No matter where you live, there’s always going to be a rainy day when you’ll need an umbrella.
Since there are all kinds of umbrellas to choose from, you may need some help choosing the best umbrella; one that won’t rip or malfunction after a couple of uses and one that won’t flip inside out in the strong winds that often accompany rainstorms.
Check out the collection of umbrellas below so you can zero in on the best umbrella for you, whether it’s a large, sturdy one for sheltering from downpours or a small, compact one that fits in a tote bag for use on the go.
Read on to learn how to choose the best umbrella for your needs.
- BEST OVERALL: RainStoppers 48” Auto Open Yellow Umbrella
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Vedouci Folding Umbrella 10 Ribs with Teflon Coating
- BEST COMPACT: Lesoom Windproof Waterproof Folding Black Umbrella
- BEST LARGE: G4Free 52/62inch Wooden J Handle Golf Umbrella
- BEST WINDPROOF: Ergonauts Windproof Umbrella – Vented Double Canopy
- BEST FOLDING: Balios Travel Folding Umbrella with Real Wood Handle
- BEST STYLISH: Sharpty Inverted, Windproof, Reverse Umbrella
What to Consider When Buying an Umbrella
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing the best umbrella for rainy days.
There are more fabric options for umbrellas than you may realize, including some with UV protection, wind protection, and water resistance or waterproofing.
- Nylon is lightweight, flexible, and the most popular umbrella fabric.
- Polyester is durable and resists stretching, shrinking, wrinkles, and abrasions.
- Pongee is soft, tightly woven, waterproof, and usually a more expensive material.
- Plastic is durable and inexpensive but can shrink from the heat.
- Satin is soft, sturdy, lightweight, used in fashion umbrellas, and can be high maintenance.
When shopping for an umbrella, look for one that has at least eight ribs. Ribs are the rods that create the canopy and comprise the umbrella’s structure. They should be of good quality and made of fiberglass so they are sturdy, flexible, and more wind resistant than many other materials.
Consider how much coverage you need to keep you dry. A good rule of thumb for adequate coverage for a single person is a canopy diameter of at least 38 inches. There are larger diameter umbrellas that can cover more than one person. Pull on a rain jacket to be sure you stay extra dry. Find out how much rain you might be facing with this state-by-state rainfall guide.
The handle shape matters when choosing the best umbrella. While some people prefer the grip they can get on a thick, plastic handle, others like the sleek, simple esthetic of a thinner, U-shaped wood handle. Many also like being able to hang an umbrella on a hook, another reason a U-shape handle is appealing. What’s important is getting a handle that’s ergonomic so your hand doesn’t ache when holding the umbrella for long periods of time.
When the rain comes, so does the wind. You need an umbrella that won’t flip inside out in a strong wind. Some umbrellas specify how many miles per hour of wind they can withstand. Your best bet for wind resistance is a double-layer canopy umbrella that lets wind pass through the fabric more effectively than it does through a single canopy. Umbrellas with wind vents in the canopy are much less likely to flip, too. Umbrellas with extra or reinforced ribs are more wind-resistant, too.
Ease of Use
Nobody likes to fumble around in the rain trying to open their umbrella. Make sure you’re getting an umbrella that’s super easy to open and to close. Many umbrellas have an auto-open and auto-close function, requiring nothing more than the press of a button. Heavy or extra fabric on the canopy can make some umbrellas more top-heavy than others, making it harder to control in strong wind gusts.
When you’ve come in from the rain, you’ll want to ensure your umbrella is dry before putting it away so it doesn’t mold and mildew. If you don’t have the space to set it on the floor or hang it from a hook until it dries out, you can put it in an umbrella bucket. If you’ll be hanging your umbrella to dry, look for one with either a U-shaped handle or a strap on the handle.
Umbrellas are an accessory, so you want one that looks good. Consider whether an umbrella handle looks elegant or cheap, if its hardware is sleek, or if it looks clunky or too bright. Choose one with canopy material you like. Umbrellas come in different shapes, too. Bubble umbrellas are a classic, stylish shape with a domed, birdcage canopy. Inverted umbrellas have a nice aesthetic, reduce water dripping onto the floor, and make it easier to get in and out of a car.
Our Top Picks
The best umbrella for you will depend on whether you live in a very wet climate, travel often, and how much coverage you need. The following is a list of umbrellas that meet a range of criteria.
If you’re looking for a sturdy, reliable umbrella that will keep you dry and repel the rain, this lemon yellow, doorman-style RainStoppers umbrella is a great option. It has a 36-inch long handle with a canopy that’s a roomy 41 inches in diameter.
It has an auto-open and close function, a strong metal shaft, and strong, flexible fiberglass ribs. Its plastic hook handle makes this umbrella easy to carry and hang up after use. The canopy is made of polyester fabric, and the umbrella stands up to a fair amount of wind.
This affordable umbrella keeps you dry at a price that won’t drain your wallet. The Vedouci can stand up to stiff wind because it has 10 resin-reinforced fiberglass ribs instead of the usual eight ribs on most umbrellas. The extra ribs reinforce the canopy and keep it from blowing inside out in a gale.
It has a chrome-plated metal shaft and polyester fabric that’s coated in Teflon, making it waterproof and fast drying. A rubberized grip handle with a wrist strap makes for easy carrying. The one-click auto-open and close feature make this umbrella easy to use.
It folds up to a compact 13 inches and weighs less than a pound, so you can stash it in a tote bag.
At just under 13 inches long and weighing less than 1 pound, this compact umbrella is small enough to toss in your purse or bag and go. It packs a lot of features in a small package, including an auto-open/close function and a reverse-folding frame of reinforced fiberglass ribs that offers strong wind resistance and lets you get in and out of cars, and other small spaces easily while staying dry.
An extra layer of fabric on the canopy’s underside protects the ribs from breaking or rusting. The polyester fabric is Teflon-coated, making it waterproof and fast-drying, plus it has a comfortable rubberized grip handle with a wrist strap. What’s more, the luminescent strip on the outside of the umbrella offers safety on dark, rainy nights by making you visible to oncoming traffic.
This large golf umbrella comes in two versions—classic and sun protection—and three sizes: 52-inch, 54-inch (large enough for an adult and a child), and 62-inch (room for three people). It conveniently auto-opens and closes and has a J-shaped handle that makes it easy to hold and hang up after use.
The canopy is made of dense, 210 thread count pongee cloth and it has a vented double canopy with eight fiberglass ribs to keep the umbrella from inverting in strong winds. A protective sleeve allows you to store the umbrella easily. It comes in seven colors and is available in three sizes.
This umbrella is also available in a UV version that has a silver-coated lining on the underside of the canopy to protect against UV rays.
Ergonauts’ umbrella is good for strong wind gusts, because it has nine flexible, resin-reinforced fiberglass ribs and a vented double canopy that allows wind to pass through without turning the umbrella inside out. When you compare it to many other umbrellas that come with six or eight aluminum ribs and a single canopy, you can see why this Ergonauts umbrella really is windproof.
An ergonomic rubberized handle and a soft, thick wrist strap feels good in your hand. You can open and close this umbrella quickly with the press of a button. The high-density fabric is coated with water-repelling Teflon so it will dry quickly once you are out of the rain.
It folds up to a compact 12.5 inches in length so it’s portable.
This durable folding umbrella was designed in Britain and has a classic style, with a handmade wooden handle with sleek lines. Its canopy is made of high-quality 300 thread-count fabric, a steel shaft, fiberglass ribs, and a vented double canopy to make it wind resistant.
You’ll enjoy the convenience of the auto open and close button that you can also use to put the ribs back in place if the umbrella inverts in strong winds. Since the ribs are fiberglass, they won’t break if the canopy inverts.
The Balios is 13.5 inches when folded up and opens to a diameter of almost 40 inches, so it provides plenty of rain protection. It’s available in nine colors.
This versatile, reversible inverted umbrella is made of carbon-fiber material that resists rain and dries quickly when you get in out of the rain. It comes in 25 fun and stylish patterns, ranging from classic plaid to a rainbow pattern.
The umbrella’s closing mechanism is inverted, which lets you close it from the inside out. This is very handy in indoor spaces because it keeps the umbrella canopy from slinging water everywhere.
The umbrella’s double-layered canopy protects well against both rain and wind up to 60 miles per hour. Its comfortable C-shaped handle lets you slide it over your forearm or wrist and free up your hands.
FAQs About Umbrellas
With so many umbrellas on the market, you may have additional questions before deciding on the best one for you. Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers.
Q. What makes a good umbrella?
Look for one that has the coverage you need to keep you dry, ideally a 38-inch diameter canopy, with a slim, cushioned grip for maximum comfort. Look for sturdy fabric that resists tears and a rugged construction that will stand up to a lot of rainy days. Wind vents or extra ribs can make it more resistant to blowing inside out in a strong wind, the ultimate umbrella failure.
Q. Which is the best rainproof umbrella?
There are many good choices out there but generally, look for one that has Teflon-coated fabric. This will increase the material’s water-resistance and allow it to dry out much faster once you’re out of the rain.
Q. What is the best color for an outdoor umbrella?
If you need an umbrella to use as a parasol, go with a black one that can intercept up to 90 percent of the sun’s UV rays. If you’re just looking for rain protection, any color will do.