The 8 Best UV Umbrellas of 2021

UV umbrellas specially made to protect you from the sun's harmful rays

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TRIPSAVVY-best-uv-umbrellas

Chloe Jeong / TripSavvy

The Rundown

Best Overall: UV-Blocker UV Protection Compact Umbrella at Amazon

"Reflects most UV rays, reducing the temperature beneath the umbrella by up to 15 degrees."

Best for Golf: G4Free Windproof Golf Umbrella at Amazon

"Allows you to spend hours outside without getting burned."

Best Oversized: SunTek 68-Inch UV Protection Canopy Umbrella at Amazon

"Stands 42.5 inches high and features an ergonomic handle."

Best for Travel: Umenice UV Protection Travel Umbrella at Amazon

"Stands out for its light weight of 12.8 ounces."

Best for All Conditions: Coolibar 42-Inch Sodalis Travel Umbrella at Amazon

"Boasts UPF 50+ protection, as well as water-repellent nylon fabric."

Best Design: Sharpty Inverted Umbrella at Amazon

"Has an easy button that closes the umbrella from the outside in."

Best for the Beach: Sport-brella Sun and Rain Canopy and Umbrella at Amazon

"A large, versatile umbrella that converts to a canopy for a day at the beach."

Best Parasol: Pagoda Peak Old-Fashioned Parasol at Amazon

"You'll love the retro look of this beautiful parasol."

Whether golfing or strolling the beach, a UV umbrella is a simple, portable shade solution that helps protect you from overheating, damaging your eyes, or getting burned. An umbrella isn’t perfect nor is it a substitute for sunscreen, UV-blocking clothing, or sunglasses—but it can block most of the direct UV rays.

Read on to get our picks for the right umbrella in several key categories, as well as helpful tips for making the right choice for you.

Best Overall: UV-Blocker UV Protection Compact Umbrella

4.5

A premium product with a price tag to match, the UV-Blocker Compact Umbrella is not a cheap option. However, its sizable 42-inch arc is paired with a folding design that reduces the total length from 21 to 11 inches—a major plus for frequent travelers or city slickers who don’t want to compromise on coverage. The canopy’s double-vented design allows air to pass through, keeping you cooler on hot days and minimizing the chance of the umbrella inverting when it's windy.

The top layer is made from silver Solarteck fabric, which reflects most UV rays, reducing the temperature beneath the umbrella by up to 15 degrees. The blue underside of the canopy absorbs any remaining UV rays, giving an overall UPF rating of 55+. You can also use the umbrella to stay dry.

Best for Golf: G4Free Windproof Golf Umbrella

G4Free Sun Protection Golf Umbrella
Photo from Amazon
4.5

The G4Free Windproof Golf Umbrella's oversized canopy is made from 210T pongee, a micro-weave fabric known for its water-resistant, quick-drying qualities. The underside of the canopy features an anti-UV silver coating, giving the umbrella an SPF rating of 50+. It blocks 99.95 percent of the sun’s rays, so you can spend hours outside without getting burned. The 62-inch arc is big enough to accommodate two comfortably, making this product ideal for beach trips, golf tours, and sports matches. However, some may find it too unwieldy for city living.

The umbrella has eight reinforced fiberglass ribs, which allow for flexibility in windy conditions to prevent inversion or breakage. Another great feature is the auto-opening mechanism—simply press a button for instant, one-handed release. The ABS handle features a non-slip rubber coating, and a travel sleeve with an over-the-shoulder strap comes included in the price. The umbrella is available in a range of colors including coffee, sapphire, and wine red.

Best Oversized: SunTek 68-Inch UV Protection Canopy Umbrella

Those who want maximum coverage should opt for the SunTek Canopy Umbrella, whose 68-inch arc can accommodate at least two people. The 100 percent nylon double canopy features a silver coating that reflects heat and provides UPF 55+ protection from UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. A Vortec venting system prevents the umbrella from inverting in high winds.

Fiberglass construction keeps the umbrella lightweight while also increasing its lifespan. It stands 42.5 inches high and features an ergonomic handle that fits into the umbrella mount on most golf carts, leaving your hands free to work on perfecting your swing. Although all products have a silver coating on top, you can choose from a range of colors for the underside of the canopy, including yellow, black, blue, and green.

Best for Travel: Umenice UV Protection Travel Umbrella

While most UV umbrellas in the market are travel friendly, the Umenice UV Protection Travel Umbrella stands out for its light weight of 12.8 ounces. Its aluminum frame is also less than 12 inches long, meaning you can easily tuck it into your handbag and whip it out when needed. Plus, the umbrella has a double-coated silver canopy with UPF 50+ protection that blocks more than 98 percent of UVA/UVB rays. It can also stand up to strong winds, thanks to its strong fiberglass frame, while a PU-coated handle makes the umbrella easy to grip.

Best for All Conditions: Coolibar 42-Inch Sodalis Travel Umbrella

Rain or shine, the Sodalis Travel Umbrella from Coolibar has got you covered. It boasts a high-tech coating with UPF 50+ protection that blocks 98 percent of UV radiation, as well as an underside that absorbs UV rays. And for cloudy days, the umbrella's water-repellent, durable nylon fabric comes in handy. With a 42-inch arc and a 38.5-inch diameter, this umbrella's double-canopy design with mesh inserts also offers ventilation for hotter weather. Its soft-grip handle and auto-open/close button makes the umbrella great for travel, as it collapses into a compact 11 inches.

Best Design: Sharpty Inverted Umbrella

With a double-walled canopy, the Sharpty Inverted Umbrella is great for blocking the sun on sizzling summer days, but it also has a brilliant design if it does happen to start showering. While most umbrellas close from the inside out, this one has an easy button that closes from the outside in, trapping the water so your car seat, luggage, and floor don't get soaked. Plus, there are 17 bright and fun colors and designs ranging from sunflowers and stripes to starry nights and the Eiffel tower. The C-shaped handle allows travelers to attach it to their forearm to free up their hands.

Best for the Beach: Sport-Brella Sun and Rain Canopy and Umbrella

Many sun umbrellas are too small to realistically double as beach umbrellas. Many beach umbrellas are too large and heavy to realistically carry it on a walk. The Sport-Brella tries to bridge this gap with a large but lightweight sun umbrella with built-in flaps for converting to a wind- and sun-blocking shelter for the beach, concerts, and anywhere you can take it. At 7 feet wide, it’s big enough for two and it comes tent-like, with stakes and poles to secure it in place when used as a shelter.

Best Parasol: Pagoda Peak Old-Fashioned Parasol

Fashionistas will love the retro look of this beautiful parasol, with its peaked pagoda shape and 16 slender metal ribs. It offers protection from UV rays and rain (although its delicate construction is not intended to withstand strong winds). Choose yours in ivory, black, pink, or purple. Whichever color you go for, the matching hooked handle, ribs, and canopy trim come in a contrasting color, thereby increasing the parasol’s visual impact. It measures 35 inches in diameter and 32.5 inches in length.

Final Verdict

The UV-Blocker Compact Umbrella (view at Amazon) offers sizable coverage to keep you protected and cool on hot days, and it also doubles as shield from rain if the weather takes a turn. If you need an even larger circumference of coverage, the SunTek 64-inch Oversized UV Umbrellas (view at Amazon) is an ideal choice, as it blocks the sun, wind, and rain. The double-canopy design helps prevent gusts from stealing or damaging your umbrella, while its oversized spread keeps you in the shade.

What to Look for in a UV Umbrella

Vents

Nothing ruins a good umbrella like a stiff gust of wind. Look for vents (sometimes referred to as a “double canopy”), which allow air to pass through your umbrella instead of taking it for a ride or inverting it.

Material

Polyester and nylon are two of the most common fabrics used in umbrellas. Polyester is affordable, but it can sag and stretch more than nylon if soaked. Pongee is a lesser-known material that has a higher thread count than nylon or polyester; as such, it's very thin and silklike, and is better equipped to repel water.

FAQs

Can I still get burned under a UV umbrella?

Yes, definitely. While a good sun umbrella will block most direct rays, UV radiation comes in several forms and can easily reflect off surfaces. And, because the sun moves, you may not always be able to stay perfectly under the shade of your umbrella.

Do I still need to wear sunscreen or sunglasses?

Yes, if you're going to be out in the sun for a long period of time, a layer of sunscreen is necessary. Sunglasses are perhaps even more important—glare and reflections from intense rays can easily hit your eyes, even with an umbrella. And don’t discount sun-protective clothing, which can be one of your best defenses against UV radiation.

Do UV umbrellas block rain?

Almost any UV umbrella will also shed rain, though they may not be as purpose-built for that as a true rain umbrella. High-quality rain umbrellas will use tight fabrics and coatings meant to block rain and stay dry. 

Can I just buy a regular umbrella?

A rain umbrella will certainly block some UV rays, as will nearly any fabric. The advantage of a UV umbrella is that it is made for sun protection and will likely block more than 99 percent of direct UV rays. Many also have reflective coatings that help keep the air underneath cool.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Justin Park is a Breckenridge, Colorado-based writer and videographer who learned to respect the sun when he lived in Honolulu, Hawaii. He now lives at 10,000 feet in the Rockies, where reflective snow and water conspire to make the sun an even more formidable foe.

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