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Which Umbrella?
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Samuel Kau
(Skau) - M

Locale: Southern California
Which Umbrella? on 04/29/2011 16:52:48 MDT Print View

Hey guys, so I am looking to try backpacking with an umbrella but am unsure of which ones to look at. As of now, I know of Golite umbrellas and Mont-bell but am looking for more companies as well. For the umbrella users which umbrella do you use and any particular reason why you chose that certain one??

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Which Umbrella? on 04/29/2011 18:23:34 MDT Print View

I have one of the original Golite umbrellas. It is 9.2oz/260g.

The concept is just like any other UL gear-- maximum performance at minimum weight. The Golite I have follows the recommendations of Ray Jardine for an umbrella with a simple design and low weight. It has a solid main shaft, which is strong, but it is always 25" long. I am not familiar with the current GoLite models.

The GoLite Chrome Dome model can provide sun and rain protection. The one I'm using is a light khaki color, so it can work for sun too.

BirdiePal is another brand used by hikers. Note that has several models:

I found a ShedRain model that is very light and compact, but also more mechanically complex and more fragile. I found it in a thrift store for a few dollars. 6.9oz/195g, 11 inches long when stowed and the canopy is 38" across-- the same as the GoLite.

It is hard to shop for light umbrellas on the web as they rarely list the weights.

Umbrellas can provide rain protection with maximum breathability. If you use trekking poles, you would have to stash one while using the umbrella. You can use them while cooking and a partial beak for the front of a tarp tent. I don't use mine much as I like two trekking poles and the umbrella weighs about what my rain shell does. I would chalk umbrella use up to personal preference with emphasis towards use in desert conditions for shade and the incidental benefit of rain protection. They do make for more weight and will fail in high winds, which is really where you want good rain protection.

Rick Cheehy
(kilgoretrout2317) - F

Locale: Virginia
MB on 04/29/2011 18:30:03 MDT Print View

I have the Mont Bell, it works...but it is small and the wind can turn it inside out really easy. I hear good things about these but I've never carried one.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
umbrella weights on 04/29/2011 19:28:24 MDT Print View

umbrella, Birdiepal, Tiny Emergency Travel Umbrella, 147 g
umbrella, GoLite, Dome Trekking Umbrella, twilight blue, 216 g

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
umbrella on 04/29/2011 20:50:09 MDT Print View

Golite chrome dome is a godsend when hiking up an exposed ridge midday in the full sun of summer!

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Which Umbrella? on 04/29/2011 20:56:57 MDT Print View


Edited by annapurna on 05/01/2011 08:03:35 MDT.

Rakesh Malik

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Which Umbrella? on 04/30/2011 01:23:04 MDT Print View

Has anyone tried BirdiePedal's hands-free umbrella yet?

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Tried both, Birdiepal is the one to use on 04/30/2011 15:55:21 MDT Print View

I have both the golite and the reflective birdipal swinglite. The Birdiepal is superior in my opinion and I have relegated the golite to the kids. Just my .02c

Samuel Kau
(Skau) - M

Locale: Southern California
Re: Tried both, Birdiepal is the one to use on 04/30/2011 15:57:36 MDT Print View

Hey Edward, what about the birdipal is better? And which model do you have of birdiepal?

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Umbrella on 04/30/2011 16:49:10 MDT Print View

If you could only have one. I'd get a GoLite Dome Chrome.

This is the company that makes the umbrella GoLite sells. More colors and they DO have a hands free model. Clips to hip/sternum strap for hands free operation.

edit: liteflex is the same model as the GoLite umbrellas

Edited by mzion on 04/30/2011 16:50:30 MDT.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Re: Tried both, Birdiepal is the one to use on 04/30/2011 17:37:26 MDT Print View

>Hey Edward, what about the birdipal is better? And which model do you have of birdiepal?<

Samuel, I'm not Edward, but I do use a Birdipal Liteflex Swing.

What is better- well I've put this through the wringer over the last 3 years and it is a very durable umbrella. I have the Silver and use it in the desert as shade and in the rain as - well.. an umbrella.

For fun check out this video

Happy Trails,

Edited by markhurd on 04/30/2011 17:39:25 MDT.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Snowpeak UL on 04/30/2011 18:47:33 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/18/2015 03:42:26 MDT.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
'which Umbrella'' on 04/30/2011 20:17:00 MDT Print View

It seams like reviews of the Birdiepal differ from place to place and many seem to say that getting it to latch on to being fully raised can be a problem when it is new. Some people say it gets better with age and then deploys well. Others say it turns inside out easily but takes it OK. What are your thoughts on this and where did you buy yours and when? There is always the question of a bad batch , or things not being worn in. Thanks, John

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: 'which Umbrella'' on 04/30/2011 20:22:45 MDT Print View

I love Birdiepal. There is a review of these umbrellas on this site. Enjoy!

Roy Staggs
(onepaddlejunkie) - F

Locale: SEC
umbrella on 04/30/2011 20:44:17 MDT Print View

Have the Sea to Summit. 8.2 oz - 9.5" packed 38" dia.
Never used it packing but it works good going to and from the truck.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: 'which Umbrella'' on 04/30/2011 21:00:15 MDT Print View


Bought mine about 3 years ago, I think from ProLite. Never had any trouble with it collapsing. Have flipped it inside out once in a high wind. Flipped right back none the worse for the ware. I use mine a lot in Oregon for the rain and then when I moved back to Texas I use it a lot for the sun. Got the Silver one, supposed to reflect the heat better. On a recent trip to Big Bend with temps to 103.2 F I used it the whole time. As to improving with age, I never had a problem and it still works fine. I think they run about $30 for the silver and $5 cheaper for the other colors.


P.S. Read Doug's umbrella review. Good Stuff!

Edited by markhurd on 04/30/2011 21:01:57 MDT.

Samuel Kau
(Skau) - M

Locale: Southern California
durability issues with collapsible? on 04/30/2011 23:53:04 MDT Print View

I was wondering if the fixed length umbrellas are stronger than collapsible or does it not really matter? I definitely like the collapsible option for stowing away in my pack but am concerned that maybe it is not as strong as the non-collapsible. For those that do use the fixed length umbrellas do you stow it on the outside of your pack? And if so would you be worried about damaging it?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: 'which Umbrella'' on 05/01/2011 00:15:28 MDT Print View

Review here...

Love the Google search engine.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: durability issues with collapsible? on 05/01/2011 19:53:09 MDT Print View


Mine is fixed length. I have a long mesh pocket on the side of my pack where I stow my tent or hammock and I can slip the umbrella in along side ready for use if I need it. No worries about damage. I really like my Birdiepal and the fixed length hasn't been a problem, but almost any of the umbrellas listed here are going to do a good job for you. The SnowPeak UL looks pretty interesting, the GoLIte, Sea-to-Summit, and Montbell makes one, too. I do like the ones that are silvered to reflect the heat so I get dual use in sun and rain, but you have some really great choices here.