Friday, August 30, 2013

Rio Brands - Sun Umbrella Review

I received products for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

We are not mondo outdoor enthusiasts but spend a fair share of time outdoors on weekends. Between family outings, drag racing, sports, and camping we are exposed to the sun a lot. I tend to get a tad bit grumpy if the heat is too much and the first thing I look for is shade.

Rio Brands, a company that specializes in beach and backyard furniture, sent me two Total Sun Block 7" Umbrellas for review which have given me a new source of shade from the sun.

The Total Sun Block Umbrella is lab tested to block 99.8% UVA and UVB rays. It's shape allows even more coverage than a traditional round umbrella. Each umbrella is 7" in diameter with tilt feature. An integrated anchor stabilizes umbrella in sand or grass, and vented canopy allows cool air flow.
Each umbrella comes with its own carrying case and the umbrella itself comes in two pieces. Assembly is rather easy and requires attaching the top half to the bottom half. The canopy of the umbrella is opened like any other umbrella, by opening it up and locking it in place.

I was fascinated with how the umbrella is set into the ground for stabilization. Rather than having to dig a hole or put it in a hole already set in place, there's a corkscrew handle that you twist until the bottom is screwed in place to the ground. I'm fond of how it's set up so that it doesn't require a lot of manhandling to attach the bottom half to the ground. Putting the two umbrellas together and setting them in place took minimal effort and time.

The canopies of each umbrella are grey and have wording telling of how well it blocks UVA and UVB rays. Although it is non-essential, I'd like to see the umbrella come in other patterns or colors.

Our first use of the umbrellas was at the drag strip one weekend. We set the umbrellas up side-by-side and used them as shade when we were between watching the races. They definitely provided shade and kept the sun from beating down on us. One of the umbrellas stood up straight while another tended to lean over. I'm not sure if it was the ground or the umbrella itself. It was not a windy day by any means but there were a couple of wind gusts that came through and two large canopies nearby were knocked over. My two umbrellas didn't waver and stayed in place.

The sun umbrellas from Rio Brands impressed me in how well they shaded and how they withstood the weather elements. We'll be taking them with us during most outdoor events in the future to protect us from harmful rays.