Guerrilla Painter Soft-Clamp Deluxe Vented Silver Umbrella Kit
- Reflects heat but not ambient light
- Mount is easy to install but never needs to be removed
- Umbrella slips on and off in seconds
- Made for guerrilla boxes
- Weighs only 16-ounce
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Keep the sun off your palette and painting. The mounting kit (included) becomes a part of your 9 by 12 Guerrilla Box or Guerrilla French Resistance Pochade- no need to remove it. This umbrella is held on by a patented, soft rubber clamp that really works. Umbrella angle can be adjusted in any direction. Designed for true color plein air painting: Silver on the outside reflects heat; black liner on the underside won't reflect ambient light onto your painting. Chrome plated steel and High impact plastic with nylon canopy. Nylon cover sleeve included. 36-inchH by 32-inchDia. open.
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I bike and/or hike to painting sites so I keep things lean as possible. I have the Guerilla Painter 9x12" Laptop box, which fits into a backpack, along with a carbon fiber tripod, a small container of solvents and a handful of paper towels. Even with as little as that the kit still weighs about 25lbs - so I was really reluctant to add on another clunky, awkward piece of gear.
Unfortunately, that's exactly what this umbrella set up is: clunky and awkward and borderline useless.
The umbrella itself seems fine, but the post, for some reason, doesn't collapse into itself. When fully collapsed there is still 10" of post sticking out of the umbrella, which isn't ideal if you're looking for compact travel size.
Does it block the sun? On a perfectly windless day* - probably. But I don't know yet because I don't have a power drill, a 5/16" drill bit, and the two wrenches necessary to install the mount. While the installation is somewhat easier on a GP Pochade Box (you'll still need those two wrenches) it is not compatible on the GP Laptop box that I own without some construction work.
The mount of the umbrella consists of a tiny plastic clamp, and a big honkin coupling nut. Per GP's instructions I am meant to drill a hole through the side of my box, feed a bolt through it, and then tighten the ever loving crap out of the coupling nut against the side of the box. The result - again, not exactly streamlined here - is 2.5" of aluminum jutting out the side of my box.
No problem, you might think. I'll skip the nut and just clamp to the side of the box. Nope. The jaws of the tiny clamp do not open wide enough to actually clamp on to *anything* other than the coupling nut. In order to get a secure fit the clamp needs an object 3/4" diameter and equally round (not rectangular like the side of the box- otherwise it slides around). The jaws of the clamp, however, only open 1/2". The only option is to slide the clamp over the big coupling nut.
*Which brings us to a perfectly windless day. Remember that coupling nut? Better hope you have it REALLY tight. Because the clamp, with the umbrella attached, is going to function exactly like a wrench against the coupling nut. A really long wrench. With a wind-sail at the top of it. You may recall from physics class that torque increases with distance from the axis of rotation. And the greater the torque the less force is needed to cause rotation. So the umbrella arm (distance) will require significantly less force (wind) to loosen the coupling nut (axis of rotation).
So why wouldn't GP offer an umbrella with a smaller post and a larger, more sensible clamp? They do - it just costs twice as much...