The importance of a reliable umbrella can’t be understated. It should not only protect you from inclement weather but it should be designed to last, too. This means not flipping inside out when the wind picks up or having one of its arms bend and break at the worst possible time.
As someone who’s lived in both Portland, Oregon, and New York City, I’ve used a variety of umbrellas — and my experience hasn’t been all positive. There are only so many torrential downpours to get caught in before buying a quality umbrella shoots to the top of your to-do list.
But before you run out and snag one from a local corner store, know this: All umbrellas are not created equal. The dependability and durability I mentioned above are key features but you also want to buy one fit for how you need to use it.
To help narrow down the best, I tested a variety of umbrellas currently available and compiled my five favorites below.
Here are the best umbrellas
Best overall: Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella, $22.95 on Amazon
Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is durably made, won’t flip inside out, collapses down small, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Best for travel: Weatherman Travel Umbrella, $69 on Weatherman
Travel Umbrella from Weatherman is a compact, lightweight umbrella that’s built durably with reinforced fiberglass and features a design capable of withstanding winds up to 45 mph.
Best large: G4Free Automatic Double Canopy Golf Umbrella, $23.99 on Amazon
G4Free Automatic Double Canopy Golf Umbrellais rugged and big enough to keep you plus a friend dry and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Best heavy duty: Blunt Metro Travel Umbrella, $47.98 on Huckberry
If you’ve had one too many umbrellas snap on you, find peace of mind that the Blunt Metro Travel Umbrella can withstand heavy rains and wind gusting at up to 55 miles per hour.
Best compact: LifeTek Windproof Travel Umbrella, $29.95 on Amazon
LifeTek FX1 Windproof Travel Umbrella packs down to less than 1 foot and weighs less than 1 pound, making it ideal for traveling or toting around the city.