag I carry with me daily. It’s light and easy to carry around without even noticing I have it. But it comes in so handy on those days where there is a surprise shower. But when there’s a big storm, I pull out the Collapsible or Stick, depending on what I’m wearing. Both of them can handle the strongest of storms and give great coverage. And every golf bag needs an umbrella. You might as well have the one that Golf Digest keeps naming Best Golf Umbrella for a reason.
A great umbrella with a lifetime warranty
Weatherman is so confident in their umbrellas that each one comes with a lifetime warranty. Their customer service is outstanding and they will work with their customers to make sure they’re happy and have the right umbrella or umbrellas for them.
All of this is why they’ve received so many accolades, including recently being declared Best Overall Umbrella by WIRED magazine. There is a reason that umbrellas have typically been an afterthought, but clearly that doesn’t have to be the case any longer. Weatherman umbrella aims to change that perception. Now you can trust in an umbrella and know you can make that very important date and show up looking good enough to seal the deal.
Here’s how WIRED said it.