Top critical review
Stop buying this Sport-Brella. They've ruined a 5-star product.
Reviewed in the United States on May 4, 2016
I'm a soccer dad. Have been for 13 years. I also live in Arizona. I've seen and used every manner of sun protection available. About 10 years ago, I bought my first Sport-Brella. I was impressed with its durability and design and over the years, I've owned 5 of them in the 6 and 9 foot sizes. My two 6-footers are still functioning, but my 9 finally stripped its tightening knob and became useless. It was 7 years old. I hopped on Amazon and purchased another on the spot.
Over the years, I've recommended this product to many friends, and as I saw them start using them, I began noticing that theirs were different than mine. The mechanical parts appeared to get cheaper and less-durable year by year. And, year by year, I kept using mine. I could set them up in high winds by staking out guy lines and we'd enjoy 3-4 games every weekend in peaceful trust in our amazing Sport-Brellas.
When my new one arrived, I pulled it from its bag, noticing that the bag seemed thinner than my old one. I opened it and noticed that the knob to tighten the center post had been replaced with a plastic folding latch. The bell at the top was loose and rolled down the umbrella and hit the ground at my feet. I closed it and screwed the bell back on, but at the point of "tight" it stripped through and I had to tighten it again. This time I stopped just shy of tight and it stayed. I opened it again. I set it in my stand and tried to snap the shade flaps up to the retaining clip I've used for 10 years. Guess what. They cheaped out and removed the clip! Now, I have to roll the flap until I can use crappy tie straps to secure it at the bottom of the umbrella. I secured my guy lines and staked them into position. It worked the rest of the game and I put it back into the cheap bag and went home.
The next day was another game and it was a windy day, but not nearly as windy as my experience assured me I could use a Sport-Brella. Please note that I have done this hundreds of times. I opened it, turning the umbrella into the wind to prevent becoming Mary Poppins. It opened. Then, the bell fell off again. I turned to pick it up and the wind caught the umbrella, whipping it open and turning it inside out. In ten years, I've NEVER turned a Sport-Brella inside out! Well, that was the end of my brand-new Sport-Brella. Five of the ribs ripped from the cap, leaving holes in the umbrella. It is done.
Last weekend, I grabbed the 8-year old version and watched another game.
Until you see another buyer write a review detailing how they have started using quality components again, quit buying this piece of crap. I won't be recommending them to friends anymore. I won't be recommending them to you either.