Best Windproof Umbrellas

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

22 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
408 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best windproof umbrellas

Last Updated November 2019

Umbrellas are extremely valuable tools – until a sudden wind gust turns them inside out. This scenario is all too common due to the fact that most drugstore umbrellas stand up well to gentle showers but are defenseless against squalls.

Windproof umbrellas, however, are designed to prevent the canopy from turning inside out. Vents and fiberglass frames keep them in perfect shape during weather conditions that destroy other styles. Some models can withstand winds up to 55 miles per hour.

Windproof umbrellas come in many different sizes, from single-user designs to shades for your whole golf party. You’ll also need to think about fabric, handle design, and one-handed operation when shopping for windproof umbrellas, not to mention price. Which umbrella will keep you high and dry even in extreme conditions? Keep reading our buying guide to learn more. When you’re done, check out our picks for the best windproof umbrellas on the market.

Umbrella-style tools have been in use since the days of Ancient Greece, if not earlier. The earliest evidence of humans using umbrellas dates back more than 2,000 years.

Key considerations

Type

Most windproof umbrellas fight gusts one of two ways, so you’ll need to decide which type you prefer. Or look for a model that combines both methods for extra security.

Some windproof umbrellas prevent inversion by adding vents to the standard umbrella design. These vents let wind pass through the fabric dome. Venting allows air pressure to stabilize on both sides of the canopy, keeping the umbrella still and secure. These vents are typically near the top of the umbrella and layered so that rain doesn’t drip through.

Other windproof umbrellas have extra-tough frames to resist the wind. Most standard umbrellas have frames with six to eight slim metal ribs that keep the fabric in place when the umbrella is open. Windproof umbrellas are often made with extra ribs to give them more support and strength. As an added benefit, these ribs are made of fiberglass rather than metal. Metal ribs can be brittle and snap under pressure, but fiberglass ribs are flexible and move with the wind instead of straining against it.

Size

Crowding underneath a too-small umbrella usually means that no one really stays dry. But lugging around an oversized umbrella can get tiring.

Compact umbrellas, also known as travel umbrellas, are convenient for carrying wherever you go. They are usually about 12 inches long and are designed to fit in a purse, backpack, or briefcase in case of sudden showers. Their arcs usually cover 36 to 46 inches, depending on dome height, so they best protect a single user. They’re designed to fold down compactly, so they have more moving parts that can break compared to other umbrellas. Since they must fold efficiently, they’re made with smaller components, making them less sturdy than larger models.

Traditional umbrellas, also known as stick umbrellas, are the classic style of umbrellas. They are longer, usually measuring between 24 and 30 inches. Their arcs span 40 to 50 inches, which can keep one or two users dry. Since they don’t fully collapse, traditional umbrellas have thicker frames than compact umbrellas, making them stronger.

Golf umbrellas are mostly used to protect golfers from rain and sun when they hit the links. With impressive arcs of 62 inches, they easily protect three or four people from downpours. These umbrellas typically measure about 40 inches long. They are made with thicker, higher-quality materials, which makes them heavier and more awkward to carry.

EXPERT TIP

Commuter umbrellas eliminate pointed tips and exposed metal edges so you can maneuver through crowds more easily.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Fabric

An umbrella’s canopy is only helpful if it’s waterproof. Quality windproof umbrellas should have domes made of water-resistant fabric, such as nylon or polyester. Some are made with quick-dry materials that won’t soak your carpet once you get home. Other umbrella canopies are treated with Teflon or other coatings that repel rain before it can soak into the fabric.

Handle design

Umbrella handles come in a variety of shapes and materials. Some are hooked, while others are straight. A few are C-shaped like a bracelet, so you can carry them hands-free. Make sure the umbrella’s handle matches your hand size. Large handles may strain small hands. Likewise, dainty handles may be uncomfortable for larger hands to grip.

Classic umbrella handles are made of wood, but more modern styles are often made of rubber, fiberglass, or plastic. Handles with finger notches or texturing can help you keep a grip on your umbrella when conditions are gusty or slippery.

Shaft design

Collapsible, telescoping metal shafts are a staple in all compact umbrellas. But other styles of umbrellas may have a shaft made of wood, metal, or fiberglass. Wood shafts offer a classic look and are extremely strong but may be heavier than other materials. They’re not the best choice for those who lack upper body strength. Metal shafts are often lighter because they are hollow, which makes them more prone to bending. Fiberglass shafts are an ideal compromise as they’re lightweight and slightly flexible, so they have some give in gusty conditions.

One-handed operation

An umbrella with a button that automatically opens and closes the canopy allows for one-handed operation. Umbrellas with auto-close buttons will reset the frame and hinges in the event that wind blows your umbrella inside out.

Many windproof umbrellas are rated to withstand winds up to 55 miles per hour, which is well into tropical storm range.

Windproof umbrella prices

Inexpensive

You can find quality windproof umbrellas in compact, traditional, and even smaller golf styles for under $20. Telescoping compact models will have metal shafts, while larger umbrellas will usually have fiberglass shafts. Most will have vents to stabilize air pressure. A few may have reinforced frames to fight wind.

Mid-range

Mid-range windproof umbrellas in all sizes range from $20 to $35. These umbrellas should have both venting and a reinforced frame. At this higher price, umbrellas should also have value-added features, like a quality wood handle or shaft, automatic opening and closing, and water-repellent fabric.

High-end

The highest-quality windproof umbrellas usually cost $40 or more. However, those with heavy wooden components or designer branding may cost upward of $90. In this price range, umbrellas should have both venting and a reinforced frame. Many umbrellas claim to withstand winds up to 55 miles per hour – these umbrellas should back it up. Canopies should be made of tough, waterproof material that’s been treated to repel water. These windproof umbrellas should either be very large or have special features that justify the price, like concealed sharp edges or specialized handles.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most umbrella canopy measurements are given in terms of arc rather than diameter.

Tips

  • Many windproof umbrellas have a Velcro closure. However, a snap closure is usually more secure as long as it’s made from a rust-free material.
  • Some windproof umbrellas sport reflective patches for use at night.
  • Hand straps can help you maintain your grip on a gusty day or give you a place to attach the umbrella to a bag.
  • Mold-resistant treatments help protect your damp umbrella from developing mold.
  • Some golf umbrellas are metal-free to protect against lightning. Others screw directly into a golf bag.
  • If you choose a windproof umbrella with a wood handle, be sure to dry it off after each use.
  • Always leave your umbrella open until it’s fully dry. Closing it when it’s damp can lead to mildew and rusting of the metal components.

Other products we considered

Aptly named, the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella features a Teflon-coated canopy that’s so waterproof, it dries almost instantly. Repel reinforces its design with nine fiberglass ribs, which is one to three more ribs than other brands, and each rib is reinforced with resin. The umbrella’s slip-proof handle helps keep sudden gusts from knocking it out of your hand. If you need something a little bigger, we like the looks of the Procella Windproof Waterproof Golf Umbrella. This oversized windproof umbrella holds its own in winds of up to 46 miles per hour. Its honeycomb fiberglass rib design helps keep the canopy from flipping inside out, while air vents allow wind to escape without lifting the dome. A protective UV coating makes this umbrella a great addition to your golf bag, rain or shine.

Some windproof umbrellas are UV-rated, so they can protect you from the sun as well.

FAQ

Q. Will a windproof umbrella ever turn inside out?
A.
It’s virtually impossible to design a windproof umbrella that would never invert and also be light enough to carry. Windproof umbrellas are designed to withstand wind speeds most people actually experience. Many of these umbrellas can withstand gusts between 25 and 55 miles per hour. In most cases, strong weather systems that cause wind gusts higher than 55 miles per hour create other hazards that should keep you indoors. In other words, if you go outside during these kinds of storms, you may face bigger problems than your umbrella inverting.

Q. What’s the best kind of wood for an umbrella?
A.
Traditional wood umbrellas used to be made primarily with hardwoods like hickory, maple, and cherry. These woods are strong, durable, and give a timeless look that never goes out of style. Today, however, bamboo is a better choice for umbrellas. Bamboo grows more quickly than hardwood trees, so it’s more sustainable. It has a naturally attractive color, and it’s stronger than many hardwoods – and even steel. Plus, it’s water-resistant, a claim other woods can’t make.

Q. Which type of umbrella is best for use in the snow?
A.
Raindrops usually drip down an umbrella canopy, but sleet and snow may stick in place. This gives them the chance to soak through the fabric and drop onto your head. If you expect to use your windproof umbrella in wintry conditions, look for models coated in Teflon. This nonstick coating makes the flakes slip off the fabric before they can soak through.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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