You usually only care about finding the best travel umbrella when it’s too late.
I mean, picture yourself:
Dripping and disgruntled, chasing a flipped up, spidery umbrella through a downpour.
You’ve missed your train, you wasted too much money on a flimsy umbrella, and you are very, very wet.
If the mere thought of walking into a building with your jacket soaked through makes you want to stay inside for the rest of your life, fear not, because the following article rates and reviews some of the best umbrellas for travel on the internet.
I personally TESTED all of the following travel umbrellas outside … in the actual wind and rain.
And good news — none of them flipped inside out or blew away.
But which travel umbrella came out on top?
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5 Best Travel Umbrellas Compared
Scroll down to read my review of the 5 top travel umbrellas on the market or click play on the below video to watch me review these umbrellas:
Overall Top Travel Umbrella
A solid choice for travelers who always have a lot to carry and want an umbrella that they can hold comfortably without getting tired and having to switch hands.
My Review of the Rain Mate Umbrella:
What set this travel umbrella apart from the others I reviewed was the extremely comfortable handle. It was lightweight and easy to hold, but it had a grip-able material that keeps it in your grasp if a gust of wind comes up under it.
The 2021 edition has a reinforced rib canopy that makes it super sturdy. This compact travel umbrella is lightweight and the one I tried out had a cheerful blue sky pattern printed on the inside, so it felt like I was in a little rain-free world of my own.
The Rain Mate Umbrella also features an open/close button that springs the umbrella open like normal, but then also pops it back into closed position.
Once the umbrella has closed though, you have to manually push the collapsed canopy down to the handle before you can push the button to open it again, and that takes a little bit of muscle – not a deal-breaker by any means, just something to keep in mind when you take our top travel umbrella out in the rain for the first time.
Best Compact Umbrella on a Budget
The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is perfect for the traveler who wants a high quality but cheap travel umbrella with a trendy design.
My Review of the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella:
The construction of the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is very similar to the Rain Mate compact travel umbrella; the only differences between the two compact travel umbrellas is that the Repel is made with a heavier, less comfortable handle and it has Telfon coating.
In contrast to the Rain Mate, though, this guy also comes in several great colors and patterns. The one I tried out was black on the outside with a galaxy pattern on the inside, which I found very cool. Find your favorite style here.
The collapse button works the same as the rest, but again, it is a bit hard to open and close all the way.
The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella also boasts fast-drying Teflon fabric, which is nice, but I can’t say it dried any faster than any of the other umbrellas I tested out.
It also claims to be “windproof,” but doesn’t have a vented double canopy like the Eezy and Lifetek, so I can’t say for sure how good the wind resistance is – it’s also the exact same inside construction as the Rain Mate, which makes no claims to being windproof.
So, who’s to say? The bottom line is that the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is a good quality compact travel umbrella but nothing completely state of the art.
Best Umbrella for Frequent Travelers
The Blunt umbrella is for the high end traveler who wants an umbrella that will stick with them for a long time.
My Review of the Blunt Umbrella:
This umbrella was by far the most expensive umbrella I tried, sitting at about triple the price of the other compact umbrellas on this list.
That being said, the Blunt Travel Umbrella came with some great features that set it apart from the less expensive models, other than just being extremely lightweight and made of high quality materials.
One of the reasons this umbrella can get away with such a high price point is their patented design for the tips of the umbrella skeleton: instead of stitching the canopy fabric to a metal rod, each tip of the umbrella’s skeleton ends in a T-shape which fits snugly into a pocket sewn onto the canopy, ensuring that the umbrella hardware will never detach from the actual fabric of the umbrella, no matter how windy it gets.
If you’re anything like me, an umbrella is something that you’re constantly misplacing. Because this umbrella is pretty high tech (and high cost), I would be pretty bummed out if I was to misplace it.
The makers of the Blunt umbrella, though, had this in mind while designing: the umbrella comes with a secure little pocket where the owner can stow a bluetooth tracking device (sold separately) if they so choose, ensuring that a misplaced umbrella can be easily found.
Even with all these bells and whistles, though, I had some major problems with this umbrella’s size. Collapsed completely, the umbrella was several inches taller than all of the rest I tried out, making it less portable than the others.
When opened completely, the actual canopy of the umbrella was fairly small, and the T-shaped ends gave the umbrella a scalloped shape, making it easier for rain to come in.
So even with all of the cool features and the high quality of the entire product, this umbrella falls short when it comes to its main purpose: rain protection.
This was also the only umbrella I tested that did not collapse automatically with the push of a button, but it was very easy to pull down manually, so that is a plus.
Best Umbrella For Color Choices
Best for the traveler who wants a colorful, affordable travel umbrella that gets the job done, but they wouldn’t be too attached to if it was lost in transit.
My Review of the Eezy Travel Umbrella:
In my opinion, this compact umbrella was just fine. The Eezy travel umbrella will protect you against the rain and stow away easily just like all the others, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it fell apart a bit quicker than the rest of the travel umbrellas that I tried out.
By no means did it fall apart right out of the box, but the overall quality of the travel umbrella didn’t seem all that much better than one that you’d pick up in a hurry at a convenience store–but it was about twice the price.
That being said, the Eezy umbrella was the compact travel umbrella that came in the most colors (the one I tried out was a gorgeous sunshiny yellow) and also featured a dual open/collapse button. Again, though, it was pretty tough to push down to collapse all the way.
The best feature of this umbrella was the double canopy, meaning the top part of the umbrella was detached and overlapping from the bottom, so the wind theoretically would go through it rather than up under it and you would keep hold of your umbrella while still staying dry.
Best Lightweight Travel Umbrella
Best for the no-frills traveler who wants a portable umbrella that gets the job done without any fluff or gimmicks.
My Review of the Lifetek Umbrella:
Although it only comes in three colors, this lightweight umbrella has the most options when it comes to size: it is available in single and double canopy, and it can be bought in either a 42 inch size or a 45 inch size.
I tried out the red 45 inch double canopy–the extra canopy didn’t seem to make a huge difference. But the extra three inches was really nice, especially because it collapsed to the same size as the rest of the umbrellas, meaning it provides more rain protection without sacrificing portability.
This umbrella also had a dual auto open close feature, but it was by far the hardest travel umbrella to push shut.
This may be a testament to its construction, though–the fabric, stiching, handle, and skeleton of the umbrella were all great quality and seemed like they would last a while.
All of these umbrellas are high quality, and when it comes down to it, all of them will keep you dry.
My pick for the best travel umbrella, however, has to be the Rain Mate: it’s a well made umbrella with reinforced fiberglass ribs. It is portable, won’t take up too much space in carry on baggage, and it sets itself apart from the rest with an extremely comfortable and lightweight handle. Overall, the Rain Mate is a very good quality umbrella.
As someone who has been compared to the blundering actor in an infomercial who can never handle all of the things she’s carrying, I don’t have the grace or finesse to easily switch my umbrella from hand to hand because my wrist is getting tired, especially when weighed down with the bags that come with traveling abroad.
With the exemplary handle in mind, the Rain Mate umbrella has all of the features that you should look for in a great travel umbrella.
How to Choose a Travel Umbrella
You’d think that choosing the best travel umbrella wouldn’t be hard. Yet, there’s a lot to consider when deciding between umbrellas, so let’s run down the main things to look for when shopping around:
Since travel umbrellas are so often lost – left next to your seat on the bus, sitting under your table at a cafe – you usually don’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on one.
Or, in my personal experience, you will forget to look ahead at the weather forecasts in the cities where you’ll be traveling, spend a few miserable days in the rain, and then finally break down and an umbrella, only for it to be bright and sunshiny for the rest of the trip and leave your umbrella sitting unused in the bottom of your bag.
All of the umbrellas that I reviewed were very affordable and even the Blunt, the most expensive one, took into account the “lose-ablitily” of the product and took measures to keep it around with the bluetooth tracker pocket.
Material & Features
Remember that scene we pictured earlier of you chasing a mangled umbrella around in the rain?
That’s definitely something every traveler (and every human being with an ounce of dignity) would like to avoid.
So while you don’t want to splurge too much on an umbrella that you run a high chance of losing or barely using, you still want your umbrella to get the job done.
The best travel umbrellas to keep you dry will have the following features:
- A rain repellent canopy that will both keep the rain off you and easily shake off water droplets so that you don’t track water inside.
- A sturdy skeleton stitched firmly in place that won’t bust open with heavy winds and risk poking you or someone near you in the eyeball.
- A lightweight, comfortable handle that won’t give you hand cramps and force you to put down your luggage in order to adjust.
When packing for a trip, you want your travel umbrella to take up as little space in your carry on bag as possible, especially if you’re traveling in a climate or during a time of year where the weather changes frequently and it may start pouring at any moment.
An umbrella should be able to fit in the side pocket of your backpack in case you need to pull it out at the first hint of a sprinkle, or it should be able to be stowed away in the bottom of your bag if it turns out the weather is going to be milder than expected. It should also have a comfortable wrist strap for carrying when it isn’t raining.
Another key factor in portability is how light and easy to carry the umbrella is when it is open and in action – again, I myself am often infomercial-level discombobulated when it comes to carrying things – and you should be able to open and collapse your umbrella easily with one hand while your other hand maneuvers your luggage, bus pass, or the street meat you picked up for lunch.
***When comparing the best umbrellas for travel, it’s really the little things that make a big difference.
You can hold pretty much anything above your head to protect you from the rain, but an investment in a quality umbrella can make your time abroad a lot more hassle-free.
All of the umbrellas I reviewed are good quality, portable, and affordable and each have their own special features and designs that make them unique.
While you’re here, be sure to check out these other related articles to help plan your packing list:
- The Best Travel Pillow
- How to Pick the Best Travel Backpack for Europe
- Tortuga Travel Backpack Review
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