Our customers asked us (FAQ)

What is the best travel umbrella for rain and wind?

By far the best portable umbrella for strong rain and wind is the automatic open/close collapsible umbrella. This umbrella is great for travel because it is small, compact and fits nicely in your bag. It also comes with a carrying pouch and a durable clip so you can hang it on your bag if it’s wet or if there’s already too many things in there! It’s super easy to use – just press the button to open it as soon as you feel that first raindrop, and press the button to close it when the sky is all clear. It is made with flexible fiberglass ribs which bend instead of breaking, so it can withstand stronger rainstorms and winds. If it does flip inside out, just press the button to close it and open it again – it will go back to its original shape. No need to battle it out with the flipped-out umbrella canopy while you stand there getting all wet!

Which umbrella should I buy? Which umbrella is the best?

To determine this you need to think about your lifestyle. If you are rarely caught in heavy rain, and are looking for something light to keep you dry while you get inside your building or car, you can go with the manual folding umbrella. It is small enough to fit nicely in your bag and very lightweight. If you are on the go, but want an umbrella with more strength and durability, that can withstand heavier winds, we suggest the automatic open/close folding umbrella. It’s easy to use and still very portable. If you take walks in the rain with your partner or child, walk your dog or commute by foot under heavy rain and strong wind, definitely go with the stick umbrella. It is very windproof, has a super large canopy and opens automatically. If you’re a car commuter and want to make sure you’re keeping your car (and yourself!) dry as you get in from the rain, try the super unique and handy reverse/inverted umbrella. It opens inside out and has a beautiful design on both sides of the canopy. Of course, the design you choose is totally up to you and your sense of style!

What is the difference between the manual and automatic folding umbrella?

Both umbrellas are collapsable and are great umbrellas for travel, but there are some differences. The manual open/close umbrella is more lightweight, and opens and closes by hand – you need to push the shaft open with an easy-to-use slider, and pull it closed. This umbrella is best for keeping in your bag in case of light rain. The automatic folding umbrella opens and closes with the push of a button. While a bit heavier, the handle is a bit bigger, which allows for a more comfortable grip. This umbrella model is sturdier for heavier rain, but is still small and portable so that you can bring it with you wherever you go. Both come with a carrying clip so you can attach it to your bag, as well as a gorgeous gift box!

I’m looking for a unique gift for my wife/girlfriend/mother/sister…which umbrella is best for her?

It really all depends on their personality, hobbies/interests, fashion sense and lifestyle. If you’re looking to find a gift for the special woman in your life that loves to travel, you can go with a portable umbrella model (an automatic open/close folding umbrella is a great choice) and choose one of the travel themed designs (e.g., “Paris”, “London”, “Venice”, etc.) depending on where she’s been or wants to go! If your lucky lady is a nature lover, and is often taking long walks outside in all kinds of weather, you may want to go with a sturdy stick umbrella. Take a look at the nature umbrella design collection and choose from some gorgeous floral umbrellas such as “Sunflowers” or “Vintage Roses”, or seasonal designs like “Winter” or “Spring Collage”. Keep in mind, the folding umbrellas come ready to gift in gorgeous, gold embellished boxes.

Is an inverted umbrella (reverse umbrella) better than a stick umbrella?

It really depends on your preference and lifestyle. The inverted umbrella is better for your car – if you drive to work or use your car often during the rain, the reverse umbrella is the better choice. The inverted umbrella will be easier to open and close when you’re getting in and out of your car, and it will keep you and your seat dry. Many people also prefer the reverse umbrella’s windproof technology over the stick umbrella. Although the large fiberglass ribs in the stick umbrella make it very durable, the inverted umbrella has a two-layer canopy and a wind vent underneath to let the air pass through without flipping your umbrella. The reverse umbrella is easier to store as well, as you can place it upside down on its ribs and it will stand on its own, while drying at the same time. The stick umbrella takes up some space when left open to dry because of its large canopy.

Do umbrellas block UV rays?

Regular umbrellas can block more than ¾ of ultraviolet (UV) light on sunny days. If you’re wondering what colour is best for sun protection, black umbrellas or umbrellas with really bright and vivid colours would be best for absorbing UV rays. White umbrellas or pastel coloured umbrellas would be less effective. Some umbrellas come with a UPF-rated (ultraviolet protection factor) fabric that is usually thicker than the regular umbrella canopy, and coated on either the top or bottom with a silver, black or coloured UV reflective coating. The black coating is the best at absorbing light and heat and not as likely to come off or crack as the silver coating. Overall, unless you are VERY sensitive to sunlight, you will likely be fine with a brightly coloured umbrella like ours. But of course, sunscreen is always a good idea!

Can umbrellas be fixed? How can you repair a broken umbrella?

We have all seen our fair share of broken umbrellas discarded on the street. Realistically, under strong winds and the many kinds of extreme weather we have, there are many ways that an umbrella can break. Often we throw it out before considering trying to fix the umbrella ourselves – which is definitely possible! There are many videos available if you search how to fix an umbrella on YouTube. If one of the umbrella stretchers came apart because of a broken rivet, you can use wire to reattach it. If there is a hole in the canopy, you can stitch it back up with a needle and thread. If the umbrella handle comes off, you can try to reattach it with some superglue. If there’s a problem with your La Bella Umbrella, remember you have a one year warranty and you can contact us if you have any issues!

How were umbrellas invented? Who invented the umbrella?

The first “umbrella” was used over 4,000 years ago, as a sun parasol in ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc. The Chinese were the first to waterproof their umbrellas by covering them with wax and lacquer to protect them from the rain. The word “umbrella” comes from “umbra” in Latin which means shade. In the 16th century, the umbrella became a popular accessory in the west, particularly in Europe, but was only acceptably used by women. When Englishman Jonas Hanway started carrying an umbrella in London in the 1700s, men began to carry one as well. The umbrella was actually called a “Hanway” for some time in the 1800s. Early umbrellas were made of wood or whalebone and covered in canvas. In 1852 Samuel Fox invented the umbrella with steel ribs and in 1928 Hans Haupt invented the pocket umbrella.

Why are most umbrellas black?

Most likely because black has always been considered a stylish “colour”, therefore black umbrellas were very popular back in the day. Originally, umbrellas were often made of black fabric because it was known to dry faster – since black absorbs more heat. Black umbrellas for men were more formal and appropriate for going out, and black umbrellas for women are like black dresses and black shoes – they match everything. However, the style is changing rapidly and more and more people are looking to replace their boring black umbrellas with unique and colourful umbrellas that fit their personal fashion sense and style. We know now that certain types of fabric (such as 310 thread-count pongee, used in La Bella Umbrellas) dry just as quickly, regardless of colour! So don’t be afraid to swap the black for some brightness on your rainy day.

Can you bring an umbrella on a plane?/Are umbrellas allowed in carry on?

According to the TSA, umbrellas are allowed in carry-on bags and checked luggage. You should definitely check your specific airline requirements if you want to know if you can bring a golf umbrella as a carry on. For Air Canada flights, umbrellas up to 92 cm (or 36 inches) in length are permitted and can be stowed in the overhead compartment. Luckily, La Bella Umbrella’s stick umbrellas are exactly 92 cm in length, so you can bring our umbrellas on your flight and be well-prepared for any rain during your trip!

Can I use an umbrella when there is lightning?

Generally it is not safe to use an umbrella during a thunderstorm if there is lightning close by. If carrying an umbrella makes you the tallest object in the area (i.e. you’re not in an area with trees) it makes it more likely that it will be hit by lightning and could injure you (since umbrellas are made of metal). Though our umbrellas are mostly made of fiberglass, there are still metal components. Better safe than sorry. Or in this case…better wet than electrocuted!