Best Overall Umbrella
REI Travel Umbrella
Easy to use
The REI Travel
earned its place as our Editors' Choice by providing a high quality product inside a small package. Its relatively light weight and small packed size ensured that we could slip it into a purse or backpack and simply forget about it. When the rain hit, we could quickly deploy it at the touch of a button. This same button also collapses the canopy, and auto corrects it in case it inverts. We were impressed by the large diameter of the canopy, which we also found adequately deep when the rain flew sideways. Extra features like the carabiner and elastic drawcord on the sleeve made transporting it, wet or dry, a cakewalk. While it doesn't speak volumes in the fashion department, we did like the quiet, sleek design of the REI Travel. Furthermore, we find the $35 price tag makes it a great value. We highly recommend our Editors' Choice winner as an all-around champion for both city slickers and world adventurers.
Best Bang for the Buck
totes Blue Line Auto Wooden
We loved using the Totes Blue Line Auto Wooden
in pretty much any weather condition, and with its $20 price tag, we couldn't help but give it our Best Buy Award. This non-compact model provides the best rain protection of any product we reviewed thanks to its huge 42.5 inch canopy diameter and 11 inch depth. Not once in all of our testing did the Blue Line flip inside out or collapse because of the wind. It looks and feels sturdy with its strong wooden shaft, metal frame, and spokes for additional support. With normal use, we would expect this product to last several years. It's strong, but also simple and easy to use, aided by its auto open feature. Our only complaint is that, being non-compact, it is a pain to carry around. However, if you're on a budget and are looking for an umbrella to store in your car or foyer, you can't beat this $20 bargain.
Top Pick for Compact Wind Resistance
Impressive wind resistance
Bulky and heavy for a compact model
If you are looking for a compact canopy and live in an area where rain and strong winds go hand in hand, you should seriously consider the GustBuster Metro
. We were "blown away" by its ability to withstand whatever windy situation we put it in, real or artificial. Try as we may, it was the only compact model that never inverted throughout our testing process. Our reviewers were very impressed that such a sturdy product was also so portable! The shaft and frame of hardened steel provide very solid reinforcements to the canopy, which itself is vented to allow air but not rain to pass through. Its resilience in the face of whipping winds improves this products performance in both rain protection and durability. It is a bit bulky and heavy, but we found this to be a fair tradeoff for its superior wind resistance. The Top Pick Award for Compact Wind Resistance goes to the GustBuster Metro for its ability to withstand gusts while remaining easily portable.