If you do a fair amount of traveling, you’ve probably experienced the misfortune of being caught somewhere in the rain without an umbrella at least a time or two. Perhaps you don’t like to pack an umbrella for your travels due to a large amount of space they tend to take up in your luggage. At the same time, getting soaked in the middle of a daytime excursion can really put a damper (pardon our pun) on your trip.
One solution to consider is investing in a quality travel umbrella. Unlike a traditional umbrella, a travel umbrella is made to fold up into a compact design so it can easily fit in your backpack or another small compartment. This way, when you get caught in inclement weather on your travels, you don’t have to be without cover.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a travel umbrella, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available to you. How can you know which umbrella will best suit your needs and budget? Consider checking out our list of the top five best travel umbrellas and exploring some of our other tips and considerations for choosing the right one. From there, you can make your purchase with confidence! Looking for a carry-on? Check out our best carry-on luggage today!
Top 5 Best Travel Umbrellas
Our top five picks for best travel umbrellas are listed below and make an excellent starting point for your search!
This stylish yet practical umbrella comes in eight different colors and is designed with an innovative vented double canopy, which allows wind to pass through without causing damage—all while keeping you dry. It also folds down to just 23 inches, making it easy to stow away in your travel bag.
2. Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella With Teflon Coating
If a durable travel umbrella is what you’re looking for, this is the one. Its ribs are made of resin-reinforced fiberglass to stand up to even strong wind gusts, and the umbrella’s frame is made of metal. Combine all of this with the Teflon coating for added water repelling qualities, and you’ve got a great choice in travel umbrella. When folded up, it measures just 11.5 inches, which is extremely compact!
3. Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella
Another great compact travel umbrella option is the Rain-Mate Travel Umbrella, which is available in seven different colors to suit your style preferences. It also boasts strong fiberglass construction and a 42-inch canopy to provide you with protection against the elements without taking up too much space/
4. Crown Coast Travel Umbrella
This is one of the most durable and compact travel umbrellas on the market. Its durability comes from the 10-rib structure (most umbrellas only have anywhere from 6-8 ribs), which allow for protection against folding inside-out due to high winds. It also collapses down to a tiny 11.3 inches for easy packing wherever you go.
5. Tiagogear Windproof Travel Umbrella
If a budget-friendly travel umbrella is on your list, this one won’t disappoint. For under $10, this travel umbrella is compact (measuring just 10 inches long) and small enough to keep in a glove compartment. It also features nine ribs for protection in winds of up to 60 miles per hour!
Advantages Of Using A Travel Umbrella
There are a number of benefits that come along with purchasing a travel umbrella. These are worth considering if you’re still on-the-fence about buying one.
Stay Dry During Your Travels
Perhaps the main reason many travelers own at least one travel umbrella is the ability it provides you to stay dry during your travels. Because these umbrellas collapse down small enough to be easily carried in a bag/purse or pocket, there’s really no reason that you should ever have to be without an umbrella while you travel.
For example, if you end up out and about while a surprise rain shower pops up, you won’t have to worry about seeking cover inside a local store and waiting out the rain. Instead, you can reach into your bag and grab your convenient travel umbrella, popping it open and continuing on with your adventure. In many ways, a travel umbrella can really save your trip from being ruined by a little rain!
Protect Your Hair, Clothes, and Accessories
Perhaps even worse than being caught in the rain is having your hair, clothes, and even your electronics (such as your cell phone) soaked by a surprise rain shower. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you may think. And there’s not much worse than going out for a day of sight-seeing, only to have your clothes and hair soaked—as well as your cell phone or camera damaged as a result.
With a travel umbrella, you can enjoy the protection you need from the rain and wind while keeping your hair, clothes, and accessories in-check.
Save Yourself From Sunburn
While umbrellas are certainly most often used to protect against rain, they can serve a dual purpose of protecting your eyes and skin from the sun’s damaging rays on an especially sunny day as well. Even if you’re wearing sunscreen while traveling, having an umbrella available is a great way to enjoy added protection on a day with a high UV rating. This is especially true if you’re traveling on a very hot and humid day, as it is likely that you will sweat your sunscreen off at some point. In this case, a travel umbrella can provide much-needed shade and protection against sunburn.
And unlike sunscreen or shades/visors, the right umbrella can also help keep you cooler on a hot day. Since the right umbrella will keep the sun’s rays from beating directly down onto you, you may find that you can better enjoy your travels even when temperatures aren’t favorable.
Enjoy Easy Transport and Packing
When compared to a traditional umbrella, a travel umbrella offers easy packing and transport no matter how you may be traveling. If you were to travel with a traditional umbrella that doesn’t collapse, you would likely have a hard time getting it packed in any standard-sized luggage. And if you’re traveling by plane, a regular umbrella may measure too long to even be checked.
Even if you do make it to your destination with a traditional umbrella, going out and enjoying a day of sight-seeing may be difficult, as you’ll need to carry the umbrella around with you. With a travel umbrella, on the other hand, you can avoid these hassles. Travel umbrellas are designed to collapse into a small enough size that they can be easily packed into your checked or carry-on luggage without taking up valuable space that you need for other things.
And because they’re so small, they’re also lightweight and easy to carry around with you on your excursions. This means you never have to be without an umbrella while you travel, and you don’t have to feel weighed down by one, either.
Potential Drawbacks Of Using A Travel Umbrella
Of course, there are some possible disadvantages to using a travel umbrella that you’ll want to consider as well.
May Not Hold Up To Extreme Wind
Travel umbrellas, due to their inherently smaller size, may not always hold up to wind as well as larger umbrellas. This is because the number of ribs on a travel umbrella tends to be smaller, which offers less reinforcement against wind gusts. Fortunately, there are many travel umbrellas that have been designed with additional ribs and other reinforcement to make them just as durable against strong winds as a traditional umbrella; the key is knowing what to look for when shopping for one (more on that in the next section!).
Might Not Offer Wide Enough Coverage
Again, travel umbrellas tend to be smaller in order to collapse into a compact size when not in use. As a result, they may also not offer the same amount of coverage or protection as a traditional umbrella. If you’re traveling in a group, it is unlikely that a travel umbrella will be large enough to share, as most of these are designed with use by one person in mind.
On the other hand, there are travel umbrellas that have wider diameters for those who prefer broader coverage. You might pay a bit more for a larger diameter umbrella and it may not collapse quite as small as other travel umbrellas, but this may be worth the small sacrifice to some.
Takes Up Additional Space In Your Luggage
Even though travel umbrellas as designed to fold into a very small size (often under 12 inches in diameter) when not in use, the simple fact is that they’re still taking up additional space in your luggage. This may not be a big deal if you have the space to work with, but if you’re already tight on space in your suitcase, the umbrella may be one of the first things to go.
Still, in most cases, a travel umbrella shouldn’t take up so much space that it becomes an issue.
Could Collect Mold or Mildew
Like any other umbrella, a travel umbrella could begin to collect mold or mildew if it is not properly dried off before collapsing back down and going into storage. This is why it’s always a good idea to let your umbrella air out for a while after use and before folding it back down. To speed this process up, you might consider purchasing a travel umbrella with a built-in Teflon coating. This will help to provide added protection against rain, repelling it and allowing for a faster drying time.
How To Choose The Best Travel Umbrella
If you’re convinced that you need a travel umbrella in your life, there are a few things to consider as you begin shopping around!
Think About The Size You Need
Start by considering how large of a travel umbrella you’ll need, both in terms of collapsed size and overall diameter while in use. If it will just be you using the umbrella, you won’t need to worry too much about diameter, as a standard travel umbrella should provide you the protection you need from the elements. If you’ll be sharing your travel umbrella with anybody, on the other hand, you may want to look for one with a larger diameter.
Look For Quality Materials and Construction
Quality materials and durable construction are a must when choosing a travel umbrella. Specifically, be on the lookout for travel umbrellas made with steel ribs and handles, as these will better withstand high winds and other weather extremes. You may also want to look for an umbrella with fiberglass reinforcement for added durability.
Some umbrellas also come with Teflon coatings to help cut down on the amount of drying time your umbrella will need before being folded back up.
How Compact and Easily Does It Collapse?
The whole point of a travel umbrella, of course, is to be able to easily collapse it and put it into a bag, purse, or pocket for convenient access. As you shop around, you’ll probably find that most travel umbrellas collapse to under 12 inches in size. However, the mechanisms for collapsing can vary widely; for the easiest use, look for a travel umbrella that will collapse using just one hand and will fit into your luggage. This will make it quick and easy to use it when you need it.
If you do a lot of traveling by plane, you’ll want to make sure that the travel umbrella you choose can collapse down small enough to fit into your carry-on bag for added convenience. This way, you can travel with your umbrella even on a short weekend trip where you’re not checking any luggage.
What About Color and Style Options?
Many travel umbrellas come in a wide range of color and style options, whereas others may only come in basic colors such as black or brown. Neutral colors are a good choice if you’re looking for an umbrella that will be versatile enough to go with any outfit you may be wearing. On the other hand, if you’re looking to show off your unique sense of style and personality through your umbrella, you may want to shop around for one that comes in different colors and patterns.
Overall, a travel umbrella can be a smart investment. Not only are these accessories relatively inexpensive, but they can really help to make the most of your travels, regardless of the weather conditions you may run into. And by keeping the right considerations in mind as you shop for a travel umbrella, you can make a purchase with confidence before your next trip!