The truth is many of us don't think about buying a new umbrella until the sky turns black or, worse, when the one you have suddenly breaks in a downpour. But snapping up the first umbrella you find means it'll likely end up broken and tossed in the trash. We've tested many compact and mini umbrellas for water repellency, durability, size, weight, ease of opening and closing, and more in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. After putting all those umbrellas through the wringer (and our rain tester!), we learned a thing or two about what makes a good one.
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Here's what we recommend:
1. A model that's about 10 or 11 inches long
A large, domed canopy is one key to good protection. In our test, umbrellas that were in this size range offered the best combination of coverage and compactness. If you really want something smaller, try the Totes Signature Micro 'Brella ($22). It packs a lot of umbrella into only six inches.
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