Rating: 5 / 5
I'm in complete agreement with Ray Jardine concerning hiking with an umbrella. They are the best thing going. As often noted, with an umbrella you can dress for the temperature, not for the rain.
Ok, they weigh in around 8 ounces. But I can often leave other raingear at home if I will not be exposed and do not expect high winds.
We just got back from hiking the Na Pali coast and the Pihea Trail on Kauai. This is reputed to be the wettest area on Earth, averaging around 480 inches of rain per year.
We were just about the only ones carrying umbrellas. Others we met hiked along in their full waterproof/breathable rain suits, and looked positively miserable. The rain comes and goes there, and as it is a hassle to stop and take off or put on the full rainsuit every half hour they all just wore their rainsuits the whole time.
We on the other hand were continually dry and comfortable (except our feet, mainly because of the many stream crossings!). The umbrellas go up or down in seconds. We just hiked in synthetic shorts and short sleeve shirts, both of which dried quickly, even if it was raining (it was fairly warm).
Wake up everybody...carry an umbrella!