Best Travel Umbrellas – 2017 Reviews and Top Picks
No one wants to use an umbrella, especially not on vacation. Unfortunately, even if you travel in summer, the weather is always unpredictable. There’s nothing worse than being lost and wet in a foreign place. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, the best travel umbrellas can save your trip.
Why should you bring a travel umbrella as opposed to buying one as needed? When it starts to rain, every tourist shop will bring out their stash of rain gear. From boots, to ponchos they are looking to capitalize on your time of need.
Prices will be high and you will be forced to pay the premium. Furthermore, these products will be the worst quality. You’ll be paying more for an inferior product, that probably won’t make it home with you.
By purchasing the best travel umbrellas beforehand, you’ll save time and money for the things you really want to do on your trip. Replace wastefulness with mindfulness by being prepared.
A good traveller packs light. That means you don’t have any clothes to waste. Without a dryer certain clothes can take days to dry. When you have to pack up and move your damp garments, you could find more wet clothes at your next destination.
Keeping all your clothes dry is worth the investment. Let’s also remember the shoes. If you’re like me, you only have space for one or two pairs of shoes. If they get soaked, you’re looking at a very uncomfortable few days. An excellent travel umbrella will keep you calm and dry, even in the worst of storms.
Business travellers know the importance of keeping cool. You’ve travelled to your destination to close that big deal or make your partners feel at ease. Showing up unprepared is not an option.
If you walk into that huge meeting drenched, it will impair your image and ruin your confidence. To give that perfect presentation, you’ve got to be at your best. Don’t risk your success on a bargain umbrella or the whims of the weather.
While good weather is obviously ideal, you’ve paid a lot for your trip. You don’t want to be locked down in your room. By bringing a premium product, that you know will keep you dry, you can hit the town with ease. That way you can do everything you wanted, or perhaps more, as other less dedicated tourists retreat indoors.
Everyone travels in the summer. That means more lines, more waiting, and higher prices almost everywhere. A good umbrella can open up the off-season. By travelling in Fall/Winter, you can do more in less time. Go to 3 museums instead of one. Visit that delicious bistro that’s always booked.
Stay in a four-star hotel for a two-star rate. Travelling in the off-season can open up opportunities you never thought possible. The sights are the same and a good travel umbrella can make you feel comfortable in the worst of weather. Don’t be afraid look at the off-season as a chance to experience a city like a true local.
Modern umbrellas are not the same behemoths that used to double as your grandfather’s cane. The latest technology gives you the same performance and coverage in a light and compact package. Don’t get stuck lugging an antique around, or throwing it out when it doesn't fit in the overhead container.
When travelling, space is paramount. Why waste essential room on an inferior product? Stash it in your daypack or purse and forget about it, until you really need it. At the end of your trip, leave it in your suitcase or backpack to be sure you’re never stuck in the rain again.
Don’t put your vacation in the hands of fate. There are some great value options to make sure you are literally covered. Consider these choices the cheapest and most effective form of travel insurance.
Here are the 5 best travel umbrellas to make sure you never waste a day:
Most umbrellas feature standard aluminum ribs that are known to bend and warp with time. Likewise, aluminum’s lightweight, malleable nature is the culprit in those devastating inversions that leave you swamped.
Vumos has solved that problem by replacing the antiquated aluminum with futuristic fiberglass. Fiberglass is lighter and stronger giving you more support in trying times. Also, it holds its shape better, meaning your umbrella is less likely to turn on you.
Meanwhile, the canopy is made with water-wicking Pongee fabric that allows you to shed every drop with one quick shake. After, use the one-handed auto-close button to quickly slide it into it’s compact waterproof case. You can immediately store it in your carry-on or backpack with no fear of dampening electronics, clothing, or your precious flight time snacks.
Weighing in at 12 ounces, including the case, it won’t be an undue burden on your back. And at just under 18$ it won’t stress your wallet either. Overall, this is an extremely solid travel umbrella that could bring you peace of mind around the world.
- Solid Construction
- Waterproof Hard Case
- On the Larger Side
- Wind Performance
Boasting the unquestionable strength of stainless steel, the Kolumbo Travel Umbrella operates at a different standard. Kolumbo is one of the few companies to put their claims to the test. This umbrella performs perfectly in gusts of up to 55 miles per hour.
The innovative reversible design also allows you to easily snap the canopy into place if an inversion does occur. Featuring the same waterproof case, and one click open as other products in the category, this performance does not come at the cost of convenience.
Kolumbo seriously stands behind their product testing by offering a lifetime warranty for any reason. Hand testing and a good, old-fashioned dedication to a scientific approach put Kolumbo at the head of the field.
At $18 as well, they’ve made sure that the performance of their travel umbrella is the only thing that will blow you away. If you want a true wind warrior, this could be the choice for you.
- Thorough Testing
- Waterproof Sleeve
- Wind Performance
- Materials, and Construction
The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella does just what it’s name suggests. A trusty Teflon coating ensures you’ll never have to put that wet umbrella in your bag or car again. It also makes use of a resin reinforced fiberglass frame that will hold its shape in serious gusts.
A bit of extra weight in the shaft (the whole package is 15 ounces) allows you to take on sleet, snow and hail.
What you have here is a sort of tweener, squarely in the goldilocks zone of too big/rigid to travel and too lightweight to resist heavy rain. The Repel delivers superior protection in a mobile package. It also brings a one hand open/close mechanism to the table for those freakishly quick storms.
The only downside is the company does not mention if their travel sleeve is waterproof. This can be a dealbreaker if you need to move immediately. Coming a premium price of $22, the Repel Travel Umbrella is banking on the reputation of Teflon and supreme construction.
- Teflon Coating
- Strong and Stable
- Waterproof Sleeve?
Another entry from industry leader Vumos, this miniature travel umbrella crams as much technology as possible into an impressively small space. Weighing in at just 210 grams (7.5 ounces) and folding down to 7 inches, it’s hard to find a smaller option on the market. However, the Mini has some of the same features as its bigger brother. It has the same durable materials, and reliable construction.
From this small powerhouse you get an incredible 35 inches of coverage and 22 inches of height to keep you, and a friend, dry in any simple storm However, with only 6 ribs as compared to the full sized iteration’s 9, the mini is much more prone to wind damage.
If you like to plan for the worst, it might be worth the extra weight to carry a stronger umbrella. Overall, the Vumos Mini is the premier super-compact option. It can be perfect for those quick runs from the taxi to the hotel or down into the subway. The only downside is if you put it in your bag, it's so small and light, you may forget it’s there.
- Smallest and Most Compact
- Seriously Light
- Excellent Materials and Construction
- Hard Travel Case
- Easily lost
- Wind Performance
- Smaller Canopy
The most expensive and powerful entry in the category comes from Crown Coast Umbrellas. Their travel option comes in a dizzying array of distinct colors and is wind tested to an industry leading 60 miles per hour.
With a price of $22 dollars, Crown Coast’s travel umbrella weighs in at 15 ounces and measures to about 1 foot. It’s a bit big for a true travel umbrella but it brings some serious performance to the table.
It has all the features of other items in the category (one touch open/close, waterproof case, water repellent fabric) while incorporating things only found in larger, homebound options. The wide grip, non-slip handle and 10 rib design make it easy to see why it can resist near hurricane force winds. The addition of a small microfiber cloth in the travel case allows you to be 100% certain it’s dry before tossing it near your valuables.
Just like modern skyscrapers, this umbrella is designed to sway with the wind instead of resisting. That gives you less chance of inversion and consistently better coverage. If your motto is better safe than sorry, Crown Coast might have made the travel umbrella for you. This model pushes the boundaries of what should be included in the “travel” category.
- Best Performance
- Has Every Feature
- Color Options
- Sturdy 10 Rib Design
- Too Big
- Is it a True Travel Option?
All these travel umbrellas have their ups and downs (pun intended). The compact mini is easily the preferred option for the space conscious who don’t expect super serious weather concerns.
Kolumbo, Repel, and Crown Coast offer the performance of stay at home options, with the associated premium cost paid in price and space/weight. I think that the best travel umbrella lies right in the middle. Vumos’ standard choice offers just what you need, and nothing you don’t. The 9 rib fiberglass frame will cover you in anything but the most extreme storms. The $18 price is more than reasonable for an item you’ll hopefully never have to use.
The most underrated feature is the hard travel case with secure zippered enclosure. This protects all your investments, ensuring that all your personal items stay dry. Also, it protects your brand new travel umbrella from being damaged in transit.
A manageable footprint of 12 ounces provides an excellent 43 inch canopy. The one foot length is more than acceptable, albeit a bit on the large side. In essence, Vumos’ travel umbrella isn’t the best at anything, but it is the best value.
If you feel that one of the other choices better fits your needs, there’s no shame in opting for the space saving mini or indestructible Crown Coast. Although, the Vumos is the best travel umbrella to keep your trip moving.