As of February 2017, REI's Travel Umbrella is DiscontinuedThe REI Travel Umbrella is a compact champion of rainy days. Indeed, it performed so well during our testing period, it trumped the other models and earned our Editors' Choice Award. This product struck the best compromise between rain protection and portability and scored well across the board. It has a surprisingly large and deep canopy for a compact model while remaining relatively lightweight and small. It isn't the lightest of all the models we tested, but we think that the trade-off for better rain protection is well worth the few extra ounces. Due to its packability, we found space in all sorts of places to store or carry this product. We used it to walk the dog, walk to work, and we even took it for some long hikes in the mountains, just in case it rained while we were hanging out on the summit. We also appreciated its automatic open/close button, especially when getting out of cars/buses/trains. Finally, this umbrella has a vent that allows the wind to escape without flipping the canopy inside out, and to our satisfaction, we never witnessed water entering through the flap.
We highly recommend the REI Travel for anyone who needs a versatile rain shelter that's compact enough that you'll always have when you need it. However, if you don't need a compact umbrella and want to save some cash, check out the totes Blue Line Auto Wooden, our Best Buy Award winner. Or, if you live in a windy city and need a compact model that can really take a beating, you might like the GustBuster Metro, which walked away with our Top Pick for Compact Wind Resistance.