April 21, 2024

Pretty much every serious practitioner of self-defense, and even many rank beginners, understand instinctively that various weapons have a place in your arsenal.

The biggest, baddest and most destructive weapon is no good if you cannot effectively carry it where you normally go, or if it compromises your lifestyle or draws attention to yourself.

The element of surprise counts for a lot, and sometimes it’s worthwhile to give up raw effectiveness in order to gain efficacy in other areas.

Sometimes, the best weapon is one that will just fly under the radar, and today we’ll be looking at self-defense weapons that can do just that: tactical umbrellas.

Is a mildly ridiculous term, but these weapons are no joke: Tactical umbrellas are optimized for defense with heavy-duty construction and state-of-the-art, durable materials that enable them to stand up to repeated blows, either inflicting or receiving.

They still work just as well as normal to keep the rain off of your back, and can accompany you on the subway, into the office or anywhere else you might go.

I’ll tell you about 5 such umbrellas down below and what you need to know before you pick one…

Table of Contents

Why Would Anyone Choose an Umbrella for Self-Defense?

I know some of you are probably ready to close the window or scroll away, but hear me out. Tactical umbrellas have a definite place in your self-defense arsenal.

Frankly, there are some things that a self-defense umbrella can do that cannot be done by any other tool or weapon that you might have. I’ll make a case for them by presenting their four best attributes.

Convenience

Let’s get real for a second. There is hardly anything more convenient when it comes to a self-defense weapon than carrying something you would normally already carry.

In the case of our tactical umbrella here, if you usually have an umbrella close at hand, and particularly if you always carry one with you into the office and then back to the car park or on to public transit, you will literally have your weapon in your hand when you need it.

You aren’t worried about fishing it out of a pocket or out of a holster, or trying to figure out a way to carry it in the first place.

It will just be there, with you, ready to do its job when called on, whether “called on” is in the case of actual rain or a mugger that’s about to shake you down.

Ultra-Low Profile

Another major perk that tactical umbrellas have is that there is hardly anything more unassuming and more likely to go unnoticed by the general public and by security personnel.

It’s really just an umbrella in most cases, and aside from being made to a much higher standard with heavy-duty materials there isn’t anything to get alarmed about in the first place.

This isn’t a pocket knife, even a small one, and it sure as hell isn’t a gun or a conspicuously protruding magazine or other ammunition carrier that will immediately alert anyone that sees it to what else you are carrying.

It’s not even some cute, barely disguised self-defense “implement” like kitty spikes, a kubotan or a tactical pen. They really do just look like umbrellas!

For people who want to keep a low profile and avoid social embarrassment and potentially legal trouble, tactical umbrellas are the equivalent of a stealth spy plane.

Can Go Where Other Weapons Can’t

Another major advantage that tactical umbrellas have is the fact that they can go quite literally anywhere.

They can go on airplanes, they can go in most restricted areas where you would normally be subject to a metal detector, baggage search and potentially a pat down.

It can be taken into a courthouse, taken into a weapons-restricted high-rise office and anywhere else that you might imagine. At least, anywhere that you can take a normal umbrella!

For some people who work, travel or pass through these restricted areas this level of permissiveness when it comes to a functional self-defense implement is worth its weight in gold.

Unless you’re an employee with special permission or a badged law enforcement officer, carry of more serious weapons in these places is just out of the question.

Reduced Ethical and Legal Concerns

Not for nothing, don’t discount the notion that if you are forced to defend yourself with any weapon you are invariably going to face scrutiny in a court of law.

Every action and every decision you made in a millisecond under life-threatening pressure will be judged at leisure by a jury of your so-called peers.

Whacking someone with an umbrella, even one that is designed to inflict more substantial injuries than a typical one, will all but certainly be viewed as a far lesser amount of force than that would be inflicted by a firearm, knife, or other lethal weapon.

This keeps you looking like what you are, the good guy, and that makes it far more likely that you will achieve a good outcome in the legal battle.

Concerns with Tactical Umbrellas

Now, as you might be expecting, there are some serious drawbacks to tactical umbrellas compared to other weapons. You need to know about these, too, before you commit.

Not Super Effective

A tactical umbrella, no matter how well it is made and no matter how durable the materials, is still just an umbrella. It’s not a gun, it’s not a knife, and it’s not even a lead pipe.

They are designed to be light and portable just like normal umbrellas, and although they’re also designed to stand up to delivering or blocking repeated blows, the overall impact is just not there.

This means they aren’t decisive fight-stoppers. They can certainly inflict pain and even significant injuries, but they are largely dependent upon the strength and skill of the user to generate that force and subsequent effectiveness when on the defensive.

Best Use Requires Significant Martial Arts Skill

A tactical umbrella, at the end of the day, is just a type of club or stick in function.

Anybody can use a stick to hurt someone, but using a stick to hurt someone with skill, precision, power and speed requires athleticism and practice, and that means that a tactical umbrella is only going to be at its best when the user has some martial arts skill with stick fighting.

A person who possesses the skill and athleticism will get even more performance out of a tactical umbrella than normal.

Conversely, a person who is out of shape, doesn’t know how to fight, and has never used a stick against another person is going to be at a greater disadvantage with one.

Features You Should Look For in a Tactical Umbrella

Tactical umbrellas come in a surprising variety of styles, and knowing what features make the difference will help you choose a good one:

Durability

Durability is everything for a tactical umbrella. Pretty much everyone has experienced a cheap umbrella folding up on them in a stiff wind, or when they accidentally pressed against the middle part of the shaft, bending it.

If you don’t want your tactical umbrella to be a one-and-done proposition, try to pick one that is made out of high-quality aluminum alloys, carbon fiber, or other similarly tough but light material.

Hardened Tip

A hardened tip, or cap, is an important feature for a tactical umbrella. This will allow you to use the umbrella almost like a sword or spear to jab opponents, and it will also protect the structural integrity of the umbrella itself.

If the cap is damaged, it is far easier for the whole thing to fall apart under heavy use, and in our case “heavy use” means whacking baddies!

Consider stainless steel or carbon fiber to be the best options, though particularly high-quality manufacturers might use proprietary plastics that can go the distance.

Ergonomic Handle

Preferences vary, but a tactical umbrella is best with a straight handle, and particularly one with a ball or swell at the far end to keep your hand from sliding off.

Curved j-shape crook handles are okay, but it promotes the breaking of the grip when you are swinging for the fences.

Similarly, cane or walking stick type handles are definitely ergonomic when used for the intended purpose, but might shorten the grip overall for defensive use.

Plain Appearance

This is an easy one with a tactical umbrella. You always want to pick one that’s as inauspicious as possible.

It doesn’t have to be plain black or gray, but it should look just like any other umbrella externally. You want no one to be the wiser, least of all your attacker!

The Top 5 Tactical Umbrellas for Self-Defense and EDC

1. Security Umbrella, City Safe model

Security Umbrella is a maker of purpose-built self-defense umbrellas, and one of their best sellers is the City Safe, a model that is compact enough to be a great daily carry option, but large enough to be a highly effective umbrella when the skies darken and also a wonderful defensive weapon when accosted.

There is a lot to like about this design, from the perfectly engineered handle, heavy duty materials used in its construction and the stainless steel tip that is perfect for jabbing and also highly durable.

The only downside is that it is quite spendy for an umbrella of this size, and it has an almost indefinable feeling of cheapness to it.

It might be my imagination because all umbrellas are so light and flimsy feeling, but I do worry how long this one will hold up.

In any case, this is one of the most popular ones on the market and it is frequently purchased. A great all-around choice for anyone. Get it here.

2. Unbreakable Walking Stick U-115

Security Umbrella is a maker of purpose-built self-defense umbrellas, and one of their best sellers is the City Safe, a model that is compact enough to be a great daily carry option, but large enough to be a highly effective umbrella when the skies darken and also a wonderful defensive weapon when accosted.

The flagship offering from an established and respected manufacturer of high-end, super durable umbrellas, the Walking Stick U-115 is built like a tank, elegant and as always is simply a superior umbrella and it just so happens to be one that you can absolutely smash a person with.

The company advertises the breaking strength of this umbrella as being greater than that of a comparable diameter metal pipe, a claim which seems unbelievable but after handling this one I am definitely inclined to believe it.

The only downside is that it only comes with the classic crook handle. It looks great, and feels good in the hand when used for its original purpose, but it is far from the best option for serious self-defense work when the chips are down.

You can get it from Amazon or directly from their official site.

Security Umbrella is a maker of purpose-built self-defense umbrellas, and one of their best sellers is the City Safe, a model that is compact enough to be a great daily carry option, but large enough to be a highly effective umbrella when the skies darken and also a wonderful defensive weapon when accosted.

3. Security Umbrella Walking Cane

Another great product from Security Umbrella, this one has a pretty much all the same features and overall build philosophy as the City Safe model, including that tank-like construction and that awesome steel point for jabbing.

But this one is optimized for use as a walking stick or cane, complete with a perpendicular, ergonomic handle for a sure, comfortable grip even during all-day usage.

The only problem is that that same comfortable, ergonomic grip for all-day usage as a cane kind of gets in the way when you want to use the umbrella for point-up self-defense.

On the other hand, that handle makes a wonderful striking surface if you flip the umbrella around and wield it with both hands, baseball bat style, by the shaft.

So, something of a trade-off but it might be just right for some users. Get it here.

4. UZI Fiberglass Tactical Automatic

Uzi-branded products are well known for offering pretty legitimate tactical capability without breaking the bank. The same can be said for their Tactical Automatic Umbrella.

This umbrella features an ergonomic straight handle which is ideal for self-defense, a carbide tip which works wonderfully for jabbing attackers or breaking glass in an emergency, and a supremely light build that makes it very quick on offense or easy to carry all day.

The only downside might be a big one, and it is that I just don’t know if the build quality is quite up to snuff.

The shaft has a listed tensile strength in excess of 200 pounds before breaking, and though it is at least strong enough to resist any kind of wind storm short of a tornado, I have my doubts that it will hold up to repeated blows against an attacker. Get it here.

5. Streetwise Security Products Stunbrella

Certainly the most spectacular option on our list, Streetwise Security Products offers the Stunbrella- boy, you have to love the name- as a more decisive tactical umbrella.

Although it is too short to be a highly effective striking tool, this is more than made up for by the powerful, high-voltage stun gun that is incorporated into the umbrella itself.

A click of the conveniently placed trigger will send tens of thousands of volts coursing into the body of your attacker, hopefully giving them good incentive to let you go.
However, the electrode top is noticeable, and being a stun gun by design this is not one you can legally take with you everywhere like the other tactical umbrellas on this list. Get it from Amazon.