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BetterBrella Deluxe Review

An inverted design that is unique but also somewhat impractical, depending on your needs
BetterBrella Deluxe
Photo: BetterBrella
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Price:  $25 List | $24.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Durable, sufficient rain protection, auto open
Cons:  Heavy, difficult to use
Manufacturer:   BetterBrella
By Sara Aranda ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2021
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 11
  • Rain Protection - 30% 6
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 4
  • Durability - 20% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5
  • Style - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The BetterBrella Deluxe is an inverted alternative to the status quo umbrella construction. Instead of the canopy collapsing downward, the canopy collapses upward to collect the water and prevent it from spilling all over the user (as often happens with compact models). While this is a neat advantage, it's very specific and conditional to certain scenarios. Across the board, performances in our metrics were rather average for this contender, with durability being its greatest attribute. Ease of transport is where this model suffers the most due to its significant weight and long shaft.

Compare to Similar Products

 
BetterBrella Deluxe
Awards  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $24.95 at Amazon$20 List$22.99 at Amazon$14.99 at Amazon$15.39 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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65
60
Star Rating
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Pros Durable, sufficient rain protection, auto openStrong, excellent rain coverage, stylishClassy, durable, versatileCompact, wind vent, adequate rain protectionLightweight, compact, automatic
Cons Heavy, difficult to useLarge, unwieldy in high windsOn the heavy side, larger for a compact modelA touch heavier than other compact models, plain styleMany metal joints, less durable
Bottom Line An inverted design that is unique but also somewhat impractical, depending on your needsThis is a fun, well-made umbrella that provides classic rain protection and nostalgiaClassy style and reliable rain protection with all the perks of a compact, automatic umbrellaCompact, easy to use, and affordable, this umbrella gets the job done without costing more than it shouldSimple and ultralight with all the basics you need for rain protection
Rating Categories BetterBrella Deluxe totes Auto Open Wooden Balios Double Canopy AmazonBasics Automa... Lewis N. Clark Umbr...
Rain Protection (30%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Ease Of Transport (25%)
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
Durability (20%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Style (10%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
Specs BetterBrella Deluxe totes Auto Open Wooden Balios Double Canopy AmazonBasics Automa... Lewis N. Clark Umbr...
Measured Canopy Diameter 41.75 in 42 in 40 in 38 in 39.25 in
Depth of Canopy 4.5 in 10.25 in 9 in 8 in 6.5 in
Sleeve Included? No No Yes, with zip Yes Yes
Measured Weight, Including Sleeve 20.0 oz 18.5 oz 15.5 oz 14.0 oz 10.0 oz
Measured Length (collapsed) 32.75 in 36.5 in 14 in 11.5 in 11 in
Measured Length (deployed) 32.75 in 36.75 in 25.5 in 21.5 in 21.25 in
Handle Design Ergonomic rubberized grip, button operation Wooden crook handle, button operation Wooden ergonimic grip, inset button operation Short, Comfort-Grip handle, inset button operation Short, rubberized, non-slip handle, inset button operation
Canopy Material Polyester, velcro closure Polyester, velcro closure 300 Thread count water repellent fabric, snap fastener Polyester, velcro closure Polyester, velcro closure
Support Structure Unknown metal Wood and aluminum Steel and fiberglass Steel Zinc alloy and steel

Our Analysis and Test Results

The BetterBrella Deluxe is constructed with polyester and unknown metal components. The most notable aspect of this model is its inverted canopy, collapsing upward instead of downward to collect the water. Uniquely, the ribs and stretchers are hidden between two layers of canopy since the skeletal structure would otherwise be exposed in this inverted design when closed up.

Performance Comparison


The shallow depth exposes the upper body more than is traditional.
The shallow depth exposes the upper body more than is traditional.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Rain Protection


We measured the BetterBrella canopy diameter to be 41.75 inches with a depth of 4.5 inches — the shallowest of the bunch. This shallowness is due to the concealment of the ribs and stretchers, necessary to help protect them when the canopy is collapsed in its inverted position. In a way, we feel this isn't as effective for rain protection to have to eliminate depth for the sake of an inverted design. The diameter is quite large, which is great, but because you can't hide away under a dome, more of the upper body is left exposed.

The canopy diameter is still quite large despite its shallow depth...
The canopy diameter is still quite large despite its shallow depth, providing sufficient protection but not the best.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Ease of Transport


This metric is where this model suffers the most. The length of the entire umbrella is 32.75 inches, and it weighs in at 20 ounces. Needless to say, this umbrella is not at all compact or lightweight, proving cumbersome to carry. Additionally, most traditional fixed-length models tend to also have a crook handle to help stabilize the grip or offer alternative means of hanging. The straight grip handle of the BetterBrella doesn't do much to help in this sense, and even the small lanyard attached to the handle is only useful if there are hooks already available — not quite as versatile as a crook handle.

There isn't a case of sleeve for this model and carrying it requires...
There isn't a case of sleeve for this model and carrying it requires hanging the canopy downward, somewhat eliminating the need for an inverted canopy.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Durability


The metal on this product is notably sturdy, which is likely why it's so heavy. The feel is smooth for the most part, and we were pleasantly surprised with the results of the high wind test. We hit 45 mph before noticing the canopy dramatically change shape, which means it can likely hold up to even faster speeds. It did invert fairly easily at 15 mph, which seems to be standard for most umbrellas. Overall, durability is this model's greatest attribute.

The ribs and stretchers are hidden between the two canopy layers...
The ribs and stretchers are hidden between the two canopy layers, but the wind test proved them to be sturdy and durable.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Ease of Use


This is another metric where performance for the BetterBrella isn't the best. The handle isn't the most comfortable to hold, and our arms tired quickly due to the weight (this model is a two-hander for sure). The automatic deploy button is easy to use, but it is a little inconsistent. Sometimes we had to help the canopy along to reach its final taut position. Manually closing it up isn't a hassle, but what to do afterward is where things get really tricky. The inversion becomes questionable because now that you have water pooled into the canopy after you've collapsed it, now what? There's no means to hang the umbrella in this position to keep the water there, which means you have to dump and shake like you would for any other. Also, if you ever have to stash the canopy with other umbrellas, this means exposing the underside of the canopy (since the inversion exposes it) to the wet outers of any neighbors in the bin.

Controlling the canopy requires two hands due to its overall weight...
Controlling the canopy requires two hands due to its overall weight, but the handle isn't the most comfortable.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Style


We're not quite sure how to describe the style. It's already unique due to its inverted design, so it looks a little odd at first glance. The handle is quite masculine when compared to the doily-like, and therefore more feminine, cutouts in the under-canopy. The cutouts make us think vintage, but the overall design is definitely not that, since inverted canopies aren't traditional at all. Interesting to say the least.

Not the most trendy, its still got some style quirks.
Not the most trendy, its still got some style quirks.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Value


If you really want something more novel or against the status quo, the price here is certainly affordable. With sufficient rain protection and durability, the value is decent enough, but there are lighter and more practical products out there.

Conclusion


The BetterBrella Deluxe is quite the invention. Unique in style and function, its rain protection and ease of use are sufficient but just average. The weight makes this model very cumbersome, but it's still a decent accessory for casual use around town.

Innovation doesn't always equate to better overall performance.
Innovation doesn't always equate to better overall performance.
Photo: Sara Aranda

Sara Aranda