Spread the love

All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What if we told you that there were umbrellas out there—the best umbrellas—that could change your life? It’d be wild if we told you that. Unfortunately it’s true. If you’ve been living without a great umbrella—something sturdy, with a wide canopy, that won’t immediately collapse at the first gust of wind—your life is about to get a lot better.

Sure, you can always buy an umbrella for five buckaroos on the street. But, we regret to inform you (and yes, this is an intervention)…that thing is a piece of shit. It will invert and crumple if you forcefully whisper into it. It’s no wonder people are always buying new ones—they’ll barely stay intact for the current rainfall you so desperately need cover from! By spending even a little bit more money for the best umbrellas, you’ll be able to get something that’ll last 10 times. Those umbrellas are big enough to cover you and your backpack, as well as prevent you from having to alter your routine whenever the rain starts to pour. You’ll take fewer Ubers for five-block walks. You’ll actually go outside during a light rain. You’ll wear leather and cashmere on days with clouds. What if the love of your life walks by you on a day where cumulonimbus clouds rain from above, and you’re not wearing your sick leather jacket? Destiny favors the bold and dry.

Don’t let the egomaniac charlatans on internet umbrella forums tell you otherwise: There’s no such thing as a perfect umbrella. You’ve got to let the right umbrella choose you. There are umbrellas that can withstand high winds, which is great if you refuse to heed to the might of nature and/or run a thriving storm chaser YouTube channel. There are umbrellas that cost $10 more than a junk umbrella, but will recoup their costs after one serious gust—and without the rush to the store to buy one. And then there are umbrellas that so compact you’ll actually grab one when Alexa tells you there’s a 20% chance of rain in “Ooklyn, New York” today. (Dammit, Alexa. Brooklyn.) Below you’ll find the best umbrellas we found to keep you dry for every rainy day you encounter.

The Best Umbrellas, at a Glance

What to Look for in an Umbrella

Durability: We keep making fun of cheap umbrellas for how badly they hold up against heavy rain and strong winds, but it’s true: If your umbrella can’t hold its own against your own breath, there’s no point in getting one. Make sure your umbrella has reinforced ribs—y’know, those things that keep the canopy open—durable canopy fabrics, and (if a brand feels so inclined to tout) an unflippable design that’s usually backed by a fiberglass frame.

Size: You never know when Mother Nature might unleash her wrath, so you best have an umbrella on hand at all times. It’s good to own a bunch of umbrellas for different situations, like one that’s small enough to keep in your bag at all times and folds down when it’s not in use (like our favorite compact umbrella, the Davek mini). Maybe it’s more of a drizzle than a downpour: Consider flexing a fashion umbrella on the streets when you’re walking through a sea of black-canopied umbrellas. Long, classic umbrellas might not be reasonable to carry all day, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep one in your car. Plus, those long umbrellas have a larger canopy to keep you and maybe one or two other people dry.

Price: You get what you pay for when it comes to an umbrella. All the good things we laid out for looking for a good umbrella ultimately means you’ll be paying more than a fiver for a good water-repellent umbrella. Expect to spend at least $20 or up to $100 for something that will last you rainstorm after rainstorm. 

The Best Umbrella, Overall: Repel Windproof Travel Size

Repel windproof umbrella

Canopy size: 48 inches
Weight: 15 ounces
Warranty: Lifetime warranty

All that stands between you—a soon-to-be soggy mess—and the rain is this umbrella, the best $30 you might ever spend. It’s arguably the most popular umbrella on the internet according to its nearly 60,000 Amazon reviewers and a number of reputable publications, which tout this umbrella’s innate ability to get the job done. Its one-button auto open and close is great for not having to fumble around when all you want is to find some coverage, and a durable Teflon coating lets rain slick off like the umbrella is a non-stick pan

The interior of the umbrella has nine reinforced fiberglass ribs, which is more than the standard six or eight, and while those extra ribs are meant to prevent the umbrella from turning inside out, it’s not going to completely eliminate those pesky flips. With a lifetime warranty to sweeten the deal, Repel’s umbrella won’t be the worst way to spend $30 (yes, just a wee $30).

The Best Budget Umbrella: AmazonBasics Automatic

AmazonBasics automatic travel umbrella

Canopy size: 38 inches
Weight: 13 ounces
Warranty: One-year warranty

There are a lot of $10 to $20 umbrellas out there, and honestly, they all stack up pretty similarly. In fact, if we had to make an educated guess, we’d say a lot of them are coming from the same factory. They’ll all beat your average umbrella sold on the street/corner store, but we like this one from AmazonBasics best. It’s not the ‘Zon’s best-selling automatic umbrella (that would be the Repel up above), but it holds up well against strong winds, has a pretty good surface area, and a wind-vent, which sets it apart from most umbrellas at this price. The materials feel a little flimsier and the pop up is less satisfying than what we’ve seen from our other favorites, but those sacrifices might be worth it if you’re just looking to save some money on a trustworthy umbrella.

The Best Collapsible Umbrella: Blunt Metro 

Blunt Metro umbrella

Canopy size: 47 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds 
Warranty: 2 years

Most people prefer a collapsible umbrella and this one right here is our favorite. These high-quality umbrellas from Blunt have a unique look—thanks to the blunt, rounded construction—that apparently confer some strength benefits. The company claims the umbrellas can resist winds of up to 55 miles per hour, but that doesn’t really actually mean much for real-world use. What’s more important is that they bolster that claim with a two-year warranty. This umbrella weighs less than a pound, packs up to the size of basically every other standard compact umbrella, and your friends will nod approvingly if you opt for one of the fun color options. Its large canopy actually spins 360 degrees in case some ding dong knocks into it with their cheap umbrella so that the core mechanism won’t break, according to the brand. Solidly built, not insanely expensive, and they look about as cool as an umbrella can look without being a full-on you’d-weep-if-you-lost-it fashion umbrella. Sold.

The Best Lightweight Umbrella: Davek Mini 

Davek mini umbrella

Canopy size: 38 inches
Weight: 8 ounces
Warranty: Lifetime warranty

The Davek Mini solves the actual biggest problem with umbrellas: You either need to have a backpack or large coat pocket to keep one on hand. The fact that it still holds sturdy is extremely impressive: It covers the same square footage as most fold-up umbrellas, but it packs up to half the size. Seven inches tall, honest-to-god back-pocket-able if you don’t wear rockstar-tight jeans. Its small 38-inch canopy might not cover your head as well as the Blunt umbrella, but for most conditions, it’ll serve you just fine—especially since the Mini is backed by an unconditional lifetime guarantee.

The Best Budget Lightweight Umbrella: Lewis N. Clark Travel Size

Lewis N. Clark travel umbrella

Canopy size: 38 inches
Weight: 10 ounces
Warranty: 1 year

If you want a compact travel umbrella you can just toss into your backpack and forget about until you get caught under a February cocktail of rain, hail, and slush, you should get this water-repellent umbrella from Lewis N. Clark. It’s got the same sized canopy as the Davek Mini, which will ensure that you stay fully dry in such a downpour, but it costs a fraction of the price. After it’s collapsed and folded, the umbrella measures 11 inches, and it weighs just 10 ounces. It also offers a great opportunity to get your neon on (we opted for a more neutral color in the pictured model), with a few more flashy colors.

The Best Classic Umbrella: Blunt

Blunt classic umbrella

Canopy size: 47 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds
Warranty: 2 years

We lauded the Blunt Metro umbrella above, and this non-fold-up version is just as . It’s slightly more wind-resistant—72 mph, which is a wind speed for which we’d actually recommend remaining indoors if at all possible. But more importantly, it’s got a wider canopy, which makes sliding another person under it a little more feasible when disaster strikes. It’s solidly built, and again, the sheen and vibrancy of the canopy makes it an aesthetically-pleasing option, but without looking too fussy or designer. You’re gonna have this thing for a long time, so get a color you’re willing to stand by for the next decade.

The Best Wind-Resistant Umbrella: Lifetek Double Canopy Traveler 45 FX2

LifeTek double canopy traveler 45 FX2

Canopy size: 47 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds
Warranty: 2 years

If you must leave the comfort of your home during a hurricane-like storm, you’ll need an umbrella with a double canopy. The design of these umbrellas incorporates a wind-vent (a space between the stacked canopies) that allows a gust to pass through your umbrella instead of getting caught inside of it. It might sound counterintuitive, but this helps make sure the umbrella almost never inverts, preventing you from the awkward experience of trying to shake your umbrella back to its normal shape in a crowd of people watching you do so. We’ve found that this LifeTek model is well-built and sturdy, even after years of use: Its automatic open close mechanism is still speedy and hasn’t started to break down or malfunction at all. It comes in a few nice muted colors, and even boasts a two-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

The Best Budget Wind-Resistant Umbrella: Shedrain Vortex

Shedrain Vortex umbrella

Canopy size: 43 inches
Weight: 15 ounces
Warranty: Lifetime warranty

If you’re looking for a small, inoffensive-looking umbrella that you can keep in your bag whenever it threatens rain, Shedrain is another name to know. With the heft of a flimsy $10 umbrella, but excellent construction keeping it together, you’re looking at an affordable but seriously windproofed option. Like the LifeTek umbrella, Shedrain’s Vortex features a double-canopy design, which helps it withstand those super-strong gusts you’d normally associate with a tropical storm. The Vortex is virtually “flip-proof,” according to the brand, and it can withstand winds up to 75 miles per hour (though if you’re experiencing 75-mile-per-hour gusts, you should absolutely not be outside, to be clear). The Vortex has a nice grippy handle, too, that’s accented with a wrist strap so those aforementioned NASCAR winds don’t knock this out of your hand.

The Umbrella That Will Make Someone Stop You to Say, “Cool Umbrella:” Certain Standard 

Certain Standard large umbrella

Canopy size: 38 inches
Weight: 13 ounces
Warranty: 1 year

None of the umbrellas we’ve collected so far look bad, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’d refer to them as a fashion flex. You could pretty easily say that of the Certain Standard umbrella. The umbrella’s advantage is its cork handle, which feels really nice as you’re gripping onto it for dear life in the middle of a downpour. The umbrella also comes in a few lovely colorways, each of which includes an antique white accent patch. It’s the kind of umbrella that gives off stick umbrella credentials without forcing you into the company of people who want to spend all of their time talking about stick umbrellas.

The Best Bubble Umbrella: Hunter

Hunter bubble umbrella

Canopy size: 33.8 inches
Weight: 1 pound 
Warranty: 2 years

Clear bubble umbrellas have a unique shape that allows you to leverage their see-through canopy to see where you’re going. Unfortunately that canopy tends to have no structural integrity and tears the first time you use it. That said, we’ve never been unhappy with rain gear from Hunter, so there’s no reason to expect this umbrella to have the same issues as those from cheaper brands. 

The Best One-Button Umbrella: Totes Titan 

Totes Titan umbrella

Canopy size: 43 inches
Weight: 14 ounces
Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

For too long, people have fumbled with finicky mechanisms just to get their umbrella to open. Thank engineering for the one-button-operated umbrellas, like Totes’ Titan. The thing shoots open like a cheetah and snaps shut in an instant, all at the push of a button. The generous 43-inch canopy can keep you and a partner out of the rain, while it folds down into a neat 11-inch package. And just for good measure, the Titan withstands winds up to 70 miles per hour.

4 More Umbrellas for Fashion Fiends

Paul Smith contrast-tipped wood-handle umbrella

The detailing is a little more reserved on this umbrella than you might expect from the stripe king, Paul Smith. But the designer’s signature stamp—vertical stripes in a multiplicity of colors—are there, right on the trim.

Francesco Maglia checked wood-handle umbrella

You might not know the name Francesco Maglia, but let us introduce you: He’s the reason why you’d spend over $400 on an umbrella. The company, which has been in business since [checks notes] 1854, is now maintained by the fifth and sixth generations of the Maglia family and produces umbrellas right outside of Milan. The wooden handle and shaft are constructed from a single piece of chestnut, all topped off by a handsome plaid canopy. This is not an umbrella you lend out willy nilly, and you sure don’t leave it unattended. 

London Undercover classic umbrella

A bold umbrella that you actually can’t see (camo joke). London Undercover’s been making handmade umbrellas in Britain (duh!) since 2008. They come as classic as you want or as bold as you’ll dare—the brand has even collaborated with the likes of A Bathing Ape, Carhartt, and Fred Perry, making this one of the most hype umbrellas around.

Burberry vintage check umbrella

Nothing quite like an iconic pattern to keep you dry.