It’s always nice to have an umbrella on hand when it starts pouring, and it sucks when you discover that yours doesn’t work. You’ll find that not all umbrellas are created equal; some cheap ones might as well be called disposable.
Most often, their struts will break or jam while you’re opening or closing them, or a gust of wind will pop them completely inside-out. In either case, this leaves you looking like a demented person standing in the rain while fighting an octopus, which might not be the image you’re trying to project to the world.
Getting into this situation is nearly impossible with this Hi & Dry product. If someone wanted to design a high-performance umbrella, they could not do much better than this.
The fabric used is naturally water-repellent, making it more resistant to even heavy rain and letting it dry faster. The shaft and ribs are made of durable, resilient fiberglass instead of metal. Most interestingly, the canopy has a rainproof slot to let wind pass through the inside of the dome, making it possible to stay dry even in a gale. At 48-inches across, it’s also wide enough to share, which is something many people forget to look for when going umbrella-shopping.
The fiberglass shaft is also supposed not to attract lightning, which might be slightly more useful but is still a defense against a very, very minor risk (you’re more likely to die from being hit by a falling airplane in your own home than by being shocked to death by a cloud).
Although this is advertised as a product for golfers, trying to play 18 holes in a near-hurricane doesn’t seem anything like a fun way to spend an afternoon. A good weather monitor is probably a better investment for this purpose, as it will prevent you from starting a round in the first place.
So, while golfing and running around in thunderstorms aren’t uses we recommend for this high-tech parasol, it will still be well worth the money for some people. If your greatest exposure to the elements is jogging between your car and building entrances, you’re probably better off buying a couple of cheap umbrellas and keeping one wherever you might need it.
If, on the other hand, you like walking or you work outdoors much of the time, you can probably benefit from something that won’t fall apart or blow away. Unfortunately, this umbrella doesn’t collapse into something that will fit into a pocket or satchel, and at about $30 each it’s certainly not something you’d want to forget on a train.