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Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Umbrellas

Mary Hunt on

I wouldn't 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 it to bend the wrong way; and the ligaments snap apart, all of which renders the thing is so weak it surrenders to the elements by turning itself inside out, leaving me soaking wet while wrestling to make it cooperate. I hate when that happens.

In my experience, research and testing, I have come to the conclusion that regardless of the promises that come from the manufacturer, no umbrella is 100 percent windproof. That's because wind can range from a slight breeze to winds of hurricane strength.

What we can and should expect is an umbrella that is waterproof, sturdy and, above all, reliable for a decent period of time. And a decent size. And if something goes wrong, we want reliable customer service that will make things right.

My picks for Best Inexpensive umbrellas meet all of my expectations including being large enough to keep both my husband and me dry if we need to share an umbrella in a pinch. He is more than 12 inches taller than I am, so we have this additional consideration!

BEST INEXPENSIVE TRAVEL UMBRELLA. The Bodyguard Foldable Travel Umbrella is my pick for Best Inexpensive travel umbrella. I love it because it is lightweight and opens to 46 inches but also folds up to fit easily into my carry-on bag. Still, it is sturdy, feels solid when open and, in my opinion, performs well in wind. This umbrella is super waterproof; even in a major downpour, the canopy does not leak. It comes in your choice of two colors with a lifetime replace-or-refund guarantee. It costs about $20.


BEST INEXPENSIVE LARGE UMBRELLA. The EEZ-Y Folding Golf Umbrella is huge with a full 50 inches of coverage open, and it folds down to 23 inches. That's large enough for two people to share. The double canopy holds up really well to strong wind because it is vented. Even with its hefty size, this umbrella is very easy to use. Just press a button to open. It comes in a variety of colors. It has a lifetime guarantee! And it costs about $25.

BEST INVERTED UMBRELLA. The G4Free Double Layer Inverted Umbrella uses the unique design of an inside-out umbrella that prevents water from dripping, keeping floors and cars dry. Because it closes in reverse, an inverted umbrella makes entering and exiting a car less of a hassle. You don't have to close it before entering the car. Opened it looks and acts like a regular closing umbrella. It's available in six colors and costs about $22.

Would you like resources for any of these three umbrellas? You can easily find them at


Mary invites you to visit her at, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate Inc.



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