Nothing is worse than leaving home in a tidy three-piece only to arrive at your destination looking like Gene Kelly after a song in the rain. Whether you’re a city commuter, an avid hiker, or somewhere in between, having a reliable umbrella is a must if you plan to be out and about during rainy weather. Don’t let spontaneous showers rain on your parade this year – it’s time to ditch that free umbrella you got when you moved into your freshman dorm and upgrade to something stand up against the elements. Here are The Manual’s picks for the best umbrellas this season.
Blunt Metro, $60
Blunt is a company that takes umbrellas very seriously. The team tests every design to measure its breaking point (the Metro can withstand winds up to 5 5mph) and the canopies are constructed with extra tension to make them more aerodynamic. The Metro is the perfect model for city-dwellers and frequent travelers; it’s designed with rounded edges to make it safer to open in crowded spaces, and it folds up into a slim 14-inch profile for easy carrying.
Better Brella, $25
This umbrella has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason: it boasts a truly innovative design that lets the umbrella fold upwards after use, making it easier to navigate doorways and keeping water from dripping on the floor or in your car. It has a double canopy for extra strength and a gripped handle to make it more comfortable to hold.
Lewis N. Clark Umbrella, $15
This little beauty proves that good things really do come in small packages. You might not suspect anything by its tiny 11-inch storage size, but this umbrella is built like Optimus Prime. The ribs are made of metal and steel, and the umbrella opens and closes with the touch of a single button. Throw in the quick-drying, water-resistant canopy and this umbrella is sturdy enough for spring storms and small enough for the bottom of your bag.
Crown Coast Travel Umbrella, $18
If you’ve ever spent time as a pedestrian in The Windy City, you know that trying to control an umbrella in a strong wind is usually futile. While watching someone across the street desperately struggle to fold up a mangled umbrella before his Uber drives away might be hilarious, it’s no fun when it happens to you. Luckily, Crown Coast’s Travel Umbrella isn’t just boasting when it says it’s “windproof” — it’s built with a semi-flexible frame that allows it to withstand winds over 60 mph. Don’t let the flexibility of the frame fool you, though. It’s also made of stainless steel and coated with an anti-corrosion layer that keeps it from rusting.
Samsonite Windguard Auto Open Umbrella, $23
This umbrella’s Teflon-coated double-canopy opens to a 36-inch diameter, offering you a remarkably sturdy, waterproof shell of solace from showers or storms. It has a curved handle for a comfortable grip, with an auto-open and close button that is easy to use with one hand, so you don’t have to struggle when you’re carrying other things. It folds down to 12 inches, so you can tuck it neatly in your favorite bag for storage.
GustBuster Metro, $24-44
There’s something great about the big, enveloping canopies of traditional wood-handled umbrellas, but hauling around a three-foot umbrella all day isn’t realistic for the modern man. With a compact travel size and a deep, 43-inch double-canopy, the GustBuster gives you the best of both worlds. The temper-hardened steel frame holds up to strong winds, and the travel sleeve has an attached handle that makes it easy to sling over your shoulder when you’re not using it.
Senz Automatic, $53
Senz was truly thinking outside of the box (or the circle, as it were) when the company created its line of umbrellas. The striking, asymmetrical shape is not just a fashion statement — it prevents the umbrella from flipping inside out and allows the canopy to “float” on the wind so you don’t have to struggle against strong gusts. The eye-catching fabric is also coated with a special UV protection layer to shield you from sunshine.
EuroSchirm Light Trek Automatic Flashlite, $50
If you’re planning to spend some time in the great outdoors this season, prep for unpredictable precipitation by bringing this lightweight umbrella along. The Light Trek was designed with hikers in mind, with breathable fabric to keep you from overheating, an incredibly lightweight frame, and automatic controls for easy handling. You can customize it to suit your needs, too. This model has a built-in LED flashlight in the handle, and you can add reflective safety patches or UV protection to the canopy.
The Davek Solo, $99
If you’ve got a long line of bent, broken, and torn umbrellas in your past, then it’s time to think about a major upgrade: the Davek Solo. This beast is engineered to be incredibly long-lasting. With a frame made of solid steel, fiberglass ribs, and a tightly-woven micro weave canopy, it’s damn near indestructible. Davek’s flexible frame is also incredibly wind resistant, and the automatic closure button on the handle is designed to pull the ribs safely back into place if the umbrella inverts.
London Undercover x Barracuta Classic, $114
Compact umbrellas are more practical for everyday carry, but sometimes you want a practical accessory that also makes a statement. May we suggest this striking, limited edition London Undercover and Barracuta collaboration? We particilarly love the Fraser tartan interior and the maple wood handle. The English brand also offers a wide variety additions and prints, from a map of London on the underside to an eagle head handle. If need something a little smaller,Check out the folded umbrellas with similar designs.