Total Coverage: The 8 Best Umbrellas

There’s a lot we could learn from The Penguin besides how to try to kill Batman. He’s a snappy dresser, he knows the importance of a good monocle, and he understands that whether facing rain or shine or superheroes, an umbrella is a dire necessity. There is nothing that can drag your day down faster than being caught in the rain unawares, so having a good one on hand is just good sense. Besides, The Hollies showed us that it can also be a key piece to landing a lady.

These days, the umbrella is more than just protection against falling water. Numerous visionaries have seen fit to make them into wind warriors, conversation pieces, and accessories as deadly as any throwing knife. Yes, they will keep you dry, but they can do so much more than that. If you haven’t considered yours in a while, it is time to see what one of the 7 best umbrellas can do for you.

BLUNT XS METRO

Blunt XS Metro

Pro: Durable
Con: Poor for heavy rain

Drizzle Fighter: While no decent umbrella is hard to use, the Blunt Metro is a joy. Operation is smooth and can be done with one hand. The Metro can cover most people from top to bottom even though it is only 37 inches in diameter. The secret seems to be in the flatter design that isn’t quite as heavily parabolic as other options. This also makes it able to slip through wind without being caught up and pulled away, though if it does catch a breeze, the stiff frame to take you along for the ride. The construction is built to last, but it won’t give you quite enough during a cloudburst. If you live in London or Seattle, consider the Blunt Classic, since it combines the same heavy frame with a bigger canopy. [Purchase: $49]

Davek Mini

Davek Mini

Pro: Compact
Con: Barely enough coverage

Concealable: Part of the problem with an umbrella is whenever it is not in use, it looks a little awkward. You can try walking with it like it’s a cane or spinning it around like you’re about to burst into song, but that’s probably just going to annoy the people around you. The Mini was made to provide you with the utmost in protection while being able to nearly disappear when folded down. It is just 7 inches long when all wrapped up, though that tiny size means that it isn’t going to save you from sudden downpours. Even when deployed you’re still likely to take on a little water. The overall construction is decent and it does bear a lifetime warranty against defects, but don’t expect more than a band-aid’s worth of protection. The point of the Mini is to be kept in a desk drawer, a glove compartment, or a travel backpack just to make sure you are never without a little protection. [Purchase: $49]

GustBuster Classic

GustBuster Classic

Pro: Well ventilated
Con: Not very stylish

Wind Talker: GustBuster knew that if they were going to use that name, they were going to need to make products that could handle some serious wind. Thankfully they have delivered. The classic is technically a golf umbrella meant to be carried out in flat, open countryside where cover is scarce. The shaft is reinforced fiberglass that won’t build up static electricity and doesn’t carry a current so even if you take a lightning strike, this thing won’t be the reason you are fried. The canopy is made from nylon and works like a good tent when it comes to shedding rain. The large interior gaps allow air to pass entirely through it so it won’t get inverted or carry you away. The end cap looks a little tacky, but can take some severe punishment without wearing down or causing damage to the core. [Purchase: $35]

U-115 Unbreakable

U-115 Unbreakable Umbrella

Pro: Hard to hurt
Con: Expensive

Combat Ready: At a hair under two pounds, it is hard to imagine that this would be able to hit as hard as it does, but anyone who has been on the business end of an Unbreakable has an embarrassing story to explain why they limp in damp weather. It is meant to be used as a tactical weapon as much as a weather device. The waterproof fabric and fiberglass frame can keep you dry while it can also go through airport security without a hitch. The handle is soft and pliable making it comfortable to carry or hang over the crook of your arm. Even if you have no intent of using it for self defense, the heavy-duty construction prevents it from breaking, cracking, or snapping when used as a cane, even if you are leaning on it heavily. It might get ripped out of your hand during severe winds if you aren’t careful, but it takes a powerful gust to cause an inversion. [Purchase: $107]

Blade Runner LED Umbrella

Blade Runner LED Umbrella

Pro: Non-intrusive light
Con: Cannot be used as a cane

Light Show: On dark and stormy nights, having something light up your path is useful. If it looks like a light saber, it is also badass. The entire shaft of the Blade Runner is an LED light that is perfectly safe to operate when wet. The soft illumination will give you a nimbus by which to see every crack in the sidewalk but is no more intrusive than a good bug zapper. When turned on you can be assured that other pedestrians and cars know where you are. If you prefer not to stand out, you can leave the umbrella open but kill the light. The shaft is sturdy, though using it as a cane runs the risk of damaging the internal lightning structure. With a parabola of 41 inches, it is sufficient for one or two people and the gentle glow works better than direct overhead lights, meaning it is more than a gimmick. Ultimately, far more elegant than a blaster. [Purchase: $20]

Totes Clear Bubble

Totes Clear Bubble

Pro: Deep slope
Con: Easily bent

Lone Survivor: As far as single person choices go, this is the best. Rather than using its size to take care of the people around you, it creates a bubble that will do one thing: Keep you dry. Go ahead and try cramming two people under it and see how often one or both parties are getting soaked by the rain sliding off the top. The vinyl canopy refuses to allow water to stay on it while the heavy slope prevents any pooling. The problem is that the long tendrils of the internal frame can be bent or broken easily so it is imperative to use with caution. You won’t make any friends standing in a group, but so long as your Italian leather shoes are dry, who cares? [Purchase: $18]

Filson Two Tone

Filson Two Tone

Pro: Water repellent
Con: Limited length

Uncompromising Style: Filson is probably the name – or perhaps The Name – in gear for the true gentleman. Their noticeable two-tone umbrella advises people at a distance that you are a man of discerning taste. The maplewood handle is smooth and comfortable while broadcasting understated class. It repels water with ease and dries in minutes with just a quick shake. Water will bead up and drop away from the body so that you can wrap it up with confidence that it won’t be a soggy disaster the next time you pull it out for use. At 40 inches it isn’t the largest choice you could make, but is sufficient to keep a single person dry without creating havoc by bumping into others as you stroll down the boulevard. [Purchase: $145]

Senz Smart Stormproof Stick

Senz “Smart” Stormproof Stick Umbrella

Pro: Ergonomic canopy
Con: Not ideal for stationary use

Into the Storm: The odd shape of the Stormproof Stick is built with movement in mind. The entire point is to allow you to walk right into the teeth of driving winds and still have water slide away. It can take a little practice to get the slanted handle and swept canopy to work with you when you’re holding still, but once you’re on the go it will not encumber you the way traditionally styled umbrellas will. Expect it to channel head-on winds down and away from your body as well as up and away from your face so that you can cut through the crowd like a sloop in open water. Just know that when it comes to learning the best way to use it, there’s a curve. [Purchase: $55]

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