Umbrellas are one of the most overlooked outdoor items in the world. Few of us spare a thought to an umbrella until we need to run out in some serious rain. Since most of us don’t want to wear big, bulky raincoats or rain gear, an umbrella is an invaluable tool. Unfortunately, not all umbrellas are created equally. If you’re not careful, you could end up buying an umbrella that basically falls apart the first time you use it. You need to make sure you have a durable umbrella that can stand up to not just a rainy day but wind as well. And many high quality umbrellas could even offer you sun protection.
Balancing cost with features, durability, and style can take a bit of time and effort. Let’s take a look at the best umbrellas on the market today.
The Repel windproof travel umbrella may be the best umbrella on the market. Featuring nine ribs instead of the usual six, it’s very strong. They’re made from fiberglass that has been reinforced with resin. That means that they are both strong yet flexible. They won’t break in strong winds. This is the wind resistance you want.
The canopy is coated in Teflon. That means water is going to bead right off of it to keep you dry. You’ll never have to put this umbrella away wet. The entire umbrella weighs under 1 lb. You’re able to open it with a single hand and close it as well.
The frame of the umbrella is metal and threefold chrome-plated. It’s as strong as bigger, bulkier umbrellas, but easy to carry and store.
The Repel travel umbrella has a slip proof ergonomic grip. There’s also a wrist strap so you can easily carry it. And, repel offers you a lifetime replacement guarantee. Even if something were to happen to this umbrella, you’d still get another one for free.
If you don’t want to invest a lot of money on an umbrella, the Lewis N Clark travel umbrella is a great choice. With the low price comes a less durable construction than some of the umbrellas on the list. But that doesn’t mean garbage by any means. For general use, Lewis N Clark make a great umbrella. It should be able to withstand winds talk to you about 30 miles per hour without breaking. That doesn’t mean it won’t turn inside out, but you’ll be able to turn it back in again and keep using it.
The canopy dries fast. It has a coating that is similar to Teflon, although it is not specifically Teflon. You don’t have to worry about leaks or the formation of mildew. It’s lightweight and features eight ribs. The manufacturer also offers a one-year warranty. Sun protection factor is 60+. The umbrella itself weighs less than one pound. If you want a decent quality umbrella with a big price tag, Lewis N Clark may be the best choice.
Though not as cheap as some, the Blunt Metro is a great umbrella. The wind resistance is second to none. You can handle winds up to 55 mph. The canopy is 37 inches wide with reinforced ribs. It can handle any strong wind you find yourself in. For a windproof travel umbrella you won’ find a better option. The price may seem prohibitive but it’s a good investment. This umbrella’s set to protect you from the worst rain and wind out there. And the size is not too bulky.
With nine reinforced ribs and strong construction, the Lifetek windproof umbrella is solid. It features a UPF rating of 60 plus to protect you from the sun. It weighs less than 1 lb and has a comfortable grip that should stand the test of time. The company doesn’t state how much wind it can handle. But it’s constructed well enough that you should have no problems. The company also offers what they call a peace of mind replacement guarantee. That means if you need to have it replaced for any reason, the company will back you up. If you want a wind resistant umbrella, this is one of the best options.
With a 68 inch canopy, the Suntek windcheater vented canopy umbrella is a solid choice. The double canopy is made of nylon and features a sun protection rating of 50 plus. It should do a good job of keeping you away from the sun and the rain, no matter what the weather is like. As an added bonus, the canopy is made of reflective nylon. That means it will bounce the sun’s rays away and keep you cooler if you’re using it for shade.
The double canopy is vented to allow the wind to pass through. The eight ribs are reinforced fiberglass. That will increase your durability and prevent breakage. Compared to most umbrellas, this is one of the strongest and most reliable on the market. It weighs a little more than some, but it’s still under 2 lb. It’s not the most compact umbrella, but it’s high quality.
The big selling point of the Balios Prestige umbrella is the look. This is the definition of a stylish umbrella. Made by the British company Balios, this is an umbrella suited for an upscale night on the town. It comes in five different styles, and features a one-year warranty.
The canopy is made of a high-density fabric to keep you dry in the worst conditions. It is waterproof so you should have no worries about any rain. The ribs are made of durable fiberglass. The handle shaft itself is high-grade steel. When you care as much about the look of your umbrella as how it works, the Balios Prestige is the best umbrella for you.
Featuring an oversized canopy, the G4Free golf umbrella can handle any weather. The double canopy is made from Ultra water resistant 210T pongee micro weave fabric. All you need to know is that it’s very waterproof.
Not only will this umbrella withstand rain, it makes short work of wind as well. There are vents in the canopy that prevent wind from catching and pulling. It also has an SPF rating of 50 plus to protect you on days when the sun pops out. And, with a canopy size that can get up to 68 in, it’s absolutely Gigantic.
At its largest size, theG4Free can easily cover several people, or one person with a lot of gear. It’s made from a hardened stainless steel and covered in a black resin. If you need a large, heavy duty umbrella, this is a great choice.
An unusual choice, the Sport Brella is one of the best umbrellas for sports enthusiasts. Unlike a traditional umbrella, you can attach the Sport Brella to a chair, a golf bag, or whatever else.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Sport Brella is not meant to offer rain protection. This is strictly a sun umbrella so that you can enjoy the outdoors without being blinded or burnt.
Offering UVA and UVB protection, the Sport Brella has a UPF rating of 50 +. The unique shape of the umbrella is meant to offer full body shade to anyone using it. If you like to spend time outdoors but are worried about sun exposure, this may be the best umbrella for you.
If design style is important to you, the Bagail double layer inverted umbrella is the best choice. Future has a hands-free grip with a cross c-shaped design. That means you can hang this over your arm, a handle on a bag, or anything else. It comes in a massive array of colors and styles to meet anyone’s tastes.
The canopy is double-layered and it’s able to block sunlight. It has a UPF rating of 50 plus. It’s well suited to keep you safe from wind, rain, and sun. The material is sturdy and durable.
When it comes to strong designs, the EEZ-Y features a vented double canopy. It’s going to take a very strong gust of wind to turn this inside out. And even if it does, it’s strong enough that you’ll be able to pop it back in without it breaking. The frame is made of fiberglass and stainless steel. There are nine fiberglass ribs to keep the canopy strong and sturdy. The handle is slip resistant and rubberized. The canopy itself is virtually waterproof. It also opens and closes with a simple push of a button. The company provides a lifetime guarantee as well. That offers peace of mind in case you’re worried about anything happening to it.
In terms of style, there are also a range of colors available.
Available in nine different colors, the Amazon Basics umbrella offers some stylish choices. Amazon doesn’t make products that are quite as high quality as some of the competition. But they aren’t low quality either. Consider it a reasonable alternative to some of the higher price umbrellas on the market. The umbrella features a wind vent to prevent it from bending or tearing out of your hand in a sudden gust.
The canopy of the umbrella is made from waterproof polyester. The shaft itself is made from a durable steel. There are 8 ribs in the frame and the handle is comfortable in your grip.
There are a lot of features that make the Totes Wooden Handle J Stick stand out. It has that classic British umbrella look to it. The canopy has what they call a tote coat waterproof coating. It’s also easy to use one button operation. It’s both waterproof and windproof to stand up to the toughest weather. And the classic design means it’s good for just a casual walk or something more formal. There’s an impact resistant metal tip as well. It’s also available in a variety of colors if you like a little more personality.
The MagicTec umbrella advertises itself as being unbreakable. Based on the reviews, they have done a good job of living up to that claim. The frame is said to be wind resistant up to 55 miles per hour. That means if you’re out in your average storm, you should have no worries. If you try to take the umbrella out into a hurricane, that may be a different story.
The umbrella features a 9 rib construction. Your typical umbrella only uses 6. The ribs are fiberglass that has been reinforced with resin. The canopy is also a polyester canopy that’s been coated in Teflon. That means not only is it windproof but it’s exceptionally waterproof as well.
The entire umbrella weighs less than a pound and features a slip free, ergonomic handle. If you’re looking for an umbrella that can stand up to whatever nature throws, this is the best choice.
Things to Remember
Since you could probably find an umbrella at the dollar store, you need to know what you’re looking for. A cheap umbrella is not necessarily a good umbrella. But, by the same token, an expensive umbrella isn’t automatically the best either. These are things you should be considering when you see storm clouds approaching and you need an umbrella.
You may not think of this when you initially look for your umbrella, but size does matter. There’s an old superstition that you shouldn’t open an umbrella in a house. Many people buying umbrellas in stores actually won’t open them before purchasing. And if you bought it online, you are often just looking at a photo to get an idea for the size of it. All umbrellas tend to look the same in a photo, so you need to check those dimensions. A compact umbrella may just barely have enough room for one person under it. Other umbrellas can comfortably cover two people walking side-by-side down the sidewalk. Or maybe you just need it to cover you and also the backpack that you have on as well.
It’s always best, if possible, to try a compact umbrella out just by holding it up above yourself as you naturally would. See where the ribs of the umbrella rest around your body. If the canopy is too small, all the rain is going to drip down off of those metal ribs and land on you.
If you want to maximize coverage, make sure you’re taking a look at exactly how wide the umbrella is. Also, take a look at how long the handle is. Some compact umbrellas have extremely short handles. That means you’ll be holding the umbrella up higher than you might normally do to keep it above your head.
The main reason that you’re going to be using your umbrella to keep yourself out of the rain. Umbrellas are not waterproofed the same way, however. Some umbrellas are actually designed just to keep the sun off of you and offer no rain protection. Be careful if the description does not mention rain at all in it. It may just be a sun umbrella. That means that the material itself is not waterproof. The rain can pass through and soak it. This will get you wet if you try to use it during a storm. It also means the umbrella itself is susceptible to developing mold and mildew. That’s because it will be hard to dry it out properly. You don’t want to carry around an umbrella that doesn’t work.
You’re going to want to get an umbrella that’s made of a fabric like polyester. For added rain protection, you can get one that’s Teflon coated. That will increase rain protection considerably. You may also want to invest in an umbrella that features a double canopy. This is essentially like having an umbrella for your umbrella. It helps by adding a second layer of rain protection to the umbrella overall.
The other big concern you’re going to have with an umbrella is wind resistance. If it hasn’t happened to you you’ve likely seen the effect of waiting on somebody else’s umbrella. A strong gust can either yank it out of your hand or folded inside out. That can break the ribs and render it completely useless.
High quality umbrellas will be built to withstand strong winds. In fact, some of them will tell you exactly how many miles per hour of wind they can withstand. Always check to see if the umbrella says it’s windproof. If possible, check to see the wind rating as well. This will ensure you don’t have to replace your umbrella right away if a gust of wind catches you off-guard. Wind resistance is as important as rain resistance.
Typically we don’t associate sun and rain together. But it does happen sometimes that you can get some serious sun exposure even when it’s raining. If you’re spending a lot of time out and about you may want to invest in a sunroof umbrella. These umbrellas will list their SPF in the details. That way you know you’re getting protection from the sun no matter what. Cheaper umbrellas can allow the sun’s rays to pass through the weave in the fabric.
You could make a strong argument that durability is the biggest problem with modern umbrellas. No doubt you’ve purchased an umbrella in the past that didn’t even last you a full year. It can be tempting to buy the cheapest umbrella available. These are the kind of things you might find at a dollar store or even Walmart. They just cost a few dollars, and you figure they will get the job done when you need it. But they do fall apart very quickly. The metal can bend. It won’t have fiberglass ribs. The handle will fail and it won’t have a sold open close function.
The best umbrellas will come with a solid warranty. They’ll let you know the material that it’s made from so you can tell it’s going to stand the test of time. You want to look for things like flexible fiberglass ribs. Handles that are made from high-grade Steel or a solid wood.
Ease of Use
Not every umbrella has been designed to be extremely easy to use. You have to struggle to open some of them which can be frustrating if you need it in a pinch. Others have complicated clasps and buttons that can stick or snag. The best umbrella is going to be one that opens quickly and efficiently. Lower quality umbrellas may have tricky mechanisms. Ideally, you will only need one hand free to open or close.
Just as important as how you open the umbrella is how you close it. If you have to struggle to fold it up, it may not be the best choice for you. Some cheaper umbrellas may have ribs that begin to snag when you try to close it again. Be on the lookout for an umbrella that is easy to handle so you won’t find yourself struggling in the rain.
The best umbrella will have an auto open close feature. Something that works at the push of a button. If it can’t open and close easily, it’s not really that useful. The last thing you want is an umbrella you have to struggle to open and close in a storm. Ease of use is something you never want to overlook.
If you’re doing a lot of walking in the rain, you want a comfortable handle. An ergonomic grip can go a long way to making your experience more comfortable. Also one that is non-slip. Remember, if the handle is slippery and uncomfortable, a strong wind can yank it right out of your hand.
The Bottom Line
The marketplace for cheap umbrellas has really managed to thrive. This is because an umbrella is not an item that most people plan for extensively. It’s an incidental that you pick up when you realize you need it. And when you’re in a pinch trying to stay dry, any umbrella seems like it will do. But when you are planning for the best umbrella, you want one that mixes form and function. Of course he wanted to look good, and you want it to be a good deal. But most importantly, it needs to work properly. You don’t want one that’s going to fall apart after a single-use. You also don’t want one that’s going to leave you soaked by the time you get where you’re going. Pay attention to all the important factors. Also, check other user reviews whenever you’re in doubt.