What is the purpose of the sleeve that comes with a travel umbrella?
April 13, 2016 10:08 AM   Subscribe

New umbrellas come with a nylon sleeve / carrying case. I have never used one nor ever seen it used--I carry dry umbrellas in a pocket and wet ones by the handle or strap, and that seems to be what everyone else does as well. So what is the intended purpose of this sleeve? Have you ever used one and why?
posted by epanalepsis to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
So the rib tips don't get caught on things, or sharp things snag the canopy - to keep the umbrella safe from other things and other things safe from the umbrella.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:13 AM on April 13, 2016 [7 favorites]

If the umbrella is damp and you need to pack it in a suitcase, you put the sleeve on it. If you are using the travel umbrella for actual travel, that is.
posted by the webmistress at 10:13 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

This would be a good question for the people (OK, person) at the Umbrella Cover Museum.
posted by mskyle at 10:14 AM on April 13, 2016 [25 favorites]

It squishes it down so it takes up less volume in my purse.
posted by gatorae at 10:15 AM on April 13, 2016 [8 favorites]

The strap that keeps it closed is the first thing to go on any cheap umbrella I buy, so having the cover helps.
posted by Etrigan at 10:17 AM on April 13, 2016

I also use them for when I'm taking a newly closed wet umbrella on public transportation because despite my best efforts, I'm very prone to accidentally getting someone else wet.

(This is unfortunately mostly theoretical as I lose the umbrella condom more often that I lose umbrellas, and I lose umbrellas A LOT.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:29 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

It depends.

My umbrella, one I bought after doing some actual research, specifically advertised that it came with a waterproof sleeve for keeping a wet umbrella in.

I have owned other, less perfect, umbrellas that came with sleeves that were not waterproof. I assume those sleeves were just to keep the thing compact. Probably also to keep them in good shape while they hung on the rack at the store.

I used to keep my umbrella in the sleeve, to keep it compact and so I could keep it on my lap on the train even if it was wet, but I have lost the sleeve. This is actually a thing you wouldn't think is a big deal, but it is. I miss the sleeve. It kept my wet umbrella nice and dry.

The purpose of the umbrella sleeve is so that you will miss it when you no longer have it.
posted by bondcliff at 10:34 AM on April 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

The spokes of my umbrellas that lack these sleeves tend to get tangled up in the coats on the coat rack, bent when I take down my coat, or pulled to the ground, falling behind the shoe rack where they get in even more ill-advised circumstances. Jerks.
posted by nequalsone at 10:35 AM on April 13, 2016

it's waterproof and will keep the umbrella from opening in your bag.
posted by chasles at 10:44 AM on April 13, 2016

I use mine all the time. It makes the umbrella smaller for when I slide it into my bag. It also makes it solid, no catchy bits, plus dry. I'm not going to mess around carrying stuff in my hand when I have a bag to put it in, but I'm also not going to carry a huge bag because the stuff in it is poorly packed.

And I threw away and replaced my last umbrella because I lost the cover even though the rest was OK, that's how important it is.
posted by shelleycat at 10:49 AM on April 13, 2016

and that seems to be what everyone else does as well.

That's because you can't see the small, well packed umbrella discreetly tucked into the bottom of my bag as soon as it stops raining. Because I use the sleeve.
posted by shelleycat at 10:50 AM on April 13, 2016 [6 favorites]

I use a full length black umbrella and the sleeve just makes me look more dapper than I actually am.

It also keeps it from being the snagger or the snaggee.
posted by AugustWest at 10:53 AM on April 13, 2016

As a long-time purchaser of cheap umbrellas, I never bothered with the sleeve because it was a serious PITA to get back on once it came off. I don't have time to carefully snug it back down over a sopping wet umbrella, thanks. Following links from the previous post bondcliff linked, however, has now showed me that some sleeves on more expensive umbrellas are ZIPPERED! Genius! Maybe I will stop buying cheap umbrellas and start using the sleeve.
posted by clone boulevard at 10:57 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

From the manufacturer and retailer's perspective: the sleeve keeps the umbrella from being damaged in transit, and keeps it looking nice while it's on the rack, encouraging sales.

It beats the hell out of having the umbrellas packaged in horrible plastic clamshell cases.
posted by asperity at 12:18 PM on April 13, 2016

I don't really use it when the umbrella's wet, but most of my umbrellas live rolling around the trunk of my car or in the bottom of a tote bag; the sleeve keeps them working longer by not destroying their umbrella-ness when the spokes inevitably catch on everything in the trunk or tote.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:27 PM on April 13, 2016

I never use mine when the umbrella is wet (trapping moisture will shorten the life of the umbrella) but I use it all the time for carrying the dry umbrella, to keep it from snagging on things and being damaged (or damaging the things it snags, for that matter).
posted by fedward at 1:34 PM on April 13, 2016

I use it when it's dry and packed at the bottom of a bag just in case it rains. It stops it being damaged by the other random items I keep in said bag, and from anything catching on it.

You wouldn't ever see the umbrella when it's packed in the sleeve though - I'd only take it out of the bag if it was raining and hence out of the sleeve too!
posted by Ashlyth at 5:48 PM on April 13, 2016

People use the sleeves!?

Mind. Blown.
posted by samthemander at 10:31 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, you learn something every day (especially here). Perhaps I will try it. Thank you.
posted by epanalepsis at 10:06 AM on April 14, 2016

« Older On The Gothic Tradition and Colonial Guilt   |   US tax question Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.