Best umbrella 2024: shelter from showers with these raining champions

The best umbrellas keep you dry, look stylish and withstand the test of time. T3's top picks include compact, large, and windproof options…

A collection of the best umbrellas against a pink and blue background
(Image credit: Future)

With such a soggy winter, it's likely we're all reaching for our best umbrellas – or waterproof jacket – more regularly at the moment. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as they are not only practical in keeping you dry and creating romantic opportunities if you’re single and chivalrous, but they can also make for a great accessory.

Even in the summer, no matter the forecast, the lingering doubt of a downpour – even a ‘tropical one’ after a fortnight of permanent blue sky – is enough to make us check there’s an umbrella in our car, day bag, or right by the front door.

So whether you pick a practical, compact umbrella, or a large umbrella to protect the entire family, we've got you covered. It’s the perfect time to embrace the maxim, ‘out with the old and in with the new’ and we’ve got some great inspiration in our roundup of the best umbrellas.

Best umbrellas ranking 2024

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Things to consider when buying an umbrella

When it comes to buying an umbrella, you will quickly learn there is a huge amount of choice out there. So, instead of dashing into the first shop you see in a downpour, then parting with a fortune for something overpriced and undersized, you'll want to be prepared with the vital knowledge we're about to impart.

Size matters. If you love a long walk or play golf, a giant golfing umbrella is a must, and some have some great windproof technology built-in. But if you work in the city and carry a heavy bag around, you’ll want to plump for something compact and lightweight.

Colour is another big consideration, with a black brolly the most ‘sensible’ choice, but some of the most fashionable options come in bright colours and patterns, sometimes with elaborate handles. Umbrellas can be a great talking point and it’s easy to have a bit of fun.

Then, of course, there’s budget to think about. Whether you don't have much money to spend on a Samsonite Rain Pro, or a large wedge of cash waiting for the splendidly-named Lord Chestnut Wood-Handle, there will be something for you here. We’ve even got a couple of options from Fulton, which are decently priced yet come with the Royal households’ seal of approval. Generally speaking, if you stoop below the £15 /  $20 mark, you’ll end up with an inside-out brolly quicker than you can say inclement weather - unless it’s in a sale, of course.

Best umbrella brands

Paul Smith makes beautiful brollies. Whether you choose a rainbow number or more sensible brolly with a smart, signature stripy trim, they are guaranteed to brighten your day. Unsurprisingly, this brand isn’t the cheapest, but it is designer and super covetable.

Browse Paul Smith umbrellas at Paul Smith

Senz makes one of the quirkiest and most eye-catching umbrellas on the market. But the slightly outlandish shape is based on aerodynamics and promises to keep you dry(ish) in a gale.

Browse Senz umbrellas at Amazon

If Fulton brollies are good enough for the Queen, they’re good enough for us! The brand has a royal warrant and some of its birdcage and stormshield shapes are really well known and a real game-changer when you give them a go. The best bit is, it’s not too pricey.

Browse Fulton umbrellas at John Lewis

London Undercover makes umbrellas in a rainbow of colours, that are certain to brighten up the greyest of days. While they might be fun, the brollies are incredible quality with wooden handles and traditional construction.

Browse Undercover London umbrellas at END

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.

With contributions from