Sport Brella - Looking for Shade in All the Wrong Places
In Southern California, the search for shade can be a year round necessity. It’s all about keeping the dogs cool, though keeping the owners cool also has its benefits.
When I go to agility trials with my agility buddy, we take along her EZ-UP Dome II. Two of us can get it up in about 5 minutes. EZ-UP-type canopies are great for making your own shade, but I know few people who can get them up without help. It’s really a two-person operation.
So I’ve been on the look-out for an shade alternative, something that is quick and easy to put up, and will provide just enough shade for Cassie and I, for those times when I’m attending events on my own.
When I spotted the Sport Brella on sale at a local sporting goods store, I got excited. This video shows how it works. Just substitute dogs for kids.
So I grabbed one. An upcoming agility match would give me the perfect opportunity to try it out.
When I arrived, I opened up the Sport Brella and set it up in just a few minutes. The Sport Brella is quite light and easy to handle, and takes up very little room in the car. I nestled Cassie’s crate underneath, and still had room for my chair. Since I’m a short person, I was able to fit underneath the apex in a regular-height chair. I staked it down at both ends, and decided I’d found the perfect solution in my quest for shade. I had more than one person admire my “Brella” and ask me where I’d found it.
Ah, but not so fast. The afternoon was not yet over.
First, I used fairly poor judgement in selecting a location. So I had to keep shifting it as the sun moved. No problem. I should have been more careful.
Then a lovely breeze started up. Hmmm, being that is is an umbrella, it wanted to fly. So I opened the “windows” in hopes that would help. But the breeze continued, and the umbrella kept coming unstaked. No problem, I thought. Next time I would need to use all 5 stakes, not just 2. This was, I figured, just a learning experience.
But as I packed it up, I realized the fabric had come loose from the small plastic tips holding the Brella together, in three places. This was more serious, especially considering I’d only used it once.
So sadder, but wiser, back it went to the sporting goods store. The manager didn’t seem surprised to hear that it had not held together.
The Sport Brella is a great concept. It does, however, need some minor adjustments to make it sturdier. If the manufacturer makes any improvements in that area, I’d be the first one to try it again, because I really liked my Sport Brella.
So I’m still looking for shade….