ShedRain Bubble Review
Cons: Less attention to detail, large and heavy
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bubble is an affordable bubble style umbrella that's fun to use.
The ShedRain umbrella is aptly named—it forms a bubble around you, protecting your upper body from the elements. This is a great design to seal out wind and rain, and particularly to keep your coiffed hair looking good.
In our walking Rain Test, raindrops struck us at forearm and thigh, decent protection but not a significant improvement over collapsible models. The true protective benefit is how well the bubble seals your upper body against the elements—not how much of you it protects from the elements.
Ease of Transport
The Bubble is a large, fixed-length umbrella. As such, it's a bit of a commitment to carry it. This is not a compact umbrella that will collapse and fit in your bag—but it has that classic crook handle so you can hang it off your forearm, or on a chair or doorknob. The ShedRain is a full yard (36 inches) long and weighs in at just under a pound.
The ShedRain performed relatively well in some durability categories, and not as well in others. The auto-open button deploys the canopy with assertion and performed consistently well throughout the testing period.
The umbrella is made of strong materials: a steel shaft with plastic crook handle, and 8 steel stretchers with fiberglass ribs. In general, we prefer fiberglass for the canopy parts, as it has some flexibility. Steel, once it bends, will likely snap and break.
That said, this umbrella did perform really well in the Wind Test. It did not invert in sustained winds of 15-25mph, and was easy to hang on to with its curved handle. It also resisted the wind well when braced against it.
The canopy materials were less well made on this umbrella, however. The clear plastic looked a bit cloudy and wrinkled more than we desired. The closure strap that wraps up the umbrella is also weaker, made of the same plastic as the clear canopy.
Ease of Use
We really liked the strong auto-open button on the ShedRain. It deployed the canopy with a strong "thunk" every time, which was very satisfying. It was also easy to close manually.
The clear canopy design of these bubble style umbrellas allows you to see out the top of the umbrella while you're nestled inside to keep dry. The ShedRain, however, has a colored band of fabric that is too wide, so it actually impedes your vision right where it matters as you're holding the umbrella.
Otherwise, this is a classic, fixed-length shaft umbrella with a handy crook handle that allows you to loop it over a forearm, back of a chair, doorknob, coat hanger… it may be big and bulky, so you can't really tuck this umbrella into your bag, but it's relatively convenient to carry nonetheless.
The ShedRain lost some style points due to the materials. The clear plastic looked more wrinkled and worn, and the use of standard umbrella fabric for the color accent did not match the glossy clear plastic as well.
This is a fine entry-level bubble umbrella. If you're not sure you'll use an umbrella often, but every once in a while you head to a meeting or interview or party and you want to be sure your hair and upper body stay dry, this is a great option.
The ShedRain Bubble is not the most competitive bubble umbrella we've ever tested, but it is a good deal. For those who don't use umbrellas all that often, but when they do, it's imperative to keep hair and upper body clothing clean and dry, this might be an excellent option.
— Lyra Pierotti