Nobody wants to talk about it, but a forecast of rain is something to keep in mind when planning your London itinerary – even during the generally warmer and drier summer months. While I’m wishing you clear skies and sunny weather during your entire trip (no matter the season!), the reality is that you may need to consider packing a few choice items to keep yourself dry if the weather forecast turns more damp as your trip approaches.
I’ve already shared one important item to consider – rain boots to keep your feet dry and warm (and fashionable) – and now it’s time to consider another: umbrellas. While Londoners are quite split on whether umbrellas are acceptable, many visitors use them, so I thought it would be handy to share a list of the best umbrellas for London.
The main problem with umbrellas though, is packing them. You need to choose wisely to get one that fits in your luggage and won’t leak when the first drop hits it. That’s where this list can help. In it, you’ll find some great travel-friendly umbrellas that will blend right in with London’s street style as well as some ideas for splurging on a British-made umbrella as a truly unique London souvenir.
Read on to discover the best umbrellas for London, both travel-friendly and souvenir-worthy.
This post was originally published in January 2022, and was updated most recently in August 2023.
Balios Travel Folding Umbrella
Balios umbrellas for London look more like a piece of fashion than an umbrella, which makes them the perfect rainy companion for the posh lady or dapper gentleman.
With a classic black design and timeless elegance, the Balios travel folding umbrella features sturdy construction, though its true plus point is the canopy’s material. It is extremely water repellent and does not take much effort to shake any excess water off of it.
Last but not least, the cream of the crop is the beautifully handcrafted wooden handle with finger notches for ultimate holding comfort. The size is also perfect for travelers, small enough to fit in a bag but big enough to keep you covered and dry.
Davek Mini Umbrella
“Small and mighty,” reads the Davek Mini Umbrella’s description. The Davek mini umbrella is the brand’s smallest, most compact umbrella, measuring less than 7 inches when closed. It fits in the palm of your hand and a back pocket, so it truly lives up to the “mini” in its name.
Designed to last, its construction is sturdy, featuring a patented frame system composed of high-grade steel, fiberglass, zinc alloy, and aluminum. As for the canopy, it boasts the perfect balance between rigidity and flexibility, guaranteeing it won’t turn inside out with winds.
It also comes in beautiful colors to liven up London’s grey and rainy days.
Lanbrella Windproof Travel Umbrella
When it comes to the best umbrellas for London, Lanbrella ticks all the boxes: it is portable, waterproof, and sturdy.
The Lanbrella Windproof Travel Umbrella features advanced technology. It has an automatic built-in open/close button to facilitate the umbrella’s folding, using just one hand.
It has an inverted folding design, making the wet material stay inside the umbrella. This way, it prevents you from getting the backsplash on your face when closing the umbrella – or making enemies as you enter the tube or bus.
The Lanbrella comes in three different sizes, 42, 46, and 54 inches. The largest canopy provides increased cover than other umbrellas in the market yet compresses to a smaller size when closed (12.5″ tip to tip.)
Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella
The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is perfect for your London trip, featuring an all-black design. The reinforced fiberglass ribs’ best features, whose flexibility holds up better than the typical lightweight and highly bendable ribs.
The Up/Down button makes retraction of the canopy so much faster and easier. The canopy is fantastic, featuring high-quality Teflon coating that ensures water does not soak into the fabric. The construction is sturdy enough to stand up to light to moderate wind.
The GustBuster Classic
The GustBuster Classic is your best ally on those days when London’s rainy weather combines with a strong breeze. It features innovative technology to make the canopy unflippable, unflappable, and unleakable.
Measuring 48 inches, the canopy provides lots of cover. It also has a unique double-canopy technology that withstands tough winds of up to 55mph without flipping, leaking, or breaking. As for the design, it features an elegant curved hardwood J-handle that combines style with practicality.
Like other models on the list, The GustBuster Classic also includes an automatic opening system. You can also find The Metro and The Pro Series models within the brand’s line.
British Umbrellas to Buy as a Souvenir
London-style umbrellas make the perfect souvenir for loved ones back home if you want to choose something really unique. It’s original, practical, and captures the essence of the rainy city. Don’t forget you can always splurge on a nice umbrella for yourself as a souvenir too!
If you’d like to gift an umbrella with a history behind it, go with Fox Umbrellas. The British company has been designing luxury umbrellas since 1868 and is a favorite of the Royal Family.
Fox Umbrellas heralded the manufacturing of luxury umbrellas in England and produce some of the most elegant designs in the market. Their large umbrellas come in a range of colors and handle woods – and are the design is well-tested against whatever the British weather throws at you.
James Smith & Sons
James Smith & Sons combines traditional craftsmanship with an informal style. While the canopies are beautiful, the umbrellas’ unique handcrafted wooden handles are the stars of the show.
For the ladies, they come with a cat handle, duck handle, and fox handle, among others. You can find a crocodile handle and eagle handle for the gentlemen as the best example of craftsmanship.
Launched in 2004, Lockwood Umbrellas is a newcomer in the luxury umbrella industry. They are famous for making bespoke umbrellas. You can choose among fine woods (oak, maple, hickory, hazel, ash, or chestnut) to design the handle and among eight shades for the waterproof cotton canopy. You can also ask them to accommodate additional engraved initials on the handle.
London Undercover caters to environmentally (and style) conscious individuals. The umbrella house combines sustainable craftsmanship with British designs.
They have a wonderful portfolio, with classic models and bold ones for younger generations. I especially love this one with the bright red underside – it adds a pop of color to any gloomy day (which is basically any day it’s raining, right?).
With Pickett London, bespoke umbrellas acquire a whole new dimension and meaning. The luxury brand allows you to design your umbrella from scratch.
Not only can you choose a unique wooden shaft for your umbrella, but you can also create your own fabric with quirky patterns or print a picture on the inside or outside of the canopy. This is the way to go if you’ve always wanted an umbrella with the Union Jack printed on it but don’t want to waste money on a cheap umbrella!
Swaine-Adeney Brigg is world-renowned for its leather goods. However, they’ve also made luxurious London-style umbrellas that have shielded rain from the heads of prime ministers, kings, and queens.
The Malacca Flask is their most recent launch, which includes a hidden drinking flask within its Malacca cane handle. Nothing like a nip to take away the chill on a drizzly London day!
There you have it – a surprisingly wide variety of options for choosing an umbrella for your London trip. Did you know there was so much variety? Whether you grab a travel-friendly, practical option or splurge on a bespoke umbrella made just for you, they’ll all do the trick to keep you dry on London’s drizzly days, and remind you of your grand adventure once you return home. Have any questions about these best umbrellas for London? Let me know in the comments.