Why you don’t have this yet: You’ve been making do with CVS umbrellas.
Why you want this: The Repel brand appears on almost every list of the best umbrellas. When you read the product description for the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella, it becomes clear why: The company has invested copious R&D into features you didn’t even know existed. Most umbrellas are constructed with between six and eight aluminum ribs that hold the canopy in shape. This umbrella boasts nine, made from fiberglass and reinforced with resin. This allows the structure of the umbrella to flex to withstand strong winds.
In addition, the umbrella measures under 1 foot and weighs less than 1 pound, making it easy to pack.
What the experts say: Travel writer Katie Jackson at Today tested the Repel umbrella on assignment, taking it with her to El Medano, a Spanish beach town windy enough to host the Professional Windsurfers Association World Cup. She found that in winds averaging 18 miles per hour, the special rib construction of this umbrella kept it from breaking.
She then tested the umbrella’s teflon waterproof coating in the shower and experienced no leaking. Afterward, she was able to shake off the remaining droplets with a single flick.
What the people say: It compares well to more expensive models. (“I’ve spent twice as much on a German-designed umbrella, that was also well built, & this umbrella is [its] equal in nearly every respect.”)
It’s easy to operate. (“Also nice that it opens and closes automatically. When getting out of the car in the rain I just stick it out the door opening and pop the button. No need to get out in the rain, then open. Just reverse the process getting in.”)
The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is now $20, or 35 percent off the normal price.
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