What We Like
Sturdy build that withstands wind
Waterproof canopy material
Auto-open and auto-close button
What We Don't Like
No UV protection
Rainy days bring more than just raindrops. Whether you’re exploring a waterfront pier or a blustery street bordered by buildings, storms typically mean rain and wind. The latter is the toughest to deal with when it comes to umbrellas, especially travel umbrellas that sometimes seem to prioritize compact size over quality. Many styles flip then break when tested with strong winds, but the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella doesn’t just promise to withstand wind; it’s named for this feature.
The Repel team touts nine fiberglass ribs as the reason this travel umbrella works through the windiest of storms (most umbrellas have only six or eight). However, given my success rate with “windproof” umbrellas is bleak at best, I didn’t take their word for it. Instead, I took my Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella into the blustery streets of New York City to see how it fared. Read on to see how it went.
Performance: Sturdy through storms and wind
I’ve grown accustomed to a never-ending umbrella cycle in NYC. I buy a cheap one, use it once, then ruin it because of the Big Apple’s wind, particularly given I live near the waterfront. Considering I can’t trust umbrellas like these at home, there’s no way I can count on them when I travel. So, when I saw the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella promised to actually be windproof, I hit the waterfront streets of Manhattan to test it out for some upcoming trips.
This was probably the tenth umbrella I’ve used in NYC’s stormy spring weather, but so far, it’s been the best when it comes to outlasting wind.
Much to my surprise (and delight), it delivered on its promises. While competitors’ umbrellas struggled through the same rainstorm, the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella withstood the rain and actually felt sturdier—not like it was going to whisk me away Mary Poppins-style—which had me close to disbelief. This was probably the tenth umbrella I’ve used in NYC’s stormy spring weather, but so far, it’s been the best when it comes to outlasting wind.
For this, I can thank the three-fold chrome-plated metal shaft, sturdy metal frame, and flex-frame technology. This stability in and of itself made the umbrella—touted by multiple brands as being one of the best on the market—worth every penny. Even better? It kept everything but my legs and feet dry during the storm.
Additionally, the canopy’s waterproof Teflon material made stowing the umbrella post-storm much tidier. This umbrella didn’t come with a protective travel sleeve like others I’ve owned, so I brought a plastic bag along just in case, but I didn’t need it. This umbrella was dry in minutes, which meant I could easily throw it in my purse without worrying about water damaging my belongings.
Design: Opens quickly and easily
Beyond the waterproof Teflon material, one of the best design features of this umbrella is its quick-open functionality. The auto-open and auto-close button on the handle helped me speedily fend off the rain, which is particularly great when getting on and off buses and other forms of transportation. Pair this with a top-of-the-line rain jacket, and I’d make it through any city’s toughest storms virtually untouched.
The auto-open and auto-close button on the handle helped me speedily fend off the rain.
Another helpful and often-overlooked feature is the ergonomic rubber handle and wrist strap. This easy-to-grip texture keeps the umbrella from slipping when wet. It did exactly as was promised and never once slipped out of my hand.
Portability: Compact and perfect for carry-ons
The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella may reach 42 inches when expanded, but it packs down to a tight 11.5 inches when shut. No larger than a water bottle, it fits easily in carry-on bags and the side pockets of virtually any backpack. While I easily carried mine around NYC in my modestly sized purse, I’m already planning to stash it in my travel backpack so I don’t forget it on my next trip.
No larger than a water bottle, it fits easily in carry-on bags and the side pockets of virtually any backpack.
Price: Buy it once, buy it for life
Given the quality construction and Repel brand’s lifetime guarantee, if you purchase this umbrella—around $25—you’ll have it for life. That’s a small price to pay for the windproof travel umbrella’s functionality and portability.
Competition: The top travel umbrella choice
Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella: I tested both of these products. While the Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella and the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella are similar in size—both fold down to between 12 and 11.5 inches (with the Repel umbrella on the smaller end)—the Rain-Mate couldn’t match the Repel umbrella’s results. The Rain-Mate flipped after minutes in the wind, while the Repel umbrella withstood all gusts. Both do have similar rubber handles, which make gripping easy, and both are around the same $20 price point. When it comes to bang for your buck, though, the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella undoubtedly reigns supreme.
Bodyguard Travel Umbrella: The Bodyguard Travel Umbrella, which I also reviewed, closes down to the same size as the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella, but it’s 4 inches wider when fully expanded, which means you can comfortably fit two people under it. With the Repel umbrella, it’s a tight squeeze. But that’s where the Bodyguard’s advantages end. The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is sturdier than the Bodyguard, although the Bodyguard does give it a run for its money (it didn’t flip in the wind, but it came very close). Both canopies are made of similar waterproof materials, but the Repel umbrella has a sturdier build that feels much more durable.
- Product Name Windproof Travel Umbrella
- Product Brand Repel Umbrella
- Price $24.95
- Weight 1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 12.25 x 3.5 x 2.5 in.
- Color Black, navy blue, blue sky, red, pink, yellow, pin stripe, red/black, starry night, slate blue, rainbow
- Material Teflon canopy, metal shaft, rubber handle
- Warranty Lifetime guarantee