Everyone wants something different in an umbrella. Some prefer style, while others prioritize substance, but we can all agree that umbrellas should keep you dry and hold up in moderate wind. While no umbrella is perfect in a heavy downpour, a good umbrella will prevent you from showing up to your destination looking like a wet rat.
Umbrellas have been around for thousands of years, but we found that many still fall short of protecting you from the rain and wind. We are convinced that the best umbrella is the Davek Solo Umbrella (available at Davek for $115.00) for its quality, aesthetics, and performance. It's perfect for someone who wants to be sleek and stylish, yet its luxurious fabric and sturdy frame will still keep you dry.
The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.
When it comes to protecting yourself from the elements, we found that the Davek umbrella is the best. It holds up in the wind and opens and closes with ease, especially when you need to pull it out quickly for an unexpected downpour. We walked over a mile with the Davek and everything except our feet managed to stay dry.
The high-grade micro weave fabric also dries quickly so the Davek won’t soak your bag if you’re transporting it. It has an automatic open and close frame system, which is made of strong fiberglass - and is its secret to protecting you against high winds and rain - that also automatically opens and closes with a simple push of a button. The canopy fabric is also wind resistant for extra protection.
The Davek is definitely the fanciest umbrella we found. It comes in a beautiful red box complete with a protective sleeve. The only downside to this umbrella is its higher price, but it is a quality umbrella that we think is worth the investment. If you're not prone to losing things, you're unlikely to need another umbrella for many years.
Totes Titan Large Auto Open Close Neverwet Umbrella
The Totes Neverwet Umbrella does a respectable job of protecting us from the elements. This isn't a surprise as Totes is a reputable umbrella manufacturer. While we like the basic black version, it comes in a wide array of attractive colors and patterns. This traditional umbrella’s winning feature is its portability—it easily fits into your bag, while still unfolding large enough to protect you from the rain.
The Totes Neverwet doesn’t dry as quickly as others because its canopy lacks the quick-dry micro weave fabric, but the water-resistant Teflon coating does a good job of deflecting the rain. The frame is made of steel as opposed to a cheaper aluminum that some umbrellas have and, despite occasional creakiness when opening, the Totes isn’t difficult to open quickly during an unexpected downpour.
Despite appearing to be more of a fashion accessory, the Totes Ultra Clear Bubble Umbrella does surprisingly well during use. It’ll hold up in the wind and protect you from heavy rain with its unique bubble design. Stylish and fun, you can see outside of the clear plastic sides instead of putting your head down and trudging through the rain in misery.
The design is also ideal for wind protection and the waterproof plastic will keep you completely dry. The only downside to the Bubble Umbrella is how impractical it is when lugging around, it’s the largest full-size product we found and wouldn’t fit neatly into even the largest backpack.
The G4 Umbrella scored high because of its unique double-frame design, which makes its canopy resistant to strong winds. This umbrella also has a sturdy, fiberglass frame and an easy-to-grip handle. If you live in a windy area, this is the umbrella for you!
The G4 also features high-density pongee fabric and fiberglass ribs, which provides you with good rain protection. Like some other umbrellas, the biggest downside of the G4 is that it's inconvenient to carry around and doesn’t fit in most bags. While the canopy fabric provides good rain protection, it doesn’t dry quickly, which is likely due to its size.
The Samsonite umbrella scored the highest among all the portable umbrellas we found, with decently waterproof polyester Teflon fabric and a good quality spine. The handle is easy to grip and slip-proof in heavy rain. It’s the smallest out of all the umbrellas we picked and is even more portable than the Totes Foldable.
The Samsonite does fine in most categories and is comparable to other portable umbrellas in terms of rain protection and wind resistance. It isn’t likely to hold up in a strong gust, but you will get the slightly above average umbrella you paid for with the Samsonite.
Lewis N. Clark Windproof and Water Repellent Travel Umbrella
The Lewis N. Clark is a solid little number and the least expensive out of all the products we found. Its quick-drying polyester and Teflon water-resistant fabric will keep you mostly dry during a strong downpour. One complaint we have about the Lewis N. Clark umbrella is that it doesn’t dry quickly despite touting “quick dry” fabric. It’s probably the most average of all of the ones we found, but we do like that this compact umbrella has an affordable price.
If you are willing to spend a bit more on a nice umbrella, then the Weatherman Travel Umbrella is worth it. With a strong, sturdy frame made of industrial fiberglass, this umbrella can withstand wind speeds up to 45 miles per hour. Plus, it resists water in heavy rain and even dries off fairly quickly.
In addition, this umbrella has a comfortable, slipless handle, reflective features for safety at night, and weighs less than a pound, making it easy to bring it with you anywhere. We also discovered that this umbrella is pretty resistant to damage, such as if you lose your grip in the wind or drop it by accident.
No umbrella is perfect and each one has its limitations, but there are concrete things you can look for when purchasing one. To keep you dry, an umbrella needs to have a strong waterproof coating such as Teflon. The type of handle you choose is also very important since the rain can make it slippery, so find one that you’re able to grip well.
An umbrella consists of about 150 parts and each one has to survive the elements. Rain and wind are especially hard on the ribs, stretchers, and springs. Heavy wind puts stress on your umbrella’s joints and can invert it.
Solid rivets and a quality frame will protect your umbrella from strong winds. Rivets tie the ribs, stretchers, and ligaments of the frame. To prevent getting an umbrella that is likely to break in a gust of wind, don't purchase one if you can see through the rivets on the frame. It is best to choose umbrellas made with steel, nickel, brass, and fiberglass to ensure you get more than one use out of your umbrella.
It is important to choose an affordable umbrella since it is an easy item to forget during your commute, but make sure the one you choose is well-constructed. For example, you could purchase five bargain umbrellas you’ll use once for our favorite, the Davek, which will last you a long time—just be careful you don’t forget it in a cab.
How to Fix a Broken Umbrella
You can save yourself a lot of money if you’re willing to put the effort into repairing your umbrella. It is easy to break an umbrella, so repairing one can be a a multi-step process. While you might not want to go through the trouble of repairing an umbrella unless it was expensive or has sentimental value, it is useful to know that it can be done.
Use the two halves, strong adhesive glue, and some extra tough tape to repair a broken stem. Glue the broken stem together and finish by wrapping it tightly with strong tape.
What to Do If Your Umbrella Turns Inside out
It is very inconvenient (and annoying) when an umbrella turns inside out in heavy rain. A potential quick fix is to stand still, fold the canopy inwards, and hold it in the direction of the wind. This works about half of the time if you are using an umbrella with a poorly made frame.
When an umbrella canopy flips up in the wind, fix the spokes by weaving a thin wire in place of them and tightly fasten it to the center. Repairing rips in the canopy fabric is another quick fix if you have a simple sewing kit and an arsenal of patches at your disposal. To keep yourself dry, sew the patches directly into the canopy using waterproof fabric.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.