Best Umbrella to Keep in Your Car

You are driving towards your destination and the bottom of the sky suddenly fell out and heavy rain start pelting your car. 

Too bad you don’t have an umbrella in your car. 

If you get out right after you park, you’ll just get drenched no matter how nice the clothes you’re wearing. It sucks, right? 

We’ve looked at the best umbrella to keep in your car so you’re always prepared when the rains start falling. 

Things to Consider in Buying an Umbrella

The worst time to buy an umbrella is right when you need it because you are stuck. You may end up with an expensive umbrella that may be broken after being used. Umbrellas should be included as an essential car accessory.

Umbrellas will not protect you from rains 100%. But a good one can keep your head and torso dry. For very heavy rains, expect your legs and shoes to get wet. There’s just no help for that.

But I have seen really bad umbrellas that would drip rainwater from the cloth that’s supposed to protect you from the rain!  

Here’s what to consider when you buy.

Size

This review focuses on umbrellas that you can store inside the car and not in a purse. A very long umbrella that stays in the trunk is not much help when you need to get out of the car with as minimal shower as possible. 

Ease of opening and closing

One-touch-open umbrellas are great! You can open the car door slightly, stick the umbrella up, push a button, and voila it will protect you from becoming wet!

Since this is a review of umbrellas to keep in your car, it’s best to choose inverted or reverse folding umbrellas. These are an innovation introduced in the last decade or so.

Reverse folding umbrellas are perfect for getting out of the car during a downpour.

Durability

You’d want something that can last for a long time. So you need to choose umbrellas made out of good materials—the cloth, the spokes or ribs, and the opening (and closing) mechanism.  

Price

We want great value and choose inexpensive products. A good umbrella doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. Most great umbrellas cost $25 or less. Anything above that just feels like robbery to me!

Best Umbrella to Keep in Your Car

This awesome umbrella comes with a double-layer fabric, which can protect you from both rain and intense sunshine. It can also withstand strong winds.

Although it looks quirky with that big C handle, it’s great for hanging on your wrist if you are not using it and you need both hands to load something in the car, like stacking grocery bags, or putting a small child in the car seat.

Its inverted design will help you get out and in to your car conveniently. The rainwater will also stay on top of the umbrella and because it can stand up on its own, it prevents water from dripping onto the car floor.

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BAGAIL Double Layer Reverse Folding Umbrella
Our top pick for the umbrella to keep in your car. Its inverted design make it easy for you to get in or out of your car even if it's raining cats or dogs.

Pros

  • Double layered
  • Stylish
  • Great handle for hanging on your wrist
  • Its size can accommodate two people

Cons

  • Branding is huge and can be a turn off
  • Too big to fit in a purse
  • Some users report the umbrella breaking after a few months of use.
  • No automatic button, so you need to open and close it manually.

If you want an umbrella that is ultra-portable, fits in a purse or in your glove box, we recommend the Repel Umbrella. It is 11.5 inches long. At this size, it may not fit into small purses. But if you get any smaller than this, you risk buying a less sturdy umbrella that cannot withstand stronger winds.

With a touch of a button, you can open or close it. You can easily hoist it over the car door and you can get out or in and minimize getting wet.

It has an extra rib—most folding umbrellas only have 6 or 8 ribs—and this helps it withstand stronger winds. Its Teflon fabric also helps keep rain out.

The company behind this also has an excellent Lifetime Replacement Guarantee! This is a good gesture, which means that they stand by their product.

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Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella
At 11.5 inches long, this is the umbrella for drivers who want to keep it in their purse or backpack. Although it is very portable, it can ably withstand rain and wind.

Pros

  • Highly portable umbrella at 11.5 inches long
  • Auto open/close button
  • Excellent lifetime replacement guarantee

Cons

  • Some users report some rusting in the ribs after a few months’ use

This is not a portable umbrella. It’s a big one and it is meant to keep on the floor of your car where you can reach it. We wouldn’t really recommend keeping it in the trunk unless you have a smaller umbrella which you can use to open the trunk and get this big gun.

But it does the job!

It’s big, it has wind vents to withstand gusts of wind, and it can easily cover 2-3 people. You can use it for when you are at a kid’s soccer game, or keep it in your car for when you need to keep your passengers dry.

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G4Free Automatic Open Golf Umbrella
This is not the most portable umbrella. But if you attend a lot of open-air sports events, it does the job!

Pros

  • 62-inch canopy that can cover you and 1-2 other people
  • Wind-vent that helps it withstand gusts

Cons

  • Long and may need to be stowed in your trunk
  • Some users report water seeping into the stitching

The fabric of this umbrella is made of 100% nylon. Its diameter is 43 inches and its ribs are temper-hardened. Its double canopy design can help it withstand wind gusts, hence the name Gust Buster. If you live in a windy area, this umbrella just might help you avoid getting wet.

The manufacturer boasts that it had been tested to withstand 55 mph winds! Some users agree—both in Chicago and in New York City.

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GustBuster Metro 43-Inch Automatic Umbrella (Black)
Durable umbrella that can withstand strong winds in cities like Chicago and New York! It can even withstand a super storm!

Pros

  • It can really withstand strong winds. One reviewer says that it even survived a super storm.
  • Good size for 2 people

Cons

  • A bit pricey compared with the other umbrellas in this list.
  • It is not portable

If you want to save some money and don’t need to walk long distances from your car to wherever you frequently drive at, then this umbrella is for you.

It has a button that enables you to open and close it automatically. It is also highly portable with a length of 11.5 inches.

With a rubberized handle, you can grip it even when the wind gusts are driving rain to you.

Plemo Automatic Umbrellas, Windproof Compact Folding Umbrellas with Anti-Slip Rubberized Grip
You can get this umbrella for a really great price! But it can still protect you from the rain and the wind. Though don't expect the same level of rain protection compared with the other bigger, pricier umbrellas.

Pros

  • Really great price for budget-conscious shoppers
  • Easy to open and close
  • Ultra portable for the glove box or purse
  • Some reviewers say that it lasts for years!

Cons

  • It’s not very big, so mainly to be used for one person
  • The auto open/close button may malfunction

Conclusion

It is not uncommon for people to buy several umbrellas in a few months, or whenever they need it. They sometimes lose an umbrella or break it.

We reviewed several umbrellas in this post. The five products above are what we recommend.

However, it’s also important to remember the following things:

  • Umbrellas can break at different points—the ribs, the Velcro strap, the handle, and its fabric.
  • As with anything you own, taking care of your umbrella will help you keep it for a really long time.
  • After using your umbrella in the rain, open it and let it drip in your bathroom to prevent rusting.

It’s great to have an umbrella in the car so you avoid getting wet.

How to Keep Your Car Clean: Tips for Parents of Young Kids

Keeping your car clean when you have kids could be a challenge. You may be the kind of person who always keeps everything in decent condition.

After having kids, though, your car’s floor might be covered with cookie crumbs and broken crayons every day! Though you clean it regularly, it ends up messy again.

Here are some tips on how to keep your car clean!

Avoid food in the car

Snacking in the car is the things that parents always do when they missed breakfast or lunch, as well as to keep their children entertained during their trips in the car. However, if you want to keep your car tidy, avoid eating in the car except for emergencies or long trips.

During your long trips, you may want to prepare some snacks for your kids, consider to eat them only when you get out of the car.

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Best Car Seat Mirror

If you think that you will never forget a baby inside your car, you better think again! Even well-meaning parents who want to give everything to their babies may leave a baby in the car.

Every year, 36 kids are left inside cars and this leads to their death! July is the worst month that this type of accident happens, due to the summer heat. This is not just about negligence. A lot of parents can be thinking about so many different things, they get distracted, or they may have gotten less sleep because of their kid.

As a parent, we know that you want the best for your child and you want to ensure the safety of your child. This is why it’s important to get accessories that will help you minimize this from happening.

One potential solution for forgetful parents is to have a car seat mirror. 

You can actually choose a DIY solution for this. You can hang a small mirror opposite your child’s car seat so that every time you look at your rear view mirror, you can check if your child is safely tucked, sleeping, or playing in her car seat.

If you are not careful, however, a DIY car seat mirror may fall on your baby, or if it’s not secured in place, it may bounce around and even hit your precious baby.

Choosing the Best Car Seat Mirror

Do check the position of the car seat mirror. Most of these products are attached to the head rest of the back seat that’s directly opposite your baby.

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Best Car Smartphone Mounts Reviews

Car smartphone mounts are definitely a must for drivers today. While traffic laws prohibit calling or texting while driving, most map and navigation apps are on smartphones. We don’t even need separate GPS devices now. Texting and calling isn’t much of a problem these days, too, if you have a voice assistant like Siri or Google Assistant in your phone.

But it is a pain if you just hold on to your phone while driving. Worse, if you set it down, you may be distracted from driving if you look down just to see the directions you need to follow.

This is why you should have a smartphone mount in your car. I’m actually surprised that most cars don’t have a nook or a niche for a smartphone in the dashboard yet. It should be included in their dashboard design now.

I have had my share of smartphone mounts over the years, most of them are the suction type. But they tend to last for only a short time. You have probably experienced the same problem, too. Which is why I am on the lookout for the best car smartphone mounts.

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30 Must Have Car Accessories

Owning a car isn’t just about getting from Point A to Point B, it’s an extension of your personality. It can even feel like a temporary home while you’re driving. If you want your driving to be comfy and hassle-free, get these 30 must have car accessories.

30 Must Have Car Accessories:

Most of the accessories we chose below are less than $100, but if not, we indicate how much they cost. You probably don’t need every single one of them, but over time, you can build up the accessories you use and get all of them.

Jump Starter

For those times when your car won’t start because of battery problems. This is particularly useful during the cold season, and for older cars that may have weak batteries. Older cars also don’t automatically turn off your headlights when you turn the engine off.

The good thing is, a lot of jump starters now have additional accessories that will let you include other accessories listed below. Saving money and getting extra perks is always good!

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DashCam Review: AUTO-VOX D1 Full HD Dashboard Camera

In the market for a dashcam? Read this review of the Auto-Vox D1 Full HD Dashboard Camera. Don’t forget to read our guide to buying a Dash Camera.

Dash Cam AUTO-VOX D1 Car Recorder Full HD 1080P 2.7'' DVR Dashboard Camera with Super Night Vision, G-Sensor & Loop Recording Free 32G Mirco Card
  • Superior Night-vision by high class f1.6 Six-Glass multi-layer filter wide Angle lenses and unique WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) video system.
  • G-Sensor will let the DVR lock the file in case of the severe vehicle collision, which can be the strong evidence of the traffic disputes.
  • Guarded Parking can be considered as a perfect police eyes, recording everything happen around your car when you leave.
  • You will get the 32GB TF card for FREE, which can contain 6 hours of 1080p video recording. The latest piece of videos will automatically overwrite the unlocked oldest videos, which will enhance...
  • 145 degree wide angle lens and 360 degree rotation bracket allow you to record the beautiful scenery from different shooting angle

Average Amazon Rating: 4.7 out of 5 Stars based on 70+ reviews

Features:

  • Equipped with a night vision with Wide Dynamic Range and a f1.6 six-glass multi-layer filter wide angle lenses.
  • If you encounter an accident, its G-sensor will lock the DVR file to prevent writing over the file.
  • When you park, its Guarded Parking feature will monitor and record whatever happens around your car.
  • This product comes with a free 32GB TF card. This will cover over 6 hours of HD (1080p) video recording

This dash cam provides all the benefits of a regular cameras but with a compact screen size of 2.7 inches.

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The Best Dash Cam Reviews

This post is pretty long–we present the best dash cam reviews, but before doing so, we will explore the importance of having a dashboard camera, and then we’ll look at the top dashboard cams for you to check out.

Imagine yourself driving safe and steady and suddenly another driver hits your car either in front of you or behind you. In cases like this, your word can be put against the word of the other driver. But if you have a dashboard camera, it can record what really happened and the police, as well as your insurance, can determine who really was at fault.

In case you are wondering what a dashboard camera really is – it is a video camera is mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle in order to record videos during driving. Dash cams are known by several different names including in-car camera, Digital Video Recorders or DVRs.

Although they are called dashboard cameras, they are often mounted on the windshield to capture better quality videos. Several kinds of dash cams are also available based on features and quality.

Dual lens cameras can record both the driver and the forward facing views simultaneously. The only difference between a conventional camera and a dash cam is that the latter has the ability to start recording automatically when it detects the car’s motion. You don’t need to turn it on and press the record button every single time.

best dash cam reviews

image credit: Paul Townsend

A dash cam automatically makes space for newer videos by deleting the older ones. Thus, you can virtually record videos, hands-free.

Dashboard cams have become very popular in recent times. Not too long ago, they were used mainly by the police. Thanks to te reduction of prices, ordinary people like you and me can now buy them and install them in our cars.

Some HD dashcams are available for prices lower than $50. Thanks to advances in technology, as well as the low cost of manufacturing (primarily in China), companies are able to offer prices these low.

But don’t make prices your sole criteria in buying a dashcam, It should be reliable and of good quality to make sure that videos captured are clear and crisp. You wouldn’t want a dashboard camera that can only last for a month, you want something that could last for a long time.

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What to Do When Your Car Battery is Dead?

There are several factors that lead to a car battery’s death.

For one, you battery might be too old and it has reached the end of its life span. Most car batteries last for about 2-3 years. If you take care of it well, you may be able to extend the life of your battery for another year or two.

On top of that, other factors may also come into play when it comes to the demise of a battery: Continue reading

Buying a Jump Starter: Look for Peak Amps or Cold Cranking Amps?

Buying a jump starter could be a confusing affair. When buying a jump starter: do you look for peak amps or cold cranking amps? What’s the difference? Which one should be your basis in buying a jump starter?

Peak Amps or Cold Cranking Amps?

cold-cranking-amps

Some jump starters will put 900 peak amps like the JNC300XL, 2200 Peak Amps for the Schumacher PSJ-2212 and everything in between. Most buyers will be attracted to the products with the highest peak amps, but you should avoid that temptation. That is a bad criteria to assess your options.

What you should look for, instead is the jump starter’s Cranking Amps and Cold Cranking Amps. This is the actual power that the jump starter will supply to your car’s battery.

Clore Automotive N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp Jump Starter
  • 900 peak amps; 225 cranking amps
  • 27" #4 AWG cables
  • 12V LED flashlight
  • DC outlet to power 12 volt accessories
  • Full size clamps to penetrate corrosion

What if you have several vehicles with different engines? Say you have a 4-, 6-, or 8-cylinder car, will you need separate jump starters?

The good news is NO. You just need to choose the jump starter with the highest Cold Cranking Amps that you can afford. This way, if the battery of your car is totally dead, your jumpstarter has enough juice to bring it back from the dead. Just make sure to keep the jump starter, either at home, or in the trunk of the vehicle with the weakest or deadest battery.

What is Cold Cranking Amps

If you’re wondering, a battery’s Cranking Amps (CA) refers to the amount of power that a battery can discharge for 30 seconds at 32° F (0° C). It really is the amount of power you need to start your engine on any weather except winter.

On the other hand, Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) refers to the number of amps that a battery can push out for 30 seconds at 0° F without dropping under 7.2 Volts. Remember that a jump starter is really another battery supplying power to your car’s battery. It’s more difficult to start an engine during cold weather, that’s why batteries tend to have both the CA and CCA ratings.

If your battery reads 660 CCA, that doesn’t automatically mean that you need a jumpstarter with the same CCA rating. A product with a lower rating can power it up. A jump starter with at least 500 CCA can power up a car equipped with a 660-CCA battery.

But remember: if your battery is dead, a jump starter with high Cold Cranking Amps has better chances of reviving it and starting your engine.

This also does not mean that a battery with a lower CCA rating will be damaged by a jump starter with a higher CCA rating. Keep in mind that whenever you use a jump starter, it will only provide the power needed to start a battery. So even if your jumpstarter has 2200 Peak Amps, and you power up a 660 CCA rating battery, you won’t overload the car’s electrical system.

 

So here’s the bottom line…

Be more discerning in buying a jump starter. While peak amps may be a good measure of the maximum power output of a product, you should be considering Cranking Amps (CA) and Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) primarily.

 

image credit: Flickr

Review of Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR 1700-Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter with Power Source and Air Compressor

We’ve reviewed some lightweight jump starters in the past. But since reviewing the Duracell 600 Watt | 1300 Amp Powerpack Pro, we’ve moved to the heavyweights.

Another heavy duty jump starter is the Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR 1700-Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter with Power Source and Air Compressor. It is not just a jump starter but also packs in additional features that can entice you to buy it. Since, it costs more than $200, is it going to be worth every penny?

Find out more below.

Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR 1700 Peak Amp Jump Starter with Air Compressor
  • PROFORMER battery technology is designed to provide extremely high power output, extended cranking power and a long service life
  • Extra-long 68" cables, Industrial grade Hot Jaw clamps.12 feet coiled air hose with screw-on chuck
  • For protective cover, see model no. JNCCVRXL. NOTE: Refer user manual before use
  • Voltmeter provides charge status of onboard battery

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