Best Travel Umbrella
The best travel umbrella addresses your unique needs and wants in it. These are, in turn, influenced by several factors ranging from prevalent weather conditions in your area to your preferences in canopy diameter, overall weight, and ease of use. The umbrella should also be portable enough to be carried without feeling too heavy yet hefty enough to withstand certain rain and wind conditions.
Getting the right balance between these apparently contradicting design elements can be challenging for most people. But with a good dose of patience and perseverance coupled with the right information, making a smart choice is possible. Here are our top five travel umbrellas that are lightweight yet durable, suitable for use in the sun and rain, and easy to use, among other desirable features.
Best Travel Umbrella Buying Guide
Umbrellas are primarily designed as rain protection, thus, the waterproof material used on the canopy although these are also used as sun protection. With this in mind, the best travel umbrellas can be chosen based on the following factors.
Look at the size of the canopy first since the larger its size, the better the protection against the rain, among other forms of precipitation. But keep in mind, too, that a larger canopy will mean a larger size for the umbrella when it’s folded. Be sure to consider when and where you’re likely to use an umbrella – if it’s during the rainy season with monsoon-like rain, then a larger canopy is warranted, for example.
Choose an umbrella that can withstand the wind levels in your area. Look for one that neither flips inside-out nor caves in with stray gusts of wind, especially one that becomes unmanageable even with low winds. As a rule of thumb, a rounder and deeper canopy tend to be more wind-resistant than other shapes and depths.
In terms of sun protection, the size of the canopy matters, too, since the larger it is, the more coverage you can get. Consider the material and color of the canopy because these also have an impact on sun protection. A material with ultraviolet protection may be more expensive but it may also be worth it, while an umbrella with dark-colored canopy will radiate more heat beneath it.
The strength of the shaft and stretchers, which are the support structure for the canopy, largely determines the overall durability of an umbrella while in use. Basically, the strongest shafts are the ones that don’t have a telescoping design since a single piece of material can withstand abuse more than several sections. In case of the latter, there are several points for potential failure thus the lesser durability.
Look at the handle since it also has an impact on an umbrella’s durability. Metal handles are obviously more durable with many of the umbrellas being sturdy enough to be used as a cane. Look at the design of the handle, too, since an ergonomic handle will make it easier to maintain a firm grip on the umbrella even during windy conditions.
Aside from these factors, we also suggest considering these factors:
- Ease of opening and closing
- Ease of transport (e.g., C-shaped handle or compact size when folded)
- Style including the color, patterns and shape of the umbrella
For example, if your job requires maintenance of a business-like appearance in your business suit, then a dark-colored umbrella without prints is a great choice.
5 Best Travel Umbrellas
We have chosen the following travel umbrellas based on the above-mentioned criteria. Keep in mind that when choosing your own travel umbrella, you have to consider your budget along with the umbrella’s durability, functionality and beauty. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other with our choices, too.
Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon Coating
This Repel travel umbrella tops our list because of its proven durability and practicality, coupled with its beautiful colors.
- Compact and lightweight
We like the 15-ounce weight and the 11.5-inch length of this compact umbrella, which means it can be stowed in your bag, whether it’s a mid-sized purse or a large backpack. You don’t have to be drenched in the rain and exposed to harsh sunlight when you have it in your bag at all times.
- Automatic open and close function
Many umbrellas require two hands to open and close – one hand to hold the handle and push the lever, while the other hand holds the canopy to close. But with its automatic open and close function, you can do so with just a single hand, even when closing the umbrella. This is a convenient feature when you have your hands full, such as juggling your purse and laptop bag.
The mechanism also appears to be durable, so it lasts for many open-and-close repetitions. But just like all mechanical systems, it can also break down with misuse and abuse, so proper care is still a must for longevity.
- Sturdy 9-rib construction
Standard umbrellas typically have aluminum ribs numbering from six to eight, which are relatively durable until these are used in strong rain or high wind conditions. The Repel umbrella, in contrast, has nine resin-reinforced fiberglass ribs that are stronger and sturdier than aluminum ribs, so the umbrella itself doesn’t easily cave-in under moderate wind conditions. The umbrella will flip inside out in strong wind conditions, but it quickly flips back into place without being the worse for it.
While the manufacturer claims that it’s a windproof umbrella, we must point out that no compact umbrella is completely windproof. But this compact umbrella holds up quite well, even in everyday Chicago winds.
Such durability also comes from its three-fold, chrome-plated, metal shaft coupled with its strong metal frame. You can hold on firmly to it, too, thanks to the slip-proof, ergonomic, rubberized handle with its wrist strap for added convenience.
- Waterproof Teflon canopy material
Every umbrella worth its money should have waterproof material and the Repel umbrella takes it up a notch, with its Teflon material for its canopy. Plus, this material dries easily and quickly!
- Sturdy canopy, shaft and handle that can withstand regular rain and wind conditions
- Easy one-hand operation
- Comes with wrist strap and protective sleep
- Too small for two or more people to be protected from the sun and rain
This is a great lightweight and compact travel umbrella worth your money.
EEZ-Y Compact Travel Umbrella with Windproof Double Canopy Construction
This EEZ-Y umbrella is easy to use, easy on the pocket and yet not so easy to flip inside out in heavy rain and wind conditions.
- Vented double canopy
Most inferior umbrellas become inverted when the wind picks up, thus resulting in its premature damage, no thanks to their conventional canopy construction. But the EEZ-Y umbrella isn’t so easily affected by the wind because of its double canopy design – the main canopy has strategically placed vents that facilitate optimum wind flow, while the second canopy prevents rainwater from entering.
- Robust frame system
According to the manufacturer, the umbrella can be used in 55 mile-per-hour (mph) wind gusts. The umbrella has three things going for it in this regard – first, a frame system made of premium stainless steel and fiberglass materials; second, a rib system consisting of nine ribs where other umbrellas only have six to eight ribs; and third, a sturdy black metal shaft.
Basically, you can rely on the EEZ-Y umbrella to hold up in fairly strong rain and wind conditions. While we are keen to believe the 55mph claim, we also know that even the strongest umbrella cannot withstand sustained exposure to such conditions. As soon as you can find shelter, go for it, so that your umbrella will not be blown away, literally.
You can hold on firmly to the umbrella because of its rubberized, slip-resistant handle. Your hands can be free to carry other things, too, when you can fold it and place it inside your bag after use.
- Water-repellent fabric
Every umbrella should be made of either waterproof or water-repellent fabric for its canopy. While the former is the ideal fabric, the latter will work well, too – and this is the case for the EEZ-y umbrella.
- Fully automated system
The best modern umbrellas have fully automated systems and the EEZ-Y umbrella isn’t an exception. You can open and close it with a single press of a button on its handle, said operation of which only takes a second or so. You don’t have to worry about struggling to open it when the rain suddenly comes pouring down, especially as it smoothly and quickly opens in an instant.
We like that it comes in several colors from neutral ones, like black, to bright colors, like yellow to red. Who says that you can’t be trendy with your umbrella?
- Provides good coverage
- Suitable for use in rain and sun
- Robust canopy, shaft and handle
- Easy close and open function
- Smaller handle at the bottom
The EEZ-Y umbrella’s features make it easy to buy it for your own travel purposes. Plus, it’s a compact umbrella that you can fit into your bag or carry in your hand, without feeling too bulky.
Ylovetoys Inverted Umbrella Double Layer Windproof Reverse Umbrella
The Ylovetoys umbrella has several things going for it and it’s usually included in many lists of the best travel umbrellas.
- Inside-out design
We like the innovative, inside-out design of the Ylovetoys umbrella for many reasons. First, it reduces the risk of water from dripping to the floor, whether it’s the floor of your home or your car, by keeping the umbrella’s dry inner side on the outside. The wet side is then kept on the umbrella’s inner side so there’s no dripping.
Second, the beautiful graphics can be displayed on the outside when the umbrella’s folded. Your umbrella is also part of your expression of personal style, so the display of the eye-catching graphics is icing on the cake.
- Robust frame
Of course, you can use it for both rain and sun protection. You can rely on its ribs, which are made of carbon fiber, proven for their right combination of rigidity and flexibility, to withstand moderate wind conditions coupled with heavy rains. You should obviously hold it in such a way as to prevent it from collapsing under itself or flipping inside out during sudden and powerful gusts.
With its rubberized plastic handle, you should be able to hold it firmly in your hand, although we wish it had a sturdy wrist strap, too. But it has a fabric carrying case with a strap so that makes up for it, sort of.
When opened, it stretches to 31.9×42.1 inches, so it’s suitable for use by one to two persons. You will likely benefit from using it on your own – without a partner – due to its average-sized canopy, but you can share, if necessary.
- Made of water-repellent and anti-ultraviolet fabric
The fabric used for its canopy repels both water and ultraviolet rays, a double protection that makes it a favorite among parents with small children and among people who want maximum ultraviolet protection. The fabric has a UPF>50+ rating with zero light transmittance, which speaks well for its sun protection aspect.
- C-shaped handle
You can also place the umbrella on your forearm or wrist using the C-shaped handle, a convenient feature when you have both of your hands full as it is. You can also prop up the umbrella against a wall, if necessary.
- Double canopy for optimum protection against the wind and rain
- Protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays
- Easy to fold and carry
- Reduced, if not zero, dripping when closed
- Beautiful patterns to choose from
- Cannot be folded and carried inside a bag
We recommend buying the Ylovetoys umbrella if you’re looking for one that can also be used as a cane, as well as one that provides good protection from the sun, rain and wind.
Nooformer Travel Mini Umbrella
This is the smallest travel umbrella in our list, but it definitely isn’t the smallest in terms of overall performance, where compact travel umbrellas are concerned.
- Compact and lightweight
This Nooformer Mini umbrella stays true to its name! At just 7 ounces and 6.6 inches in length when opened, it’s truly lightweight and compact, so much so that you can hold it in the palm of your hand when folded. You will also barely notice the added weight when it’s placed inside your bag, so it’s the perfect travel umbrella.
But with its compact dimensions come a limitation in its capacity – it can only accommodate just one average-sized adult under its canopy. When two people are using it, both will likely become wet on one side, so it’s basically a one-man umbrella.
Due to its lightweight nature, however, it’s only suitable for use in light rain and wind conditions. While it’s as sturdy as can be expected for a mini-umbrella, you can’t use it in heavier conditions because it just won’t stand a chance. You will likely end up drenched otherwise.
- Two layers of protective fabric
But the fabric for the canopy more than makes up for such a limitation in use. There are two layers of fabric – first, a waterproof fabric on the inside to prevent rain from dripping down onto the user; and second, a black anti-ultraviolet fabric on the inside to block out most of the sun’s harmful rays. The canopy feels sturdy, too. Although again, we don’t recommend using it in heavy rains and gusty winds.
The outer fabric also comes in several colors from the basics to the bright hues. You can even mix and match your clothes with your umbrella, if you’re into that kind of fashion statement.
- 5-fold design
The mini-umbrella has an aluminum center pole with a 5-fold design. This has its benefit particularly in folding the umbrella into its highly compact size, but it also means that there are more points of fracture in the pole.
There are also two options in its open-and-close mechanism – the regular and the upgrade. Both, nonetheless, require exerting pressure on the white release button so we don’t see the significant difference between the two.
- Fits into small bags
- Waterproof fabric with a second layer of anti-ultraviolet fabric
- Suitable for daily use in relatively fair conditions
- Cannot hold up well in heavy rain and wind
- Provides coverage for a single person only
This is a mini-umbrella that can fit in the palm of your hand, so to speak, and provide coverage for your head and body. You will want to buy it as an emergency umbrella for days when the weather becomes unpredictable.
Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella
This is yet another compact umbrella that will see you through rainy and sunshiny days in relative dryness.
- With reinforced fiberglass ribs
Instead of the usual 6 to 8 ribs made of aluminum in most compact umbrellas, the Rain-Mate umbrella has nine fiberglass ribs within the all-metal frame, supporting the canopy. This means that even with its compact size, it can withstand mild to moderate winds, which will be sufficient for your daily needs. But if you’re looking for a travel umbrella that can withstand gale-force winds, then you’re better off wearing a raincoat.
Most, if not all, umbrella manufacturers will claim that their products are highly resistant to strong winds, but this isn’t always the case. No compact umbrella can withstand the onslaught of hurricanes because of their innate limitations in construction. But this umbrella can be used in mild to moderate wind conditions because of its 9-rib construction, so it’s still a good buy.
You can also expect the canopy to be inverted in sudden powerful gusts of wind. But thanks to its sturdy fiberglass hinges and ribs, it will not readily sustain damage, such as breakage or bending of the ribs.
- Automatic mechanism for opening and closing
The umbrella can be opened with a single touch of its release button, located on its rubberized handle; the canopy will be fully opened when it’s pressed firmly. The same button will also close the canopy but only partially, since you have to manually push its shaft so it’s in a travel mode. But it’s still a convenient feature when you need to get into a car quickly while holding a bag in your other hand.
- 3-fold telescopic shaft
When collapsed, it measures just 12 inches since the telescopic shaft folds in three places. When opened, it has a 42-inch canopy, just enough for one person to get protection from the rain or sun.
- Compact umbrella for easy stowing in bag
- Easily opens and partially closes with a release button
- Provides protection for one to two persons depending on their size
- Relatively sturdy construction suitable for everyday use
- Comes in several colors
- Cannot be used in heavy rain and strong wind conditions
Let your Rain-Mate umbrella become your partner in protecting yourself from getting drenched in the rain or exposed to the sun during your travels.
These travel umbrellas should be on the must-have list of people who have to travel, whether it’s from their home to their office/school, or from their home to another part of the country. Their fairly large canopies can provide protection against the rain, wind and sun, albeit in varying degrees, such as the smaller ones suitable only for one person.
Their durable frames and shafts also decrease the risk of the umbrellas flipping inside-out with the slightest breeze or the lightest rain, while their ergonomic handles and one-press release buttons increase their ease of use.
But reasonable expectations should also be set! Due to their compact dimensions and lightweight nature, both of which are a must in travel umbrellas, these aren’t as completely windproof as their manufacturers claim. These can be used in mild to moderate rain and/or wind conditions but not in gale-force ones. Other than such caveat, go ahead and enjoy their protection!