10 Beautifully Designed Umbrellas That Are Built to Last
They won't let you down—as in, flip inside out when the going gets tough.
Believe it or not, umbrellas have been around for centuries. In fact, some historians say that the first one was invented over 2,000 years ago—ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China are proof. Originally designed to provide shade from sunlight, weatherproof umbrellas—as in, the ones composed of water-resistant materials—were eventually created to help protect users from a variety of unpleasant weather conditions, particularly heavy rain and sun damage—with emphasis on the latter. "'Barrier protection' is the original and most effective way to protect oneself from the sun," says Dr. Kafele T. Hodari, a board certified dermatologist and director of Rejuvene. "Placing a physical barrier between your skin and the sun prevents the premature degradation of important cellular structures—reducing the chance of sun spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer."
But with all of the advances in modern technology, many of the umbrellas on the market today offer state-of-the-art protection from both the sun and rain—while that's good news in many ways, it can also make sorting out the good from the so-so trickier than ever. There is, however, one key differentiator. "We believe the strength of an umbrella lies ultimately in the frame design," says Kevin Truong, the engineer and co-creator of Hedgehog Umbrella. "A strong and durable frame will always lead to a long-lasting product."
"The everyday umbrella can barely last a season," adds Truong. "Broken umbrellas are a common sight following heavy rainfalls. It's estimated that people discard about one billion broken umbrellas every year." Searching for a design-savvy umbrella that's built to last? Here are 10 beautifully engineered umbrellas that are every bit as reliable as they are attractive.
This cool, translucent option doesn't obstruct your vision—plus, it offers maximum coverage (its sides come down well past your shoulders).
Shop Now: Totes Clear Bubble Umbrella, $14, amazon.com.
Complete with a Teflon-coated wind-guard canopy, this umbrella is our idea of a "good man in the storm."
Shop Now: Samsonite Luggage Windguard Auto Umbrella, $29.99, amazon.com.
In the market for a solid umbrella that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? We've found it. Top-rated on Amazon, this option from Repel boasts a resin-reinforced fiberglass rib frame that's so strong, it comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Shop Now: Repel Umbrella Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon Coating, $22.95, amazon.com.
Herschel Supply Co.
Don't let its sleek frame fool you: This umbrella opens swiftly to a canopy that's over 55-inches in diameter for plenty of protection from rainfall. The best part, however, is that it still feels incredibly lightweight to carry.
Shop Now: Herschel Supply Co. Voyage Classic Umbrella, $40, urbanoutfitters.com.
Looking for a reliable umbrella with a little more pizzazz? This colorful choice comes with a flexible fiberglass frame and a sturdy metal handle—it will stand up in even the fiercest of squalls.
Shop Now: Basil Bangs Maple Rain Umbrella, $110, food52.com.
Thanks to a canopy composed of waxed and oiled French waterproof cotton, this umbrella works just as well on beach—shielding you from the sun's rays—as it does in the midst of a heavy rainstorm.
Shop Now: Bon Marché Artisan Umbrella, $149, bonmarcheonline.com.
Davek New York
Searching for a dependable umbrella that's petite enough to fit in your bag? This product from Davek is small enough to fit in your bag—or even in a deep pocket. Plus, the sleek umbrella comes in a variety of statement-making colors.
Shop Now: Davek New York "The Mini," $49, davekny.com.
Nothing beats a stylish umbrella that provides superior protection from both the sun and rain. This adorable automatic option boasts a strong eight-rib windproof frame and a UPF50+ certified canopy (with 100 percent UV protection).
Shop Now: Amy's Umbrellas Automatic Umbrella with UV Protection, $59.99, amysumbrellas.com.
Designed by a team of automotive engineers, the Carbon umbrella from Hegehog lives up to its name: It features an interchangeable canopy and an auto-inspired suspension system that can withstand winds of over 70 miles per hour (in other words, Category 1 hurricane speeds).
Shop Now: Hedgehog Umbrella Carbon Umbrella, $99, hedgehogumbrella.com.