Few people enjoy getting soaked in a sudden storm, especially when toting luggage across an airport parking lot or rushing to a business meeting. To prevent being caught unprepared, invest in a sturdy and compact travel umbrella to go with your rain jacket. These umbrellas are slightly smaller than other umbrellas and weigh less than a pound for easy portability.
The best travel umbrella options have the same durable, high-tech engineering as full-size umbrellas, including wind-resistant canopies, quick-dry materials, and easy open-close mechanisms. Place one in your bag to help keep you dry, and save some stress on your next trip. Read on for shopping considerations and to learn why these travel umbrellas are top performers.
- BEST OVERALL: Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon Coating
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: PFFY 2-Pack Compact Collapsible Travel Umbrella
- BEST UPGRADE: The Weatherman Windproof Travel Umbrella
- BEST DESIGN: Bodyguard Inverted Windproof Umbrella
- BEST COMPACT: TradMall 2-Pack Travel Umbrella
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: LifeTek Windproof Teflon Canopy Travel Umbrella
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Travel Umbrella
In shape and function, travel umbrellas are no different from full-size umbrellas. However, they differ in size and weight, which are key factors that affect the ease of portability.
Umbrellas consist of four basic components. The canopy is the part that keeps you dry. It covers the ribs, which keep the canopy firm and resists wind. The shaft holds everything up above your head. And the grip, or handle, is what you hold. Most umbrellas also have a tie that can wrap around the closed canopy, then be secured with velcro or snaps.
An umbrella’s canopy is the collapsible fabric dome that keeps you dry when it’s spread open. In the United States, canopy size is measured by its arc. This is the outside of the umbrella’s canopy from rib to opposite rib when fully expanded. Travel umbrellas typically have arcs between 30 and 45 inches wide.
One canopy feature to consider is vents or gaps along the top that offer additional air flow and wind resistance. Vented umbrellas allow air to pass through and prevent the umbrella from turning inside-out as easily as nonvented models.
However, vents aren’t necessary for a sturdy travel umbrella, especially in versions that are reinforced with extra ribs. The thin-rodded ribs attach the canopy to the shaft to keep your umbrella firm and flexible when expanded. Many of the best travel umbrella canopies have at least nine ribs.
Umbrella canopies need to be waterproof, wind-resistant, and often sun-resistant, too. The most popular canopy materials are nylon, polyester, or pongee fabric. Each of these materials is highly waterproof, fast-dryingan, flexible, shrink resistant, and mold resistant. Some canopies are also coated with Teflon, a chemical membrane that is impermeable to water.
Canopies are reinforced with metal or fiberglass resin ribs, which expand when the umbrella is open and collapse when it is closed. The long shaft is typically made of a lightweight yet strong metal, like aluminum or steel. The grip may contain wood, metal, or plastic, with a rubberized or cushioned grip for comfort.
Size and Weight
Travel umbrellas have a tough balancing act to perform. They need to be strong enough to withstand adverse weather conditions, like wind gusts and heavy bouts of rain. They also need to be small and lightweight enough to slip easily into a carry-on bag, weekend duffel, purse, or briefcase without adding bulk or heft.
These compact umbrellas are usually between 11.5 and 13 inches in length when closed. When it comes to weight, an umbrella that weighs around 1 pound is ideal.
Our Top Picks
Choosing a great umbrella without trying it out in rainy weather can be a challenge. To make it easier, we’ve gathered some of the best travel umbrellas based on material, size, weight, and durable features including extra ribs, comfy grip, and wind resistance.
The Repel travel umbrella is compact, ultra-waterproof, and windproof as well. The canopy fabric is coated with Teflon, a chemical known for superior waterproofing, and the inside is fortified with nine resin fiberglass ribs. The umbrella contains a vented double canopy, which can withstand wind gusts without turning inside out. Its handle is slip-proof with a comfy, rubberized grip.
Measuring just 11.5 inches long and weighing less than a pound, the Repel will fit into many purses, briefcases, and carry-on bags. Once you’ve reached your destination, simply shake off the water, collapse it, and stow it away. The umbrella dries quickly, so it won’t get you or your possessions wet. Repel offers 11 bright color combinations to choose from based on your personal preferences.
PFFY’s travel umbrella two-pack costs as much as most single portable umbrellas, without skimping on quality. Each umbrella has a fiberglass frame, chrome-plated metal shaft, and 10 interior resin fiberglass ribs for outstanding stability and the ability to withstand powerful winds. The automatic open-close press button is a cinch to use, even in the most trying weather conditions.
At just under 1 pound each, the PFFY umbrellas won’t add heft to your carry-on or luggage. Select from 13 color combinations ranging from bright to neutral.
It’s called The Weatherman for a reason. This professional-grade portable umbrella is a trustworthy travel companion. It weighs under 1 pound and measures less than 12 inches long, so it’s easily stowed away in a handbag or backpack. Weatherman uses industrial-strength fiberglass for the body, while the canopy is reinforced to withstand winds up to 45 miles per hour.
Weatherman’s eco-friendly business practices use less plastic and 80 percent post-consumer fiber packaging. This high-end umbrella is available in black, white, red, orange, pink, teal, or grey.
An inverted umbrella is specially designed to withstand high winds and gusty rainstorms. Bodyguard’s inverted design folds upward, instead of down. Its unique shape keeps water drops inside and prevents wetness from flowing onto the floor, shoes, and other surfaces. This design makes getting into and out of the car or home a drier experience all round.
The Bodyguard umbrella is extra-reinforced with 12 internal ribs made of resin-reinforced fiberglass. The fabric canopy is Teflon-coated for additional waterproofing. The outer edge features a reflective stripe as a safety feature, reflecting ambient light to alert vehicles to your presence if you’re walking in dark or low visibility conditions. Open and close this umbrella with the press of a button. The Bodybody comes in either black or light gray.
The TradMall bears the distinction of being one of the slimmest—yet still sturdy—travel umbrellas out there. While tiny, at less than 1 pound in weight and 13 inches in length, it is mighty. The windproof canopy contains reinforced fiberglass ribs, and the main shaft is thick enough to feel substantial in your hand. Waterproof fabric repels heavy rain, sleet, and snow easily and dries quickly when you head indoors.
The dimpled handle is designed to be easy and comfortable to hold, providing a firm grip in windy conditions. Both umbrellas in this two-pack come with nylon carrying cases for storage and additional waterproof protection inside your bag. Choose from 10 color options, each with automatic open-close buttons. Tuck one TradMall umbrella into your glove compartment and another in your travel bag for easy access.
At 15 ounces, LifeTek’s all-weather umbrella is light and collapses to a portable 11.5 inches. Constructed with nine resin-reinforced fiberglass ribs, this wind-proof travel umbrella combines steel, resin, and aluminum to combat wind and rain. LifeTek’s signature waterproof fabric also protects against UV rays, with a 60-plus ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating, which blocks up to 98 percent of ultraviolet rays.
Choose between 42- or 45-inch canopies, as well as a larger double canopy for even greater wind resistance and strength. The single press button opens and closes the canopy without hassle. Each umbrella comes with a matching travel case in black, red, navy, or green.
FAQs About Your New Travel Umbrella
Keeping a portable umbrella handy can cut down on the stress of being caught unprepared while traveling. While cheap travel umbrellas can break after a few uses, quality models made from steel, aluminum, and resin-reinforced fiberglass can hold up in nasty storms and last for years.
The following answers to some frequently asked questions may help you while shopping for a travel umbrella.
Are vented umbrellas better?
Vented umbrellas, which contain open flaps at the top that allow air to pass through, are more stable than nonvented umbrellas. The air vents prevent the canopy from turning inside out during a windstorm.
How long does a travel umbrella last?
A good quality travel umbrella lasts at least 2 years. As with any purchase, choosing better quality models and properly storing the umbrella can make it last longer.
What is a good size of a travel umbrella?
Many good travel umbrellas usually weigh about 15 ounces and measure around 11.5 inches in length when closed.