Incredibly light, easy to carry. Keeps me cool and…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $58.50
Incredibly light, easy to carry. Keeps me cool and provides UV protection, which is a necessity for backpacking in Arizona.
- UV Protection
- A bit pricey
- Not very compact
Backpacking and hiking in Arizona provides a variety of terrain, and many miles of trail are in the direct sunlight with no trees for a break from the sun. A trekking umbrella serves many purposes — portable shade, protection from the sun, reduce sweating to consume less water, and rain protection if needed.
After some research, I purchased the EuroSchirm Swing trekking with the silver metallic UV 50 protection factor. This umbrella is essential for my hikes now. It has a fiberglass shaft and a foam grip. The umbrella is very easy to deploy and fold back up.
Although I didn't purchase the hands free version, I can tuck the umbrella handle into my chest strap and remain mostly hands free. I've not yet been able to use it for rain protection, but the umbrella is large enough to cover my pack and me, even with my camp chair strapped to the top of my backpack. I keep it in one of the side straps of my backpack, or can use the strap on the carrying case for regular hikes.
I've hiked in 90+ degrees with this umbrella, and it allowed me to remove my hat to keep my head cool, protect me from the direct sunlight, therefore reducing the amount of sweating. Although it is $58.50 total for this umbrella (an extra $4.50 for the silver UV protection), it was completely worth it to me.