Thursday 14 March 2013

Today's Review: Umbrellas

Umbrellas are a good invention. For years, people just had to get wet when it rained, until someone figured out a way to easily suspend a sheet over their head. So today we have the umbrella, the ultimate go to for avoiding getting soaked in a downpour. But I don't really buy it.

I haven't used an umbrella in a long while. I much prefer hats, because even though they can get saturated pretty quickly, at least I have both my hands free. You see, I like to hold things when I'm walking, and I don't like holding umbrellas. A hat will keep you dry without any of that fuss, hell, even a hat with an umbrella on would work.

Another thing is that they aren't totally guaranteed to keep you dry. The thing about umbrellas is the water trickles down to the little metal points and then drips off the end. If you're holding it in the wrong place, or there's a slight wind, that big drop may well land in your face. Speaking of wind, when it gets strong, which it often does when it's raining, that umbrella of yours is at risk of turning inside out, an act that can leave it permanently paralysed due to broken spokes, and destined for the bin. I have lost a few umbrellas this way, but certainly no hats.

I get that umbrellas are a good idea, and they're perfect for a lot of people. But I've seen too many things go wrong with them, so umbrellas are not for me.

My rating: 2/5


  1. Hat + big coat (HBC) vs. Umbrella -
    Dryness: Notwithstanding blow-under, an umbrella keeps you relatively dry from the waist up. HBC keeps you dry from the upper thigh up, minus the lower face.
    Freedom: HBC gives you 2 arms, umbrella gives you 1 at best.
    Reliability: Your hat might fly away, vs your umbrella will eventually turn inside out and become as useful as tits on a bull.
    Convenience: Entering a building with an umbrella is always more awkward, and you have to find a place to put your umbrella or else put it away wet. HBC can be left on or simply hung on a peg. The situation is worse if entering a car.
    Added protection: HBC offers excellent wind protection, umbrella offers none. If there is a sudden outburst of scorching hot sun, we have finally found a situation where the umbrella has an edge.

    Humiliating for team umbrella.

    1. I'm a trilby man, and I've got a big cashmere blend coat I got from a charity shop. I wouldn't want anything else in a storm.