The 6 Best Umbrellas of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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We’ve reviewed this guide and stand by our original picks. We have also updated the links throughout to reflect price and availability changes. Sun Umbrella

The 6 Best Umbrellas of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Trudging through rain is rarely enjoyable, but a great umbrella will reduce the misery, keep you (mostly) dry, and easily stow away when it’s not needed.

Our favorite is the compact Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella. Its nine-rib construction held up against gale-force winds, and it’s as sturdy as umbrellas that sell for more than twice the price.

This solidly built, easy-to-find umbrella holds up in high winds. It also comes in several colors.

price may vary by color or style

This nicely priced umbrella blew away most competition in wind-resistance tests. It comes in a range of colors, but they tend to vary in price, and this model has a history of stock issues.

price may vary by color or style

This umbrella performs similarly to our top pick but has a more luxurious feel and build. However, it lacks a wrist strap.

price may vary by color or style

This isn’t the toughest umbrella, but it comes in many colors, and it’s portable and inexpensive. So it’s great for kids or forgetful folks.

price may vary by color or style

With this model, you get classic style and impressive durability at a very reasonable weight—and price.

If you’re willing to pay a lot more for a timeless umbrella with elevated style and construction, this is the one to get.

The top job of any worthy umbrella is to keep the user dry and protected from the elements.

Though we picked umbrellas of varying lengths, we made sure they were all light and easily portable.

An umbrella should be able to withstand strong gusts, invert without breaking, and then resume its original structure.

Umbrellas are not heirloom items. Since they’re frequently lost or loaned, we looked for options that weren’t overly expensive.

And to suit a range of preferences, we have four other picks, including a budget travel umbrella (perfect for forgetful types) and a high-end, stick-style umbrella that provides more coverage (and is constructed from premium materials).

This solidly built, easy-to-find umbrella holds up in high winds. It also comes in several colors.

price may vary by color or style

The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella folds up to a compact size (11½ inches long), so it fits in most bags and glove boxes. At the touch of a button, it forcefully expands to reveal an ample canopy (37 inches in diameter), which protects your torso and head from precipitation in all but the windiest conditions. And its textured handle is easy for hands of all sizes to grip. We also appreciate that this umbrella comes in several colors (see other options here), so you can more readily find yours in a crowded umbrella bucket. Finally, Repel backs this reasonably priced umbrella with a lifetime refund or replacement guarantee—but only if you purchase directly from Repel and register the item under its warranty.

This nicely priced umbrella blew away most competition in wind-resistance tests. It comes in a range of colors, but they tend to vary in price, and this model has a history of stock issues.

price may vary by color or style

The AmazonBasics Automatic Travel Umbrella with Wind Vent costs less than our top pick—if you get it in black (the other shades cost more.) And due to its vented design and sturdy build, it shrugged off even the toughest gusts during testing. Since 2017, when it first came to our attention, this umbrella has gone in and out of stock several times, making it hard to predict when it would be available. But as of winter 2023, the stock issues seem to have been resolved. Provided that remains the case, this is a solid umbrella.

This umbrella performs similarly to our top pick but has a more luxurious feel and build. However, it lacks a wrist strap.

price may vary by color or style

The Balios Folding Double Canopy Umbrella looks and feels premium—with a wooden handle and solid build quality—yet it costs less than our top pick, the Repel umbrella. But its wooden handle is more slippery than the Repel’s handle, and since the Balios umbrella also lacks a wrist strap, you need to be more vigilant in keeping a grip on it. This umbrella held up well to strong winds, and its 37-inch-wide canopy easily bounced back after it was forced to invert during testing. The Balios umbrella deploys quickly.

This isn’t the toughest umbrella, but it comes in many colors, and it’s portable and inexpensive. So it’s great for kids or forgetful folks.

price may vary by color or style

The Lewis N. Clark Umbrella was a previous top pick in this guide, and it’s still a great value. This lightweight travel model frequently goes on sale for about half the price of our other picks, so it’s a good choice for kids or those who tend to lose umbrellas. It isn’t as solidly built as our other picks, but at 10 ounces, it’s about a quarter-pound lighter than the Repel and AmazonBasics models. And its 38-inch canopy offers better coverage and more wind resistance compared with most other umbrellas in the sub-$20 range. We also like that it comes in nine colors.

With this model, you get classic style and impressive durability at a very reasonable weight—and price.

If you want more coverage than a compact automatic umbrella can provide, stick umbrellas, though typically taller and heavier, have a wider canopy, so they protect more than just your upper torso. Among the nine stick options we tested, the Totes Auto Open Wooden Stick Umbrella was by far the most affordable. Yet it held up against the strongest winds and didn’t feel at all top-heavy, which is a common issue with this type of umbrella (often misidentified as a golf umbrella). This one also looks nicer than you might expect for the price. But if you want something made from more premium materials, and you’re willing to spend a lot more, consider our other stick-umbrella pick, the Davek Elite.

If you’re willing to pay a lot more for a timeless umbrella with elevated style and construction, this is the one to get.

As we’ve established, you don’t have to shell out a lot of money to get a great umbrella. But if you do opt to splurge on a timeless stick, the Davek Elite is worth it. It has a stitched leather handle, a high-quality fiberglass frame, and a 44-inch microfiber canopy. (Plus, there’s a lifetime guarantee to back it all up.) The Elite is available in three colors (black, navy blue, and copper). Beyond its fancy materials, this umbrella can really perform. It withstands wind exceptionally well. And, thanks to its flexible ribs, it doesn’t become a kite when subjected to strong gusts; instead, it turns inside out and then recovers easily. It’s worth noting, however, that the Elite’s cane handle measures 5 inches across, which could be a lot for a smaller hand to manage.

Over the past several years, we’ve taken umbrellas on errands, run them under the shower, attacked them with a leaf blower, and tortured them to the point of failure in gusty winds and blizzard-like conditions. In between the tests, we’ve lived with these umbrellas and loaned samples to family members and friends. This has generated impromptu side-by-side comparisons and ultimately revealed how these umbrellas hold up with long-term use. After all of our testing, we’re confident we’ve found some of the best umbrellas among the hundreds available.

When we initially conducted our research, we also visited Rain or Shine in New York City. At the time, it was one of the few umbrella specialty retailers left in the US (it has since closed). Peggy Levee, Rain or Shine’s owner, was a protégé of Gilbert Center, a storied umbrella sales and repair expert, who was also a source for this guide. Levee formerly operated out of a Midtown Manhattan office stocked with high-end models from around the world. Together with Levee, we examined a range of brands and discussed performance, value, and owner satisfaction.

As always, we started by reassessing our own past research and testing, and we looked at other online reviews. Before visiting the Rain or Shine umbrella store in New York City, we consulted the work of the good folks at OutdoorGearLab, who have done their own extensive umbrella trials. A post on The Art of Manliness website provided historical context and some well-informed general opinions.

Regardless of its size, no umbrella will keep you dry from head to toe, especially if there’s a breeze.

Our 2015 interview with umbrella sales and repair guru Gilbert Center revealed a sad truth: Most (though not all) umbrella making is outsourced to generalist manufacturers, often at the expense of quality. Our dive into online reviews and retail offerings supported that fact; it revealed that there’s an alarming number of cheap, physically identical umbrellas available under multiple, rarely well-known brands. Our digging also revealed there’s a startling similarity and positivity in supposed owner reviews (we’re on record as being skeptics of this phenomenon). Armed with this background information, we were able to develop some key criteria to help us narrow the field of qualified contestants.

For our 2018 update, we conducted research on dozens of new automatic, manual, ultralight, reversible, and stick umbrellas. In the end, we decided to test seven models (from Ace Teah, Bodyguard, Crackajack, Elementex, LifeTek, and Tadge Goods) against our picks from Repel, AmazonBasics, and Lewis N. Clark.

In 2019, we built on what we’d learned from previous updates, testing an additional seven umbrellas from Herschel, Balios, Davek, and Totes. We also checked out inverted umbrellas and included detailed notes on what we thought of that design.

To state the obvious: An umbrella is supposed to keep you dry. So in 2015, we tested several umbrellas for their ability to keep a T-shirt–clad mannequin dry beneath the spray of a dual shower head. To nobody’s surprise, we learned that wider umbrellas did a better job of reliably protecting the mannequin’s head, shoulders, and upper torso.

But once canopies get larger than the 37- to 39-inch range (the typical size of the automatic umbrellas we tested), you start running into weight issues without gaining significantly better coverage. Having established that, in subsequent years we focused our testing on other aspects of umbrella performance and build quality.

Instead, we concentrated on testing the umbrellas in real-world scenarios and, perhaps most important, seeing how they held up to stiff winds. Ideally, an umbrella should be lightweight and tough, flexible and resilient.

A good umbrella will withstand a stiff breeze, but it should also invert—flip inside out—when a sudden gust overwhelms its strength limits. In effect, it should bend rather than break. What matters is an umbrella’s ability to easily and repeatedly flip back to proper form. In 2017, on a rainy February day, Wirecutter’s Sarah J. Robbins took 16 models with her as she ran errands with her infant son in a BabyBjörn carrier. A few days later, during a sunny but blustery day, she did a second lap, this time pushing her baby in a stroller. She brought her observations to senior staff writer Tim Heffernan, who had performed the 2016 tests. Together, they reached subjective conclusions based on factors such as weight, balance, and handle comfort.

For the stick umbrellas, which were considerably taller and heavier, we considered how easy they were to use for Sarah, who is 5-foot-2, and for Tim and Daniel Varghese, who are both about 6 feet tall. After that, the most promising candidates weathered a series of stress tests.

A good umbrella will withstand a stiff breeze, but it should also invert—flip inside out—when a sudden gust overwhelms its strength limits.

We began our tests in the small park outside our office in Long Island City, New York. The goal was to force the umbrellas to invert by holding them in a position they’d rarely, if ever, be subjected to in real-world use: with the handle facing parallel to the ground and the canopy directly downwind, catching the wind like a sail. Once we’d made the canopy invert, we attempted to reverse it.

After weeding out models that were too hard to flip back or were damaged in the process, we tested the survivors during various New York City squalls. Staff writer James Austin used these umbrellas during his daily commute, taking into account the amount of protection they provided and how easy they were to carry on the buses, trains, and streets of New York City.

This solidly built, easy-to-find umbrella holds up in high winds. It also comes in several colors.

price may vary by color or style

The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is our top pick because in quality and durability, it’s on a par with models we saw for more than twice the price. In fact, the Repel umbrella felt just as solid in every phase of our testing as $100-plus models we tested. You can find lighter options (the Repel weighs just over 14 ounces), but along with its heft comes an ability to withstand big gusts. Billed as a “travel umbrella,” it folds up to just 11½ inches long, so it’s easy to store and carry. Still, when this umbrella is fully extended, its 37-inch canopy offers plenty of coverage.

One of the Repel’s selling points is its nine-rib construction. While most standard umbrellas have eight or fewer ribs, this model has an extra rib, which provides greater reinforcement across the canopy, leading to better durability. We believe this design contributed to our test sample’s valiant fight against 40 mph gusts (in which many competitors flipped). When the Repel did invert, its fiberglass ribs arched easily in the direction they were pushed. And when we pressed the automatic close button, the ribs snapped back into place.

The Repel’s sturdy build goes beyond the extra rib. Its automatic open-and-close mechanism is quite satisfying: Pressing the button forcefully snaps the umbrella to attention. The comfortable-to-hold, rubberized handle is relatively long (about 2½ inches). So Sarah could fit almost her whole hand around it, yet it didn’t feel too small in Tim’s or Daniel’s larger hands.

The polyester, Teflon-coated canopy of the Repel showed no sign of dents or frayed stitching—even after the stress tests. Should anything go wrong, however, the umbrella is also covered by Repel’s lifetime replacement guarantee—with no return required.

This umbrella comes in several colors (as well as in black). So you shouldn’t have trouble finding yours among the many identical models in the coffee-shop stand. (For additional colors, beyond the options available on the main product page, see this listing on Amazon.) One caveat: We recommend sidestepping the double-canopy color options (like the blue-sky design); these have an extra layer of fabric, making the umbrella heavier and harder to tie together.

After we used the Repel umbrella regularly for over six months, it continued to impress us. Even in the face of significant wind gusts, it never flipped inside out.

In April and May of 2018, the Repel umbrella experienced a pervasive counterfeit issue, but a representative from Upper Echelon Products (Repel’s parent company) assured us that this problem has been resolved. We’ve found no recent evidence to suggest this is an ongoing issue, but it’s still a good idea to be mindful of third-party sellers of this umbrella on Amazon. (The best way to avoid a counterfeit is to be sure the seller is Upper Echelon Products and/or that your order is being fulfilled directly by Amazon.)

After using the Repel umbrella on and off for over a year in rough city weather, senior staff writer Tim Heffernan said this model has held up well. It was stuffed into backpacks and handbags, and it was carried through trains crowded with damp, disgruntled New Yorkers. After all that, it still worked perfectly. Another of our testers, Wirecutter’s Christina Colizza, noted that the Repel expanded with more energy than she’d expected. And she said this umbrella was a bit harder to close than others she tested (she said a friend lost a fake nail while trying to secure it).

Although we appreciate the Repel umbrella’s sturdy build, the snappy opening and tight tolerances do require a strong spring to drive them. As a result, retracting the shaft back down to its fully folded form takes a bit more force than you might anticipate. But once you’re aware that closing the Repel requires extra effort, it’s likely to become more of an afterthought.

This nicely priced umbrella blew away most competition in wind-resistance tests. It comes in a range of colors, but they tend to vary in price, and this model has a history of stock issues.

price may vary by color or style

We love practically everything about the AmazonBasics Automatic Travel Umbrella with Wind Vent. This decently priced umbrella is made with high-quality fabric and has sturdy stitching, and it holds a fierce stance against the wind. Also, its slightly curved handle is comfortable and easy to grip.

The only thing keeping the AmazonBasics umbrella out of our top spot is its relative elusiveness: In the past, this umbrella has gone in and out of stock frequently, and when it disappeared, there was no indication of when it would be back. As of our 2023 update to this guide, the umbrella seems to be available in most color options, so we’re hopeful that stock issues have been fully resolved (and will remain that way).

What impressed us most about the AmazonBasics model during testing was its windy-weather performance. That’s thanks to the wind vent, a gap in the umbrella’s fabric. The umbrella has two overlapping layers of fabric that lie flat and watertight in the rain; when these layers are caught by wind from underneath, they open, releasing air pressure and preventing the umbrella from inverting. Whether in a blizzard or facing gusts near the top floors of a high-rise apartment building, this umbrella refused to quit against the toughest gales. AmazonBasics also makes a ventless umbrella, but during and after the stress tests, we found that it didn’t hold up as well as the vented one.

Fully closed, the AmazonBasics is just 11 inches long; the fabric of its canopy, however, is thicker than that of the Repel, so when it’s bundled, it’s a bit stockier as well. The round handle is comfortable to hold, as is the wrist strap, and the automatic open-and-close function is as responsive as any we encountered.

After a little over half a year of using the AmazonBasics umbrella, travel and outdoors editor Ria Misra reported that her test model broke. Tim (who’d been testing the AmazonBasics as well as the Repel) said the vented canopy came in handy on the windy hill near where he lives—until the umbrella was forgotten somewhere.

This umbrella performs similarly to our top pick but has a more luxurious feel and build. However, it lacks a wrist strap.

price may vary by color or style

If you want an umbrella that looks and feels a bit more premium than our other picks, but you don’t quite want to upgrade to a heritage piece, the Balios Folding Double Canopy Umbrella is a great option. Its 37-inch vented canopy expands rapidly when deployed, and the auto-close function is quick, with a satisfying click. The wooden handle is a nice addition, and it was comfortable to hold, though it may seem a bit large in smaller hands. The Balios stood up well to wind in our tests, inverting only when held directly parallel to the wind on a particularly blustery day in the city, and it snapped back easily and quickly.

The wooden handle lacks a wrist strap and feels slicker than the rubberized handle of the Repel. This combo left us worried that the umbrella might be snatched into the air by a particularly strong gust. The handle also made this one of the longest collapsible umbrellas we tested, measuring 13.5 inches when collapsed. Also, though the company takes pains to note that the handle is “ethically sourced,” we have been unable to confirm what that means, exactly.

This isn’t the toughest umbrella, but it comes in many colors, and it’s portable and inexpensive. So it’s great for kids or forgetful folks.

price may vary by color or style

If both the Repel and the AmazonBasics umbrellas are out of stock, the Lewis N. Clark Umbrella is another good low-cost option (it was a top pick in a previous version of this guide). It comes in eight colors in addition to black, although black tends to be the cheapest.

One of the most easily portable of the bunch, this travel umbrella is the same height as the AmazonBasics umbrella, and it’s just 10 ounces. Despite this model’s low price, the Lewis N. Clark survived our stress tests with very minor damage, and we’ve had no issues with the units we’ve been using for long-term testing. (Wirecutter’s Sasha VanHoven had the Lewis N. Clark for more than a year and reported that it was “beat up but still kicking!”)

Still, compared with our other top picks, the Lewis N. Clark has a lightweight polyester canopy that’s more wrinkly and less taut in certain places—telltale signs of looser quality-control standards. And although its metal ribs are listed as being made of steel, we are nearly certain they’re actually aluminum, judging from their light weight, lack of magnetism, and appearance.

For these reasons, we think most people are better off spending a bit more to get one of our other picks. But if you want something for kids, or you constantly lose umbrellas, the Lewis N. Clark is a good option to consider.

With this model, you get classic style and impressive durability at a very reasonable weight—and price.

Stick (or cane) umbrellas are taller and often have significantly larger canopies than their more portable cousins. Plus, they can double as musical props. Though they’re fun to use, they can be a pain to hold with one hand, especially if you’re on the smaller side. But at just over 20 ounces, the Totes Auto Open Wooden Stick Umbrella has good weight distribution, and its 42-inch-wide span kept us dry while we were running around town, even in rough weather. This umbrella was easy to use, and that put it ahead of other similarly sturdy but more expensive stick models, such as the GustBuster Classic (which felt considerably more top-heavy).

Though it offers the same length and canopy size as the other stick umbrellas we tested, the Totes is significantly cheaper. (And OutdoorGearLab also named this umbrella one of its favorites.) Its canopy is made from a lighter (and likely lower-cost) material compared with the other umbrellas we considered, and we wondered whether it would hold up to strong winds.

During our blizzard tests, however, as hard as Sarah tried, she couldn’t get this umbrella to flip inside out. This could, of course, be considered a flaw: Seeing your umbrella bend alleviates the fear that one sudden, harsh gust will break it. Still, given the price of admission, that risk seems to be one worth taking. James had this umbrella for several years (before it eventually went MIA). And he says it continued to hold up well in city storms, despite being used in a few too many Gene Kelly impressions.

If you’re willing to pay a lot more for a timeless umbrella with elevated style and construction, this is the one to get.

If you’re looking for a classically styled stick umbrella to go with a suit, consider the Davek Elite. It feels sumptuous, with a stitched leather handle, a fiberglass frame, and a 44-inch microfiber canopy, which the company says is “190 thread count.” This umbrella has an equally lofty price tag, and it’s the most expensive of our picks by far. That price is partially justified by Davek’s easy-to-use lifetime guarantee (which includes 50% off a new umbrella if you lose your original).

The Davek Elite performs exceptionally in the wind: Thanks to its flexible ribs, in our tests it didn’t become a kite in the gusts. Instead, it turned inside out and then easily recovered. This umbrella comes in three colors: black, navy blue, and copper.

It’s worth noting that the Davek Elite’s cane handle measures 5 inches across, which is quite a lot for a smaller hand to manage. There were some mentions in online reviews about the umbrella seeming too big overall. And a few people have complained that the silver tip at the end of their umbrella fell off—an especially unwelcome event, considering the price.

If you want an extremely good (and extremely expensive) travel umbrella: The travel-size Davek Solo is a redesign of a past Davek model that we previously recommended in this guide. The collapsible umbrella was the best we tested, with a comfortable-to-hold handle, a strong canopy, and a surprisingly convenient metal belt clip. It was also the only umbrella that elicited comments from other New Yorkers: One person excitedly told James all about his own Solo, which he’d had for years. But it’s hard to justify spending over $100 on something so small and easy to lose, especially when our main picks are nearly as good and are a fraction of the price.

If you want a solid alternative to our top travel umbrella picks: The LifeTek Traveler 45 FX2 impressed us in our 2018 tests. It withstood being battered by violent gusts without ever inverting, likely because of its vented canopy structure (a design it shares with our runner-up pick, the AmazonBasics Automatic Travel Umbrella with Wind Vent). This was one of the strongest umbrellas we have ever tested. And when we did force it to invert, the canopy snapped back into place without much effort. However, depending on the color, the LifeTek often costs more than our top travel picks, the Repel and AmazonBasics models, and it doesn’t offer enough of an advantage over those to justify making it a pick. That said, because it’s an excellent umbrella with a solid warranty (LifeTek’s two-year “Peace of Mind” replacement guarantee against defects and malfunctions), we feel confident recommending it, especially if you can find it on sale.

Inverted umbrellas are a relatively recent development in “holding something over your head to keep water off” technology. The canopy deploys and collapses in an odd way: unfolding down and out, like a blooming flower, and collapsing up and away from the holder, like a normal umbrella broken by the wind. This is supposed to reduce water dripping onto the floor and make it easier to do things like getting in and out of a car.

We put two inverted umbrellas to the test: the Kazbrella (now discontinued), one of the early examples of this concept, and the Sharpty Inverted, the best-selling inverted stick umbrella on Amazon at the time. Alas, we found the novel design underwhelming.

When we tested the Kazbrella, we noticed extra material on the canopy (there are two layers of fabric, with a flexible structure in between, allowing for the fold). This makes the umbrella more top-heavy than other, similarly sized models, and that can cause extra strain and make the umbrella harder to control in a gust of wind. Also, in order for it to be “drip free,” the umbrella would need to be placed in an umbrella bucket with the canopy up, rather than the handle.

The generic-looking Sharpty Inverted shared the Kazbrella’s problems. It also felt cheap and was difficult to deploy correctly, often requiring a few shakes to get the canopy to fully unfold. And it was a pain to hook its C-shaped handle on a bag strap or a cubical wall (as you can do with most regular stick umbrellas).

With their unique folding style, inverted umbrellas are certainly eye-catching, but in practice they seem to cause more problems than they solve.

If you want your umbrella to keep you dry for a long time, you need to remember to let it dry. Just leave your umbrella open after use—the bathtub is a handy spot. If you don’t, its metal parts—especially an automatic open-and-close function—can corrode. Mildew can also develop in the canopy of a wet umbrella that’s left closed; this not only smells awful but can destroy the fabric over time.

And make sure to let your automatic umbrella do its job, said Peggy Levee, owner of the former New York City umbrella specialty retailer Rain or Shine: If you’re using one with an automatic open-and-close function, do not pull it closed like you would a manual model. “I always point that out to customers,” she said. Over time, that unnecessary tugging could cause the mechanism to break.

Blunt Metro: This is a good travel umbrella if you’re concerned only about the wind. Its shallow, scalloped shape—a direct result of some innovative engineering—shrugged off gusts better than any other umbrella in our test. Unfortunately, we learned that it also does a poor job of keeping you dry when the rain blows sideways.

Bodyguard Inverted Umbrella: This compact model was one of the most popular umbrellas available on Amazon when we first tested it, featuring an impressive 10-rib construction. Though it performed decently in our real-world wind tests, inverting several times without breaking, it was difficult to flip back—a bit too sturdy for its own good. It has since been redesigned with a 12-rib construction; we have not tested the newer model.

Davek Duet: With a 48-inch canopy, this umbrella provides enough shelter for two, yet it’s less than 15 inches long folded and weighs under a pound and a half. It’s wider than most people want or need, but if you’re big or tall, travel in pairs, or just want maximum coverage, it’s worth considering. The eye-watering price is backed by Davek’s unconditional lifetime guarantee.

Davek Mini: If having a really compact umbrella matters to you above all else, this model, which folds down to the size of a banana, is a great choice. When we tested it, the Mini’s tiny, 26-inch canopy could barely keep our head and shoulders dry; the canopy has since been redesigned and expanded to 34 inches, which is likely to be an improvement.

Davek Savile: Hand-assembled in England, this stick umbrella—the granddaddy of Davek’s offerings—is billed as an heirloom piece, and it has a very hefty price tag to match. The handle and shaft are hand-carved from chestnut wood, adding to this umbrella’s weight (30 ounces). It’s impressive, for sure. But for an umbrella of this style, we prefer to save $200 and choose the still-luxe, and more portable, Davek Elite.

EuroSchirm Light Trek: This German travel umbrella is quite good overall, especially given its scant, 9.25-ounce weight. But subpar wind resistance holds it back. The lightweight fiberglass ribs are considerably more flexible than those on other umbrellas, and as a result the canopy collapses easily when blasted head-on and flexes like a leaf in high winds when held upright. This means you’d suffer more inside-out episodes than you would with our picks. Although it didn’t break during testing in a snowstorm, it did look somewhat worse for the wear compared with our picks. But it’s still a decent lightweight choice for less-windy climates.

EuroSchirm Light Trek Automatic: The automatic version has the same issues as the manual version but weighs a lot more.

EuroSchirm Light Trek Automatic Flashlite: This is like the other two EuroSchirm Light Trek models, except it has a small LED flashlight in the handle. That gimmick brings its weight to 13.5 ounces—not a light trekker at all.

GustBuster Metro: This travel umbrella has a well-deserved reputation for durability in the wind: It never came close to inverting during testing. But its strength comes from a complex truss of multiple ribs and springs, making it extremely top-heavy: When the wind catches the canopy, it’s like holding a sledgehammer. That design, plus a hard-plastic handle that’s slick when wet, added up to a losing combination.

GustBuster Classic: Though this stick-style umbrella has a cane handle and a wider canopy than its relative, the GustBuster Metro, their construction is similar. One plus: The contours of the Classic’s cane handle make it easier to manage in the wind. The Classic is a quality tool for a good price, but it didn’t lead the pack in value or function.

Knirps Xtreme Vented Duomatic: This automatic travel umbrella weighs 13 ounces, but its canopy handily opens to an impressive 48 inches—the size of many stick umbrellas. It’s a good choice if you want the coverage but not the hassle of carrying a cane around town. Still, it could be overkill for most people.

Senz Automatic: We had high hopes for this unique umbrella. The main draw is its odd, teardrop shape, which keeps your shoulders and back drier than a typical round canopy. Unfortunately, the long, rear-facing ribs are weak; we damaged one just by cinching the canopy strap.

Totes Signature Clear Bubble Umbrella: The bubble-style umbrella makes sense conceptually, to provide more coverage with a longer canopy that surrounds the user in a sort of traveling dome. But in practice, at least with the Totes Signature Clear Bubble, that extra wall of fabric is just something for the wind to push against, making the umbrella difficult to control, even though it’s light. Also because of its design, the canopy isn’t as wide as on other, similarly sized stick umbrellas, and this limits its protection.

Totes Blue Line Auto Open/Close Umbrella: This umbrella is well reviewed (and we recommend the Totes Auto Open Wooden Stick Umbrella as our favorite lower-priced stick-style umbrella). But the Totes Blue Line compact travel umbrella arrived with a 3-inch rip in one of the canopy seams, and it widened in the wind. Also, one of the ribs tore loose from another section of the canopy during our inversion test. And this umbrella may have stock and availability issues.

Tumi Medium Auto Close Umbrella: This umbrella is average in terms of its size and compactness. And despite its premium price, it didn’t stand out in any particular test.

In our testing, there is no singular best fabric for umbrellas. All of the umbrellas we looked at had canopies made of synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon, and some had an additional quick-dry coat, such as Teflon (but those additions don’t help much). The fabrics all do an equally good job of keeping you dry and shedding water quickly.

Look for an umbrella with a canopy that’s 37 to 39 inches across. This size is good for protecting one person from the rain, and the umbrella can still fold down to a compact package. Similarly, we think one that collapses to 12 inches (when closed) and weighs less than a pound hits the sweet spot: It’s easy to carry an umbrella of this size with you everywhere, yet it will still keep you dry. We suggest the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella for its size, comfortable-to-hold handle, and affordable price.

All of our umbrella contenders were tested against stiff winds and fared well. But the AmazonBasics Automatic Travel Umbrella with Wind Vent excelled, thanks to the vent at the crown: It lets strong winds pass through without snatching the umbrella from your hands.

This article was edited by Ingela Ratledge Amundson and Jennifer Hunter.

Sara Aranda, The 5 Best Umbrellas, OutdoorGearLab, October 24, 2022

Brett McKay and David Bastistella, The Gentleman’s Guide to Umbrellas, The Art of Manliness, June 12, 2009

James Austin is a staff writer currently covering games and hobbies, but he’s also worked on just about everything Wirecutter covers—from board games to umbrellas—and after being here for a few years he has gained approximate knowledge of many things. In his free time he enjoys taking photos, running D&D, and volunteering for a youth robotics competition.

by Kalee Thompson, Katie Okamoto, and Ellen Airhart

After hours of research and weeks of testing, we think Treasure Garden’s Market Umbrella and Article’s Paima Umbrella Base are the best patio umbrella and base.

This is the gear we’d use during—and after—a rainy-day outing.

The Marmot PreCip Eco Pants, which come in men’s and women’s sizes and multiple lengths, are the pants that kept us comfortable and dry through wet weather.

by Claire Wilcox, Kit Dillon, and Kalee Thompson

After sleeping in 51 tents, we think the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 is the best for two people and Kelty’s Wireless 6 is best for most families.

The 6 Best Umbrellas of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Animal Umbrellas Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).