- Product Dimensions: 26 x 1.7 x 1.4 inches ; 11.2 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- ASIN: B001OPO7L8
- Item model number: W2L69027-SILVER
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,892 in Patio, Lawn & Garden (See Top 100 in Patio, Lawn & Garden) Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
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Liteflex Trekking Umbrella
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- Size: 25.2" H x 39.4" W (when open),
- Weight: 7 oz.
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High-density fiberglass ribs, light coated fiberglass stick, highly flexible and nearly unbreakable. EVA foam handle, 100% Polyester fabric, extremely tear proof, Teflon coating for high water repellency and soil resistance. Includes carrying bag with shoulder strap.
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Well good news! The Chrome Dome was actually just a rebranded version of this umbrella.
Euroschirm is the true manufacturer of the Chrome Dome and this Swing Liteflex Trek Umbrella.
They are absolutely identical, minus the GoLite logo.
Highly recommended to help prevent your brain from frying under the mid-day desert sun.
In short, I was looking for an umbrella that was:
(1) Lightweight and thus easily transportable
(2) Sturdy and thus break-resistant in windy weather
(3) Wide enough to cover me and my backpack yet small enough to be convenient to carry
(4) AFFORDABLE (I'm not made of money)
Here's how the umbrella fared:
(1) Lightweight? Absolutely. In fact, it's so lightweight that I initially feared it wouldn't be effective. However, that was certainly not the case. My only complaint is that the foam handle isn't ergonomic. While it may seem odd to judge an umbrella on it's handle, it makes a difference when your hand starts to hurt a couple of minutes in.
(2) In my internet research on umbrellas, I learned two key points about what separates bad umbrellas from good umbrellas. First, when it comes to sturdiness, stick/folding > manual collapsible > automatic collapsible. The logic behind this is simple: More moving parts means more places for the umbrella to potentially break. Secondly, an umbrella is only as strong as it's ribs, and the strongest ribs, according to renowned umbrella maker/repairman Gilbert Center, is fiberglass (see this Wirecutter article: (...). So, it was clear that a stick/folding, fiberglass-ribbed umbrella was what I needed, and this umbrella fit the bill. I can attest to the fact that this umbrella is indeed very wind resistant and strong, with its fiberglass ribs creating a taut canopy. Moreover, if this umbrella ever flips inside out, it easily flips back without breaking.
(3) You can't ask much from a trekking umbrella, so no, it doesn't cover both myself and my backpack in heavy rain (though, in light rain, it does most of the time). However, I can say that it has a wider canopy than I originally thought when I purchased it.
(4) After shipping, I got this umbrella for under $35. Obviously that's pricey compared to the dollar store umbrellas, but it's well at the low point when compared to truly good umbrellas. Plus, the silver lining on the canopy offers UV protection that most umbrellas don't.
All in all, if you can bear through some of the hand pain, this is the ideal umbrella to have on hand.
Final thought: EuroSCHIRM, a German-based company, designed this umbrella. I've found, in general, that it's hard to go wrong with German-derived goods.
Still working at it did new for over a year now. I take it with me often when hiking if there is any chance of rain. Even in the snow, it's nice to have a small shelter for eating lunch.
In heavy rain, you can hike without a rain shell on, which is vastly better for not getting sweaty. It doesn't matter how many much you spend on a rain jacket, they are all terrible when it comes to carrying a heavy load up a mountain. Even an umbrella this small can keep you more dry than any rain jacket as long as the rain isn't coming in sideways. Even then, you don't need to wear the jacket hood or upper zippers in driving rain. The same goes for extremely hot weather. You can hike with no shirt or something minimal without added risk of skin cancer or the need to grease on smelly sun screen all over your body. I've had many jealous hiking partners who laughed at me until it came time to eat lunch in the rain. I have a portable and instant shelter, and they have dripping wet hands and soggy sandwiches.
Sure, it's about as small as you could get away with for rain and sun, but if it were any larger, it would be heavier and less likely to get taken along for a trip. One thing to consider about the small size though, is that when backpacking with a large pack, the umbrella will dump a lot of water onto the pack, depending on how you are holding it. Your rain cover or pack fabric will get a heavier dousing of liquid in some cases. In the hot sun with no trees in sight, even a toothpick sized shadow is like finding a pot of gold. This umbrella won't cover your whole body when laying down, but getting your head and torso out of the heat goes a long way in saving water rations and keeping your core temp lower. I wonder if this umbrella results in a lower pack weight considering one would have to carry extra water without it. In the alpine during the peak of summer, the umbrella might pay for itself in terms of overall pack weight. Also need to consider the weight saving from not carrying a bottle of sunscreen.
The umbrella is easy to open and close. While it doesn't have a locking mechanism to keep it open, I haven't had it close on itself even in strong winds. The grip is adequate considering the weight, but a think a thinner, taller one would offer a bit more control over the umbrella in the wind. The wrist loop works, but may be a bit small for people with big hands and/or gloves. The silver coated top is brilliant for keeping the heat off and also works well to increase visibility during hunting season. I don't dare take a black umbrella out around my parts of the woods during hunting season. Everyone thinks I am a black bear at longer distances with a black umbrella. The underside of this umbrella is black, which keeps the reflections and light levels down. It is also critical when wearing a head lamp at night, not to have the inside reflect back and blind you. Very good design decision.
Like most ultra-light gear, it is a little more flexible than standard umbrellas. I have to take care to not let it get caught in a gust of wind and folded inside out. Even if you manage to keep it pointed into the wind, it will fold down against your body in strong gusts. In this respect, you should always have regular rain gear and not rely on the umbrella to let you keep the rain pants and jacket at home. Even though it can bend around a lot, mine hasn't broken. The fabric looks like it is holding up very well to abrasions and normal use.
If you like doing back country photography with an expensive camera and tripod, this umbrella works great for keep rain, snow, and mist from getting onto your gear when taking a shot. Even if it isn't raining, there can still be dew drops falling off the trees. Work equally well for blocking the spray from a waterfall while you set up your camera. Just take the umbrella away for a second during the shot and then wipe down and moisture from the camera and lens afterwards. The silver coating on the outside also doubles a a light reflector. Say you are taking a shot of some flowers on an alpine peak and want some fill light for the foreground, Just set up the umbrella to cast a neutrally colored area of light where you need it.