I attended the Green River Festival this past weekend with my wife, daughter and a bunch of friends. It is an exceptional roots music and hot air balloon festival in Greenfield, MA, with plenty of things to keep the kids entertained all day long. And like most festivals, it takes place in the middle of a field with not a drop of shade in sight. After suffering at this festival for the last four years under the blazing sun, we finally decided to join the groups of families behind the umbrella line. We borrowed an umbrella last year and were so impressed we purchased the same one for ourselves. It may cost a bit more than your average beach umbrella, but there is nothing average about it.
The Sport-Brella is much more than a simple umbrella. By utilizing side flaps and sturdy tie-downs, it can turn into a spacious shelter, perfect for blocking the wind, rain and even that pesky low-angled sun. The canopy is made of a rugged UPF 50+ nylon that has vents integrated in the top so a stray updraft will not turn it inside out. It sets up, breaks down and packs up very quickly, and is available in three colors. It helped keep my family and friends cool and, judging by the dozen or so I saw in my immediate vicinity, has a dedicated following among festival-goers. The Sport-Brella sells for $59.99 and is available directly from their website.