blogged about what a great DIY project it would make. A project is always a great idea in theory, but actually gathering the materials and executing the project is not always so easy.
Luckily for me, Hollie and Harrie's Sombrilla became available in the US. two years ago, and I took the plunge and bought one—even though it cost nearly $200 (gulp!). Now in my third summer with the tent, I can say with confidence that it was worth the investment. The tent and its poles are very well made, and much nicer than a DIY version would be. The lightweight aluminum poles are much like camping poles and they make set-up a cinch. Plus, the canvas cover would cost a lot to DIY, since it's a couple yards of nice, heavy-weight fabric. My family will have this tent for many years to come.
I love that the Sombrilla is impervious to wind, unlike an umbrella, and I like having big area of shade that up to four people can share. The only downside is that you need a pretty big space to set it up, which can be tricky with New York City's crowded beaches (seen below last summer).
Pro tip: Buy yourself a basic mallet to pound the upright supports and the tent stakes into the sand.
two leaf-printed versions ($198), and a shop called Scenario Home is selling five other patterns ($240; ships free).