Five of the best umbrellas

The weather can be unpredictable, and it's worth having a brolly to hand no matter what the forecast says. Whether you want a compact telescopic umbrella to carry just in case, a big sturdy brolly for days out or something for the kids, one of these should do the job...

1. Birdcage 2 Dome Umbrella

It might look like a case of style-over-substance, but this floral brolly has some impressively practical features. Not only does the domed shape naturally brace more strongly against wind than a more shallow brolly, but it also has fibreglass ribs to resist gusts. The transparent material allows the user to see where they are going while staying nice and dry – and the vertical position of the spokes means they are less-likely to poke somebody in the eye. This makes it a good option for crowded areas.

2. Rain-Mate Travel Umbrella

If you need a new umbrella because your last one got mangled by the wind, then this might be just what you're looking for. One of the highest-rated brollies on Amazon, it has nine reinforced fibreglass ribs and a sturdy metal frame – which the makers claim makes it highly wind resistant.

It's available in navy blue, pink or red and collapses to just 12cm in length, with a 42cm canopy when in use. And you won't have to worry about catching your skin in the release mechanism, as it is both opened and closed with a button on the comfy rubberised handle.

3. Hatley Children's Dinosaur Print Umbrella

Combining a classic design with a selection of well-known prehistoric monsters, this umbrella is perfect for dino-mad kids. With a 71cm canopy when open, it offers plenty of cover and the curved wooden handle makes it easy for little hands to hold in a variety of positions. The same design is also available with a number of other prints.

4. Fulton Storm Umbrella

The UK's biggest umbrella firm, Fulton have a wide range of brollies – from huge golf umbrellas to compact telescopic devices such as this one.

The umbrella equivalent of the little black dress, the Fulton Storm goes with anything and is perfect for urban use. It folds down to 19cm in length – but when unfurled offers a decent canopy which (according to buyers) is solid enough to withstand gusts of wind, but not so big that it becomes awkward. It comes with a sheath and a wrist strap, making it easy to tote on a commute or when nipping into the shops.

5. Stormshield Double Canopy Walker Umbrella

And if you want a bit more protection from the rain, the Fulton Stormshield offers an elegant and secure way to stay dry and beat those pesky gusts of wind.

It extends to a sizeable 131cm when open and the double canopy design allows air to escape through the top – while still keeping rain out – so that strong gusts are less likely to turn it inside-out.

The brolly is available in black or a rather stylish two-tone blue colour scheme and it has a rubberised handle for comfort and grip. It even has a non-conductive pole, in case you decide to test the windproof-ness in a thunderstorm.

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