There is a particular disappointment that accompanies a bad umbrella. You were prepared. You bought it months before the rainy season. You left it by the door as a reminder to snatch it on your way out. But, a single bent spoke on its maiden voyage has you wrestling with the wind while the umbrella splays into an inverted mess of broken ribs and busted joints. Either you commit yourself to improvised umbrella surgery, or you steal a visitor umbrella from the Ritz. The third option, of course, is to buy an umbrella that works.
The acceptance that a good umbrella costs more than $10 opens a world of choice for the outdoorsman, the practical urbanite and the disciple of high fashion alike. Our list is a grip of options for all of the above. The primary goal is to stay dry — but it doesn’t hurt to look good in the process.
Uniqlo Compact Umbrella
Simple, effective and easy on the wallet, Uniqlo’s compact umbrella fits into any bag and any wardrobe. This one rotates freely to help combat gusts of wind and the added clip holds on to the slipcover so you won’t lose it.
Repel Windproof Double Vented Travel Umbrella
Repel’s umbrella is a classic design with a few tricks up its sleeve like a double-vented canopy, Teflon-coated fabric and automatic open/close mechanism. It’s also the number one rated umbrella on Amazon.
Balios Prestige Travel Umbrella
For something a bit more refined at the same price, Balios offers much of the same functionality as Repel’s popular umbrella in a classier aesthetic.
HAY Mono Umbrella
Danish design brand HAY is known for bringing elevated simplicity into the home with a sophisticated line of furniture and homeware. This monochromatic pastel toes the line between utilitarian and aesthetic sculpture.
Barbour Plaid Mini Umbrella
Barbour’s distinct tartan plaid works well front and center, too, not just hidden as a jacket lining.
Sies Marjan x AMO
In collaboration with architectural firm AMO for Rem Koolhaas’s “Countryside, The Future” exhibition at The Guggenheim, designer Sies Marjan’s signature gradient brings an unmatched calm to the storm.
Blunt Metro Umbrella
This compact and collapsible umbrella is wind-tested to 55 mph and has a two-year warranty — it also comes in 12 colors, so you can stand out in a sea of black umbrellas (if that’s your goal).
Certain Standard Large Wallingford Umbrella
This large umbrella has a fiberglass and composite frame and natural cork handle, so it weighs in at just 1 pound. With a canopy diameter of 46-inches, it’ll keep you and whoever you’re walking with dry in the worst downpours.
London Undercover Maple Wood-Handle Umbrella
If Paddington Bear misplaced his raincoat, this would be his backup plan.
Davek Solo Umbrella
Form is function with Davek’s flagship umbrella. We’re inclined to agree with its approach.
Lockwood Hand-Stitched Italian Leather Super Slim Umbrella
If anyone knows rain, it’s the English. So it’s no surprise that some of the finest umbrellas come from Britain. This one features a luxe hand-stitched leather handle that will patina with age (just so long as you don’t leave it in a cab).
Fox Umbrella GT1 Gentleman Tube Umbrella
Since 1868, Fox has been handcrafting luxury umbrellas and is among the first names to be mentioned in the umbrella conversation. This one features a gorgeous wood handle with a gold-tone metal cap to bring a bit of elegance to your rainy jaunt.
Maglia Francesco Red Striped Umbrella with Ashwood Handle
The bamboo handle and ashwood shaft set Maglia Francesco’s umbrella apart from the usual metal-shafted options on the market. The striped canopy adds a rakish flare.
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