Looking for a stylish and functional umbrella to take on the road with you? Read on to see the best travel umbrellas you can buy right now.
To start this article off by saying that a great travel umbrella is an absolute must-have would be misleading.
In today’s day and age, we have closets full of synthetic and technical fabrics available to shield you from a rainstorm. Donning these performance materials means you can venture out into some wicked conditions without experiencing as much as a drop on your clothes.
You don’t need an umbrella for that.
But, if I told you that umbrellas are an old-school, classic, and charming accessory that can certainly help you craft your personal style, then we’d be on to something.
It wasn’t very long ago that a great umbrella was a status symbol. Close friends would give them to each other during the holidays and on special occasions.
The impression a young man could make on a damsel in distress by lifting an umbrella to shield her from an unexpected shower could be enough to start an amazing love story.
For that reason alone, umbrellas are cool.
The truth is that men don’t use or carry umbrellas like we used to. With (relatively) accurate weather reports readily available on our smartphones, we can prepare ourselves for the day before we even leave the house.
A waterproof technical jacket will often do the trick, while an umbrella is just one more thing to carry to the office or throw on the backseat of your car.
But, if you aren’t carrying an umbrella, you’re missing out on an opportunity to bolster your style or possibly be someone special’s hero in a time of need. The good news is that a travel umbrella can pack into your briefcase, glovebox, or weekender, and you won’t even know it’s there until you need it.
This guide will help you choose the best travel umbrella, keeping you prepared and stylish when Mother Nature doesn’t want to cooperate.
Short on time? Here are our top three picks for the best travel umbrellas you can buy right now:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
Things to Consider While Shopping for Travel Umbrellas
Before we jump right into the best umbrellas, there are some things to consider. Humans have been using umbrellas for thousands of years, but they’ve come a long way in that time. Let’s dig into some important factors to consider when choosing the best travel umbrella.
The size of a travel umbrella is a bit of a give and take, but it’s an important factor to keep in mind. Travel umbrellas need to be large enough to shield you and possibly an acquaintance from the rain but small enough that they can pack into a briefcase or bag.
In general, an umbrella with a canopy that provides 40 to 45 inches of coverage should be the goal. This is wide enough to fight off the elements while not being so large and bulky that it’s hard to store away.
Also, look for a closed length in the area of 12 to 13 inches so you can pack it away easily almost anywhere.
While a vent at the top of your umbrella might seem counterintuitive, they actually serve an important function.
Rain and wind often go hand-in-hand. As wind whips up under an umbrella, it can turn it inside out or rip it apart. If the umbrella had a vent, it would allow the wind to pass through instead of leaving you to soak while fighting with a broken umbrella.
Not all top-quality umbrellas feature vents, but those that do leave less to worry about during a windy rainstorm.
By far, one of the most important factors when choosing the best travel umbrella is the handle. For centuries, the best umbrella makers crafted their handles out of exotic materials, with intricate and fancy designs.
While you don’t necessarily need a carved jackrabbit or owl’s head on the end of your travel umbrella, it’s still an opportunity to show off your style.
If you prefer a minimalist, simple design, feel free to go with a plastic or monochrome handle.
However, if you prefer a more traditional approach to your umbrella handle, you can find travel umbrellas with curved handles made from fine hardwoods. It’s an opportunity to add a bit of style and contrast to your umbrella game.
Number of Ribs
While you’re searching for the best travel umbrella, one thing to note is the number of ribs each model has. Ribs are the arms that extend from the shaft to spread the canopy out.
Most umbrellas have eight or nine ribs, which is ideal for strength and wind-resistance. If the umbrella you’re looking at has less than eight ribs, you’ll probably want to pass.
Automatic vs. Manual Opening
When you’re shopping for the best travel umbrella, you’ll have to choose between an automatic umbrella and a manual opening model.
There’s something James Bond-esque about an automatic umbrella, but they aren’t always the sturdiest option. Manual openers are a bit more reliable, but they can be downright impossible to open with one hand.
If you have to put your expensive leather briefcase down on a wet sidewalk to open your umbrella, you’ll wish you perfected your one-hand technique before you needed it.
The Best Travel Umbrellas
You’ve done your research. You know what to look out for when checking out the best travel umbrellas. You’re ready to start shopping.
Here’s our list of the best travel umbrellas to choose from. Any one of these models will help keep you dry, so keep the above considerations in mind when selecting the best one for your style.
As a disclaimer, you can pay 10 to 15 times the price for a true luxury umbrella. The best umbrella makers from London and Italy create heirloom pieces with intricate designs and expensive materials. None of those made this list.
The Best Premium Travel Umbrellas
Here are the best premium umbrella options…
The Davek Solo is an extremely high-quality umbrella, and it’s compact! It’s just under a foot long and only weighs about 1 pound.
Brooks Brothers Mini Umbrella
For a more understated look that retains the quality feel, check out the Brooks Brothers Mini Umbrella. This simple, minimalist style umbrella is perfect for the guy that wants a premium umbrella that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself.
The Mini Umbrella has a nine-rib design with a push-button automatic release. When open, it creates a 45-inch canopy — enough to keep you and a partner dry during a rain. When closed, it measures just 12.5 inches long. The compact size is a benefit of the simple wood grain handle’s design.
TUMI Large Auto Close Umbrella
If you’re looking for a premium travel umbrella that provides a ton of canopy coverage, it’s hard to beat the TUMI Large Auto Close Umbrella.
It features both automatic opening and closing, allowing you to operate it with one hand. It has a custom-molded handle and a rubber wrist strap for easy handling. It also has vents, keeping the wind from ruining your premium umbrella.
The TUMI opens its eight ribs to create a 47-inch wide canopy, providing more coverage than any other premium umbrella on this list. When closed, it measures just over 14 inches — pretty impressive considering the size of the canopy.
The Best Travel Umbrellas from $25-$60
Looking for a solid umbrella for a less than premium price? These will do the trick…
The Weatherman Travel Umbrella
Guys in the market for a tough, minimalist style umbrella should definitely check out The Weatherman Travel Umbrella. Weatherman uses industrial-strength fiberglass for this umbrella’s ribs.
It’s capable of surviving drops, falls, and inverting. It can withstand winds up to 45 miles per hour as well, keeping you dry when other umbrellas might fold.
The Travel Umbrella is pretty compact. When closed, it measures under 12-inches in length. However, the canopy might be a bit undersized at just 37.8-inches. The automatic open and close is a nice feature as you’ll be able to operate it with one hand.
Blunt Metro Travel Umbrella
If you live in a particularly windy area, you might consider looking into the Blunt Metro Travel Umbrella.
This umbrella has a six-rib design that’s capable of withstanding wind speeds up to 55 miles per hour, making it one of the toughest umbrellas on this list. The unique design uses struts to make its automatic opening even more manageable.
While the Blunt’s an excellent travel umbrella, its dimensions are a little off. When it’s closed, it measures over 14 inches long. However, while open, it creates just a 37-inch canopy. That’s something to keep in mind if you need a bit more coverage from your travel umbrella.
Nordstrom Telescoping Umbrella
Nordstrom’s own Telescoping Umbrella is an attractive option for a quality travel umbrella that won’t break the bank.
It features an automatic open and close button, and it opens to create a massive 48-inch canopy (the largest on our list) to protect you and a companion from the rain. It also has vents, keeping the wind from turning it inside out.
When closed, it measures 15 inches long. While that’s a bit long, it’s excusable considering how much protection you get from a mid-range umbrella with automatic opening and closing.
The Best Travel Umbrellas Under $25
If you want a straight up budget option, choose from these options…
Totes Titan Compact Travel Umbrella
Totes umbrellas are synonymous with affordable rain protection, and the Titan is no exception.
This eight-rib design is tough and makes this umbrella capable of handling gusts up to 70 miles per hour, making it by far the most rugged umbrella on this list. It also features an automatic open and close button for easy use.
The Titan measures 47-inches wide, making its 70 MPH wind resistance that much more impressive. When folded up and packed away, it measures 12.5 inches long, making it perfect for travel or storing in your car.
If you’re looking for a decent quality umbrella for a great price, it’s hard to beat the Repel Umbrella. This affordable travel umbrella has features usually reserved for much more expensive umbrellas.
It has a double-vented design, and automatic open and close feature, as well as nine fiberglass ribs for plenty of wind resistance and durability.
When open, the Rebel measures just over 40 inches, hitting the sweet spot for a travel umbrella. While closed, it measures just 11.5 inches, so it’s perfect for throwing in a bag or strapping to a briefcase.
Lewis N. Clark Travel Umbrella
Lewis N. Clark’s Travel Umbrella might be a great choice for guys with discerning tastes and tight budgets. This super-affordable travel umbrella has eight metal ribs that can survive some mighty gusts. It also has an automatic open and close button, making one-hand operation a breeze.
The Travel Umbrella measures just 10.75 inches when closed, making it the most compact umbrella on this list. While it only opens to a 38-inch wide canopy, the compact size ensures that you’ll keep it on hand, so the trade-off seems fair.
Compact Inverted Umbrella from Adoric Life
Staying dry during your walk only to soak yourself when you close your umbrella is pointless. The Adoric Life Compact Inverted Umbrella solves that problem.
This umbrella folds upward, trapping rain and moisture and keeping it from soaking you while you close it up or get in a car. It has a vented design, an automatic open and close button, as well as an eight-rib design.
Inverted or not, the Adoric Life provides plenty of coverage with its 42-inch canopy. It also folds down to 13.5 inches, making it an attractive travel option — especially if you have a habit of soaking yourself while folding up your traditional umbrella.
Which Travel Umbrella Will You Choose?
There are plenty of great choices on this list. If you’d prefer a high-end travel umbrella, check out the Davek Solo.
If it’s a high-quality model with plenty of coverage at a reasonable price that you’re after, the Nordstrom Telescoping Umbrella might be the way to go. If it’s just about getting an inexpensive, bulletproof umbrella, you can’t go wrong with the Totes Titan Compact Travel Umbrella.
Whichever model you choose on this list, be sure to keep it on you. Having one of the best travel umbrellas on hand when the skies open can help keep you from soaking to the bone and your day from going south.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!