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Whether the forecast indicates a light drizzle or a torrential downpour, it's important to dress for the weather. But aside from a rainy-day ensemble, there's a particular accessory that will keep your hair, clothes, and belongings dry. We're talking about an umbrella, of course—the ultimate portable canopy. Beyond helping you stay dry in a heavy rainstorm, umbrellas can also protect you from snow, wind, and sun.
If you haven't purchased one in a while (or ever), you might be wondering what your options are. We researched the best umbrellas available today to help you select the perfect one. Check them out below.
Best Overall: Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella
The all-star Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is number-one on our list. This best-seller has a super durable Teflon-coated 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.
The Repel umbrella is also compact, making it ideal for travel or everyday use. Plus, it automatically opens and closes with a quick push of a button on the slip-proof rubber-coated handle. This umbrella comes at an affordable price point, and the lifetime warranty will give you peace of mind about your purchase.
Best Budget: Magictec Unbreakable Windproof Umbrella
For an even more budget-friendly option, check out the Magictec Unbreakable Umbrella. This high-quality product has a coated polyester canopy, which prevents water from soaking through. The eight reinforced resin ribs won't bend backward, even in winds as fast as 55 miles per hour. The expandable stainless steel shaft resists corrosion and rust, and the rubberized handle is easy to grip.
Best Splurge: Davek Elite Umbrella
Want something a little more high-end? You might want to consider the Davek Elite Umbrella. This premium product has a waterfall-shaped canopy, which is made of 210-thread-count fabric. The umbrella has a reliable windproof frame, and the handle is wrapped in genuine top-grain leather.
This dapper umbrella looks good and works as it should. It comes in classic black, navy blue, or copper and covers a spacious 44 inches when open. You can count on the Davek Elite to keep you dry and complement your look for years to come.
Best Travel: EEZ-Y Compact Travel Umbrella
The EEZ-Y Compact Travel Umbrella is ideal for on-the-go use. It folds up to an 11-inch configuration, so you can easily stash it in your backpack, large purse, suitcase, duffle bag, or briefcase. When opened up, it has an impressive 42-inch diameter.
This umbrella has a vented double canopy, a stainless steel frame with nine ribs, and a stainless steel shaft. Considering its small size and lightweight design, it's very good at repelling water and resisting wind. Choose from 15 different colors.
Best Golf: GustBuster Pro Series Gold 62-Inch Golf Umbrella
If you like to golf, you need something to protect you from inclement weather—and the GustBuster Pro Series Gold Umbrella is up for the task. A popular choice for PGA, LPGA, and other championship tours, this premium product has a dual-layer waterproof nylon canopy and an unflippable frame that resists winds of up to 55 miles per hour.
With a 62-inch diameter, you'll be protected from the wind, sun, and rain—even the shaft is lightning-resistant. You can finish all 18 holes, no matter the weather.
Best Beach: Sport-Brella Versa-Brella SPF 50+ Adjustable Umbrella with Universal Clamp
Need something to take to the beach? We recommend the Sport-Brella Versa-Brella. This adjustable umbrella has a durable polyester canopy that spans 40 x 41 inches and provides SPF 50 protection and ample shade. The shaft has two hinges and a 360-degree swivel design, allowing you to adjust it to block the sun's rays from any angle. Thanks to the clamp-on handle, you can easily attach it to a beach chair, bag, or cooler.
Best Windproof: BetterBrella Umbrella with Reverse Open/Close Technology
If you prioritize a windproof design, we suggest the BetterBrella Umbrella. The reverse open/close configuration and ultra-sturdy ribs allow this product to hold up in extreme winds and strong gusts. Not only that, but the double canopy and extra-wide brim keep you dry when you can't get out of the rain.
Since it folds up away from you, you won't get as wet when closing it. Also, the unique closure creates a protective cone shape to prevent water droplets from getting on your floors.
Best for Kids: Hatley Kids Umbrella
The Hatley Kids Umbrella is the best option for children. It's 23 inches long, has a 28-inch polyester canopy, and is lightweight, making it perfect for little ones. The J-shaped wooden handle is easy to hold, and kids can open and close the canopy on their own. This umbrella is available in prints youngsters will appreciate, like dinosaurs, tractors, and sharks.
Best Bubble: ShedRain Clear Bubble Umbrella Clear Bubble Umbrella
If you like bubble umbrellas, you'll love this classically chic one from ShedRain. The 52-inch birdcage design keeps you completely protected in the rain. And thanks to the clear canopy, you can see where you're going, even with your whole head covered. This is very convenient for anyone looking to safeguard their hair or makeup from the elements.
ShedRain makes a range of high-quality umbrellas, and this one is no exception. The resilient materials and smart construction are made to last for years.
Best Style: Certain Standard The Large Umbrella
The Large Umbrella from Certain Standard is a sleek and stylish product with a durable design. It's 34 inches long and has a generous 46-inch canopy, which comes in seven chic colors. The lightweight composite frame effortlessly glides open and closed, and the beautifully contrasted shaft is accented with a natural cork handle.
Weighing about a pound, this statement-making stick umbrella is easy to carry around. With such an aesthetically pleasing yet versatile design, you'll want to show it off even when it's not raining.
What to Look for in an Umbrella
When it comes to umbrellas, durability is the ultimate priority, simply because you'll always be using your umbrella in less-than-ideal weather. As such, you need something that will stay working regardless of winds, temperatures, and elements. Look for umbrellas with reinforced fabric, 'unflippable' frames, sturdy ribs, and reverse open-close technology to keep the structure in the most uncontrollable winds.
Umbrellas, like anything, vary in price. You can opt for a cheap option if you're looking to have something simple for running errands or protecting the kiddos at school, or you can go big and opt for all the bells and whistles. The latter might make more sense if you live in a crazy climate or if you're planning on protecting more than just yourself. Higher priced items tend to be bigger, sturdier, or made with high-end microfiber that's water repellant rather than water resistant.
A quality umbrella is one you can take with you because you never really know when inclement weather could happen. The best umbrellas are small enough to be portable, but large enough to cover you and perhaps even someone else. While small is convenient, that isn't everything. A smaller size umbrella can fit in a purse or backpack, sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's effective at keeping away the elements. We suggest finding a happy medium.
Does your umbrella do what it's actually supposed to do? This is definitely important (obviously). Size, price, portability, and even durability aside, does it keep you dry? That's the focus.
Who invented umbrellas?
Short answer: we don't actually know for sure.
Long answer: Arguably, the Chinese 4,000+ years ago or even as far back as ancient Greece and Egypt. There is evidence of usage of umbrellas (mostly to shade from the sun) in their art.
What are umbrellas made of?
Modern-day umbrellas use a mix of materials. Most have pongee fabric material (for canopies) because it's stretchy, yet water resistant. Some umbrellas also have microfiber to help with moisture-wicking, too. The ribs are usually made from steel or fiberglass (for durability).
How do you store umbrellas?
First, make sure your umbrella is fully dry before storing (this prevents mold and nasty smells). Close it properly (make sure it's not folded or bent in any area), cover any exposed poles, and wrap or cover it in the off-season.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Theresa Holland. As a resident of the rainy Pacific Northwest, she's seasoned in nearly year-round efforts of staying dry outside. Theresa also writes for MyDomaine and Byrdie. Additional reporting was done by Marisa Donnelly, a writer and editor with over 12 years of experience. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Bustle, BossBabe, Thought Catalog, and more.