Off Topic: What’s The Best Umbrella You’ve Ever Had?

Off Topic: What’s The Best Umbrella You’ve Ever Had?

As is becoming seemingly customary, the holiday period is being marked today with a spell of rain in Sydney’s metropolitan areas. It couldn’t have come at a better time for the West Indies (that’s a cricket thing) and I’m enjoying the fresh air and the sound of water falling on balconies and roofs. It’s pleasant when you’re drifting off to sleep.

However, walking in the rain is another matter entirely. So this week’s off topic question: what’s the most durable umbrella you’ve ever owned?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

I got mine for a birthday last year from my Mum and, initially, I sort of wrote it off as just a bit of a fancy umbrella. It was a pair of black, bendy umbrellas from Blunt, a company that I’ve since discovered specialises in making fully tensioned umbrellas for silly conditions.

I’d hesitate to say it was the world’s best umbrella, like the website advertises, but the classic model served me well throughout all of 2015. It didn’t break, withstood most of the ridiculous winds that Sydney endured without inverting (like trashy umbrellas often do) and has this nice rubbery texture that meant it wasn’t creating puddles when I brought it into the office.

What’s the best umbrella you’ve ever owned? How long did you have it for (or have had) and how much did it cost?


  • Mine is permanently bent from cradling it against my neck while playing ingress near the waterfront in stormy weather.

  • Poncho from the army.. cost the taxpayers a couple of dollars tops. Was used for many things other than keeping the rain off (which, ironically, it didnt perform too well doing) but did brilliantly as a water catchment device for drinking water when suspended from a couple of trees.

  • i have one where the handle looks like the hilt of a samurai sword, so I get the occasional ‘wow where’d you get that from??’ it’s also lasted me for 2 years and a bit now, which far exceeds the average lifespan of an umbrella. on that fact, it’s the best umbrella i’ve ever had.

    • I’ve got the same umbrella. Worked in the same building as the AFP and never got so much as a sideways glance from them. The handle eventually broke, so I had to buy another one, but it lasted a few years and the canopy is huge. Great umbrella imo.

  • I’m still sporting the one I had in late highschool, I’m pretty sure. So it’s over a decade old by now. A little bit worn, there’s a few holes at the points where the spokes have hinges, but it doesn’t seem to be much of a problem. Small form factor, Rainbird model that collapses when you press the button again while it’s open which I always loved, don’t need to have two hands free to close it up. Could probably do with a bit of a wider one though, especially when walking around with a backpack. But it’s small enough to just constantly keep in my backpack (I think that pocket’s supposed to be for a drink bottle? Psh.) so I’m always prepared. Came in very handy recently for escorting someone from a taxi through a surprise bout of rain, so it’s done pretty well by me 😛

  • My employer gave out a bunch of corporate-branded umbrellas last year. They’re a good size without being ridiculous (I hate it when people use bloody golf umbrellas on a crowded city street) with a good grip and stem, and the canopy is the vented windproof kind. I’ve only had to use it once or twice, but it’s pretty darn good. The last company umbrella I got was when I worked at a finance company back in 2007 and the stem was made of a stupidly flimsy wood that snapped like a twig in the slightest breeze. Total waste of money on their part.

  • Jacket with a hood. I’m at just the right hight to be eye level with all the spokes that stick out of everyone’s umbrella. I fear them.

  • People in Sydney go insane whenever there is a little bit of rain. Makes my walk to work a bit of a spectacle 😛 Put your umbrella down if you’re walking under cover!

    A raincoat and waterproof boots is the best way to avoid the crazy umbrella people.

    • Little bit? Yesterday afternoon I could barely see the road with my wipers on max, that wasn’t a little bit!

    • Seriously, how hard is it to put your umbrella down when you’re under cover? It’s not like they’re 18th century parasols that require both hands to put back up – it’s one button, conveniently placed. I mean, if you’re going to poke my eye out with the edge of an umbrella because you want to stay dry, at least let it be in the pursuit of actually sheltering you from more than the roof over your head.

  • I can’t deal with this right now. I’ve just started playing The Witcher 3, long enough to start walking and breathing and thinking like Geralt. Geralt of Rivia would never use an umbrella. If he did though, Queensland Opera made a fantastic large corperate umbrella in 2013. Kept a small family dry. But Geralt would probably use it as a bath.

  • I don’t know what kind of umbrella it was, do they have like… recognizable brands or something? It was an umbrella. It was navy blue, it was short enough to fit in my backpack, but large enough to cover my upper body. It was tough and lasted for years of abuse. There were many like it but this one was mine.

  • I tend to just brave it in the weather. When I was working in the CBD I had a few close encounters of people nearly poking me in the eye with their bloody umbrellas so I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I could do that to someone else. They seemed to have taken that into consideration with the design of these blunt umbrella’s, I’ll definitely have to keep them in mind, thanks.

  • Titleist Double Canopy. Ergonomic grip, lightweight graphite construction and dual canopies to ensure the wind never blows it inside out.
    I threw it into the lake after shanking my ball into there moments before.

  • My wife got excited a couple weeks ago and bought the Star Wars Oroton umbrella. Looked really cool til I discovered how much that umbrella cost…

  • Umbrellas should be banned, i’m forever being stabbed in the face and eyes whilst waiting to cross intersections. Yes i’m tall and mark my words, ill be suing the person who permanently blinds me with an umbrella, its on a matter of time. *furious fist shaking*

  • Never really bothered with making an effort to get a good brolly – I have a few in various states of repair, they do their job. I was tempted by the Senz range of asymmetric ones (even if their actual purpose is to stay upright in heavy wind, not focus coverage where it’s actually required), given I’m forever ducking and dodging the low-hanging canopies of people sheltering the empty pavement to their right, but can’t really justify the cost.

  • A cheap (five dollars) cane style umbrella I got from one of the asain supermarkets in sydney. Lasted me much longer than some pocket folding umbrellas that cost a whole lot more.

  • Have my Totes Titan. Got it for about $20 delivered from Amazon.

    Light and compact, so it isn’t a burden to carry around on those days where it looks like rain, but doesn’t rain at all because you brought your umbrella with you.

    Canopy also collapses down when the button is pressed, so makes it even easier to be considerate to other humans.

  • Counterpoint: during Uni I got off a bus during a downpour and clicked the release on my 2$ brolly. The canopy snapped open but the shaft came apart and the top half launched into the air, soared off into the gloomy distance leaving me soaked holding the handle. Best brolly ever.

  • Windjammer by Shedrain. Owned one for years until I left it in a cab about four months ago. Paid $55 to order another one today. It’s 60″ diameter.

    I had it out in the major storms we had in Newcastle in April-ish, and it withstood them with no problem. No inside-out in the wind (it has a vent thing to prevent it), no bent arms (they’re flexible fibreglass). I just wish I hadn’t left it in that damn taxi.

  • Bunnings one I bought recently. Cheap, larger than average without being unwieldy, sturdy with stiff construction. I rate them pretty highly.

    • This. I swear by the bunnings umbrellas 🙂 Had mine a couple of years now, and still going strong

  • Does a car count? Because I’m going to say my car lol.
    I’m terrible with umbrellas, I lose them constantly.

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