Which UV umbrella is best?
Simple things can make our life not only better, but safer as well. The right UV umbrella, for instance, can offer protection from up to 98% of the sun’s damaging rays.
If you’re in the market for a UV umbrella, you’ll probably want something that also offers protection from the rain and is manufactured to withstand wind. LifeTek’s Windproof Travel Umbrella features a convenient push-button operation that allows you to open or close the umbrella at the touch of a button.
What to know before you buy a UV umbrella
Who needs a UV umbrella?
Unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays can damage the DNA in skin cells, which can result in premature aging as well as genetic defects and mutations. These rays can do the same thing to the eyes.
A UV umbrella is an umbrella specifically designed to keep the sun’s damaging rays from reaching your skin and eyes. Anyone who’s in the sun for prolonged periods of time can benefit from a UV protection umbrella. This includes golfers, sightseers, sports fans, beachgoers, gardeners, commuters, outdoor vendors, walkers, people with sun-related medical conditions and more. Whatever time of year, whether it’s overcast or cold, if you’ll be outside for prolonged periods of time, using a UV umbrella is a wise choice.
SPF vs. UPF
When you’re picking out sunscreen, you need to understand SPF ratings. SPF stands for sun protection factor and it’s based on how much time it takes the skin to redden when exposed to UV rays. If you typically burn in 10 minutes and you’re wearing properly applied sunscreen with an SPF of 15, it means, in general, it will take you 15 times longer to burn.
A UPF rating, on the other hand, applies to fabrics and denotes how much harmful radiation gets through. UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor. A UV beach umbrella with a UPF of 50 means only one-fiftieth of the sun’s harmful rays can get through. In other words, that umbrella will block up to 98% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.
What to look for in a quality UV umbrella
Level of protection
In order to qualify for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, a UV umbrella must have a minimum UPF of 30. A UV umbrella that offers a UPF of 30-49 is considered very good protection. A UV umbrella that offers a UPF of 50+ is considered excellent protection.
If you’re using your UV umbrella for commuting, you’ll want a smaller, travel-size model that’s easier to bring aboard public transportation. If you’ll be lounging on the beach all day, you need a UV beach umbrella that offers greater coverage.
If you want to use your UV umbrella in inclement weather, purchase a model that’s waterproof — believe it or not, not all UV umbrellas provide protection from the rain.
A UV umbrella that features vents or a double canopy is designed to allow gusts of air to pass through the umbrella without damaging it.
The handle might not seem important, but since it’s what you hold, its design is crucial to your comfort. A soft rubber grip is the most comfortable, but some individuals prefer a C-shaped handle because it can be placed around the wrist, allowing you to keep your hands free while still holding the umbrella. Alternatively, you can purchase a UV umbrella with a clamp so you can attach it to a chair or bleachers and not have to worry about holding it at all.
Ease of opening and closing
A UV umbrella that’s difficult to open or close can be frustrating. Look for a UV umbrella that opens and closes with minimal effort — a push-button design is best, but this might not be available on larger UV umbrellas.
How much you can expect to spend on a UV umbrella
It’s possible to purchase a travel-size UV umbrella for as little as $15. If you’d like a model that’s windproof, waterproof and features durable construction, a top model may cost $50 or more, though most people can find a quality UV umbrella for roughly $25-$35.
UV umbrella FAQ
Do I need to wear sunscreen when using a UV umbrella?
A. While a UV umbrella does a great job of protecting you from overhead radiation, it’s possible for the sun’s damaging rays to be reflected up from the ground or in from the sides. This means for best protection, sunscreen is still recommended when using a UV umbrella.
How much radiation is reflected by different surfaces?
A. While we commonly think of water and sand as reflecting a great deal of UV radiation, those surfaces only reflect roughly 5% and up to 15% of the sun’s UV radiation, respectively. Concrete may reflect as much as 11%, while seafoam is typically estimated at reflecting 25% of the sun’s radiation. The worst surface is snow, which is capable of reflecting over 90% of the sun’s harmful rays.
What’s the best UV umbrella to buy?
Top UV umbrella
What you need to know: It’s hard to beat the push-button opening and closing convenience of this automated travel umbrella.
What you’ll love: This double-vented canopy travel umbrella is built tough. It offers a UPF 50+ rating, which blocks up to 98% of the sun’s harmful rays. The automatic open and close feature on this umbrella makes it effortless to use.
What you should consider: This is a travel umbrella, so the coverage area is a little smaller than other models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top UV umbrella for the money
What you need to know: This cleverly designed reverse-folding umbrella is manufactured to keep the user dry when closing.
What you’ll love: Besides being affordable, this innovative umbrella has a number of user-friendly features such as a hands-free handle and a reverse-fold so water won’t drip down your arm when closing. It offers a UPF of 50+ and comes with a 1-year worry-free warranty.
What you should consider: When fully collapsed, this umbrella is still almost 32 inches long, which can be a little large for commuters.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: There’s a reason this model is called a Versa-Brella. It has five points of adjustability, making it one of the most versatile umbrellas on the market.
What you’ll love: This umbrella has a universal clamp that allows it to fit on either a round or square post up to 1.5 inches thick. It offers a UPF of 50+ and can be tilted, twirled or adjusted to any angle to provide shade. The pole is offset so the umbrella can more easily cover your legs while sitting down.
What you should consider: Because this model has five different places where it can bend or twist, it can be difficult to figure out the logistics needed to get the umbrella into the perfect position.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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