Umbrellas

We attempt to stay dry while trolling the streets.

  • Weather Zone, $6.99, at Duane Reade (various locations throughout the city, go...

  • Street vendor umbrella, $4, at corner of W 3rd St and Sixth Ave

Burberry Check Umbrella, $250, at burberry.com
Let’s be honest: When you buy a designer umbrella, your first concern is not how well it will handle a torrential downpour but how obviously it telegraphs your social status. And yet, this little iconic plaid guy handles strong gusts of wind and even sleet (in March!) like a pro. Not once did it get blown inside out, and it managed to shield most of my lower extremities from the rain. I chalk this durability up to its strong metal core and sturdy wood handle. The one problem I encountered was when it wasn’t raining: Each time I stashed the umbrella in my bag, its crooked handle inevitably caught on something that I passed on the street—scaffolding, another person—and made me look like I was performing some bizarre vaudevillian routine.—Erin Wylie
Wetness protection: four

The Davek Solo, $99, at davekny.com
This is one heavy rain deflector. Guess that’s because it’s made with a carbon WindFlex Frame (whatever that is). The canopy is made of 190 thread count fabric and it opens and closes automatically with a button so my other hand is free to hail cabs—or wave them away when they pull over without being summoned. My only complaint: There’s no wrist strap on the handle which multiplies the already great chance of it being left behind. Good thing each umbrella comes with a loss-protection card good for a onetime 50 percent discount on a replacement.—LF
Wetness protection: five

Weather Zone, $6.99, at Duane Reade (various locations throughout the city, go to duanereade.com)
Caught in a storm deep in Soho, I bought this baby out of desperation. I headed back out only to realize it wouldn’t stay closed—not an enjoyable obstacle to face while going in and out of shops. Days later I was fed up and threw it away. Even more days later I found myself in the same predicament and once again bought the same brand. I can’t buy two defective umbrellas, right? Wrong. This one wouldn’t stay open! The doohickey that ensures that it stays open wouldn’t catch and I had to hold it in place myself. Fool me once, Duane Reade, shame on you. Fool me twice and goddamn it!—LF
Wetness protection: two

Street vendor umbrella, $4, at corner of W 3rd St and Sixth Ave
It’s flimsy but it worked like an umbrella should. That is, until the first gust of rain came and turned the canopy inside out. Once I returned it to its rightful orientation, I realized one of the arms was already broken, leaving me with a limp panel that emptied rain directly into my purse. Awesome.—Lisa Freedman
Wetness protection: one

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Daniel A Nylaan
Daniel A Nylaan

Is it possible to make umbrella that can be mounted to a bicycle