The Lewis N. Clark Automatic Best Travel Umbrella is a good fit for students—it’s under $20, so it’s affordable, but it performs as well as umbrellas twice the price. And because it’s foldable, it’ll fit well in your bookbag.
Our umbrella guide recommends a few options at different prices, but for students who need something affordable to stow in their backpacks, we think our step-down pick, the Lewis N. Clark Automatic Travel Umbrella, is the best choice. At only $17, it went above and beyond our expectations for such an inexpensive umbrella, beating or matching the performance of umbrellas two times its price in our wind testing. It folds down into a compact 10.25 inches, so it’ll fit neatly in your bag. Its aluminum ribs aren’t anodized, meaning they won’t stand up to seriously gusty conditions like some of our more expensive picks, but for most, it’s a great choice that you won’t cry over if you leave it in the library.
Of course, if you’re attending college somewhere the rain really rains, you should go ahead and invest in our top pick, the euro SCHIRM Light Trek Automatic Umbrella. At $52, it’s certainly not cheap, but it’s worth the expense: It’s super small when closed—just a bit longer than the Lewis N. Clark at 11 inches—but one of the widest and deepest we looked at when opened. It provides both excellent rain coverage and portability. That’s in addition to its serious wind resistance: It moved very little when we blasted it with a leaf blower.