When choosing an umbrella, most people consider how the umbrella looks, what color it is, and whether the handle is long or short.
However, it’s also important to think about what size the canopy is and what type of weather you’ll be using the umbrella in.
These factors can help you pick an umbrella that suits your needs and is the correct size.
How big is a standard rain umbrella?
Rain umbrellas are available in several sizes. Most have a canopy diameter of between 33 and 52 inches, and the average diameter is about 40 inches.
Umbrellas with a diameter of over 40 inches are often referred to as golf umbrellas, although, like other rain umbrellas, they can be used for either sunny or rainy weather.
Most umbrellas are around 36 to 37 inches from the top of the canopy to the bottom of the handle.
The G4Free golf umbrella is an oversized umbrella available in 54-68 inches.
How big are kids’ umbrellas?
Like adult-sized umbrellas, children’s umbrellas vary in size depending on the umbrella brand and construction. Most kids’ umbrellas, however, have a diameter of 23 to 28 inches.
The length of a children’s umbrella is usually around 25 to 28 inches from top to bottom.
The Totes Kids’ Bubble Umbrella has a diameter of 26 inches.
Types of Rain Umbrellas
There are two main types of rain umbrellas, and they’re called compact and non-compact umbrellas.
Non-compact umbrellas are the more traditional type, and for many years, they were the only type of rain umbrella available.
These umbrellas have a long handle and central pole, and when the umbrella is collapsed, it flattens against the pole to create a long, slim shape.
Compact umbrellas have a telescoping handle and center pole. When they’re closed, the handle can be collapsed and the canopy folds up more than on a non-compact umbrella.
Both compact and non-compact umbrellas have pros and cons. Compact umbrellas take up much less space, so it’s easy to slip them into a glove box, purse, backpack, or briefcase.
They also tend to weigh less, which makes them a great choice for traveling. However, because they have more working parts, compact umbrellas aren’t as durable as non-compact umbrellas.
Non-compact umbrellas also usually have hook-shaped handles, which makes it easy to hold onto or hang the umbrella.
Non-compact umbrellas can also be folded up and used as an accessory, like a stylish walking cane.
The LANBRELLA Compact Umbrella measures 46 inches in diameter and is only 12.6 inches long when folded.
Diameter vs. Depth
Rain umbrellas are meant to keep water from dripping onto you, and a wide canopy ensures you have plenty of room to move without getting hit by rain.
When people think about rain umbrellas, they often assume that a larger canopy diameter is the most important factor.
However, many rain umbrellas have relatively small canopy diameters but a large depth or arc.
A smaller diameter and greater depth create a more bell-like shape instead of the flattish mushroom shape that many umbrellas have.
If you plan to use your umbrella solely for rain, a shape that’s somewhere between the traditional umbrella shape and a bell shape might be a good choice for you.
Bell-shaped umbrellas are also often a better option if your area experiences frequent wind that pushes rain sideways, as the bell offers more protection from the sides.
If you plan to use your umbrella like a parasol to shield yourself from the sun, however, you might want to opt for a more traditional, less confining shape.
If you need to carry a backpack or any other items frequently, if you’re a larger person, or if you plan to frequently share the umbrella, a more traditional shape is also a better idea.
When purchasing an umbrella, it’s also important to read the dimensions carefully and ensure that you’re reading the size for the diameter of the umbrella.
Many companies list the outside measurement of the canopy itself, but because the canopy curves, this can be misleading.
When picking an umbrella, it’s important to think about how often you’ll use the umbrella and what type of weather your area experiences.
If rain and wind are frequent and harsh, for example, you might want to choose a sturdier non-compact model.
Because these umbrellas have rigid central poles, they aren’t as easily moved around by the wind.
If you think you’ll need to use the umbrella for sleet, a non-compact model is also a good choice, as there are fewer bendable parts in the spokes of the umbrella canopy, so the canopy is more likely to stay upright even if heavy sleet falls on it.
If you plan to use the umbrella infrequently or for light rain or drizzle, on the other hand, a compact model often works well.
Choosing the Right Size
There is no exact science or measurement system for choosing an umbrella. Instead, it’s important to simply pick an umbrella with a diameter large enough to cover your entire body.
It’s usually best to try to choose an umbrella that has a diameter that’s several inches larger than the diameter of your body so that if you move the umbrella, you won’t be exposing yourself to the rain.
You’ll also want to consider any object you might be carrying.
For example, when choosing a kids’ umbrella, think about whether the child will be carrying a backpack, and pick an umbrella with a diameter large enough to cover the backpack, too.