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Trekking Umbrella Options

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Trekking Umbrella Options

Postby cloudlesssky » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:32 am

This post is intended to help save time for those looking at the current (2015) options for trekking umbrellas like I was. This isn't a review, but rather an aggregation of information. And it's also not a "pro-umbrella" post, the pros/cons of using/carrying an umbrella are pretty well documented elsewhere.

Most of the posts I saw talk about the GoLite Chromedome, but in 2015 GoLite is gone (for now). However, if you know you want a Chromedome and can't find one second hand, simply buy a Euroschirm Swing Liteflex Silver model. Keith Foskett makes a pretty convincing argument that they are one and the same item. http://www.keithfoskett.com/different-identical-story-two-umbrellas/

For trekking umbrellas in general, I found the best round-up of manufacturer/model options with technical spec comparisons available from Jason Kinney at https://sites.google.com/site/heliocntric/light-weight-backpacking-ultra-light-umbrella-review. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom of his post and note the "Umbrellas Not Reviewed By Me" section.

Euroschirm has evolved it's product line since Jason's review. The lightest model is still the Euroschirm Swing Liteflex (aka Chromedome), but spend some time looking at the myriad options because one might suit your needs better. They have a "hands free" model that is broader, stands taller and rigs to your pack harness, and other different models some with built in flashlights, extra strong, etc. Many models are available in "silver" which is the extra UV coating. http://www.euroschirm.com/trekking.php?session=NehFuvOk6DBjK&sprache_land=usa

Montbell also has some options that aren't listed in Jason's review. Like a "long tail" model that is elongated to extend over the pack. http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=1128149

Sea to Summit carries a "Siliconized Nylon Trekking Umbrella" that appear similar to/same as the Euroschirm Lite Trek collapsible model. It may be a relabeled item like the GoLite Chromedome although the collapsed dimensions appear slightly different (9.5" vs 11"). http://www.seatosummit.com/product/?item=Siliconized+Nylon+Trekking+Umbrella+&o1=0&o2=0&o3=191-50

I was looking for something to beat back the sun for specific hikes (e.g. Taboose Pass in July), not something to carry on every trip. I ended up buying the Euroschirm Lite Trek silver. I went with it over others because: 1) available silver UV coating; 2) collapsible (daypack size); 3) longer pole/shaft than other collapsible options.

I took the Lite Trek umbrella with me on my recent Tahoe to Sonora pass through hike. It worked well in the arid and volcanic areas during the midday sun. But I also found I liked it for the daily afternoon rain too. Around 1 pm I'd put on my pack rain cover, get my rain jacket at-the-ready (tucked under the flap of my pack to be yanked out easily), and make sure the umbrella was handy. When it started to sprinkle I'd grab the umbrella on the go, opening or closing it as necessary. I used the rain jacket a LOT less, stayed as dry as I might otherwise, was more comfortable (no clammy rain jacket), and could hear better. On this trip it earned it's extra weight.



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Re: Trekking Umbrella Options

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:06 am

Gossamer Gear and Six Moon Designs both sell similar umbrellas.

I take the Golite so often I'm wearing off the silver. It helps in a couple ways - rain, and sun, and the shade it casts on the ground in front of me reduces the bounce-back of the sun in my face, as well as shading me directly. I'll probably be getting another one soon, so it's good there are so many vendors now.
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Re: Trekking Umbrella Options

Postby ERIC » Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:18 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Gossamer Gear and Six Moon Designs both sell similar umbrellas.

I take the Golite so often I'm wearing off the silver. It helps in a couple ways - rain, and sun, and the shade it casts on the ground in front of me reduces the bounce-back of the sun in my face, as well as shading me directly. I'll probably be getting another one soon, so it's good there are so many vendors now.


I'm bummed I didn't pick up one of the GoLite's while I had the chance. Seems to have been one of the more economical options out there (under $40).
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