As a seasoned traveler, I can tell you one thing that I absolutely never forget to pack: a travel umbrella. No matter where I’m going, except perhaps the Wadi Rum or the Sahara Desert, there’s bound to be some sort of inclement weather. Rain, sleet, thunderstorms; few destinations are without them. Having an umbrella or two on hand allows me and my travel companions to keep our plans intact (and sometimes even see the sights with fewer crowds on rainy days).
Finding the perfect umbrella can be as daunting as selecting a suitcase, though. With about a million options to choose from and all of them claiming to be the best, it’s no wonder so many travelers default to the cheapest option on Amazon or whatever happens to be at the nearest drugstore when that sudden rainfall begins. However, not all umbrellas are created equal, as anyone who has found themselves with a completely inverted one during a torrential downpour will tell you.
To help you find the best travel umbrella for your needs, we put a dozen or so models to the test (in the windy Midwest, no less), keeping size, durability, and affordability in mind. Below, we’ve rounded up the options that are worth a spot on your packing list.