My perception of sitting outside in the sun has changed quite a bit over the years. Back in high school, I used to go out into my backyard and just lie there, soaking in the rays. In college, I'd find a nice spot outside on campus to read or study and the warmth of the sun felt good on my face.
Now that I have gotten older and wiser and have children, I know better. It's nice to be outside, but I don't like squinting or trying to shade my eyes. A sunny day is a great thing but there is no way that I would just sit out and let myself or my kids get fried in the sun.
But it's not like the elements can be avoided. We go to the park, the beach, parades, sporting events, the splash pad... and it's not like I can just plant a tree when we get there so there will be shade, right? Not quite. Instead, I now bring along something even better than a tree, I bring the ultimate in convenience, portability and protection: the Sport-Brella.
It's hard to know where to even start in listing the reasons that I love my Sport-Brella. This ingenious invention from SKLZ, the name known for its innovative and effective sports training products, the Sport-Brella is eight feet of beach umbrella, sun tent and weather shelter all wrapped into one.
By taking the concept of a traditional beach umbrella and giving it a major makeover, SKLZ has found a way for people to have instant, portable protection from the sun, wind or rain regardless of where they are. With setup taking three seconds (yes, really only three seconds), there isn't any time wasted before your own personal shade is popped open and ready for you.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I pulled the Sport-Brella out of its box, but found that it strongly resembled the fold-up chairs that we have stashed away in our garage. As it only weighed 15 pounds, this wasn't a difficult thing to carry at all, particularly with the provided shoulder strap. Simply toss it over your shoulder and you're ready to go.
Or, if you happen to be 3 and shorter than the 54" of the Sport-Brella, pick it up and carry it straight out in front of you.
Once at our destination, setting up the Sport-Brella really is as easy as it possibly could be. You've used a regular umbrella to keep the rain away before, right? This is the same concept, just on a larger scale.
But instead of carrying this umbrella around, you can set up your Sport-Brella in any number of different ways to provide the shade and shelter that you're looking for. The telescoping handle adds plenty of length that, if left standing, the Sport-Brella is easily high enough to walk under.
The included stakes (two different types depending on what surface you are on, how strong the weather is and how you are setting up the Sport-Brella) are easy to use and can simply be pushed into the ground and then pulled up when you are ready to leave.
But once the Sport-Brella is open, you'll be amazed at just how much protection it provides. The UPF 50+ coating keeps everyone protected from more than 99.5% of UVA and UVB rays and additions like side flaps that can clipped up or be let down protect you from sideways rain and wind. Plus, to keep cool on those sunny days, the Sport-Brella offers top wind vents and side zippered windows for cross-ventilation... and for having fun peeking out.
For more versatility (and in the case of stronger weather), the Sport-Brella also comes with three tie-down cords that can easily be clipped on and attached to the ground stakes. Not only will that ensure that the wind won't be able to try to take your Sport-Brella away, but they allow you to position it at just about any angle and help hold it tight.
And when you aren't using the tie-downs or stakes, you can easily stash them in one of the two internal pockets provided that are perfect for valuables, stakes or gear and even Velcro shut for safe-keeping. What a great idea!
Did I mention that I love the Sport-Brella? The innovation, quality and convenience all add up to a piece of equipment that is a must-have for all families. Even though it provides ample room for everyone to fit comfortably underneath, the ability to fold the Sport-Brella back down into its 54 x 4 x 4" carrying sleeve makes it easy to stow in a car or bring it as a carry-on for your next airplane ride.
The vacation that my family took to the beach this summer would have been notably easier if the Sport-Brella had come along on the trip. Instead of fighting to fold a tiny pop-up tent into the suitcase, the Sport-Brella would have been simple, fast and allowed all of us a break from the sun. From now on we're not going anywhere, near or far, without our Sport-Brella!
Available directly on their website or at a retailer near you, the Sport-Brella comes in multiple color options and retails for $59.99. For even larger coverage, the Sport-Brella XL reaches 9 feet across and sells for $69.99 or, for a personal all-in-one option, the Sport-Brella Chair is perfect for one person at $39.99. For the outdoor enthusiast or a family that enjoys a casual get-together in the open air, the line of Sport-Brellas has the essential option for everyone. Once you've tried these, you'll never go back!
Thanks to the generosity of SKLZ, one person will be protected from the sun, rain and wind as well, because...
One lucky person will win their choice of color Sport-Brella!
To enter to win: Visit Sport-Brella and tell me something you liked or found interesting OR use the store locator and tell me a retailer near you that carries this amazing product.
Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).
1 Extra Entry if you Like Sport-Brella on Facebook. 1 more Extra Entry if you leave the following message on their wall: The Sport-Brella is such an innovative product! I just entered to win one at Thanks, Mail Carrier: http://bit.ly/cdZZsr
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the giveaways running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!
WIN a Sport-Brella ($60) the innovative sun tent/umbrella/weather shelter in one! @thxmailcarrier http://bit.ly/cdZZsr #giveaway #win
2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me publicly with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email or become a fan on Facebook.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and Sport-Brella.
Giveaway will end on October 8th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
A big thank you to SKLZ for providing a Sport-Brella for review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.