NOBODY wants to look like a drowned rat when Britain’s doing what it does best (raining).
The best compact umbrellas are basically as essential as your front door key in this country.
Easy to pack away and whip out when needed, they’re a practical necessity for drizzly days.
Although some people prefer huge brollies to double as a walking stick, they’re just annoying to carry and you can still get large designs which tuck away neatly into your bag.
From Next and ASOS, to John Lewis and even Sainsbury’s, pretty much every retailer out there stocks compact umbrellas nowadays.
You can even get one to match your outfits. Love wearing loud clothes? Go printed. Prefer black-on-black? Grab a minimal style that’ll stand the test of time.
Some people prefer investing in an umbrella so that it doesn’t break, although cheap ones are less annoying to lose and we’ve all lost an umbrella in our time.
We’ve found the best compact umbrellas on the internet. Soon you’ll be hoping for rainy days…maybe.
Best compact umbrellas at a glance:
- Best overall: Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella
- Best colour change: Suck UK Colour Change Folding Travel Umbrella
- Best for travelling light: Uniqlo Compact Umbrella
- Best value: Next Leopard Umbrella
- Best for work: Balios Travel Umbrella
- Best quick-drying: Repel Umbrella with Teflon Coating
- Best ‘hands-free’: The ‘Flip’ Ultimate Umbrella
- Best with a large canopy: BLUNT Unisex Metro Umbrella
- Best floral design: M&S Stormwear Compact Umbrella
Best auto-release: Fulton Auto Release Umbrella
- Best designer: Davek SOLO Umbrella
- Best for teens: Monki Cloud Print Umbrella
- Best for durability: Hunter Compact Umbrella
Best overall: Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella
- Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella, from £36.69 at Amazon – buy here
Reason to buy: Reinforced ribs means an inside out canopy is a thing of the past
The “ribs” of an umbrella are the metal pieces that make up the support structure of the shell when it’s opened, so they’re pretty important.
This umbrella has reinforced ribs that make them extra durable when gales (inevitably) strike.
Rain-Mate describes it as a “virtually indestructible weatherproof canopy”, which is a big claim, although one that has been supported by Amazon reviewers, who confirm it’s great in strong winds.
It has a lifetime replacement guarantee too, so no need to buy another if the pop up mechanism suddenly gives up the ghost.
Think pink stinks? Well not to worry, Rain-Mate offers a whole range of other colours, patterns, themes and styles — including rainbow stripes.
Best colour change: Suck UK Colour Change Folding Travel Umbrella
- Suck UK Colour Change Folding Travel Umbrella, from £24.99 at Amazon – buy here
Reason to buy: Brighten up bad weather with this transitioning rain cover
The main draw of this umbrella is its creative design.
When it’s dry, the water droplets that stud the canopy remain white, but when the rain starts pouring, they change colour and each section sports a different hue. They offer a compact version, too, to pop in your work rucksack for those just-in-case days.
Suck UK also has a magic polka dot theme that brightens up bad weather, and a super high reflective brolly that will be a light source when you’re out in the dark, rainy months.
With this umbrella in hand, we just couldn’t wait for it to start raining — and you don’t hear anyone saying that often.
Best for travelling light: Uniqlo Compact Umbrella
- Compact Umbrella, £19.90 from Uniqlo – buy here
Reason to buy: Small and light enough to fit into your handbag, it’s as sturdy as any non-folding brolly
When an umbrella is really compact, it can sometimes compromise its quality.
That isn’t the case with this brolly from Uniqlo – it’s designed for when it’s windy, so it shouldn’t collapse or let you down in bad weather.
When folded away, it’s less than 11 inches long, so it’s one of the handiest umbrellas going as you can pop it into your briefcase or handbag.
It’s definitely on the smarter side, too, coming in all black, or navy to colour coordinate with any formal attire.
Best value: Next Leopard Umbrella
- Leopard Print Umbrella, £9 from Next – buy here
Reason to buy: Benefit from a lower price without compromising on quality
If you want your brolly to also be a fashion statement, look no further.
This umbrella from Next has been finished with a cool twist on the classic leopard print that will blow all the other brollies out of the water, looks-wise.
It has a rounded handle and wrist strap for comfort.
Best for work: Balios Travel Umbrella
- Balios Travel Umbrella, £25.99 at Amazon – buy here
Reason to buy: Sleek and chic, you’ll look as smart outside the meeting as in it
This travel umbrella is the last one you’ll ever need to spend money on.
It’s set on a sturdy wooden handle and its metal rib support frame is reinforced with sturdy fibreglass.
The double vented canopy means it shouldn’t blow inside out on a windy day, but if it does, simply press the open-close button on the handle and the brolly will correct itself.
It also comes in bright blue and orange, if you really fancied making a statement in grim weather.
Best quick-drying: Repel Umbrella with Teflon Coating
- Repel Umbrella, £22.99 at Amazon – buy here
Reason to buy: A simple shake will see this brolly dry in no time
This compact umbrella is designed with a Teflon coat to be ultra fast drying. So, even after it gets soaked, all it needs is a quick shake and you can pop it back into your tote. Not a soggy belonging in sight.
With an easy open and close button, this brolly is perfect for when your hands are full with shopping bags so you don’t need to fiddle around trying to get it open.
It’s also windproof, so you can carry it confidently in those gusty conditions.
Best ‘hands-free’: The ‘Flip’ Ultimate Umbrella
- The ‘Flip’ Ultimate Umbrella, £33.99 at the Brolly Store – buy here
Reason to buy: Unique and handy features mean achey arms and juggling possessions are a thing of the past
Heralded as the ‘ultimate umbrella’, the flip has so many cool features, you may never go back to using a standard umbrella again!
The flip reverse ‘folds-in’ when you close it so the wet part is concealed so you won’t get your bag or car wet – plus, you can then stand it up to dry if you wish.
The reverse-fold function also means the umbrella is easy to open and close in tight spaces like trying to get out of the car or through narrow doorways without getting soaked.
The flip also has a clever handle that you can hook on your arm to keep your hands free – and concealed parts so you won’t catch your hair or clothes on anything.
It’s also windproof and can’t turn inside out – and comes in a wide range of designs – sounds like a total winner to us.
Best with a large canopy: BLUNT Unisex Metro Umbrella
- BLUNT Unisex Metro Umbrella, £70 from BLUNT – buy here
Reason to buy: No more squashing under the smallest of covers, walk comfortably side-by-side and both be protected from the rain
BLUNT’s umbrella combines an impressively strong and spacious canopy when opened – it extends to 100cm – with a relatively compact silhouette, measuring just 37.5cm in length.
Made with six hardwearing fibreglass ribs and high-density water repellent pongee fabric, this quick-dry umbrella also has a UV-protection coating.
We won’t lie, it is pricy at £70, but it’s a pretty neat brolly – big, but not boisterous enough to take up space on the street and doesn’t have any eye-pokingly sharp arms.
Plus, it comes in a range of colours, and you need not do much work with it either, as one button opens and closes it to fit into the provided carry sleeve.
Best floral design: M&S Stormwear Compact Umbrella
- Printed Stormwear Compact Umbrella, £9.50 at M&S – buy here
Reason to buy: Add some personality when it rains with this cute pattern
This eye-catching floral umbrella from M&S costs under a tenner and has Stormwear technology so raindrops literally roll off it.
The 100 percent polyester material, with added Stormwear tech, will help keep you high and dry in all sorts of nasty weather conditions.
It measures a petite 22cm so will fit snugly in any handbag or rucksack.
Best auto-release: Fulton Auto Release Umbrella
- Fulton Auto Release Umbrella, £22.43 at Amazon – buy here
Reason to buy: An ergonomic handle, button controlled opening and sturdy design will make you feel like 007 while keeping dry
This compact umbrella with a crook handle has an auto-release function and boasts the Fulton brand name, known to last for years and withstand even the worst weather conditions.
Reviewers agree, and they’re impressed with the quality and the design, saying that it’s stood firm and sturdy against winds and gales.
It’s also UV-rated too, up to UPF30+, meaning it’ll help keep you protected on those (albeit rare) brighter, rainy days.
Best designer: Davek SOLO Umbrella
- Davek SOLO Umbrella, £184.87 from Davek – buy here
Reason to buy: The luxe design, lifetime guarantee and portability make this a must-have investment piece
Why not bring a little bit of luxury to your rain-dodging schedule, with this seriously good investment from Davek?
Any umbrella from Davek comes with a lifetime guarantee, so if it breaks – it is replaced for you, no questions asked.
With this investment, you can be confident that it’ll withstand any seriously windy or rainy conditions, and stand strong with you.
Davek claims that this flagship, SOLO umbrella is durable, yet sophisticated, and features their unique wind-resistant RigidFlex Frame System, and an auto-open and close button.
The canopy is made from tightly woven microweave fabric, and it comes with a clip to attach to your belt, or inside your bag. What more could you ask for?
Best for teens: Monki Cloud Print Umbrella
- Monki Cloud Print Umbrella, £9 at Monki – buy here
Reason to buy: Available in four patterns, the lightweight rain cover is perfect for young adults wanting to show some personality
Monki’s cloud print gem is funky and cheap, what more could you want in a compact umbrella?
At just £9, it’s really lightweight so won’t weigh you down and comes with a matching cover so you can store it in your handbag, even on the wettest of days.
Style yours with prints and patterns to clash like there’s no tomorrow.
Best for durability: Hunter Compact Umbrella
- Hunter Compact Umbrella, £45 at Hunter – buy here
Reason to buy: This large, sturdy brolly will keep you dry and stand the test of time
Time to buy a sturdy, durable umbrella to match your favourite wellies. Yep, Hunter does brollies too.
It’s pricier than your average, but that’s because it isn’t your average.
From the large canopy, to the embossed handle and hybrid frame for flexibility, you can count on this on those annoyingly windy and rainy days.
What is the best umbrella brand?
While it all comes down to personal preference and which umbrella will see you through many a storm, some umbrella brands are favoured over others.
Davek‘s umbrellas come with a lifetime guarantee, and have sophisticated, patented systems in place to handle wind and storms, no matter how severe.
For handcrafted umbrellas, try London Undercover.
Which is the best windproof umbrella?
In addition to Davek, Blunt Umbrellas are known for their windproof designs.
Each umbrella undergoes a 38-point quality control check and is designed with materials which can withstand the harshest elements. They also win points in the style stakes.