I could not even venture a guess for how many umbrellas I’ve purchased in my life. It’s not so much that I lose them, it’s that they turn out to be junk.
The frame collapses, the ribs get tweaked causing them to bend the wrong way or the ligaments snap apart—all of which encourages it to turn itself inside out leaving to wrestle it back into cooperation and end up soaking wet. Don’t you hate when that happens?
My experience, together with lots of research and testing have brought me to the conclusion that regardless the promises made by manufacturers, no umbrella is 100% windproof. That’s because “wind” can range from a slight breeze to hurricane strength, the latter of which would cause any umbrella to fail.
What we should expect in an umbrella is for it to be waterproof, sturdy, and above all, reliable under moderately windy situations. It must be of a decent size. And if something goes wrong—even those hurricane-strength winds—we want reliable customer service that will make things right.
My picks for Best Inexpensive™ umbrellas below meet all of my expectations—including being large enough to keep both my husband and me dry when, in a pinch, we’re forced to share an umbrella.