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The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella folds up to an 11½-inch-long, 14-ounce package that fits easily into most bags and glove boxes. And it forcefully expands at a touch of a button to reveal an ample 37-inch-diameter canopy that protects your torso and head from precipitation in all but the windiest of conditions. Its lengthy, textured handle is easy to grip for hands of all sizes. We also appreciate that the Repel Windproof Travel comes in a wide variety of colors, so you can more easily pick yours out of a crowded umbrella bucket. Finally, despite its affordable price, Repel backs it with a lifetime refund or replacement guarantee, but only if you purchase directly from Repel and register the item under their warranty.
AmazonBasics Automatic Travel Umbrella with Wind Vent
Despite its low cost, this offering under the e-commerce giant’s house brand blew away most competition in wind-resistance tests. It also comes in a variety of colors, but they tend to vary in price, plus this model has a history of stock issues.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $17.
The AmazonBasics Automatic Travel Umbrella with Wind Vent is available for less than the Repel, and its vented design and solid build shrugged off even the toughest gusts during our testing. However, it can be hard to get a handle on when it will be available. Representatives have assured us that it remains in the AmazonBasics product line, but since this model came to our attention in February 2017, it has gone in and out of stock several times. Each time, we’ve seen no online indication that it would be back. It’s a solid pick—when you can find it.
The Balios Folding Double Canopy Umbrella looks and feels premium—with a wooden handle and solid build quality—and it costs about the same as the Repel. But the wooden handle is more slippery than the Repel’s. This, coupled with the Prestige’s lack of a wrist strap, means you have to be careful about keeping a grip on it. It held up well to strong winds, and its 37-inch-wide canopy bounced back easily after it was forced to invert during testing. It deploys quickly, and the handle feels solid to hold.
Lewis N. Clark Umbrella
It isn’t the toughest, but it is quite light and very affordable, and it comes in many colors. It’s great for kids or forgetful folks.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $19.
The Lewis N. Clark Umbrella was a previous top pick and is still a great value—this lightweight travel model frequently goes on sale for about half as much as our other picks, which makes it a good bet for kids or other people who frequently lose umbrellas. It isn’t as solidly built as our other picks, but at 10 ounces, it is about a quarter pound lighter than the Repel and AmazonBasics models. And its 38-inch canopy offers better coverage and more wind resistance compared with most other umbrellas in the sub-$20 range. We also like that it comes in five colors.
If you want more coverage than a compact automatic umbrella can provide, a stick umbrella (often misidentified as a golf umbrella), while heavy, can protect more than just your upper torso. Among the nine options we tested, the Totes Auto Open Wooden Stick Umbrella was by far the most affordable, yet it held up against the strongest winds and didn’t feel at all top-heavy—a common issue with the other stick models we tested. It also looks better than you might expect for the price. But if you want something with a nicer finish and made from more premium materials, we did test some pricier stick umbrellas with nicer finishes that performed just as well, but they cost more than five times as much as the Totes.