A beach umbrella is a large umbrella designed for use on the beach to provide much needed shade from the sun. Typically a beach umbrella will be six to nine feet in diameter (two to three meters) and is collapsible for easy transportation in a car trunk or beach bag. If you intend on spending any decent amount of time out in the sun, beach umbrellas are essential to protect you from the sun’s harsh UV rays and reduce the chances of a dangerous sunburn.
Beach umbrellas come in many different shapes, sizes, and patterns. Some are more flamboyantly colored, with fun shapes or unique patterns, and some are more minimalistic, with a more plain appearance reminiscent of picnic table umbrellas. There are beach umbrellas for kids also, which typically have graphics of popular movie or television characters. Some bigger umbrellas are designed to be able to fold into a small beach cabana, which should afford plenty of privacy if you need to change clothing.
In terms of material, a beach umbrella will typically come in some form of tough fabric like canvas, vinyl, synthetic thatch, or thick polyester. The latest beach umbrellas will sometimes offer a sun protection rating (SPF) and are designed to more efficiently protect one from the sun’s damaging rays. The umbrella will also include a heavy base that can be attached to a robust rust-resistant fiberglass or metal rod. Occasionally, a beach umbrella can be inclined, offering more protection against the wind and sun. Smaller beach umbrellas can even be fastened right on to your chair.
If you are looking to purchase a beach umbrella, some useful accessories you might also want to buy are blankets, lightweight beach chairs, and a beach cart to hold everything together. Beach carts can also be used to carry a cooler and any other beach toys or equipment you want to bring. Even with a beach umbrella, you should always apply sunscreen to all areas of your body regularly. This is especially pertinent if you or your children have entered water or are sweating a lot. Even with the best beach umbrellas, you do not want to risk prolonged exposure the sun.
Despite the name, beach umbrellas have more uses than just at the beach. These large umbrellas provide excellent shade for a tailgating party or outdoor picnics. If you are at an outdoor concert or other such outdoor event, a beach umbrella would be an excellent piece of equipment to have so that you can sit on the grass and relax knowing that you are protected.
Beach umbrellas are very affordable, but the pricing will ultimately depend on the size. They can range from as little as $20 USD to $75 (and even more depending on brand and additional amenities). They can be purchased from most large discount stores or sporting goods in the summer and spring months, or online year round.
Confused on what to buy? Don’t worry, we’ve written a comprehensive review here that should help you with your decision.