After 23 hours of research evaluating 750 products, we picked Repel Windproof Umbrella as our top choice.
Unless you're Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain, chances are you grab your umbrella when it's pouring outside. Umbrellas are like coats or jackets: they're intended to deal with a very specific weather problem. As long as you have it handy on those rainy days, you'll stay dry (well, as dry as possible!).
They're just so handy!
Cheap umbrellas aren't going to last, thanks to their flawed design and weak materials. The best umbrella—a properly built, durable one—will cost a bit more, but it's totally worth having for all those rainy days.
Below, we've got a list of the best umbrella choices for you, based on hours of research investigating hundreds of products, reading thousands of user reviews, and doing a bit of testing (with the muddy boots to prove it). These umbrellas are the ones you want to have when the clouds start going grey, so read on to find out which umbrellas suit your needs best.
Classic stick umbrella design, strong, larger than average canopy, stylish, great rain protection, comfortable to grip, affordable, lifetime warranty, and automatic deploy system.
Heavier than expected and unwieldy in strong winds.
Construction: This stylish umbrella is built in the old-fashioned stick design, so no telescoping shaft, just a long, solid umbrella with a single wooden shaft able to handle a lot of heavy winds and rain. The 100% nylon canopy is larger than you'd get with a foldable umbrella, meaning better protection from rain. The ribs are incredibly durable, and they will not bend even in high winds.
The hardwood handle is prone to scratching, but the rest of the umbrella is more than able to handle regular use. However, the fact that it's heavier than other umbrellas means it can be a bit unwieldy in strong winds.
Features: The umbrella has a simple automatic opening system, which snaps the fiberglass ribs up and out to extend them to their full, glorious 68-inch diameter length (for the XL size umbrella).When it comes time to fold the umbrella up, you'll find it's wonderfully easy to collapse. With the handy little strap, you can easily keep your umbrella neatly wrapped in a tight package.
The crook handle makes it easy to carry the umbrella on your arm, lean it against a wall, or hang it on a chair. You'll feel like a proper gentleman thanks to this classic style!
Price: At $20 for the 48" canopy umbrella, you're getting a great product at an amazing price. If you want an old-school umbrella that can stand up to heavy use, you'll love this model's build, design, and lifetime warranty.
No sharp ends, designed for urban environments, durable, easy to open and close, compatible with Tile app, high-tension canopy can handle heavy use, aerodynamic design, and easy to handle.
Bulkier than your typical collapsible umbrella.
Construction: This umbrella is built for commuters, those who ride crowded buses and trains or hop into cabs. Though it's a bit bulkier than other collapsible umbrellas, it can still fit in your bag or purse easily. Thanks to its solid construction—high-tension canopy and flexible fiberglass ribs—it can handle heavy winds.
The real kicker is the canopy design: there are no sharp points to accidentally poke out a fellow commuter's eye. The edges have been rounded and blunted, making it the safest umbrella for people around you. Even if it gets blown out of your hand by high winds, there will be no risk of umbrella-related accidents!
Features: The frame is built to be resistant to high winds, and the flexible fiberglass will bend without breaking. The automatic open and close features make it easy to use when getting on and off public transportation. There's even UV protection if you wanted to use this as a sun umbrella/parasol instead of just protection from the rain.
Here's one thing no other umbrellas can offer: the ability to find it anywhere in the world! Blunt has teamed up with the Tile app to offer umbrella tracking, thanks to the tile embedded in a special pocket in the umbrella.
Price: At $48, this is definitely the priciest of the umbrellas on our list. However, it's built to be durable and reliable, with a commuter-safe design that will help you avoid angering fellow bus or train passengers. Worth it!
Super lightweight, compact, easy to open and close, mildew-resistant material, quick-drying canopy, sturdy construction, carrying case included, and great price.
Not the most durable on the market.
Construction: This is an umbrella built to weigh less than the competition, making it perfect for people who don't want to haul around a heavy-duty rain umbrella. It weighs just 14.4 ounces with the carrying case, and it folds down to a compact 11 inches when collapsed. However, extend it to its full size, and you get 38 inches of rain protection.
The ribs and shaft of the umbrella are fairly sturdy, though not the best on the market. The fact that they're metal rather than fiberglass means they're less flexible under pressure.
Features: The umbrella canopy is made of polyester rather than nylon, so it weighs less yet offers excellent mold and mildew-resistance. It's also quick-drying fabric, so you can shake it off and fold it up after just a couple of minutes. Thanks to the attached carry loop on the storage sleeve, you'll have no problem lugging it around on your wrist as well as putting it in your backpack, briefcase, or purse.
The automatic open is beautifully user-friendly, and the umbrella will close without the typical struggle. All in all, a solid choice!
Price: Priced at just over $15, this is one of the cheapest options on our list. It's certainly not the most durable, but its light weight design makes it a great choice for those who live in cities with occasional rain showers.
Compact, flexible frame, rated for up to 60 MPH winds, auto open and close, damage-resistant, easy closure, lifetime warranty, water-repellent, mold-resistant, and rustproof.
Springs open very forcefully, which may be potentially dangerous to people around you.
Construction: If you want a heavy duty umbrella, this is your top pick! Not only is it built from solid materials (including rust-proof stainless steel and mold-resistant nylon for the canopy), but the design is incredibly durable. It's also to stand up to winds of 60 MPH. The nylon canopy is water-repellent and abrasion-resistant, so you'll find it will last for years to come.
The canopy design is the real selling point of this umbrella! Even if the canopy is bent, the umbrella isn't ruined. The resilient memory flex frame will snap easily back to its normal shape, the nylon canopy and steel ribs completely undamaged. This makes it an umbrella that will last for years to come, no matter how inclement the weather.
Features: The spring-loaded umbrella snaps out at the press of a button—a bit too forcefully, some may say. However, the auto-open is matched by an auto-close feature. Press the button once more, and the umbrella will automatically close. You'll never have to fumble with the canopy again!
The stainless steel frame is treated with an anti-corrosion layer, and it's connected to a rubber handle that will offer excellent grip and comfort in cold and wet weather.
Price: At just under $19, this is a very well-priced umbrella. You'll find it's worth every penny if you need an umbrella that can survive heavy storms and high winds.
Best-in-class wind resistance, incredibly durable, collapsible design, 43" canopy offers great rain protection, temper-hardened steel joints, carrying sheath can be worn as a backpack or purse, and 100% nylon canopy.
Heavier than most compact models and bulky even when folded.
Construction: This umbrella was built with high winds in mind, and has been tested in winds up to 55 MPH. The ribs are made of temper-hardened steel, and arrayed in a hexagonal pattern that will not bend, no matter how gusty it gets. The 100% nylon canopy is both durable and water-resistant, and will dry quickly once out of the rain.
The handle and joints aren't as durable as the canopy itself, and it may wobble when deployed. The umbrella is also a bit heavier and bulkier than most collapsibles. However, in terms of windproofing, it doesn't get better than this!
Features: The 43-inch canopy provides excellent coverage, even for taller people. However, it collapses down to 16 inches long, which makes it perfectly sized for your backpack or briefcase. The umbrella sheath can be worn backpack-style or slung over one shoulder like a purse, making it easy for you to carry.
Price: At $33, this windproof umbrella is slightly on the pricey side, but definitely a good option if you live in Chicago, Florida, or anywhere else that gets a lot of high winds with your rain.
Clear canopy, stylish bubble design, sturdy PVC, comfortable handle, stick umbrella, lifetime warranty, matte silver finish, easy to clean,and lightweight.
Designed for single-person use and challenging to close.
Construction: This umbrella is fairly durable, with steel ribs that can handle medium winds (nothing over 45 MPH, unless you're willing to risk the umbrella bending) and sturdy PVC canopy. The clear umbrella canopy makes it easy to see what's happening around you, as well as to let others see you. You've invested all that time, effort, and money into making your face and hair look good—don't let a rainy day stop others from seeing you looking your best!
The bubble design is intended for single-person use, so you won't be able to offer shelter to others. However, you'll find it's great for protecting a fragile hairdo from the wind, making it ideal for sheltering on a day when you need your hair game on point.
Be warned: the closure is a bit difficult. Prepare for some pinched fingers and a bit of wrestling to get the umbrella closed.
Features: The clear dome-shaped canopy offers excellent visibility, so you'll be able to see what's happening around you. When extended, you get 52 inches of protection, but it folds down to just 37 inches in length—your classic stick umbrella!
The PVC canopy is easy to wash by hand, or you can clean it off with a rag to improve visibility when wet. The acrylic handle is comfortable in your hand, and it will offer good grip even if wet. With the luxurious matte silver finish of the shaft, you get an umbrella that looks as stylish and chic as you.
Price: Priced at $22, this is a decent option to consider for daily use, but your best choice for looking trendy in the heaviest downpour. It even comes with a lifetime warranty, making sure you'll never have to buy another umbrella again.
Sturdy, stands up to heavy winds, compact, foldable, Teflon-coated, affordable, lifetime replacement guarantee, one-button open and close, reinforced fiberglass ribs, lightweight, moisture-wicking and quick-drying.
Smaller than expected and occasional quality control problems reported.
Construction: If you want sturdy, this is the rain umbrella for you. Though the fabric is lightweight, the nine reinforced fiberglass ribs are strong enough to offer excellent support even in heavy winds. Aside from the occasional quality control issue (umbrella arriving defective), you'll find that this is one of the most durable of the umbrellas on our list. Sadly, the umbrella canopy is smaller than expected—just 37 inches in diameter.
The great thing about this umbrella is the Teflon coating on the umbrella material. The Teflon repels water, making the fabric incredibly quick-drying. You can literally shake off the umbrella and roll it up a few seconds later to store in your bag without worrying about getting your belongings wet, thanks to the Teflon coating.
Features: The umbrella has a button that, when triggered, telescopes out the three-fold, chrome-plated shaft, but makes it easy to collapse it down to the 11.5-inch long compact umbrella that fits in your purse. The handle is longer than you'd expect from a foldable umbrella, and gives you excellent grip thanks to its textured design.
The umbrella comes in a broad range of colors, making it easy to pick out in a crowd.
Price: At $24, this is one of the best-priced umbrellas on our list. It's durable enough to handle all but the harshest weather conditions, and it comes with a lifetime replacement warranty in case of defects or damage. Now that's what I call an amazing umbrella!
Choosing the right umbrella isn’t an easy choice, contrary to what everyone thinks. If you live in rainy cities such as Saint Petersburg, Paris, and Tokyo — or travel to Asia during the monsoon, you will need a solid umbrella.
If you travel to Japan or Burma, you will notice that people use umbrellas or parasols to protect themselves against the sun. In Japan, there are three types of umbrellas.
In Europe, umbrellas became a fashion accessory in the 19th century starting from England. You can often depict England as an umbrella-friendly country, and indeed, if like Londoners, you can’t live without a trendy umbrella — then this guide is for you!
The term “umbrella” comes from the Latin word “umbra” which means “shadow”. Let’s cover the history of umbrellas briefly, as well as the types of umbrellas: rain or sun, and finally dive deep into the Japanese way of wearing umbrellas.
A common accessory today, umbrellas and parasols use varied according to centuries. For example, in Ancient Egypt or in Asia, parasols were used by the royalty as a sign of power. In Ancient Egypt over 3,500 years ago, parasols were used by kings to protect their skin against the sun. In the nearby kingdom of Assyria, only the kings were entitled to protect themselves with parasols.
But it’s China that invented “proof-rain” umbrellas in the 11th century — yet still used by nobility as a sign of influential people. The kings of Siam — modern Thailand — and Burma used parasols as a symbol of power too.
Later in Ancient Greece and Rome, umbrellas were seen as a female accessory, which made their appearance among men very rare. The umbrellas then vanished after the fall of the Roman century around the 5th century AD and reappeared only at the Renaissance in the 16th and in the 17th century, yet among the nobility of the French, Italian and English.
However, umbrellas had no lasting protection against the rain. For long, umbrellas began to spread across Northern America, were still seen as a female accessory. It was in England in the 17th century that the use of umbrellas changed after John Hanway, founder of the Magdalen Hospital, appeared publicly wearing an umbrella. Later on, Englishmen started to use umbrellas and called them “Hanway” at the time.
Umbrellas started to become advertised and furthermore developed into various formats. For instance, the introduction of the pocket umbrellas began in 1928. They were also used for religious ceremonies by the Catholic Church. Today, umbrella technology has developed into a modern, sophisticated accessory that can protect people against the rain, the sun, and the wind (up to 100 km/hour).
As umbrellas technology developed — more and more sizes and materials alongside wind-fighting technology or rain averse materials were created — and their use widespread as common accessories throughout the centuries. You can find multiple types of umbrellas today, from the most exclusive Vivienne Westwood classic umbrella to a smart Walmart canopy umbrella.
Classic umbrellas: These umbrellas come in a variety of colors and can be made from microfiber with polyester or metal shafts. These umbrellas have various sizes which make them easy to carry.
You can easily drop them at the entrance of the restaurant before dinner or at the office when arriving to work every morning. Classic umbrellas are quite affordable, depending on the designer you choose. You can easily find a classic umbrella at a local supermarket or in your favorite department store.
Automatic umbrellas: These are very convenient as you open and shut them with one hand. The push button near the bottom of the handle makes it easy to open it. Quite compact, these umbrellas are easy to carry. Automatic umbrellas are affordable and easy to find anywhere.
Bubble umbrellas: Funny, cool, and funky, bubble umbrellas are a favorite party umbrella you can wear at festivals and parties — in the UK or anywhere else. A bubble umbrella features a dome head and has a round, spherical shape that makes it easy for you to hide beneath.
Bubble umbrellas are great to carry on to protect yourself from the wind or thunderstorms. These are made creatively in various shapes and forms and you can play around with multifaceted colors or designs.
For those on a budget, try the super cool Walmart canopy bubble umbrella. If you walk around London or Buckingham Palace, you may stumble upon Queen Elizabeth II wandering with her favorite bubble umbrella.
Compact umbrellas: These umbrellas are very practical for businessmen or travelers as you can easily hide them into a pocket or a briefcase. Although their carry size is compact, their full length is the same as a regular or classic umbrella. However, due to their smaller size, you may easily forget them somewhere, even in your suitcase.
Compact umbrellas have no sharp end. Fragile, compact umbrellas can be broken easily so pay attention when opening them up to do so with care.
High-wind (giant) umbrellas: These extra thick umbrellas may be also be heavier to carry as they are designed to fight against heavy wind or snow during winter. Solid, high-wind umbrellas feature a wooden shaft and are made of durable, reinforced materials that can prevent you from bad rain or wind.
Pocket umbrellas: Made from light materials and designed to be super portable, pocket umbrellas are very practical to fit in your jacket or a small bag. Although they are practical, these umbrellas are not made to last as they are not made from resistant materials. However, when you travel and have very little space to carry your umbrella, the pocket umbrella is your best friend. And as it’s quite cheap, if you lose it, it's no big deal.
Three main elements constitute the umbrella: the shaft, the ribs and stretchers, and the canopy.
The shaft and handle: The base of the umbrella is designed from wood, steel, or aluminum, approximately less than 1 centimeter thick. The wood shaft can also be found, especially for thicker wind umbrellas. For trendy umbrellas, plastic or metal shafts are typically used.
The canopy: Also known as the cover of the umbrella, the canopy is hand sewn at the outer edges of the ribs. It can be made from multiple materials including nylon taffeta, featuring acrylic coating on the underside, and a finish to the top.
Ribs and stretchers: Stretchers connect the ribs to the canopy and can be designed from plastic or metal. When the umbrella opens or closes, ribs can be damaged, therefore use your umbrella with caution.
Japanese umbrella history is fascinating and is worth studying for a while. Straw canopy named tengai — a type of umbrella which cannot be closed or opened — was designed in China and later reached Japan.
Water repellent umbrellas were later designed during the Muromachi Period (1333 - 1573) with beautiful designs made on washi paper. Later different types of umbrellas were introduced in Japan:
Bangasa is a type of umbrella which is suited for sturdy rain. Made from a bamboo handle and Moshi paper designed to resist the rain, Bangasa made their apparition during the Edo period (1603 - 1868). These umbrellas became a favorite decoration tool for restaurants across Japan.
Janome is another type of Japanese umbrella which is suited for slender rain. The handle is made from wood featuring colorful Moshi paper. Janome umbrellas, apart from regular use, became enjoyed as interior decorations. Such umbrellas are popular both for men and women.
Higasa and Maigasa are Japanese parasols which use is different from Janome and Bangasa umbrellas. Bright sunlight passes through the beautiful washi papers and lets the design shadow the face.
These umbrellas are good for walking around, and as designed as traditional fashion accessories, and cannot be used in case of heavy rain. Lastly, higasa and maigasa umbrellas are also used as decorative items.
The truth is, umbrellas today are a must-have fashion accessory as depicted in some of the world’s most epic movies and musical dramas.
The famous “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (1964) musical by Jacques Demy stars French actress Catherine Deneuve — a young girl selling umbrellas in a small shop. After dating Guy who is sent to the war, she had to change her life and married a new man. This musical features colorful umbrellas and wonderful music by Michel Legrand, letting the characters express their emotions.
In “Iron Monkey” (1993), a Hong Kong classic, stages a fight scene where people use an umbrella as a weapon. This martial arts movie emphasizes beauty and fun with the black umbrella taking over the famous fight scene.
The classic film, “Withnail & I” (1987) is often described as Britain’s biggest cult film. Starring Robert E. Grant and Paul Mcgann who shared a flat in Camden Town in the late 60s, some movie scenes include the umbrella of Withnail when he walks in a London park.
One of the greatest “umbrella” featured movie is definitely the epic “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952). The glamorous romantic American musical is a depiction of Hollywood in the 1920s with popular silent film stars. Three characters are seen holding massive umbrellas while singing in the rain in a sequence where Gene Kelly dances soaked in the rain.
“My Fair Lady” (1964) is an American musical drama with famous actress Audrey Hepburn. The musical won a total of 8 awards. In this beautiful movie, Hepburn, elegant and refined, is seen with her white lace parasol. The umbrella appears as the ultimate mark of fashion.
The greatest umbrella celebration movie is surely “Mary Poppins” (1964) — another fantastic musical. In fact, in the case of Poppins, without the umbrellas, the film wouldn’t exist.
Poppins is seen arriving at the beginning of the movie with her umbrella and she keeps it throughout the movie. It’s like a suitcase she would never leave. Picturing Poppins without her umbrella wouldn’t be feasible. In this movie, we can understand the importance of umbrellas in England and it seems they are part of all the characters’ everyday life.
Whenever buying a rain umbrella, think about if you need protection against the wind or the rain or both.
If you need protection against heavy rain, choose an umbrella accordingly.
Do not leave your umbrella unattended — they are easy to be lost.
Consider getting an umbrella stand to hold your umbrella at home.
Take care of your umbrella. Open it and close it gently. Hold the umbrella over your head and do not hurt people around you.
Try a variety of forms and colors, like bubble umbrellas.
Umbrellas can be useful in the summertime in case of sudden, heavy rain as seen in London. Always keep your umbrella close by.
If you travel to Japan, take some time to observe the beautiful scenery featuring plenty of parasols and Japanese women.
Always travel with a compact umbrella so you don't need to buy a new one.