Hiking Staffs?

9:43 a.m. on May 29, 2006 (EDT)

Has anyone used the Komperdell Umbrella Staff?


It looks a bit gimmicky. However, It does seem like an interesting combination, especially since I'm also looking for a lightweight umbrella.


8:25 p.m. on May 30, 2006 (EDT)
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6,010 forum posts

Haven't even seen one in the flesh. But a few thoughts/questions/reactions occur.

Komperdell makes good poles. So it is probably very well made. Titanal means it is probably as light a pole as you can get. I think Jardine would be pleased with the idea, since he promotes carrying an umbrella as an all purpose rain shelter and sunshade. Umbrellas actually do a better job of keeping you dry, but still well ventilated, than most rain parkas.

But ...
metal poles for an umbrella to be used in the mountains, where you have lots of lightning and thunderstorms??? And an aluminum alloy at that (very conductive)?
How does it behave in the wind? Many umbrellas turn inside out in a strong gust of wind. Is it strong enough to not get permanently bent in such an upset event?
It's YAG (Yet Another Gadget) to carry along (I sometimes carry a very compact folding umbrella, per Ray's suggestions - works great for shielding the stove in a rainstorm). Like many gadgets and combination tools, I have this suspicion that it does lots of things, none of them very well. I have several Swiss Army knives with a variety of blade arrays and Leatherman and ... But they do not substitute for a real screwdriver, or real pliers (although I have repaired broken dental braces with both the Swiss Army knive pliers and the Leatherman pliers in the field), or a real, single purpose knife, or many other things that dwell among the various blades. Or the combination eating utensil I was given - combined spoon on one end, fork on the other, and serrated knife along one side (hey, I like sporks, but that's a tined spoon).

So, anyway, get one of the Komperdell hiking "polabrellas" or maybe it's an "umbrole". Try it in a variety of conditions and tell us how it works. Be sure to include a couple thunderstorms with strong, gusting winds.

Oh, yeah, I have a Komperdell hiking pole that the top knob screws off to reveal a 1/4-20 bolt head, to make a camera monopod - this works very well as a light substitute for a tripod, albeit not self-supporting. But it does help steady the camera for those long telephoto shots of animals, when you don't want to carry a full tripod along).

8:36 a.m. on May 31, 2006 (EDT)

Like I said, it does look a bit gimmicky. However, I have hiked with an umbrella in the past. Works great in light rain ( conditions like in the Pacific NW ). Anything I can do to keep away from my rain shell the better. I really don't like wearing it! Also, I obviously would not use it in a thunderstorm or very gusty winds. As for thunderstorms, an aluminum pole is probably the least of your worries.

Thanks for the input, I appreciate your thoughts! If I get one, I'll post a review.

10:42 a.m. on May 31, 2006 (EDT)
4,419 reviewer rep
6,010 forum posts

I was just told that the proper name for a combination umbrella/walking stick is "bumbershoot". Apparently, in England, walking cane style umbrellas are quite common. The person telling me said they are canes with a curved handle, not hiking staff, though.

Anyway, do try it and report back on how it works, especially whether the needed compromises of a multi-tool detract or whether it all works just fine.

2:33 p.m. on May 31, 2006 (EDT)

Ha! I like "polabrella" better. :-)

9:43 a.m. on June 1, 2006 (EDT)

I did finally find a review of it:


Hopefully it is ok to post links to other review sites? If not, please remove.

Appears that the reviewer really liked the umbrella part of it but the staff could use some minor improvements.

5:03 p.m. on June 24, 2006 (EDT)

Just a quick note that I went ahead and ordered it. It is a very nice staff. The umbrella is excellent. I especially like the 'twist ring' latching mechanism..no spring to wear out. If anyone has any questions about it, shoot me a reply and I'll try to answer.

FYI - I'll also try to write up a review after I give it more field use.

June 19, 2018
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