There is a classic image of someone having a really bad day: a pedestrian wrestling with an umbrella that has been turned inside out by the high winds and rain. Everyone has been there, and it does not set the tone for having a good day. Someone very wise once said that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad preparedness. These products are the one thing that you never need until you absolutely do, and you probably haven’t spent much time thinking about them. You more than likely have a spare one sitting in the trunk of your car that has one broken arm and never seems to unfold without a huge struggle. Life is just too hard to ever find yourself out in the rain without the proper gear.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
- SY Compact
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
Comes with a sticker that is hard to remove
You know that you have seen people use them out and about, and wondered if they are really more effective: the clear, bubble-like design. The way this model differs is because instead of offering a wide, low profile canopy, it covers you the way a bubble that is opened at one end would. Contrary to what you may have thought- it does an excellent job of keeping you dry.Read more
The design of this is one of its best features. Not only will you look stylish and trendy- but you will also have a better field of view because the exterior is made out of a clear vinyl (think that of a clear blow-up pool toy). It also hugs up closer to your body so that you won’t run the risk of snagging or bumping into anything with a larger canopy.
Weight and Dimensions
The weight of this model runs pretty par for the course and weighs in at just 15.5 ounces. When it is completely unfolded, the canopy measures in at 52 inches. When folded, it measures in at 36 inches.
Sporting a black model when it rains blocks out the light, and it can also make a dark and dreary day darker and drearier. With a clear canopy, the user can light what light there is out there in while always having a sense of their surroundings. It has a classic hooked handle that is easy to hold and easy to hang while not in use.
If it’s popular and trendy- it’s going to be more expensive. Fortunately, in this case, the price tag- while more expensive than any other model on this list- is still considered to be affordable. You probably spend a lot of time picking out the perfect clothes for the day- it would be a shame if no one got to see them because it is raining.
If looking good and staying dry is something that is important to you, and you don’t care as much about portability and folding up small, this is a really unique model that is sure to draw some attention out of the sidewalk and bring some light into a dreary day.
Some find it is difficult to close completely
Repel makes the tanks of the umbrella world with this model. It does everything that a user would want from an item that keeps them dry. It is lightweight and easy to store, and it is built like a tank. There will be no risk of it turning inside out on blustery days with this design.Read more
There are no gimmicks, no variations in designs- just model that comes in solid black. It comes with a black handle, and it comes with a black carrying case so you can put it away wet back into your backpack or purse without getting everything else wet as well.
Weight and Dimensions:
When it is all folded up and put into its carrying case, it weighs in at under 1 pounds and measures to be just 11.5 inches long. This makes it simple to throw into your purse or your backpack and completely forget about it until you need it.
The way that it holds up to even the most extreme elements is one of the reasons this model is landing the top stop. The reason why most of these products turn inside out when it is windy is because the inside ribs are not composed of high quality and sturdy materials. Most designs out there only have 6 to 8 rubs, but Repels model has 9 fiberglass ribs that are resin reinforced. The fabrics used are coated with Teflon, so when the clouds clear, you won’t be stuck with something wet for very long.
The price of this unit is another one of its better features. Sure, you won’t get the opportunity to choose a color that suits you, but you will have the knowledge that when it becomes you against the elements- you are going to win this time. Plus, it comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee if the weather ever does penetrate through this tough model.
If you are looking for something that is tough but comes in a smaller package- Repel has the perfect product that will keep you dry when the rains really start to fall.
Innovative hands-free design
Comes in a wide array of colors and designs
Not very compact- hard to pack into a backpack
It has probably been a while since you have had the need to purchase one of these products- and you might be surprised that they do not all look the same. There have been, in fact, improvements to the original model. The Spar.Saa takes everything that you hated about using these products and improved upon it.Read more
The design is what makes it truly unique. Instead of folding in on itself, it folds outwardly- they way it would look if it got caught in the wind. By using this way of folding, the wet part of the fabric won’t come in contact with the inside of your car. The design of the handle is different as well. Instead of sporting the classic hook or straight design, this model has a loop with an opened end. This loop can be affixed to your wrist so that you can keep dry but you can also keep your hands free to carry things
Weight and Dimensions
This unit weighs just over 1 pounds (1.1 pounds to be exact) so it won’t become too heavy when the rains really start to pour. When it is unfolded it measures in at 42.5 inches, and when it is folded it measures to be 31.5 inches.
If the wind ever does catch this unit, you won’t have to worry about it being ruined because the wind will just be folding it back up for you. However, that shouldn’t really be a problem because the 8 panels of durable fabric are held together by a fiberglass frame.
The cost of this design will likely set you back about the same amount of money it would cost you to take yourself out for a nice lunch. The innovative design and myriad of color options make this product well worth the price.
If you are the type that is adventurous and likes to try new and unique designs- even improvements upon tried and tested models- you are sure to be pleased with the purchase of this product. Be prepared to tell curious onlookers where you bought it.
- Vented panels let high winds pass through
- 90-day warranty
- Available in many colors
A little more expensive than most
You are a minimalist- you don’t need anything too flashy or that will draw too much attention to yourself. All that you want is something that will keep you high and dry when the rain and wind really begin to pick up, and it compact enough that you can keep it in your purse or backpack. It this is you, you will love EEZ-Y’s model.Read more
When completely folded, it packs up as a small rectangle that can fit right in your glovebox or purse/backpack when you need it. It is available in many different colors such as black, gray, yellow, red, blue, white, as well as a few others. It also comes with a matching carrying case so you don’t have to worry about getting all of the stuff inside of your backpack wet when it comes time to put it away.
Weight and Dimensions
This model is super lightweight and checks in at under 1 pound- 15.2 ounces to be exact. If you are backpacking during the rainy season, you can add this to your pack with adding too much additional weight or taking up too much space. When it is opened, the canopy that will shield you from the rain is 42 inches across, ensuring that every part of you stays nice and dry.
While the ribs are made from high quality and sturdy materials EEZ-Y went one step above and beyond to ensure that you aren’t that sad sack wrestling with the busted inside-out product on those, particularly nasty days. This model has vents panels in the fabric to allow high winds to pass right through while keeping you in control and- most importantly- keeping you dry.
This might be a little bit more expensive than some of the others out there- but it is in no way unaffordable. Considering it might be the last one that you would ever need to buy (unless you happen to misplace it), it is well worth the slightly padded price tag. Plus, if you are unhappy with it within the first 90 days, they will offer a full refund.
If you need something that will keep you dry and has minimal risk of turning inside out when the winds start to pick up- this is an excellent model that might be the last one that you would ever have to purchase.
9 panel design
Offered in fun designs
The people have spoken- and they adore this model. It is incredibly durable and dependable when the rains really start to pour. It comes in a variety of colors that is sure to appease most tastes and will more than likely be the last one that you will ever have to buy.Read more
The design options are a little bit different than some of the other models on the market. While it comes in many of the basic colors that users prefer, it also comes with a rainbow design (that resembles those helicopter hats from cartoons) and a blue and white cloud design so that you can look up and pretend that it isn’t actually raining. It has an automatic open a close button so you won’t be left standing in front of your car door struggling in the rain to get it closed.
Weight and Dimensions
This is a little bit heavier than some of the others- but not by a whole lot. It checks in at just 1.12 pounds and is able to fold down to just 12 inches. When fully opened, 42 inches of waterproof fabric stand between you and the pounding rain.
While some designs only have 6-8 panels, this model has 9. It has fiberglass ribs that are reinforced to guarantee you won’t be left with a model that is inside out when the winds really start to pick up. The single button touch will both open and close this design, making it a snap to use.
What users love most about this model is the affordable price. While it is not the least expensive model out there, it is nowhere near the most expensive. When you tack on a 100 perfect lifetime warranty in case anything goes wrong- you cannot be the price.
If you have ever been one of those being struggling along the sidewalk with a product that has been turned inside out from the wind, and want to ensure that that will never happen to you ever again- the Rain-Mate design might be your best bet.
Large canopy big enough for two
Canopy blocks out UVA rays
Water can come through vents
This G4Free model is the monster truck of all of the other products to make this list. If you insist on having a design that will ensure that not an inch of you will become wet, or you love sharing the canopy with a friend or loved one comfortable, this will be an excellent tool to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.Read more
This design is made for golfers, so you can rest assured that it is sleek and unassuming. It is available in many neutral colors that are sure to apply to your own personal style. It has a long arm with a soft EVA grip.
Weight and Dimensions
While normal sized products typically have a canopy that measures around 37-42 inches- this model has an impressive canopy of 62 inches, which makes it incredibly roomy for just you, or ideal for you and a friend. When folded down, it measures in at around 39 inches wide.
The fabric that the canopy blocks out 99 percent of the sun’s harmful rays, so it will not only keep the rain off of your back- but the sun as well. The vents that are located in the middle of each panel are designed to catch the wind as it blows through so you never have to worry about it turning inside out or losing control when the weather really starts to get scary.
The price of this model runs par for the course. While it is not the most expensive one out there, it’s not the least expensive either. Considering that it is enough to keep two people out of the rain, and yet it comes at the same price as the smaller ones- this comes in at an incredible deal.
If you need something big enough to ensure that not a drop of water hits your shoulders, or the shoulders of a friend that also needs to take cover- this will be the perfect fit without adding any extra strain on your wallet
- Fun designs
- Folds inside out for quick drying
- Offers sun protection
- Some had difficulty with winds over 15 miles per hour
BAGAIL makes an excellent option for those that are looking for something a little different. It comes in a variety of trendy colors and designs to appeal to most users, and sports that unique inside-out design that is easier to use and wicks away water easily.Read more
If you are looking for something that is a little outside of the box- this is the model for you. It comes in a variety of polka dotted, floral, and solid colors that will pop against the dreariness of a rainy fall afternoon.
Weight and Dimensions
This model weighs exactly 1 pound, which is about normal compared to many of the other models on the market. When it is folded is measured in at approximately 30 inches long. While it isn’t the most compact models out there, it does make up for it in the way that it folds to dry quickly.
The inside-out model is perfect to prevent it from being turned inside out with a gush of high winds. It as a C-shaped handle that is perfect for placing on your wrist to keep your hands free while you carry your car keys and coffee. When it is not in use, it will stand up on its own and will drip dry more quickly.
The cost of this model is about the price you would expect to pay for a quality product. While it is not the most inexpensive model on the market, the innovative design makes it well worth the price tag.
If you were in the market for something a little different that is available in a lot of fun colors and designs, and is affordable enough to pick more than one- this is an excellent option to keep you looking good and dry on dreary rainy days.
- Comes with a carrying case
- Can open with the touch of a button
Some find that the nylon is easily torn
If you are looking for something that you can throw into your backpack or glovebox to save for the times that you will really need it- this is an excellent and compact option. Not only is it compact- but it is also sturdy and strong if you ever get caught in some pretty nasty weather.Read more
The design of this model is pretty minimalistic. It doesn’t come in as many colors and designs as some of the others- it is only available in basic black with the addition of a faux leather carrying case. It is perfect for keeping in your glovebox and will never run the risk of sticking out or going out of style.
Weight and Dimensions
This model weighs in at just under 1 pounds- .95 pounds to be exact. It expands to just be a tad bigger than the norm- when opened the canopy covers approximately 46.5 inches. When folded, it is just over 12 inches long.
What makes this design unique is the use of 10 panels instead of the typical 6-8 panels. More panels mean more ribs and hardware, and more hardware means less of a chance of it turning inside out when the winds really start to kick up. Plus, the smooth grip is comfortable for the hand and is able to be opened with just the press of one button.
This unit runs in the middle of the road in terms of price, and will likely set you back the same amount that it would cost you to take a friend out for a nice lunch to brighten up a rainy day. In addition to a great price point, Bodyguard also offers a 100 percent lifetime warranty if anything goes wrong with your purchase.
If you are looking for something that is sleek, durable, and will fit into your glovebox for the next 20 years without running the risk of ever going out of style- this is an excellent choice.
9. SY Compact
- Available in a fun sky design
Some find that is it hard to open
This is a great option for someone who wants something that is both compact and super durable. It is perfect for popping into the glove box of your car or into your backpack for when the rains really start to pour. The sturdy design is great for those windy days, too.Read more
This model comes in a basic black that that comes with a similar black carrying case. If you were looking for something that was a little more fun, SY also offers a light blue design with a cloud design so that while you are walking you can look up and pretend that it is actually a bright and sunshiny day.
Weight and Dimensions
This model is a little bit lighter than some of the others out there, and checks in at approximately 12 ounces. When the canopy is fully opened, it is 41 inches wide- which is pretty standard for models that aren’t considered to be mini or oversized.
The inside has 8 panels that are composed of a waterproof 210T pongee material. This material wicks away water and is also incredibly quick drying. It opens with the press of a button, and when you need to close it back up, simply press that button again, fasten the ribs in place, and put it into the carrying case that it comes with. SY claims that this model can withstand winds that are up to 60 miles per hour.
Thos cost of this item is one of it’s best features. It is one of the most inexpensive designs to make this list and will set you back about the same amount of money that it would cost you to buy a nice cup of coffee for you and a friend. Plus, if anything happens to your model, SY offers a money back guarantee.
If you are looking for something affordable, but is also strong and will hold up to strong winds without breaking the bank- this is an excellent option t keep you high and dry on those dreary and rainy days.
- UV protection
- Wrist strap for easy carrying
- Some have a difficult time getting it to close
For those of you that want something that is compact, but it just a little bit bigger than some of the standard models out there on the market- this is an excellent decision. It has a shard design, is perfect come rain or shine, and will not put any strain on your wallet.Read more
This model comes to you in a basic black, or a maroon top with a black interior. It is able to be opened with the simple press of a button, and the interior has 10 ribs.
Weight and Dimensions
It is a little bit heavier than some of the other models on the market and weighs in at about 1.2 pounds. When fully opened, it covers 45.7 inches of space to keep you dry, When folded up, it is only 13 inches long which makes it perfect for throwing into a tote bag or glove box.
The canopy is made from a thick and durable material that is coated with a waterproof material that will wick water away and will be fast drying. The 10 ribbed design distributes pressure from high winds more evenly to prevent it from turning inside out of those incredibly windy days. Plus, it opens and closes with just the simple press of a button.
The cost of this model is one of its best features, and it one of the least expensive models to make this list. It will likely set you back the same amount of money you spend on your lunch today. If for any reason something happens to this model, they will send you a free replacement for life.
If you are in the market to upgrade your old model but don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on some of the more pricey designs- this is an excellent choice that doesn’t sacrifice quality.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
No one wants to be that person whose umbrella is turned inside out by a sudden gust of wind. So, how do you avoid that? Quality of materials and smart design. Ribs that are made from reinforced fiberglass hold up better than older models that used flimsy steel materials that are easily bent. Also, when canopies are made from one solid piece of material, they can act like a sail when held at the right angle and can take flight if you aren’t holding on tight enough. Smarter designs put slits in the middle of each panel that allows for air to flow through so you don’t run the risk of losing it when the wind picks up at just the right angle.
This feature is especially important for campers that want to be able to throw in into their backpacks without weighing them down too much and taking up too much room. We were drawn to models that have telescopic poles that could fold down to a third of their original size and could be placed into a small carrying case that is typically about 12 inches long. Not only is that design perfect for campers, but it also makes it easy to throw it into your purse or into your glove box. The older models without the telescopic poles are great for fending off robbers, but they aren’t ideal for busy people that need room in their backpacks or purses.
You might not think that it is something very important, but they can serve a variety of purposes. If you are planning on attending something like a golf tournament, standing under that hot sun all day can get really hot and it can do a number on your skin if you don’t have any sunblock. Most notably, an umbrella can help in a pinch if it starts to rain. Also, if you are out on a camping trip, sometimes the weather can turn on you and you could be left out in the wilderness for 5 days during nothing but rain and wind. While a poncho might help keep your clothes dry, the constant pounding of rain on your head can really begin to wear on hikers by the end of the day. Throwing one of these into your backpack for such an occasion can really make all the difference. Like we said earlier, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad preparedness.
Obviously, one of the most important features consumers should look for in an umbrella is its ability to keep them dry! If it doesn’t keep you dry, then it is just for decoration, and we have far surpassed the era where people wore these as an arbitrary accessory to their ensembles. As with any piece of outdoor gear, you really need to pay attention to the materials that umbrellas are made from. Inferior materials equal an inferior product. An interior product means one thing: you are going to get wet. A really great durable material to look out for is nylon taffeta that helps with keeping the umbrella water-resistant and has a coating finish on it. This acrylic coating that is on the underside helps with allowing the water to drip down without going through the umbrella and extends its lifespan.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
There have been a lot of positive changes in this market since that last time you purchased one back in 1988. There are some new and clever designs that will keep you looking good and keep you dry all at the same time. Improvements in rib design and canopy materials mean that there is less risk that you will lose control when the winds really start to pick up. There were a few things that we kept in mind while conducting our research to ensure that your next purchase could be the last one you make in white some time. Sure, it’s important that it keeps the rain off of your back and won’t show up in the next county when the wind picks up. However, it doesn’t hurt if it happens to look really good and reflects your personal style. We liked to select models that were available in many different colors and designs.
Other Factors to Consider
You might feel like it is something that is not extremely high on your priority list because it’s something that you might already have- albeit a flimsy and old design that just barely gets the job done. We took that into consideration when selecting the models for our list. They aren’t incredibly expensive and probably won’t set you back all that much. However, we did make a point to steer clear of the very inexpensive models because they are typically made with interior materials that will likely rust and will barely make it through one season. If you are making the investment in a new one, you want it to last for a very long time.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are bubble umbrellas?
This break away from the traditional canopy model and instead of offering the classic shape one has come to expect, it looks more like a bubble with an opening at the bottom. Because the canopy hangs down in front of your face, it is made from a clear vinyl like that of a blow-up pool toy. There are a lot of advantages of this model that the traditional design cannot compete with. First of all, it provides additional protection from that horrible horizontal rain. Not every rainshower looks romantic like in the movies- it can get really nasty out there, and this model is made to combat that. Secondly, it takes up less space on the sidewalk and has become one of the most popular models in exceptionally busy cities. They may look a lot different from a lot of the others out there, and you might be hesitant to take a chance- but the totes model found on this list is incredibly affordable and well worth it- especially if you live in a major city.
q: Are the compact versions typically less durable?
Don’t be fooled- bigger isn’t always better. More often than not, when something is more compact it means that is deficient in one area or another in comparison to the original model. However, this is not the case. For compact models, the ribs on the canopy fold in three places rather than just one. This might be a problem with ribs that are made from pliable metals, but the materials used for the newer models (fiberglass) are more resilient and stronger.
q: What’s a telescopic umbrella?
There are two types of models out there on the market. The first kind is the type you often see depicted in old movies: it has the wooden curved handle and the ribs simply fold down around the metal shaft. These models can be used to fight off potential muggers- but they are not great at being stored away compactly. The telescopic model simply means that is has a pole that is able to be compacted down to half its size. As time presses on, this is the model that is used by everyone because it is so easily stored in glove boxes and purses.
q: Do they protect against the sun?
With the exception of the totes clear model- all of these models do come with the added benefit of UV protection. If you are incredibly diligent about keeping your skin out of the sun while at a golf tournament where there is little shade, this is something great to not only keep those harmful UV rays off of your skin, but it will also provide a great amount of shade when the sun gets really hot in the summer. Plus, if a sudden summer storms brews- you will be protected from that, too. If you purchase one of the more compact models, you will always have the proper tool to keep yourself protection both rain or shine.
q: What makes for a superior umbrella?
When you are out shopping, there are two things that you need to keep in eye on: the measurement of the canopy, and the materials used to make the inside ribs. A good size canopy that will ensure that you stay dry measures in at about 42 inches. Anything less than that and you run the risk of keeping your head high and dry, but your pants and torso from becoming damp. Of course, you can opt for the larger options that measure in at 62 inches- but these can become hard to maneuver while walking down the sidewalk because they take up so much space. Another thing to look for is what the ribs are made out of, and how many of them there are. Models that have more than 6 ribs are better at flipping inside out. The more ribs, the stronger it is. Furthermore, you ribs that are made out of reinforced fiberglass are better at staying strong than those made out of other types of metals.
- The 7 Best Travel Umbrellas of 2019, Article ,