The Best Umbrella

Updated on 10 November 2022

After 15 hours of research, a comparison of 38 umbrellas and our tests of 6, we have determined that the Repel Windproof Travel currently represents the best value for money.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best budget

Repel Windproof Travel

Apart from its affordability, it meets a user’s needs with its high wind resistance, seamless waterproofing, overall ergonomics and small size which makes it easy to store.

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Repel Windproof Travel

This retractable umbrella is relatively compact and easy to store in a bag with its protective cover. Its 96 cm diameter is enough to shelter one person. In our test, we found that the frame and the 9 resin-reinforced fibreglass ribs stood up well to strong gusts of wind. In our experience, the double-ventilated awning showed no weakness in heavy rain and dried out quite quickly thanks to the Teflon coating. Although the rubber handle is more suitable for small hands, it provides a secure and slip-free grip with its grip and strap. Finally, thanks to the button, the opening is automatic and simple, but we found that it took some force to fold it up.

 

 

Best mid-range

G4Free Golf

Its overall quality ensures excellent stability in strong winds and its large size is perfect for protecting several people. We also liked its comfortable handle and versatility.

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G4Free Parapluie

This golf umbrella is bulky to carry but has a practical strap cover for carrying it over the shoulder or hanging it on a trolley. Thanks to its large diameter, it can nevertheless protect several people. Its frame and 8 fibreglass ribs have always remained stable in strong winds. In addition, the double canopy made of 210T pongee fabric is perfectly waterproof in heavy rain and even protects against the sun’s rays, so it can also be used as a parasol. During our test we found the EVA foam handle comfortable to hold. Indeed, it is large enough to be held with both hands, but when wet, it takes longer to dry. Finally, its automatic button operation makes it very easy to open and fold.

 

Best high-end

Blunt Metro

This very durable model has managed to establish its reputation thanks to its design. By doing away with the spikes in favour of rounded ends, it has become safer and more stable.

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Before being aesthetically pleasing, its design was first thought to be safe. While most umbrellas have trouble staying above our heads and away from the eyes of the people around us, this model has rounded tips instead of the traditional spikes. But beyond this aspect, its robustness is such that it does not give way to wind beyond 80 km/h. A good point comes in addition to the Quick Dry technology, which ensures quick drying.

 

Budget alternative

Amazon Brand Eono

This pocket umbrella is reasonably priced, of good overall quality, strong and waterproof. It is easy to use and its diameter allows it to protect up to 2 people.

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Amazon Brand Eono

This retractable, space-saving model is both easy to store in a bag with its protective cover and big enough to protect two people in our opinion. The frame and 8 reinforced fibreglass ribs are very strong in the face of strong gusts, but we have our doubts about the manufacturer’s claim that it can withstand winds of up to 97 km/h. The canopy is made of 210 high-density fabric with a Teflon coating, but it can withstand strong winds and heavy rain and dries quickly. The handle provides a good grip with its strap, while the automatic opening and closing are very simple. However, in our test, we found that it took some strength to fold the umbrella.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best budgetBest mid-rangeBest high-endBudget alternative
Repel Windproof Travel G4Free Golf Blunt Metro Amazon Brand Eono
Apart from its affordability, it meets a user's needs with its high wind resistance, seamless waterproofing, overall ergonomics and small size which makes it easy to store. Its overall quality ensures excellent stability in strong winds and its large size is perfect for protecting several people. We also liked its comfortable handle and versatility. This very durable model has managed to establish its reputation thanks to its design. By doing away with the spikes in favour of rounded ends, it has become safer and more stable. This pocket umbrella is reasonably priced, of good overall quality, strong and waterproof. It is easy to use and its diameter allows it to protect up to 2 people.
£ 33.99 on Amazon See the price on Amazon £ 70.60 on Amazon £ 17.99 on Amazon

 

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How did we do the tests?

To begin with, we assessed the size of each model by placing them in a bag or simply wearing them. We also placed several of us underneath to see if everyone was perfectly protected. Then we judged the handle (by how comfortable it was, how well it fit and how big it was) and the practicality of the opening and closing mechanism (manual or automatic).

For our tests, we tested the wind resistance (in real conditions, but also by simulating the wind with a powerful fan) and the waterproofness of each fabric (by subjecting it to weak and strong jets of water). We also take the opportunity to calculate the drying time.

 

How to choose an umbrella?

The market is currently full of all kinds of umbrellas. Even if manufacturers try to distinguish themselves by offering ever more innovative and practical models, the most important thing is obviously to choose one that is capable of withstanding a possible gust of wind.

Parapluie

To help you with your choice, we have taken the initiative to draw up a list of the few points you need to consider.

But before going any further, we would like to remind you of the different models that exist:

  • The reversible or “inverted” umbrella: very fun to use, it can be opened or closed in a small space and some even have a C-shaped handle for easier hanging.

Parapluie

  • The straight umbrella: used since the 17th century, it is characterised by its non-folding pole. And while it continues to be considered very stylish, it has the advantage of being strong and covering a large area. Unfortunately, it is not easy to store because of its larger size. So, consider a model that fits around your hips or is shorter, so that you can carry it more easily under your arm.
  • The retractable umbrella: more recently, it has two parts that fit into each other. As its length can be reduced considerably after folding, it is particularly easy to store and transport. However, the retractable nature of the umbrella makes its ribs and shaft very fragile.
  • The golf umbrella: although it has a larger size than the previous models, it nevertheless benefits from better quality, particularly in terms of the handle, fabric, shaft and ribs.

Parapluie

  • The fishing umbrella: for people who like to go fishing, you can find products specially adapted to your activity. Generally, XL in size, the tip of the pole can be planted in the ground for optimal coverage.

So, once you know which type of umbrella you are going to use, you should ideally consider the following few criteria:

  • The opening and closing system: There are two possibilities. The first is to open the umbrella by sliding the tip onto the pole. Then you simply press the tip to close it again. The second option is to press the same button to open and close the umbrella, which can make your life much easier.

Parapluie

  • The handle: there are two types: the tube, often made of hollow metal and lighter (but less solid) and the wooden handle, more solid but less flexible. For the grip, it is best to try it out.
  • The mast: as the central element, the mast must be strong. Usually made of steel, it can also use fibreglass or aluminium in its design, for a stronger and lighter look.

Parapluie

  • The ribs: while most umbrellas have between 6 and 8 ribs, some can have more than 10. Although the most commonly used materials are reinforced steel, fibreglass and doubled fibre, it is not uncommon to find carbon fibre in the more expensive models. Please note that the strength of the ribs is proportional to the tension of the fabric: the tighter the fabric, the greater its wind resistance.

Parapluie

  • The fabric: for an umbrella to protect you effectively, it needs to be as waterproof as possible. The fabric is usually made of waterproof polyester, cotton or PVC. There are also nylon, which dries quickly and has a windproof effect, POE (a modified elastic polymer with a pearl effect) or Teflon, a stain-resistant plastic.

 

Other umbrellas we recommend

Samsonite Rain Pro Stick Auto Open (£30.00 upon publication): simple, practical, and solid. This umbrella is large and the lack of a cover makes it more complicated to carry, although its slim steel cane handle means you can walk with it. Despite the absence of a strap, it is large enough to accommodate both hands. The fibreglass shaft and 8 ribs are wind resistant and the nylon and Teflon fabric passed our waterproofing tests. In addition, we found that the curved effect of the fabric protected well. In addition, the automatic button mechanism makes it easy to open and fold the umbrella.

Collar & Cuffs London Extra Strong (£24.50 upon publication): a worthy heir to the English style. This straight model has a traditional solid wood handle and is shaped like a cane. It has a solid frame made from fibreglass, 8 ribs and an automatic opening system, so you can draw it at the drop of a rainstorm. Unfortunately, although it boasts a ventilated liner, the handle seems a little too fragile for users.

GustBuster Metro (£72.99 upon publication): high wind resistance. This umbrella is made of hardened steel and a double storm canopy that consists of hexagonal ribs, capable of withstanding winds of over 80 km/h. In addition, it measures 109 cm in diameter and is 40 cm long when folded. Its reinforced mast is designed to minimise the risk of it turning over. However, the handle is problematic due to its fragility and its price is currently particularly high.

 

Other umbrellas tested

Samsonite Rain Pro – 3 Section Manual Flat (£19.00 upon publication): too fragile in windy conditions. This is the lightest and most compact retractable model we have tested. Its Teflon-coated fabric is well sealed and manual opening is very quick and easy. Even so, with its six ribs, it is not strong enough to cope with large gusts. We also found the aluminium handle a little small and uncomfortable.

Samsonite Windguard Auto Open/Close (£22.97 upon publication): not the best performer in strong gusts. This retractable umbrella is easy to store, but the size is more limited to protect several people. The small ergonomic handle fits well in the hand and the canopy is fully waterproof. In addition, we found the automatic opening simple and convenient. While the frame appears to be quite strong, we found the eight ribs to be a little thin and fragile at the ends, which results in a slight lack of stability in strong winds.

 

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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