A good rain jacket is a true wardrobe must-have; there’s no substitute for the water-blocking protection of a Gore-Tex jacket or a Stutterheim slicker. But even the most wet-weather-ready jacket needs help when it really starts raining. That’s why you need an umbrella. Like Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan, an umbrella is your rain jacket’s partner; the right umbrella will help keep you comfortable and dry because even the best rain jacket can’t do it alone.
When it comes to shopping for an umbrella, there are arguably two schools of thought. The first asserts that you shouldn’t spend too much on an umbrella because you’re ultimately just going to forget it in the back of a Lyft. The second counters that you keep losing your umbrella because you’re not spending enough on the right umbrella. Frankly, we can see merit in both arguments. That’s why, when picking out the best umbrellas, we looked for budget-friendly (but still quality) umbrellas that you don’t have to feel too bad about accidentally donating to your rideshare driver. But we also looked for high-quality, investment-worthy umbrellas that you’ll want to bring with you even when the forecast calls for blue skies.
Types of Umbrellas
Before picking up an umbrella, you must consider what kind of umbrella you’ll need. There are a few styles, and the tradeoff is typically coverage versus compactness. A golf umbrella ensures not a single drop will touch you, but they’re hard to take on the go. Likewise, a travel umbrella can fit in a standard or waterproof backpack pocket, but they don’t offer as much coverage. Here are the key styles to know.
Stick: A stick umbrella is the most classic style. These have a comfortably sized canopy, and they typically (but not always) have a curved handle. When folded, these are full-length, meaning they won’t fit as comfortably, if at all, into your backpack, but they will fit better into an umbrella holder.
Travel: Travel or compact umbrellas have collapsible canopies and retractable handles to be more easily folded up and stuffed into your bag’s water bottle pocket or stashed in a car.
Golf: Golf umbrellas often have the biggest canopies, offering greater protection but less portability.
What to Consider Before Buying an Umbrella
If you don’t research the best umbrella for your needs, you may find yourself wet, sunburnt and even a little embarrassed when you use it in public and things don’t work out. When shopping for your new umbrella, we suggest you consider the following points to ensure you find the umbrella best suited to you.
What is the best material? The correct material for you may be different depending on whether you’re using the umbrella in just intense sunshine or stormy conditions. However, the wisest decision is for most people to invest in an umbrella that can handle both sun and rain. To do this, you should be looking for a canopy made from a waterproof material that can also block UV rays.
How strong does it need to be? As far as the umbrella’s frame goes, most are made from fiberglass or alloy steel to keep it lightweight while adding a good level of durability. The best and most sturdy umbrellas are strong enough to protect you during violent weather conditions and avoid the dreaded ‘umbrella-flip,’ which often happens when strong winds cause the umbrella’s canopy to turn inside-out.
How much do you need it to cover? It’s pretty self-explanatory that the larger your umbrella, the larger its area will cover. And while it’s easy to assume the bigger, the better, a compact travel-friendly model might actually be more beneficial for day-to-day purposes. Alternatively, more oversized golfing-style umbrellas can be an excellent choice for days out in the car or with less on-foot travel. They can also double up as handy walking aids, too.
How We Chose the Best Umbrellas
The best umbrella is one that sports a top-quality canopy and opens and closes with ease, usually with a one-button system for effortless one-handed control. And, given that umbrellas are available in various sizes, we’ve found options to suit all of the different needs and storage spaces, whether that be a backpack, a suitcase, or your car’s trunk. We’ve also paid particular attention to the materials used and how much they weigh, ensuring you can be confident in their durability and how easily carried they are.
Below we’ve rounded up the best umbrellas to protect you against the elements. We’ve included many models with intelligent designs and durable constructions. We’re sure you will find a suitable umbrella for any occasion in this comprehensive list of products.
1. Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella
BEST UMBRELLA OVERALL
The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is a lightweight and travel-friendly umbrella that measures 11.5 inches in length and weighs less than one pound. It features an above-average count of nine resin-reinforced fiberglass ribs to deliver just enough flex to handle powerful wind gusts without causing the umbrella to rip or flip inside-out. Furthermore, it includes an automatic open and close function, so it’s easier to operate with just a single hand.
2. Weatherman The Travel Umbrella
Who knows better about rain than a weatherman? The brand pretty much produces umbrellas exclusively, including large sun-blocking golf umbrellas and compact options, such as this travel umbrella. The umbrella ribs are made from fiberglass to resist breaking and flipping. The travel umbrella is less than a foot long and weighs less than a pound, making it extremely easy to pack in a bag and take it on the go. Weatherman’s umbrellas also come in a great variety of colors. You can get it in black but consider picking up something more vibrant like neon yellow or red, and you’ll be far less likely to lose it.
3. Davek Solo
Founded in 2005, Davek sought to take the umbrella from something that’s essentially disposable to something worth the investment. These umbrellas carry a substantial price tag, but the design will last for years. In fact, Davek offers a lifetime guarantee against the umbrella failing, and the brand offers discounts on future purchases if you lose your umbrella. The auto open and auto close make it easy to use, and the umbrella comes with a protective cover. The frame is built from steel, fiberglass and aircraft-grade aluminum to resist abrasion and flipping. The Solo is Davek’s flagship, and it’s a travel-friendly umbrella that’s ideal for commuter use too.
4. Balios Travel Folding Umbrella
REAL WOOD HANDLE
If you want an umbrella that looks luxurious, minus the hefty price tag, then consider picking up this option from Balios. It has a genuine wood handle and a stylish olive-colored canopy (other colors are available). At $25, it’s slightly more than the one you’d pick up at a corner store, but it’s not so expensive that you’d have to feel too bad about losing it. It has a stylish ergonomic grip. It’s worth noting that while the zippered carrying pouch has a wrist strap, the umbrella itself doesn’t, which makes it less secure to hold.
5. Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella
This Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella means serious business when it comes to rain and wind resistance, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t allow for a bit of fun along the way. The black-topped canopy has a beautiful blue sky printed on the inside to remind you of sunnier days to keep you happy when skies are gray. But if that feels more cruel than comforting, you can also choose from one of the other vibrantly colored designs, including the rainbow option. As for durability and functionality, it has fiberglass ribs that resist flipping, while the folding design makes it compact and easier to take out and about.
6. Tracksmith Umbrella
We wouldn’t have expected one of our favorite running brands to get in the umbrella business, but we’re pleasantly surprised. Tracksmith’s umbrella features the brand’s rabbit logo across the top, and the canopy comes in a subdued blue hue with a stylish wood-toned handle. It’s a golf umbrella, meaning it has an extra-large canopy for extra-large protection. Of course, Tracksmith doesn’t expect you to carry this umbrella on your next run; according to the brand, it’s designed for “before your race and on the sidelines.”
7. Brooks Brothers Signature Tartan Stick Umbrella
Umbrellas are functional, first, but there’s no reason an umbrella can’t compliment your look. Brooks Brothers nailed it if you prefer to go for preppy protection; the tartan umbrella is eye-catching enough that it’s unlikely to get mistaken for someone else’s. It’s worth noting that this is a stick umbrella, not a travel umbrella, so you’ll need to be OK with lugging it around. But by going full size, you get a generous 49 inches of coverage.
8. LifeTek Windproof Travel Umbrella
If you’re looking for a sturdy device you can always depend on, this LifeTek’s durable and compact umbrella could be your answer. The canopy features integrated Teflon, making it resistant to tearing and waterproof. Furthermore, the fiberglass ribs resist wind and maintain their shape, even in extreme conditions. Furthermore, this compact umbrella comes in four different colors with either a single or double canopy.
9. SY Compact Travel Umbrella
Protect yourself from the rain for under $15 with this SY Compact Travel Umbrella. The 210 polyester canopy creates a waterproof shield that will have any falling raindrops bouncing off and away from you. You’ll also find a surprisingly durable fiberglass frame and a one-button control system for hassle-free automatic opening and closing. Thanks to this umbrella’s impressive design and budget-friendly price, there really is no excuse for not having one on hand when the heavens unexpectedly open.
10. Amazon Basic Automatic Open Travel Umbrella
Stand out from the crowd with this bright yellow Amazon Basic Automatic Open Travel Umbrella. Although it’s available in other colors, including pink, red, green and of course, all-black, we love the vibrance of this bright yellow canopy. The umbrella features an alloy steel frame and sports a soft-grip handle, making it both highly durable and comfortable in hand. It also comes with a color-coordinated sleeve for more accessible and convenient in-bag or in-pocket storage.
11. Baraida Kids Clear and Transparent Umbrella
BEST FOR KIDS
Trying to protect yourself from the rain with an umbrella can be enough of a task as it is, let alone trying to cover your kids with it, too. The best way around this problem is to get them their own umbrellas, such as this charming Baraida Kids Clear and Transparent Umbrella. With an easy-hold curved handle and a 39-inch dome canopy, your little one will be able to hold on tight to their rain shield as it comfortably protects them from the rain. And although it’s difficult to imagine a kid who wouldn’t enjoy the star-adorned design, there’s a number of alternatives to choose from if they would prefer unicorns, rainbows or just plain clear.
12. EEZ-Y Reverse Inverted Windproof Umbrella
The EEZ-Y Reverse Inverted Windproof Umbrella has a closing method that traps any remaining water, helping keep your surroundings dry. It has a double-layered canopy to block wind and a premium-quality, electroplated steel shaft with high-quality fiberglass ribs to provide a durable structure that can deal with surprisingly strong and unpleasant conditions. Additionally, the design includes a C-shaped handle which is both easier to hold and more securely held in place when hung up.
13. Totes Clear Bubble Umbrella
The Totes Clear Bubble Umbrella has a clear canopy which helps to eliminate the limited visibility problem many umbrellas encounter when walking into rain that is coming directly towards you. The canopy is also more dome-shaped than many wider, flatter options, providing more comprehensive coverage over your head and shoulder area. This also means it is more compact when open and allows the umbrella to perform better in windier conditions.
14. Royal Walk Windproof Large Umbrella
The Royal Walk Windproof Large Umbrella is an umbrella you can walk with proudly. Its sizable, 54-inch canopy provides enough coverage for two people during storms, while the stylish design makes it a welcome addition to any evening stroll, even when the rain isn’t falling. The umbrella sports a strong aluminum frame finished with a natural wood handle. The handle is also curved for easier gripping during use or hanging when being stored.
15. G4Free Automatic Open Golf Umbrella
BEST GOLF UMBRELLA
As it’s available in three different sizes and a wide range of colors, we’re sure there’s a G4Free Automatic Open Golf Umbrella to suit your needs and preferences. The umbrella measures 68 inches wide in its largest form, making it an excellent choice for covering two people or sheltering under when an unexpected downpour hits when you’re out on the course. In addition, the large canopy makes it a particularly effective option for blocking out sunlight and creating a cooler, shaded area.
16. Labrella Winderproof Travel Umbrella
The Labrella Winderproof Travel Umbrella includes a reverse folding mechanism that keeps the umbrella’s water-covered surfaces enclosed. This feature makes it easier to prevent accidentally putting water over anything once inside. This umbrella is a great choice if you want a compact device for throwing into a bag or on the floor as you enter a car. Plus, you’ll find one-handed functioning for more effortless opening and closing, which is ideal for anyone who often has their hands full or is usually in a hurry.
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