The Best Travel Umbrellas
Rain days can be shorthand for “major bummer,” especially on vacation. You’re walking along, enjoying the sights, when the sky opens and fat raindrops start plunking down forcing you to take cover. Avoid this soggy fiasco by packing the perfect umbrella for travel. From compact to doorman-style, budget to luxury, we’ve investigated all the options so that, in anticipation of precipitation, you’ll be left high and dry.
Best All-Purpose Compact Umbrella
This is it. The perfect purse-size umbrella to keep handy for unexpected downpours. Totes NeverWet Mini Folding Umbrella gets a gold star for its ease of use, playful patterns, and price-point. Have we mentioned that it’s just $18? Plus, it’s ultra lightweight and has an easy-to-carry wrist strap. The steel frame is surprisingly sturdy, and the canopy comes in a range of adorable designs. We’re partial to the ultra-cute “White Rain” pattern with neon raindrops sprinkled across a white canopy—a happy pick-me-up on a dreary day.
Best Bubble Umbrella
Sightsee without getting soaked! The clear ShedRain Bubble Umbrella has a see-through plastic canopy, so you can still spot landmarks when it’s sprinkling. The enclosed “birdcage” design is a win-win—it protects you from the rain and wind and gives maximum visibility. Plus it’s got a retro, swinging ‘60s vibe. (Yeah, baby!) The auto-open ‘brella is a nice broad 52 inches in diameter, and it’s 32 inches long when collapsed. (It’s worth noting that these dimensions are longer than carry-on luggage, so it has to go in checked.) Bonus: a lifetime warranty is included.
Best Budget Umbrella
Let’s face it, umbrellas get left in taxis, bent in the wind, or loaned out to friends and family and never seen again. (We forgive you, dad.) It makes perfect sense to go for the cheapest option when you’re on the road, especially when the Lewis N. Clark Travel Umbrella does such a great job of meeting all your needs. Durable, windproof, and mildew-resistant, this little guy checks all the boxes—at $15.69. Don’t just take our word for it: Both the Wirecutter and OutdoorGearLab call it their top budget pick.
Best Itty-Bitty Umbrella
Davek’s Mini Compact Umbrella is like a regular umbrella hit by a shrink ray. It’s a mere seven inches in length end to end, which means you can just jam it into a pocket when you’re out exploring the sights. But don’t let its cute size fool you, the Davek offers some fierce rain protection. It’s got a wind-resistant frame with fiberglass “ligaments” to hold up to pounding rain, plus a lifetime guarantee if it does get bent out of shape. With a 4.3 out of 5 Amazon star rating, clearly others agree.
Best Inverted Umbrella
Inverted fans will tell you, this is the umbrella of the future. The canopy spreads outward like a flower blossoming in slo-mo and folds back in on itself. This construction keeps the wet part of the umbrella inside once you've closed it, so you don’t dribble water once you’re indoors. Another clever touch: You can loop your wrist through the C-shaped handle to keep things hands-free. (Ideal when you’re trying to find your way on Google Maps.) And it does double-duty as a parasol, since the pongee-cloth canopy protects from UV rays. One bummer: this guy is too tall for carry-on luggage, so you’ll have to take it through the airport by hand or check it.
Best Kid-Friendly Umbrella
Here’s one thingamabob we’re sure the Little Mermaid, Ariel, would add to her cavern under the sea: an umbrella with her image on it. The Western Chief Kids Ariel Umbrella is certain to keep water-loving kiddos in good spirits during a downpour with its images of a dreamy Ariel swimming up through a polka-dotted pool of bubbles. The official Disney print adorns a polyester canopy that expands to 25 inches, and closes down to 20 inches in length, which is thankfully small enough to slip into most carry-on suitcases.
Best Luxury Umbrella
If money is no object in your quest for the ultimate umbrella, head to Burberry, every fashionista’s first stop for stylish rain gear. This sophisticated “brolly” (Brit-speak for umbrella) is printed with the label's equestrian crest. It’s a detail that screams opulence—as it should for $290. Solidly constructed, it’s crafted to fit into a handbag or tote and features a telescopic handle, so it can do a quick-open on flash thunderstorms. Whether you’re attending a polo match in the Lake District, truffle-hunting in Italy, or riding coach but living first class, you’ll look the part.