Opens quickly with a push button
Waterproof case for quick stashing
Blocks most UV rays
Flips when too windy
Limited color options
Travel throws you into some of the most unexpected situations, and while you can’t control things like weather, you can be prepared. That’s where the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella—a tiny model that’s no larger than a water bottle—comes into play. I tested this highly rated travel umbrella while exploring New York City.
I needed a portable umbrella that could easily stow in my travel purse but expand quickly if the predicted storm hit. While I loved the size, I was skeptical about its effectiveness. Could a tiny umbrella deliver on the manufacturer’s major promises? There was no better place than the busy, windy streets of NYC to find out.
Performance: A durable travel umbrella
While the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella weighs less than one pound, it’s highly effective in keeping you dry during a storm and cool under the sun. The umbrella is quick to open with the push of the button, which came in handy as I was heading in and out of the subway.
Another perk about this umbrella is that unlike similar models, it could withstand most—but not all—wind. It came close to flipping out on me multiple times, particularly in wind tunnels, but its 10 fiberglass ribs (and some quick movements on my end) did actually keep it from turning entirely inside out, which is more than I can say for most travel umbrellas.
Unlike similar models, it could withstand most—but not all—wind.
Despite its many positives, the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella is not entirely all that’s promised. For instance, it’s touted as an umbrella that can fit up to three people. When I used it, I could only fit myself and my partner under the 46-inch-wide umbrella; there was definitely no room for a third. (That said, it was much roomier than most umbrellas I’m used to.)
Design: Opens and shuts quickly
I never realized how much I needed an auto-open button until dodging the rain through Manhattan. When I went into the subway, I quickly broke down the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella. As I rejoined the crowds on the rainy streets, I had my waterproof shield open in seconds. Both open and close maneuvers are controlled with the rubber-grip handle’s auto-open button. This quick movement is a rainy day game changer.
The umbrella is quick to open with the push of a button, which came in handy.
Another perk of the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella is its Teflon waterproof coating, which not only shields you from downpours but also helps it dry quickly once the clouds clear or you reach shelter. This was particularly welcome as I stashed the umbrella while shopping. It was dry after just a few minutes, meaning my purse contents didn’t get soaked.
Finally, I was pleased this model doubles as a UV umbrella. While it doesn’t block all rays, it’s nice to know there’s some protection when I’m lounging in a sunny Central Park.
Portability: So small, you’ll forget you packed it
At less than one pound and 11.5 inches when closed, the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella is great for—you guessed it—travel. It easily fits in a travel backpack’s water bottle compartment or in the main compartment of your purse. The umbrella comes with a stylish, small waterproof case made of leather to keep it neat and tidy while in transit, although I found the hook-and-loop fastener strap kept the umbrella contained just as well.
Price: Durability at a modest price
At around $20, the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella costs slightly more than an umbrella you’d pick up at a souvenir shop or drug store, but unlike those cheaper purchases, this umbrella is designed to last—and work. Staying dry on vacation is worth every penny, and other than the windiest rainstorms, this umbrella will do the trick.
This umbrella is roomier and great for sharing with a friend—cue the 2008 Rihanna hit.
Competition: A middle-of-the-road umbrella
Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella: Unlike the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella, which I also tested and which expands from 11.5 inches to 42 inches when opened, the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella reaches 46.5 inches. Therefore, the Bodyguard umbrella is roomier and great for sharing with a friend—cue the 2008 Rihanna hit.
However, while the Bodyguard has a sturdy build (not to mention UV protection, which its competitors lack), the Repel Windproof is significantly sturdier. You can really feel it during a windy storm. While the Bodyguard can withstand many gusts, it’s much more likely to flip outwards than the Repel umbrella, which withstood every single gust. Of these two umbrellas, the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is a better, more durable choice, for only about $5 more.
Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella: The Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella and the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella, both say they can withstand wind, but in this case, the Bodyguard Travel Umbrella is better. I reviewed both umbrellas and found that the Bodyguard is significantly more durable than the Rain-Mate, which flipped out within minutes of facing the wind. These two products have similar prices—around $20—and the Bodyguard umbrella is not just sturdier, but also 4 inches wider than the Rain-Mate umbrella, making it a much better buy in my mind.
The Bodyguard Travel Umbrella may not be perfect, but for about $20, this portable umbrella will keep you dry (and even guard against some UV rays!) without jeopardizing packing space. In fact, I’m planning to stash this one in my suitcase so I can stay dry during all upcoming travels.
- Product Name Travel Umbrella
- Product Brand Bodyguard
- UPC 639631476818
- Price $20.99
- Product Dimensions 3.9 x 3.2 x 3.2 in.
- Color Blue, black, red
- Warranty 6 months