Balios Double Canopy Review
Cons: Heavier, bigger for a compact umbrella
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Balios is a nice looking umbrella with solid construction and a low price.
The Balios is one of the better collapsible umbrellas for its performance in the rain. This model has a relatively large and adequately deep canopy to allow you to nestle inside and have decent coverage.
In our walking Rain Test, raindrops hit us on the forearm and at the knee—very effective raindrop deflection! The 39-inch diameter canopy has a depth of 9 inches, quite large for a collapsible model.
Ease of Transport
The Balios is not a lightweight compact umbrella. It is on the heavier and slightly bigger side of the collapsible models we tested. However, the sturdy design and classy look are well worth the cost in size and weight, we think—we prefer products that hold up well with time and use, and better yet, those that look good while doing it!
All that said, this umbrella is still relatively easy to travel with due to the collapsible design. It also comes with a handy zippered sleeve that is easy to slide the umbrella into — it gets even more svelte when you zip the sleeve closed.
The wooden handle on the Balios makes it very pleasant to hold in the hand as well, improving our experience when toting it around. We found that this smooth feel made us more likely to reach for the Balios when we wanted a compact umbrella for the day. In this way "Ease of Transport" meant that we favored the product due to an agreeable set of features which, altogether, made it enjoyable to take this umbrella with us on a variety of urban adventures.
The Balios has a solid feel—and the high-quality materials and manufacturing back up that feeling. The wooden handle is classy and durable. It has an auto open and auto close button that is easy to push and functions reliably.
The shaft is solid steel, a great material for a telescoping shaft. The ribs are mostly fiberglass, but the stretchers and the inner segment of the ribs are steel, which is actually not our favorite use of steel. We would prefer a more flexibly strong material here, such as fiberglass or carbon fiber. If the steel stretchers do get damaged, it is often irreversible as the metal itself can bend and snap.
In our Wind Test, this umbrella performed relatively well. It wasn't particularly strong in the wind—at just 15-20 mph, it inverted easily when it caught the wind under the canopy, and buckled when we braced it into the wind. It did, however, revert easily and without any signs of damage. Roughly 2/3 of the ribs are made of fiberglass, with the rest steel, and this appeared to be adequate to resist damage to the metal parts. The double/split canopy design seemed to help diffuse some of the energy of the wind as well, helping to avoid damage to the umbrella.
Of the collapsible umbrellas, this was among the best for Durability. For a truly burly umbrella, check out the fixed-length shaft trekking umbrellas.
Ease of Use
The Balios is a compact, collapsible umbrella. The telescoping design makes it easy to pack and carry with you without being cumbersome or requiring that you make it a fashion statement like a larger crook handle umbrella.
We particularly liked the auto-open AND auto-close function of this umbrella. It was easy to deploy the umbrella, and then close the canopy with a push of the same button. Note that you must collapse the shaft manually and that you can't re-deploy the canopy with the shaft extended (you must completely close the umbrella before re-opening).
The Balios gets very high marks for Style. The wooden handle is timeless and classy, lending a very nice look and feel. The black canopy is very classic as well. The umbrella comes with a sleeve to make it slimmer and more tidy looking, and it features a half-zipper that makes it much easier to get it back into the sleeve, then allows you to further slim it down when you zip it closed.
Good looks and fair price combine here. The Balios is a steal. It is classy, stylish, durable, and easy to use. If this umbrella suits your needs, we're sure you'll be psyched on its value.
The Balios Double Canopy umbrella is a good quality, collapsible umbrella for an impressively low price. It is very classy looking, showing as an umbrella that could cost at least twice as much with the smooth and elegant wooden handle and well made solid steel shaft. The mechanics of the auto open/close function are sound, and the materials are durable. This is a great compact umbrella that can be dressed up and is still small and functional enough to be a versatile travel umbrella.
— Lyra Pierotti