Many of us don’t think about buying an umbrella until we’re suddenly caught in a downpour–which is probably why over 33 million umbrellas are sold in the United States each year, and a shocking more than one billion are thrown away. But not all umbrellas are manufactured with the same level of quality. Snapping up the first one you find in a drugstore might not keep you protected from the elements, and it might not be designed to last.
“Making a good umbrella is like making a really good meal,” says Jason Sullivan, a former advertising executive, and one of the founders of Certain Standard, makers of umbrellas and other stylish accessories. “If you start with great ingredients, you end up with a great meal.” In other words, the details matter, particularly when it comes to function and style.
Keeping Sullivan’s advice in mind, we did the research for you. We looked at construction, materials, size, and common use cases to choose the best umbrellas available.
Davek Elite Umbrella
Stylish design touches
If you live in a rainy climate, investing in a dependable high-quality umbrella is probably worth it. The Davek Elite Umbrella has a waterfall-shaped canopy, which is made of dense 210-thread-count fabric and treated with a water-repellent coating. The umbrella has a reliable windproof frame, and the slim handle is wrapped in genuine top-grain leather. The metal tip is an elegant touch.
This stylish umbrella looks good and deftly fends off pouring rain. It comes in classic black, navy blue, or copper and covers a spacious 44 inches when open via the auto-open system. Customers rave about this umbrella, saying the quality is worth every penny. They are pleased with the lifetime guarantee, which promises that if the umbrella fails to function at any time, the company will gladly repair or replace it for free. Customers also rave about the loss-protection program where Davek will replace a lost umbrella at up to 50 percent off the regular price.
Price at time of publish: $159
Dimensions: 44 inches | CanopyMaterial: 210-thread-count fabric | Frame Material: Fiberglass | Canopy Size: 50 inches
Best Automatic Open
Totes Auto Open Stick Umbrella
Smooth auto-open mechanism
Timeless, classic design
The large size isn’t for everyone
Not the most travel-friendly
Outsmart the rain with the quick-and-easy auto-open design of the Totes Auto Open Stick Umbrella. With the touch of a button, this affordable umbrella springs open for quick protection. Hit the button again, and the generous 48-inch canopy quickly releases for easy closure. The classic wood J handle fits perfectly in your hand for grip and is easy to carry; just hook it over your arm to free up your hands. It also helps steady the umbrella in stormy weather, which we appreciate. Plus, there are additional details that add to its durability, like the impact-resistant metal tip and the fiberglass frame, which makes it exceptionally strong and resistant to wind damage. Overall, the large canopy offers reliable rain coverage.
We love the timeless design of this umbrella, but since you can’t stash it in your bag, it may be easy to forget and leave behind.
Price at time of publish: $23
Dimensions: 36 inches | Canopy Material: Not listed | Frame Material: Wood, metal | Canopy Size: 48 inches
Best for Wind
Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella
Compact and portable
Auto open-close can be a little clunky
Folding can require strength
The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella regularly appears on best umbrella lists for good reason. This best-seller has a super-durable Teflon-coated double canopy to repel rain and withstand wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. Thanks to the nine reinforced fiberglass ribs, it won't turn inside out when you need it most, and the ergonomic rubberized handle is slip-proof.
The Repel umbrella is also compact and foldable, and it weighs less than a pound, making it ideal for travel or everyday use. It also comes at an affordable price point, and the lifetime warranty will give you peace of mind about your purchase.
This umbrella opens and closes with the touch of a button, so there's no more wrestling with it in the middle of a rainstorm. However, it’s worth noting that some customers point out that the auto-close mechanism can be tricky to use; it can also require more strength than other auto-close options. Yet, nearly 60,000 reviewers agree that this durable option is worth the purchase. It also has a wrist strap for convenient holding and storing.
Price at time of publish: $30
Dimensions: 11.5 inches | Canopy Material: Teflon coated | Frame Material: Fiberglass | Canopy Size: 48 inches
BetterBrella Umbrella with Reverse Open/Close Technology
Unique inverted design
The BetterBrella Umbrella has a unique style and function. Instead of the canopy collapsing downward, it closes inside out so you won’t get water on yourself, in your car, or on your floors. The ultra-sturdy ribs allow this product to hold up in extreme winds and strong gusts up to 50 miles per hour. The double canopy and extra-wide brim also keep you dry when you can't get out of the rain.
The straight slip-free grip handle is comfortable to hold, and it has a small lanyard at the end that you can loop over your wrist to carry it. The snag-free button makes for easy opening. The black umbrella also offers many color options on the inside. It is a slightly heavier option, with more weight overall, but it’s still a great option for serious downpours and windy rainstorms.
Price at time of publish: $40
Dimensions: 32 inches | Canopy Material: Polyester | Frame Material: Stainless steel | Canopy Size: 41.5 inches
ShedRain Clear Bubble Umbrella
Classic bubble design
The wide canopy keeps you covered
Canopy can crinkle
Not the most durable
We like the classic look of the bubble umbrella, and the ShedRain Clear Bubble Umbrella is stylish and protective in one convenient product. The umbrella’s pronounced dome shape is cute and stylish, and it keeps you protected in the rain without obstructing your vision. The 52-inch-diameter canopy is wide enough to cover your body (and even your backpack), and the plastic crook handle is roomy.
The umbrella is constructed with eight fiberglass ribs and a steel shaft, and the canopy is made from polyethylene, which can get wrinkly but holds up well against strong winds and pelting rainfall. It opens with the touch of a button, but you have to manually close it. This umbrella is fairly lightweight at a little more than a pound, and it’s 36 inches when closed. It's just plain adorable. However, the handle and mechanism aren’t the most durable of options, so consider this bubble umbrella a pick that’s style-forward and decently protective, but one that might not last you years of frequent use.
Price at time of publish: $25
Dimensions: 36 inches | Canopy Material: POE | Frame Material: Fiberglass, alloy steel | Canopy Size: 52 inches
Weatherman Travel Umbrella
Available in bright colors
Smaller canopy size
Doesn’t completely protect from run-off
Weighing shy of a pound and measuring less than a foot in length when collapsed, this pint-sized protector easily fits into a small backpack, carry-on luggage, or purse, making it a favorite for travelers. The storm-ready Weatherman The Travel Umbrella’s Teflon-coated fabric repels water, and the reinforced fiberglass plastic frame is designed to fight off winds up to 45 mph. The open canopy measures 37.8 inches, which keeps you dry, but it doesn’t completely shield you from run-off.
Designed by a meteorologist, the Travel Umbrella has an easy auto-open but a manual close, and it’s available in a variety of bright colors like red, neon pink, and lilac to brighten up a dreary day. It’s a little pricey, but despite its compact size, its performance is impressive. Keep in mind that the canopy is smaller because it’s designed to be travel-friendly, which is why water can sneak underneath in serious storms. However, we think the lifetime warranty will help you put your mind at ease over the price and slight drawbacks.
Price at time of publish: $69
Dimensions: 11.8 inches | Canopy Material: Not listed | Frame Material: Fiberglass | Canopy Size: 37.8 inches
Certain Standard The Large Umbrella
Non-slip cork handle
Sturdy stick shaft
Larger than the average umbrella, but not as large as a golf umbrella, Certain Standard’s The Large Umbrella offers plenty of coverage in downpours. Seattle residents are very familiar with rain, and Seattle brand Certain Standard is about creating high-quality products that are as beautiful as they are functional. The 46-inch canopy comfortably covers you—and maybe a friend—while the lightweight frame easily glides open and closed. It’s built for storms light and heavy, offering key versatility in an umbrella you’re sure to reach for again and again.
The lightweight natural cork grip on the handle of this umbrella feels good in your hand, and it will gradually mold to you over time. It also doesn’t readily absorb moisture, a bonus in soggy climates. The stick handle is a sturdy 34 inches long, and we love the fun color selection with the statement-making white accent on the canopy. However, it does come with a higher price tag (though if you use it often, it’ll deliver great value).
Price at time of publish: $75
Dimensions: 34 inches | Canopy Material: Quick-dry polyester | Frame Material: Fiberglass and composite | Canopy Size: 46 inches
G4Free Automatic Golf Umbrella
Plenty of rain protection
Ventilated for wind
Heavier than we’d like
Seams may leak with wear
Golf umbrellas are designed to protect golfers and their equipment from the sun and rain. The extra width and depth allow for greater rain protection. They’re also big enough to share the canopy with another person. The G4Free Golf Umbrella is technically a golf umbrella, but it’s suitable for use by non-golfers, too. The 62-inch double canopy is vented to allow wind to blow through making the umbrella easier to handle, and the 210-thread count fabric is lightweight and water-resistant.
The eight fiberglass ribs are well constructed and sturdy, providing the strength to withstand wind and heavy downpours. The EVA grip is comfortable in your hand, and we like the fast-open functionality. Because of its size, this umbrella clocks in at 1.55 pounds, but if you need extra protection from the elements, the weight might not bother you. This umbrella is also available in 47, 54, and 68 inches, and they all come in 21 color options. Keep in mind that some customers do say the umbrella can develop leaks along the seams with wear, but these comments are few and far between, meaning it’s not a very common issue that should make you second-guess its quality.
Price at time of publish: $30
Dimensions: 39.4 inches | Canopy Material: Silk | Frame Material: Fiberglass | Canopy Size: 62 inches
Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella
Easy, one-button open and close
Folds into a compact size
Somewhat weak stitching
Not compact enough for some travelers
The Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella has nine reinforced fiberglass ribs and a metal frame, making it sturdy enough to handle strong winds and heavy rain. In fact, those reinforced ribs are designed to act as a failsafe in the face of winds, preventing the umbrella from flipping inside out so you can stay dry during gusts. Even though it’s petite in size, it offers substantial coverage; we’re a fan of the 42-inch canopy, which comfortably protects users and their belongings.
The three-fold telescopic shaft is collapsible to a small 12 inches, which fits nicely into a purse, backpack, or suitcase, and the included sleeve allows for dry storage. We like the ergonomic rubberized grip handle, and the automatic open-and-close mechanism is easy to manage. Choose from a range of seven color options, including black, rainbow, and red. For some users, this compact umbrella is still a bit too large; however, it should easily travel with you. Some note that the seam stitching is somewhat weak. With use, this umbrella may show signs of wear over time.
Price at time of publish: $20
Dimensions: 12 inches | Canopy Material: Not listed | Frame Material: Fiberglass | Canopy Size: 42 inches
EEZ-Y Compact Travel Umbrella
Available in 14 color options
Compact when closed
Not the sturdiest
This ultralight umbrella weighs just 0.9 pounds, yet it manages to have a generous 42-inch canopy size. It folds to just 11 inches when closed, which means it’s easy to carry around. The double canopy lets air pass through without letting water in, and paired with the nine durable fiberglass ribs, it prevents the umbrellas from flipping during strong gusts. The water-resistant Teflon-coated canopy dries quickly after use.
The non-slip handle makes sure you get a good grip on your umbrella, and the easy-to-close option comes with a lightweight case for storage and is available in 14 color options, including burgundy, blue and dark green. Keep in mind that because this umbrella is so lightweight, it’s not the sturdiest option; it can flip inside out during gusting winds, but it typically flips back into shape without issue. If you’re looking for a lighter-use option, that shouldn’t dissuade you!
Price at time of publish: $40
Dimensions: 11 inches | Canopy Material: | Frame Material: Fiberglass | Canopy Size: 42 inches
Best UV Blocking
Coolibar 42-Inch Sodalis Travel Umbrella
Offers UV protection
Occasionally closes on itself
Sometimes you need protection from the sun, not rain, although the Coolibar 42-Inch Sodalis Travel Umbrella safeguards you from both. The double canopy design has a mesh insert for optimum ventilation and stability. It also offers a spacious 42-inch water-repellent canopy with a reflective coating that provides UPF 50+ sun protection that blocks 98 percent of UV rays, while the underside reduces glare from bouncing off reflective surfaces. In fact, all Coolibar fabrics have The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.
The soft-grip handle and auto open-and-close button are convenient additions to the umbrella’s on-the-go design, and it comes with a lightweight storage case. Just note that the mechanism is so easy to use that the umbrella can close on itself! It’s not enough of an issue to affect the overall convenience and protection of the design, though. We love that it comes in fun colors like light rose, Coolibar blue, silver/green, and aqua/metallic, too.
Price at time of publish: $49
Dimensions: 11 inches | Canopy Material: Nylon | Frame Material: Fiberglass | Canopy Size: 42 inches
Amy’s Umbrellas Automatic Umbrella with UV Protection
Offers UV protection
Handle is small
Compact and collapsible, this adorable automatic umbrella from Amy’s Umbrellas protects you from extreme weather conditions and UV rays. The windproof eight-rib stainless steel construction is designed to flex to withstand powerful gusts, and the canopy is designed to invert itself and bounce back to its original shape when encountering heavy winds.
With a one-handed push of a button, this umbrella will automatically open and close, convenient when you need quick cover from the rain. The ample 38-inch canopy is made from a Teflon-coated polyester that repels water and dries quickly. Easily foldable, this stylish, statement-making umbrella comes in eight bright and bold patterns like Bali, Kittens, and Tropical. This ultralight umbrella weighs just 0.76 pounds and offers UPF 50+ protection.
Price at time of publish: $70
Dimensions: 21.65 inches | Canopy Material: Teflon-coated polyester | Frame Material: Stainless steel | Canopy Size: 38.1 inches
Prostorm Windproof Vented Travel Umbrella
Deeply arched canopy
Can be difficult to close
The Prostorm Vented Travel Umbrella is a pretty impressive option for the modest price. The fiberglass and steel frame is sturdier than comparably priced options, and the nine-rib canopy offers exceptional support. The deep 46-inch arc diameter offers more dome depth than most umbrellas, and it is designed to give you more coverage and wind resistance than a flatter one. The double-vented canopy allows wind to blow through, which thwarts the umbrella from turning inside out without letting the rain in. The auto open/close is extremely smooth, and the special ratchet shaft allows you to pull it down in stages, for a safer reset.
Some users do note that they’ve struggled with the auto open/close function; closing the umbrella may require more strength than getting it open. However, it’s a small drawback that doesn’t affect every umbrella’s functionality. The rubberized, ergonomic handle is comfortable in your hand, and the wrist strap allows you to hold the umbrella securely. The Prostorm is available in black, blue, and red.
Price at time of publish: $20
Dimensions: 11.75 inches | Canopy Material: Not listed | Frame Material: Fiberglass, steel | Canopy Size: 38 inches
If you want a durable, high-quality option, the best choice overall is the Davek Elite Umbrella. With a generous, full-coverage canopy that keeps rain at bay, and an impressive lifetime guarantee, this umbrella is built to perform now and well into the future. If you’re looking for a light, portable option for travel, you may want to consider the Weatherman The Travel Umbrella, a lightweight and compact pick that still offers great durability in the face of wind and solid canopy coverage.
What to Look for in an Umbrella
Most umbrellas have a diameter between 30 and 40 inches, which is the measurement of the canopy from side to side. When shopping for an umbrella, consider your intended use. If you’re looking for a lightweight compact or travel umbrella, it will likely have a smaller diameter canopy and will provide less coverage. If you’re more interested in a standard umbrella and aren’t concerned with portability, they generally have a larger canopy and will be heavier.
Fabric materials don’t vary too much when it comes to umbrellas. Most use nylon, polyester, or pongee for the canopy, and many will add a coating of Teflon to increase water repellency. Nylon is lightweight and flexible and generally dries quickly. Polyester is durable and easy to maintain. Pongee is a soft fabric made of thin, tightly woven unbleached threads. The material is waterproof, and as a result, pongee umbrellas tend to be more expensive. No matter what fabric you choose, look for a higher thread count—most will have a 190 thread count fabric, but as you move up in price, you’ll see closer to 210 and as high as 300. The tighter weave makes it harder for water to absorb, improving the water resistance of the canopy.
When choosing an umbrella, you want one that’s easy to hold, especially when it’s wet. The handle should always have a comfortable grip and fit comfortably in your hand. Handles are made from a variety of materials—wood, cork, leather, and rubber—and rubber-coated handles and cork handles offer the best grip even when wet. Jason Sullivan from Certain Standard says cork is a sustainable option, too. “Not only do cork handles feel great in your hand, but we wanted to consider an eco-friendly option. Cork can be harvested from the bark of a cork tree without cutting the tree down, so we aren’t damaging the trees.”
Construction and Durability
The construction of an umbrella directly impacts its long-term durability. Make sure there are at least eight ribs and that they are made of a flexible, sturdy material like fiberglass. “For us, it was all about a lightweight umbrella, which we could get with fiberglass,” says Sullivan. “Plus, it has the benefit of being light weight with a quieter, smoother opening.” You also want to consider the material of the shaft. If it’s too light, it won’t hold up against the wind. An umbrella made with nickel-plated steel or, ideally, fiberglass is the best option for durability.
Is a dark or light umbrella better?
There’s a reason most umbrellas are black or dark colors. According to research, almost any umbrella can block more than three-quarters of UV light, but black umbrellas block at least 90% of rays. According to Sullivan, “It’s all about light reflection.” Darker colors also reflect the sun. However if you live in a rainy climate that doesn’t see a lot of sun, a lighter, brighter fabric may be just the thing to cheer you up.
What is the best material for an umbrella?
Nylon and polyester are the most common fabrics used in umbrellas. Pongee, however, has a higher thread count than both of them. It's also treated with an acrylic coating that makes it much better equipped to repel water.
Does an umbrella block UV rays?
While an umbrella isn’t a substitute for sunscreen, it can block direct UV rays. Umbrellas designed for sun protection are usually constructed from a lightweight nylon or polyester with a black or reflective coating to block rays. Without the coating, umbrellas only block 77 percent of UV radiation. Look for umbrellas that list their Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating. This measures how much sunlight passes through a particular fabric. Protective fabrics should have a minimum rating of 15, but one with a 30 rating will earn The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation. Any fabric rated 50+ is considered excellent protection.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Maureen Farrar is a contributing writer who covers home design for The Spruce. She spent hours researching the products in this roundup, considering each umbrella’s size, materials, and construction while aiming to include a range of price points. For insight, she interviewed Jason Sullivan, founder of Certain Standard.